In May of 1607, three small ships ? the Discovery, Godspeed and Susan Constant ?
landed at what we know today as Jamestown. On board were 104 men and boys, plus
crew members, who had left England on a bitter cold December day. Sailing down the
Thames River with little fanfare, they were unnoticed by all but a few curious onlookers.
The ships were packed with supplies
they thought would be most needed in
this new land. Sponsors of the voyage
hoped the venture would become an
economic prize for England. An
earlier undertaking in the 1580s on
Roanoke Island, in what is now North
Carolina, had failed, but times had
changed. England had signed a peace
treaty with Spain, and was now
looking westward to establish colonies
along the northeastern seaboard of North America. Word was that the Spanish had found
?mountains of gold? in this new land, so these voyagers were intent on finding riches as
well as a sea route to Asia. Little did the settlers know as they disembarked on this
spring day, May 14, 1607, how many and what kinds of hardships they would face as
they set out to fulfill their dreams of riches and adventure in Virgini