“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For He commands, and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves.”
Captain Christopher Newport Founds
Jamestown, Virginia Colony, May 24, 1607
n May 24, 1607, Captain Christopher Newport sailed his ship the Susan Constant and her companion vessels, the Godspeed and the Discovery up the river named for the English sovereign, King James, and put in to shore on an island. He called the fledgling colony Jamestown. Previous attempts of English colonization in the New World had failed or just disappeared; this one would survive, but barely. The English sailors and colonists built a stockade and mounted cannons facing the river, in case the Spanish sent a fleet from the Caribbean to exterminate them. The cannons pointed in the wrong direction, facing the wrong enemies.
Reenactors at the recreated Jamestown Settlement fire a cannon during a demonstration
Spanish explorers and conquistadors delivered to the monarchs of their recently unified country, in the 16th Century, a global empire, unmatched by any of their European rivals. Their colonies in the “New World” provided billions in gold, silver, gems, and raw materials that enabled Spain to sustain the only professional army on the continent and militarily rebuff their enemies: France, England, the “Holy Roman Empire,” and Portugal. Those rivals considered how they could compete for the endless riches, the millions of newly conquered peoples, and the unbounded prestige that came with their successful conquests.
Reenactors demonstrate clothing, weapons and tactics of the Jamestown Settlement era