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More than a hundred years after Christopher Columbus’ historic voyage in 1492, a team of roughly one hundred colonists left England in late December 1606 on three ships, and reached Chesapeake Bay by late April the following year. A month later, on May 14, 1607, they established the first English colony on American soil on a narrow peninsula in the James River, located near present-day Williamsburg, Virginia. They named the settlement Jamestown, after their King James I, who granted a charter to the private venture whose goal was to search for gold and silver deposits in the New World, as well as chart a route to the Pacific Ocean that would allow them to establish trade with the Orient.

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Jamestown as it appeared in the 17th century.

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