"Suffering great hunger there"

John Daniel Saillant's picture

Blogger Virginia Bernhard


    From October 1609 to May 1610, most of Jamestown’s 300-odd residents literally starved to death. Sixty were found alive inside the fort.
    Why? Scholars disagree to this very day. So do existing eyewitness accounts. The men who wrote the 1612 “Proceedings,” agreed with Smith’s 1624 Generall Historie that there was food to last the winter, but George Percy’s “Trewe Relacyon” observed that the food supply was soon consumed and people began to starve.
    Tales of meager rations at Jamestown reached the ears of Don Pedro de Zuñiga, the Spanish ambassador in London. In December 1609 he wrote to King Philip III that people “are suffering great hunger there.”
    But there should have been enough food to last through the winter. . . .

Categories: Blog
Keywords: Jamestown, blog