Jamestown Memorial Gate



The successful settlement at Jamestown on the 13th of May, 1607, was one of a series of attempts by the English to gain a permanent foothold in the western hemisphere, and England was in serious need of territory to care for an expanding population.

An early attempt at settlement was the Roanoke Colony in 1585, which failed because of lack of communication with the homeland for several years.

The Jamestown settlement was a well-planned undertaking sponsored by the Virginia Company of London, a privately organized and privately financed stock company under charter from King James I. The nobility and the wealthy London merchants were the principal backers of the enterprise. The little flotilla of three ships and 105 colonists landed in Virginia at Cape Henry on April 26th, 1607, and went on to establish the settlement of Jamestown on May 13th, 1607. Captain Newport was an experienced mariner and after landing them he went back and forth across the seas and brought on each journey supplies and new colonists. Equally important, he carried the NEWS, including official communications between the homeland and the New World. In September 1608 he landed the first two women in the Colony – Mrs. Forest and her maid, Ann Burras. Captain Newport’s last trip was in 1611 when he brought Sir Thomas Dale, a military man who organized the Colony and put it on a going basis. Sir Thomas initiated the policy of assigning individual tracts of land to each settler.

Captain John Smith was among those named to the first Council in Virginia, and for a while he served as President. His wise leadership played a large part in the colony’s success. More important was the introduction of tobacco growing. The Virginia colonists sold their tobacco in England and got money to pay for the English goods they needed. In 1619, Negro slaves were brought to Jamestown to aid in the growing of tobacco. In the same year the colonists held the first legislative assembly in America.

In 1924 the National Society, Daughters of the American Colonists placed a fence around the foundations of the third and fourth State Houses, and the foundations of the row of houses erected by Phillip Ludwell. The entrance to the enclosure is an ornamental gate which bears the replica of the DAC insignia, and the marker is on the fence to the right of the plaque. This fence was dedicated by the National Society on April 29, 1925.