Jamestown

Jamestown (or James Towne or Jamestowne) was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607, it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke. It would serve as capital of the colony for 83 years (from 1616 until 1699).

Within a year of its founding, the Virginia Company brought Polish and Dutch colonists to help improve the settlement. In 1619, the first documented Africans were brought to Jamestown, though the modern conception

of slavery in the future United States did not begin in Virginia until 1660. When the colony was subdivided into the original eight shires of Virginia in 1634, the town became located in the eponymous James City Shire.

The London Company's second settlement, Bermuda, claims to be the site of the oldest town in the English New World, as St. George's, Bermuda was officially established (as New London) in 1612, whereas James Fort, in Virginia, was not to be converted into James towne until 1619, and further did not survive into the present day. In 1699, the capital was relocated from Jamestown to what is today Williamsburg, after which Jamestown ceased to exist as a settlement, existing today only as an archaeological site.

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