Benjamin Franklin

In: Historical Events

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Discover History Articles Comparing Plymouth and Jamestown
Comparing Plymouth and Jamestown
Written by Robert Jennings Heinsohn
1. Introduction
Pilgrim families arrived in Holland in the spring of 1608 and in Plymouth in December 1620. In May 1607, 105 men arrived in Jamestown to establish the first permanent English settlement in North America. While the individuals in both settlements were English, the they were different in many important ways. To fully appreciate our Pilgrim heritage, it is important to understand the differences between Plymouth and Jamestown. This essay identifies major differences and explains how these differences affected the settlements during the first few decades of their arrival.

2. Royal Charters and Patents


Sir Humphrey Gilbert c. 1539-1583


Early Efforts to Colonize North America
Queen Elizabeth granted a patent (Royal Charter) to Sir Humphrey Gilbert (half brother of Sir Walter Ralegh) who led an expedition to Newfoundland in 1583 and claimed it for England. For the next thirty years he tried, but without success, to begin settlements. Eventually he was lost at sea in a storm. A Royal Charter was granted to Sir Walter Ralegh to establish a settlement on Roanoke Island in 1585, and later in 1587. Roanoke is an island in the outer banks of North Carolina in an obscure cove the Spanish could not easily discover. The 1585 venture involving 107 men lasted less than a year because food ran out and they were...