22 March 2008

Jamestown Massacre

The Indian massacre of 1622 (also known as the Jamestown Massacre[citation needed]) occurred in the Virginia Colony on Good Friday, March 22, 1622. About 347 people [1], or almost one-third of the English population of Jamestown, were killed by a coordinated series of surprise attacks of the Powhatan Confederacy under Chief Opechancanough.

Jamestown was the site of the first successful English settlement in North America in 1607, and was the capital of the Colony of Virginia. Although Jamestown itself was spared due to a timely last-minute warning, many smaller settlements had been established along the James River both upstream and downstream from it and on both sides. The attackers killed men, women, and children, and burned homes and crops.


Note that the colony lost a massive 1/3 of its population (although this was not necessarily demoralising in a society that regularly lost 1/2 of its population to the Black Death or the Sweating Sickness).

Note however too that attacks were co-ordinated and that the colony was strung out in small towns (that were not mutually supporting, given the level of technology), making them vulnerable. One or 2 large towns would have not been so vulnerable.

To me this seems obvious, and I don't think I would have made this mistake. If economic conditions dictate the spreading out of the population, then I would build large fortified towns on the periphery of the colony, or scattered throughout the colony, with the small farming hamlets within the borders of the colony or close by the various fortified towns.


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