History of the United States
Colonial America

What problems did the colonists face at Jamestown?

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May 15, 2014 2:05PM

At first they did not know how to farm and hunt, and many of them were too busy looking for gold to be bothered with such things. Thus they faced hunger, even starvation. Relations with the Powhatan Indians were rocky. Although the Indians sometimes provided food, they also sometimes kept Jamestown virtually under siege. When no gold was found the colonists had no product with which to trade with England for basic necessities they could not produce themselves, things like farm implements, tools, clothes and firearms. That made it very difficult for them to obtain these necessary things until they learned how to grow tobacco, which was valuable and could be traded for things. They suffered from diseases from mosquitoes, no knowledge of growing crops, no fresh water, no knowledge of raising livestock.

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