1607 - Jamestown established


    Depiction Of Jamestown


     One hundred and forty-five English emigrants establish the settlement of Jamestown on the banks of the James River.   They did so without any real legal or moral justification, other than a royal charter.  The Jamestown colony was established without any assurance that either the Indians or Spain would recognize theirs as a legitimate enterprise.  (click here for more on Jamestown) 

         Powhatan, the chief of the neighboring tribe, rejected English claims to superior rights out of hand, but the popular puritan preacher of the day, Robert Gray, delivered a sermon entitled "A good speed in Virginia" which urged the colonists to make war  "upon the savages of Virginia" because a Christian king could lawfully make war upon barbarous and savage people in order to convert the barbaric heathens into a life of piety and honesty.