The Jamestown settlement in the Colony of Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. It was located on the northeast bank of the James (Powhatan) River about 2.5 mi (4 km) southwest of the center of modern Williamsburg. It was established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 4, 1607 O.S. (May 14, 1607 N.S.), and was considered permanent after a brief abandonment in 1610. It followed several failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke, established in 1585 on Roanoke Island, later part of North Carolina. Jamestown served as the colonial capital from 1616 until 1699. Despite the dispatch of more settlers and supplies, including the 1608 arrival of eight Polish and German colonists and the first two European women, more than 80 percent of the colonists died in 1609–10, mostly from starvation and disease. In mid-1610, the survivors abandoned Jamestown, though they returned after meeting a resupply convoy in the James River. In August 1619, the first recorded slaves from Africa to British North America arrived in what is now Old Point Comfort near the Jamestown colony, on a British privateer ship flying a Dutch flag. The approximately 20 Africans from the present-day Angola had been removed by the British crew from a Portuguese slave ship, the "São João Bautista". They most likely worked in the tobacco fields as slaves under a system of race-based indentured servitude. One of their number included Angela, who was purchased by William Peirce. The modern conception of slavery in the colonial United States was formalized in 1640 (the John Punch hearing) and was fully entrenched in Virginia by 1660.The London Company's second settlement in Bermuda claims to be the site of the oldest town in the English New World, as St. George's, Bermuda was officially established in 1612 as New London, whereas James Fort in Virginia was not converted into James Towne until 1619, and further did not survive to the present day.In 1676, Jamestown was deliberately burned during Bacon's Rebellion, though it was quickly rebuilt. In 1699, the colonial capital was moved to what is today Williamsburg, Virginia; Jamestown ceased to exist as a settlement, and remains today only as an archaeological site, Jamestown Rediscovery. Today, Jamestown is one of three locations composing the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia, along with Williamsburg and Yorktown, with two primary heritage sites. Historic Jamestowne is the archaeological site on Jamestown Island and is a cooperative effort by Jamestown National Historic Site (part of Colonial National Historical Park) and Preservation Virginia. Jamestown Settlement, a living history interpretive site, is operated by the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, a state agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
James City County
James City County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 67,009. Although politically separate from the county, the county seat is the adjacent independent city of Williamsburg.Located on the Virginia Peninsula, James City County is included in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is often associated with Williamsburg, an independent city, and Jamestown which is within the county. As of 2007, the median household income was $70,487.First settled by the English colonists in 1607 at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, the County was formally created in 1634 as James City Shire by order of King Charles I. James City County is considered one of only five original shires of Virginia to still be extant today in essentially the same political form. The Jamestown 2007 celebration marked the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. James City County is home to the Busch Gardens Williamsburg theme park, the Kingsmill Resort, and the Williamsburg Pottery Factory. The Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement attractions combine with Colonial Williamsburg, and are linked to Yorktown by the National Park Service's Colonial Parkway. Tourism is a major part of the region's economy, as is high technology. The College of William and Mary is nearby, as well as NASA, Jefferson Laboratory, and numerous defense contractors, giving the region the highest concentration of scientists and engineers per capita in the nation.
Williamsburg is a city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 14,068. In 2019, the population was estimated at 14,954. Located on the Virginia Peninsula, Williamsburg is in the northern part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. It is bordered by James City County and York County. Williamsburg was founded in 1632 as Middle Plantation, a fortified settlement on high ground between the James and York rivers. The city was the capital of the Colony and Commonwealth of Virginia from 1699 to 1780 and the center of political events in Virginia leading to the American Revolution. The College of William & Mary, established in 1693, is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and the only one of the nine colonial colleges in the South. Its alumni include three U.S. presidents as well as many other important figures in the nation's early history. The city's tourism-based economy is driven by Colonial Williamsburg, the city's restored Historic Area. Along with nearby Jamestown and Yorktown, Williamsburg forms part of the Historic Triangle, which annually attracts more than four million tourists. Modern Williamsburg is also a college town, inhabited in large part by William & Mary students, faculty and staff.
Smithfield is a town in Isle of Wight County, in the South Hampton Roads subregion of the Hampton Roads region of Virginia in the United States. The population was 8,089 at the 2010 census. The town is most famous for the curing and production of the Smithfield ham. The Virginia General Assembly passed a statute defining "Smithfield ham" by law in 1926, with one of the requirements that it be processed within the town limits. Smithfield Foods, a Chinese Fortune 500 company that owns Smithfield Packing Company and others, is the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. The company, based in Smithfield, raises 12 million hogs and processes 20 million pounds of them annually.