The Virginia Colony Timeline

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for The General History of Virginia


Timeline of the General History of Virginia

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Activity Overview


Have students keep track of a timeline of up to ten events from John Smith’s The General History of Virginia. Using the narrative, along with their history textbooks or online resources, have them plug in the dates of the major events, including their arrival, the account of the first winter, his capture by the Native Americans, his return to England, etc.


The General History of Virginia Timeline Example


December 1606 Three ships leave England and set sail with 105 men and boys to establish a colony in Virginia
May 1607 After spotting land and scouting the area, the settlers step on land, naming it James Cittie, or Jamestown
October - December 1607 The colony loses over half of its settlers to starvation, disease, and Native American attacks
December 1607 Captain John Smith is captured by the Powhatan tribe and brought before Chief Powhatan; he claims that Pocahontas saves his life
September 1608 John Smith is elected President of the Virginia Council and issues the edict: “He that will not work shall not eat”
October 1609 Smith is replaced by George Percy, and was injured in a gunpowder explosion. He returns to England, never to return to the colony or New World again
December 1609 Chief Powhatan and his tribe lay siege to James Fort, and all but 60 settlers inside die from starvation
June 1612 Jamestown produces its first tobacco crop, which they export to England
August 1619 African indentured servants arrive on a Dutch ship; first meeting held of the Virginia General Assembly (House of Burgesses)
March 1622 A surprise attack by the Powhatans kills 342 colonists, although Jamestown is spared


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