Recently, it was Independence Day for us Americans, better known as the Fourth of July, and even better-er known outside of America as “What?”. It was a day of reflection, of honoring our ancestor, and of shooting things into the sky and making monkey noises while they explode. WWII, basically, but with less innocent Asian people dying.
Unless that’s your thing, I guess.
So, today, we resume our mini-series on American history, and this time we actually get to the American part. Last time we covered the Tudors and the settlement of the New World by the Spanish, and also gave a slight nod to the affairs of the French at the same time. Today, we pick up in 1584, with England under the control of Elizabeth I, dead set on colonizing the ever-loving fuck out of America, and Spain under the power of Phillip II, who had previously been married to Elizabeth’s predecessor, Mary I. You may remember that Mary and Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, while being a horny fat-ass, also happened to totally destroy Roman Catholicism in the British Empire (which had annexed Wales towards his death). You may also remember that he did this because he wanted to divorce Mary’s mom and fuck Elizabeth’s mom legally. Naturally, this meant Mary was still a Catholic, and probably a tad resentful of her father.
Haters gonna’ hate.
So, when Mary and her Catholic Spanish husband, son of one Henry’s greatest foes, Charles V, took power, Mary attempted to re-establish Catholicism. When she died 5 years later, Elizabeth, unmarried, took power and ripped the Pope a new asshole (which he promptly covered with a hat twice his size), and made Protestantism the official religion of England. She, much like her father, also took complete control over the Church of England. But that leaves Philip II, booted from his claim as King of England, and his religion shit on by his up-start sister-in-law. I’d be a tad pissed if I were him.
His hat grows with his rage.
Now, imagine both of them are trying to put up cities on the same plot of land, and there are also French people there. It’s like putting francium in a tub of water, folks, and it’s about to blow.
I just made a small particle joke.
Now, Elizabeth is famous for going her entire life without marrying, so famous, in fact, that she would become known as “the Virgin Queen”.
No. Just no. I refuse to do it.
As I’ve made quite clear, the Tudor family was incredibly fucked-up, emphasis on the “fuck”. You may remember that Catherine Parr, final wife of Henry and the one who managed to get Elizabeth in line for the throne, had had a successor in the form of Jane Seymour, the only one of Henry’s other wives that he didn’t kick out/execute. In the short stint between Henry’s death and Mary’s rise to power, Henry’s only surviving son, the pre-teen Edward VI, ruled over England. Problem is, he was 9, and his decrees would have extended Ben 10 for another season or some other stupid bullshit. As such, Jane’s brother, also name Edward, was put in charge of actually running the kingdom (because, while they may have been horny, people back then weren’t dumb-asses), a position known as the “Lord Protector” (which would later take on a whole new meaning, but again, foreshadowing). Lord Protector Edward also had another brother, Thomas. Now, here we get back to Catherine, who, after Henry’s death, married Thomas. Because marrying the brother of your husband’s wife isn’t creepy at all. So, basically, the English were Mormons. Anyways, Elizabeth lived with Parr and Thomas for a couple of years, as she was 14 and 14-year-olds are almost as dumb as 9-year-olds.
Before we continue, I’m going to show you a picture of Thomas, and I want you tell me the first world that comes into your head.
I hope you didn’t actually scream that at your computer screen. I can’t hear you through the Internet, dumb-ass.
So, yeah, Thomas started flirting, touching, and generally being a total Tudor all up on Elizabeth. Now, rational person (ha!), if your spouse is fondling a teenage girl, what would you do? Join in? Totally join in, right? No, not join in. What the fuck is wrong with you, Catherine Parr? “Catherine Parr, rather than confront her husband over his inappropriate activities, joined in. Twice she accompanied him in tickling Elizabeth, and once held her while he cut her black gown ‘into a thousand pieces.'”
Sort of adds a whole new dimension to the “get Elizabeth in line for the throne” thing, huh? Then, one day, Catherine found Thomas and Elizabeth actually fucking, and apparently that wasn’t OK, so she sent Elizabeth away. Then, she died, giving birth to Thomas’s child. As Thomas was a creepy douche, rather than raise his child, he decided to go after Elizabeth again. Finally, Lord Protector Edward, apparently the only person in the universe with some goddamned sense, killed the bastard, Henry-style. This incident, it can only be assumed, had a heavy impact on Elizabeth, and many scholars agree that he may have been the reason she never married.
But don’t take that to mean she never had sex. Oh no, believe me, she had quite a few, uh, “consultants”. Also, apparently, a thing for pointy beards.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is Sir Walter Raleigh, who earned that “Sir” title the “hard” way. Raleigh was your typical conquistador in the vein of Cortes, or rather, he wanted to be. In 1584, after exerting some “political pressure”, Elizabeth granted Raleigh a charter to colonize the fuck out of some New World in the name of England. The following year, after a previous expedition scouted the place out the year before, Raleigh sent out an expedition hell-bent to colonize to Roanoke Island, just off the coast of modern-day North Carolina. Five ships set out, but a massive storm near Portugal separated the ship containing the fleet’s leader, Sir Richard Grenville, from the rest. Grenville’s ship, the Tiger would meet the others in Puerto Rico, where they also decided to raid some shit and build a fort. This “raiding” was known as privateering, and it was basically state-sanctioned piracy conducted on the Spanish, because fuck those damn dirty immigrants. Oh, wait, those are the Mexicans. Never mind. Anyway, the Elizabeth (because egomania), another ship of the fleet, found the Tiger soon after, and they set off together to build some goddamn colonies. While heading there, the dumbfucks in the Tiger hit a shoal, destroying their food supplies. They managed to fix the ship, and soon met back up with two of the other three ships (the missing ship, the Red Lion, had decided “fuck colonies” and went off to, you guessed it, raid shit up in Canada). Somehow, the four ships ended up in Virginia, where they just stomped around for a while, before accusing the natives of stealing a cup, which was basis for the destruction of their entire village. Silverware is a big fucking deal, you guys.
Their destruction-boners satiated, they found their way to Roanoke, where they built another fort. Grenville got the fuck out of there while they built, off to go replace the supplies they had lost being fucking awful sailors. He promised to return in April of 1586, marking the first anniversary of their goddamn idiotic voyage. He never came. Why, you might ask?
So, the Spanish hardly appreciated being England’s glorified raiding-based sex toy. They were a bit busy, however, fighting off a revolution in the Spanish Netherland, which was the last time anyone cared about the Dutch. Protestants were growing very powerful in the Netherlands, and the English, being themselves Protestants and enemies of the Spanish, naturally backed this cause. Many Europeans secretly suspected that England was a Catholic nation being oppressed by the Protestants, which was hardly wrong, and already reviled them.
In 1568, Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins, went searching for slaves in Africa, because that kind of shit got you nobility back then. However, the Spanish, taking a break from being raging dickbags in the Americas, intercepted the shit and beat the ever-loving Jesus Christ out of them. They sank and captured many boats, which, by the way, still had the kidnapped African guys on them, so maybe Spain wasn’t the good guy after all. This, naturally, pissed the English off, and both Hawkins and Drake turned to “privateering” to get revenge. Said privateers, in response, captured several Spanish ships bound for the Netherlands, where they were still staving off a rebellion. Meanwhile, Elizabeth supported the Protestants (also called Hugeunots) in the social conflict called the French Wars of Religion, as well as the largely Protestant Dutch Revolt. Philip, in turn, lended his support to the French Catholics and an Irish Catholic rebellion. Seriously, England, Spain, just fuck and get it over with already.
In 1584, Spain and the Catholic-again France signed a treaty to join together against the Protestants, and the Spanish-backed Catholic League presented Elizabeth the option to “protest”. Elizabeth “protested” by spitting in Spain’s metaphorical eye and siding with the Dutch full-on, giving them military aide. Philip, naturally, assumed this as a declaration of war.
In 1585, Drake got his Viking on, and sacked three Spanish cities in Florida. While this was happening, England joined the Eighty Year War on the side of the Dutch (we’ll come back to this once we finally get to the actual United States part). Thus began the Anglo-Spanish War and, quite frankly, the fact that there has only been one is goddamn impressive.
Naturally, this threw a bit of a wrench in the plans for Roanoke, so Sir Francis McFuckspain came to their rescue and they hauled ass back to England. And, because God has a sense of humor that completely disregards human life, Grenville and his relief fleet arrived immediately after. This obvious genius headed home with his head hung low, leaving behind some of his buddies to maintain an English presence in the New World, albeit one limited to an island in North Carolina that apparently lacks the materials for cups, like hands.
The next year, in 1587, Raleigh dispatched on of the previous colonists, John White (note the lack of sir), and 150 others back to the island, because fuck learning lessons. They were pretty much rolling incestuous sex back then, they didn’t have time for this “thinking” bullshit. Once they got there, White (an artist, by the way), was made Governor. Presumably he was really good at painting? Anyways, Governor van Gogh and co. set off to find Grenville’s soldiers, and found only a single skeleton. You see, right about now is when you panic. Now is when you run off and never come back. Even teenagers in horror movies understand that, and the movie is based entirely around their horrific deaths. But, no, not Governor White. He isn’t in the mood for any of your skeleton time-wasting bullshit. He had some goddamn water lilies to paint. Moreover, the fleet’s commander refused to leave the islands until they had a colony right goddamn fuck now. Going back to the horror movie, you just kill this guy and fucking move on. Seriously. He’s obviously the murderer, or at least infected with zombie syphilis or some shit. DO NOT TRUST THE MAN TELLING YOU TO STAY ON THE MURDER-ISLAND WITH THE OMINOUS SKELETONS.
Governor White managed to make friends with the natives, the Croatoans, presumably by either a.) marrying their daughter in some Disney bullshit, b.) painting them a fresco, or c.) not pillaging and raping them over silverware. Revolutionary no matter which. A true progressive. The tribes who had actually been attacked over trivial bullshit refused to engage in peace negotiations, which, yeah, no shit. Around this time, White’s daughter managed to conceive a child, the first English one to be born on American soil; Virginia Dare. Yes, the first proper American was a woman. Scandalous, right?
Meanwhile, some people were still a little miffed about being raided because of a fucking cup, and they took out this frustration by a murdering a random colonist that no one had ever heard of before and never would again, sort of like the Netherlands of people. Needless to say, the colonists were pissing themselves, and White, in one of his more questionable decisions (of which there are many), decided to head home to England and get them to come fix this shit. Presumably, his boat was fueled by his own fear piss.
“She’s so beauti- let’s get the fuck out of here!”
White arrived late that year after a treacherous journey, and his ship was soon seized to go fight the Spanish Armadas. You see, Philip finally decided to unload his spite on Elizabeth, and, with the permission of the (unkidnapped) Pope, Sixtus V, to collect crusade taxes, fathered his troops. He even pulled many out of the Netherlands to help him fight, and they set off to England. Elizabeth’s troops, through some kind of luck, managed to fight them off and send them fleeing by the way of Ireland’s waters. Somehow, likely because of the leprechauns, mighty winds and storms blew the Armada onto the Irish coast, and the weakened and scattered Armada were crushed by the English. The English took this as a sign that God was a Protestant, despite that making no sense at all from a historical perspective. The jet stream, maybe, but God? This lead to a massive turn-out in the terms of conversion, and gave England the balls to try and work with Portugal to drive the Spanish out of their little nation. Needless to say, that failed, because people in Portugal don’t speak English, they speak Brazilese.
White had had the misfortune of landing right during the Spanish invasion, so, when his boat was seized, he was forced to settle for two smaller boats to take him and the supplies back to the colony. However, because Sir Francis McFuckspain was such an inspirational man and not at all a violent asshole, the ships’ captains decided to go pillage the Spanish. They failed, obviously, because they were puny pieces of shit, and White was captured. They managed to escape and fled to England, the Spanish taking their supplies for the war effort.
“I WANT YOU to be an idiotic asshole and get your food seized by our troops!”
It wasn’t until 1590, with the war against the Spanish still raging, that White was able to get a boat to take him back. He landed on what would have been Virginia’s third birthday, and found nothing. No people. No homes, no fort. Not even a corpse or something to warn them. The inconsidereate assholes left behind a simple carving of the letters “CRO” in a tree, and the haunting knowledge that never would we know what happened to them…
…Except the obvious solution. You see, in addition to the “CRO” thing, there was also a more complete carving, pictured here.
“Words? What kind of pussy leaves words? Where the hell are my skeletons?”
Now, I understand several of my readers are not American, and thus this is their first time hearing about a lot of this. But, seriously, read that text. “CROATOAN”. What the hell do you think happened? If your answer is ever, ever “they hopped in a boat and drowned”, then 1.) fuck you and 2.) you should be a historian, because people seriously believe that. Now, obviously, there are two things that could have happened; the starving colonists decided that waiting was bullshit, and moved away, or the Croatoans threw out everything they had done thus far and gave the English the ass-kicking they deserved.
OK, there’s actually only one theory that makes any goddamn sense. You see, White, in a rare moment of not having his head up his own asshole, told the colonists to carve a special symbol called the Maltese cross into a specific tree to tell White that their destruction was not consensual, like a 16th century rape whistle.
Personally, I think screaming “RAPE!” would be more effective and less time consuming, but whatever.
Well, there was no cross. Coupled with the fact that the houses had been dismantled, not destroyed, White assumed they fled to nearby Hatteras Island, which was the home of the Croatoan, and integrated with the native populace. Rather than going to murder them for mixing races, like a good 16th century grandfather (or 21st century grandfather), White went home. Largely because of the storms threatening to destroy their ships, but really, your daughter is on that island, man. Jesus. You’re no Liam Neeson.
And still, the war continued. The Spanish altered their trading lines and built a dozen powerful new galleons known as The Twelve Apostles, because subtlety died on the cross, and both sides continued privateering. Grenville was captured in 1591 by the Spanish, and died shortly after due to wounds received in the battle. The previous year, Spanish infantry managed to kick some Protestant ass in French, which pissed the English off and drove the French-Protestant resistance out of Brittany. Four years after Grenville went kaput, Hawkins and Drake attacked Spain’s colonies in the New World and received a sound ass-kicking, before dying of disease. Whether or not this was an STD they both contracted due to being horrible, horrible murdering rapists is unknown. The year before, another Irish rebellion against the Queen began, Spanish-backed once more. However, in 1596, the English and Dutch did manage to sack the Spanish province of Cadiz, which did little save irk Phillip II, which is all they really needed anyways. Soon, Spain invaded Normandy and tried to use that as a kick-off for an attack on England. Unfortunately for the French, Nazis and wheelchairs hadn’t been invented yet, so there was no D-Day for them. That year and the following, while England was distracted with the Irish, Spain launched two more Armadas, because the third time’s the charm, right? Nope, actually, both failed due to the weather. Again. Seriously, Zeus didn’t take sides, he just liked fucking with them in a sense different from his usual one.
The only man even creepier than Henry VIII.
In 1598, some other guy named Henry IV (for the sake of difference, we’ll call him by the French equivalent, Henri), the French king since 1589, converted to Catholicism, cementing his contested throne. He and Spain signed a peace treaty that same year which ended the aforementioned War of Religions, as well as the Spanish presence in France. In September, the treaty having been signed in May, Philip II died, and his son, Philip III claimed the throne. Now, we don’t have time for a Henry VIII-esque evaluation of Philip II’s creepy sex problems, simply because it isn’t important, but I feel I should mention this. Philip III was birthed by Philip II’s fourth and final wife, Anna of Austria, who happened to be his niece. So, I’m sorry about judging you, Henry, you’re actually a pretty normal guy. For the time. Philip III, also called Philip the Pious, displayed waning interest in murdering the English, largely due to Spain’s faltering economy. Now you know why the Spanish did not establish the United States; when their economy fails, they stop fighting people. Philip sent a final armada to England, this time simply to help the rebels in southern Ireland, but they were quickly destroyed once they arrived due to the incompetence of the locals. The rebellion received no more help from Spain, and were forced to surrender in 1603.
Now, let’s backtrack here for a while, and yes, we’re talking about the Tudors again. You see, back when Mary (Philip II’s wife, as you may recall) died, Elizabeth was not immediately queen. No, there were many contenders to the throne, and the French king had his own candidate. Despite Mel Gibson’s blue-faced attempts to destroy their culture with idiocy, Scotland was still a place back then, and independent of England. It had its own king, James V, and James V was dedicated to remaining independent, despite the attempts of everyone’s favorite adulterating sex maniac. In 1543, long before all of this Spain bullshit, Henry VIII and Scotland signed a peace treaty between the two, in which James promised Henry that his daughter, also named Mary, would marry Henry’s son, Edward. However, a Scottish cardinal who supported the French and the Catholics (being a cardinal), rose to a position of prominence, and the Scottish grew fearful that Henry would do something drastic. Now, we all know that it would be completely out of character for Henry to do something stupid and insane, but they were dumb and Scottish. Mary and her mother were escorted to a castle far away from the border, and Mary was made queen at the age of six months, as her father had died in 1542 of a fever he contracted during battle. Meanwhile, the English attacked Scotland-bound French traders, prompting the Scottish Parliament to reject England’s treaty and basically agree to die. War erupted again, and Edward Seymour (pre-Lord Protector), raided the town near Mary’s castle. Her family fled once more. Followed by another massive defeat in September, 1547, the terrified Scottish turned to the French. Henry II of France proposed a new marriage-based treaty to the Scottish, agreeing to lend the Scottish military support and grant Mary shelter, on the condition she marry his son, Francis II. Mary’s guardians agreed.
So it was that, when Mary of England died, Mary of Scotland, who was the oldest descendant of Henry VIII’s sister, attempted to claim the throne. Despite heavy Catholic support, she never managed to seize it. Soon, Henry II died, and Francis II became King of France. Meanwhile, Mary’s mother, who had stayed behind to rule in Scotland, faced heavy opposition from Scottish lords, who happened to be Protestant. The only way that Mary’s mother, Mary of Guise (Jesus Christ, so many Mary’s), was able to maintain power was through the aide of French troops. Soon, the English were invited to seize Scotland by these lords, and the French troops already in Scotland were crushed. Due to the growing Huguenot (Protestant) uprising in France, Mary Stuart could not help her mother and she soon died. The French could not provide any more troops due to a treaty that forbid them from doing so, and also recognized Elizabeth as Queen of England.
After Francis II died in 1560, Mary Stuart returned to Scotland, having lost her claim as Queen of France. From here, her relations with Elizabeth deteriorated, and she was imprisoned multiple times. Mary planned to have Elizabeth assassinated so that she could take the throne, but this “Bablington Plot” was discovered, and she was executed. Now, I tell you this because Elizabeth, due to her lack of marriage, never had any children before she died in 1603. As such, Parliament went back and recognized that Mary Stuart did have a relation to Henry, and thus Elizabeth, which meant that her son, King James VI of Scotland, was now King James I of England.
The King of England, seen here looking like Mort from Madagascar.
King James was a Protestant, but he believed in the concept of Christendom, the belief that all of Europe should be unified as a single Christian kingdom (I would like to get into the history of this at some later date), and did not wish to make war his brethren. As such, in 1604, he negotiated peace with Philip III, ending the Anglo-Spanish Wars about 20 years too late, asshole.
Two years later, a couple of entrepreneurs decided to try colonies again, and Spain couldn’t do shit about it. The Virginia Company (named for England’s claim in America, which was in turn named for absolutely-not-a-virgin Elizabeth) dispatched three ships to their titular colony, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery, lead by Captain Christopher Newport. After pussying out four times and going back to Puerto Rico, the cowards finally made their way to Chesapeake Bay. There were no women aboard, because sexism, despite the entire goddamn place being named after a female queen. They dubbed nearby capes Cape Henry and Cape Charles, after the children of King James and gave a little prayer, before actually doing stuff. They chose an island in the James River (named for egomania) to build a fort, under the advice of the Virginia Company, which warned that they should be prepared for attack from the French, Spanish, and ungrateful Dutch bastards. It was also chosen by the Virginian natives, largely members of the hostile Powhatan Confederacy, did not live there.
Soon enough, they all realized they were fucked, and why? Because the Powhatan Confederacy did not live there. Jamestown was a giant swamp, meaning that little-to-no animals ever tried to live there, because, unlike Christopher Newport, they weren’t fucking idiots. Mosquitos were also rampant, and filled with malaria. Just, so much malaria. This infection spread quickly, and killed at least 135 settlers.
They had arrived with 104. Yeah.
Despite landing on an unpopulated shithole, the English were soon attacked by the Paspahegh, probably just because they were drunk off their asses and wanted to fuck with the new guys’ heads. I can tell they were drunk, because they only managed to kill one of the mentally handicapped English and injure a measly eleven more. Not long after, Newport fled… I mean, “left to get supplies”, taking the Susan Constant with him. By the way, the Constant was their only warship, the other two were just dinghies with cannons strapped to them sometimes. Good job, Newport. Good job. Now I understand why he also failed to earn a knighthood. Now, we can’t blame it all on Newport, of course; Jamestown was governed by a nine-man-council, including Newport (as captain of the Constant), Bartholomew Gosnold (as captain of theGodspeed), John Ratcliffe (as captain of the Discovery), as well as a man named John Smith (as a former captain arrested for being a mutinous dick). This Council was appointed by the absolute fucking geniuses at the Virginia Company, so blame them for selecting a bunch of stupid assholes to become some of the most important figures in world history.
But, anyways, Newport bolted the fuck out of there with a ship full of (literal) fool’s gold, leaving the colonists with a dinky-piece-of-shit fort and the Discovery, smallest and most useless of the three. Whatever happened to the Godspeed, I don’t know. It might have stolen a spoon or something. Newport returned a year later, likely after a receiving a bitch-slap from the Virginia Company, to find the colony in a worse condition than he had left it. As they were obviously unprepared and in a shitty location, the wise choice to leave them simmer for a year and just see what happened. Well, death happened. A lot. And cannibalism, because what else was there? He brought with him few supplies, but he did tow in 70 new corpses to eat, but forgot to kill them and brought them breathing. So, what did he do?
Left right away, this time to actually bring supplies. Only problem is, when he came back 10 months later, he brought 70 more people (this time with some women, because they bored with gay orgies), including craftsmen, but guess what? No supplies. Apparently, it was the colonists’ fault for not becoming wizards while Newport was away. What a bunch of muggle assholes. So, anyways, this second supply trip also carried a message to the colonists; they were to immediately pay for their voyage, give the Company a lump of gold, and one of the Roanoke colonists, despite them having disappeared twelve fucking years ago in a completely different part of Virginia. In this time, John Smith had somehow taken charge of the colony, and he replied with the following…
“When you send again I entreat you rather send but thirty Carpenters, husbandmen, gardiners, fishermen, blacksmiths, masons and diggers up of trees, roots, well provided; than a thousand of such awe have: for except wee be able both to lodge them and feed them, the most will consume with want of necessaries before they can be made good for anything.”
This was basically the gentleman’s equivalent of “Go fuck yourself”, and stirred up a bit of controversy, because a.) this was rude somehow and b.) manners still matter when you’re starving to death.
Basically, a drunk hobo.
The Virginia Company replied with what I always do when someone insults me; food and a new warship. This new ship, called the Sea Venture, was captained by Newport, because the Virginia Company was run by a bunch of failed abortions with fetal alcohol syndrome who had been dropped on their heads and kicked around as children like they were fucking soccer balls. The Sea Venture left from Plymouth, England alongside eight other ships, all stocked up to their dicks with goodies.
While Newport had been away with his little supply trips and before he was the leader, Smith spent his time exploring the bay. He managed to organize a few trade agreements with the locals, presumably because they had cups. However, these Nanesmonds were just as dumb as the English, and failed to mention to the other Powhatan that no wait, guys, these pale morons aren’t half as stabby as the others. Because of this, Smith and co. were assaulted by Powhatan soldiers on a trading trip, and his friends were all murdered. This might have had something to do with Smith actually using his Native guide as a human shield. No, seriously, that is a thing that happened. The Powhatan took a time out of their days to actually write down how much of a dick Smith was. He still managed to catch, though, because “dick” does not mean “smart”. He managed to bribe his captor with a compass, because greed, and was able to live.
His kidnapped, Opechancanough, brought Smith before his half-brother, Chief Powhatan. Powhatan was the leader of (obviously) the whole Confederacy, but, for the sake of difference, we’ll call him Wahunsunacock. That his actual, honest-to-God, real name, by the way. You know what? We’ll just call him Sunny. Because really, Wahunsunacock? I’m not typing that over and over. Anyways, Sunny was not so easily (stupidly) swayed, so he decided to have Smith executed. Smith, however, was saved by Sunny’s daughter, Matoka, also known as “Pocahontas” which meant “playful mischief”. One can only assume sparing Smith was just a prank. Matoka was nothing like a Disney princess, and was actually an important figure, but we’ll get back to her later.
‘”Stop shitting on my shoulder.”
James was released, and came home in time for Newport’s first sorry excuse for “supplies”.
In 1609, Smith managed to injure himself by blowing up his own bag of gun powder, making him officially dumber than Plaxico Burress. He got shipped back to England, where he wrote two books on Jamestown (then called “James His Towne” because fuck you, names), A True Relation and The Proceedings of the English Colony of Virginia, which basically amounted to him going “Nuh-uh you guys, I was totally good at my job”. Their historical accuracy is questionable at best, and, in fact, Smith may have made the whole Pocahontas story up.
But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t a real person, quite the opposite. It simply meant she was so awesome, Smith just had to be associated with her. In reality, they very rarely met.
Matoka served as an ambassador-of-sorts between Jamestown and the Powhatan, bring the colonists supplies after they burned down their fort during the winter, because they were fucking idiots. And, like most idiots, they were violent, so they thanked the Powhatan by raiding them. For English weaponry. Which they did not have. Because the colonists were the English. The Powhatan were the Natives. How did they get that confused? Naturally, because she wasn’t an idiot, Matoka tried to resolve this conflict peacefully by talking to Smith. Her fatal mistake was, obviously, talking to Smith. They got nowhere, and relations between the colony and the Confederacy grew ever more strained.
Between 1609 and 1610, a period known as “The Starving Times” began. In a place where everybody was already starving, that is a big fucking deal. You see, originally, Jamestown was not going to grow their own food. Based on what happened in Roanoke, they decided instead to depend on the local Natives, exploiting their child-like trust of everyone and everything. In case the English have forgotten, shooting at things is not nice. Shooting bad. Hugs good. Shooting bad. Hugs good.
“Oops. Egg on my face.”
In 1609, a drought ravaged Jamestown’s already meager supply of crops. Meanwhile, Newport, that genius old cat, decided to drive the Sea Venture right into the eye of a fucking hurricane. Presumably, he thought he could ride and/or shoot it. He was shipwrecked in Bermuda, and the mere fact that he didn’t end up Marvin the Martian’s science-bitch is a miracle. The Sea Venture had been carrying all of the supplies, because the Virginia Company can’t tie their own shoes, and the seven surviving ships carried other colonists, because the Virginia Company can’t add 2 and 2. And, since God was definitely not a Protestant, these ships made it, and exasperated the dying colony even further.
Right about now, I imagine, the Virginia Company was starting to think this was all a very, very stupid idea. Which it was.
This was about when Smith was injured and sent home, which likely saved the colonists from drowning on dry land. Oh, by the way, how the hell do you even get a drought in the middle of a goddamn swamp? That means Mother Nature is going out of her way to screw you. And, because the Natives are very much in tune with Nature’s wishes, Sunny decided to screw the colonies too, and decreased trading with them.
“Hey, assholes, you getting the message yet?”
After surviving a difficult winter, Jamestown received “relief” in the form of the Sea Venture‘s crew, who arrived in two ships they created from scratch. They probably would have come sooner, but Newport was contractually obligated to Gilligan it up and ruin their ventures, likely comically. Or, at least, that’s what I assume. Jamestown was still in hard times, though; less than 100 colonists, most of them ill, were still alive, and the utter visionaries from the Sea Venture brought few supplies from their shipwreck. Honestly, killing them when they arrived was their best option. Finally wising up to how idiotic this whole thing was, the colonists and the crew loaded up on their shitty little shits of shitty shitness and decided to sail home to England. While sailing down the James River, Satan stopped laughing hysterically and threw them a bone, a really massive bone, in the form of Thomas West, Baron De La Warr. West captained three mighty supply ships and convened the fleeing colonists on the River, likely giving them a stern look and kicking their asses until they agreed to go back.
Jamestown’s Jesus. Their fat, fat Jesus.
Thomas West quickly claimed his position as governor of Jamestown, and today is known as “the Lord Delaware”, because, I don’t know about you, but I’m not typing all of those spaces. Delaware brought with him not only supplies, but also more colonists (good idea, ass-fuck), which included, shockingly, a doctor. How the fucking fuck did they not think of that earlier? Oh, yeah; they were completely hopeless idiots. West had been sent by the Virginia Company due to a landfall of new support in England due to, and you’ll never guess it, John fucking Smith, the most violent idiot in the history of mankind. Seemingly, he was a better author than raider. It’s the opposite with me, but moving on from my terrible, terrible crimes in Cardiff, you’ll hear about those in the news soon. Unless you’re Welsh. You’ll hear nothing ever, ever again.
In 1611, while the two makeshift ships (called the Patience and the Deliverance) returned to Bermuda to find supplies, the colonists just kept. Fucking. Dying. That was their pastime. We have baseball nowadays, they had dying. Needless to say, this had a major impact on their economy, and investors were seeking to pull out of the virgin lands. It took intervention from King James and promises of westward expansion to convince enough people to help keep the whole thing running. This may have had something to do with Jamestown’s sole export being glass, which would drive me to suicide, too. A man named John Rolfe changed that. You see, though there was tobacco on the island (Nicotiana rustica), the ever-so-discerning tastes of Britain found them disgusting, ungentlmanly, and God save the King. Rolfe grew tobacco, but not rustica, for Rolfe had arrived in Jamestown with the crew of the Sea Venture, and had found a new species (Nicotiana tabacum) in Bermuda. This new breed, it seemed, was more difficult to grow (Rolfe was the only one who displayed any interest in growing it), but was wildly popular once it was exported. Rolfe became a very wealthy man growing it, and the others soon began cashing in on the business themselves, bringing prosperity at last to Jamestown. Rolfe managed to score with Matoka, and they were married on April 24, 1614. Back in 1611, Rolfe had moved away from the main part of Jamestown and built his own city, where Matoka was held when she was captured and converted, and where the two would meet (because that’s a totally normal first date). This city was called Henricus, after your new favorite historical figure, and it would become a successful settlement in its own right until 1622, when a third of the Virginians were killed by the Natives over two bowls and a fork.
Also in 1611, the social conditions of Jamestown were permanently altered by a man named Sir Thomas Dale, who was basically given a knighthood for being a massive flaming cock. He was sent to serve as the deputy-governor, but ended up usurping West. Dale instantly began renovating Jamestown and instituted a legal system called “Dale’s Code”, which Wikpedia describes as having “pitiless severity”, the closest it can come to calling someone an unrelenting douche. Dale’s Code established martial law in Jamestown, despite their military consisting of whatever starved asshole no longer had the willing to live, placing, of course, Dale, in charge. Dale immediately started executing colonists for the most stupid and random bullshit, because that’s exactly what they needed; more dead people. Dale continued to enforce this fascistic dickery until 1616, when he and the Rolfes were summoned by James’s wife, Anne of Denmark, to England. While there, Queen Anne went out of her way to portray Pocahontas as some kind of rich forest princess, despite it being very likely that Matoka did not want to be there, due to her, you know, being kidnapped and forcibly baptized by her husband before they even knew each other’s names. It was all basically one giant PR trip, and the awful thing was, it worked. New interest was drummed up, and James returned to England. Matoka had died in England, due to a disease probably caused by being constantly surrounded by the douche-radiation emitting from the English’s assholes. Immediately, because he was English, James married a new woman, and focused on his tobacco again. He died 6 years later, and his son, Thomas (who had stayed in England to receive an education), returned to Virginia at age 8. Due to Rolfe’s creation of a new industry, the first African slaves in Virginia were delivered in 1618. Virginia’s House of Burgesses, a group of democratically elected leaders akin to the modern day House of Representatives, were soon founded, and the English began to colonize like bunny rabbits.
All was good, until 1622, when Opechancanough (Compass-Man), now leader of the Powhatan, lead a series of surprise guerrilla attacks on the unsuspecting English on the morning of March 22. 347 English were killed, and places like Henricus were completely destroyed. Jamestown itself survived due to the intervention of an Indian boy and his “guardian” (wink wink), Richard Pace, who had discovered the plan due to the inherent psychic links that all Native Americans share. This lead to a massive retaliation that set the down for Anglo-Native relations for… ever.
Two years later, King James abolished Virginia’s right to self-governance, and took personal control of the colony, because he was still sort-of a Tudor.
in 1698, after the capital Jamestown burned down four fucking times, the Virginians realized that God still wanted to murder them, but continued to govern the colony from Jamestown’s college, William and Mary. Five students there (likely arrogant dicks) proposed that the capital be permanently moved to a town called Middle Plantation where had been temporarily several times before, because, again, four fucking times. They argued that, if they moved, everyone would stop dying from mosquito-malaria, and that Middle Plantation still provided the essential port for docking ships, due to its creek-based connection to both the York and James Rivers. The House of Burgesses reluctantly agreed, and the capital moved in 1699. Middle Plantation was immediately given its more familiar name of Williamsburg, after the current British king, William III, and Jamestown’s saga, the 17th century, and this post, came to a close.
The moral of this story, kids, is that if God hates you enough, you can succeed simply through spite at your creator. So, go ahead and commit a massive genocide, it will all work out in the end. I know it did for me, Wales.