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Jamestown
MAY 2007
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Interactive: Jamestown in 1607
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Jamestown Gallery Photo Starving Time
Photograph by Robert Clark, artifact courtesy APVA Preservation Virginia

When the Powhatan besieged Jamestown in the winter of 1609-1610, trapped settlers were reduced to eating horses, cats and dogs, and even the black rats they unwittingly brought to Virginia aboard their ships (jawbone pictured). Weakened by hunger and sickened by drinking foul water from the river and contaminated wells, scores of English died. Survivors were ready to give up and go home, but the spring brought new colonists and fresh supplies.



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