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Jamestown Journey

The sailor who helped plant the first permanent English settlement in North America was a real Pirate of the Caribbean! The businessmen who paid for the colony wanted to discover gold. Captain John Smith never married Pocahontas. And the colony never made its own coins – so people traded tobacco leaves. Find the true story of British America’s beginning in this funny, colorful graphic novel that will excite reluctant readers, prepare students for standardized tests in history and help homeschooling parents!

Comic sample page #1: What did Virginians barter with?
Comic sample page #2: Was Christopher Newport a pirate?
Topics covered in this comic book
View a teacher’s guide for this comic

How did Virginia colonists barter tobacco?


Chapter 1: A House For Burgesses
Spanish settlements are spread across the Americas, sending piles of gold back to Europe. England wants to establish an American colony to increase its own wealth and power. The attempt at Roanoke had failed to find gold, make peace with the Indians, or even survive. Now at the beginning of a new century, the hopeful English are ready to invest in a new try on the shores of America. But who will be in charge to make sure the mistakes of Roanoke are not repeated?

A House for Burgesses includes the following topics:

What did the Virginia Company seek?
Who was in charge at Jamestown?
When did Jamestown almost end?
When did the House of Burgesses begin?
Why were they called “burgesses?”

Chapter 2: Captain Christopher Newport

A famous English pirate is the sailor in charge of the three ships bringing the first settlers to Jamestown. Captain Christopher Newport has captured many Spanish riches for his country. Now he must build from scratch an English base in the Americas. What will he find when his explorations make him one of the first Europeans to reach the Fall Line of the James River?

Captain Christopher Newport includes the following topics:

Was Christopher Newport a pirate?
Who did Newport really work for?
When did Jamestown colony begin?
What did Newport find on the James?
How often did Newport visit Jamestown?

Chapter 3: John Smith’s Sides

The gentlemen at Jamestown lack some skills necessary to provide for themselves. Many settlers die of starvation and disease as they wait for the next supply ships from England to bring them food. The forced work program and strong leadership of Captain John Smith help ensure the survival of Jamestown — even though his methods leave plenty of room to debate whether he is a hero or not . . .

John Smith’s Sides includes the following topics:

Did Smith say: No work, no food?
Did Powhatan try to kill Smith?
Why did John Smith leave Virginia?
Will the real John Smith stand up?

Chapter 4: Tobacco’s Tale

With no gold in sight, John Rolfe begins to wonder if the Native American’s tobacco plants can save Jamestown as an economic venture. Tobacco is a cash crop: it is grown to sell for money rather than for use by the growers. And it sells so well in England and Europe that it literally becomes the colony’s money. But successful tobacco planting depends on a lot of labor. Who will work in hot, humid summer days to grow this golden leaf??

Tobacco’s Tale includes the following topics:

Did tobacco save Jamestown?
Were the first Africans in Virginia slaves?
What did Virginians barter with?
Was America for interdependence?
Why did Virginians boycott England?
How did Virginia pay for war?

View the Teacher’s Guide for this comic

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