Author: Ancient Planters of Virginia


The Starving Time and Rescue; an excerpt from “A Breife Declaration of the Plantation of Virginia” (1624)

In this excerpt from “A Breife Declaration of the Plantation of Virginia duringe the firft Twelve Yeares, when Sir Thomas Smith was Governor of the Companie, & downe to this prefent tyme” (1624), a group of so-called Ancient Planters describe life at Jamestown from the Starving Time, during the winter of 1609–1610, to the colony’s near-abandonment by Governor Sir Thomas Gates, to its rescue by the arrival of a new governor, Thomas West, baron De La Warr. The Ancient Planters were settlers who came to Virginia before Sir Thomas Dale‘s departure in 1616, remained for a period of three years, and received the first land grants. Commissioned by the General Assembly in 1624, their report came amidst a Crown investigation of the Virginia Company of London and its treasurer, Sir Edwin Sandys. Some spelling has been modernized.