Jamestown, VA, will celebrate its 400th anniversary this year. Now’s the time to take this quiz and discover what you know about the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.

1. We all know that Jamestown was founded in 1607, but in what month did this take place?

A. April
B. May
C. June
D. July

2. Three of the ships listed here brought colonists to Jamestown in 1607. Which one didn’t?

A. Discovery
B. Dove
C. Godspeed
D. Susan Constant

3. The Powhatans, the Native Americans living in the Jamestown area when the colonists arrived, were a confederation of 32 tribes that shared the same language. This language is:

A. Algonquian
B. Delaware
C. Mattaponi
D. Susquehannock

4. Today, most of the original Jamestown Fort is:

A. Under a forest on the southern tip of Jamestown Island
B. Under excavation on Jamestown Island
C. Under investigation, as it has yet to be rediscovered
D. Underwater in the James River, the victim of shoreline erosion

5. Three of the Johns listed here are associated with Jamestown. One was an explorer, one a tobacco farmer and the other was elected council president at the end of the first summer at Jamestown. Which John was not one of these men? Give yourself a hand if you can match each John with his claim to fame.

A. John Newport
B. John Ratcliffe
C. John Rolfe
D. John Smith

6. The first Jamestown colonists practiced a variety of professions. Which occupation was not listed on the roster of the first supply ship, which arrived in January 1608?

A. Apothecary
B. Jeweler
C. Perfumer
D. Shepherd

7. Life was rough for the early Jamestown settlers. Mosquitoes, disease and the especially brutal winter of 1609—known as the starving time— took their toll. How many of the original 214 colonists were still alive after the winter of 1609?

A. 30
B. 45
C. 60
D. 75

8. Jamestown was the capital of the Virginia colony until what year?

A. 1647
B. 1668
C. 1699
D. 1710

9. True or false? The tobacco variety that made the fortunes of Jamestown’s plantations was native to the Chesapeake area.

10. Tobacco isn’t the only plant associated with Jamestown. Which of these species has a special tie to the Virginia colony?

A. Bluebells
B. Dandelion
C. Jimsonweed
D. Poison Ivy


1. B (The ships entered the Chesapeake Bay in late April, after a five-month voyage at sea.) 2. B (The Dove brought settlers to St. Mary’s City, MD) 3. A 4. B 5. A (Ratcliffe/council, Rolfe/farmer, Smith/explorer. If the name “Newport” sounds familiar, it’s because Capt. Christopher Newport was the leader of the Jamestown expedition.) 6. D 7. C 8. C 9. False. (The colonists found the native tobacco to be too harsh for their tastes. John Rolfe imported a milder strain from the Caribbean, which proved to be much more agreeable.) 10. C. (The jimsonweed grew near the colonists’ homes. In fact, its name is a corruption of the words, Jamestown weed.)