On May 14, 1607, English colonists establish "James Fort," which would become Jamestown, Virginia, the earliest permanent English settlement in the Americas. Under the "Old Style" reckoning the date was recorded as May 4. Contrary to what most American's "know" however, Jamestown was not the first European settlement in the New World. That honor arguably goes to Isabella on the island of Hispaniola in 1493, though a better claim probably can be made for Santo Domingo, also on Hispaniola in 1496. Nor was Jamestown the first European settlement on the North American mainland, as that honor goes to Villa Rica de la Veracruz, founded by Hernán Cortés in 1519. Jamestown was not even the first European settlement in what is today the United States, as St. Augustine, Florida in 1565 (and even before that there were other attempts to establish colonies by the Spanish in what is now South Carolina). The French Huguenots had established settlements on Florida before 1600 and one in New France (modern Canada) in 1604. And while the ill-fated Roanoke colonies of 1585 and 1587 did result in a permanent settlement, we know now through DNA evidence that some of the colonists did survive and intermarried with indigenous people. so Jamestown, for all its fame, was more of a Johnny-come-lately.
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