The European history of Virginia began in 1570 with a short-lived Spanish mission probably located on the York River. In 1584, Sir Humphrey Gilbert obtained a grant from Queen Elizabeth to colonize all of North America not occuppied by the Spanish or French. The first expedition to the vast new territory, named Virginia in honor of the queen, was sent out the same year by Sir Walter Raleigh and arrived at Roanoke Island in 1585. More settlers came
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union that led to a period of peace with the Indians. Under the leadership of Sir Thomas Dale and Sir George Yeardley, De La Warr's successors as governor, the colony began to prosper. The House of Burgesses was found in 1619; that same year saw the importation of the first slaves to labor in the tobacco fields. In 1622, a new chief, Opechancanough, Powhatan's successor, organized a sudden attack that left 347 settlers--more than one-third of the whites--dead.