In June of 1606, King James I granted a charter to a group of London entrepreneurs, the Virginia Company, to establish a English settlement in the Chesapeake region of North America. By December, 104 male settlers sailed from London instructed to settle Virginia, and find gold and a water route to the Orient. According to a list published by Captain John Smith, "Gentlemen" made up about half of the group, whose gentle birth suggests they knew nothing
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APVA. By this time James River erosion had eaten away the island's western shore; visitors began to conclude that the site of James Fort lay completely underwater. With federal assistance, a sea wall was constructed in 1900 to protect the area from further erosion. The remaining acreage on the island was acquired by the National Park Service in 1934 as part of the Colonial National Historical Park. Today, Jamestown is jointly operated by the APVA and NPS.