September 22, 1642 Dear Madam Aires, I appreciate your interest in taking up residence in colonial America. As a favorite client of mine, I m sure the information we provide at Boats R Us Travel Agency will be very helpful to you. The information which I have included such as the domestic life, advice on being successful, things to avoid, politics, and trades will be vital for you to make a decision of settling in colonial America. Although Massachusetts is a great place to settle, I feel Virginia will also suit you well. When I arrived in Jamestown with the first group of settlers, the Algonquian natives almost immediately attacked us. While disease, famine and continuing attacks from neighboring Algonquians took a tremendous toll on the population, the eventual structured leadership of Captain John Smith kept the colony from dying. The “starving time” winter in 1609 took out 80% of the population. The survivors decided to abandon the colony. It was the arrival of the new governor, Lord De La Ware, and his supply ships that brought the colonists back to the colony. When Pocahontas the daughter of an Algonquian chief married John Rolfe, many years of peace followed. As you can see, Jamestown was a settlement that always bounced back from its failures and dilemmas.The first representative assembly was in the Jamestown church. The fact that the church held a political assembly surprised me. The House of Burgesses met in response to orders from the Virginia Company “to establish one equal and uniform government over all Virginia” which would provide “just laws for the happy guiding and governing of the people there inhabiting.” I was allowed to elect Burgesses since I owned land. Over the years, the Burgesses looked to be developing into republican institutions.One factor that has lead me to choose Virginia is the lessons we are learning, which will assist the settlement in the future. We have come to conclusions through our experiences. First, to be successful we must raise our own food. Second, we must base the colony on family life. Lastly, private ownership of land will provide successful management of resources. Since you are wealthy, life will be easy and prosperous in the colony.Also, domestic work is very unconstrained because I have the wealth to hire indented servants and slaves to work in the home. I would suggest you do the same to avoid extensive labor. On the other hand, since you would like to take up some occupation so you will find life interesting, I would suggest the tobacco business. Some advice for you is to buy a substantial amount of land in Virginia to fit your needs. It is very easy to be cheated by the agents who you will be selling the tobacco to. Also, do not try to maintain a higher standard of life than can be supported by your tobacco planting.
If tobacco planting does not adhere to your likes, you may consider fur and deer skin trading. The best travel routes are water routes since there are only inferior roads. You will find sufficient deer west of the tidewater. If you are not expecting to have a family in Virginia, you will have to find loyal friends to take care of you when you are sick, since law enforces no public assistance will be provided. Fortunately, I was never very ill during the time I was in Virginia.Although colonial houses are the equivalent of the European peasant homes, luxurious European houses are being copied for the upper class, including you and I. Clothing in colonial Virginia is mainly homemade leather and homespun clothing, although you may ask an indentured servant to complete this task.Only freemen vote and hold office, only church members are freemen, and only men who are clergy approved are church members, so it may be difficult for you to gain any political success. Although this is true, if you are a landowner, you may have a direct say in government decisions. Regarding other powerful positions, the amount of land you own will provide you a step up the ladder of the class, or social system.There are some things you may want to avoid if you decide to reside here. Try to avoid any confrontation with witches. Also, I urge you not to communicate with others about this topic, as information spread can be dangerous. In conclusion, I hope the information I have provided is useful and will help you make a decision to reside in Virginia or to stay in your present home. Although Massachusetts is a great colonial settlement, it is very populous. Virginia seemed to provide me with a great lifestyle and it should provide you with the same because of your economical status. If you have any other questions, you may write to me again. Sincerely, Nishit Shah1450 Loisel StreetLondon, England