Who Settled Sagadahoc?


Quick Answer

George Popham and about 100 former soldiers, shipwrights, barrel makers, carpenters and gentlemen settled Sagadahoc for the Plymouth Company on Aug. 18th, 1607. George Popham was the president of the Sagadahoc Colony.

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Full Answer

The colonists built a fort, houses, a stockade and a storehouse at the mouth of the Sagadahoc River, now known as the Kennebec River. Thirteen colonists were killed during an Indian attack.

In December, 50 colonists returned to England due to a shortage of food and supplies. The settlement’s location between the Sagadahoc River and the Sagadahoc Bay exposed the remaining colonists to a cold, windy winter. A food shortage and the harsh winter weather made it difficult for the remaining colonists to survive.

George Popham died on Feb. 5, 1608, and Raleigh Gilbert became the colony’s new president. Investors' records note that Gilbert was a poor leader. In August of 1608, he decided to return to England. The colonists did not want to face winter without leadership so they returned to England with Gilbert.

Scholars believe that the Pilgrims at Plymouth were the first English colonists in New England. In 1994, new evidence proved that the Popham Settlement was established 12 years before Plymouth Rock. According to archaeologist Jeffrey P. Brain of the Peabody Essex Museum, the Popham Colony failure paved the way for the Plymouth Colony.

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