National geographic jamestown interactive,national geographic magazine online index,american movies banned in other countries quiz - Step 2

400 years ago, in 1607, a group of English gentlemen (yes, they were all men, plus four boys) set forth from Europe to found a new colony.
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America, Found and LostMuch of what we learned in grade school about the New World encountered by the colonists at Jamestown is wrong.
It is just possible that John Rolfe was responsible for the worms—specifically the common night crawler and the red marsh worm, creatures that did not exist in the Americas before Columbus. Like many young English blades, Rolfe smoked—or, as the phrase went in those days, "drank"—tobacco, a fad since the Spanish had first carried back samples of Nicotiana tabacum from the Caribbean. Whether the night crawler and the red marsh worm actually first arrived on Rolfe's tobacco ships is not known.


Rolfe was a colonist in Jamestown, Virginia, the first successful English colony in North America.
The hardwood forests of New England and the upper Midwest, for instance, have no native earthworms—they were apparently wiped out in the last Ice Age.
What is clear is that much of the northern forests in America were worm free until the Europeans arrived there, inadvertently importing earthworms on the root-balls of their plants or in the ballast of ships. The effects of this earthworm invasion have been slow to show themselves because the creatures don't spread rapidly on their own.
A few history buffs understand that Rolfe was one of the primary forces behind Jamestown's eventual success. The worms hint at a third, still more important role: Rolfe inadvertently helped unleash a convulsive and permanent change in the American landscape.


Six years later Rolfe returned to England with his wife, Pocahontas, and the first major shipment of his tobacco. The problem is that northern trees and shrubs beneath the forest canopy depend on that litter for food. By 1620 the colony exported up to 50,000 pounds (23,000 kilograms) of it—and at least six times more a decade later.
The forest becomes more open and dry, losing much of its understory, including tree seedlings.



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