On December 19, 1606, Captain Christopher Newport sailed from London, England, hired by the Virginia Company to transport colonists from England to America, the first would-be settlers. He commanded three small ships, the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, carrying the Jamestown, Virginia settlers, including Capt. John Smith. Jamestown was founded on May 14, 1607, by this small group of English settlers. Newport left the 104 settlers in June 22, 1607, sailing back to England for supplies. That winter, most of the Jamestown settlers died from starvation, attacks, and disease. In 1608, back in Virginia, Newport halted the execution of Captain John Smith (the Jamestown leader who had been accused of causing the deaths of the men on his expedition to obtain food from the Indians); Smith's life had been previously saved by Pocahontas when he was brought before the Indian Chief Powhatan.
Replicas of the Susan Constant and her sister ships, the Godspeed and the Discovery, are docked in the James River at Jamestown Settlement (formerly Jamestown Festival Park), adjacent to Historic Jamestowne.