Back in England, the merchants of the London Company, supportive of the actions taken by John Smith in reorganizing the colony, set out to repopulate the settlement. They started a nation campaign to recruit new colonists. There efforts were proven successful, 600 new settlers signed on to join the colony. By May 1609, nine ships were heading out to the new world. The voyage proved hazardous and two ships were lost, one capsizing in a storm and an other wrecked on the island of Bermuda. The remaining seven vessels continued on their way to Fort James, 400 new settlers arrived in August of 1609. Once they arrived, they found the colony in shambles. There was little to no food and housing was scarce and inadequate. In addition, they found John Smith wounded from a gun powder explosion. Without his leadership, the new colonists suffered from day on in the New World. Due to his wounds Smith would end up leaving the colony and returned to England.
With the approach of winter, the Jamestown colony began to suffer on a new more dramatic scale. There was little true leadership or order with in the settlement. The new arrivals, many weakened from their voyage, never recovered and death, yet again was a common occurrence. Life became desperate and full of starvation. Local Indians turned against the village and menaced the settlers regularly. They roamed the woods around the village keeping the settlers trapped inside the walls of the fort. In addition, they killed the livestock destroying an other food source. By the spring of 1610, the population of Jamestown went from 500 to 60.
Surprisingly, in May, 175 survivors of the Bermuda wreck from the previous summer arrived at Jamestown. They build two small boats from their battered ship deciding to leave the Island to head back to England, only to meet at the mouth of the James River. A rescue fleet of ships carrying new colonists and a great amount of food, supplies and ammunition were here to save Jamestown.
Brighter days were now in store for the inhabitants of Jamestown. Great changes were made in the organization and new rules of contact were set. While the orders were harsh, calling for the implementation of military rule; they helped save the colony. Under a new colonial system, the colonists began to spread out of the Jamestown settlement, moving up and down the river.