Dr. Joseph Warren, a leading Patriot in Boston with John Adams, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock, eloquently explained what motivated the Jamestown and subsequent settlers:
Our fathers having nobly resolved never to wear the yoke of despotism, and seeing the European world, at the time, through indolence and cowardice, failing a prey to tyranny, bravely threw themselves upon the bosom of the ocean, determined to find a place in which they might enjoy their freedom, or perish in the glorious attempt. Approving heaven beheld the favourite ark dancing upon the waves, and graciously preserved it until the chosen families were brought in safety to these western regions.
As we know, the going at Jamestown was miserable, and many lost their lives. Eventually, however, their persistence in the face of famine, disease, and clashes with Native Americans led to success and a thriving colony.
This spirit of determination for liberty eventually paved the way for the creation of the American republic. We are now the ark of freedom for the world. And we owe it to those who came before us to secure the ark for future generations.