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´╗┐Title: Captain John Smith
Author: Warner, Charles Dudley, 1829-1900
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Captain John Smith" ***

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By Charles Dudley Warner


When I consented to prepare this volume for a series, which should
deal with the notables of American history with some familiarity and
disregard of historic gravity, I did not anticipate the seriousness
of the task. But investigation of the subject showed me that while
Captain John Smith would lend himself easily enough to the purely
facetious treatment, there were historic problems worthy of a
different handling, and that if the life of Smith was to be written,
an effort should be made to state the truth, and to disentangle the
career of the adventurer from the fables and misrepresentations that
have clustered about it.

The extant biographies of Smith, and the portions of the history of
Virginia that relate to him, all follow his own narrative, and accept
his estimate of himself, and are little more than paraphrases of his
story as told by himself. But within the last twenty years some new
contemporary evidence has come to light, and special scholars have
expended much critical research upon different portions of his
career. The result of this modern investigation has been to
discredit much of the romance gathered about Smith and Pocahontas,
and a good deal to reduce his heroic proportions. A vague report of
--these scholarly studies has gone abroad, but no effort has been made
to tell the real story of Smith as a connected whole in the light of
the new researches.

This volume is an effort to put in popular form the truth about
Smith's adventures, and to estimate his exploits and character. For
this purpose I have depended almost entirely upon original
contemporary material, illumined as it now is by the labors of
special editors. I believe that I have read everything that is
attributed to his pen, and have compared his own accounts with other
contemporary narratives, and I think I have omitted the perusal of
little that could throw any light upon his life or character. For
the early part of his career--before he came to Virginia--there is
absolutely no authority except Smith himself; but when he emerges
from romance into history, he can be followed and checked by
contemporary evidence. If he was always and uniformly untrustworthy
it would be less perplexing to follow him, but his liability to tell
the truth when vanity or prejudice does not interfere is annoying to
the careful student.

As far as possible I have endeavored to let the actors in these pages
tell their own story, and I have quoted freely from Capt. Smith
himself, because it is as a writer that he is to be judged no less
than as an actor. His development of the Pocahontas legend has been
carefully traced, and all the known facts about that Indian--or
Indese, as some of the old chroniclers call the female North
Americans--have been consecutively set forth in separate chapters.
The book is not a history of early Virginia, nor of the times of
Smith, but merely a study of his life and writings. If my estimate
of the character of Smith is not that which his biographers have
entertained, and differs from his own candid opinion, I can only
plead that contemporary evidence and a collation of his own stories
show that he was mistaken. I am not aware that there has been before
any systematic effort to collate his different accounts of his
exploits. If he had ever undertaken the task, he might have
disturbed that serene opinion of himself which marks him as a man who
realized his own ideals.

The works used in this study are, first, the writings of Smith, which
are as follows:

"A True Relation," etc., London, 1608.

"A Map of Virginia, Description and Appendix," Oxford, 1612.

"A Description of New England," etc., London, 1616.

"New England's Trials," etc., London, 1620. Second edition,
enlarged, 1622.

"The Generall Historie," etc., London, 1624. Reissued, with date of
title-page altered, in 1626, 1627, and twice in 1632.

"An Accidence: or, The Pathway to Experience," etc., London, 1626.

"A Sea Grammar," etc., London, 1627. Also editions in 1653 and 1699.

"The True Travels," etc., London, 1630.

"Advertisements for the Unexperienced Planters of New England," etc.,
London, 1631.

Other authorities are:

"The Historie of Travaile into Virginia," etc., by William Strachey,
Secretary of the colony 1609 to 1612. First printed for the Hakluyt
Society, London, 1849.

"Newport's Relatyon," 1607. Am. Ant. Soc., Vol. 4.

"Wingfield's Discourse," etc., 1607. Am. Ant. Soc., Vol. 4.

"Purchas his Pilgrimage," London, 1613.

"Purchas his Pilgrimes," London, 1625-6.

"Ralph Hamor's True Discourse," etc., London, 1615.

"Relation of Virginia," by Henry Spelman, 1609. First printed by J.
F. Hunnewell, London, 1872.

"History of the Virginia Company in London," by Edward D. Neill,
Albany, 1869.

"William Stith's History of Virginia," 1753, has been consulted for
the charters and letters-patent. The Pocahontas discussion has been
followed in many magazine papers. I am greatly indebted to the
scholarly labors of Charles Deane, LL.D., the accomplished editor of
the "True Relation," and other Virginia monographs. I wish also to
acknowledge the courtesy of the librarians of the Astor, the Lenox,
the New York Historical, Yale, and Cornell libraries, and of Dr. J.
Hammond Trumbull, the custodian of the Brinley collection, and the
kindness of Mr. S. L. M. Barlow of New York, who is ever ready to
give students access to his rich "Americana."

C. D. W.
HARTFORD, June, 1881



Fortunate is the hero who links his name romantically with that of a
woman. A tender interest in his fame is assured. Still more
fortunate is he if he is able to record his own achievements and give
to them that form and color and importance which they assume in his
own gallant consciousness. Captain John Smith, the first of an
honored name, had this double good fortune.

We are indebted to him for the glowing picture of a knight-errant of
the sixteenth century, moving with the port of a swash-buckler across
the field of vision, wherever cities were to be taken and heads
cracked in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and, in the language of one of
his laureates--

     "To see bright honor sparkled all in gore."

But we are specially his debtor for adventures on our own continent,
narrated with naivete and vigor by a pen as direct and clear-cutting
as the sword with which he shaved off the heads of the Turks, and for
one of the few romances that illumine our early history.

Captain John Smith understood his good fortune in being the recorder
of his own deeds, and he preceded Lord Beaconsfield (in "Endymion")
in his appreciation of the value of the influence of women upon the
career of a hero. In the dedication of his "General Historie" to
Frances, Duchess of Richmond, he says:

"I have deeply hazarded myself in doing and suffering, and why should
I sticke to hazard my reputation in recording? He that acteth two
parts is the more borne withall if he come short, or fayle in one of
them. Where shall we looke to finde a Julius Caesar whose
atchievments shine as cleare in his owne Commentaries, as they did in
the field? I confesse, my hand though able to wield a weapon among
the Barbarous, yet well may tremble in handling a Pen among so many
judicious; especially when I am so bold as to call so piercing and so
glorious an Eye, as your Grace, to view these poore ragged lines.
Yet my comfort is that heretofore honorable and vertuous Ladies, and
comparable but amongst themselves, have offered me rescue and
protection in my greatest dangers: even in forraine parts, I have
felt reliefe from that sex. The beauteous Lady Tragabigzanda, when I
was a slave to the Turks, did all she could to secure me. When I
overcame the Bashaw of Nalbrits in Tartaria, the charitable Lady
Callamata supplyed my necessities. In the utmost of my extremities,
that blessed Pokahontas, the great King's daughter of Virginia, oft
saved my life. When I escaped the cruelties of Pirats and most
furious stormes, a long time alone in a small Boat at Sea, and driven
ashore in France, the good Lady Chanoyes bountifully assisted me."

It is stated in his "True Travels" that John Smith was born in
Willoughby, in Lincolnshire. The year of his birth is not given, but
it was probably in 1579, as it appears by the portrait prefixed to
that work that he was aged 37 years in 1616. We are able to add also
that the rector of the Willoughby Rectory, Alford, finds in the
register an entry of the baptism of John, son of George Smith, under
date of Jan. 9, 1579. His biographers, following his account,
represent him as of ancient lineage: "His father actually descended
from the ancient Smiths of Crudley in Lancashire, his mother from the
Rickands at great Heck in Yorkshire;" but the circumstances of his
boyhood would indicate that like many other men who have made
themselves a name, his origin was humble. If it had been otherwise
he would scarcely have been bound as an apprentice, nor had so much
difficulty in his advancement. But the boy was born with a merry
disposition, and in his earliest years was impatient for adventure.
The desire to rove was doubtless increased by the nature of his
native shire, which offered every inducement to the lad of spirit to
leave it.

Lincolnshire is the most uninteresting part of all England. It is
frequently water-logged till late in the summer: invisible a part of
the year, when it emerges it is mostly a dreary flat. Willoughby is
a considerable village in this shire, situated about three miles and
a half southeastward from Alford. It stands just on the edge of the
chalk hills whose drives gently slope down to the German Ocean, and
the scenery around offers an unvarying expanse of flats. All the
villages in this part of Lincolnshire exhibit the same character.
The name ends in by, the Danish word for hamlet or small village, and
we can measure the progress of the Danish invasion of England by the
number of towns which have the terminal by, distinguished from the
Saxon thorpe, which generally ends the name of villages in Yorkshire.
The population may be said to be Danish light-haired and blue-eyed.
Such was John Smith. The sea was the natural element of his
neighbors, and John when a boy must have heard many stories of the
sea and enticing adventures told by the sturdy mariners who were
recruited from the neighborhood of Willoughby, and whose oars had
often cloven the Baltic Sea.

Willoughby boasts some antiquity. Its church is a spacious
structure, with a nave, north and south aisles, and a chancel, and a
tower at the west end. In the floor is a stone with a Latin
inscription, in black letter, round the verge, to the memory of one
Gilbert West, who died in 1404. The church is dedicated to St.
Helen. In the village the Wesleyan Methodists also have a place of
worship. According to the parliamentary returns of 1825, the parish
including the hamlet of Sloothby contained 108 houses and 514
inhabitants. All the churches in Lincolnshire indicate the existence
of a much larger population who were in the habit of attending
service than exists at present. Many of these now empty are of size
sufficient to accommodate the entire population of several villages.
Such a one is Willoughby, which unites in its church the adjacent
village of Sloothby.

The stories of the sailors and the contiguity of the salt water had
more influence on the boy's mind than the free, schools of Alford and
Louth which he attended, and when he was about thirteen he sold his
books and satchel and intended to run away to sea: but the death of
his father stayed him. Both his parents being now dead, he was left
with, he says, competent means; but his guardians regarding his
estate more than himself, gave him full liberty and no money, so that
he was forced to stay at home.

At the age of fifteen he was bound apprentice to Mr. Thomas S.
Tendall of Lynn. The articles, however, did not bind him very fast,
for as his master refused to send him to sea, John took leave of his
master and did not see him again for eight years. These details
exhibit in the boy the headstrong independence of the man.

At length he found means to attach himself to a young son of the
great soldier, Lord Willoughby, who was going into France. The
narrative is not clear, but it appears that upon reaching Orleans, in
a month or so the services of John were found to be of no value, and
he was sent back to his friends, who on his return generously gave
him ten shillings (out of his own estate) to be rid of him. He is
next heard of enjoying his liberty at Paris and making the
acquaintance of a Scotchman named David Hume, who used his purse--ten
shillings went a long ways in those days--and in return gave him
letters of commendation to prefer him to King James. But the boy had
a disinclination to go where he was sent. Reaching Rouen, and being
nearly out of money, he dropped down the river to Havre de Grace, and
began to learn to be a soldier.

Smith says not a word of the great war of the Leaguers and Henry IV.,
nor on which side he fought, nor is it probable that he cared. But
he was doubtless on the side of Henry, as Havre was at this time in
possession of that soldier. Our adventurer not only makes no
reference to the great religious war, nor to the League, nor to
Henry, but he does not tell who held Paris when he visited it.
Apparently state affairs did not interest him. His reference to a
"peace" helps us to fix the date of his first adventure in France.
Henry published the Edict of Nantes at Paris, April 13, 1598, and on
the 2d of May following, concluded the treaty of France with Philip
II. at Vervins, which closed the Spanish pretensions in France. The
Duc de Mercoeur (of whom we shall hear later as Smith's "Duke of
Mercury" in Hungary), Duke of Lorraine, was allied with the Guises in
the League, and had the design of holding Bretagne under Spanish
protection. However, fortune was against him and he submitted to
Henry in February, 1598, with no good grace. Looking about for an
opportunity to distinguish himself, he offered his services to the
Emperor Rudolph to fight the Turks, and it is said led an army of his
French followers, numbering 15,000, in 1601, to Hungary, to raise the
siege of Coniza, which was beleaguered by Ibrahim Pasha with 60,000

Chance of fighting and pay failing in France by reason of the peace,
he enrolled himself under the banner of one of the roving and
fighting captains of the time, who sold their swords in the best
market, and went over into the Low Countries, where he hacked and
hewed away at his fellow-men, all in the way of business, for three
or four years. At the end of that time he bethought himself that he
had not delivered his letters to Scotland. He embarked at Aucusan
for Leith, and seems to have been shipwrecked, and detained by
illness in the "holy isle" in Northumberland, near Barwick. On his
recovery he delivered his letters, and received kind treatment from
the Scots; but as he had no money, which was needed to make his way
as a courtier, he returned to Willoughby.

The family of Smith is so "ancient" that the historians of the county
of Lincoln do not allude to it, and only devote a brief paragraph to
the great John himself. Willoughby must have been a dull place to
him after his adventures, but he says he was glutted with company,
and retired into a woody pasture, surrounded by forests, a good ways
from any town, and there built himself a pavilion of boughs--less
substantial than the cabin of Thoreau at Walden Pond--and there he
heroically slept in his clothes, studied Machiavelli's "Art of War,"
read "Marcus Aurelius," and exercised on his horse with lance and
ring. This solitary conduct got him the name of a hermit, whose food
was thought to be more of venison than anything else, but in fact his
men kept him supplied with provisions. When John had indulged in
this ostentatious seclusion for a time, he allowed himself to be
drawn out of it by the charming discourse of a noble Italian named
Theodore Palaloga, who just then was Rider to Henry, Earl of Lincoln,
and went to stay with him at Tattershall. This was an ancient town,
with a castle, which belonged to the Earls of Lincoln, and was
situated on the River Bane, only fourteen miles from Boston, a name
that at once establishes a connection between Smith's native county
and our own country, for it is nearly as certain that St. Botolph
founded a monastery at Boston, Lincoln, in the year 654, as it is
that he founded a club afterwards in Boston, Massachusetts.

Whatever were the pleasures of Tattershall, they could not long
content the restless Smith, who soon set out again for the
Netherlands in search of adventures.

The life of Smith, as it is related by himself, reads like that of a
belligerent tramp, but it was not uncommon in his day, nor is it in
ours, whenever America produces soldiers of fortune who are ready,
for a compensation, to take up the quarrels of Egyptians or Chinese,
or go wherever there is fighting and booty. Smith could now handle
arms and ride a horse, and longed to go against the Turks, whose
anti-Christian contests filled his soul with lamentations; and
besides he was tired of seeing Christians slaughter each other. Like
most heroes, he had a vivid imagination that made him credulous, and
in the Netherlands he fell into the toils of three French gallants,
one of whom pretended to be a great lord, attended by his gentlemen,
who persuaded him to accompany them to the "Duchess of Mercury,"
whose lord was then a general of Rodolphus of Hungary, whose favor
they could command. Embarking with these arrant cheats, the vessel
reached the coast of Picardy, where his comrades contrived to take
ashore their own baggage and Smith's trunk, containing his money and
goodly apparel, leaving him on board. When the captain, who was in
the plot, was enabled to land Smith the next day, the noble lords had
disappeared with the luggage, and Smith, who had only a single piece
of gold in his pocket, was obliged to sell his cloak to pay his

Thus stripped, he roamed about Normandy in a forlorn condition,
occasionally entertained by honorable persons who had heard of his
misfortunes, and seeking always means of continuing his travels,
wandering from port to port on the chance of embarking on a
man-of-war. Once he was found in a forest near dead with grief and
cold, and rescued by a rich farmer; shortly afterwards, in a grove in
Brittany, he chanced upon one of the gallants who had robbed him, and
the two out swords and fell to cutting. Smith had the satisfaction of
wounding the rascal, and the inhabitants of a ruined tower near by,
who witnessed the combat, were quite satisfied with the event.

Our hero then sought out the Earl of Ployer, who had been brought up
in England during the French wars, by whom he was refurnished better
than ever. After this streak of luck, he roamed about France,
viewing the castles and strongholds, and at length embarked at
Marseilles on a ship for Italy. Rough weather coming on, the vessel
anchored under the lee of the little isle St. Mary, off Nice, in

The passengers on board, among whom were many pilgrims bound for
Rome, regarded Smith as a Jonah, cursed him for a Huguenot, swore
that his nation were all pirates, railed against Queen Elizabeth, and
declared that they never should have fair weather so long as he was
on board. To end the dispute, they threw him into the sea. But God
got him ashore on the little island, whose only inhabitants were
goats and a few kine. The next day a couple of trading vessels
anchored near, and he was taken off and so kindly used that he
decided to cast in his fortune with them. Smith's discourse of his
adventures so entertained the master of one of the vessels, who is
described as "this noble Britaine, his neighbor, Captaine la Roche,
of Saint Malo," that the much-tossed wanderer was accepted as a
friend. They sailed to the Gulf of Turin, to Alessandria, where they
discharged freight, then up to Scanderoon, and coasting for some time
among the Grecian islands, evidently in search of more freight, they
at length came round to Cephalonia, and lay to for some days betwixt
the isle of Corfu and the Cape of Otranto. Here it presently
appeared what sort of freight the noble Britaine, Captain la Roche,
was looking for.

An argosy of Venice hove in sight, and Captaine la Roche desired to
speak to her. The reply was so "untoward" that a man was slain,
whereupon the Britaine gave the argosy a broadside, and then his
stem, and then other broadsides. A lively fight ensued, in which the
Britaine lost fifteen men, and the argosy twenty, and then
surrendered to save herself from sinking. The noble Britaine and
John Smith then proceeded to rifle her. He says that "the Silkes,
Velvets, Cloth of Gold, and Tissue, Pyasters, Chiqueenes, and
Suitanies, which is gold and silver, they unloaded in four-and-twenty
hours was wonderful, whereof having sufficient, and tired with toils,
they cast her off with her company, with as much good merchandise as
would have freighted another Britaine, that was but two hundred
Tunnes, she four or five hundred." Smith's share of this booty was
modest. When the ship returned he was set ashore at "the Road of
Antibo in Piamon," "with five hundred chiqueenes [sequins] and a
little box God sent him worth neere as much more." He always
devoutly acknowledged his dependence upon divine Providence, and took
willingly what God sent him.



Smith being thus "refurnished," made the tour of Italy, satisfied
himself with the rarities of Rome, where he saw Pope Clement the
Eighth and many cardinals creep up the holy stairs, and with the fair
city of Naples and the kingdom's nobility; and passing through the
north he came into Styria, to the Court of Archduke Ferdinand; and,
introduced by an Englishman and an Irish Jesuit to the notice of
Baron Kisell, general of artillery, he obtained employment, and went
to Vienna with Colonel Voldo, Earl of Meldritch, with whose regiment
he was to serve.

He was now on the threshold of his long-desired campaign against the
Turks. The arrival on the scene of this young man, who was scarcely
out of his teens, was a shadow of disaster to the Turks. They had
been carrying all before them. Rudolph II., Emperor of Germany, was
a weak and irresolute character, and no match for the enterprising
Sultan, Mahomet III., who was then conducting the invasion of Europe.
The Emperor's brother, the Archduke Mathias, who was to succeed him,
and Ferdinand, Duke of Styria, also to become Emperor of Germany,
were much abler men, and maintained a good front against the Moslems
in Lower Hungary, but the Turks all the time steadily advanced. They
had long occupied Buda (Pesth), and had been in possession of the
stronghold of Alba Regalis for some sixty years. Before Smith's
advent they had captured the important city of Caniza, and just as he
reached the ground they had besieged the town of Olumpagh, with two
thousand men. But the addition to the armies of Germany, France,
Styria, and Hungary of John Smith, "this English gentleman," as he
styles himself, put a new face on the war, and proved the ruin of the
Turkish cause. The Bashaw of Buda was soon to feel the effect of
this re-enforcement.

Caniza is a town in Lower Hungary, north of the River Drave, and just
west of the Platen Sea, or Lake Balatin, as it is also called. Due
north of Caniza a few miles, on a bend of the little River Raab
(which empties into the Danube), and south of the town of Kerment,
lay Smith's town of Olumpagh, which we are able to identify on a map
of the period as Olimacum or Oberlymback. In this strong town the
Turks had shut up the garrison under command of Governor Ebersbraught
so closely that it was without intelligence or hope of succor.

In this strait, the ingenious John Smith, who was present in the
reconnoitering army in the regiment of the Earl of Meldritch, came to
the aid of Baron Kisell, the general of artillery, with a plan of
communication with the besieged garrison. Fortunately Smith had made
the acquaintance of Lord Ebersbraught at Gratza, in Styria, and had
(he says) communicated to him a system of signaling a message by the
use of torches. Smith seems to have elaborated this method of
signals, and providentially explained it to Lord Ebersbraught, as if
he had a presentiment of the latter's use of it. He divided the
alphabet into two parts, from A to L and from M to Z. Letters were
indicated and words spelled by the means of torches: "The first part,
from A to L, is signified by showing and holding one linke so oft as
there is letters from A to that letter you name; the other part, from
M to Z, is mentioned by two lights in like manner. The end of a word
is signifien by showing of three lights."

General Kisell, inflamed by this strange invention, which Smith made
plain to him, furnished him guides, who conducted him to a high
mountain, seven miles distant from the town, where he flashed his
torches and got a reply from the governor. Smith signaled that they
would charge on the east of the town in the night, and at the alarum
Ebersbraught was to sally forth. General Kisell doubted that he
should be able to relieve the town by this means, as he had only ten
thousand men; but Smith, whose fertile brain was now in full action,
and who seems to have assumed charge of the campaign, hit upon a
stratagem for the diversion and confusion of the Turks.

On the side of the town opposite the proposed point of attack lay the
plain of Hysnaburg (Eisnaburg on Ortelius's map). Smith fastened two
or three charred pieces of match to divers small lines of an hundred
fathoms in length, armed with powder. Each line was tied to a stake
at each end. After dusk these lines were set up on the plain, and
being fired at the instant the alarm was given, they seemed to the
Turks like so many rows of musketeers. While the Turks therefore
prepared to repel a great army from that side, Kisell attacked with
his ten thousand men, Ebersbraught sallied out and fell upon the
Turks in the trenches, all the enemy on that side were slain or
drowned, or put to flight. And while the Turks were busy routing
Smith's sham musketeers, the Christians threw a couple of thousand
troops into the town. Whereupon the Turks broke up the siege and
retired to Caniza. For this exploit General Kisell received great
honor at Kerment, and Smith was rewarded with the rank of captain,
and the command of two hundred and fifty horsemen. From this time
our hero must figure as Captain John Smith. The rank is not high,
but he has made the title great, just as he has made the name of John
Smith unique.

After this there were rumors of peace for these tormented countries;
but the Turks, who did not yet appreciate the nature of this force,
called John Smith, that had come into the world against them, did not
intend peace, but went on levying soldiers and launching them into
Hungary. To oppose these fresh invasions, Rudolph II., aided by the
Christian princes, organized three armies: one led by the Archduke
Mathias and his lieutenant, Duke Mercury, to defend Low Hungary; the
second led by Ferdinand, the Archduke of Styria, and the Duke of
Mantua, his lieutenant, to regain Caniza; the third by Gonzago,
Governor of High Hungary, to join with Georgio Busca, to make an
absolute conquest of Transylvania.

In pursuance of this plan, Duke Mercury, with an army of thirty
thousand, whereof nearly ten thousand were French, besieged
Stowell-Weisenberg, otherwise called Alba Regalis, a place so strong
by art and nature that it was thought impregnable.

This stronghold, situated on the northeast of the Platen Sea, was,
like Caniza and Oberlympack, one of the Turkish advanced posts, by
means of which they pushed forward their operations from Buda on the

This noble friend of Smith, the Duke of Mercury, whom Haylyn styles
Duke Mercurio, seems to have puzzled the biographers of Smith. In
fact, the name of "Mercury" has given a mythological air to Smith's
narration and aided to transfer it to the region of romance. He was,
however, as we have seen, identical with a historical character of
some importance, for the services he rendered to the Church of Rome,
and a commander of some considerable skill. He is no other than
Philip de Lorraine, Duc de Mercceur.'

[So far as I know, Dr. Edward Eggleston was the first to identify
him. There is a sketch of him in the "Biographie Universelle," and a
life with an account of his exploits in Hungary, entitled:
Histoire de Duc Mercoeur, par Bruseles de Montplain Champs, Cologne,

At the siege of Alba Regalis, the Turks gained several successes by
night sallies, and, as usual, it was not till Smith came to the front
with one of his ingenious devices that the fortune of war changed.
The Earl Meldritch, in whose regiment Smith served, having heard from
some Christians who escaped from the town at what place there were
the greatest assemblies and throngs of people in the city, caused
Captain Smith to put in practice his "fiery dragons." These
instruments of destruction are carefully described: "Having prepared
fortie or fiftie round-bellied earthen pots, and filled them with
hand Gunpowder, then covered them with Pitch, mingled with Brimstone
and Turpentine, and quartering as many Musket-bullets, that hung
together but only at the center of the division, stucke them round in
the mixture about the pots, and covered them againe with the same
mixture, over that a strong sear-cloth, then over all a goode
thicknesse of Towze-match, well tempered with oyle of Linseed,
Campheer, and powder of Brimstone, these he fitly placed in slings,
graduated so neere as they could to the places of these assemblies."

These missiles of Smith's invention were flung at midnight, when the
alarum was given, and "it was a perfect sight to see the short
flaming course of their flight in the air, but presently after their
fall, the lamentable noise of the miserable slaughtered Turkes was
most wonderful to heare."

While Smith was amusing the Turks in this manner, the Earl Rosworme
planned an attack on the opposite suburb, which was defended by a
muddy lake, supposed to be impassable. Furnishing his men with
bundles of sedge, which they threw before them as they advanced in
the dark night, the lake was made passable, the suburb surprised, and
the captured guns of the Turks were turned upon them in the city to
which they had retreated. The army of the Bashaw was cut to pieces
and he himself captured.

The Earl of Meldritch, having occupied the town, repaired the walls
and the ruins of this famous city that had been in the possession of
the Turks for some threescore years.

It is not our purpose to attempt to trace the meteoric course of
Captain Smith in all his campaigns against the Turks, only to
indicate the large part he took in these famous wars for the
possession of Eastern Europe. The siege of Alba Regalis must have
been about the year 1601--Smith never troubles himself with any
dates--and while it was undecided, Mahomet III.--this was the prompt
Sultan who made his position secure by putting to death nineteen of
his brothers upon his accession--raised sixty thousand troops for its
relief or its recovery. The Duc de Mercoeur went out to meet this
army, and encountered it in the plains of Girke. In the first
skirmishes the Earl Meldritch was very nearly cut off, although he
made "his valour shine more bright than his armour, which seemed then
painted with Turkish blood." Smith himself was sore wounded and had
his horse slain under him. The campaign, at first favorable to the
Turks, was inconclusive, and towards winter the Bashaw retired to
Buda. The Duc de Mercoeur then divided his army. The Earl of
Rosworme was sent to assist the Archduke Ferdinand, who was besieging
Caniza; the Earl of Meldritch, with six thousand men, was sent to
assist Georgio Busca against the Transylvanians; and the Duc de
Mercoeur set out for France to raise new forces. On his way he
received great honor at Vienna, and staying overnight at Nuremberg,
he was royally entertained by the Archdukes Mathias and Maximilian.
The next morning after the feast--how it chanced is not known--he was
found dead His brother-inlaw died two days afterwards, and the hearts
of both, with much sorrow, were carried into France.

We now come to the most important event in the life of Smith before
he became an adventurer in Virginia, an event which shows Smith's
readiness to put in practice the chivalry which had in the old
chronicles influenced his boyish imagination; and we approach it with
the satisfaction of knowing that it loses nothing in Smith's

It must be mentioned that Transylvania, which the Earl of Meldritch,
accompanied by Captain Smith, set out to relieve, had long been in a
disturbed condition, owing to internal dissensions, of which the
Turks took advantage. Transylvania, in fact, was a Turkish
dependence, and it gives us an idea of the far reach of the Moslem
influence in Europe, that Stephen VI., vaivode of Transylvania, was,
on the commendation of Sultan Armurath III., chosen King of Poland.

To go a little further back than the period of Smith's arrival, John
II. of Transylvania was a champion of the Turk, and an enemy of
Ferdinand and his successors. His successor, Stephen VI., surnamed
Battori, or Bathor, was made vaivode by the Turks, and afterwards, as
we have said, King of Poland. He was succeeded in 1575 by his
brother Christopher Battori, who was the first to drop the title of
vaivode and assume that of Prince of Transylvania. The son of
Christopher, Sigismund Battori, shook off the Turkish bondage,
defeated many of their armies, slew some of their pashas, and gained
the title of the Scanderbeg of the times in which he lived. Not able
to hold out, however, against so potent an adversary, he resigned his
estate to the Emperor Rudolph II., and received in exchange the
dukedoms of Oppelon and Ratibor in Silesia, with an annual pension of
fifty thousand joachims. The pension not being well paid, Sigismund
made another resignation of his principality to his cousin Andrew
Battori, who had the ill luck to be slain within the year by the
vaivode of Valentia. Thereupon Rudolph, Emperor and King of Hungary,
was acknowledged Prince of Transylvania. But the Transylvania
soldiers did not take kindly to a foreign prince, and behaved so
unsoldierly that Sigismund was called back. But he was unable to
settle himself in his dominions, and the second time he left his
country in the power of Rudolph and retired to Prague, where, in
1615, he died unlamented.

It was during this last effort of Sigismund to regain his position
that the Earl of Meldritch, accompanied by Smith, went to
Transylvania, with the intention of assisting Georgio Busca, who was
the commander of the Emperor's party. But finding Prince Sigismund
in possession of the most territory and of the hearts of the people,
the earl thought it best to assist the prince against the Turk,
rather than Busca against the prince. Especially was he inclined to
that side by the offer of free liberty of booty for his worn and
unpaid troops, of what they could get possession of from the Turks.

This last consideration no doubt persuaded the troops that Sigismund
had "so honest a cause." The earl was born in Transylvania, and the
Turks were then in possession of his father's country. In this
distracted state of the land, the frontiers had garrisons among the
mountains, some of which held for the emperor, some for the prince,
and some for the Turk. The earl asked leave of the prince to make an
attempt to regain his paternal estate. The prince, glad of such an
ally, made him camp-master of his army, and gave him leave to plunder
the Turks. Accordingly the earl began to make incursions of the
frontiers into what Smith calls the Land of Zarkam--among rocky
mountains, where were some Turks, some Tartars, but most Brandittoes,
Renegadoes, and such like, which he forced into the Plains of Regall,
where was a city of men and fortifications, strong in itself, and so
environed with mountains that it had been impregnable in all these

It must be confessed that the historians and the map-makers did not
always attach the importance that Smith did to the battles in which
he was conspicuous, and we do not find the Land of Zarkam or the city
of Regall in the contemporary chronicles or atlases. But the region
is sufficiently identified. On the River Maruch, or Morusus, was the
town of Alba Julia, or Weisenberg, the residence of the vaivode or
Prince of Transylvania. South of this capital was the town
Millenberg, and southwest of this was a very strong fortress,
commanding a narrow pass leading into Transylvania out of Hungary,
probably where the River Maruct: broke through the mountains. We
infer that it was this pass that the earl captured by a stratagem,
and carrying his army through it, began the siege of Regall in the
plain. "The earth no sooner put on her green habit," says our
knight-errant, "than the earl overspread her with his troops."
Regall occupied a strong fortress on a promontory and the Christians
encamped on the plain before it.

In the conduct of this campaign, we pass at once into the age of
chivalry, about which Smith had read so much. We cannot but
recognize that this is his opportunity. His idle boyhood had been
soaked in old romances, and he had set out in his youth to do what
equally dreamy but less venturesome devourers of old chronicles were
content to read about. Everything arranged itself as Smith would
have had it. When the Christian army arrived, the Turks sallied out
and gave it a lively welcome, which cost each side about fifteen
hundred men. Meldritch had but eight thousand soldiers, but he was
re-enforced by the arrival of nine thousand more, with six-and-twenty
pieces of ordnance, under Lord Zachel Moyses, the general of the
army, who took command of the whole.

After the first skirmish the Turks remained within their fortress,
the guns of which commanded the plain, and the Christians spent a
month in intrenching themselves and mounting their guns.

The Turks, who taught Europe the art of civilized war, behaved all
this time in a courtly and chivalric manner, exchanging with the
besiegers wordy compliments until such time as the latter were ready
to begin. The Turks derided the slow progress of the works, inquired
if their ordnance was in pawn, twitted them with growing fat for want
of exercise, and expressed the fear that the Christians should depart
without making an assault.

In order to make the time pass pleasantly, and exactly in accordance
with the tales of chivalry which Smith had read, the Turkish Bashaw
in the fortress sent out his challenge: "That to delight the ladies,
who did long to see some courtlike pastime, the Lord Tubashaw did
defy any captaine that had the command of a company, who durst combat
with him for his head."

This handsome offer to swap heads was accepted; lots were cast for
the honor of meeting the lord, and, fortunately for us, the choice
fell upon an ardent fighter of twenty-three years, named Captain John
Smith. Nothing was wanting to give dignity to the spectacle. Truce
was made; the ramparts of this fortress-city in the mountains (which
we cannot find on the map) were "all beset with faire Dames and men
in Armes"; the Christians were drawn up in battle array; and upon the
theatre thus prepared the Turkish Bashaw, armed and mounted, entered
with a flourish of hautboys; on his shoulders were fixed a pair of
great wings, compacted of eagles' feathers within a ridge of silver
richly garnished with gold and precious stones; before him was a
janissary bearing his lance, and a janissary walked at each side
leading his steed.

This gorgeous being Smith did not keep long waiting. Riding into the
field with a flourish of trumpets, and only a simple page to bear his
lance, Smith favored the Bashaw with a courteous salute, took
position, charged at the signal, and before the Bashaw could say
"Jack Robinson," thrust his lance through the sight of his beaver,
face, head and all, threw him dead to the ground, alighted, unbraced
his helmet, and cut off his head. The whole affair was over so
suddenly that as a pastime for ladies it must have been
disappointing. The Turks came out and took the headless trunk, and
Smith, according to the terms of the challenge, appropriated the head
and presented it to General Moyses.

This ceremonious but still hasty procedure excited the rage of one
Grualgo, the friend of the Bashaw, who sent a particular challenge to
Smith to regain his friend's head or lose his own, together with his
horse and armor. Our hero varied the combat this time. The two
combatants shivered lances and then took to pistols; Smith received a
mark upon the "placard," but so wounded the Turk in his left arm that
he was unable to rule his horse. Smith then unhorsed him, cut off
his head, took possession of head, horse, and armor, but returned the
rich apparel and the body to his friends in the most gentlemanly

Captain Smith was perhaps too serious a knight to see the humor of
these encounters, but he does not lack humor in describing them, and
he adopted easily the witty courtesies of the code he was
illustrating. After he had gathered two heads, and the siege still
dragged, he became in turn the challenger, in phrase as courteously
and grimly facetious as was permissible, thus:

"To delude time, Smith, with so many incontradictible perswading
reasons, obtained leave that the Ladies might know he was not so much
enamored of their servants' heads, but if any Turke of their ranke
would come to the place of combat to redeem them, should have also
his, upon like conditions, if he could winne it."

This considerate invitation was accepted by a person whom Smith, with
his usual contempt for names, calls "Bonny Mulgro." It seems
difficult to immortalize such an appellation, and it is a pity that
we have not the real one of the third Turk whom Smith honored by
killing. But Bonny Mulgro, as we must call the worthiest foe that
Smith's prowess encountered, appeared upon the field. Smith
understands working up a narration, and makes this combat long and
doubtful. The challenged party, who had the choice of weapons, had
marked the destructiveness of his opponent's lance, and elected,
therefore, to fight with pistols and battle-axes. The pistols proved
harmless, and then the battle-axes came in play, whose piercing bills
made sometime the one, sometime the other, to have scarce sense to
keep their saddles. Smith received such a blow that he lost his
battle-axe, whereat the Turks on the ramparts set up a great shout.
"The Turk prosecuted his advantage to the utmost of his power; yet
the other, what by the readiness of his horse, and his judgment and
dexterity in such a business, beyond all men's expectations, by God's
assistance, not only avoided the Turke's violence, but having drawn
his Faulchion, pierced the Turke so under the Culets throrow backe
and body, that although he alighted from his horse, he stood not long
ere he lost his head, as the rest had done."

There is nothing better than this in all the tales of chivalry, and
John Smith's depreciation of his inability to equal Caesar in
describing his own exploits, in his dedicatory letter to the Duchess
of Richmond, must be taken as an excess of modesty. We are prepared
to hear that these beheadings gave such encouragement to the whole
army that six thousand soldiers, with three led horses, each preceded
by a soldier bearing a Turk's head on a lance, turned out as a guard
to Smith and conducted him to the pavilion of the general, to whom he
presented his trophies. General Moyses (occasionally Smith calls him
Moses) took him in his arms and embraced him with much respect, and
gave him a fair horse, richly furnished, a scimeter, and a belt worth
three hundred ducats. And his colonel advanced him to the position
of sergeant-major of his regiment. If any detail was wanting to
round out and reward this knightly performance in strict accord with
the old romances, it was supplied by the subsequent handsome conduct
of Prince Sigismund.

When the Christians had mounted their guns and made a couple of
breaches in the walls of Regall, General Moyses ordered an attack one
dark night "by the light that proceeded from the murdering muskets
and peace-making cannon." The enemy were thus awaited, "whilst their
slothful governor lay in a castle on top of a high mountain, and like
a valiant prince asketh what's the matter, when horrour and death
stood amazed at each other, to see who should prevail to make him
victorious." These descriptions show that Smith could handle the pen
as well as the battleaxe, and distinguish him from the more vulgar
fighters of his time. The assault succeeded, but at great cost of
life. The Turks sent a flag of truce and desired a "composition,"
but the earl, remembering the death of his father, continued to
batter the town and when he took it put all the men in arms to the
sword, and then set their heads upon stakes along the walls, the
Turks having ornamented the walls with Christian heads when they
captured the fortress. Although the town afforded much pillage, the
loss of so many troops so mixed the sour with the sweet that General
Moyses could only allay his grief by sacking three other towns,
Veratis, Solmos, and Kapronka. Taking from these a couple of
thousand prisoners, mostly women and children, Earl Moyses marched
north to Weisenberg (Alba Julia), and camped near the palace of
Prince Sigismund.

When Sigismund Battori came out to view his army he was made
acquainted with the signal services of Smith at "Olumpagh,
Stowell-Weisenberg, and Regall," and rewarded him by conferring upon
him, according to the law of--arms, a shield of arms with "three
Turks' heads." This was granted by a letter-patent, in Latin, which
is dated at "Lipswick, in Misenland, December 9, 1603" It recites that
Smith was taken captive by the Turks in Wallachia November 18, 1602;
that he escaped and rejoined his fellow-soldiers. This patent,
therefore, was not given at Alba Julia, nor until Prince Sigismund had
finally left his country, and when the Emperor was, in fact, the
Prince of Transylvania. Sigismund styles himself, by the grace of
God, Duke of Transylvania, etc. Appended to this patent, as published
in Smith's "True Travels," is a certificate by William Segar, knight
of the garter and principal king of arms of England, that he had seen
this patent and had recorded a copy of it in the office of the Herald
of Armes. This certificate is dated August 19, 1625, the year after
the publication of the General Historie.

Smith says that Prince Sigismund also gave him his picture in gold,
and granted him an annual pension of three hundred ducats. This
promise of a pension was perhaps the most unsubstantial portion of
his reward, for Sigismund himself became a pensioner shortly after
the events last narrated.

The last mention of Sigismund by Smith is after his escape from
captivity in Tartaria, when this mirror of virtues had abdicated.
Smith visited him at "Lipswicke in Misenland," and the Prince "gave
him his Passe, intimating the service he had done, and the honors he
had received, with fifteen hundred ducats of gold to repair his
losses." The "Passe" was doubtless the "Patent" before introduced,
and we hear no word of the annual pension.

Affairs in Transylvania did not mend even after the capture of
Regall, and of the three Turks' heads, and the destruction of so many
villages. This fruitful and strong country was the prey of faction,
and became little better than a desert under the ravages of the
contending armies. The Emperor Rudolph at last determined to conquer
the country for himself, and sent Busca again with a large army.
Sigismund finding himself poorly supported, treated again with the
Emperor and agreed to retire to Silicia on a pension. But the Earl
Moyses, seeing no prospect of regaining his patrimony, and
determining not to be under subjection to the Germans, led his troops
against Busca, was defeated, and fled to join the Turks. Upon this
desertion the Prince delivered up all he had to Busca and retired to
Prague. Smith himself continued with the imperial party, in the
regiment of Earl Meldritch. About this time the Sultan sent one
Jeremy to be vaivode of Wallachia, whose tyranny caused the people to
rise against him, and he fled into Moldavia. Busca proclaimed Lord
Rodoll vaivode in his stead. But Jeremy assembled an army of forty
thousand Turks, Tartars, and Moldavians, and retired into Wallachia.
Smith took active part in Rodoll's campaign to recover Wallachia, and
narrates the savage war that ensued. When the armies were encamped
near each other at Raza and Argish, Rodoll cut off the heads of
parties he captured going to the Turkish camp, and threw them into
the enemy's trenches. Jeremy retorted by skinning alive the
Christian parties he captured, hung their skins upon poles, and their
carcasses and heads on stakes by them. In the first battle Rodoll
was successful and established himself in Wallachia, but Jeremy
rallied and began ravaging the country. Earl Meldritch was sent
against him, but the Turks' force was much superior, and the
Christians were caught in a trap. In order to reach Rodoll, who was
at Rottenton, Meldritch with his small army was obliged to cut his
way through the solid body of the enemy. A device of Smith's
assisted him. He covered two or three hundred trunks--probably small
branches of trees--with wild-fire. These fixed upon the heads of
lances and set on fire when the troops charged in the night, so
terrified the horses of the Turks that they fled in dismay.
Meldritch was for a moment victorious, but when within three leagues
of Rottenton he was overpowered by forty thousand Turks, and the last
desperate fight followed, in which nearly all the friends of the
Prince were slain, and Smith himself was left for dead on the field.

On this bloody field over thirty thousand lay headless, armless,
legless, all cut and mangled, who gave knowledge to the world how
dear the Turk paid for his conquest of Transylvania and Wallachia--a
conquest that might have been averted if the three Christian armies
had been joined against the "cruel devouring Turk." Among the slain
were many Englishmen, adventurers like the valiant Captain whom Smith
names, men who "left there their bodies in testimony of their minds."
And there, "Smith among the slaughtered dead bodies, and many a
gasping soule with toils and wounds lay groaning among the rest, till
being found by the Pillagers he was able to live, and perceiving by
his armor and habit, his ransome might be better than his death, they
led him prisoner with many others." The captives were taken to
Axopolis and all sold as slaves. Smith was bought by Bashaw Bogall,
who forwarded him by way of Adrianople to Constantinople, to be a
slave to his mistress. So chained by the necks in gangs of twenty
they marched to the city of Constantine, where Smith was delivered
over to the mistress of the Bashaw, the young Charatza Tragabigzanda.



Our hero never stirs without encountering a romantic adventure.
Noble ladies nearly always take pity on good-looking captains, and
Smith was far from ill-favored. The charming Charatza delighted to
talk with her slave, for she could speak Italian, and would feign
herself too sick to go to the bath, or to accompany the other women
when they went to weep over the graves, as their custom is once a
week, in order to stay at home to hear from Smith how it was that
Bogall took him prisoner, as the Bashaw had written her, and whether
Smith was a Bohemian lord conquered by the Bashaw's own hand, whose
ransom could adorn her with the glory of her lover's conquests.
Great must have been her disgust with Bogall when she heard that he
had not captured this handsome prisoner, but had bought him in the
slave-market at Axopolis. Her compassion for her slave increased,
and the hero thought he saw in her eyes a tender interest. But she
had no use for such a slave, and fearing her mother would sell him,
she sent him to her brother, the Tymor Bashaw of Nalbrits in the
country of Cambria, a province of Tartaria (wherever that may be).
If all had gone on as Smith believed the kind lady intended, he might
have been a great Bashaw and a mighty man in the Ottoman Empire, and
we might never have heard of Pocahontas. In sending him to her
brother, it was her intention, for she told him so, that he should
only sojourn in Nalbrits long enough to learn the language, and what
it was to be a Turk, till time made her master of herself. Smith
himself does not dissent from this plan to metamorphose him into a
Turk and the husband of the beautiful Charatza Tragabigzanda. He had
no doubt that he was commended to the kindest treatment by her
brother; but Tymor "diverted all this to the worst of cruelty."
Within an hour of his arrival, he was stripped naked, his head and
face shaved as smooth as his hand, a ring of iron, with a long stake
bowed like a sickle, riveted to his neck, and he was scantily clad in
goat's skin. There were many other slaves, but Smith being the last,
was treated like a dog, and made the slave of slaves.

The geographer is not able to follow Captain Smith to Nalbrits.
Perhaps Smith himself would have been puzzled to make a map of his
own career after he left Varna and passed the Black Sea and came
through the straits of Niger into the Sea Disbacca, by some called
the Lake Moetis, and then sailed some days up the River Bruapo to
Cambria, and two days more to Nalbrits, where the Tyrnor resided.

Smith wrote his travels in London nearly thirty years after, and it
is difficult to say how much is the result of his own observation and
how much he appropriated from preceding romances. The Cambrians may
have been the Cossacks, but his description of their habits and also
those of the "Crym-Tartars" belongs to the marvels of Mandeville and
other wide-eyed travelers. Smith fared very badly with the Tymor.
The Tymor and his friends ate pillaw; they esteemed "samboyses" and
"musselbits" "great dainties, and yet," exclaims Smith, "but round
pies, full of all sorts of flesh they can get, chopped with variety
of herbs." Their best drink was "coffa" and sherbet, which is only
honey and water. The common victual of the others was the entrails
of horses and "ulgries" (goats?) cut up and boiled in a caldron with
"cuskus," a preparation made from grain. This was served in great
bowls set in the ground, and when the other prisoners had raked it
thoroughly with their foul fists the remainder was given to the
Christians. The same dish of entrails used to be served not many
years ago in Upper Egypt as a royal dish to entertain a distinguished

It might entertain but it would too long detain us to repeat Smith's
information, probably all secondhand, about this barbarous region.
We must confine ourselves to the fortunes of our hero. All his hope
of deliverance from thraldom was in the love of Tragabigzanda, whom
he firmly believed was ignorant of his bad usage. But she made no
sign. Providence at length opened a way for his escape. He was
employed in thrashing in a field more than a league from the Tymor's
home. The Bashaw used to come to visit his slave there, and beat,
spurn, and revile him. One day Smith, unable to control himself
under these insults, rushed upon the Tymor, and beat out his brains
with a thrashing bat--"for they had no flails," he explains--put on
the dead man's clothes, hid the body in the straw, filled a knapsack
with corn, mounted his horse and rode away into the unknown desert,
where he wandered many days before he found a way out. If we may
believe Smith this wilderness was more civilized in one respect than
some parts of our own land, for on all the crossings of the roads
were guide-boards. After traveling sixteen days on the road that
leads to Muscova, Smith reached a Muscovite garrison on the River
Don. The governor knocked off the iron from his neck and used him so
kindly that he thought himself now risen from the dead. With his
usual good fortune there was a lady to take interest in him--"the
good Lady Callamata largely supplied all his wants."

After Smith had his purse filled by Sigismund he made a thorough tour
of Europe, and passed into Spain, where being satisfied, as he says,
with Europe and Asia, and understanding that there were wars in
Barbary, this restless adventurer passed on into Morocco with several
comrades on a French man-of-war. His observations on and tales about
North Africa are so evidently taken from the books of other travelers
that they add little to our knowledge of his career. For some reason
he found no fighting going on worth his while. But good fortune
attended his return. He sailed in a man-of-war with Captain Merham.
They made a few unimportant captures, and at length fell in with two
Spanish men-of-war, which gave Smith the sort of entertainment he
most coveted. A sort of running fight, sometimes at close quarters,
and with many boardings and repulses, lasted for a couple of days and
nights, when having battered each other thoroughly and lost many men,
the pirates of both nations separated and went cruising, no doubt,
for more profitable game. Our wanderer returned to his native land,
seasoned and disciplined for the part he was to play in the New
World. As Smith had traveled all over Europe and sojourned in
Morocco, besides sailing the high seas, since he visited Prince
Sigismund in December, 1603, it was probably in the year 1605 that he
reached England. He had arrived at the manly age of twenty-six
years, and was ready to play a man's part in the wonderful drama of
discovery and adventure upon which the Britons were then engaged.



John Smith has not chosen to tell us anything of his life during the
interim--perhaps not more than a year and a half--between his return
from Morocco and his setting sail for Virginia. Nor do his
contemporaries throw any light upon this period of his life.

One would like to know whether he went down to Willoughby and had a
reckoning with his guardians; whether he found any relations or
friends of his boyhood; whether any portion of his estate remained of
that "competent means" which he says he inherited, but which does not
seem to have been available in his career. From the time when he set
out for France in his fifteenth year, with the exception of a short
sojourn in Willoughby seven or eight years after, he lived by his
wits and by the strong hand. His purse was now and then replenished
by a lucky windfall, which enabled him to extend his travels and seek
more adventures. This is the impression that his own story makes
upon the reader in a narrative that is characterized by the
boastfulness and exaggeration of the times, and not fuller of the
marvelous than most others of that period.

The London to which Smith returned was the London of Shakespeare. We
should be thankful for one glimpse of him in this interesting town.
Did he frequent the theatre? Did he perhaps see Shakespeare himself
at the Globe? Did he loaf in the coffee-houses, and spin the fine
thread of his adventures to the idlers and gallants who resorted to
them? If he dropped in at any theatre of an afternoon he was quite
likely to hear some allusion to Virginia, for the plays of the hour
were full of chaff, not always of the choicest, about the attractions
of the Virgin-land, whose gold was as plentiful as copper in England;
where the prisoners were fettered in gold, and the dripping-pans were
made of it; and where--an unheard-of thing--you might become an
alderman without having been a scavenger.

Was Smith an indulger in that new medicine for all ills, tobacco?
Alas! we know nothing of his habits or his company. He was a man of
piety according to his lights, and it is probable that he may have
had the then rising prejudice against theatres. After his return
from Virginia he and his exploits were the subject of many a stage
play and spectacle, but whether his vanity was more flattered by this
mark of notoriety than his piety was offended we do not know. There
is certainly no sort of evidence that he engaged in the common
dissipation of the town, nor gave himself up to those pleasures which
a man rescued from the hardships of captivity in Tartaria might be
expected to seek. Mr. Stith says that it was the testimony of his
fellow soldiers and adventurers that "they never knew a soldier,
before him, so free from those military vices of wine, tobacco,
debts, dice, and oathes."

But of one thing we may be certain: he was seeking adventure
according to his nature, and eager for any heroic employment; and it
goes without saying that he entered into the great excitement of the
day--adventure in America. Elizabeth was dead. James had just come
to the throne, and Raleigh, to whom Elizabeth had granted an
extensive patent of Virginia, was in the Tower. The attempts to make
any permanent lodgment in the countries of Virginia had failed. But
at the date of Smith's advent Captain Bartholomew Gosnold had
returned from a voyage undertaken in 1602 under the patronage of the
Earl of Southampton, and announced that he had discovered a direct
passage westward to the new continent, all the former voyagers having
gone by the way of the West Indies. The effect of this announcement
in London, accompanied as it was with Gosnold's report of the
fruitfulness of the coast of New England which he explored, was
something like that made upon New York by the discovery of gold in
California in 1849. The route by the West Indies, with its incidents
of disease and delay, was now replaced by the direct course opened by
Gosnold, and the London Exchange, which has always been quick to
scent any profit in trade, shared the excitement of the distinguished
soldiers and sailors who were ready to embrace any chance of
adventure that offered.

It is said that Captain Gosnold spent several years in vain, after
his return, in soliciting his friends and acquaintances to join him
in settling this fertile land he had explored; and that at length he
prevailed upon Captain John Smith, Mr. Edward Maria Wingfield, the
Rev. Mr. Robert Hunt, and others, to join him. This is the first
appearance of the name of Captain John Smith in connection with
Virginia. Probably his life in London had been as idle as
unprofitable, and his purse needed replenishing. Here was a way open
to the most honorable, exciting, and profitable employment. That its
mere profit would have attracted him we do not believe; but its
danger, uncertainty, and chance of distinction would irresistibly
appeal to him. The distinct object of the projectors was to
establish a colony in Virginia. This proved too great an undertaking
for private persons. After many vain projects the scheme was
commended to several of the nobility, gentry, and merchants, who came
into it heartily, and the memorable expedition of 1606 was organized.

The patent under which this colonization was undertaken was obtained
from King James by the solicitation of Richard Hakluyt and others.
Smith's name does not appear in it, nor does that of Gosnold nor of
Captain Newport. Richard Hakluyt, then clerk prebendary of
Westminster, had from the first taken great interest in the project.
He was chaplain of the English colony in Paris when Sir Francis Drake
was fitting out his expedition to America, and was eager to further
it. By his diligent study he became the best English geographer of
his time; he was the historiographer of the East India Company, and
the best informed man in England concerning the races, climates, and
productions of all parts of the globe. It was at Hakluyt's
suggestion that two vessels were sent out from Plymouth in 1603 to
verify Gosnold's report of his new short route. A further
verification of the feasibility of this route was made by Captain
George Weymouth, who was sent out in 1605 by the Earl of Southampton.

The letters-patent of King James, dated April 10, 1606, licensed the
planting of two colonies in the territories of America commonly
called Virginia. The corporators named in the first colony were Sir
Thos. Gates, Sir George Somers, knights, and Richard Hakluyt and
Edward Maria Wingfield, adventurers, of the city of London. They
were permitted to settle anywhere in territory between the 34th and
41st degrees of latitude.

The corporators named in the second colony were Thomas Hankam,
Raleigh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, representing
Bristol, Exeter, and Plymouth, and the west counties, who were
authorized to make a settlement anywhere between the 38th and 48th
degrees of latitude.

The--letters commended and generously accepted this noble work of
colonization, "which may, by the Providence of Almighty God,
hereafter tend to the glory of his Divine Majesty, in propagating of
Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and
miserable ignorance of all true knowledge and worship of God, and may
in time bring the infidels and savages living in those parts to human
civility and to a settled and quiet government." The conversion of
the Indians was as prominent an object in all these early adventures,
English or Spanish, as the relief of the Christians has been in all
the Russian campaigns against the Turks in our day.

Before following the fortunes of this Virginia colony of 1606, to
which John Smith was attached, it is necessary to glance briefly at
the previous attempt to make settlements in this portion of America.

Although the English had a claim upon America, based upon the
discovery of Newfoundland and of the coast of the continent from the
38th to the 68th north parallel by Sebastian Cabot in 1497, they took
no further advantage of it than to send out a few fishing vessels,
until Sir Humphrey Gilbert, a noted and skillful seaman, took out
letters-patent for discovery, bearing date the 11th of January, 1578.
Gilbert was the half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh and thirteen years
his senior. The brothers were associated in the enterprise of 1579,
which had for its main object the possession of Newfoundland. It is
commonly said, and in this the biographical dictionaries follow one
another, that Raleigh accompanied his brother on this voyage of 1579
and went with him to Newfoundland. The fact is that Gilbert did not
reach Newfoundland on that voyage, and it is open to doubt if Raleigh
started with him. In April, 1579, when Gilbert took active steps
under the charter of 1578, diplomatic difficulties arose, growing out
of Elizabeth's policy with the Spaniards, and when Gilbert's ships
were ready to sail he was stopped by an order from the council.
Little is known of this unsuccessful attempt of Gilbert's. He did,
after many delays, put to sea, and one of his contemporaries, John
Hooker, the antiquarian, says that Raleigh was one of the assured
friends that accompanied him. But he was shortly after driven back,
probably from an encounter with the Spaniards, and returned with the
loss of a tall ship.

Raleigh had no sooner made good his footing at the court of Elizabeth
than he joined Sir Humphrey in a new adventure. But the Queen
peremptorily retained Raleigh at court, to prevent his incurring the
risks of any "dangerous sea-fights." To prevent Gilbert from
embarking on this new voyage seems to have been the device of the
council rather than the Queen, for she assured Gilbert of her good
wishes, and desired him, on his departure, to give his picture to
Raleigh for her, and she contributed to the large sums raised to meet
expenses "an anchor guarded by a lady," which the sailor was to wear
at his breast. Raleigh risked L 2,000 in the venture, and equipped a
ship which bore his name, but which had ill luck. An infectious
fever broke out among the crew, and the "Ark Raleigh" returned to
Plymouth. Sir Humphrey wrote to his brother admiral, Sir George
Peckham, indignantly of this desertion, the reason for which he did
not know, and then proceeded on his voyage with his four remaining
ships. This was on the 11th of January, 1583. The expedition was so
far successful that Gilbert took formal possession of Newfoundland
for the Queen. But a fatality attended his further explorations: the
gallant admiral went down at sea in a storm off our coast, with his
crew, heroic and full of Christian faith to the last, uttering, it is
reported, this courageous consolation to his comrades at the last
moment: "Be of good heart, my friends. We are as near to heaven by
sea as by land."

In September, 1583, a surviving ship brought news of the disaster to
Falmouth. Raleigh was not discouraged. Within six months of this
loss he had on foot another enterprise. His brother's patent had
expired. On the 25th of March, 1584, he obtained from Elizabeth a
new charter with larger powers, incorporating himself, Adrian
Gilbert, brother of Sir Humphrey, and John Davys, under the title of
"The College of the Fellowship for the Discovery of the Northwest
Passage." But Raleigh's object was colonization. Within a few days
after his charter was issued he despatched two captains, Philip
Amadas and Arthur Barlow, who in July of that year took possession of
the island of Roanoke.

The name of Sir Walter Raleigh is intimately associated with Carolina
and Virginia, and it is the popular impression that he personally
assisted in the discovery of the one and the settlement of the other.
But there is no more foundation for the belief that he ever visited
the territory of Virginia, of which he was styled governor, than that
he accompanied Sir Humphrey Gilbert to Newfoundland. An allusion by
William Strachey, in his "Historie of Travaile into Virginia,"
hastily read, may have misled some writers. He speaks of an
expedition southward, "to some parts of Chawonock and the Mangoangs,
to search them there left by Sir Walter Raleigh." But his further
sketch of the various prior expeditions shows that he meant to speak
of settlers left by Sir Ralph Lane and other agents of Raleigh in
colonization. Sir Walter Raleigh never saw any portion of the coast
of the United States.

In 1592 he planned an attack upon the Spanish possessions of Panama,
but his plans were frustrated. His only personal expedition to the
New World was that to Guana in 1595.

The expedition of Captain Amadas and Captain Barlow is described by
Captain Smith in his compilation called the "General Historie," and
by Mr. Strachey. They set sail April 27, 1584, from the Thames. On
the 2d of July they fell with the coast of Florida in shoal water,
"where they felt a most delicate sweet smell," but saw no land.
Presently land appeared, which they took to be the continent, and
coasted along to the northward a hundred and thirty miles before
finding a harbor. Entering the first opening, they landed on what
proved to be the Island of Roanoke. The landing-place was sandy and
low, but so productive of grapes or vines overrunning everything,
that the very surge of the sea sometimes overflowed them. The
tallest and reddest cedars in the world grew there, with pines,
cypresses, and other trees, and in the woods plenty of deer, conies,
and fowls in incredible abundance.

After a few days the natives came off in boats to visit them, proper
people and civil in their behavior, bringing with them the King's
brother, Granganameo (Quangimino, says Strachey). The name of the
King was Winginia, and of the country Wingandacoa. The name of this
King might have suggested that of Virginia as the title of the new
possession, but for the superior claim of the Virgin Queen.
Granganameo was a friendly savage who liked to trade. The first
thing he took a fancy was a pewter dish, and he made a hole through
it and hung it about his neck for a breastplate. The liberal
Christians sold it to him for the low price of twenty deer-skins,
worth twenty crowns, and they also let him have a copper kettle for
fifty skins. They drove a lively traffic with the savages for much
of such "truck," and the chief came on board and ate and drank
merrily with the strangers. His wife and children, short of stature
but well-formed and bashful, also paid them a visit. She wore a long
coat of leather, with a piece of leather about her loins, around her
forehead a band of white coral, and from her ears bracelets of pearls
of the bigness of great peas hung down to her middle. The other
women wore pendants of copper, as did the children, five or six in an
ear. The boats of these savages were hollowed trunks of trees.
Nothing could exceed the kindness and trustfulness the Indians
exhibited towards their visitors. They kept them supplied with game
and fruits, and when a party made an expedition inland to the
residence of Granganameo, his wife (her husband being absent) came
running to the river to welcome them; took them to her house and set
them before a great fire; took off their clothes and washed them;
removed the stockings of some and washed their feet in warm water;
set plenty of victual, venison and fish and fruits, before them, and
took pains to see all things well ordered for their comfort. "More
love they could not express to entertain us." It is noted that these
savages drank wine while the grape lasted. The visitors returned all
this kindness with suspicion.

They insisted upon retiring to their boats at night instead of
lodging in the house, and the good woman, much grieved at their
jealousy, sent down to them their half-cooked supper, pots and all,
and mats to cover them from the rain in the night, and caused several
of her men and thirty women to sit all night on the shore over
against them. "A more kind, loving people cannot be," say the

In September the expedition returned to England, taking specimens of
the wealth of the country, and some of the pearls as big as peas, and
two natives, Wanchese and Manteo. The "lord proprietary" obtained
the Queen's permission to name the new lands "Virginia," in her
honor, and he had a new seal of his arms cut, with the legend,
Propria insignia Walteri Ralegh, militis, Domini et Gubernatoris

The enticing reports brought back of the fertility of this land, and
the amiability of its pearl-decked inhabitants, determined Raleigh at
once to establish a colony there, in the hope of the ultimate
salvation of the "poor seduced infidell" who wore the pearls. A
fleet of seven vessels, with one hundred householders, and many
things necessary to begin a new state, departed from Plymouth in
April, 1585. Sir Richard Grenville had command of the expedition,
and Mr. Ralph Lane was made governor of the colony, with Philip
Amadas for his deputy. Among the distinguished men who accompanied
them were Thomas Hariot, the mathematician, and Thomas Cavendish, the
naval discoverer. The expedition encountered as many fatalities as
those that befell Sir Humphrey Gilbert; and Sir Richard was destined
also to an early and memorable death. But the new colony suffered
more from its own imprudence and want of harmony than from natural

In August, Grenville left Ralph Lane in charge of the colony and
returned to England, capturing a Spanish ship on the way. The
colonists pushed discoveries in various directions, but soon found
themselves involved in quarrels with the Indians, whose conduct was
less friendly than formerly, a change partly due to the greed of the
whites. In June, when Lane was in fear of a conspiracy which he had
discovered against the life of the colony, and it was short of
supplies, Sir Francis Drake appeared off Roanoke, returning homeward
with his fleet from the sacking of St. Domingo, Carthagena, and St.
Augustine. Lane, without waiting for succor from England, persuaded
Drake to take him and all the colony back home. Meantime Raleigh,
knowing that the colony would probably need aid, was preparing a
fleet of three well appointed ships to accompany Sir Richard
Grenville, and an "advice ship," plentifully freighted, to send in
advance to give intelligence of his coming. Great was Grenville's
chagrin, when he reached Hatorask, to find that the advice boat had
arrived, and finding no colony, had departed again for England.
However, he established fifteen men ("fifty," says the "General
Historie") on the island, provisioned for two years, and then
returned home.

[Sir Richard Grenville in 1591 was vice-admiral of a fleet, under
command of Lord Thomas Howard, at the Azores, sent against a Spanish
Plate-fleet. Six English vessels were suddenly opposed by a Spanish
convoy of 53 ships of war. Left behind his comrades, in embarking
from an island, opposed by five galleons, he maintained a terrible
fight for fifteen hours, his vessel all cut to pieces, and his men
nearly all slain. He died uttering aloud these words: "Here dies Sir
Richard Grenville, with a joyful and quiet mind, for that I have
ended my life as a true soldier ought to do, fighting for his
country, queen, religion, and honor."]

Mr. Ralph Lane's colony was splendidly fitted out, much better
furnished than the one that Newport, Wingfield, and Gosnold conducted
to the River James in 1607; but it needed a man at the head of it.
If the governor had possessed Smith's pluck, he would have held on
till the arrival of Grenville.

Lane did not distinguish himself in the conduct of this governorship,
but he nevertheless gained immortality. For he is credited with
first bringing into England that valuable medicinal weeds called
tobacco, which Sir Walter Raleigh made fashionable, not in its
capacity to drive "rheums" out of the body, but as a soother, when
burned in the bowl of a pipe and drawn through the stem in smoke, of
the melancholy spirit.

The honor of introducing tobacco at this date is so large that it has
been shared by three persons--Sir Francis Drake, who brought Mr. Lane
home; Mr. Lane, who carried the precious result of his sojourn in
America; and Sir Walter Raleigh, who commended it to the use of the
ladies of Queen Elizabeth's court.

But this was by no means its first appearance in Europe. It was
already known in Spain, in France, and in Italy, and no doubt had
begun to make its way in the Orient. In the early part of the
century the Spaniards had discovered its virtues. It is stated by
John Neander, in his "Tobaco Logia," published in Leyden in 1626,
that Tobaco took its name from a province in Yucatan, conquered by
Fernando Cortez in 1519. The name Nicotiana he derives from D.
Johanne Nicotino Nemansensi, of the council of Francis II., who first
introduced the plant into France. At the date of this volume (1626)
tobacco was in general use all over Europe and in the East. Pictures
are given of the Persian water pipes, and descriptions of the mode of
preparing it for use. There are reports and traditions of a very
ancient use of tobacco in Persia and in China, as well as in India,
but we are convinced that the substance supposed to be tobacco, and
to be referred to as such by many writers, and described as
"intoxicating," was really India hemp, or some plant very different
from the tobacco of the New World. At any rate there is evidence
that in the Turkish Empire as late as 1616 tobacco was still somewhat
a novelty, and the smoking of it was regarded as vile, and a habit
only of the low. The late Hekekian Bey, foreign minister of old
Mahomet Ali, possessed an ancient Turkish MS which related an
occurrence at Smyrna about the year 1610, namely, the punishment of
some sailors for the use of tobacco, which showed that it was a
novelty and accounted a low vice at that time. The testimony of the
trustworthy George Sandys, an English traveler into Turkey, Egypt,
and Syria in 1610 (afterwards, 1621, treasurer of the colony in
Virginia), is to the same effect as given in his "Relation,"
published in London in 1621. In his minute description of the people
and manners of Constantinople, after speaking of opium, which makes
the Turks "giddy-headed" and "turbulent dreamers," he says: "But
perhaps for the self-same cause they delight in Tobacco: which they
take through reedes that have joyned with them great heads of wood to
containe it, I doubt not but lately taught them as brought them by
the English; and were it not sometimes lookt into (for Morat Bassa
[Murad III.?] not long since commanded a pipe to be thrust through
the nose of a Turke, and to be led in derision through the Citie), no
question but it would prove a principal commodity. Nevertheless they
will take it in corners; and are so ignorant therein, that that which
in England is not saleable, doth passe here among them for most

Mr. Stith ("History of Virginia," 1746) gives Raleigh credit for the
introduction of the pipe into good society, but he cautiously says,
"We are not informed whether the queen made use of it herself: but it
is certain she gave great countenance to it as a vegetable of
singular strength and power, which might therefore prove of benefit
to mankind, and advantage to the nation." Mr. Thomas Hariot, in his
observations on the colony at Roanoke, says that the natives esteemed
their tobacco, of which plenty was found, their "chief physicke."

It should be noted, as against the claim of Lane, that Stowe in his
"Annales" (1615) says: "Tobacco was first brought and made known in
England by Sir John Hawkins, about the year 1565, but not used by
Englishmen in many years after, though at this time commonly used by
most men and many women." In a side-note to the edition of 1631 we
read: "Sir Walter Raleigh was the first that brought tobacco in use,
when all men wondered what it meant." It was first commended for its
medicinal virtues. Harrison's "Chronologie," under date of 1573,
says: "In these daies the taking in of the smoke of the Indian herbe
called 'Tabaco' by an instrument formed like a little ladell, whereby
it passeth from the mouth into the hed and stomach, is gretlie
taken-up and used in England, against Rewmes and some other diseases
ingendred in the longes and inward partes, and not without effect."
But Barnaby Rich, in "The Honestie of this Age," 1614, disagrees with
Harrison about its benefit: "They say it is good for a cold, for a
pose, for rewmes, for aches, for dropsies, and for all manner of
diseases proceeding of moyst humours; but I cannot see but that those
that do take it fastest are as much (or more) subject to all these
infirmities (yea, and to the poxe itself) as those that have nothing
at all to do with it." He learns that 7,000 shops in London live by
the trade of tobacco-selling, and calculates that there is paid for
it L 399,375 a year, "all spent in smoake." Every base groom must
have his pipe with his pot of ale; it "is vendible in every taverne,
inne, and ale-house; and as for apothecaries shops, grosers shops,
chandlers shops, they are (almost) never without company that, from
morning till night, are still taking of tobacco." Numbers of houses
and shops had no other trade to live by. The wrath of King James was
probably never cooled against tobacco, but the expression of it was
somewhat tempered when he perceived what a source of revenue it

The savages of North America gave early evidence of the possession of
imaginative minds, of rare power of invention, and of an amiable
desire to make satisfactory replies to the inquiries of their
visitors. They generally told their questioners what they wanted to
know, if they could ascertain what sort of information would please
them. If they had known the taste of the sixteenth century for the
marvelous they could not have responded more fitly to suit it. They
filled Mr. Lane and Mr. Hariot full of tales of a wonderful copper
mine on the River Maratock (Roanoke), where the metal was dipped out
of the stream in great bowls. The colonists had great hopes of this
river, which Mr. Hariot thought flowed out of the Gulf of Mexico, or
very near the South Sea. The Indians also conveyed to the mind of
this sagacious observer the notion that they had a very respectably
developed religion; that they believed in one chief god who existed
from all eternity, and who made many gods of less degree; that for
mankind a woman was first created, who by one of the gods brought
forth children; that they believed in the immortality of the soul,
and that for good works a soul will be conveyed to bliss in the
tabernacles of the gods, and for bad deeds to pokogusso, a great pit
in the furthest part of the world, where the sun sets, and where they
burn continually. The Indians knew this because two men lately dead
had revived and come back to tell them of the other world. These
stories, and many others of like kind, the Indians told of
themselves, and they further pleased Mr. Hariot by kissing his Bible
and rubbing it all over their bodies, notwithstanding he told them
there was no virtue in the material book itself, only in its
doctrines. We must do Mr. Hariot the justice to say, however, that
he had some little suspicion of the "subtiltie" of the weroances
(chiefs) and the priests.

Raleigh was not easily discouraged; he was determined to plant his
colony, and to send relief to the handful of men that Grenville had
left on Roanoke Island. In May, 1587, he sent out three ships and a
hundred and fifty householders, under command of Mr. John White, who
was appointed Governor of the colony, with twelve assistants as a
Council, who were incorporated under the name of "The Governor and
Assistants of the City of Ralegh in Virginia," with instructions to
change their settlement to Chesapeake Bay. The expedition found
there no one of the colony (whether it was fifty or fifteen the
writers disagree), nothing but the bones of one man where the
plantation had been; the houses were unhurt, but overgrown with
weeds, and the fort was defaced. Captain Stafford, with twenty men,
went to Croatan to seek the lost colonists. He heard that the fifty
had been set upon by three hundred Indians, and, after a sharp
skirmish and the loss of one man, had taken boats and gone to a small
island near Hatorask, and afterwards had departed no one knew

Mr. White sent a band to take revenge upon the Indians who were
suspected of their murder through treachery, which was guided by
Mateo, the friendly Indian, who had returned with the expedition from
England. By a mistake they attacked a friendly tribe. In August of
this year Mateo was Christianized, and baptized under the title of
Lord of Roanoke and Dassomonpeake, as a reward for his fidelity. The
same month Elinor, the daughter of the Govemor, the wife of Ananias
Dare, gave birth to a daughter, the first white child born in this
part of the continent, who was named Virginia.

Before long a dispute arose between the Governor and his Council as
to the proper person to return to England for supplies. White
himself was finally prevailed upon to go, and he departed, leaving
about a hundred settlers on one of the islands of Hatorask to form a

The Spanish invasion and the Armada distracted the attention of
Europe about this time, and the hope of plunder from Spanish vessels
was more attractive than the colonization of America. It was not
until 1590 that Raleigh was able to despatch vessels to the relief of
the Hatorask colony, and then it was too late. White did, indeed,
start out from Biddeford in April, 1588, with two vessels, but the
temptation to chase prizes was too strong for him, and he went on a
cruise of his own, and left the colony to its destruction.

In March, 1589-90, Mr. White was again sent out, with three ships,
from Plymouth, and reached the coast in August. Sailing by Croatan
they went to Hatorask, where they descried a smoke in the place they
had left the colony in 1587. Going ashore next day, they found no
man, nor sign that any had been there lately. Preparing to go to
Roanoke next day, a boat was upset and Captain Spicer and six of the
crew were drowned. This accident so discouraged the sailors that
they could hardly be persuaded to enter on the search for the colony.
At last two boats, with nineteen men, set out for Hatorask, and
landed at that part of Roanoke where the colony had been left. When
White left the colony three years before, the men had talked of going
fifty miles into the mainland, and had agreed to leave some sign of
their departure. The searchers found not a man of the colony; their
houses were taken down, and a strong palisade had been built. All
about were relics of goods that had been buried and dug up again and
scattered, and on a post was carved the name "CROATAN." This signal,
which was accompanied by no sign of distress, gave White hope that he
should find his comrades at Croatan. But one mischance or another
happening, his provisions being short, the expedition decided to run
down to the West Indies and "refresh" (chiefly with a little Spanish
plunder), and return in the spring and seek their countrymen; but
instead they sailed for England and never went to Croatan. The men
of the abandoned colonies were never again heard of. Years after, in
1602, Raleigh bought a bark and sent it, under the charge of Samuel
Mace, a mariner who had been twice to Virginia, to go in search of
the survivors of White's colony. Mace spent a month lounging about
the Hatorask coast and trading with the natives, but did not land on
Croatan, or at any place where the lost colony might be expected to
be found; but having taken on board some sassafras, which at that
time brought a good price in England, and some other barks which were
supposed to be valuable, he basely shirked the errand on which he was
hired to go, and took himself and his spicy woods home.

The "Lost Colony" of White is one of the romances of the New World.
Governor White no doubt had the feelings of a parent, but he did not
allow them to interfere with his more public duties to go in search
of Spanish prizes. If the lost colony had gone to Croatan, it was
probable that Ananias Dare and his wife, the Governor's daughter, and
the little Virginia Dare, were with them. But White, as we have
seen, had such confidence in Providence that he left his dear
relatives to its care, and made no attempt to visit Croatan.

Stith says that Raleigh sent five several times to search for the
lost, but the searchers returned with only idle reports and frivolous
allegations. Tradition, however, has been busy with the fate of
these deserted colonists. One of the unsupported conjectures is that
the colonists amalgamated with the tribe of Hatteras Indians, and
Indian tradition and the physical characteristics of the tribe are
said to confirm this idea. But the sporadic birth of children with
white skins (albinos) among black or copper-colored races that have
had no intercourse with white people, and the occurrence of light
hair and blue eyes among the native races of America and of New
Guinea, are facts so well attested that no theory of amalgamation can
be sustained by such rare physical manifestations. According to
Captain John Smith, who wrote of Captain Newport's explorations in
1608, there were no tidings of the waifs, for, says Smith, Newport
returned "without a lump of gold, a certainty of the South Sea, or
one of the lost company sent out by Sir Walter Raleigh."

In his voyage of discovery up the Chickahominy, Smith seem; to have
inquired about this lost colony of King Paspahegh, for he says, "what
he knew of the dominions he spared not to acquaint me with, as of
certaine men cloathed at a place called Ocanahonan, cloathcd like

[Among these Hatteras Indians Captain Amadas, in 1584, saw children
with chestnut-colored hair.]

We come somewhat nearer to this matter in the "Historie of Travaile
into Virginia Britannia," published from the manuscript by the
Hakluyt Society in 1849, in which it is intimated that seven of these
deserted colonists were afterwards rescued. Strachey is a first-rate
authority for what he saw. He arrived in Virginia in 1610 and
remained there two years, as secretary of the colony, and was a man
of importance. His "Historie" was probably written between 1612 and
1616. In the first portion of it, which is descriptive of the
territory of Virginia, is this important passage: "At Peccarecamek
and Ochanahoen, by the relation of Machumps, the people have houses
built with stone walls, and one story above another, so taught them
by those English who escaped the slaughter of Roanoke. At what time
this our colony, under the conduct of Captain Newport, landed within
the Chesapeake Bay, where the people breed up tame turkies about
their houses, and take apes in the mountains, and where, at Ritanoe,
the Weroance Eyanaco, preserved seven of the English alive--four men,
two boys, and one young maid (who escaped [that is from Roanoke] and
fled up the river of Chanoke), to beat his copper, of which he hath
certain mines at the said Ritanoe, as also at Pamawauk are said to be
store of salt stones."

This, it will be observed, is on the testimony of Machumps. This
pleasing story is not mentioned in Captain Newport's "Discoveries"
(May, 1607). Machumps, who was the brother of Winganuske, one of the
many wives of Powhatan, had been in England. He was evidently a
lively Indian. Strachey had heard him repeat the "Indian grace," a
sort of incantation before meat, at the table of Sir Thomas Dale. If
he did not differ from his red brothers he had a powerful
imagination, and was ready to please the whites with any sort of a
marvelous tale. Newport himself does not appear to have seen any of
the "apes taken in the mountains." If this story is to be accepted
as true we have to think of Virginia Dare as growing up to be a woman
of twenty years, perhaps as other white maidens have been, Indianized
and the wife of a native. But the story rests only upon a romancing
Indian. It is possible that Strachey knew more of the matter than he
relates, for in his history he speaks again of those betrayed people,
"of whose end you shall hereafter read in this decade." But the
possessed information is lost, for it is not found in the remainder
of this "decade" of his writing, which is imperfect. Another
reference in Strachey is more obscure than the first. He is speaking
of the merciful intention of King James towards the Virginia savages,
and that he does not intend to root out the natives as the Spaniards
did in Hispaniola, but by degrees to change their barbarous nature,
and inform them of the true God and the way to Salvation, and that
his Majesty will even spare Powhatan himself. But, he says, it is
the intention to make "the common people likewise to understand, how
that his Majesty has been acquainted that the men, women, and
children of the first plantation of Roanoke were by practice of
Powhatan (he himself persuaded thereunto by his priests) miserably
slaughtered, without any offense given him either by the first
planted (who twenty and odd years had peaceably lived intermixed with
those savages, and were out of his territory) or by those who are now
come to inhabit some parts of his distant lands," etc.

Strachey of course means the second plantation and not the first,
which, according to the weight of authority, consisted of only
fifteen men and no women.

In George Percy's Discourse concerning Captain Newport's exploration
of the River James in 1607 (printed in Purchas's "Pilgrims") is
this sentence: "At Port Cotage, in our voyage up the river, we saw a
savage boy, about the age of ten years, which had a head of hair of a
perfect yellow, and reasonably white skin, which is a miracle amongst
all savages." Mr. Neill, in his "History of the Virginia Company,"
says that this boy "was no doubt the offspring of the colonists left
at Roanoke by White, of whom four men, two boys, and one young maid
had been preserved from slaughter by an Indian Chief." Under the
circumstances, "no doubt" is a very strong expression for a historian
to use.

This belief in the sometime survival of the Roanoke colonists, and
their amalgamation with the Indians, lingered long in colonial
gossip. Lawson, in his History, published in London in 1718,
mentions a tradition among the Hatteras Indians, "that several of
their ancestors were white people and could talk from a book; the
truth of which is confirmed by gray eyes being among these Indians
and no others."

But the myth of Virginia Dare stands no chance beside that of



The way was now prepared for the advent of Captain John Smith in
Virginia. It is true that we cannot give him his own title of its
discoverer, but the plantation had been practically abandoned, all
the colonies had ended in disaster, all the governors and captains
had lacked the gift of perseverance or had been early drawn into
other adventures, wholly disposed, in the language of Captain John
White, "to seek after purchase and spoils," and but for the energy
and persistence of Captain Smith the expedition of 1606 might have
had no better fate. It needed a man of tenacious will to hold a
colony together in one spot long enough to give it root. Captain
Smith was that man, and if we find him glorying in his exploits, and
repeating upon single big Indians the personal prowess that
distinguished him in Transylvania and in the mythical Nalbrits, we
have only to transfer our sympathy from the Turks to the
Sasquesahanocks if the sense of his heroism becomes oppressive.

Upon the return of Samuel Mace, mariner, who was sent out in 1602 to
search for White's lost colony, all Raleigh's interest in the
Virginia colony had, by his attainder, escheated to the crown. But
he never gave up his faith in Virginia: neither the failure of nine
several expeditions nor twelve years imprisonment shook it. On the
eve of his fall he had written, "I shall yet live to see it an
English nation:" and he lived to see his prediction come true.

The first or Virginian colony, chartered with the Plymouth colony in
April, 1606, was at last organized by the appointment of Sir Thomas
Smith, the 'Chief of Raleigh's assignees, a wealthy London merchant,
who had been ambassador to Persia, and was then, or shortly after,
governor of the East India Company, treasurer and president of the
meetings of the council in London; and by the assignment of the
transportation of the colony to Captain Christopher Newport, a
mariner of experience in voyages to the West Indies and in plundering
the Spaniards, who had the power to appoint different captains and
mariners, and the sole charge of the voyage. No local councilors
were named for Virginia, but to Captain Newport, Captain Bartholomew
Gosnold, and Captain John Ratcliffe were delivered sealed
instructions, to be opened within twenty-four hours after their
arrival in Virginia, wherein would be found the names of the persons
designated for the Council.

This colony, which was accompanied by the prayers and hopes of
London, left the Thames December 19, 1606, in three vessels--the
Susan Constant, one hundred tons, Captain Newport, with seventy-one
persons; the God-Speed, forty tons, Captain Gosnold, with fifty-two
persons; and a pinnace of twenty tons, the Discovery, Captain
Ratcliffe, with twenty persons. The Mercure Francais, Paris, 1619,
says some of the passengers were women and children, but there is
no other mention of women. Of the persons embarked, one hundred and
five were planters, the rest crews. Among the planters were Edward
Maria Wingfield, Captain John Smith, Captain John Martin, Captain
Gabriel Archer, Captain George Kendall, Mr. Robert Hunt, preacher,
and Mr. George Percie, brother of the Earl of Northumberland,
subsequently governor for a brief period, and one of the writers from
whom Purchas compiled. Most of the planters were shipped as
gentlemen, but there were four carpenters, twelve laborers, a
blacksmith, a sailor, a barber, a bricklayer, a mason, a tailor, a
drummer, and a chirurgeon.

The composition of the colony shows a serious purpose of settlement,
since the trades were mostly represented, but there were too many
gentlemen to make it a working colony. And, indeed, the gentlemen,
like the promoters of the enterprise in London, were probably more
solicitous of discovering a passage to the South Sea, as the way to
increase riches, than of making a state. They were instructed to
explore every navigable river they might find, and to follow the main
branches, which would probably lead them in one direction to the East
Indies or South Sea, and in the other to the Northwest Passage. And
they were forcibly reminded that the way to prosper was to be of one
mind, for their own and their country's good.

This last advice did not last the expedition out of sight of land.
They sailed from Blackwell, December 19, 1606, but were kept six
weeks on the coast of England by contrary winds. A crew of saints
cabined in those little caravels and tossed about on that coast for
six weeks would scarcely keep in good humor. Besides, the position
of the captains and leaders was not yet defined. Factious quarrels
broke out immediately, and the expedition would likely have broken up
but for the wise conduct and pious exhortations of Mr. Robert Hunt,
the preacher. This faithful man was so ill and weak that it was
thought he could not recover, yet notwithstanding the stormy weather,
the factions on board, and although his home was almost in sight,
only twelve miles across the Downs, he refused to quit the ship. He
was unmoved, says Smith, either by the weather or by "the scandalous
imputations (of some few little better than atheists, of the greatest
rank amongst us)." With "the water of his patience" and "his godly
exhortations" he quenched the flames of envy and dissension.

They took the old route by the West Indies. George Percy notes that
on the 12th of February they saw a blazing star, and presently a
storm. They watered at the Canaries, traded with savages at San
Domingo, and spent three weeks refreshing themselves among the
islands. The quarrels revived before they reached the Canaries, and
there Captain Smith was seized and put in close confinement for
thirteen weeks.

We get little light from contemporary writers on this quarrel. Smith
does not mention the arrest in his "True Relation," but in his
"General Historie," writing of the time when they had been six weeks
in Virginia, he says: "Now Captain Smith who all this time from their
departure from the Canaries was restrained as a prisoner upon the
scandalous suggestion of some of the chiefs (envying his repute) who
fancied he intended to usurp the government, murder the Council, and
make himself King, that his confedcrates were dispersed in all three
ships, and that divers of his confederates that revealed it, would
affirm it, for this he was committed a prisoner; thirteen weeks he
remained thus suspected, and by that time they should return they
pretended out of their commiserations, to refer him to the Council in
England to receive a check, rather than by particulating his designs
make him so odious to the world, as to touch his life, or utterly
overthrow his reputation. But he so much scorned their charity and
publically defied the uttermost of their cruelty, he wisely prevented
their policies, though he could not suppress their envies, yet so
well he demeaned himself in this business, as all the company did see
his innocency, and his adversaries' malice, and those suborned to
accuse him accused his accusers of subornation; many untruths were
alleged against him; but being apparently disproved, begot a general
hatred in the hearts of the company against such unjust Commanders,
that the President was adjudged to give him L 200, so that all he had
was seized upon, in part of satisfaction, which Smith presently
returned to the store for the general use of the colony."--

Neither in Newport's "Relatyon" nor in Mr. Wingfield's "Discourse" is
the arrest mentioned, nor does Strachey speak of it.

About 1629, Smith, in writing a description of the Isle of Mevis
(Nevis) in his "Travels and Adventures," says: "In this little [isle]
of Mevis, more than twenty years agone, I have remained a good time
together, to wod and water--and refresh my men." It is
characteristic of Smith's vivid imagination, in regard to his own
exploits, that he should speak of an expedition in which he had no
command, and was even a prisoner, in this style: "I remained," and
"my men." He goes on: "Such factions here we had as commonly attend
such voyages, and a pair of gallows was made, but Captaine Smith, for
whom they were intended, could not be persuaded to use them; but not
any one of the inventors but their lives by justice fell into his
power, to determine of at his pleasure, whom with much mercy he
favored, that most basely and unjustly would have betrayed him." And
it is true that Smith, although a great romancer, was often
magnanimous, as vain men are apt to be.

King James's elaborate lack of good sense had sent the expedition to
sea with the names of the Council sealed up in a box, not to be
opened till it reached its destination. Consequently there was no
recognized authority. Smith was a young man of about twenty-eight,
vain and no doubt somewhat "bumptious," and it is easy to believe
that Wingfield and the others who felt his superior force and
realized his experience, honestly suspected him of designs against
the expedition. He was the ablest man on board, and no doubt was
aware of it. That he was not only a born commander of men, but had
the interest of the colony at heart, time was to show.

The voyagers disported themselves among the luxuries of the West
Indies. At Guadaloupe they found a bath so hot that they boiled
their pork in it as well as over the fire. At the Island of Monaca
they took from the bushes with their hands near two hogsheads full of
birds in three or four hours. These, it is useless to say, were
probably not the "barnacle geese" which the nautical travelers used
to find, and picture growing upon bushes and dropping from the eggs,
when they were ripe, full-fledged into the water. The beasts were
fearless of men. Wild birds and natives had to learn the whites
before they feared them.

"In Mevis, Mona, and the Virgin Isles," says the "General Historie,"
"we spent some time, where with a lothsome beast like a crocodile,
called a gwayn [guana], tortoises, pellicans, parrots, and fishes, we
feasted daily."

Thence they made sail-in search of Virginia, but the mariners lost
their reckoning for three days and made no land; the crews were
discomfited, and Captain Ratcliffe, of the pinnace, wanted to up helm
and return to England. But a violent storm, which obliged them "to
hull all night," drove them to the port desired. On the 26th of
April they saw a bit of land none of them had ever seen before.
This, the first land they descried, they named Cape Henry, in honor
of the Prince of Wales; as the opposite cape was called Cape Charles,
for the Duke of York, afterwards Charles I. Within these capes they
found one of the most pleasant places in the world, majestic
navigable rivers, beautiful mountains, hills, and plains, and a
fruitful and delightsome land.

Mr. George Percy was ravished at the sight of the fair meadows and
goodly tall trees. As much to his taste were the large and delicate
oysters, which the natives roasted, and in which were found many
pearls. The ground was covered with fine and beautiful strawberries,
four times bigger than those in England.

Masters Wingfield, Newport, and Gosnold., with thirty men, went
ashore on Cape Henry, where they were suddenly set upon by savages,
who came creeping upon all-fours over the hills, like bears, with
their bows in their hands; Captain Archer was hurt in both hands, and
a sailor dangerously wounded in two places on his body. It was a bad

The night of their arrival they anchored at Point Comfort, now
Fortress Monroe; the box was opened and the orders read, which
constituted Edward Maria Wingfield, Bartholomew Gosnold, John Smith,
Christopher Newport, John Ratcliffe, John Martin, and George Kendall
the Council, with power to choose a President for a year. Until the
13th of May they were slowly exploring the River Powhatan, now the
James, seeking a place for the settlement. They selected a peninsula
on the north side of the river, forty miles from its mouth, where
there was good anchorage, and which could be readily fortified. This
settlement was Jamestown. The Council was then sworn in, and Mr.
Wingfield selected President. Smith being under arrest was not sworn
in of the Council, and an oration was made setting forth the reason
for his exclusion.

When they had pitched upon a site for the fort, every man set to
work, some to build the fort, others to pitch the tents, fell trees
and make clapboards to reload the ships, others to make gardens and
nets. The fort was in the form of a triangle with a half-moon at
each corner, intended to mount four or five guns.

President Wingfield appears to have taken soldierly precautions, but
Smith was not at all pleased with him from the first. He says "the
President's overweening jealousy would admit of no exercise at arms,
or fortifications but the boughs of trees cast together in the form
of a half-moon by the extraordinary pains and diligence of Captain
Kendall." He also says there was contention between Captain
Wingfield and Captain Gosnold about the site of the city.

The landing was made at Jamestown on the 14th of May, according to
Percy. Previous to that considerable explorations were made. On the
18th of April they launched a shallop, which they built the day
before, and "discovered up the bay." They discovered a river on the
south side running into the mainland, on the banks of which were good
stores of mussels and oysters, goodly trees, flowers of all colors,
and strawberries. Returning to their ships and finding the water
shallow, they rowed over to a point of land, where they found from
six to twelve fathoms of water, which put them in good comfort,
therefore they named that part of the land Cape Comfort. On the 29th
they set up a cross on Chesapeake Bay, on Cape Henry, and the next
day coasted to the Indian town of Kecoughton, now Hampton, where they
were kindly entertained. When they first came to land the savages
made a doleful noise, laying their paws to the ground and scratching
the earth with their nails. This ceremony, which was taken to be a
kind of idolatry, ended, mats were brought from the houses, whereon
the guests were seated, and given to eat bread made of maize, and
tobacco to smoke. The savages also entertained them with dancing and
singing and antic tricks and grimaces. They were naked except a
covering of skins about the loins, and many were painted in black and
red, with artificial knots of lovely colors, beautiful and pleasing
to the eye. The 4th of May they were entertained by the chief of
Paspika, who favored them with a long oration, making a foul noise
and vehement in action, the purport of which they did not catch. The
savages were full of hospitality. The next day the weroance, or
chief, of Rapahanna sent a messenger to invite them to his seat. His
majesty received them in as modest a proud fashion as if he had been
a prince of a civil government. His body was painted in crimson and
his face in blue, and he wore a chain of beads about his neck and in
his ears bracelets of pearls and a bird's claw. The 8th of May they
went up the river to the country Apomatica, where the natives
received them in hostile array, the chief, with bow and arrows in one
hand, and a pipe of tobacco in the other, offering them war or peace.

These savages were as stout and able as any heathen or Christians in
the world. Mr. Percy said they bore their years well. He saw among
the Pamunkeys a savage reported to be 160, years old, whose eyes were
sunk in his head, his teeth gone his hair all gray, and quite a big
beard, white as snow; he was a lusty savage, and could travel as fast
as anybody.

The Indians soon began to be troublesome in their visits to the
plantations, skulking about all night, hanging around the fort by
day, bringing sometimes presents of deer, but given to theft of small
articles, and showing jealousy of the occupation. They murmured,
says Percy, at our planting in their country. But worse than the
disposition of the savages was the petty quarreling in the colony

In obedience to the orders to explore for the South Sea, on the 22d
of May, Newport, Percy, Smith, Archer, and twenty others were sent in
the shallop to explore the Powhatan, or James River.

Passing by divers small habitations, and through a land abounding in
trees, flowers, and small fruits, a river full of fish, and of
sturgeon such as the world beside has none, they came on the 24th,
having passed the town of Powhatan, to the head of the river, the
Falls, where they set up the cross and proclaimed King James of

Smith says in his "General Historie" they reached Powhatan on the
26th. But Captain Newport's "Relatyon" agrees with Percy's, and
with, Smith's "True Relation." Captain Newport, says Percy,
permitted no one to visit Powhatan except himself.

Captain Newport's narration of the exploration of the James is
interesting, being the first account we have of this historic river.
At the junction of the Appomattox and the James, at a place he calls
Wynauk, the natives welcomed them with rejoicing and entertained them
with dances. The Kingdom of Wynauk was full of pearl-mussels. The
king of this tribe was at war with the King of Paspahegh. Sixteen
miles above this point, at an inlet, perhaps Turkey Point, they were
met by eight savages in a canoe, one of whom was intelligent enough
to lay out the whole course of the river, from Chesapeake Bay to its
source, with a pen and paper which they showed him how to use. These
Indians kept them company for some time, meeting them here and there
with presents of strawberries, mulberries, bread, and fish, for which
they received pins, needles, and beads. They spent one night at
Poore Cottage (the Port Cotage of Percy, where he saw the white boy),
probably now Haxall. Five miles above they went ashore near the now
famous Dutch Gap, where King Arahatic gave them a roasted deer, and
caused his women to bake cakes for them. This king gave Newport his
crown, which was of deer's hair dyed red. He was a subject of the
great King Powhatan. While they sat making merry with the savages,
feasting and taking tobacco and seeing the dances, Powhatan himself
appeared and was received with great show of honor, all rising from
their seats except King Arahatic, and shouting loudly. To Powhatan
ample presents were made of penny-knives, shears, and toys, and he
invited them to visit him at one of his seats called Powhatan, which
was within a mile of the Falls, where now stands the city of
Richmond. All along the shore the inhabitants stood in clusters,
offering food to the strangers. The habitation of Powhatan was
situated on a high hill by the water side, with a meadow at its foot
where was grown wheat, beans, tobacco, peas, pompions, flax, and

Powhatan served the whites with the best he had, and best of all with
a friendly welcome and with interesting discourse of the country.
They made a league of friendship. The next day he gave them six men
as guides to the falls above, and they left with him one man as a

On Sunday, the 24th of May, having returned to Powhatan's seat, they
made a feast for him of pork, cooked with peas, and the Captain and
King ate familiarly together; "he eat very freshly of our meats,
dranck of our beere, aquavite, and sack." Under the influence of
this sack and aquavite the King was very communicative about the
interior of the country, and promised to guide them to the mines of
iron and copper; but the wary chief seems to have thought better of
it when he got sober, and put them off with the difficulties and
dangers of the way.

On one of the islets below the Falls, Captain Newport set up a cross
with the inscription "Jacobus, Rex, 1607," and his own name beneath,
and James was proclaimed King with a great shout. Powhatan was
displeased with their importunity to go further up the river, and
departed with all the Indians, except the friendly Navirans, who had
accompanied them from Arahatic. Navirans greatly admired the cross,
but Newport hit upon an explanation of its meaning that should dispel
the suspicions of Powhatan. He told him that the two arms of the
cross signified King Powhatan and himself, the fastening of it in the
middle was their united league, and the shout was the reverence he
did to Powhatan. This explanation being made to Powhatan greatly
contented him, and he came on board and gave them the kindest
farewell when they dropped down the river. At Arahatic they found
the King had provided victuals for them, but, says Newport, "the King
told us that he was very sick and not able to sit up long with us."
The inability of the noble red man to sit up was no doubt due to too
much Christian sack and aquavite, for on "Monday he came to the water
side, and we went ashore with him again. He told us that our hot
drinks, he thought, caused him grief, but that he was well again, and
we were very welcome."

It seems, therefore, that to Captain Newport, who was a good sailor
in his day, and has left his name in Virginia in Newport News, must
be given the distinction of first planting the cross in Virginia,
with a lie, and watering it, with aquavite.

They dropped down the river to a place called Mulberry Shade, where
the King killed a deer and prepared for them another feast, at which
they had rolls and cakes made of wheat. "This the women make and are
very cleanly about it. We had parched meal, excellent good, sodd
[cooked] beans, which eat as sweet as filbert kernels, in a manner,
strawberries; and mulberries were shaken off the tree, dropping on
our heads as we sat. He made ready a land turtle, which we ate; and
showed that he was heartily rejoiced in our company." Such was the
amiable disposition of the natives before they discovered the purpose
of the whites to dispossess them of their territory. That night they
stayed at a place called "Kynd Woman's Care," where the people
offered them abundant victual and craved nothing in return.

Next day they went ashore at a place Newport calls Queen Apumatuc's
Bower. This Queen, who owed allegiance to Powhatan, had much land
under cultivation, and dwelt in state on a pretty hill. This ancient
representative of woman's rights in Virginia did honor to her sex.
She came to meet the strangers in a show as majestical as that of
Powhatan himself: "She had an usher before her, who brought her to
the matt prepared under a faire mulberry-tree; where she sat down by
herself, with a stayed countenance. She would permitt none to stand
or sitt neare her. She is a fatt, lustie, manly woman. She had much
copper about her neck, a coronet of copper upon her hed. She had
long, black haire, which hanged loose down her back to her myddle;
which only part was covered with a deare's skyn, and ells all naked.
She had her women attending her, adorned much like herself (except
they wanted the copper). Here we had our accustomed eates, tobacco,
and welcome. Our Captaine presented her with guyfts liberally,
whereupon shee cheered somewhat her countenance, and requested him to
shoote off a piece; whereat (we noted) she showed not near the like
feare as Arahatic, though he be a goodly man."

The company was received with the same hospitality by King Pamunkey,
whose land was believed to be rich in copper and pearls. The copper
was so flexible that Captain Newport bent a piece of it the thickness
of his finger as if it had been lead. The natives were unwilling to
part with it. The King had about his neck a string of pearls as big
as peas, which would have been worth three or four hundred pounds, if
the pearls had been taken from the mussels as they should have been.

Arriving on their route at Weanock, some twenty miles above the fort,
they were minded to visit Paspahegh and another chief Jamestown lay
in the territory of Paspahegh--but suspicious signs among the natives
made them apprehend trouble at the fort, and they hastened thither to
find their suspicions verified. The day before, May 26th, the colony
had been attacked by two hundred Indians (four hundred, Smith says),
who were only beaten off when they had nearly entered the fort, by
the use of the artillery. The Indians made a valiant fight for an
hour; eleven white men were wounded, of whom one died afterwards, and
a boy was killed on the pinnace. This loss was concealed from the
Indians, who for some time seem to have believed that the whites
could not be hurt. Four of the Council were hurt in this fight, and
President Wingfield, who showed himself a valiant gentleman, had a
shot through his beard. They killed eleven of the Indians, but their
comrades lugged them away on their backs and buried them in the woods
with a great noise. For several days alarms and attacks continued,
and four or five men were cruelly wounded, and one gentleman, Mr.
Eustace Cloville, died from the effects of five arrows in his body.

Upon this hostility, says Smith, the President was contented the fort
should be palisaded, and the ordnance mounted, and the men armed and
exercised. The fortification went on, but the attacks continued, and
it was unsafe for any to venture beyond the fort.

Dissatisfaction arose evidently with President Wingfield's
management. Captain Newport says: "There being among the gentlemen
and all the company a murmur and grudge against certain proceedings
and inconvenient courses [Newport] put up a petition to the Council
for reformation." The Council heeded this petition, and urged to
amity by Captain Newport, the company vowed faithful love to each
other and obedience to the superiors. On the 10th of June, Captain
Smith was sworn of the Council. In his "General Historie," not
published till 1624, he says: "Many were the mischiefs that daily
sprung from their ignorant (yet ambitious) spirits; but the good
doctrine and exhortation of our preacher Mr. Hunt, reconciled them
and caused Captain Smith to be admitted to the Council." The next
day they all partook of the holy communion.

In order to understand this quarrel, which was not by any means
appeased by this truce, and to determine Captain Smith's
responsibility for it, it is necessary to examine all the witnesses.
Smith is unrestrained in his expression of his contempt for
Wingfield. But in the diary of Wingfield we find no accusation
against Smith at this date. Wingfield says that Captain Newport
before he departed asked him how he thought himself settled in the
government, and that he replied "that no disturbance could endanger
him or the colony, but it must be wrought either by Captain Gosnold
or Mr. Archer, for the one was strong with friends and followers and
could if he would; and the other was troubled with an ambitious
spirit and would if he could."

The writer of Newport's "Relatyon" describes the Virginia savages as
a very strong and lusty race, and swift warriors. "Their skin is
tawny; not so borne, but with dyeing and painting themselves, in
which they delight greatly." That the Indians were born white was,
as we shall see hereafter, a common belief among the first settlers
in Virginia and New England. Percy notes a distinction between maids
and married women: "The maids shave close the fore part and sides of
their heads, and leave it long behind, where it is tied up and hangs
down to the hips. The married women wear their hair all of a length,
but tied behind as that of maids is. And the women scratch on their
bodies and limbs, with a sharp iron, pictures of fowls, fish, and
beasts, and rub into the 'drawings' lively colors which dry into the
flesh and are permanent." The "Relatyon" says the people are witty
and ingenious and allows them many good qualities, but makes this
exception: "The people steal anything comes near them; yea, are so
practiced in this art, that looking in our face, they would with
their foot, between their toes, convey a chisel, knife, percer, or
any indifferent light thing, which having once conveyed, they hold it
an injury to take the same from them. They are naturally given to
treachery; howbeit we could not find it in our travel up the river,
but rather a most kind and loving people."



On Sunday, June 21st, they took the communion lovingly together.
That evening Captain Newport gave a farewell supper on board his
vessel. The 22d he sailed in the Susan Constant for England,
carrying specimens of the woods and minerals, and made the short
passage of five weeks. Dudley Carleton, in a letter to John
Chamberlain dated Aug. 18, 1607, writes "that Captain Newport has
arrived without gold or silver, and that the adventurers, cumbered by
the presence of the natives, have fortified themselves at a place
called Jamestown." The colony left numbered one hundred and four.

The good harmony of the colony did not last. There were other
reasons why the settlement was unprosperous. The supply of wholesome
provisions was inadequate. The situation of the town near the
Chickahominy swamps was not conducive to health, and although
Powhatan had sent to make peace with them, and they also made a
league of amity with the chiefs Paspahegh and Tapahanagh, they
evidently had little freedom of movement beyond sight of their guns.
Percy says they were very bare and scant of victuals, and in wars and
dangers with the savages.

Smith says in his "True Relation," which was written on the spot, and
is much less embittered than his "General Historie," that they were
in good health and content when Newport departed, but this did not
long continue, for President Wingfield and Captain Gosnold, with the
most of the Council, were so discontented with each other that
nothing was done with discretion, and no business transacted with
wisdom. This he charges upon the "hard-dealing of the President,"
the rest of the Council being diversely affected through his
audacious command. "Captain Martin, though honest, was weak and
sick; Smith was in disgrace through the malice of others; and God
sent famine and sickness, so that the living were scarce able to bury
the dead. Our want of sufficient good food, and continual watching,
four or five each night, at three bulwarks, being the chief cause;
only of sturgeon we had great store, whereon we would so greedily
surfeit, as it cost many their lives; the sack, Aquavite, and other
preservations of our health being kept in the President's hands, for
his own diet and his few associates."

In his "General Historie," written many years later, Smith enlarges
this indictment with some touches of humor characteristic of him. He

"Being thus left to our fortunes, it fortuned that within ten days
scarce ten amongst us could either go, or well stand, such extreme
weakness and sicknes oppressed us. And thereat none need marvaile if
they consider the cause and reason, which was this: whilst the ships
stayed, our allowance was somewhat bettered, by a daily proportion of
Bisket, which the sailors would pilfer to sell, give, or exchange
with us for money, Saxefras, furres, or love. But when they
departed, there remained neither taverne, beere-house, nor place of
reliefe, but the common Kettell. Had we beene as free from all
sinnes as gluttony, and drunkennesse, we might have been canonized
for Saints. But our President would never have been admitted, for
ingrissing to his private, Oatmeale, Sacke, Oyle, Aquavitz, Beef,
Egges, or what not, but the Kettell: that indeed he allowed equally
to be distributed, and that was half a pint of wheat, and as much
barley boyled with water for a man a day, and this being fryed some
twenty-six weeks in the ship's hold, contained as many wormes as
graines; so that we might truly call it rather so much bran than
corrne, our drinke was water, our lodgings Castles in the ayre; with
this lodging and dyet, our extreme toile in bearing and planting
Pallisadoes, so strained and bruised us, and our continual labour in
the extremitie of the heat had so weakened us, as were cause
sufficient to have made us miserable in our native countrey, or any
other place in the world."

Affairs grew worse. The sufferings of this colony in the summer
equaled that of the Pilgrims at Plymouth in the winter and spring.
Before September forty-one were buried, says Wingfield; fifty, says
Smith in one statement, and forty-six in another; Percy gives a list
of twenty-four who died in August and September. Late in August
Wingfield said, "Sickness had not now left us seven able men in our
town." "As yet," writes Smith in September, "we had no houses to
cover us, our tents were rotten, and our cabins worse than nought."

Percy gives a doleful picture of the wretchedness of the colony: "Our
men were destroyed with cruel sickness, as swellings, fluxes,
burning-fevers, and by wars, and some departed suddenly, but for the
most part they died of mere famine.... We watched every three nights,
lying on the cold bare ground what weather soever came, worked all
the next day, which brought our men to be most feeble wretches, our
food was but a small can of barley, sod in water to five men a day,
our drink but cold water taken out of the river, which was at the
flood very salt, at a low tide full of shrimp and filth, which was
the destruction of many of our men. Thus we lived for the space of
five months in this miserable distress, but having five able men to
man our bulwarks upon any occasion. If it had not pleased God to put
a terror in the savage hearts, we had all perished by those wild and
cruel Pagans, being in that weak state as we were: our men night and
day groaning in every corner of the fort, most pitiful to hear. If
there were any conscience in men, it would make their hearts to bleed
to hear the pitiful murmurings and outcries of our sick men, without
relief, every night and day, for the space of six weeks: some
departing out of the world; many times three or four in a night; in
the morning their bodies trailed out of their cabins, like dogs, to
be buried. In this sort did I see the mortality of divers of our

A severe loss to the colony was the death on the 22d of August of
Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, one of the Council, a brave and
adventurous mariner, and, says Wingfield, a "worthy and religious
gentleman." He was honorably buried, "having all the ordnance in the
fort shot off with many volleys of small shot." If the Indians had
known that those volleys signified the mortality of their comrades,
the colony would no doubt have been cut off entirely. It is a
melancholy picture, this disheartened and half-famished band of men
quarreling among themselves; the occupation of the half-dozen able
men was nursing the sick and digging graves. We anticipate here by
saying, on the authority of a contemporary manuscript in the State
Paper office, that when Captain Newport arrived with the first supply
in January, 1608, "he found the colony consisting of no more than
forty persons; of those, ten only able men."

After the death of Gosnold, Captain Kendall was deposed from the
Council and put in prison for sowing discord between the President
and Council, says Wingfield; for heinous matters which were proved
against him, says Percy; for "divers reasons," says Smith, who
sympathized with his dislike of Wingfield. The colony was in very
low estate at this time, and was only saved from famine by the
providential good-will of the Indians, who brought them corn half
ripe, and presently meat and fruit in abundance.

On the 7th of September the chief Paspahegh gave a token of peace by
returning a white boy who had run away from camp, and other runaways
were returned by other chiefs, who reported that they had been well
used in their absence. By these returns Mr. Wingfield was convinced
that the Indians were not cannibals, as Smith believed.

On the 10th of September Mr. Wingfield was deposed from the
presidency and the Council, and Captain John Ratcliffe was elected
President. Concerning the deposition there has been much dispute;
but the accounts of it by Captain Smith and his friends, so long
accepted as the truth, must be modified by Mr. Wingfield's "Discourse
of Virginia," more recently come to light, which is, in a sense, a
defense of his conduct.

In his "True Relation" Captain Smith is content to say that "Captain
Wingfield, having ordered the affairs in such sort that he was hated
of them all, in which respect he was with one accord deposed from the

In the "General Historie" the charges against him, which we have
already quoted, are extended, and a new one is added, that is, a
purpose of deserting the colony in the pinnace: "the rest seeing the
President's projects to escape these miseries in our pinnace by
flight (who all this time had neither felt want nor sickness), so
moved our dead spirits we deposed him."

In the scarcity of food and the deplorable sickness and death, it was
inevitable that extreme dissatisfaction should be felt with the
responsible head. Wingfield was accused of keeping the best of the
supplies to himself. The commonalty may have believed this. Smith
himself must have known that the supplies were limited, but have been
willing to take advantage of this charge to depose the President, who
was clearly in many ways incompetent for his trying position. It
appears by Mr. Wingfield's statement that the supply left with the
colony was very scant, a store that would only last thirteen weeks
and a half, and prudence in the distribution of it, in the
uncertainty of Newport's return, was a necessity. Whether Wingfield
used the delicacies himself is a question which cannot be settled.
In his defense, in all we read of him, except that written by Smith
and his friends, he seems to be a temperate and just man, little
qualified to control the bold spirits about him.

As early as July, "in his sickness time, the President did easily
fortell his own deposing from his command," so much did he differ
from the Council in the management of the colony. Under date of
September 7th he says that the Council demanded a larger allowance
for themselves and for some of the sick, their favorites, which he
declined to give without their warrants as councilors. Captain
Martin of the Council was till then ignorant that only store for
thirteen and a half weeks was in the hands of the Cape Merchant, or
treasurer, who was at that time Mr. Thomas Studley. Upon a
representation to the Council of the lowness of the stores, and the
length of time that must elapse before the harvest of grain, they
declined to enlarge the allowance, and even ordered that every meal
of fish or flesh should excuse the allowance of porridge. Mr.
Wingfield goes on to say: "Nor was the common store of oyle, vinegar,
sack, and aquavite all spent, saving two gallons of each: the sack
reserved for the Communion table, the rest for such extremities as
might fall upon us, which the President had only made known to
Captain Gosnold; of which course he liked well. The vessels wear,
therefore, boonged upp. When Mr. Gosnold was dead, the President did
acquaint the rest of the Council with the said remnant; but, Lord,
how they then longed for to supp up that little remnant: for they had
now emptied all their own bottles, and all other that they could
smell out."

Shortly after this the Council again importuned the President for
some better allowance for themselves and for the sick. He protested
his impartiality, showed them that if the portions were distributed
according to their request the colony would soon starve; he still
offered to deliver what they pleased on their warrants, but would not
himself take the responsibility of distributing all the stores, and
when he divined the reason of their impatience he besought them to
bestow the presidency among themselves, and he would be content to
obey as a private. Meantime the Indians were bringing in supplies of
corn and meat, the men were so improved in health that thirty were
able to work, and provision for three weeks' bread was laid up.

Nevertheless, says Mr. Wingfield, the Council had fully plotted to
depose him. Of the original seven there remained, besides Mr.
Wingfield, only three in the Council. Newport was in England,
Gosnold was dead, and Kendall deposed. Mr. Wingfield charged that
the three--Ratcliffe, Smith, and Martin--forsook the instructions of
his Majesty, and set up a Triumvirate. At any rate, Wingfield was
forcibly deposed from the Council on the 10th of September. If the
object had been merely to depose him, there was an easier way, for
Wingfield was ready to resign. But it appears, by subsequent
proceedings, that they wished to fasten upon him the charge of
embezzlement, the responsibility of the sufferings of the colony, and
to mulct him in fines. He was arrested, and confined on the pinnace.
Mr. Ratcliffe was made President.

On the 11th of September Mr. Wingfield was brought before the Council
sitting as a court, and heard the charges against him. They were, as
Mr. Wingfield says, mostly frivolous trifles. According to his
report they were these:

First, Mister President [Radcliffe] said that I had denied him a
penny whitle, a chicken, a spoonful of beer, and served him with foul
corn; and with that pulled some grain out of a bag, showing it to the

Then starts up Mr. Smith and said that I had told him plainly how he
lied; and that I said, though we were equal here, yet if we were in
England, he [I] would think scorn his man should be my companion.

Mr. Martin followed with: "He reported that I do slack the service
in the colony, and do nothing but tend my pot, spit, and oven; but he
hath starved my son, and denied him a spoonful of beer. I have
friends in England shall be revenged on him, if ever he come in

Voluminous charges were read against Mr. Wingfield by Mr. Archer, who
had been made by the Council, Recorder of Virginia, the author,
according to Wingfield, of three several mutinies, as "always
hatching of some mutiny in my time."

Mr. Percy sent him word in his prison that witnesses were hired to
testify against him by bribes of cakes and by threats. If Mr. Percy,
who was a volunteer in this expedition, and a man of high character,
did send this information, it shows that he sympathized with him, and
this is an important piece of testimony to his good character.

Wingfield saw no way of escape from the malice of his accusers, whose
purpose he suspected was to fine him fivefold for all the supplies
whose disposition he could not account for in writing: but he was
finally allowed to appeal to the King for mercy, and recommitted to
the pinnace. In regard to the charge of embezzlement, Mr. Wingfield
admitted that it was impossible to render a full account: he had no
bill of items from the Cape Merchant when he received the stores, he
had used the stores for trade and gifts with the Indians; Captain
Newport had done the same in his expedition, without giving any
memorandum. Yet he averred that he never expended the value of these
penny whittles [small pocket-knives] to his private use.

There was a mutinous and riotous spirit on shore, and the Council
professed to think Wingfield's life was in danger. He says: "In all
these disorders was Mr. Archer a ringleader." Meantime the Indians
continued to bring in supplies, and the Council traded up and down
the river for corn, and for this energy Mr. Wingfield gives credit to
"Mr. Smith especially," "which relieved the colony well." To the
report that was brought him that he was charged with starving the
colony, he replies with some natural heat and a little show of
petulance, that may be taken as an evidence of weakness, as well as
of sincerity, and exhibiting the undignified nature of all this

"I did alwaises give every man his allowance faithfully, both of
corne, oyle, aquivite, etc., as was by the counsell proportioned:
neyther was it bettered after my tyme, untill, towards th' end of
March, a bisket was allowed to every working man for his breakfast,
by means of the provision brought us by Captn. Newport: as will
appeare hereafter. It is further said, I did much banquit and
ryot. I never had but one squirrel roasted; whereof I gave part
to Mr. Ratcliffe then sick: yet was that squirrel given me. I did
never heate a flesh pott but when the comon pott was so used
likewise. Yet how often Mr. President's and the Counsellors' spitts
have night and daye bene endaungered to break their backes-so, laden
with swanns, geese, ducks, etc.! how many times their flesh potts
have swelled, many hungrie eies did behold, to their great longing:
and what great theeves and theeving thear hath been in the comon
stoare since my tyme, I doubt not but is already made knowne to his
Majesty's Councell for Virginia."

Poor Wingfield was not left at ease in his confinement. On the 17th
he was brought ashore to answer the charge of Jehu [John?] Robinson
that he had with Robinson and others intended to run away with the
pinnace to Newfoundland; and the charge by Mr. Smith that he had
accused Smith of intending mutiny. To the first accuser the jury
awarded one hundred pounds, and to the other two hundred pounds
damages, for slander. "Seeing their law so speedy and cheap," Mr.
Wingfield thought he would try to recover a copper kettle he had lent
Mr. Crofts, worth half its weight in gold. But Crofts swore that
Wingfield had given it to him, and he lost his kettle: "I told Mr.
President I had not known the like law, and prayed they would be more
sparing of law till we had more witt or wealthe." Another day they
obtained from Wingfield the key to his coffers, and took all his
accounts, note-books, and "owne proper goods," which he could never
recover. Thus was I made good prize on all sides.

During one of Smith's absences on the river President Ratcliffe did
beat James Read, the blacksmith. Wingfield says the Council were
continually beating the men for their own pleasure. Read struck

For this he was condemned to be hanged; but "before he turned of the
lather," he desired to speak privately with the President, and
thereupon accused Mr. Kendall--who had been released from the pinnace
when Wingfield was sent aboard--of mutiny. Read escaped. Kendall
was convicted of mutiny and shot to death. In arrest of judgment he
objected that the President had no authority to pronounce judgment
because his name was Sicklemore and not Ratcliffe. This was true,
and Mr. Martin pronounced the sentence. In his "True Relation,"
Smith agrees with this statement of the death of Kendall, and says
that he was tried by a jury. It illustrates the general looseness of
the "General Historie," written and compiled many years afterwards,
that this transaction there appears as follows: "Wingfield and
Kendall being in disgrace, seeing all things at random in the absence
of Smith, the company's dislike of their President's weakness, and
their small love to Martin's never-mending sickness, strengthened
themselves with the sailors and other confederates to regain their
power, control, and authority, or at least such meanes aboard the
pinnace (being fitted to sail as Smith had appointed for trade) to
alter her course and to goe for England. Smith unexpectedly
returning had the plot discovered to him, much trouble he had to
prevent it, till with store of sakre and musket-shot he forced them
to stay or sink in the river, which action cost the life of Captain

In a following sentence he says: "The President [Ratcliffe] and
Captain Archer not long after intended also to have abandoned the
country, which project also was curbed and suppressed by Smith."
Smith was always suppressing attempts at flight, according to his own
story, unconfirmed by any other writers. He had before accused
President Wingfield of a design to escape in the pinnace.

Communications were evidently exchanged with Mr. Wingfield on the
pinnace, and the President was evidently ill at ease about him. One
day he was summoned ashore, but declined to go, and requested an
interview with ten gentlemen. To those who came off to him he said
that he had determined to go to England to make known the weakness of
the colony, that he could not live under the laws and usurpations of
the Triumvirate; however, if the President and Mr. Archer would go,
he was willing to stay and take his fortune with the colony, or he
would contribute one hundred pounds towards taking the colony home.
"They did like none of my proffers, but made divers shott at uss in
the pynnasse." Thereupon he went ashore and had a conference.

On the 10th of December Captain Smith departed on his famous
expedition up the Chickahominy, during which the alleged Pocahontas
episode occurred. Mr. Wingfield's condensed account of this journey
and captivity we shall refer to hereafter. In Smith's absence
President Ratcliffe, contrary to his oath, swore Mr. Archer one of
the Council; and Archer was no sooner settled in authority than he
sought to take Smith's life. The enmity of this man must be regarded
as a long credit mark to Smith. Archer had him indicted upon a
chapter in Leviticus (they all wore a garb of piety) for the death of
two men who were killed by the Indians on his expedition. "He had
had his trials the same daie of his retourne," says Wingfield, "and I
believe his hanging the same, or the next daie, so speedy is our law
there. But it pleased God to send Captain Newport unto us the same
evening, to our unspeakable comfort; whose arrivall saved Mr. Smyth's
leif and mine, because he took me out of the pynnasse, and gave me
leave to lyve in the towne. Also by his comyng was prevented a
parliament, which the newe counsailor, Mr. Recorder, intended thear
to summon."

Captain Newport's arrival was indeed opportune. He was the only one
of the Council whose character and authority seem to have been
generally respected, the only one who could restore any sort of
harmony and curb the factious humors of the other leaders. Smith
should have all credit for his energy in procuring supplies, for his
sagacity in dealing with the Indians, for better sense than most of
the other colonists exhibited, and for more fidelity to the objects
of the plantation than most of them; but where ability to rule is
claimed for him, at this juncture we can but contrast the deference
shown by all to Newport with the want of it given to Smith.
Newport's presence at once quelled all the uneasy spirits.

Newport's arrival, says Wingfield, "saved Mr Smith's life and mine."
Smith's account of the episode is substantially the same. In his
"True Relation" he says on his return to the fort "each man with
truest signs of joy they could express welcomed me, except Mr.
Archer, and some two or three of his, who was then in my absence
sworn councilor, though not with the consent of Captain Martin; great
blame and imputation was laid upon me by them for the loss of our two
men which the Indians slew: insomuch that they purposed to depose me,
but in the midst of my miseries, it pleased God to send Captain
Newport, who arriving there the same night, so tripled our joy, as
for a while those plots against me were deferred, though with much
malice against me, which Captain Newport in short time did plainly
see." In his "Map of Virginia," the Oxford tract of 1612, Smith does
not allude to this; but in the "General Historie" it had assumed a
different aspect in his mind, for at the time of writing that he was
the irresistible hero, and remembered himself as always nearly
omnipotent in Virginia. Therefore, instead of expressions of
gratitude to Newport we read this: "Now in Jamestown they were all in
combustion, the strongest preparing once more to run away with the
pinnace; which with the hazard of his life, with Sakre, falcon and
musket shot, Smith forced now the third time to stay or sink. Some
no better than they should be, had plotted to put him to death by the
Levitical law, for the lives of Robinson and Emry, pretending that
the fault was his, that led them to their ends; but he quickly took
such order with such Lawyers, that he laid them by the heels till he
sent some of them prisoners to England."

Clearly Captain Smith had no authority to send anybody prisoner to
England. When Newport returned, April 10th, Wingfield and Archer
went with him. Wingfield no doubt desired to return. Archer was so
insolent, seditious, and libelous that he only escaped the halter by
the interposition of Newport. The colony was willing to spare both
these men, and probably Newport it was who decided they should go.
As one of the Council, Smith would undoubtedly favor their going. He
says in the "General Historie": "We not having any use of
parliaments, plaises, petitions, admirals, recorders, interpreters,
chronologers, courts of plea, or justices of peace, sent Master
Wingfield and Captain Archer home with him, that had engrossed all
those titles, to seek some better place of employment." Mr.
Wingfield never returned. Captain Archer returned in 1609, with the
expedition of Gates and Somers, as master of one of the ships.

Newport had arrived with the first supply on the 8th of January,
1608. The day before, according to Wingfield, a fire occurred which
destroyed nearly all the town, with the clothing and provisions.
According to Smith, who is probably correct in this, the fire did not
occur till five or six days after the arrival of the ship. The date
is uncertain, and some doubt is also thrown upon the date of the
arrival of the ship. It was on the day of Smith's return from
captivity: and that captivity lasted about four weeks if the return
was January 8th, for he started on the expedition December 10th.
Smith subsequently speaks of his captivity lasting six or seven

In his "General Historie" Smith says the fire happened after the
return of the expedition of Newport, Smith, and Scrivener to the
Pamunkey: "Good Master Hunt, our Preacher, lost all his library, and
all he had but the clothes on his back; yet none ever heard him
repine at his loss." This excellent and devoted man is the only one
of these first pioneers of whom everybody speaks well, and he
deserved all affection and respect.

One of the first labors of Newport was to erect a suitable church.
Services had been held under many disadvantages, which Smith depicts
in his "Advertisements for Unexperienced Planters," published in
London in 1631:

"When I first went to Virginia, I well remember, we did hang an
awning (which is an old saile) to three or foure trees to shadow us
from the Sunne, our walls were rales of wood, our seats unhewed
trees, till we cut plankes, our Pulpit a bar of wood nailed to two
neighboring trees, in foule weather we shifted into an old rotten
tent, for we had few better, and this came by the way of adventure
for me; this was our Church, till we built a homely thing like a
barne, set upon Cratchets, covered with rafts, sedge and earth, so
was also the walls: the best of our houses of the like curiosity, but
the most part farre much worse workmanship, that could neither well
defend wind nor raine, yet we had daily Common Prayer morning and
evening, every day two Sermons, and every three moneths the holy
Communion, till our Minister died, [Robert Hunt] but our Prayers
daily, with an Homily on Sundaies."

It is due to Mr. Wingfield, who is about to disappear from Virginia,
that something more in his defense against the charges of Smith and
the others should be given. It is not possible now to say how the
suspicion of his religious soundness arose, but there seems to have
been a notion that he had papal tendencies. His grandfather, Sir
Richard Wingfield, was buried in Toledo, Spain. His father, Thomas
Maria Wingfield, was christened by Queen Mary and Cardinal Pole.
These facts perhaps gave rise to the suspicion. He answers them with
some dignity and simplicity, and with a little querulousness:

"It is noised that I combyned with the Spanniards to the distruccion
of the Collony; that I ame an atheist, because I carryed not a Bible
with me, and because I did forbid the preacher to preache; that I
affected a kingdome; that I did hide of the comon provision in the

"I confesse I have alwayes admyred any noble vertue and prowesse, as
well in the Spanniards (as in other nations): but naturally I have
alwayes distrusted and disliked their neighborhoode. I sorted many
bookes in my house, to be sent up to me at my goeing to Virginia;
amongst them a Bible. They were sent up in a trunk to London, with
divers fruite, conserves, and preserves, which I did sett in Mr.
Crofts his house in Ratcliff. In my beeing at Virginia, I did
understand my trunk was thear broken up, much lost, my sweetmeates
eaten at his table, some of my bookes which I missed to be seene in
his hands: and whether amongst them my Bible was so ymbeasiled or
mislayed by my servants, and not sent me, I knowe not as yet.

"Two or three Sunday mornings, the Indians gave us allarums at our
towne. By that tymes they weare answered, the place about us well
discovered, and our devyne service ended, the daie was farr spent.
The preacher did aske me if it were my pleasure to have a sermon: hee
said hee was prepared for it. I made answere, that our men were
weary and hungry, and that he did see the time of the daie farr past
(for at other tymes bee never made such question, but, the service
finished he began his sermon); and that, if it pleased him, wee would
spare him till some other tyme. I never failed to take such noates
by wrighting out of his doctrine as my capacity could comprehend,
unless some raynie day hindred my endeavor. My mynde never swelled
with such ympossible mountebank humors as could make me affect any
other kingdome than the kingdom of heaven.

"As truly as God liveth, I gave an ould man, then the keeper of the
private store, 2 glasses with sallet oyle which I brought with me out
of England for my private stoare, and willed him to bury it in the
ground, for that I feared the great heate would spoile it.
Whatsoever was more, I did never consent unto or know of it, and as
truly was it protested unto me, that all the remaynder before
mencioned of the oyle, wyne, &c., which the President receyved of me
when I was deposed they themselves poored into their owne bellyes.

"To the President's and Counsell's objections I saie that I doe knowe
curtesey and civility became a governor. No penny whittle was asked
me, but a knife, whereof I have none to spare The Indyans had long
before stoallen my knife. Of chickins I never did eat but one, and
that in my sicknes. Mr. Ratcliff had before that time tasted Of 4 or
5. I had by my owne huswiferie bred above 37, and the most part of
them my owne poultrye; of all which, at my comyng awaie, I did not
see three living. I never denyed him (or any other) beare, when I
had it. The corne was of the same which we all lived upon.

"Mr. Smyth, in the time of our hungar, had spread a rumor in the
Collony, that I did feast myself and my servants out of the comon
stoare, with entent (as I gathered) to have stirred the discontented
company against me. I told him privately, in Mr. Gosnold's tent,
that indeede I had caused half a pint of pease to be sodden with a
peese of pork, of my own provision, for a poore old man, which in a
sicknes (whereof he died) he much desired; and said, that if out of
his malice he had given it out otherwise, that hee did tell a leye.
It was proved to his face, that he begged in Ireland like a rogue,
without a lycence. To such I would not my nam should be a

The explanation about the Bible as a part of his baggage is a little
far-fetched, and it is evident that that book was not his daily
companion. Whether John Smith habitually carried one about with him
we are not informed. The whole passage quoted gives us a curious
picture of the mind and of the habits of the time. This allusion to
John Smith's begging is the only reference we can find to his having
been in Ireland. If he was there it must have been in that interim
in his own narrative between his return from Morocco and his going to
Virginia. He was likely enough to seek adventure there, as the
hangers-on of the court in Raleigh's day occasionally did, and
perhaps nothing occurred during his visit there that he cared to
celebrate. If he went to Ireland he probably got in straits there,
for that was his usual luck.

Whatever is the truth about Mr. Wingfield's inefficiency and
embezzlement of corn meal, Communion sack, and penny whittles, his
enemies had no respect for each other or concord among themselves.
It is Wingfield's testimony that Ratcliffe said he would not have
been deposed if he had visited Ratcliffe during his sickness. Smith
said that Wingfield would not have been deposed except for Archer;
that the charges against him were frivolous. Yet, says Wingfield, "I
do believe him the first and only practiser in these practices," and
he attributed Smith's hostility to the fact that "his name was
mentioned in the intended and confessed mutiny by Galthrop." Noother
reference is made to this mutiny. Galthrop was one of those who died
in the previous August.

One of the best re-enforcements of the first supply was Matthew
Scrivener, who was appointed one of the Council. He was a sensible
man, and he and Smith worked together in harmony for some time. They
were intent upon building up the colony. Everybody else in the camp
was crazy about the prospect of gold: there was, says Smith, "no
talk, no hope, no work, but dig gold, wash gold, refine gold, load
gold, such a bruit of gold that one mad fellow desired to be buried
in the sands, lest they should by their art make gold of his bones."
He charges that Newport delayed his return to England on account of
this gold fever, in order to load his vessel (which remained fourteen
weeks when it might have sailed in fourteen days) with gold-dust.
Captain Martin seconded Newport in this; Smith protested against it;
he thought Newport was no refiner, and it did torment him "to see all
necessary business neglected, to fraught such a drunken ship with so
much gilded durt." This was the famous load of gold that proved to
be iron pyrites.

In speaking of the exploration of the James River as far as the Falls
by Newport, Smith, and Percy, we have followed the statements of
Percy and the writer of Newport's discovery that they saw the great
Powhatan. There is much doubt of this. Smith in his "True Relation"
does not say so; in his voyage up the Chickahominy he seems to have
seen Powhatan for the first time; and Wingfield speaks of Powhatan,
on Smith's return from that voyage, as one "of whom before we had no
knowledge." It is conjectured that the one seen at Powhatan's seat
near the Falls was a son of the "Emperor." It was partly the
exaggeration of the times to magnify discoveries, and partly English
love of high titles, that attributed such titles as princes,
emperors, and kings to the half-naked barbarians and petty chiefs of

In all the accounts of the colony at this period, no mention is made
of women, and it is not probable that any went over with the first
colonists. The character of the men was not high. Many of them were
"gentlemen" adventurers, turbulent spirits, who would not work, who
were much better fitted for piratical maraudings than the labor of
founding a state. The historian must agree with the impression
conveyed by Smith, that it was poor material out of which to make a



It is now time to turn to Smith's personal adventures among the
Indians during this period. Almost our only authority is Smith
himself, or such presumed writings of his companions as he edited or
rewrote. Strachey and others testify to his energy in procuring
supplies for the colony, and his success in dealing with the Indians,
and it seems likely that the colony would have famished but for his
exertions. Whatever suspicion attaches to Smith's relation of his
own exploits, it must never be forgotten that he was a man of
extraordinary executive ability, and had many good qualities to
offset his vanity and impatience of restraint.

After the departure of Wingfield, Captain Smith was constrained to
act as Cape Merchant; the leaders were sick or discontented, the rest
were in despair, and would rather starve and rot than do anything for
their own relief, and the Indian trade was decreasing. Under these
circumstances, Smith says in his "True Relation," "I was sent to the
mouth of the river, to Kegquoughtan [now Hampton], an Indian Towne,
to trade for corn, and try the river for fish." The Indians,
thinking them near famished, tantalized them with offers of little
bits of bread in exchange for a hatchet or a piece of copper, and
Smith offered trifles in return. The next day the Indians were
anxious to trade. Smith sent men up to their town, a display of
force was made by firing four guns, and the Indians kindly traded,
giving fish, oysters, bread, and deer. The town contained eighteen
houses, and heaps of grain. Smith obtained fifteen bushels of it,
and on his homeward way he met two canoes with Indians, whom he
accompanied to their villages on the south side of the river, and got
from them fifteen bushels more.

This incident is expanded in the "General Historie." After the lapse
of fifteen years Smith is able to remember more details, and to
conceive himself as the one efficient man who had charge of
everything outside the fort, and to represent his dealings with the
Indians in a much more heroic and summary manner. He was not sent on
the expedition, but went of his own motion. The account opens in
this way: "The new President [Ratcliffe] and Martin, being little
beloved, of weake judgement in dangers, and loose industrie in peace,
committed the management of all things abroad to Captain Smith; who
by his own example, good words, and fair promises, set some to mow,
others to binde thatch, some to builde houses, others to thatch them,
himselfe always bearing the greatest taske for his own share, so that
in short time he provided most of them with lodgings, neglecting any
for himselfe. This done, seeing the Salvage superfluities beginne to
decrease (with some of his workmen) shipped himself in the Shallop to
search the country for trade."

In this narration, when the Indians trifled with Smith he fired a
volley at them, ran his boat ashore, and pursued them fleeing towards
their village, where were great heaps of corn that he could with
difficulty restrain his soldiers [six or seven] from taking. The
Indians then assaulted them with a hideous noise: "Sixty or seventy
of them, some black, some red, some white, some particoloured, came
in a square order, singing and dancing out of the woods, with their
Okee (which is an Idol made of skinnes, stuffed with mosse, and
painted and hung with chains and copper) borne before them; and in
this manner being well armed with clubs, targets, bowes and arrowes,
they charged the English that so kindly received them with their
muskets loaden with pistol shot, that down fell their God, and divers
lay sprawling on the ground; the rest fled againe to the woods, and
ere long sent men of their Quiyoughkasoucks [conjurors] to offer
peace and redeeme the Okee." Good feeling was restored, and the
savages brought the English "venison, turkies, wild fowl, bread all
that they had, singing and dancing in sign of friendship till they
departed." This fantastical account is much more readable than the
former bare narration.

The supplies which Smith brought gave great comfort to the despairing
colony, which was by this time reasonably fitted with houses. But it
was not long before they again ran short of food. In his first
narrative Smith says there were some motions made for the President
and Captain Arthur to go over to England and procure a supply, but it
was with much ado concluded that the pinnace and the barge should go
up the river to Powhatan to trade for corn, and the lot fell to Smith
to command the expedition. In his "General Historie" a little
different complexion is put upon this. On his return, Smith says, he
suppressed an attempt to run away with the pinnace to England. He
represents that what food "he carefully provided the rest carelessly
spent," and there is probably much truth in his charges that the
settlers were idle and improvident. He says also that they were in
continual broils at this time. It is in the fall of 1607, just
before his famous voyage up the Chickahominy, on which he departed
December 10th--that he writes: "The President and Captain Arthur
intended not long after to have abandoned the country, which project
was curbed and suppressed by Smith. The Spaniard never more greedily
desired gold than he victual, nor his soldiers more to abandon the
country than he to keep it. But finding plenty of corn in the river
of Chickahomania, where hundreds of salvages in divers places stood
with baskets expecting his coming, and now the winter approaching,
the rivers became covered with swans, geese, ducks, and cranes, that
we daily feasted with good bread, Virginia peas, pumpions, and
putchamins, fish, fowls, and divers sorts of wild beasts as fat as we
could eat them, so that none of our Tuftaffaty humorists desired to
go to England."

While the Chickahominy expedition was preparing, Smith made a voyage
to Popohanock or Quiyoughcohanock, as it is called on his map, a town
on the south side of the river, above Jamestown. Here the women and
children fled from their homes and the natives refused to trade.
They had plenty of corn, but Smith says he had no commission to spoil
them. On his return he called at Paspahegh, a town on the north side
of the James, and on the map placed higher than Popohanock, but
evidently nearer to Jamestown, as he visited it on his return. He
obtained ten bushels of corn of the churlish and treacherous natives,
who closely watched and dogged the expedition.

Everything was now ready for the journey to Powhatan. Smith had the
barge and eight men for trading and discovery, and the pinnace was to
follow to take the supplies at convenient landings. On the 9th of
November he set out in the barge to explore the Chickahominy, which
is described as emptying into the James at Paspahegh, eight miles
above the fort. The pinnace was to ascend the river twenty miles to
Point Weanock, and to await Smith there. All the month of November
Smith toiled up and down the Chickahominy, discovering and visiting
many villages, finding the natives kindly disposed and eager to
trade, and possessing abundance of corn. Notwithstanding this
abundance, many were still mutinous. At this time occurred the
President's quarrel with the blacksmith, who, for assaulting the
President, was condemned to death, and released on disclosing a
conspiracy of which Captain Kendall was principal; and the latter was
executed in his place. Smith returned from a third voyage to the
Chickahominy with more supplies, only to find the matter of sending
the pinnace to England still debated.

This project, by the help of Captain Martin, he again quieted and at
last set forward on his famous voyage into the country of Powhatan
and Pocahontas.



We now enter upon the most interesting episode in the life of the
gallant captain, more thrilling and not less romantic than the
captivity in Turkey and the tale of the faithful love of the fair
young mistress Charatza Tragabigzanda.

Although the conduct of the lovely Charatza in despatching Smith to
her cruel brother in Nalbrits, where he led the life of a dog, was
never explained, he never lost faith in her. His loyalty to women
was equal to his admiration of them, and it was bestowed without
regard to race or complexion. Nor is there any evidence that the
dusky Pocahontas, who is about to appear, displaced in his heart the
image of the too partial Tragabigzanda. In regard to women, as to
his own exploits, seen in the light of memory, Smith possessed a
creative imagination. He did not create Pocahontas, as perhaps he
may have created the beautiful mistress of Bashaw Bogall, but he
invested her with a romantic interest which forms a lovely halo about
his own memory.

As this voyage up the Chickahominy is more fruitful in its
consequences than Jason's voyage to Colchis; as it exhibits the
energy, daring, invention, and various accomplishments of Captain
Smith, as warrior, negotiator, poet, and narrator; as it describes
Smith's first and only captivity among the Indians; and as it was
during this absence of four weeks from Jamestown, if ever, that
Pocahontas interposed to prevent the beating out of Smith's brains
with a club, I shall insert the account of it in full, both Smith's
own varying relations of it, and such contemporary notices of it as
now come to light. It is necessary here to present several accounts,
just as they stand, and in the order in which they were written, that
the reader may see for himself how the story of Pocahontas grew to
its final proportions. The real life of Pocahontas will form the
subject of another chapter.

The first of these accounts is taken from "The True Relation,"
written by Captain John Smith, composed in Virginia, the earliest
published work relating to the James River Colony. It covers a
period of a little more than thirteen months, from the arrival at
Cape Henry on April 26, 1607, to the return of Captain Nelson in the
Phoenix, June 2, 1608. The manuscript was probably taken home by
Captain Nelson, and it was published in London in 1608. Whether it
was intended for publication is doubtful; but at that time all news
of the venture in Virginia was eagerly sought, and a narrative of
this importance would naturally speedily get into print.

In the several copies of it extant there are variations in the
titlepage, which was changed while the edition was being printed.
In some the name of Thomas Watson is given as the author, in others
"A Gentleman of the Colony," and an apology appears signed "T. H.,"
for the want of knowledge or inadvertence of attributing it to any
one except Captain Smith.

There is no doubt that Smith was its author. He was still in
Virginia when it was printed, and the printers made sad work of parts
of his manuscript. The question has been raised, in view of the
entire omission of the name of Pocahontas in connection with this
voyage and captivity, whether the manuscript was not cut by those who
published it. The reason given for excision is that the promoters of
the Virginia scheme were anxious that nothing should appear to
discourage capitalists, or to deter emigrants, and that this story of
the hostility and cruelty of Powhatan, only averted by the tender
mercy of his daughter, would have an unfortunate effect. The answer
to this is that the hostility was exhibited by the captivity and the
intimation that Smith was being fatted to be eaten, and this was
permitted to stand. It is wholly improbable that an incident so
romantic, so appealing to the imagination, in an age when
wonder-tales were eagerly welcomed, and which exhibited such tender
pity in the breast of a savage maiden, and such paternal clemency in a
savage chief, would have been omitted. It was calculated to lend a
lively interest to the narration, and would be invaluable as an
advertisement of the adventure.

[For a full bibliographical discussion of this point the reader is
referred to the reprint of "The True Relation," by Charles Deane,
Esq., Boston, 1864, the preface and notes to which are a masterpiece
of critical analysis.]

That some portions of "The True Relation" were omitted is possible.
There is internal evidence of this in the abrupt manner in which it
opens, and in the absence of allusions to the discords during the
voyage and on the arrival. Captain Smith was not the man to pass
over such questions in silence, as his subsequent caustic letter sent
home to the Governor and Council of Virginia shows. And it is
probable enough that the London promoters would cut out from the
"Relation" complaints and evidence of the seditions and helpless
state of the colony. The narration of the captivity is consistent as
it stands, and wholly inconsistent with the Pocahontas episode.

We extract from the narrative after Smith's departure from Apocant,
the highest town inhabited, between thirty and forty miles up the
river, and below Orapaks, one of Powhatan's seats, which also appears
on his map. He writes:

"Ten miles higher I discovered with the barge; in the midway a great
tree hindered my passage, which I cut in two: heere the river became
narrower, 8, 9 or 10 foote at a high water, and 6 or 7 at a lowe: the
stream exceeding swift, and the bottom hard channell, the ground most
part a low plaine, sandy soyle, this occasioned me to suppose it
might issue from some lake or some broad ford, for it could not be
far to the head, but rather then I would endanger the barge, yet to
have beene able to resolve this doubt, and to discharge the
imputating malicious tungs, that halfe suspected I durst not for so
long delaying, some of the company, as desirous as myself, we
resolved to hier a canow, and returne with the barge to Apocant,
there to leave the barge secure, and put ourselves upon the
adventure: the country onely a vast and wilde wilderness, and but
only that Towne: within three or foure mile we hired a canow, and 2
Indians to row us ye next day a fowling: having made such provision
for the barge as was needfull, I left her there to ride, with
expresse charge not any to go ashore til my returne. Though some
wise men may condemn this too bould attempt of too much indiscretion,
yet if they well consider the friendship of the Indians, in
conducting me, the desolatenes of the country, the probabilitie of
some lacke, and the malicious judges of my actions at home, as also
to have some matters of worth to incourage our adventurers in
england, might well have caused any honest minde to have done the
like, as wel for his own discharge as for the publike good: having 2
Indians for my guide and 2 of our own company, I set forward, leaving
7 in the barge; having discovered 20 miles further in this desart,
the river stil kept his depth and bredth, but much more combred with
trees; here we went ashore (being some 12 miles higher than ye barge
had bene) to refresh our selves, during the boyling of our vituals:
one of the Indians I tooke with me, to see the nature of the soile,
and to cross the boughts of the river, the other Indian I left with
M. Robbinson and Thomas Emry, with their matches light and order to
discharge a peece, for my retreat at the first sight of any Indian,
but within a quarter of an houre I heard a loud cry, and a hollowing
of Indians, but no warning peece, supposing them surprised, and that
the Indians had betraid us, presently I seazed him and bound his arme
fast to my hand in a garter, with my pistoll ready bent to be
revenged on him: he advised me to fly and seemed ignorant of what was
done, but as we went discoursing, I was struck with an arrow on the
right thigh, but without harme: upon this occasion I espied 2 Indians
drawing their bowes, which I prevented in discharging a french
pistoll: by that I had charged again 3 or 4 more did the 'like, for
the first fell downe and fled: at my discharge they did the like, my
hinde I made my barricade, who offered not to strive, 20 or 30
arrowes were shot at me but short, 3 or 4 times I had discharged my
pistoll ere the king of Pamauck called Opeckakenough with 200 men,
environed me, each drawing their bowe, which done they laid them upon
the ground, yet without shot, my hinde treated betwixt them and me of
conditions of peace, he discovered me to be the captaine, my request
was to retire to ye boate, they demanded my armes, the rest they
saide were slaine, onely me they would reserve: the Indian importuned
me not to shoot. In retiring being in the midst of a low quagmire,
and minding them more than my steps, I stept fast into the quagmire,
and also the Indian in drawing me forth: thus surprised, I resolved
to trie their mercies, my armes I caste from me, till which none
durst approch me: being ceazed on me, they drew me out and led me to
the King, I presented him with a compasse diall, describing by my
best meanes the use thereof, whereat he so amazedly admired, as he
suffered me to proceed in a discourse of the roundnes of the earth,
the course of the sunne, moone, starres and plannets, with kinde
speeches and bread he requited me, conducting me where the canow lay
and John Robinson slaine, with 20 or 30 arrowes in him. Emry I saw
not, I perceived by the abundance of fires all over the woods, at
each place I expected when they would execute me, yet they used me
with what kindnes they could: approaching their Towne which was
within 6 miles where I was taken, onely made as arbors and covered
with mats, which they remove as occasion requires: all the women and
children, being advertised of this accident came forth to meet, the
King well guarded with 20 bow men 5 flanck and rear and each flanck
before him a sword and a peece, and after him the like, then a
bowman, then I on each hand a boweman, the rest in file in the reare,
which reare led forth amongst the trees in a bishion, eache his bowe
and a handfull of arrowes, a quiver at his back grimly painted: on
eache flanck a sargeant, the one running alwaiss towards the front
the other towards the reare, each a true pace and in exceeding good
order, this being a good time continued, they caste themselves in a
ring with a daunce, and so eache man departed to his lodging, the
captain conducting me to his lodging, a quarter of Venison and some
ten pound of bread I had for supper, what I left was reserved for me,
and sent with me to my lodging: each morning three women presented me
three great platters of fine bread, more venison than ten men could
devour I had, my gowne, points and garters, my compas and a tablet
they gave me again, though 8 ordinarily guarded me, I wanted not what
they could devise to content me: and still our longer acquaintance
increased our better affection: much they threatened to assault our
forte as they were solicited by the King of Paspahegh, who shewed at
our fort great signs of sorrow for this mischance: the King took
great delight in understanding the manner of our ships and sayling
the seas, the earth and skies and of our God: what he knew of the
dominions he spared not to acquaint me with, as of certaine men
cloathed at a place called Ocanahonun, cloathed like me, the course
of our river, and that within 4 or 5 daies journey of the falles, was
a great turning of salt water: I desired he would send a messenger to
Paspahegh, with a letter I would write, by which they should
understand, how kindly they used me, and that I was well, lest they
should revenge my death; this he granted and sent three men, in such
weather, as in reason were unpossible, by any naked to be indured:
their cruell mindes towards the fort I had deverted, in describing
the ordinance and the mines in the fields, as also the revenge
Captain Newport would take of them at his returne, their intent, I
incerted the fort, the people of Ocanahomm and the back sea, this
report they after found divers Indians that confirmed: the next day
after my letter, came a salvage to my lodging, with his sword to have
slaine me, but being by my guard intercepted, with a bowe and arrow
he offred to have effected his purpose: the cause I knew not, till
the King understanding thereof came and told me of a man a dying
wounded with my pistoll: he tould me also of another I had slayne,
yet the most concealed they had any hurte: this was the father of him
I had slayne, whose fury to prevent, the King presently conducted me
to another kingdome, upon the top of the next northerly river, called
Youghtanan, having feasted me, he further led me to another branch of
the river called Mattapament, to two other hunting townes they led
me, and to each of these Countries, a house of the great Emperor of
Pewhakan, whom as yet I supposed to be at the Fals, to him I tolde
him I must goe, and so returne to Paspahegh, after this foure or five
dayes march we returned to Rasawrack, the first towne they brought me
too, where binding the mats in bundles, they marched two dayes
journey and crossed the River of Youghtanan, where it was as broad as
Thames: so conducting me too a place called Menapacute in Pamunke,
where ye King inhabited; the next day another King of that nation
called Kekataugh, having received some kindness of me at the Fort,
kindly invited me to feast at his house, the people from all places
flocked to see me, each shewing to content me. By this the great
King hath foure or five houses, each containing fourscore or an
hundred foote in length, pleasantly seated upon an high sandy hill,
from whence you may see westerly a goodly low country, the river
before the which his crooked course causeth many great Marshes of
exceeding good ground. An hundred houses, and many large plaines are
here together inhabited, more abundance of fish and fowle, and a
pleasanter seat cannot be imagined: the King with fortie bowmen to
guard me, intreated me to discharge my Pistoll, which they there
presented me with a mark at six score to strike therewith but to
spoil the practice I broke the cocke, whereat they were much
discontented though a chaunce supposed. From hence this kind King
conducted me to a place called Topahanocke, a kingdome upon another
river northward; the cause of this was, that the yeare before, a
shippe had beene in the River of Pamunke, who having been kindly
entertained by Powhatan their Emperour, they returned thence, and
discovered the River of Topahanocke, where being received with like
kindnesse, yet he slue the King, and tooke of his people, and they
supposed I were bee, but the people reported him a great man that was
Captaine, and using mee kindly, the next day we departed. This River
of Topahanock, seemeth in breadth not much lesse than that we dwell
upon. At the mouth of the River is a Countrey called Cuttata women,
upwards is Marraugh tacum Tapohanock, Apparnatuck, and Nantaugs
tacum, at Topmanahocks, the head issuing from many Mountains, the
next night I lodged at a hunting town of Powhatam's, and the next day
arrived at Waranacomoco upon the river of Parnauncke, where the great
king is resident: by the way we passed by the top of another little
river, which is betwixt the two called Payankatank. The most of this
country though Desert, yet exceeding fertil, good timber, most hils
and in dales, in each valley a cristall spring.

"Arriving at Weramacomoco, their Emperour, proudly lying upon a
Bedstead a foote high upon tenne or twelve Mattes, richly hung with
manie Chaynes of great Pearles about his necke, and covered with a
great covering of Rahaughcums: At heade sat a woman, at his feete
another, on each side sitting upon a Matte upon the ground were
raunged his chiefe men on each side the fire, tenne in a ranke and
behinde them as many yong women, each a great Chaine of white Beades
over their shoulders: their heades painted in redde and with such a
grave and Majeslicall countenance, as drove me into admiration to see
such state in a naked Salvage, bee kindlv welcomed me with good
wordes, and great Platters of sundrie victuals, asiuring mee his
friendship and my libertie within foure dayes, bee much delighted in
Opechan Conough's relation of what I had described to him, and oft
examined me upon the same. Hee asked me the cause of our comming, I
tolde him being in fight with the Spaniards our enemie, being over
powred, neare put to retreat, and by extreme weather put to this
shore, where landing at Chesipiack, the people shot us, but at
Kequoughtan they kindly used us, wee by signes demaunded fresh water,
they described us up the River was all fresh water, at Paspahegh,
also they kindly used us, our Pinnasse being leake wee were inforced
to stay to mend her, till Captain Newport my father came to conduct
us away. He demaunded why we went further with our Boate, I tolde
him, in that I would have occasion to talke of the backe Sea, that on
the other side the maine, where was salt water, my father had a
childe slaine, which we supposed Monocan his enemie, whose death we
intended to revenge. After good deliberation, hee began to describe
me the countreys beyond the Falles, with many of the rest, confirming
what not only Opechancanoyes, and an Indian which had been prisoner
to Pewhatan had before tolde mee, but some called it five days, some
sixe, some eight, where the sayde water dashed amongst many stones
and rocks, each storme which caused oft tymes the heade of the River
to bee brackish: Anchanachuck he described to bee the people that had
slaine my brother, whose death hee would revenge. Hee described also
upon the same Sea, a mighty nation called Pocoughtronack, a fierce
nation that did eate men and warred with the people of Moyaoncer, and
Pataromerke, Nations upon the toppe of the heade of the Bay, under
his territories, where the yeare before they had slain an hundred, he
signified their crownes were shaven, long haire in the necke, tied on
a knot, Swords like Pollaxes.

"Beyond them he described people with short Coates, and Sleeves to
the Elbowes, that passed that way in Shippes like ours. Many
Kingdomes hee described mee to the heade of the Bay, which seemed to
bee a mightie River, issuing from mightie mountaines, betwixt the two
seas; the people clothed at Ocamahowan. He also confirmed, and the
Southerly Countries also, as the rest, that reported us to be within
a day and a halfe of Mangoge, two dayes of Chawwonock, 6 from
Roonock, to the South part of the backe sea: he described a countrie
called Anone, where they have abundance of Brasse, and houses walled
as ours. I requited his discourse, seeing what pride he had in his
great and spacious Dominions, seeing that all hee knewe were under
his Territories.

"In describing to him the territories of Europe which was subject to
our great King whose subject I was, the innumerable multitude of his
ships, I gave him to understand the noyse of Trumpets and terrible
manner of fighting were under Captain Newport my father, whom I
intituled the Meworames which they call King of all the waters, at
his greatnesse bee admired and not a little feared; he desired mee to
forsake Paspahegh, and to live with him upon his River, a countrie
called Capa Howasicke; he promised to give me corne, venison, or what
I wanted to feede us, Hatchets and Copper wee should make him, and
none should disturbe us. This request I promised to performe: and
thus having with all the kindnes hee could devise, sought to content
me, he sent me home with 4 men, one that usually carried my Gonne and
Knapsacke after me, two other loded with bread, and one to accompanie

The next extract in regard to this voyage is from President
Wingfield's "Discourse of Virginia," which appears partly in the form
of a diary, but was probably drawn up or at least finished shortly
after Wingfield's return to London in May, 1608. He was in Jamestown
when Smith returned from his captivity, and would be likely to allude
to the romantic story of Pocahontas if Smith had told it on his
escape. We quote:

"Decem.--The 10th of December, Mr. Smyth went up the ryver of the
Chechohomynies to trade for corne; he was desirous to see the heade
of that river; and, when it was not passible with the shallop, he
hired a cannow and an Indian to carry him up further. The river the
higher grew worse and worse. Then hee went on shoare with his guide,
and left Robinson and Emmery, and twoe of our Men, in the cannow;
which were presently slayne by the Indians, Pamaonke's men, and hee
himself taken prysoner, and, by the means of his guide, his lief was
saved; and Pamaonche, haveing him prisoner, carryed him to his
neybors wyroances, to see if any of them knew him for one of those
which had bene, some two or three eeres before us, in a river amongst
them Northward, and taken awaie some Indians from them by force. At
last he brought him to the great Powaton (of whome before wee had no
knowledg), who sent him home to our towne the 8th of January."

The next contemporary document to which we have occasion to refer is
Smith's Letter to the Treasurer and Council of Virginia in England,
written in Virginia after the arrival of Newport there in September,
1608, and probably sent home by him near the close of that year. In
this there is no occasion for a reference to Powhatan or his
daughter, but he says in it: "I have sent you this Mappe of the Bay
and Rivers, with an annexed Relation of the Countryes and Nations
that inhabit them as you may see at large." This is doubtless the
"Map of Virginia," with a description of the country, published some
two or three years after Smith's return to England, at Oxford, 1612.
It is a description of the country and people, and contains little
narrative. But with this was published, as an appendix, an account
of the proceedings of the Virginia colonists from 1606 to 1612, taken
out of the writings of Thomas Studley and several others who had been
residents in Virginia. These several discourses were carefully
edited by William Symonds, a doctor of divinity and a man of learning
and repute, evidently at the request of Smith. To the end of the
volume Dr. Symonds appends a note addressed to Smith, saying:
"I return you the fruit of my labors, as Mr. Cranshaw requested me,
which I bestowed in reading the discourses and hearing the relations
of such as have walked and observed the land of Virginia with you."
These narratives by Smith's companions, which he made a part of his
Oxford book, and which passed under his eye and had his approval, are
uniformly not only friendly to him, but eulogistic of him, and
probably omit no incident known to the writers which would do him
honor or add interest to him as a knight of romance. Nor does it
seem probable that Smith himself would have omitted to mention the
dramatic scene of the prevented execution if it had occurred to him.
If there had been a reason in the minds of others in 1608 why it
should not appear in the "True Relation," that reason did not exist
for Smith at this time, when the discords and discouragements of the
colony were fully known. And by this time the young girl Pocahontas
had become well known to the colonists at Jamestown. The account of
this Chickahominy voyage given in this volume, published in 1612, is
signed by Thomas Studley, and is as follows:

"The next voyage he proceeded so farre that with much labour by
cutting of trees in sunder he made his passage, but when his Barge
could passe no farther, he left her in a broad bay out of danger of
shot, commanding none should go ashore till his returne; himselfe
with 2 English and two Salvages went up higher in a Canowe, but he
was not long absent, but his men went ashore, whose want of
government gave both occasion and opportunity to the Salvages to
surprise one George Casson, and much failed not to have cut of the
boat and all the rest. Smith little dreaming of that accident, being
got to the marshes at the river's head, 20 miles in the desert, had
his 2 men slaine (as is supposed) sleeping by the Canowe, whilst
himselfe by fowling sought them victual, who finding he was beset by
200 Salvages, 2 of them he slew, stil defending himselfe with the aid
of a Salvage his guid (whome bee bound to his arme and used as his
buckler), till at last slipping into a bogmire they tooke him
prisoner: when this news came to the fort much was their sorrow for
his losse, fewe expecting what ensued. A month those Barbarians kept
him prisoner, many strange triumphs and conjurations they made of
him, yet he so demeaned himselfe amongst them, as he not only
diverted them from surprising the Fort, but procured his own liberty,
and got himselfe and his company such estimation amongst them, that
those Salvages admired him as a demi-God. So returning safe to the
Fort, once more staied the pinnas her flight for England, which til
his returne could not set saile, so extreme was the weather and so
great the frost."

The first allusion to the salvation of Captain Smith by Pocahontas
occurs in a letter or "little booke" which he wrote to Queen Anne in
1616, about the time of the arrival in England of the Indian
Princess, who was then called the Lady Rebecca, and was wife of John
Rolfe, by whom she had a son, who accompanied them. Pocahontas had
by this time become a person of some importance. Her friendship had
been of substantial service to the colony. Smith had acknowledged
this in his "True Relation," where he referred to her as the
"nonpareil" of Virginia. He was kind-hearted and naturally
magnanimous, and would take some pains to do the Indian convert a
favor, even to the invention of an incident that would make her
attractive. To be sure, he was vain as well as inventive, and here
was an opportunity to attract the attention of his sovereign and
increase his own importance by connecting his name with hers in a
romantic manner. Still, we believe that the main motive that
dictated this epistle was kindness to Pocahontas. The sentence that
refers to her heroic act is this: "After some six weeks [he was
absent only four weeks] fatting amongst those Salvage Countries, at
the minute of my execution she hazarded the beating out of her own
braines to save mine, and not only that, but so prevailed with her
father [of whom he says, in a previous paragraph, 'I received from
this great Salvage exceeding great courtesie'], that I was safely
conducted to Jamestown."

This guarded allusion to the rescue stood for all known account of
it, except a brief reference to it in his "New England's Trials" of
1622, until the appearance of Smith's "General Historie" in London,
1624. In the first edition of "New England's Trials," 1620, there is
no reference to it. In the enlarged edition of 1622, Smith gives a
new version to his capture, as resulting from "the folly of them that
fled," and says: "God made Pocahontas, the King's daughter the means
to deliver me."

The "General Historie" was compiled--as was the custom in making up
such books at the time from a great variety of sources. Such parts
of it as are not written by Smith--and these constitute a
considerable portion of the history--bear marks here and there of his
touch. It begins with his description of Virginia, which appeared in
the Oxford tract of 1612; following this are the several narratives
by his comrades, which formed the appendix of that tract. The one
that concerns us here is that already quoted, signed Thomas Studley.
It is reproduced here as "written by Thomas Studley, the first Cape
Merchant in Virginia, Robert Fenton, Edward Harrington, and I. S."
[John Smith]. It is, however, considerably extended, and into it is
interjected a detailed account of the captivity and the story of the
stones, the clubs, and the saved brains.

It is worthy of special note that the "True Relation" is not
incorporated in the "General Historie." This is the more remarkable
because it was an original statement, written when the occurrences it
describes were fresh, and is much more in detail regarding many
things that happened during the period it covered than the narratives
that Smith uses in the "General Historie." It was his habit to use
over and over again his own publications. Was this discarded because
it contradicted the Pocahontas story--because that story could not be
fitted into it as it could be into the Studley relation?

It should be added, also, that Purchas printed an abstract of the
Oxford tract in his "Pilgrimage," in 1613, from material furnished
him by Smith. The Oxford tract was also republished by Purchas in
his "Pilgrimes," extended by new matter in manuscript supplied by
Smith. The "Pilgrimes" did not appear till 1625, a year after the
"General Historie," but was in preparation long before. The
Pocahontas legend appears in the "Pilgrimes," but not in the earlier

We have before had occasion to remark that Smith's memory had the
peculiarity of growing stronger and more minute in details the
further he was removed in point of time from any event he describes.
The revamped narrative is worth quoting in full for other reasons.
It exhibits Smith's skill as a writer and his capacity for rising
into poetic moods. This is the story from the "General Historie":

"The next voyage hee proceeded so farre that with much labour by
cutting of trees in sunder he made his passage, but when his Barge
could pass no farther, he left her in a broad bay out of danger of
shot, commanding none should goe ashore till his return: himselfe
with two English and two Salvages went up higher in a Canowe, but he
was not long absent, but his men went ashore, whose want of
government, gave both occasion and opportunity to the Salvages to
surprise one George Cassen, whom they slew, and much failed not to
have cut of the boat and all the rest. Smith little dreaming of that
accident, being got to the marshes at the river's head, twentie myles
in the desert, had his two men slaine (as is supposed) sleeping by
the Canowe, whilst himselfe by fowling sought them victuall, who
finding he was beset with 200 Salvages, two of them hee slew, still
defending himself with the ayd of a Salvage his guide, whom he bound
to his arme with his garters, and used him as a buckler, yet he was
shot in his thigh a little, and had many arrowes stucke in his
cloathes but no great hurt, till at last they tooke him prisoner.
When this newes came to Jamestowne, much was their sorrow for his
losse, fewe expecting what ensued. Sixe or seven weekes those
Barbarians kept him prisoner, many strange triumphes and conjurations
they made of him, yet hee so demeaned himselfe amongst them, as he
not onely diverted them from surprising the Fort, but procured his
owne libertie, and got himself and his company such estimation
amongst them, that those Salvages admired him more than their owne
Quiyouckosucks. The manner how they used and delivered him, is as

"The Salvages having drawne from George Cassen whether Captaine Smith
was gone, prosecuting that opportunity they followed him with 300
bowmen, conducted by the King of Pamaunkee, who in divisions
searching the turnings of the river, found Robinson and Entry by the
fireside, those they shot full of arrowes and slew. Then finding the
Captaine as is said, that used the Salvage that was his guide as his
shield (three of them being slaine and divers others so gauld) all
the rest would not come neere him. Thinking thus to have returned to
his boat, regarding them, as he marched, more then his way, slipped
up to the middle in an oasie creeke and his Salvage with him, yet
durst they not come to him till being neere dead with cold, he threw
away his armes. Then according to their composition they drew him
forth and led him to the fire, where his men were slaine. Diligently
they chafed his benumbed limbs. He demanding for their Captaine,
they shewed him Opechankanough, King of Pamaunkee, to whom he gave a
round Ivory double compass Dyall. Much they marvailed at the playing
of the Fly and Needle, which they could see so plainly, and yet not
touch it, because of the glass that covered them. But when he
demonstrated by that Globe-like Jewell, the roundnesse of the earth
and skies, the spheare of the Sunne, Moone, and Starres, and how the
Sunne did chase the night round about the world continually: the
greatnesse of the Land and Sea, the diversitie of Nations, varietie
of Complexions, and how we were to them Antipodes, and many other
such like matters, they all stood as amazed with admiration.
Notwithstanding within an houre after they tyed him to a tree, and as
many as could stand about him prepared to shoot him, but the King
holding up the Compass in his hand, they all laid downe their Bowes
and Arrowes, and in a triumphant manner led him to Orapaks, where he
was after their manner kindly feasted and well used.

"Their order in conducting him was thus: Drawing themselves all in
fyle, the King in the middest had all their Peeces and Swords borne
before him. Captaine Smith was led after him by three great
Salvages, holding him fast by each arme: and on each side six went in
fyle with their arrowes nocked. But arriving at the Towne (which was
but onely thirtie or fortie hunting houses made of Mats, which they
remove as they please, as we our tents) all the women and children
staring to behold him, the souldiers first all in file performe the
forme of a Bissom so well as could be: and on each flanke, officers
as Serieants to see them keepe their orders. A good time they
continued this exercise, and then cast themselves in a ring, dauncing
in such severall Postures, and singing and yelling out such hellish
notes and screeches: being strangely painted, every one his quiver of
arrowes, and at his backe a club: on his arme a Fox or an Otters
skinne, or some such matter for his vambrace: their heads and
shoulders painted red, with oyle and Pocones mingled together, which
Scarlet like colour made an exceeding handsome shew, his Bow in his
hand, and the skinne of a Bird with her wings abroad dryed, tyed on
his head, a peece of copper, a white shell, a long feather, with a
small rattle growing at the tayles of their snaks tyed to it, or some
such like toy. All this time Smith and the King stood in the middest
guarded, as before is said, and after three dances they all departed.
Smith they conducted to a long house, where thirtie or fortie tall
fellowes did guard him, and ere long more bread and venison were
brought him then would have served twentie men. I thinke his
stomacke at that time was not very good; what he left they put in
baskets and tyed over his head. About midnight they set the meat
again before him, all this time not one of them would eat a bit with
him, till the next morning they brought him as much more, and then
did they eate all the old, and reserved the new as they had done the
other, which made him think they would fat him to eat him. Yet in
this desperate estate to defend him from the cold, one Maocassater
brought him his gowne, in requitall of some beads and toyes Smith had
given him at his first arrival in Firginia.

"Two days a man would have slaine him (but that the guard prevented
it) for the death of his sonne, to whom they conducted him to recover
the poore man then breathing his last. Smith told them that at James
towne he had a water would doe it if they would let him fetch it, but
they would not permit that: but made all the preparations they could
to assault James towne, craving his advice, and for recompence he
should have life, libertie, land, and women. In part of a Table
booke he writ his mind to them at the Fort, what was intended, how
they should follow that direction to affright the messengers, and
without fayle send him such things as he writ for. And an Inventory
with them. The difficultie and danger he told the Salvaves, of the
Mines, great gunnes, and other Engins, exceedingly affrighted them,
yet according to his request they went to James towne in as bitter
weather as could be of frost and snow, and within three days returned
with an answer.

"But when they came to James towne, seeing men sally out as he had
told them they would, they fled: yet in the night they came again to
the same place where he had told them they should receive an answer,
and such things as he had promised them, which they found
accordingly, and with which they returned with no small expedition,
to the wonder of them all that heard it, that he could either divine
or the paper could speake. Then they led him to the Youthtanunds,
the Mattapanients, the Payankatanks, the Nantaughtacunds and
Onawmanients, upon the rivers of Rapahanock and Patawomek, over all
those rivers and backe againe by divers other severall Nations, to
the King's habitation at Pamaunkee, where they entertained him with
most strange and fearefull conjurations;

     'As if neare led to hell,
     Amongst the Devils to dwell.'

"Not long after, early in a morning, a great fire was made in a long
house, and a mat spread on the one side as on the other; on the one
they caused him to sit, and all the guard went out of the house, and
presently came skipping in a great grim fellow, all painted over with
coale mingled with oyle; and many Snakes and Wesels skins stuffed
with mosse, and all their tayles tyed together, so as they met on the
crowne of his head in a tassell; and round about the tassell was a
Coronet of feathers, the skins hanging round about his head, backe,
and shoulders, and in a manner covered his face; with a hellish voyce
and a rattle in his hand. With most strange gestures and passions he
began his invocation, and environed the fire with a circle of meale;
which done three more such like devils came rushing in with the like
antique tricks, painted halfe blacke, halfe red: but all their eyes
were painted white, and some red stroakes like Mutchato's along their
cheekes: round about him those fiends daunced a pretty while, and
then came in three more as ugly as the rest; with red eyes and
stroakes over their blacke faces, at last they all sat downe right
against him; three of them on the one hand of the chiefe Priest, and
three on the other. Then all with their rattles began a song, which
ended, the chiefe Priest layd downe five wheat cornes: then strayning
his arms and hands with such violence that he sweat, and his veynes
swelled, he began a short Oration: at the conclusion they all gave a
short groane; and then layd downe three graines more. After that
began their song againe, and then another Oration, ever laying down
so many cornes as before, til they had twice incirculed the fire;
that done they tooke a bunch of little stickes prepared for that
purpose, continuing still their devotion, and at the end of every
song and Oration they layd downe a sticke betwixt the divisions of
Corne. Til night, neither he nor they did either eate or drinke, and
then they feasted merrily, and with the best provisions they could
make. Three dayes they used this Ceremony: the meaning whereof they
told him was to know if he intended them well or no. The circle of
meale signified their Country, the circles of corne the bounds of the
Sea, and the stickes his Country. They imagined the world to be flat
and round, like a trencher, and they in the middest. After this they
brought him a bagge of gunpowder, which they carefully preserved till
the next spring, to plant as they did their corne, because they would
be acquainted with the nature of that seede. Opitchapam, the King's
brother, invited him to his house, where with many platters of bread,
foule, and wild beasts, as did environ him, he bid him wellcome: but
not any of them would eate a bit with him, but put up all the
remainder in Baskets. At his returne to Opechancanoughs, all the
King's women and their children flocked about him for their parts, as
a due by Custome, to be merry with such fragments.

"But his waking mind in hydeous dreames did oft see wondrous shapes
Of bodies strange, and huge in growth, and of stupendious makes."

"At last they brought him to Meronocomoco, where was Powhatan their
Emperor. Here more than two hundred of those grim Courtiers stood
wondering at him, as he had beene a monster, till Powhatan and his
trayne had put themselves in their greatest braveries. Before a fire
upon a seat like a bedstead, he sat covered with a great robe, made
of Rarowcun skinnes and all the tayles hanging by. On either hand
did sit a young wench of sixteen or eighteen years, and along on each
side the house, two rowes of men, and behind them as many women, with
all their heads and shoulders painted red; many of their heads
bedecked with the white downe of Birds; but everyone with something:
and a great chayne of white beads about their necks. At his entrance
before the King, all the people gave a great shout. The Queene of
Appamatuck was appointed to bring him water to wash his hands, and
another brought him a bunch of feathers, instead of a Towell to dry
them: having feasted him after their best barbarous manner they
could. A long consultation was held, but the conclusion was two
great stones were brought before Powhatan; then as many as could layd
hands on him, dragged him to them, and thereon laid his head, and
being ready with their clubs, to beate out his braines. Pocahontas,
the King's dearest daughter, when no entreaty could prevaile, got his
head in her armes, and laid her owne upon his to save him from death:
whereat the Emperour was contented he should live to make him
hatchets, and her bells, beads, and copper: for they thought him as
well of all occupations as themselves. For the King himselfe will
make his owne robes, shooes, bowes, arrowes, pots, plant, hunt, or
doe any thing so well as the rest.

     'They say he bore a pleasant shew,
     But sure his heart was sad
     For who can pleasant be, and rest,
     That lives in feare and dread.
     And having life suspected, doth
     If still suspected lead.'

"Two days after, Powhatan having disguised himselfe in the most
fearfullest manner he could, caused Capt. Smith to be brought forth
to a great house in the woods and there upon a mat by the fire to be
left alone. Not long after from behinde a mat that divided the
house, was made the most dolefullest noyse he ever heard: then
Powhatan more like a devill than a man with some two hundred more as
blacke as himseffe, came unto him and told him now they were friends,
and presently he should goe to James town, to send him two great
gunnes, and a gryndstone, for which he would give him the country of
Capahowojick, and for ever esteeme him as his sonn Nantaquoud. So to
James towne with 12 guides Powhatan sent him. That night they
quartered in the woods, he still expecting (as he had done all this
long time of his imprisonment) every houre to be put to one death or
other; for all their feasting. But almightie God (by his divine
providence) had mollified the hearts of those sterne Barbarians with
compassion. The next morning betimes they came to the Fort, where
Smith having used the salvages with what kindnesse he could, he
shewed Rawhunt, Powhatan's trusty servant, two demiculverings and a
millstone to carry Powhatan; they found them somewhat too heavie; but
when they did see him discharge them, being loaded with stones, among
the boughs of a great tree loaded with Isickles, the yce and branches
came so tumbling downe, that the poore Salvages ran away halfe dead
with feare. But at last we regained some conference with them and
gave them such toys: and sent to Powhatan, his women, and children
such presents, and gave them in generall full content. Now in James
Towne they were all in combustion, the strongest preparing once more
to run away with the Pinnace; which with the hazard of his life, with
Sakre falcon and musketshot, Smith forced now the third time to stay
or sinke. Some no better then they should be had plotted with the
President, the next day to have put him to death by the Leviticall
law, for the lives of Robinson and Emry, pretending the fault was his
that had led them to their ends; but he quickly tooke such order with
such Lawyers, that he layed them by the heeles till he sent some of
them prisoners for England. Now ever once in four or five dayes,
Pocahontas with her attendants, brought him so much provision, that
saved many of their lives, that els for all this had starved with

   'Thus from numbe death our good God sent reliefe,
   The sweete asswager of all other griefe.'

"His relation of the plenty he had scene, especially at Werawocomoco,
and of the state and bountie of Powhatan (which till that time was
unknowne), so revived their dead spirits (especially the love of
Pocahontas) as all men's feare was abandoned."

We should like to think original, in the above, the fine passage, in
which Smith, by means of a simple compass dial, demonstrated the
roundness of the earth, and skies, the sphere of the sun, moon, and
stars, and how the sun did chase the night round about the world
continually; the greatness of the land and sea, the diversity of
nations, variety of complexions, and how we were to them antipodes,
so that the Indians stood amazed with admiration.

Captain Smith up to his middle in a Chickahominy swamp, discoursing
on these high themes to a Pamunkey Indian, of whose language Smith
was wholly ignorant, and who did not understand a word of English, is
much more heroic, considering the adverse circumstances, and appeals
more to the imagination, than the long-haired Iopas singing the song
of Atlas, at the banquet given to AEneas, where Trojans and Tyrians
drained the flowing bumpers while Dido drank long draughts of love.
Did Smith, when he was in the neighborhood of Carthage pick up some
such literal translations of the song of Atlas' as this:

"He sang the wandering moon, and the labors of the Sun;
From whence the race of men and flocks; whence rain and lightning;
Of Arcturus, the rainy Hyades, and the twin Triones;
Why the winter suns hasten so much to touch themselves in the ocean,
And what delay retards the slow nights."

The scene of the rescue only occupies seven lines and the reader
feels that, after all, Smith has not done full justice to it. We
cannot, therefore, better conclude this romantic episode than by
quoting the description of it given with an elaboration of language
that must be, pleasing to the shade of Smith, by John Burke in his
History of Virginia:

"Two large stones were brought in, and placed at the feet of the
emperor; and on them was laid the head of the prisoner; next a large
club was brought in, with which Powhatan, for whom, out of respect,
was reserved this honor, prepared to crush the head of his captive.
The assembly looked on with sensations of awe, probably not unmixed
with pity for the fate of an enemy whose bravery had commanded their
admiration, and in whose misfortunes their hatred was possibly

"The fatal club was uplifted: the breasts of the company already
by anticipation felt the dreadful crash, which was to bereave the
wretched victim of life: when the young and beautiful Pocahontas, the
beloved daughter of the emperor, with a shriek of terror
and agony threw herself on the body of Smith; Her hair was loose, and
her eyes streaming with tears, while her whole manner bespoke the
deep distress and agony of her bosom. She cast a beseeching
look at her furious and astonished father, deprecating his wrath, and
imploring his pity and the life of his prisoner, with all the
eloquence of mute but impassioned sorrow.

"The remainder of this scene is honorable to Powhatan. It will
remain a lasting monument, that tho' different principles of action,
and the influence of custom, have given to the manners and opinions
of this people an appearance neither amiable nor virtuous, they still
retain the noblest property of human character, the touch of pity and
the feeling of humanity.

"The club of the emperor was still uplifted; but pity had touched his
bosom, and his eye was every moment losing its fierceness; he looked
around to collect his fortitude, or perhaps to find an excuse for his
weakness in the faces of his attendants. But every eye was suffused
with the sweetly contagious softness. The generous savage no longer
hesitated. The compassion of the rude state is neither ostentatious
nor dilating: nor does it insult its object by the exaction of
impossible conditions. Powhatan lifted his grateful and delighted
daughter, and the captive, scarcely yet assured of safety, from the

"The character of this interesting woman, as it stands in the
concurrent accounts of all our historians, is not, it is with
confidence affirmed, surpassed by any in the whole range of history;
and for those qualities more especially which do honor to our nature
--an humane and feeling heart, an ardor and unshaken constancy in her
attachments--she stands almost without a rival.

"At the first appearance of the Europeans her young heart was
impressed with admiration of the persons and manners of the
strangers; but it is not during their prosperity that she displays
her attachment. She is not influenced by awe of their greatness, or
fear of their resentment, in the assistance she affords them. It was
during their severest distresses, when their most celebrated chief
was a captive in their hands, and was dragged through the country as
a spectacle for the sport and derision of their people, that she
places herself between him and destruction.

"The spectacle of Pocahontas in an attitude of entreaty, with her
hair loose, and her eyes streaming with tears, supplicating with her
enraged father for the life of Captain Smith when he was about to
crush the head of his prostrate victim with a club, is a situation
equal to the genius of Raphael. And when the royal savage directs
his ferocious glance for a moment from his victim to reprove his
weeping daughter, when softened by her distress his eye loses its
fierceness, and he gives his captive to her tears, the painter will
discover a new occasion for exercising his talents."

The painters have availed themselves of this opportunity. In one
picture Smith is represented stiffly extended on the greensward (of
the woods), his head resting on a stone, appropriately clothed in a
dresscoat, knee-breeches, and silk stockings; while Powhatan and the
other savages stand ready for murder, in full-dress parade costume;
and Pocahontas, a full-grown woman, with long, disheveled hair, in
the sentimental dress and attitude of a Letitia E. Landon of the
period, is about to cast herself upon the imperiled and well-dressed

Must we, then, give up the legend altogether, on account of the
exaggerations that have grown up about it, our suspicion of the
creative memory of Smith, and the lack of all contemporary allusion
to it? It is a pity to destroy any pleasing story of the past, and
especially to discharge our hard struggle for a foothold on this
continent of the few elements of romance. If we can find no evidence
of its truth that stands the test of fair criticism, we may at least
believe that it had some slight basis on which to rest. It is not at
all improbable that Pocahontas, who was at that time a precocious
maid of perhaps twelve or thirteen years of age (although Smith
mentions her as a child of ten years old when she came to the camp
after his release), was touched with compassion for the captive, and
did influence her father to treat him kindly.



As we are not endeavoring to write the early history of Virginia, but
only to trace Smith's share in it, we proceed with his exploits after
the arrival of the first supply, consisting of near a hundred men, in
two ships, one commanded by Captain Newport and the other by Captain
Francis Nelson. The latter, when in sight of Cape Henry, was driven
by a storm back to the West Indies, and did not arrive at James River
with his vessel, the Phoenix, till after the departure of Newport for
England with his load of "golddust," and Master Wingfield and Captain

In his "True Relation," Smith gives some account of his exploration
of the Pamunkey River, which he sometimes calls the "Youghtamand,"
upon which, where the water is salt, is the town of Werowocomoco. It
can serve no purpose in elucidating the character of our hero to
attempt to identify all the places he visited.

It was at Werowocomoco that Smith observed certain conjurations of
the medicine men, which he supposed had reference to his fate. From
ten o'clock in the morning till six at night, seven of the savages,
with rattles in their hands, sang and danced about the fire, laying
down grains of corn in circles, and with vehement actions, casting
cakes of deer suet, deer, and tobacco into the fire, howling without
ceasing. One of them was "disfigured with a great skin, his head
hung around with little skins of weasels and other vermin, with a
crownlet of feathers on his head, painted as ugly as the devil." So
fat they fed him that he much doubted they intended to sacrifice him
to the Quiyoughquosicke, which is a superior power they worship: a
more uglier thing cannot be described. These savages buried their
dead with great sorrow and weeping, and they acknowledge no
resurrection. Tobacco they offer to the water to secure a good
passage in foul weather. The descent of the crown is to the first
heirs of the king's sisters, "for the kings have as many women as
they will, the subjects two, and most but one."

After Smith's return, as we have read, he was saved from a plot to
take his life by the timely arrival of Captain Newport. Somewhere
about this time the great fire occurred. Smith was now one of the
Council; Martin and Matthew Scrivener, just named, were also
councilors. Ratcliffe was still President. The savages, owing to
their acquaintance with and confidence in Captain Smith, sent in
abundance of provision. Powhatan sent once or twice a week "deer,
bread, raugroughcuns (probably not to be confounded with the
rahaughcuns [raccoons] spoken of before, but probably 'rawcomens,'
mentioned in the Description of Virginia), half for Smith, and half
for his father, Captain Newport." Smith had, in his intercourse with
the natives, extolled the greatness of Newport, so that they
conceived him to be the chief and all the rest his children, and
regarded him as an oracle, if not a god.

Powhatan and the rest had, therefore, a great desire to see this
mighty person. Smith says that the President and Council greatly
envied his reputation with the Indians, and wrought upon them to
believe, by giving in trade four times as much as the price set by
Smith, that their authority exceeded his as much as their bounty.

We must give Smith the credit of being usually intent upon the
building up of the colony, and establishing permanent and livable
relations with the Indians, while many of his companions in authority
seemed to regard the adventure as a temporary occurrence, out of
which they would make what personal profit they could. The
new-comers on a vessel always demoralized the trade with the Indians,
by paying extravagant prices. Smith's relations with Captain Newport
were peculiar. While he magnified him to the Indians as the great
power, he does not conceal his own opinion of his ostentation and
want of shrewdness. Smith's attitude was that of a priest who puts
up for the worship of the vulgar an idol, which he knows is only a
clay image stuffed with straw.

In the great joy of the colony at the arrival of the first supply,
leave was given to sailors to trade with the Indians, and the
new-comers soon so raised prices that it needed a pound of copper to
buy a quantity of provisions that before had been obtained for an
ounce. Newport sent great presents to Powhatan, and, in response to
the wish of the "Emperor," prepared to visit him. "A great coyle
there was to set him forward," says Smith. Mr. Scrivener and Captain
Smith, and a guard of thirty or forty, accompanied him. On this
expedition they found the mouth of the Pamaunck (now York) River.
Arriving at Werowocomoco, Newport, fearing treachery, sent Smith with
twenty men to land and make a preliminary visit. When they came
ashore they found a network of creeks which were crossed by very shaky
bridges, constructed of crotched sticks and poles, which had so much
the appearance of traps that Smith would not cross them until many of
the Indians had preceded him, while he kept others with him as
hostages. Three hundred savages conducted him to Powhatan, who
received him in great state. Before his house were ranged forty or
fifty great platters of fine bread. Entering his house, "with loude
tunes they made all signs of great joy." In the first account
Powhatan is represented as surrounded by his principal women and chief
men, "as upon a throne at the upper end of the house, with such
majesty as I cannot express, nor yet have often seen, either in Pagan
or Christian." In the later account he is "sitting upon his bed of
mats, his pillow of leather embroidered (after their rude manner with
pearls and white beads), his attire a fair robe of skins as large as
an Irish mantel; at his head and feet a handsome young woman; on each
side of his house sat twenty of his concubines, their heads and
shoulders painted red, with a great chain of white beads about each of
their necks. Before those sat his chiefest men in like order in his
arbor-like house." This is the scene that figures in the old
copper-plate engravings. The Emperor welcomed Smith with a kind
countenance, caused him to sit beside him, and with pretty discourse
they renewed their old acquaintance. Smith presented him with a suit
of red cloth, a white greyhound, and a hat. The Queen of Apamatuc, a
comely young savage, brought him water, a turkeycock, and bread to
eat. Powhatan professed great content with Smith, but desired to see
his father, Captain Newport. He inquired also with a merry
countenance after the piece of ordnance that Smith had promised to
send him, and Smith, with equal jocularity, replied that he had
offered the men four demi-culverins, which they found too heavy to
carry. This night they quartered with Powhatan, and were liberally
feasted, and entertained with singing, dancing, and orations.

The next day Captain Newport came ashore. The two monarchs exchanged
presents. Newport gave Powhatan a white boy thirteen years old,
named Thomas Savage. This boy remained with the Indians and served
the colony many years as an interpreter. Powhatan gave Newport in
return a bag of beans and an Indian named Namontack for his servant.
Three or four days they remained, feasting, dancing, and trading with
the Indians.

In trade the wily savage was more than a match for Newport. He
affected great dignity; it was unworthy such great werowances to
dicker; it was not agreeable to his greatness in a peddling manner to
trade for trifles; let the great Newport lay down his commodities all
together, and Powhatan would take what he wished, and recompense him
with a proper return. Smith, who knew the Indians and their
ostentation, told Newport that the intention was to cheat him, but
his interference was resented. The result justified Smith's
suspicion. Newport received but four bushels of corn when he should
have had twenty hogsheads. Smith then tried his hand at a trade.
With a few blue beads, which he represented as of a rare substance,
the color of the skies, and worn by the greatest kings in the world,
he so inflamed the desire of Powhatan that he was half mad to possess
such strange jewels, and gave for them 200 to 300 bushels of corn,
"and yet," says Smith, "parted good friends."

At this time Powhatan, knowing that they desired to invade or explore
Monacan, the country above the Falls, proposed an expedition, with
men and boats, and "this faire tale had almost made Captain Newport
undertake by this means to discover the South Sea," a project which
the adventurers had always in mind. On this expedition they
sojourned also with the King of Pamaunke.

Captain Newport returned to England on the 10th of April. Mr.
Scrivener and Captain Smith were now in fact the sustainers of the
colony. They made short expeditions of exploration. Powhatan and
other chiefs still professed friendship and sent presents, but the
Indians grew more and more offensive, lurking about and stealing all
they could lay hands on. Several of them were caught and confined in
the fort, and, guarded, were conducted to the morning and evening
prayers. By threats and slight torture, the captives were made to
confess the hostile intentions of Powhatan and the other chiefs,
which was to steal their weapons and then overpower the colony.
Rigorous measures were needed to keep the Indians in check, but the
command from England not to offend the savages was so strict that
Smith dared not chastise them as they deserved. The history of the
colony all this spring of 1608 is one of labor and discontent, of
constant annoyance from the Indians, and expectations of attacks. On
the 20th of April, while they were hewing trees and setting corn, an
alarm was given which sent them all to their arms. Fright was turned
into joy by the sight of the Phoenix, with Captain Nelson and his
company, who had been for three months detained in the West Indies,
and given up for lost.

Being thus re-enforced, Smith and Scrivener desired to explore the
country above the Falls, and got ready an expedition. But this,
Martin, who was only intent upon loading the return ship with "his
phantastical gold," opposed, and Nelson did not think he had
authority to allow it, unless they would bind themselves to pay the
hire of the ships. The project was therefore abandoned. The Indians
continued their depredations. Messages daily passed between the fort
and the Indians, and treachery was always expected. About this time
the boy Thomas Savage was returned, with his chest and clothing.

The colony had now several of the Indians detained in the fort. At
this point in the "True Relation" occurs the first mention of
Pocahontas. Smith says: "Powhatan, understanding we detained certain
Salvages, sent his daughter, a child of tenne years old, which not
only for feature, countenance, and proportion much exceeded any of
his people, but for wit and spirit, the only nonpareil of his
country." She was accompanied by his trusty messenger Rawhunt, a
crafty and deformed savage, who assured Smith how much Powhatan loved
and respected him and, that he should not doubt his kindness, had sent
his child, whom he most esteemed, to see him, and a deer, and bread
besides for a present; "desiring us that the boy might come again,
which he loved exceedingly, his little daughter he had taught this
lesson also: not taking notice at all of the Indians that had been
prisoners three days, till that morning that she saw their fathers
and friends come quietly and in good terms to entreat their liberty."

Opechancanough (the King of "Pamauk") also sent asking the release of
two that were his friends; and others, apparently with confidence in
the whites, came begging for the release of the prisoners. "In the
afternoon they being gone, we guarded them [the prisoners] as before
to the church, and after prayer gave them to Pocahuntas, the King's
daughter, in regard to her father's kindness in sending her: after
having well fed them, as all the time of their imprisonment, we gave
them their bows, arrows, or what else they had, and with much content
sent them packing; Pocahuntas, also, we requited with such trifles as
contented her, to tell that we had used the Paspaheyans very kindly
in so releasing them."

This account would show that Pocahontas was a child of uncommon
dignity and self-control for her age. In his letter to Queen Anne,
written in 1616, he speaks of her as aged twelve or thirteen at the
time of his captivity, several months before this visit to the fort.

The colonists still had reasons to fear ambuscades from the savages
lurking about in the woods. One day a Paspahean came with a
glittering mineral stone, and said he could show them great abundance
of it. Smith went to look for this mine, but was led about hither
and thither in the woods till he lost his patience and was convinced
that the Indian was fooling him, when he gave him twenty lashes with
a rope, handed him his bows and arrows, told him to shoot if he
dared, and let him go. Smith had a prompt way with the Indians. He
always traded "squarely" with them, kept his promises, and never
hesitated to attack or punish them when they deserved it. They
feared and respected him.

The colony was now in fair condition, in good health, and contented;
and it was believed, though the belief was not well founded, that
they would have lasting peace with the Indians. Captain Nelson's
ship, the Phoenix, was freighted with cedar wood, and was despatched
for England June 8, 1608. Captain Martin, "always sickly and
unserviceable, and desirous to enjoy the credit of his supposed art
of finding the gold mine," took passage. Captain Nelson probably
carried Smith's "True Relation."



On the same, day that Nelson sailed for England, Smith set out to
explore the Chesapeake, accompanying the Phoenix as far as Cape
Henry, in a barge of about three tons. With him went Dr. Walter
Russell, six gentlemen, and seven soldiers. The narrative of the
voyage is signed by Dr. Russell, Thomas Momford, gentleman, and Anas
Todkill, soldier. Master Scrivener remained at the fort, where his
presence was needed to keep in check the prodigal waste of the stores
upon his parasites by President Ratcliffe.

The expedition crossed the bay at "Smith's Isles," named after the
Captain, touched at Cape Charles, and coasted along the eastern
shore. Two stout savages hailed them from Cape Charles, and directed
them to Accomack, whose king proved to be the most comely and civil
savage they had yet encountered.

He told them of a strange accident that had happened. The parents of
two children who had died were moved by some phantasy to revisit
their dead carcasses, "whose benumbed bodies reflected to the eyes of
the beholders such delightful countenances as though they had
regained their vital spirits." This miracle drew a great part of the
King's people to behold them, nearly all of whom died shortly
afterward. These people spoke the language of Powhatan. Smith
explored the bays, isles, and islets, searching for harbors and
places of habitation. He was a born explorer and geographer, as his
remarkable map of Virginia sufficiently testifies. The company was
much tossed about in the rough waves of the bay, and had great
difficulty in procuring drinking-water. They entered the
Wighcocomoco, on the east side, where the natives first threatened
and then received them with songs, dancing, and mirth. A point on
the mainland where they found a pond of fresh water they named "Poynt
Ployer in honer of the most honorable house of Monsay, in Britaine,
that in an extreme extremitie once relieved our Captain." This
reference to the Earl of Ployer, who was kind to Smith in his youth,
is only an instance of the care with which he edited these narratives
of his own exploits, which were nominally written by his companions.

The explorers were now assailed with violent storms, and at last took
refuge for two days on some uninhabited islands, which by reason of
the ill weather and the hurly-burly of thunder, lightning, wind, and
rain, they called "Limbo." Repairing their torn sails with their
shirts, they sailed for the mainland on the east, and ran into a
river called Cuskarawook (perhaps the present Annomessie), where the
inhabitants received them with showers of arrows, ascending the trees
and shooting at them. The next day a crowd came dancing to the
shore, making friendly signs, but Smith, suspecting villainy,
discharged his muskets into them. Landing toward evening, the
explorers found many baskets and much blood, but no savages. The
following day, savages to the number, the account wildly says, of two
or three thousand, came to visit them, and were very friendly. These
tribes Smith calls the Sarapinagh, Nause, Arseek, and Nantaquak, and
says they are the best merchants of that coast. They told him of a
great nation, called the Massawomeks, of whom he set out in search,
passing by the Limbo, and coasting the west side of Chesapeake Bay.
The people on the east side he describes as of small stature.

They anchored at night at a place called Richard's Cliffs, north of
the Pawtuxet, and from thence went on till they reached the first
river navigable for ships, which they named the Bolus, and which by
its position on Smith's map may be the Severn or the Patapsco.

The men now, having been kept at the oars ten days, tossed about by
storms, and with nothing to eat but bread rotten from the wet,
supposed that the Captain would turn about and go home. But he
reminded them how the company of Ralph Lane, in like circumstances,
importuned him to proceed with the discovery of Moratico, alleging
that they had yet a dog that boiled with sassafrks leaves would
richly feed them. He could not think of returning yet, for they were
scarce able to say where they had been, nor had yet heard of what
they were sent to seek. He exhorted them to abandon their childish
fear of being lost in these unknown, large waters, but he assured
them that return he would not, till he had seen the Massawomeks and
found the Patowomek.

On the 16th of June they discovered the River Patowomek (Potomac),
seven miles broad at the mouth, up which they sailed thirty miles
before they encountered any inhabitants. Four savages at length
appeared and conducted them up a creek where were three or four
thousand in ambush, "so strangely painted, grimed, and disguised,
shouting, yelling, and crying as so many spirits from hell could not
have showed more terrible." But the discharge of the firearms and
the echo in the forest so appeased their fury that they threw down
their bows, exchanged hostages, and kindly used the strangers. The
Indians told him that Powhatan had commanded them to betray them, and
the serious charge is added that Powhatan, "so directed from the
discontents at Jamestown because our Captain did cause them to stay
in their country against their wills." This reveals the suspicion
and thoroughly bad feeling existing among the colonists.

The expedition went up the river to a village called Patowomek, and
thence rowed up a little River Quiyough (Acquia Creek?) in search of
a mountain of antimony, which they found. The savages put this
antimony up in little bags and sold it all over the country to paint
their bodies and faces, which made them look like Blackamoors dusted
over with silver. Some bags of this they carried away, and also
collected a good amount of furs of otters, bears, martens, and minks.
Fish were abundant, "lying so thick with their heads above water, as
for want of nets (our barge driving among them) we attempted to catch
them with a frying-pan; but we found it a bad instrument to catch
fish with; neither better fish, more plenty, nor more variety for
small fish, had any of us ever seen in any place, so swimming in the
water, but they are not to be caught with frying-pans."

In all his encounters and quarrels with the treacherous savages Smith
lost not a man; it was his habit when he encountered a body of them
to demand their bows, arrows, swords, and furs, and a child or two as

Having finished his discovery he returned. Passing the mouth of the
Rappahannock, by some called the Tappahannock, where in shoal water
were many fish lurking in the weeds, Smith had his first experience
of the Stingray. It chanced that the Captain took one of these fish
from his sword, "not knowing her condition, being much the fashion of
a Thornbeck, but a long tayle like a riding rodde whereon the middest
is a most poysonne sting of two or three inches long, bearded like a
saw on each side, which she struck into the wrist of his arme neare
an inch and a half." The arm and shoulder swelled so much, and the
torment was so great, that "we all with much sorrow concluded his
funerale, and prepared his grave in an island by, as himself
directed." But it "pleased God by a precious oyle Dr. Russell
applied to it that his tormenting paine was so assuged that he ate of
that fish to his supper."

Setting sail for Jamestown, and arriving at Kecoughtan, the sight of
the furs and other plunder, and of Captain Smith wounded, led the
Indians to think that he had been at war with the Massawomeks; which
opinion Smith encouraged. They reached Jamestown July 21st, in fine
spirits, to find the colony in a mutinous condition, the last
arrivals all sick, and the others on the point of revenging
themselves on the silly President, who had brought them all to misery
by his riotous consumption of the stores, and by forcing them to work
on an unnecessary pleasure-house for himself in the woods. They were
somewhat appeased by the good news of the discovery, and in the
belief that their bay stretched into the South Sea; and submitted on
condition that Ratclifte should be deposed and Captain Smith take
upon himself the government, "as by course it did belong." He
consented, but substituted Mr. Scrivener, his dear friend, in the
presidency, distributed the provisions, appointed honest men to
assist Mr. Scrivener, and set out on the 24th, with twelve men, to
finish his discovery.

He passed by the Patowomek River and hasted to the River Bolus, which
he had before visited. In the bay they fell in with seven or eight
canoes full of the renowned Massawomeks, with whom they had a fight,
but at length these savages became friendly and gave them bows,
arrows, and skins. They were at war with the Tockwoghes. Proceeding
up the River Tockwogh, the latter Indians received them with
friendship, because they had the weapons which they supposed had been
captured in a fight with the Massawomeks. These Indians had
hatchets, knives, pieces of iron and brass, they reported came from
the Susquesahanocks, a mighty people, the enemies of the Massawomeks,
living at the head of the bay. As Smith in his barge could not
ascend to them, he sent an interpreter to request a visit from them.
In three or four days sixty of these giant-like people came down with
presents of venison, tobacco-pipes three feet in length, baskets,
targets, and bows and arrows. Some further notice is necessary of
this first appearance of the Susquehannocks, who became afterwards so
well known, by reason of their great stature and their friendliness.
Portraits of these noble savages appeared in De Bry's voyages, which
were used in Smith's map, and also by Strachey. These beautiful
copperplate engravings spread through Europe most exaggerated ideas
of the American savages.

"Our order," says Smith, "was daily to have prayers, with a psalm, at
which solemnity the poor savages wondered." When it was over the
Susquesahanocks, in a fervent manner, held up their hands to the sun,
and then embracing the Captain, adored him in like manner. With a
furious manner and "a hellish voyce" they began an oration of their
loves, covered him with their painted bear-skins, hung a chain of
white beads about his neck, and hailed his creation as their governor
and protector, promising aid and victuals if he would stay and help
them fight the Massawomeks. Much they told him of the Atquanachuks,
who live on the Ocean Sea, the Massawomeks and other people living on
a great water beyond the mountain (which Smith understood to be some
great lake or the river of Canada), and that they received their
hatchets and other commodities from the French. They moumed greatly
at Smith's departure. Of Powhatan they knew nothing but the name.

Strachey, who probably enlarges from Smith his account of the
same people, whom he calls Sasquesahanougs, says they were
well-proportioned giants, but of an honest and simple disposition.
Their language well beseemed their proportions, "sounding from them as
it were a great voice in a vault or cave, as an ecco." The picture of
one of these chiefs is given in De Bry, and described by Strachey,"
the calf of whose leg was three-quarters of a yard about, and all the
rest of his limbs so answerable to the same proportions that he seemed
the goodliest man they ever saw."

It would not entertain the reader to follow Smith in all the small
adventures of the exploration, during which he says he went about
3,000 miles (three thousand miles in three or four weeks in a
rowboat is nothing in Smith's memory), "with such watery diet in these
great waters and barbarous countries." Much hardship he endured,
alternately skirmishing and feasting with the Indians; many were the
tribes he struck an alliance with, and many valuable details he added
to the geographical knowledge of the region. In all this exploration
Smith showed himself skillful as he was vigorous and adventurous.

He returned to James River September 7th. Many had died, some were
sick, Ratcliffe, the late President, was a prisoner for mutiny,
Master Scrivener had diligently gathered the harvest, but much of the
provisions had been spoiled by rain. Thus the summer was consumed,
and nothing had been accomplished except Smith's discovery.



On the 10th of September, by the election of the Council and the
request of the company, Captain Smith received the letters-patent,
and became President. He stopped the building of Ratcliffe's
"palace," repaired the church and the storehouse, got ready the
buildings for the supply expected from England, reduced the fort to a
"five square form," set and trained the watch and exercised the
company every Saturday on a plain called Smithfield, to the amazement
of the on-looking Indians.

Captain Newport arrived with a new supply of seventy persons. Among
them were Captain Francis West, brother to Lord Delaware, Captain
Peter Winne, and Captain Peter Waldo, appointed on the Council, eight
Dutchmen and Poles, and Mistress Forest and Anne Burrows her maid,
the first white women in the colony.

Smith did not relish the arrival of Captain Newport nor the
instructions under which he returned. He came back commanded to
discover the country of Monacan (above the Falls) and to perform the
ceremony of coronation on the Emperor Powhatan.

How Newport got this private commission when he had returned to
England without a lump of gold, nor any certainty of the South Sea,
or one of the lost company sent out by Raleigh; and why he brought a
"fine peeced barge" which must be carried over unknown mountains
before it reached the South Sea, he could not understand. "As for
the coronation of Powhatan and his presents of basin and ewer, bed,
bedding, clothes, and such costly novelties, they had been much
better well spared than so ill spent, for we had his favor and better
for a plain piece of copper, till this stately kind of soliciting
made him so much overvalue himself that he respected us as much as
nothing at all." Smith evidently understood the situation much
better than the promoters in England; and we can quite excuse him in
his rage over the foolishness and greed of most of his companions.
There was little nonsense about Smith in action, though he need not
turn his hand on any man of that age as a boaster.

To send out Poles and Dutchmen to make pitch, tar, and glass would
have been well enough if the colony had been firmly established and
supplied with necessaries; and they might have sent two hundred
colonists instead of seventy, if they had ordered them to go to work
collecting provisions of the Indians for the winter, instead of
attempting this strange discovery of the South Sea, and wasting their
time on a more strange coronation. "Now was there no way," asks
Smith, "to make us miserable," but by direction from England to
perform this discovery and coronation, "to take that time, spend what
victuals we had, tire and starve our men, having no means to carry
victuals, ammunition, the hurt or the sick, but on their own backs?"

Smith seems to have protested against all this nonsense, but though
he was governor, the Council overruled him. Captain Newport decided
to take one hundred and twenty men, fearing to go with a less number
and journey to Werowocomoco to crown Powhatan. In order to save time
Smith offered to take a message to Powhatan, and induce him to come
to Jamestown and receive the honor and the presents. Accompanied by
only four men he crossed by land to Werowocomoco, passed the
Pamaunkee (York) River in a canoe, and sent for Powhatan, who was
thirty miles off. Meantime Pocahontas, who by his own account was a
mere child, and her women entertained Smith in the following manner:

"In a fayre plaine they made a fire, before which, sitting upon a
mat, suddenly amongst the woods was heard such a hydeous noise and
shreeking that the English betook themselves to their armes, and
seized upon two or three old men, by them supposing Powhatan with all
his power was come to surprise them. But presently Pocahontas came,
willing him to kill her if any hurt were intended, and the beholders,
which were men, women and children, satisfied the Captaine that there
was no such matter. Then presently they were presented with this
anticke: Thirty young women came naked out of the woods, only covered
behind and before with a few greene leaves, their bodies all painted,
some of one color, some of another, but all differing; their leader
had a fayre payre of Bucks hornes on her head, and an Otters skinne
at her girdle, and another at her arme, a quiver of arrows at her
backe, a bow and arrows in her hand; the next had in her hand a
sword, another a club, another a pot-sticke: all horned alike; the
rest every one with their several devises. These fiends with most
hellish shouts and cries, rushing from among the trees, cast
themselves in a ring about the fire, singing and dancing with most
excellent ill-varietie, oft falling into their infernal passions, and
solemnly again to sing and dance; having spent nearly an hour in this
Mascarado, as they entered, in like manner they departed.

"Having reaccommodated themselves, they solemnly invited him to their
lodgings, where he was no sooner within the house, but all these
Nymphs more tormented him than ever, with crowding, pressing, and
hanging about him, most tediously crying, 'Love you not me? Love you
not me?' This salutation ended, the feast was set, consisting of all
the Salvage dainties they could devise: some attending, others
singing and dancing about them: which mirth being ended, with fire
brands instead of torches they conducted him to his lodging."

The next day Powhatan arrived. Smith delivered up the Indian
Namontuck, who had just returned from a voyage to England--whither it
was suspected the Emperor wished him to go to spy out the weakness of
the English tribe--and repeated Father Newport's request that
Powhatan would come to Jamestown to receive the presents and join in
an expedition against his enemies, the Monacans.

Powhatan's reply was worthy of his imperial highness, and has been
copied ever since in the speeches of the lords of the soil to the
pale faces: "If your king has sent me present, I also am a king, and
this is my land: eight days I will stay to receive them. Your father
is to come to me, not I to him, nor yet to your fort, neither will I
bite at such a bait; as for the Monacans, I can revenge my own

This was the lofty potentate whom Smith, by his way of management,
could have tickled out of his senses with a glass bead, and who would
infinitely have preferred a big shining copper kettle to the
misplaced honor intended to be thrust upon him, but the offer of
which puffed him up beyond the reach of negotiation. Smith returned
with his message. Newport despatched the presents round by water a
hundred miles, and the Captains, with fifty soldiers, went over land
to Werowocomoco, where occurred the ridiculous ceremony of the
coronation, which Smith describes with much humor. "The next day,"
he says, "was appointed for the coronation. Then the presents were
brought him, his bason and ewer, bed and furniture set up, his
scarlet cloke and apparel, with much adoe put on him, being persuaded
by Namontuck they would not hurt him. But a foule trouble there was
to make him kneel to receive his Crown; he not knowing the majesty
nor wearing of a Crown, nor bending of the knee, endured so many
persuasions, examples and instructions as tyred them all. At last by
bearing hard on his shoulders, he a little stooped, and three having
the crown in their hands put it on his head, when by the warning of a
pistoll the boats were prepared with such a volley of shot that the
king start up in a horrible feare, till he saw all was well. Then
remembering himself to congratulate their kindness he gave his old
shoes and his mantell to Captain Newport!"

The Monacan expedition the King discouraged, and refused to furnish
for it either guides or men. Besides his old shoes, the crowned
monarch charitably gave Newport a little heap of corn, only seven or
eight bushels, and with this little result the absurd expedition
returned to Jamestown.

Shortly after Captain Newport with a chosen company of one hundred
and twenty men (leaving eighty with President Smith in the fort) and
accompanied by Captain Waldo, Lieutenant Percy, Captain Winne, Mr.
West, and Mr. Scrivener, who was eager for adventure, set off for the
discovery of Monacan. The expedition, as Smith predicted, was
fruitless: the Indians deceived them and refused to trade, and the
company got back to Jamestown, half of them sick, all grumbling, and
worn out with toil, famine, and discontent.

Smith at once set the whole colony to work, some to make glass, tar,
pitch, and soap-ashes, and others he conducted five miles down the
river to learn to fell trees and make clapboards. In this company
were a couple of gallants, lately come over, Gabriel Beadle and John
Russell, proper gentlemen, but unused to hardships, whom Smith has
immortalized by his novel cure of their profanity. They took gayly
to the rough life, and entered into the attack on the forest so
pleasantly that in a week they were masters of chopping: "making it
their delight to hear the trees thunder as they fell, but the axes so
often blistered their tender fingers that many times every third blow
had a loud othe to drown the echo; for remedie of which sinne the
President devised how to have every man's othes numbered, and at
night for every othe to have a Canne of water powred downe his
sleeve, with which every offender was so washed (himself and all),
that a man would scarce hear an othe in a weake." In the clearing of
our country since, this excellent plan has fallen into desuetude, for
want of any pious Captain Smith in the logging camps.

These gentlemen, says Smith, did not spend their time in wood-logging
like hirelings, but entered into it with such spirit that thirty of
them would accomplish more than a hundred of the sort that had to be
driven to work; yet, he sagaciously adds, "twenty good workmen had
been better than them all."

Returning to the fort, Smith, as usual, found the time consumed and
no provisions got, and Newport's ship lying idle at a great charge.
With Percy he set out on an expedition for corn to the Chickahominy,
which the insolent Indians, knowing their want, would not supply.
Perceiving that it was Powhatan's policy to starve them (as if it was
the business of the Indians to support all the European vagabonds and
adventurers who came to dispossess them of their country), Smith gave
out that he came not so much for corn as to revenge his imprisonment
and the death of his men murdered by the Indians, and proceeded to
make war. This high-handed treatment made the savages sue for peace,
and furnish, although they complained of want themselves, owing to a
bad harvest, a hundred bushels of corn.

This supply contented the company, who feared nothing so much as
starving, and yet, says Smith, so envied him that they would rather
hazard starving than have him get reputation by his vigorous conduct.
There is no contemporary account of that period except this which
Smith indited. He says that Newport and Ratcliffe conspired not only
to depose him but to keep him out of the fort; since being President
they could not control his movements, but that their horns were much
too short to effect it.

At this time in the "old Taverne," as Smith calls the fort, everybody
who had money or goods made all he could by trade; soldiers, sailors,
and savages were agreed to barter, and there was more care to
maintain their damnable and private trade than to provide the things
necessary for the colony. In a few weeks the whites had bartered
away nearly all the axes, chisels, hoes, and picks, and what powder,
shot, and pikeheads they could steal, in exchange for furs, baskets,
young beasts and such like commodities. Though the supply of furs
was scanty in Virginia, one master confessed he had got in one voyage
by this private trade what he sold in England for thirty pounds.
"These are the Saint-seeming Worthies of Virginia," indignantly
exclaims the President, "that have, notwithstanding all this, meate,
drinke, and wages." But now they began to get weary of the country,
their trade being prevented. "The loss, scorn, and misery was the
poor officers, gentlemen and careless governors, who were bought and
sold." The adventurers were cheated, and all their actions
overthrown by false information and unwise directions.

Master Scrivener was sent with the barges and pinnace to
Werowocomoco, where by the aid of Namontuck he procured a little
corn, though the savages were more ready to fight than to trade. At
length Newport's ship was loaded with clapboards, pitch, tar, glass,
frankincense (?) and soapashes, and despatched to England. About two
hundred men were left in the colony. With Newport, Smith sent his
famous letter to the Treasurer and Council in England. It is so good
a specimen of Smith's ability with the pen, reveals so well his
sagacity and knowledge of what a colony needed, and exposes so
clearly the ill-management of the London promoters, and the condition
of the colony, that we copy it entire. It appears by this letter
that Smith's "Map of Virginia," and his description of the country
and its people, which were not published till 1612, were sent by this
opportunity. Captain Newport sailed for England late in the autumn
of 1608. The letter reads:


I received your letter wherein you write that our minds are so set
upon faction, and idle conceits in dividing the country without your
consents, and that we feed you but with ifs and ands, hopes and some
few proofes; as if we would keepe the mystery of the businesse to
ourselves: and that we must expressly follow your instructions sent
by Captain Newport: the charge of whose voyage amounts to neare two
thousand pounds, the which if we cannot defray by the ships returne
we are likely to remain as banished men. To these particulars I
humbly intreat your pardons if I offend you with my rude answer.

For our factions, unless you would have me run away and leave the
country, I cannot prevent them; because I do make many stay that
would else fly away whither. For the Idle letter sent to my Lord of
Salisbury, by the President and his confederates, for dividing the
country, &c., what it was I know not, for you saw no hand of mine to
it; nor ever dream't I of any such matter. That we feed you with
hopes, &c. Though I be no scholar, I am past a schoolboy; and I
desire but to know what either you and these here doe know, but that
I have learned to tell you by the continuall hazard of my life. I
have not concealed from you anything I know; but I feare some cause
you to believe much more than is true.

Expressly to follow your directions by Captain Newport, though they
be performed, I was directly against it; but according to our
commission, I was content to be overouled by the major part of the
Councill, I feare to the hazard of us all; which now is generally
confessed when it is too late. Onely Captaine Winne and Captaine
Walclo I have sworne of the Councill, and crowned Powhattan according
to your instructions.

For the charge of the voyage of two or three thousand pounds we have
not received the value of one hundred pounds, and for the quartered
boat to be borne by the souldiers over the falls. Newport had 120 of
the best men he could chuse. If he had burnt her to ashes, one might
have carried her in a bag, but as she is, five hundred cannot to a
navigable place above the falls. And for him at that time to find in
the South Sea a mine of gold; or any of them sent by Sir Walter
Raleigh; at our consultation I told them was as likely as the rest.
But during this great discovery of thirtie miles (which might as well
have been done by one man, and much more, for the value of a pound of
copper at a seasonable tyme), they had the pinnace and all the boats
with them but one that remained with me to serve the fort. In their
absence I followed the new begun works of Pitch and Tarre, Glasse,
Sope-ashes, Clapboord, whereof some small quantities we have sent
you. But if you rightly consider what an infinite toyle it is in
Russia and Swethland, where the woods are proper for naught els, and
though there be the helpe both of man and beast in those ancient
commonwealths, which many an hundred years have used it, yet
thousands of those poor people can scarce get necessaries to live,
but from hand to mouth, and though your factors there can buy as much
in a week as will fraught you a ship, or as much as you please, you
must not expect from us any such matter, which are but as many of
ignorant, miserable soules, that are scarce able to get wherewith to
live, and defend ourselves against the inconstant Salvages: finding
but here and there a tree fit for the purpose, and want all things
else the Russians have. For the Coronation of Powhattan, by whose
advice you sent him such presents, I know not; but this give me leave
to tell you, I feare they will be the confusion of us all ere we
heare from you again. At your ships arrivall, the Salvages harvest
was newly gathered, and we going to buy it, our owne not being halve
sufficient for so great a number. As for the two ships loading of
corne Newport promised to provide us from Powhattan, he brought us
but fourteen bushels; and from the Monacans nothing, but the most of
the men sicke and neare famished. From your ship we had not
provision in victuals worth twenty pound, and we are more than two
hundred to live upon this, the one halfe sicke, the other little
better. For the saylers (I confesse), they daily make good cheare,
but our dyet is a little meale and water, and not sufficient of that.
Though there be fish in the Sea, fowles in the ayre, and beasts in
the woods, their bounds are so large, they so wilde, and we so weake
and ignorant, we cannot much trouble them. Captaine Newport we much
suspect to be the Author of these inventions. Now that you should
know, I have made you as great a discovery as he, for less charge
than he spendeth you every meale; I had sent you this mappe of the
Countries and Nations that inhabit them, as you may see at large.
Also two barrels of stones, and such as I take to be good. Iron ore
at the least; so divided, as by their notes you may see in what
places I found them. The souldiers say many of your officers
maintaine their families out of that you sent us, and that Newport
hath an hundred pounds a year for carrying newes. For every master
you have yet sent can find the way as well as he, so that an hundred
pounds might be spared, which is more than we have all, that helps to
pay him wages. Cap. Ratliffe is now called Sicklemore, a poore
counterfeited Imposture. I have sent you him home least the Company
should cut his throat. What he is, now every one can tell you: if he
and Archer returne againe, they are sufficient to keep us always in
factions. When you send againe I entreat you rather send but thirty
carpenters, husbandmen, gardiners, fishermen, blacksmiths, masons,
and diggers up of trees roots, well provided, then a thousand of such
as we have; for except wee be able both to lodge them, and feed them,
the most will consume with want of necessaries before they can be
made good for anything. Thus if you please to consider this account,
and the unnecessary wages to Captaine Newport, or his ships so long
lingering and staying here (for notwithstanding his boasting to leave
us victuals for 12 months, though we had 89 by this discovery lame
and sicke, and but a pinte of corne a day for a man, we were
constrained to give him three hogsheads of that to victuall him
homeward), or yet to send into Germany or Poleland for glassemen and
the rest, till we be able to sustaine ourselves, and releeve them
when they come. It were better to give five hundred pound a ton for
those grosse Commodities in Denmarke, then send for them hither, till
more necessary things be provided. For in over-toyling our weake and
unskilfull bodies, to satisfy this desire of present profit, we can
scarce ever recover ourselves from one supply to another. And I
humbly intreat you hereafter, let us have what we should receive, and
not stand to the Saylers courtesie to leave us what they please, els
you may charge us what you will, but we not you with anything. These
are the causes that have kept us in Virginia from laying such a
foundation that ere this might have given much better content and
satisfaction, but as yet you must not look for any profitable
returning. So I humbly rest.

After the departure of Newport, Smith, with his accustomed
resolution, set to work to gather supplies for the winter. Corn had
to be extorted from the Indians by force. In one expedition to
Nansemond, when the Indians refused to trade, Smith fired upon them,
and then landed and burned one of their houses; whereupon they
submitted and loaded his three boats with corn. The ground was
covered with ice and snow, and the nights were bitterly cold. The
device for sleeping warm in the open air was to sweep the snow away
from the ground and build a fire; the fire was then raked off from
the heated earth and a mat spread, upon which the whites lay warm,
sheltered by a mat hung up on the windward side, until the ground got
cold, when they builded a fire on another place. Many a cold winter
night did the explorers endure this hardship, yet grew fat and lusty
under it.

About this time was solemnized the marriage of John Laydon and Anne
Burrows, the first in Virginia. Anne was the maid of Mistress
Forrest, who had just come out to grow up with the country, and John
was a laborer who came with the first colony in 1607. This was
actually the "First Family of Virginia," about which so much has been
eloquently said.

Provisions were still wanting. Mr. Scrivener and Mr. Percy returned
from an expedition with nothing. Smith proposed to surprise
Powhatan, and seize his store of corn, but he says he was hindered in
this project by Captain Winne and Mr. Scrivener (who had heretofore
been considered one of Smith's friends), whom he now suspected of
plotting his ruin in England.

Powhatan on his part sent word to Smith to visit him, to send him men
to build a house, give him a grindstone, fifty swords, some big guns,
a cock and a hen, much copper and beads, in return for which he
would load his ship with corn. Without any confidence in the crafty
savage, Smith humored him by sending several workmen, including four
Dutchmen, to build him a house. Meantime with two barges and the
pinnace and forty-six men, including Lieutenant Percy, Captain Wirt,
and Captain William Phittiplace, on the 29th of December he set out
on a journey to the Pamaunky, or York, River.

The first night was spent at "Warraskogack," the king of which
warned Smith that while Powhatan would receive him kindly he was only
seeking an opportunity to cut their throats and seize their arms.
Christmas was kept with extreme winds, rain, frost and snow among the
savages at Kecoughton, where before roaring fires they made merry
with plenty of oysters, fish, flesh, wild fowls and good bread. The
President and two others went gunning for birds, and brought down one
hundred and forty-eight fowls with three shots.

Ascending the river, on the 12th of January they reached
Werowocomoco. The river was frozen half a mile from the shore, and
when the barge could not come to land by reason of the ice and muddy
shallows, they effected a landing by wading. Powhatan at their
request sent them venison, turkeys, and bread; the next day he
feasted them, and then inquired when they were going, ignoring his
invitation to them to come. Hereupon followed a long game of fence
between Powhatan and Captain Smith, each trying to overreach the
other, and each indulging profusely in lies and pledges. Each
professed the utmost love for the other.

Smith upbraided him with neglect of his promise to supply them with
corn, and told him, in reply to his demand for weapons, that he had
no arms to spare. Powhatan asked him, if he came on a peaceful
errand, to lay aside his weapons, for he had heard that the English
came not so much for trade as to invade his people and possess his
country, and the people did not dare to bring in their corn while the
English were around.

Powhatan seemed indifferent about the building. The Dutchmen who had
come to build Powhatan a house liked the Indian plenty better than
the risk of starvation with the colony, revealed to Powhatan the
poverty of the whites, and plotted to betray them, of which plot
Smith was not certain till six months later. Powhatan discoursed
eloquently on the advantage of peace over war: "I have seen the death
of all my people thrice," he said, "and not any one living of those
three generations but myself; I know the difference of peace and war
better than any in my country. But I am now old and ere long must
die." He wanted to leave his brothers and sisters in peace. He
heard that Smith came to destroy his country. He asked him what good
it would do to destroy them that provided his food, to drive them
into the woods where they must feed on roots and acorns; "and be so
hunted by you that I can neither rest, eat nor sleep, but my tired
men must watch, and if a twig but break every one crieth, there
cometh Captain Smith!" They might live in peace, and trade, if Smith
would only lay aside his arms. Smith, in return, boasted of his
power to get provisions, and said that he had only been restrained
from violence by his love for Powhatan; that the Indians came armed
to Jamestown, and it was the habit of the whites to wear their arms.
Powhatan then contrasted the liberality of Newport, and told Smith
that while he had used him more kindly than any other chief, he had
received from him (Smith) the least kindness of any.

Believing that the palaver was only to get an opportunity to cut his
throat, Smith got the savages to break the ice in order to bring up
the barge and load it with corn, and gave orders for his soldiers to
land and surprise Powhatan; meantime, to allay his suspicions,
telling him the lie that next day he would lay aside his arms and
trust Powhatan's promises. But Powhatan was not to be caught with
such chaff. Leaving two or three women to talk with the Captain he
secretly fled away with his women, children, and luggage. When Smith
perceived this treachery he fired into the "naked devils" who were in
sight. The next day Powhatan sent to excuse his flight, and
presented him a bracelet and chain of pearl and vowed eternal

With matchlocks lighted, Smith forced the Indians to load the boats;
but as they were aground, and could not be got off till high water,
he was compelled to spend the night on shore. Powhatan and the
treacherous Dutchmen are represented as plotting to kill Smith that
night. Provisions were to be brought him with professions of
friendship, and Smith was to be attacked while at supper. The
Indians, with all the merry sports they could devise, spent the time
till night, and then returned to Powhatan.

The plot was frustrated in the providence of God by a strange means.
"For Pocahuntas his dearest jewele and daughter in that dark night
came through the irksome woods, and told our Captaine good cheer
should be sent us by and by; but Powhatan and all the power he could
make would after come and kill us all, if they that brought it could
not kill us with our own weapons when we were at supper. Therefore
if we would live she wished us presently to be gone. Such things as
she delighted in he would have given her; but with the tears rolling
down her cheeks she said she durst not to be seen to have any; for if
Powhatan should know it, she were but dead, and so she ran away by
herself as she came."

[This instance of female devotion is exactly paralleled in
D'Albertis's "New Guinea." Abia, a pretty Biota girl of seventeen,
made her way to his solitary habitation at the peril of her life, to
inform him that the men of Rapa would shortly bring him insects and
other presents, in order to get near him without suspicion, and then
kill him. He tried to reward the brave girl by hanging a gold chain
about her neck, but she refused it, saying it would betray her. He
could only reward her with a fervent kiss, upon which she fled.
Smith omits that part of the incident.]

In less than an hour ten burly fellows arrived with great platters of
victuals, and begged Smith to put out the matches (the smoke of which
made them sick) and sit down and eat. Smith, on his guard, compelled
them to taste each dish, and then sent them back to Powhatan. All
night the whites watched, but though the savages lurked about, no
attack was made. Leaving the four Dutchmen to build Powhatan's
house, and an Englishman to shoot game for him, Smith next evening
departed for Pamaunky.

No sooner had he gone than two of the Dutchmen made their way
overland to Jamestown, and, pretending Smith had sent them, procured
arms, tools, and clothing. They induced also half a dozen sailors,
"expert thieves," to accompany them to live with Powhatan; and
altogether they stole, besides powder and shot, fifty swords, eight
pieces, eight pistols, and three hundred hatchets. Edward Boynton
and Richard Savage, who had been left with Powhatan, seeing the
treachery, endeavored to escape, but were apprehended by the Indians.

At Pamaunky there was the same sort of palaver with Opechancanough,
the king, to whom Smith the year before had expounded the mysteries
of history, geography, and astronomy. After much fencing in talk,
Smith, with fifteen companions, went up to the King's house, where
presently he found himself betrayed and surrounded by seven hundred
armed savages, seeking his life. His company being dismayed, Smith
restored their courage by a speech, and then, boldly charging the
King with intent to murder him, he challenged him to a single combat
on an island in the river, each to use his own arms, but Smith to be
as naked as the King. The King still professed friendship, and laid
a great present at the door, about which the Indians lay in ambush to
kill Smith. But this hero, according to his own account, took prompt
measures. He marched out to the King where he stood guarded by fifty
of his chiefs, seized him by his long hair in the midst of his men,
and pointing a pistol at his breast led, him trembling and near dead
with fear amongst all his people. The King gave up his arms, and the
savages, astonished that any man dare treat their king thus, threw
down their bows. Smith, still holding the King by the hair, made
them a bold address, offering peace or war. They chose peace.

In the picture of this remarkable scene in the "General Historie,"
the savage is represented as gigantic in stature, big enough to crush
the little Smith in an instant if he had but chosen. Having given
the savages the choice to load his ship with corn or to load it
himself with their dead carcasses, the Indians so thronged in with
their commodities that Smith was tired of receiving them, and leaving
his comrades to trade, he lay down to rest. When he was asleep the
Indians, armed some with clubs, and some with old English swords,
entered into the house. Smith awoke in time, seized his arms, and
others coming to his rescue, they cleared the house.

While enduring these perils, sad news was brought from Jamestown.
Mr. Scrivener, who had letters from England (writes Smith) urging him
to make himself Caesar or nothing, declined in his affection for
Smith, and began to exercise extra authority. Against the advice of
the others, he needs must make a journey to the Isle of Hogs, taking
with him in the boat Captain Waldo, Anthony Gosnoll (or Gosnold,
believed to be a relative of Captain Bartholomew Gosnold), and eight
others. The boat was overwhelmed in a storm, and sunk, no one knows
how or where. The savages were the first to discover the bodies of
the lost. News of this disaster was brought to Captain Smith (who
did not disturb the rest by making it known) by Richard Wiffin, who
encountered great dangers on the way. Lodging overnight at
Powhatan's, he saw great preparations for war, and found himself in
peril. Pocahontas hid him for a time, and by her means, and
extraordinary bribes, in three days' travel he reached Smith.

Powhatan, according to Smith, threatened death to his followers if
they did not kill Smith. At one time swarms of natives, unarmed,
came bringing great supplies of provisions; this was to put Smith off
his guard, surround him with hundreds of savages, and slay him by an
ambush. But he also laid in ambush and got the better of the crafty
foe with a superior craft. They sent him poisoned food, which made
his company sick, but was fatal to no one. Smith apologizes for
temporizing with the Indians at this time, by explaining that his
purpose was to surprise Powhatan and his store of provisions. But
when they stealthily stole up to the seat of that crafty chief, they
found that those "damned Dutchmen" had caused Powhatan to abandon his
new house at Werowocomoco, and to carry away all his corn and

The reward of this wearisome winter campaign was two hundred weight
of deer-suet and four hundred and seventy-nine bushels of corn for
the general store. They had not to show such murdering and
destroying as the Spaniards in their "relations," nor heaps and mines
of gold and silver; the land of Virginia was barbarous and
ill-planted, and without precious jewels, but no Spanish relation
could show, with such scant means, so much country explored, so many
natives reduced to obedience, with so little bloodshed.



Without entering at all into the consideration of the character of
the early settlers of Virginia and of Massachusetts, one contrast
forces itself upon the mind as we read the narratives of the
different plantations. In Massachusetts there was from the beginning
a steady purpose to make a permanent settlement and colony, and
nearly all those who came over worked, with more or less friction,
with this end before them. The attempt in Virginia partook more of
the character of a temporary adventure. In Massachusetts from the
beginning a commonwealth was in view. In Virginia, although the
London promoters desired a colony to be fixed that would be
profitable to themselves, and many of the adventurers, Captain Smith
among them, desired a permanent planting, a great majority of those
who went thither had only in mind the advantages of trade, the
excitement of a free and licentious life, and the adventure of
something new and startling. It was long before the movers in it
gave up the notion of discovering precious metals or a short way to
the South Sea. The troubles the primitive colony endured resulted
quite as much from its own instability of purpose, recklessness, and
insubordination as from the hostility of the Indians. The majority
spent their time in idleness, quarreling, and plotting mutiny.

The ships departed for England in December, 1608. When Smith
returned from his expedition for food in the winter of 1609, he found
that all the provision except what he had gathered was so rotted from
the rain, and eaten by rats and worms, that the hogs would scarcely
eat it. Yet this had been the diet of the soldiers, who had consumed
the victuals and accomplished nothing except to let the savages have
the most of the tools and a good part of the arms.

Taking stock of what he brought in, Smith found food enough to last
till the next harvest, and at once organized the company into bands
of ten or fifteen, and compelled them to go to work. Six hours a day
were devoted to labor, and the remainder to rest and merry exercises.
Even with this liberal allowance of pastime a great part of the
colony still sulked. Smith made them a short address, exhibiting his
power in the letters-patent, and assuring them that he would enforce
discipline and punish the idle and froward; telling them that those
that did not work should not eat, and that the labor of forty or
fifty industrious men should not be consumed to maintain a hundred
and fifty idle loiterers. He made a public table of good and bad
conduct; but even with this inducement the worst had to be driven to
work by punishment or the fear of it.

The Dutchmen with Powhatan continued to make trouble, and
confederates in the camp supplied them with powder and shot, swords
and tools. Powhatan kept the whites who were with him to instruct
the Indians in the art of war. They expected other whites to join
them, and those not coming, they sent Francis, their companion,
disguised as an Indian, to find out the cause. He came to the Glass
house in the woods a mile from Jamestown, which was the rendezvous
for all their villainy. Here they laid an ambush of forty men for
Smith, who hearing of the Dutchman, went thither to apprehend him.
The rascal had gone, and Smith, sending twenty soldiers to follow and
capture him, started alone from the Glass house to return to the
fort. And now occurred another of those personal adventures which
made Smith famous by his own narration.

On his way he encountered the King of Paspahegh, "a most strong,
stout savage," who, seeing that Smith had only his falchion,
attempted to shoot him. Smith grappled him; the savage prevented his
drawing his blade, and bore him into the river to drown him. Long
they struggled in the water, when the President got the savage by the
throat and nearly strangled him, and drawing his weapon, was about to
cut off his head, when the King begged his life so pitifully, that
Smith led him prisoner to the fort and put him in chains.

In the pictures of this achievement, the savage is represented as
about twice the size and stature of Smith; another illustration that
this heroic soul was never contented to take one of his size.

The Dutchman was captured, who, notwithstanding his excuses that he
had escaped from Powhatan and did not intend to return, but was only
walking in the woods to gather walnuts, on the testimony of Paspahegh
of his treachery, was also "laid by the heels." Smith now proposed
to Paspahegh to spare his life if he would induce Powhatan to send
back the renegade Dutchmen. The messengers for this purpose reported
that the Dutchmen, though not detained by Powhatan, would not come,
and the Indians said they could not bring them on their backs fifty
miles through the woods. Daily the King's wives, children, and
people came to visit him, and brought presents to procure peace and
his release. While this was going on, the King, though fettered,
escaped. A pursuit only resulted in a vain fight with the Indians.
Smith then made prisoners of two Indians who seemed to be hanging
around the camp, Kemps and Tussore, "the two most exact villains in
all the country," who would betray their own king and kindred for a
piece of copper, and sent them with a force of soldiers, under Percy,
against Paspahegh. The expedition burned his house, but did not
capture the fugitive. Smith then went against them himself, killed
six or seven, burned their houses, and took their boats and fishing
wires. Thereupon the savages sued for peace, and an amnesty was
established that lasted as long as Smith remained in the country.

Another incident occurred about this time which greatly raised
Smith's credit in all that country. The Chicahomanians, who always
were friendly traders, were great thieves. One of them stole a
Pistol, and two proper young fellows, brothers, known to be his
confederates, were apprehended. One of them was put in the dungeon
and the other sent to recover the pistol within twelve hours, in
default of which his brother would be hanged. The President, pitying
the wretched savage in the dungeon, sent him some victuals and
charcoal for a fire. "Ere midnight his brother returned with the
pistol, but the poor savage in the dungeon was so smothered with the
smoke he had made, and so piteously burnt, that we found him dead.
The other most lamentably bewailed his death, and broke forth in such
bitter agonies, that the President, to quiet him, told him that if
hereafter they would not steal, he would make him alive again; but he
(Smith) little thought he could be recovered." Nevertheless, by a
liberal use of aqua vitae and vinegar the Indian was brought again to
life, but "so drunk and affrighted that he seemed lunatic, the which
as much tormented and grieved the other as before to see him dead."
Upon further promise of good behavior Smith promised to bring the
Indian out of this malady also, and so laid him by a fire to sleep.
In the morning the savage had recovered his perfect senses, his
wounds were dressed, and the brothers with presents of copper were
sent away well contented. This was spread among the savages for a
miracle, that Smith could make a man alive that was dead. He
narrates a second incident which served to give the Indians a
wholesome fear of the whites: "Another ingenious savage of Powhatan
having gotten a great bag of powder and the back of an armour at
Werowocomoco, amongst a many of his companions, to show his
extraordinary skill, he did dry it on the back as he had seen the
soldiers at Jamestown. But he dried it so long, they peeping over it
to see his skill, it took fire, and blew him to death, and one or two
more, and the rest so scorched they had little pleasure any more to
meddle with gunpowder."

"These and many other such pretty incidents," says Smith, "so amazed
and affrighted Powhatan and his people that from all parts they
desired peace;" stolen articles were returned, thieves sent to
Jamestown for punishment, and the whole country became as free for
the whites as for the Indians.

And now ensued, in the spring of 1609, a prosperous period of three
months, the longest season of quiet the colony had enjoyed, but only
a respite from greater disasters. The friendship of the Indians and
the temporary subordination of the settlers we must attribute to
Smith's vigor, shrewdness, and spirit of industry. It was much
easier to manage the Indian's than the idle and vicious men that
composed the majority of the settlement.

In these three months they manufactured three or four lasts (fourteen
barrels in a last) of tar, pitch, and soap-ashes, produced some
specimens of glass, dug a well of excellent sweet water in the fort,
which they had wanted for two years, built twenty houses, repaired
the church, planted thirty or forty acres of ground, and erected a
block-house on the neck of the island, where a garrison was stationed
to trade with the savages and permit neither whites nor Indians to
pass except on the President's order. Even the domestic animals
partook the industrious spirit: "of three sowes in eighteen months
increased 60 and od Pigs; and neare 500 chickings brought up
themselves without having any meat given them." The hogs were
transferred to Hog Isle, where another block house was built and
garrisoned, and the garrison were permitted to take "exercise" in
cutting down trees and making clapboards and wainscot. They were
building a fort on high ground, intended for an easily defended
retreat, when a woful discovery put an end to their thriving plans.

Upon examination of the corn stored in casks, it was found
half-rotten, and the rest consumed by rats, which had bred in thousands
from the few which came over in the ships. The colony was now at its
wits end, for there was nothing to eat except the wild products of
the country. In this prospect of famine, the two Indians, Kemps and
Tussore, who had been kept fettered while showing the whites how to
plant the fields, were turned loose; but they were unwilling to
depart from such congenial company. The savages in the neighborhood
showed their love by bringing to camp, for sixteen days, each day at
least a hundred squirrels, turkeys, deer, and other wild beasts. But
without corn, the work of fortifying and building had to be
abandoned, and the settlers dispersed to provide victuals. A party
of sixty or eighty men under Ensign Laxon were sent down the river to
live on oysters; some twenty went with Lieutenant Percy to try
fishing at Point Comfort, where for six weeks not a net was cast,
owing to the sickness of Percy, who had been burnt with gunpowder;
and another party, going to the Falls with Master West, found nothing
to eat but a few acorns.

Up to this time the whole colony was fed by the labors of thirty or
forty men: there was more sturgeon than could be devoured by dog and
man; it was dried, pounded, and mixed with caviare, sorrel, and other
herbs, to make bread; bread was also made of the "Tockwhogh" root,
and with the fish and these wild fruits they lived very well. But
there were one hundred and fifty of the colony who would rather
starve or eat each other than help gather food. These "distracted,
gluttonous loiterers" would have sold anything they had--tools, arms,
and their houses--for anything the savages would bring them to eat.
Hearing that there was a basket of corn at Powhatan's, fifty miles
away, they would have exchanged all their property for it. To
satisfy their factious humors, Smith succeeded in getting half of it:
"they would have sold their souls," he says, for the other half,
though not sufficient to last them a week.

The clamors became so loud that Smith punished the ringleader, one
Dyer, a crafty fellow, and his ancient maligner, and then made one of
his conciliatory addresses. Having shown them how impossible it was
to get corn, and reminded them of his own exertions, and that he had
always shared with them anything he had, he told them that he should
stand their nonsense no longer; he should force the idle to work, and
punish them if they railed; if any attempted to escape to
Newfoundland in the pinnace they would arrive at the gallows; the
sick should not starve; every man able must work, and every man who
did not gather as much in a day as he did should be put out of the
fort as a drone.

Such was the effect of this speech that of the two hundred only seven
died in this pinching time, except those who were drowned; no man
died of want. Captain Winne and Master Leigh had died before this
famine occurred. Many of the men were billeted among the savages,
who used them well, and stood in such awe of the power at the fort
that they dared not wrong the whites out of a pin. The Indians
caught Smith's humor, and some of the men who ran away to seek Kemps
and Tussore were mocked and ridiculed, and had applied to them
--Smith's law of "who cannot work must not eat;" they were almost
starved and beaten nearly to death. After amusing himself with them,
Kemps returned the fugitives, whom Smith punished until they were
content to labor at home, rather than adventure to live idly among
the savages, "of whom," says our shrewd chronicler, "there was more
hope to make better christians and good subjects than the one half of
them that counterfeited themselves both." The Indians were in such
subjection that any who were punished at the fort would beg the
President not to tell their chief, for they would be again punished
at home and sent back for another round.

We hear now of the last efforts to find traces of the lost colony of
Sir Walter Raleigh. Master Sicklemore returned from the Chawwonoke
(Chowan River) with no tidings of them; and Master Powell, and Anas
Todkill who had been conducted to the Mangoags, in the regions south
of the James, could learn nothing but that they were all dead. The
king of this country was a very proper, devout, and friendly man; he
acknowledged that our God exceeded his as much as our guns did his
bows and arrows, and asked the President to pray his God for him, for
all the gods of the Mangoags were angry.

The Dutchmen and one Bentley, another fugitive, who were with
Powhatan, continued to plot against the colony, and the President
employed a Swiss, named William Volday, to go and regain them with
promises of pardon. Volday turned out to be a hypocrite, and a
greater rascal than the others. Many of the discontented in the fort
were brought into the scheme, which was, with Powhatan's aid, to
surprise and destroy Jamestown. News of this getting about in the
fort, there was a demand that the President should cut off these
Dutchmen. Percy and Cuderington, two gentlemen, volunteered to do
it; but Smith sent instead Master Wiffin and Jeffrey Abbot, to go and
stab them or shoot them. But the Dutchmen were too shrewd to be
caught, and Powhatan sent a conciliatory message that he did not
detain the Dutchmen, nor hinder the slaying of them.

While this plot was simmering, and Smith was surrounded by treachery
inside the fort and outside, and the savages were being taught that
King James would kill Smith because he had used the Indians so
unkindly, Captain Argall and Master Thomas Sedan arrived out in a
well-furnished vessel, sent by Master Cornelius to trade and fish for
sturgeon. The wine and other good provision of the ship were so
opportune to the necessities of the colony that the President seized
them. Argall lost his voyage; his ship was revictualed and sent back
to England, but one may be sure that this event was so represented as
to increase the fostered dissatisfaction with Smith in London. For
one reason or another, most of the persons who returned had probably
carried a bad report of him. Argall brought to Jamestown from London
a report of great complaints of him for his dealings with the savages
and not returning ships freighted with the products of the country.
Misrepresented in London, and unsupported and conspired against in
Virginia, Smith felt his fall near at hand. On the face of it he was
the victim of envy and the rascality of incompetent and bad men; but
whatever his capacity for dealing with savages, it must be confessed
that he lacked something which conciliates success with one's own
people. A new commission was about to be issued, and a great supply
was in preparation under Lord De La Ware.



The London company were profoundly dissatisfied with the results of
the Virginia colony. The South Sea was not discovered, no gold had
turned up, there were no valuable products from the new land, and the
promoters received no profits on their ventures. With their
expectations, it is not to be wondered at that they were still
further annoyed by the quarreling amongst the colonists themselves,
and wished to begin over again.

A new charter, dated May 23, 1609, with enlarged powers, was got from
King James. Hundreds of corporators were named, and even thousands
were included in the various London trades and guilds that were
joined in the enterprise. Among the names we find that of Captain
John Smith. But he was out of the Council, nor was he given then or
ever afterward any place or employment in Virginia, or in the
management of its affairs. The grant included all the American coast
two hundred miles north and two hundred miles south of Point Comfort,
and all the territory from the coast up into the land throughout from
sea to sea, west and northwest. A leading object of the project
still being (as we have seen it was with Smith's precious crew at
Jamestown) the conversion and reduction of the natives to the true
religion, no one was permitted in the colony who had not taken the
oath of supremacy.

Under this charter the Council gave a commission to Sir Thomas West,
Lord Delaware, Captain-General of Virginia; Sir Thomas Gates,
Lieutenant-General; Sir George Somers, Admiral; Captain Newport,
Vice-Admiral; Sir Thomas Dale, High Marshal; Sir Frederick Wainman,
General of the Horse, and many other officers for life.

With so many wealthy corporators money flowed into the treasury, and
a great expedition was readily fitted out. Towards the end of May,
1609, there sailed from England nine ships and five hundred people,
under the command of Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, and Captain
Newport. Each of these commanders had a commission, and the one who
arrived first was to call in the old commission; as they could not
agree, they all sailed in one ship, the Sea Venture.

This brave expedition was involved in a contest with a hurricane; one
vessel was sunk, and the Sea Venture, with the three commanders, one
hundred and fifty men, the new commissioners, bills of lading, all
sorts of instructions, and much provision, was wrecked on the
Bermudas. With this company was William Strachey, of whom we shall
hear more hereafter. Seven vessels reached Jamestown, and brought,
among other annoyances, Smith's old enemy, Captain Ratcliffe, alias
Sicklemore, in command of a ship. Among the company were also
Captains Martin, Archer, Wood, Webbe, Moore, King, Davis, and several
gentlemen of good means, and a crowd of the riff-raff of London.
Some of these Captains whom Smith had sent home, now returned with
new pretensions, and had on the voyage prejudiced the company against
him. When the fleet was first espied, the President thought it was
Spaniards, and prepared to defend himself, the Indians promptly
coming to his assistance.

This hurricane tossed about another expedition still more famous,
that of Henry Hudson, who had sailed from England on his third voyage
toward Nova Zembla March 25th, and in July and August was beating
down the Atlantic coast. On the 18th of August he entered the Capes
of Virginia, and sailed a little way up the Bay. He knew he was at
the mouth of the James River, "where our Englishmen are," as he says.
The next day a gale from the northeast made him fear being driven
aground in the shallows, and he put to sea. The storm continued for
several days. On the 21st "a sea broke over the fore-course and
split it;" and that night something more ominous occurred: "that
night [the chronicle records] our cat ran crying from one side of the
ship to the other, looking overboard, which made us to wonder, but we
saw nothing." On the 26th they were again off the bank of Virginia,
and in the very bay and in sight of the islands they had seen on the
18th. It appeared to Hudson "a great bay with rivers," but too
shallow to explore without a small boat. After lingering till the
29th, without any suggestion of ascending the James, he sailed
northward and made the lucky stroke of river exploration which
immortalized him.

It seems strange that he did not search for the English colony, but
the adventurers of that day were independent actors, and did not care
to share with each other the glories of discovery.

The first of the scattered fleet of Gates and Somers came in on the
11th, and the rest straggled along during the three or four days
following. It was a narrow chance that Hudson missed them all, and
one may imagine that the fate of the Virginia colony and of the New
York settlement would have been different if the explorer of the
Hudson had gone up the James.

No sooner had the newcomers landed than trouble began. They would
have deposed Smith on report of the new commission, but they could
show no warrant. Smith professed himself willing to retire to
England, but, seeing the new commission did not arrive, held on to
his authority, and began to enforce it to save the whole colony from
anarchy. He depicts the situation in a paragraph: "To a thousand
mischiefs these lewd Captains led this lewd company, wherein were
many unruly gallants, packed thither by their friends to escape ill
destinies, and those would dispose and determine of the government,
sometimes to one, the next day to another; today the old commission
must rule, tomorrow the new, the next day neither; in fine, they
would rule all or ruin all; yet in charity we must endure them thus
to destroy us, or by correcting their follies, have brought the
world's censure upon us to be guilty of their blouds. Happie had we
beene had they never arrived, and we forever abandoned, as we were
left to our fortunes; for on earth for their number was never more
confusion or misery than their factions occasioned." In this company
came a boy, named Henry Spelman, whose subsequent career possesses
considerable interest.

The President proceeded with his usual vigor: he "laid by the heels"
the chief mischief-makers till he should get leisure to punish them;
sent Mr. West with one hundred and twenty good men to the Falls to
make a settlement; and despatched Martin with near as many and their
proportion of provisions to Nansemond, on the river of that name
emptying into the James, obliquely opposite Point Comfort.

Lieutenant Percy was sick and had leave to depart for England when he
chose. The President's year being about expired, in accordance with
the charter, he resigned, and Captain Martin was elected President.
But knowing his inability, he, after holding it three hours, resigned
it to Smith, and went down to Nansemond. The tribe used him kindly,
but he was so frightened with their noisy demonstration of mirth that
he surprised and captured the poor naked King with his houses, and
began fortifying his position, showing so much fear that the savages
were emboldened to attack him, kill some of his men, release their
King, and carry off a thousand bushels of corn which had been
purchased, Martin not offering to intercept them. The frightened
Captain sent to Smith for aid, who despatched to him thirty good
shot. Martin, too chicken-hearted to use them, came back with them
to Jamestown, leaving his company to their fortunes. In this
adventure the President commends the courage of one George Forrest,
who, with seventeen arrows sticking into him and one shot through
him, lived six or seven days.

Meantime Smith, going up to the Falls to look after Captain West, met
that hero on his way to Jamestown. He turned him back, and found
that he had planted his colony on an unfavorable flat, subject not
only to the overflowing of the river, but to more intolerable
inconveniences. To place him more advantageously the President sent
to Powhatan, offering to buy the place called Powhatan, promising to
defend him against the Monacans, to pay him in copper, and make a
general alliance of trade and friendship.

But "those furies," as Smith calls West and his associates, refused
to move to Powhatan or to accept these conditions. They contemned
his authority, expecting all the time the new commission, and,
regarding all the Monacans' country as full of gold, determined that
no one should interfere with them in the possession of it. Smith,
however, was not intimidated from landing and attempting to quell
their mutiny. In his "General Historie" it is written "I doe more
than wonder to think how onely with five men he either durst or would
adventure as he did (knowing how greedy they were of his bloud) to
come amongst them." He landed and ordered the arrest of the chief
disturbers, but the crowd hustled him off. He seized one of their
boats and escaped to the ship which contained the provision.
Fortunately the sailors were friendly and saved his life, and a
considerable number of the better sort, seeing the malice of
Ratcliffe and Archer, took Smith's part.

Out of the occurrences at this new settlement grew many of the
charges which were preferred against Smith. According to the
"General Historie" the company of Ratcliffe and Archer was a
disorderly rabble, constantly tormenting the Indians, stealing their
corn, robbing their gardens, beating them, and breaking into their
houses and taking them prisoners. The Indians daily complained to
the President that these "protectors" he had given them were worse
enemies than the Monacans, and desired his pardon if they defended
themselves, since he could not punish their tormentors. They even
proposed to fight for him against them. Smith says that after
spending nine days in trying to restrain them, and showing them how
they deceived themselves with "great guilded hopes of the South Sea
Mines," he abandoned them to their folly and set sail for Jamestown.

No sooner was he under way than the savages attacked the fort, slew
many of the whites who were outside, rescued their friends who were
prisoners, and thoroughly terrified the garrison. Smith's ship
happening to go aground half a league below, they sent off to him,
and were glad to submit on any terms to his mercy. He "put by the
heels" six or seven of the chief offenders, and transferred the
colony to Powhatan, where were a fort capable of defense against all
the savages in Virginia, dry houses for lodging, and two hundred
acres of ground ready to be planted. This place, so strong and
delightful in situation, they called Non-such. The savages appeared
and exchanged captives, and all became friends again.

At this moment, unfortunately, Captain West returned. All the
victuals and munitions having been put ashore, the old factious
projects were revived. The soft-hearted West was made to believe
that the rebellion had been solely on his account. Smith, seeing
them bent on their own way, took the row-boat for Jamestown. The
colony abandoned the pleasant Non-such and returned to the open air
at West's Fort. On his way down, Smith met with the accident that
suddenly terminated his career in Virginia.

While he was sleeping in his boat his powder-bag was accidentally
fired; the explosion tore the flesh from his body and thighs, nine or
ten inches square, in the most frightful manner. To quench the
tormenting fire, frying him in his clothes, he leaped into the deep
river, where, ere they could recover him, he was nearly drowned. In
this pitiable condition, without either surgeon or surgery, he was to
go nearly a hundred miles.

It is now time for the appearance upon the scene of the boy Henry
Spelman, with his brief narration, which touches this period of
Smith's life. Henry Spelman was the third son of the distinguished
antiquarian, Sir Henry Spelman, of Coughan, Norfolk, who was married
in 1581. It is reasonably conjectured that he could not have been
over twenty-one when in May, 1609, he joined the company going to
Virginia. Henry was evidently a scapegrace, whose friends were
willing to be rid of him. Such being his character, it is more than
probable that he was shipped bound as an apprentice, and of course
with the conditions of apprenticeship in like expeditions of that
period--to be sold or bound out at the end of the voyage to pay for
his passage. He remained for several years in Virginia, living most
of the time among the Indians, and a sort of indifferent go between
of the savages and the settlers. According to his own story it was
on October 20, 1609, that he was taken up the river to Powhatan by
Captain Smith, and it was in April, 1613, that he was rescued from
his easy-setting captivity on the Potomac by Captain Argall. During
his sojourn in Virginia, or more probably shortly after his return to
England, he wrote a brief and bungling narration of his experiences
in the colony, and a description of Indian life. The MS. was not
printed in his time, but mislaid or forgotten. By a strange series
of chances it turned up in our day, and was identified and prepared
for the press in 1861. Before the proof was read, the type was
accidentally broken up and the MS. again mislaid. Lost sight of for
several years, it was recovered and a small number of copies of it
were printed at London in 1872, edited by Mr. James F. Hunnewell.

Spelman's narration would be very important if we could trust it. He
appeared to have set down what he saw, and his story has a certain
simplicity that gains for it some credit. But he was a reckless boy,
unaccustomed to weigh evidence, and quite likely to write as facts
the rumors that he heard. He took very readily to the ways of Indian
life. Some years after, Spelman returned to Virginia with the title
of Captain, and in 1617 we find this reference to him in the "General
Historie": "Here, as at many other times, we are beholden to Capt.
Henry Spilman, an interpreter, a gentleman that lived long time in
this country, and sometimes a prisoner among the Salvages, and done
much good service though but badly rewarded." Smith would probably
not have left this on record had he been aware of the contents of the
MS. that Spelman had left for after-times.

Spelman begins his Relation, from which I shall quote substantially,
without following the spelling or noting all the interlineations,
with the reason for his emigration, which was, "being in displeasure
of my friends, and desirous to see other countries." After a brief
account of the voyage and the joyful arrival at Jamestown, the
Relation continues:

"Having here unloaded our goods and bestowed some senight or
fortnight in viewing the country, I was carried by Capt. Smith, our
President, to the Falls, to the little Powhatan, where, unknown to
me, he sold me to him for a town called Powhatan; and, leaving me
with him, the little Powhatan, he made known to Capt. West how he had
bought a town for them to dwell in. Whereupon Capt. West, growing
angry because he had bestowed cost to begin a town in another place,
Capt. Smith desiring that Capt. West would come and settle himself
there, but Capt. West, having bestowed cost to begin a town in
another place, misliked it, and unkindness thereupon arising between
them, Capt. Smith at that time replied little, but afterward combined
with Powhatan to kill Capt. West, which plot took but small effect,
for in the meantime Capt. Smith was apprehended and sent aboard for

That this roving boy was "thrown in" as a makeweight in the trade for
the town is not impossible; but that Smith combined with Powhatan to
kill Captain West is doubtless West's perversion of the offer of the
Indians to fight on Smith's side against him.

According to Spelman's Relation, he stayed only seven or eight days
with the little Powhatan, when he got leave to go to Jamestown, being
desirous to see the English and to fetch the small articles that
belonged to him. The Indian King agreed to wait for him at that
place, but he stayed too long, and on his return the little Powhatan
had departed, and Spelman went back to Jamestown. Shortly after, the
great Powhatan sent Thomas Savage with a present of venison to
President Percy. Savage was loath to return alone, and Spelman was
appointed to go with him, which he did willingly, as victuals were
scarce in camp. He carried some copper and a hatchet, which he
presented to Powhatan, and that Emperor treated him and his comrade
very kindly, seating them at his own mess-table. After some three
weeks of this life, Powhatan sent this guileless youth down to decoy
the English into his hands, promising to freight a ship with corn if
they would visit him. Spelman took the message and brought back the
English reply, whereupon Powhatan laid the plot which resulted in the
killing of Captain Ratcliffe and thirty-eight men, only two of his
company escaping to Jamestown. Spelman gives two versions of this
incident. During the massacre Spelman says that Powhatan sent him
and Savage to a town some sixteen miles away. Smith's "General
Historie" says that on this occasion "Pocahuntas saved a boy named
Henry Spilman that lived many years afterward, by her means, among
the Patawomekes." Spelman says not a word about Pocahuntas. On the
contrary, he describes the visit of the King of the Patawomekes to
Powhatan; says that the King took a fancy to him; that he and Dutch
Samuel, fearing for their lives, escaped from Powhatan's town; were
pursued; that Samuel was killed, and that Spelman, after dodging
about in the forest, found his way to the Potomac, where he lived
with this good King Patomecke at a place called Pasptanzie for more
than a year. Here he seems to have passed his time agreeably, for
although he had occasional fights with the squaws of Patomecke, the
King was always his friend, and so much was he attached to the boy
that he would not give him up to Captain Argall without some copper
in exchange.

When Smith returned wounded to Jamestown, he was physically in no
condition to face the situation. With no medical attendance, his
death was not improbable. He had no strength to enforce discipline
nor organize expeditions for supplies; besides, he was acting under a
commission whose virtue had expired, and the mutinous spirits
rebelled against his authority. Ratcliffe, Archer, and the others
who were awaiting trial conspired against him, and Smith says he
would have been murdered in his bed if the murderer's heart had not
failed him when he went to fire his pistol at the defenseless sick
man. However, Smith was forced to yield to circumstances. No sooner
had he given out that he would depart for England than they persuaded
Mr. Percy to stay and act as President, and all eyes were turned in
expectation of favor upon the new commanders. Smith being thus
divested of authority, the most of the colony turned against him;
many preferred charges, and began to collect testimony. "The ships
were detained three weeks to get up proofs of his ill-conduct"--"time
and charges," says Smith, dryly, "that might much better have been

It must have enraged the doughty Captain, lying thus helpless, to see
his enemies triumph, the most factious of the disturbers in the
colony in charge of affairs, and become his accusers. Even at this
distance we can read the account with little patience, and should
have none at all if the account were not edited by Smith himself.
His revenge was in his good fortune in setting his own story afloat
in the current of history. The first narrative of these events,
published by Smith in his Oxford tract of 1612, was considerably
remodeled and changed in his "General Historie" of 1624. As we have
said before, he had a progressive memory, and his opponents ought to
be thankful that the pungent Captain did not live to work the story
over a third time.

It is no doubt true, however, that but for the accident to our hero,
he would have continued to rule till the arrival of Gates and Somers
with the new commissions; as he himself says, "but had that unhappy
blast not happened, he would quickly have qualified the heat of those
humors and factions, had the ships but once left them and us to our
fortunes; and have made that provision from among the salvages, as we
neither feared Spaniard, Salvage, nor famine: nor would have left
Virginia nor our lawful authority, but at as dear a price as we had
bought it, and paid for it."

He doubtless would have fought it out against all comers; and who
shall say that he does not merit the glowing eulogy on himself which
he inserts in his General History? "What shall I say but this, we
left him, that in all his proceedings made justice his first guide,
and experience his second, ever hating baseness, sloth, pride, and
indignity, more than any dangers; that upon no danger would send them
where he would not lead them himself; that would never see us want
what he either had or could by any means get us; that would rather
want than borrow; or starve than not pay; that loved action more than
words, and hated falsehood and covetousness worse than death; whose
adventures were our lives, and whose loss our deaths."

A handsomer thing never was said of another man than Smith could say
of himself, but he believed it, as also did many of his comrades, we
must suppose. He suffered detraction enough, but he suffered also
abundant eulogy both in verse and prose. Among his eulogists, of
course, is not the factious Captain Ratcliffe. In the English
Colonial State papers, edited by Mr. Noel Sainsbury, is a note, dated
Jamestown, October 4, 1609, from Captain "John Radclyffe comenly
called," to the Earl of Salisbury, which contains this remark upon
Smith's departure after the arrival of the last supply: "They heard
that all the Council were dead but Capt. [John] Smith, President, who
reigned sole Governor, and is now sent home to answer some

Captain Archer also regards this matter in a different light from
that in which Smith represents it. In a letter from Jamestown,
written in August, he says:

"In as much as the President [Smith], to strengthen his authority,
accorded with the variances and gave not any due respect to many
worthy gentlemen that were in our ships, wherefore they generally,
with my consent, chose Master West, my Lord De La Ware's brother,
their Governor or President de bene esse, in the absence of Sir
Thomas Gates, or if he be miscarried by sea, then to continue till we
heard news from our counsell in England. This choice of him they
made not to disturb the old President during his term, but as his
authority expired, then to take upon him the sole government, with
such assistants of the captains or discreet persons as the colony

"Perhaps you shall have it blamed as a mutinie by such as retaine old
malice, but Master West, Master Piercie, and all the respected
gentlemen of worth in Virginia, can and will testify otherwise upon
their oaths. For the King's patent we ratified, but refused to be
governed by the President--that is, after his time was expired and
only subjected ourselves to Master West, whom we labor to have next

It is clear from this statement that the attempt was made to
supersede Smith even before his time expired, and without any
authority (since the new commissions were still with Gates and Somers
in Bermuda), for the reason that Smith did not pay proper respect to
the newly arrived "gentlemen." Smith was no doubt dictatorial and
offensive, and from his point of view he was the only man who
understood Virginia, and knew how successfully to conduct the affairs
of the colony. If this assumption were true it would be none the
less disagreeable to the new-comers.

At the time of Smith's deposition the colony was in prosperous
condition. The "General Historie" says that he left them "with
three ships, seven boats, commodities ready to trade, the harvest
newly gathered, ten weeks' provision in store, four hundred ninety
and odd persons, twenty-four pieces of ordnance, three hundred
muskets, snaphances and fire-locks, shot, powder, and match
sufficient, curats, pikes, swords, and morrios, more than men; the
Salvages, their language and habitations well known to a hundred
well-trained and expert soldiers; nets for fishing; tools of all
kinds to work; apparel to supply our wants; six mules and a horse;
five or six hundred swine; as many hens and chickens; some goats;
some sheep; what was brought or bred there remained." Jamestown was
also strongly palisaded and contained some fifty or sixty houses;
besides there were five or six other forts and plantations, "not so
sumptuous as our succerers expected, they were better than they
provided any for us."

These expectations might well be disappointed if they were founded
upon the pictures of forts and fortifications in Virginia and in the
Somers Islands, which appeared in De Bry and in the "General
Historie," where they appear as massive stone structures with all the
finish and elegance of the European military science of the day.

Notwithstanding these ample provisions for the colony, Smith had
small expectation that it would thrive without him. "They regarding
nothing," he says, "but from hand to mouth, did consume what we had,
took care for nothing but to perfect some colorable complaint against
Captain Smith."

Nor was the composition of the colony such as to beget high hopes of
it. There was but one carpenter, and three others that desired to
learn, two blacksmiths, ten sailors; those called laborers were for
the most part footmen, brought over to wait upon the adventurers, who
did not know what a day's work was--all the real laborers were the
Dutchmen and Poles and some dozen others. "For all the rest were
poor gentlemen, tradesmen, serving men, libertines, and such like,
ten times more fit to spoil a commonwealth than either begin one or
help to maintain one. For when neither the fear of God, nor the law,
nor shame, nor displeasure of their friends could rule them here,
there is small hope ever to bring one in twenty of them to be good
there." Some of them proved more industrious than was expected;
"but ten good workmen would have done more substantial work in a day
than ten of them in a week."

The disreputable character of the majority of these colonists is
abundantly proved by other contemporary testimony. In the letter of
the Governor and Council of Virginia to the London Company, dated
Jamestown, July 7, 1610, signed by Lord De La Ware, Thomas Gates,
George Percy, Ferd. Wenman, and William Strachey, and probably
composed by Strachey, after speaking of the bountiful capacity of the
country, the writer exclaims: "Only let me truly acknowledge there
are not one hundred or two of deboisht hands, dropt forth by year
after year, with penury and leysure, ill provided for before they
come, and worse governed when they are here, men of such distempered
bodies and infected minds, whom no examples daily before their eyes,
either of goodness or punishment, can deterr from their habituall
impieties, or terrifie from a shameful death, that must be the
carpenters and workmen in this so glorious a building."

The chapter in the "General Historie" relating to Smith's last days
in Virginia was transferred from the narrative in the appendix to
Smith's "Map of Virginia," Oxford, 1612, but much changed in the
transfer. In the "General Historie" Smith says very little about the
nature of the charges against him. In the original narrative signed
by Richard Pots and edited by Smith, there are more details of the
charges. One omitted passage is this: "Now all those Smith had
either whipped or punished, or in any way disgraced, had free power
and liberty to say or sweare anything, and from a whole armful of
their examinations this was concluded."

Another omitted passage relates to the charge, to which reference is
made in the "General Historie," that Smith proposed to marry

"Some propheticall spirit calculated he had the salvages in such
subjection, he would have made himself a king by marrying Pocahuntas,
Powhatan's daughter. It is true she was the very nonpareil
of his kingdom, and at most not past thirteen or fourteen years of
age. Very oft she came to our fort with what she could get for
Capt. Smith, that ever loved and used all the country well, but her
especially he ever much respected, and she so well requited it, that
when her father intended to have surprised him, she by stealth in
the dark night came through the wild woods and told him of it.
But her marriage could in no way have entitled him by any right
to the kingdom, nor was it ever suspected he had such a thought, or
more regarded her or any of them than in honest reason and discretion
he might. If he would he might have married her, or have
done what he listed. For there were none that could have hindered
his determination."

It is fair, in passing, to remark that the above allusion to the
night visit of Pocahontas to Smith in this tract of 1612 helps to
confirm the story, which does not appear in the previous narration of
Smith's encounter with Powhatan at Werowocomoco in the same tract,
but is celebrated in the "General Historie." It is also hinted
plainly enough that Smith might have taken the girl to wife, Indian



It was necessary to follow for a time the fortune of the Virginia
colony after the departure of Captain Smith. Of its disasters and
speedy decline there is no more doubt than there is of the opinion of
Smith that these were owing to his absence. The savages, we read in
his narration, no sooner knew he was gone than they all revolted and
spoiled and murdered all they encountered.

The day before Captain Smith sailed, Captain Davis arrived in a small
pinnace with sixteen men. These, with a company from the fort under
Captain Ratcliffe, were sent down to Point Comfort. Captain West and
Captain Martin, having lost their boats and half their men among the
savages at the Falls, returned to Jamestown. The colony now lived
upon what Smith had provided, "and now they had presidents with all
their appurtenances." President Percy was so sick he could neither go
nor stand. Provisions getting short, West and Ratcliffe went abroad
to trade, and Ratcliffe and twenty-eight of his men were slain by an
ambush of Powhatan's, as before related in the narrative of Henry
Spelman. Powhatan cut off their boats, and refused to trade, so that
Captain West set sail for England. What ensued cannot be more
vividly told than in the "General Historie":

"Now we all found the losse of Capt. Smith, yea his greatest
maligners could now curse his losse; as for corne provision and
contribution from the salvages, we had nothing but mortall wounds,
with clubs and arrowes; as for our hogs, hens, goats, sheep, horse,
or what lived, our commanders, officers and salvages daily consumed
them, some small proportions sometimes we tasted, till all was
devoured; then swords, arms, pieces or anything was traded with the
salvages, whose cruell fingers were so oft imbrued in our blouds,
that what by their crueltie, our Governor's indiscretion, and the
losse of our ships, of five hundred within six months after Capt.
Smith's departure, there remained not past sixty men, women and
children, most miserable and poore creatures; and those were
preserved for the most part, by roots, herbes, acorns, walnuts,
berries, now and then a little fish; they that had starch in these
extremities made no small use of it, yea, even the very skinnes of
our horses. Nay, so great was our famine, that a salvage we slew and
buried, the poorer sort took him up again and eat him, and so did
divers one another boyled, and stewed with roots and herbs. And one
amongst the rest did kill his wife, poudered her and had eaten part
of her before it was knowne, for which he was executed, as he well
deserved; now whether she was better roasted, boyled, or carbonaded,
I know not, but of such a dish as powdered wife I never heard of.
This was that time, which still to this day we called the starving
time; it were too vile to say and scarce to be believed what we
endured; but the occasion was our owne, for want of providence,
industrie and government, and not the barreness and defect of the
country as is generally supposed."

This playful allusion to powdered wife, and speculation as to how she
was best cooked, is the first instance we have been able to find of
what is called "American humor," and Captain Smith has the honor of
being the first of the "American humorists" who have handled subjects
of this kind with such pleasing gayety.

It is to be noticed that this horrible story of cannibalism and
wife-eating appears in Smith's "General Historie" of 1624, without a
word of contradiction or explanation, although the company as early as
1610 had taken pains to get at the facts, and Smith must have seen
their "Declaration," which supposes the story was started by enemies
of the colony. Some reported they saw it, some that Captain Smith
said so, and some that one Beadle, the lieutenant of Captain Davis,
did relate it. In "A True Declaration of the State of the Colonie in
Virginia," published by the advice and direction of the Council of
Virginia, London, 1610, we read:

"But to clear all doubt, Sir Thomas Yates thus relateth the tragedie:

"There was one of the company who mortally hated his wife, and
therefore secretly killed her, then cut her in pieces and hid her in
divers parts of his house: when the woman was missing, the man
suspected, his house searched, and parts of her mangled body were
discovered, to excuse himself he said that his wife died, that he hid
her to satisfie his hunger, and that he fed daily upon her. Upon
this his house was again searched, when they found a good quantitie
of meale, oatmeale, beanes and pease. Hee therefore was arraigned,
confessed the murder, and was burned for his horrible villainy."

This same "True Declaration," which singularly enough does not
mention the name of Captain Smith, who was so prominent an actor in
Virginia during the period to which it relates, confirms all that
Smith said as to the character of the colonists, especially the new
supply which landed in the eight vessels with Ratcliffe and Archer.
"Every man overvalueing his own strength would be a commander; every
man underprizing another's value, denied to be commanded." They were
negligent and improvident. "Every man sharked for his present
bootie, but was altogether careless of succeeding penurie." To
idleness and faction was joined treason. About thirty "unhallowed
creatures," in the winter of 1610, some five months before the
arrival of Captain Gates, seized upon the ship Swallow, which had
been prepared to trade with the Indians, and having obtained corn
conspired together and made a league to become pirates, dreaming of
mountains of gold and happy robberies. By this desertion they
weakened the colony, which waited for their return with the
provisions, and they made implacable enemies of the Indians by their
violence. "These are that scum of men," which, after roving the seas
and failing in their piracy, joined themselves to other pirates they
found on the sea, or returned to England, bound by a mutual oath to
discredit the land, and swore they were drawn away by famine. "These
are they that roared at the tragicall historie of the man eating up
his dead wife in Virginia"--"scandalous reports of a viperous

If further evidence were wanting, we have it in "The New Life of
Virginia," published by authority of the Council, London, 1612. This
is the second part of the "Nova Britannia," published in London,
1609. Both are prefaced by an epistle to Sir Thomas Smith, one of
the Council and treasurer, signed "R. I." Neither document contains
any allusion to Captain John Smith, or the part he played in
Virginia. The "New Life of Virginia," after speaking of the tempest
which drove Sir Thomas Gates on Bermuda, and the landing of the eight
ships at Jamestown, says: "By which means the body of the plantation
was now augmented with such numbers of irregular persons that it soon
became as so many members without a head, who as they were bad and
evil affected for the most part before they went hence; so now being
landed and wanting restraint, they displayed their condition in all
kinds of looseness, those chief and wisest guides among them (whereof
there were not many) did nothing but bitterly contend who should be
first to command the rest, the common sort, as is ever seen in such
cases grew factious and disordered out of measure, in so much as the
poor colony seemed (like the Colledge of English fugitives in Rome)
as a hostile camp within itself; in which distemper that envious man
stept in, sowing plentiful tares in the hearts of all, which grew to
such speedy confusion, that in few months ambition, sloth and
idleness had devoured the fruit of former labours, planting and
sowing were clean given over, the houses decayed, the church fell to
ruin, the store was spent, the cattle consumed, our people starved,
and the Indians by wrongs and injuries made our enemies.... As for
those wicked Impes that put themselves a shipboard, not knowing
otherwise how to live in England; or those ungratious sons that daily
vexed their fathers hearts at home, and were therefore thrust upon
the voyage, which either writing thence, or being returned back to
cover their own leudnes, do fill mens ears with false reports of
their miserable and perilous life in Virginia, let the imputation of
misery be to their idleness, and the blood that was spilt upon their
own heads that caused it."

Sir Thomas Gates affirmed that after his first coming there he had
seen some of them eat their fish raw rather than go a stone's cast to
fetch wood and dress it.

The colony was in such extremity in May, 1610, that it would have
been extinct in ten days but for the arrival of Sir Thomas Gates and
Sir George Somers and Captain Newport from the Bermudas. These
gallant gentlemen, with one hundred and fifty souls, had been wrecked
on the Bermudas in the Sea Venture in the preceding July. The
terrors of the hurricane which dispersed the fleet, and this
shipwreck, were much dwelt upon by the writers of the time, and the
Bermudas became a sort of enchanted islands, or realms of the
imagination. For three nights, and three days that were as black as
the nights, the water logged Sea Venture was scarcely kept afloat by
bailing. We have a vivid picture of the stanch Somers sitting upon
the poop of the ship, where he sat three days and three nights
together, without much meat and little or no sleep, conning the ship
to keep her as upright as he could, until he happily descried land.
The ship went ashore and was wedged into the rocks so fast that it
held together till all were got ashore, and a good part of the goods
and provisions, and the tackling and iron of the ship necessary for
the building and furnishing of a new ship.

This good fortune and the subsequent prosperous life on the island
and final deliverance was due to the noble Somers, or Sommers, after
whom the Bermudas were long called "Sommers Isles," which was
gradually corrupted into "The Summer Isles." These islands of
Bermuda had ever been accounted an enchanted pile of rocks and a
desert inhabitation for devils, which the navigator and mariner
avoided as Scylla and Charybdis, or the devil himself. But this
shipwrecked company found it the most delightful country in the
world, the climate was enchanting, delicious fruits abounded, the
waters swarmed with fish, some of them big enough to nearly drag the
fishers into the sea, while whales could be heard spouting and nosing
about the rocks at night; birds fat and tame and willing to be eaten
covered all the bushes, and such droves of wild hogs covered the
island that the slaughter of them for months seemed not to diminish
their number. The friendly disposition of the birds seemed most to
impress the writer of the "True Declaration of Virginia." He
remembers how the ravens fed Elias in the brook Cedron; "so God
provided for our disconsolate people in the midst of the sea by
foules; but with an admirable difference; unto Elias the ravens
brought meat, unto our men the foules brought (themselves) for meate:
for when they whistled, or made any strange noyse, the foules would
come and sit on their shoulders, they would suffer themselves to be
taken and weighed by our men, who would make choice of the fairest
and fattest and let flie the leane and lightest, an accident [the
chronicler exclaims], I take it [and everybody will take it], that
cannot be paralleled by any Historie, except when God sent abundance
of Quayles to feed his Israel in the barren wilderness."

The rescued voyagers built themselves comfortable houses on the
island, and dwelt there nine months in good health and plentifully
fed. Sunday was carefully observed, with sermons by Mr. Buck, the
chaplain, an Oxford man, who was assisted in the services by Stephen
Hopkins, one of the Puritans who were in the company. A marriage was
celebrated between Thomas Powell, the cook of Sir George Somers, and
Elizabeth Persons, the servant of Mrs. Horlow. Two children were
also born, a boy who was christened Bermudas and a girl Bermuda. The
girl was the child of Mr. John Rolfe and wife, the Rolfe who was
shortly afterward to become famous by another marriage. In order
that nothing should be wanting to the ordinary course of a civilized
community, a murder was committed. In the company were two Indians,
Machumps and Namontack, whose acquaintance we have before made,
returning from England, whither they had been sent by Captain Smith.
Falling out about something, Machumps slew Namontack, and having made
a hole to bury him, because it was too short he cut off his legs and
laid them by him. This proceeding Machumps concealed till he was in

Somers and Gates were busy building two cedar ships, the Deliverer,
of eighty tons, and a pinnace called the Patience. When these were
completed, the whole company, except two scamps who remained behind
and had adventures enough for a three-volume novel, embarked, and on
the 16th of May sailed for Jamestown, where they arrived on the 23d
or 24th, and found the colony in the pitiable condition before
described. A few famished settlers watched their coming. The church
bell was rung in the shaky edifice, and the emaciated colonists
assembled and heard the "zealous and sorrowful prayer" of Chaplain
Buck. The commission of Sir Thomas Gates was read, and Mr. Percy
retired from the governorship.

The town was empty and unfurnished, and seemed like the ruin of some
ancient fortification rather than the habitation of living men. The
palisades were down; the ports open; the gates unhinged; the church
ruined and unfrequented; the houses empty, torn to pieces or burnt;
the people not able to step into the woods to gather fire-wood; and
the Indians killing as fast without as famine and pestilence within.
William Strachey was among the new-comers, and this is the story that
he despatched as Lord Delaware's report to England in July. On
taking stock of provisions there was found only scant rations for
sixteen days, and Gates and Somers determined to abandon the
plantation, and, taking all on board their own ships, to make their
way to Newfoundland, in the hope of falling in with English vessels.
Accordingly, on the 7th of June they got on board and dropped down
the James.

Meantime the news of the disasters to the colony, and the supposed
loss of the Sea Venture, had created a great excitement in London,
and a panic and stoppage of subscriptions in the company. Lord
Delaware, a man of the highest reputation for courage and principle,
determined to go himself, as Captain-General, to Virginia, in the
hope of saving the fortunes of the colony. With three ships and one
hundred and fifty persons, mostly artificers, he embarked on the 1st
of April, 1610, and reached the Chesapeake Bay on the 5th of June,
just in time to meet the forlorn company of Gates and Somers putting
out to sea.

They turned back and ascended to Jamestown, when landing on Sunday,
the 10th, after a sermon by Mr. Buck, the commission of Lord Delaware
was read, and Gates turned over his authority to the new Governor.
He swore in as Council, Sir Thomas Gates, Lieutenant-General; Sir
George Somers, Admiral; Captain George Percy; Sir Ferdinando Wenman,
Marshal; Captain Christopher Newport, and William Strachey, Esq.,
Secretary and Recorder.

On the 19th of June the brave old sailor, Sir George Somers,
volunteered to return to the Bermudas in his pinnace to procure hogs
and other supplies for the colony. He was accompanied by Captain
Argall in the ship Discovery. After a rough voyage this noble old
knight reached the Bermudas. But his strength was not equal to the
memorable courage of his mind. At a place called Saint George he
died, and his men, confounded at the death of him who was the life of
them all, embalmed his body and set sail for England. Captain
Argall, after parting with his consort, without reaching the
Bermudas, and much beating about the coast, was compelled to return
to Jamestown.

Captain Gates was sent to England with despatches and to procure more
settlers and more supplies. Lord Delaware remained with the colony
less than a year; his health failing, he went in pursuit of it, in
March, 1611, to the West Indies. In June of that year Gates sailed
again, with six vessels, three hundred men, one hundred cows, besides
other cattle, and provisions of all sorts. With him went his wife,
who died on the passage, and his daughters. His expedition reached
the James in August. The colony now numbered seven hundred persons.
Gates seated himself at Hampton, a "delicate and necessary site for a

Percy commanded at Jamestown, and Sir Thomas Dale went up the river
to lay the foundations of Henrico.

We have no occasion to follow further the fortunes of the Virginia
colony, except to relate the story of Pocahontas under her different
names of Amonate, Matoaka, Mrs. Rolfe, and Lady Rebecca.



Captain John Smith returned to England in the autumn of 1609, wounded
in body and loaded with accusations of misconduct, concocted by his
factious companions in Virginia. There is no record that these
charges were ever considered by the London Company. Indeed, we
cannot find that the company in those days ever took any action on
the charges made against any of its servants in Virginia. Men came
home in disgrace and appeared to receive neither vindication nor
condemnation. Some sunk into private life, and others more pushing
and brazen, like Ratcliffe, the enemy of Smith, got employment again
after a time. The affairs of the company seem to have been conducted
with little order or justice.

Whatever may have been the justice of the charges against Smith, he
had evidently forfeited the good opinion of the company as a
desirable man to employ. They might esteem his energy and profit by
his advice and experience, but they did not want his services. And
in time he came to be considered an enemy of the company.

Unfortunately for biographical purposes, Smith's life is pretty much
a blank from 1609 to 1614. When he ceases to write about himself he
passes out of sight. There are scarcely any contemporary allusions
to his existence at this time. We may assume, however, from our
knowledge of his restlessness, ambition, and love of adventure, that
he was not idle. We may assume that he besieged the company with his
plans for the proper conduct of the settlement of Virginia; that he
talked at large in all companies of his discoveries, his exploits,
which grew by the relating, and of the prospective greatness of the
new Britain beyond the Atlantic. That he wearied the Council by his
importunity and his acquaintances by his hobby, we can also surmise.
No doubt also he was considered a fanatic by those who failed to
comprehend the greatness of his schemes, and to realize, as he did,
the importance of securing the new empire to the English before it
was occupied by the Spanish and the French. His conceit, his
boasting, and his overbearing manner, which no doubt was one of the
causes why he was unable to act in harmony with the other adventurers
of that day, all told against him. He was that most uncomfortable
person, a man conscious of his own importance, and out of favor and
out of money.

Yet Smith had friends, and followers, and men who believed in him.
This is shown by the remarkable eulogies in verse from many pens,
which he prefixes to the various editions of his many works. They
seem to have been written after reading the manuscripts, and prepared
to accompany the printed volumes and tracts. They all allude to the
envy and detraction to which he was subject, and which must have
amounted to a storm of abuse and perhaps ridicule; and they all tax
the English vocabulary to extol Smith, his deeds, and his works. In
putting forward these tributes of admiration and affection, as well
as in his constant allusion to the ill requital of his services, we
see a man fighting for his reputation, and conscious of the necessity
of doing so. He is ever turning back, in whatever he writes, to
rehearse his exploits and to defend his motives.

The London to which Smith returned was the London of Shakespeare's
day; a city dirty, with ill-paved streets unlighted at night, no
sidewalks, foul gutters, wooden houses, gable ends to the street, set
thickly with small windows from which slops and refuse were at any
moment of the day or night liable to be emptied upon the heads of the
passers by; petty little shops in which were beginning to be
displayed the silks and luxuries of the continent; a city crowded and
growing rapidly, subject to pestilences and liable to sweeping
conflagrations. The Thames had no bridges, and hundreds of boats
plied between London side and Southwark, where were most of the
theatres, the bull-baitings, the bear-fighting, the public gardens,
the residences of the hussies, and other amusements that Bankside,
the resort of all classes bent on pleasure, furnished high or low.
At no time before or since was there such fantastical fashion in
dress, both in cut and gay colors, nor more sumptuousness in costume
or luxury in display among the upper classes, and such squalor in low
life. The press teemed with tracts and pamphlets, written in
language "as plain as a pikestaff," against the immoralities of the
theatres, those "seminaries of vice," and calling down the judgment
of God upon the cost and the monstrosities of the dress of both men
and women; while the town roared on its way, warned by sermons, and
instructed in its chosen path by such plays and masques as Ben
Jonson's "Pleasure reconciled to Virtue."

The town swarmed with idlers, and with gallants who wanted
advancement but were unwilling to adventure their ease to obtain it.
There was much lounging in apothecaries' shops to smoke tobacco,
gossip, and hear the news. We may be sure that Smith found many
auditors for his adventures and his complaints. There was a good
deal of interest in the New World, but mainly still as a place where
gold and other wealth might be got without much labor, and as a
possible short cut to the South Sea and Cathay. The vast number of
Londoners whose names appear in the second Virginia charter shows the
readiness of traders to seek profit in adventure. The stir for wider
freedom in religion and government increased with the activity of
exploration and colonization, and one reason why James finally
annulled the Virginia, charter was because he regarded the meetings
of the London Company as opportunities of sedition.

Smith is altogether silent about his existence at this time. We do
not hear of him till 1612, when his "Map of Virginia" with his
description of the country was published at Oxford. The map had been
published before: it was sent home with at least a portion of the
description of Virginia. In an appendix appeared (as has been said)
a series of narrations of Smith's exploits, covering the rime he was
in Virginia, written by his companions, edited by his friend Dr.
Symonds, and carefully overlooked by himself.

Failing to obtain employment by the Virginia company, Smith turned
his attention to New England, but neither did the Plymouth company
avail themselves of his service. At last in 1614 he persuaded some
London merchants to fit him out for a private trading adventure to
the coast of New England. Accordingly with two ships, at the charge
of Captain Marmaduke Roydon, Captain George Langam, Mr. John Buley,
and William Skelton, merchants, he sailed from the Downs on the 3d of
March, 1614, and in the latter part of April "chanced to arrive in
New England, a part of America at the Isle of Monahiggan in 43 1/2 of
Northerly latitude." This was within the territory appropriated to
the second (the Plymouth) colony by the patent of 1606, which gave
leave of settlement between the 38th and 44th parallels.

Smith's connection with New England is very slight, and mainly that
of an author, one who labored for many years to excite interest in it
by his writings. He named several points, and made a map of such
portion of the coast as he saw, which was changed from time to time
by other observations. He had a remarkable eye for topography, as is
especially evident by his map of Virginia. This New England coast is
roughly indicated in Venazzani's Plot Of 1524, and better on
Mercator's of a few years later, and in Ortelius's "Theatrum Orbis
Terarum" of 1570; but in Smith's map we have for the first time a
fair approach to the real contour.

Of Smith's English predecessors on this coast there is no room here
to speak. Gosnold had described Elizabeth's Isles, explorations and
settlements had been made on the coast of Maine by Popham and
Weymouth, but Smith claims the credit of not only drawing the first
fair map of the coast, but of giving the name "New England" to what
had passed under the general names of Virginia, Canada, Norumbaga,

Smith published his description of New England June 18, 1616, and it
is in that we must follow his career. It is dedicated to the "high,
hopeful Charles, Prince of Great Britain," and is prefaced by an
address to the King's Council for all the plantations, and another to
all the adventurers into New England. The addresses, as usual, call
attention to his own merits. "Little honey [he writes] hath that
hive, where there are more drones than bees; and miserable is that
land where more are idle than are well employed. If the endeavors of
these vermin be acceptable, I hope mine may be excusable: though I
confess it were more proper for me to be doing what I say than
writing what I know. Had I returned rich I could not have erred; now
having only such food as came to my net, I must be taxed. But, I
would my taxers were as ready to adventure their purses as I, purse,
life, and all I have; or as diligent to permit the charge, as I know
they are vigilant to reap the fruits of my labors." The value of the
fisheries he had demonstrated by his catch; and he says, looking, as
usual, to large results, "but because I speak so much of fishing, if
any mistake me for such a devote fisher, as I dream of nought else,
they mistake me. I know a ring of gold from a grain of barley as well
as a goldsmith; and nothing is there to be had which fishing doth
hinder, but further us to obtain."

John Smith first appears on the New England coast as a whale fisher.
The only reference to his being in America in Josselyn's
"Chronological Observations of America" is under the wrong year,
1608: "Capt. John Smith fished now for whales at Monhiggen." He
says: "Our plot there was to take whales, and made tryall of a Myne
of gold and copper;" these failing they were to get fish and furs.
Of gold there had been little expectation, and (he goes on) "we found
this whale fishing a costly conclusion; we saw many, and spent much
time in chasing them; but could not kill any; they being a kind of
Jubartes, and not the whale that yeeldes finnes and oyle as we
expected." They then turned their attention to smaller fish, but
owing to their late arrival and "long lingering about the whale"
--chasing a whale that they could not kill because it was not the right
kind--the best season for fishing was passed. Nevertheless, they
secured some 40,000 cod--the figure is naturally raised to 60,000
when Smith retells the story fifteen years afterwards.

But our hero was a born explorer, and could not be content with not
examining the strange coast upon which he found himself. Leaving his
sailors to catch cod, he took eight or nine men in a small boat, and
cruised along the coast, trading wherever he could for furs, of which
he obtained above a thousand beaver skins; but his chance to trade
was limited by the French settlements in the east, by the presence of
one of Popham's ships opposite Monhegan, on the main, and by a couple
of French vessels to the westward. Having examined the coast from
Penobscot to Cape Cod, and gathered a profitable harvest from the
sea, Smith returned in his vessel, reaching the Downs within six
months after his departure. This was his whole experience in New
England, which ever afterwards he regarded as particularly his
discovery, and spoke of as one of his children, Virginia being the

With the other vessel Smith had trouble. He accuses its master,
Thomas Hunt, of attempting to rob him of his plots and observations,
and to leave him "alone on a desolate isle, to the fury of famine,
And all other extremities." After Smith's departure the rascally
Hunt decoyed twenty-seven unsuspecting savages on board his ship and
carried them off to Spain, where he sold them as slaves. Hunt sold
his furs at a great profit. Smith's cargo also paid well: in his
letter to Lord Bacon in 1618 he says that with forty-five men he had
cleared L 1,500 in less than three months on a cargo of dried fish
and beaver skins--a pound at that date had five times the purchasing
power of a pound now.

The explorer first landed on Monhegan, a small island in sight of
which in the war of 1812 occurred the lively little seafight of the
American Wasp and the British Frolic, in which the Wasp was the
victor, but directly after, with her prize, fell into the hands of an
English seventy-four.

He made certainly a most remarkable voyage in his open boat. Between
Penobscot and Cape Cod (which he called Cape James) he says he saw
forty several habitations, and sounded about twenty-five excellent
harbors. Although Smith accepted the geographical notion of his
time, and thought that Florida adjoined India, he declared that
Virginia was not an island, but part of a great continent, and he
comprehended something of the vastness of the country he was coasting
along, "dominions which stretch themselves into the main, God doth
know how many thousand miles, of which one could no more guess the
extent and products than a stranger sailing betwixt England and
France could tell what was in Spain, Italy, Germany, Bohemia,
Hungary, and the rest." And he had the prophetic vision, which he
more than once refers to, of one of the greatest empires of the world
that would one day arise here. Contrary to the opinion that
prevailed then and for years after, he declared also that New England
was not an island.

Smith describes with considerable particularity the coast, giving the
names of the Indian tribes, and cataloguing the native productions,
vegetable and animal. He bestows his favorite names liberally upon
points and islands--few of which were accepted. Cape Ann he called
from his charming Turkish benefactor, "Cape Tragabigzanda"; the three
islands in front of it, the "Three Turks' Heads"; and the Isles of
Shoals he simply describes: "Smyth's Isles are a heape together, none
neare them, against Acconimticus." Cape Cod, which appears upon all
the maps before Smith's visit as "Sandy" cape, he says "is only a
headland of high hills of sand, overgrown with shrubbie pines, hurts
[whorts, whortleberries] and such trash; but an excellent harbor for
all weathers. This Cape is made by the maine Sea on the one side,
and a great bay on the other in the form of a sickle."

A large portion of this treatise on New England is devoted to an
argument to induce the English to found a permanent colony there, of
which Smith shows that he would be the proper leader. The main
staple for the present would be fish, and he shows how Holland has
become powerful by her fisheries and the training of hardy sailors.
The fishery would support a colony until it had obtained a good
foothold, and control of these fisheries would bring more profit to
England than any other occupation. There are other reasons than gain
that should induce in England the large ambition of founding a great
state, reasons of religion and humanity, erecting towns, peopling
countries, informing the ignorant, reforming things unjust, teaching
virtue, finding employment for the idle, and giving to the mother
country a kingdom to attend her. But he does not expect the English
to indulge in such noble ambitions unless he can show a profit in

"I have not [he says] been so ill bred but I have tasted of plenty
and pleasure, as well as want and misery; nor doth a necessity yet,
nor occasion of discontent, force me to these endeavors; nor am I
ignorant that small thank I shall have for my pains; or that many
would have the world imagine them to be of great judgment, that can
but blemish these my designs, by their witty objections and
detractions; yet (I hope) my reasons and my deeds will so prevail
with some, that I shall not want employment in these affairs to make
the most blind see his own senselessness and incredulity; hoping that
gain will make them affect that which religion, charity and the
common good cannot.... For I am not so simple to think that ever any
other motive than wealth will ever erect there a Commonwealth; or
draw company from their ease and humours at home, to stay in New
England to effect any purpose."

But lest the toils of the new settlement should affright his readers,
our author draws an idyllic picture of the simple pleasures which
nature and liberty afford here freely, but which cost so dearly in
England. Those who seek vain pleasure in England take more pains to
enjoy it than they would spend in New England to gain wealth, and yet
have not half such sweet content. What pleasure can be more, he
exclaims, when men are tired of planting vines and fruits and
ordering gardens, orchards and building to their mind, than "to
recreate themselves before their owne doore, in their owne boates
upon the Sea, where man, woman and child, with a small hooke and
line, by angling, may take divers sorts of excellent fish at their
pleasures? And is it not pretty sport, to pull up two pence, six
pence, and twelve pence as fast as you can hale and veere a line?...
And what sport doth yield more pleasing content, and less hurt or
charge than angling with a hooke, and crossing the sweet ayre from
Isle to Isle, over the silent streams of a calme Sea? wherein the
most curious may finde pleasure, profit and content."

Smith made a most attractive picture of the fertility of the soil and
the fruitfulness of the country. Nothing was too trivial to be
mentioned. "There are certain red berries called Alkermes which is
worth ten shillings a pound, but of these hath been sold for thirty
or forty shillings the pound, may yearly be gathered a good
quantity." John Josselyn, who was much of the time in New England
from 1638 to 1671 and saw more marvels there than anybody else ever
imagined, says, "I have sought for this berry he speaks of, as a man
should for a needle in a bottle of hay, but could never light upon
it; unless that kind of Solomon's seal called by the English
treacle-berry should be it."

Towards the last of August, 1614, Smith was back at Plymouth. He had
now a project of a colony which he imparted to his friend Sir
Ferdinand Gorges. It is difficult from Smith's various accounts to
say exactly what happened to him next. It would appear that he
declined to go with an expedition of four ship which the Virginia
company despatched in 1615, and incurred their ill-will by refusing,
but he considered himself attached to the western or Plymouth
company. Still he experienced many delays from them: they promised
four ships to be ready at Plymouth; on his arrival "he found no such
matter," and at last he embarked in a private expedition, to found a
colony at the expense of Gorges, Dr. Sutliffe, Bishop o Exeter, and a
few gentlemen in London. In January 1615, he sailed from Plymouth
with a ship Of 20 tons, and another of 50. His intention was, after
the fishing was over, to remain in New England with only fifteen men
and begin a colony.

These hopes were frustrated. When only one hundred and twenty
leagues out all the masts of his vessels were carried away in a
storm, and it was only by diligent pumping that he was able to keep
his craft afloat and put back to Plymouth. Thence on the 24th of
June he made another start in a vessel of sixty tons with thirty men.
But ill-luck still attended him. He had a queer adventure with
pirates. Lest the envious world should not believe his own story,
Smith had Baker, his steward, and several of his crew examined before
a magistrate at Plymouth, December 8, 1615, who support his story by
their testimony up to a certain point.

It appears that he was chased two days by one Fry, an English pirate,
in a greatly superior vessel, heavily armed and manned. By reason of
the foul weather the pirate could not board Smith, and his master,
mate, and pilot, Chambers, Minter, and Digby, importuned him to
surrender, and that he should send a boat to the pirate, as Fry had
no boat. This singular proposal Smith accepted on condition Fry
would not take anything that would cripple his voyage, or send more
men aboard (Smith furnishing the boat) than he allowed. Baker
confessed that the quartermaster and Chambers received gold of the
pirates, for what purpose it does not appear. They came on board,
but Smith would not come out of his cabin to entertain them,
"although a great many of them had been his sailors, and for his love
would have wafted us to the Isle of Flowers."

Having got rid of the pirate Fry by this singular manner of receiving
gold from him, Smith's vessel was next chased by two French pirates
at Fayal. Chambers, Minter, and Digby again desired Smith to yield,
but he threatened to blow up his ship if they did not stand to the
defense; and so they got clear of the French pirates. But more were
to come.

At "Flowers" they were chased by four French men-of-war. Again
Chambers, Minter, and Digby importuned Smith to yield, and upon the
consideration that he could speak French, and that they were
Protestants of Rochelle and had the King's commission to take
Spaniards, Portuguese, and pirates, Smith, with some of his company,
went on board one of the French ships. The next day the French
plundered Smith's vessel and distributed his crew among their ships,
and for a week employed his boat in chasing all the ships that came
in sight. At the end of this bout they surrendered her again to her
crew, with victuals but no weapons. Smith exhorted his officers to
proceed on their voyage for fish, either to New England or
Newfoundland. This the officers declined to do at first, but the
soldiers on board compelled them, and thereupon Captain Smith busied
himself in collecting from the French fleet and sending on board his
bark various commodities that belonged to her--powder, match, books,
instruments, his sword and dagger, bedding, aquavite, his commission,
apparel, and many other things. These articles Chambers and the
others divided among themselves, leaving Smith, who was still on
board the Frenchman, only his waistcoat and breeches. The next day,
the weather being foul, they ran so near the Frenchman as to endanger
their yards, and Chambers called to Captain Smith to come aboard or
he would leave him. Smith ordered him to send a boat; Chambers
replied that his boat was split, which was a lie, and told him to
come off in the Frenchman's boat. Smith said he could not command
that, and so they parted. The English bark returned to Plymouth, and
Smith was left on board the French man-of-war.

Smith himself says that Chambers had persuaded the French admiral
that if Smith was let to go on his boat he would revenge himself on
the French fisheries on the Banks.

For over two months, according to his narration, Smith was kept on
board the Frenchman, cruising about for prizes, "to manage their
fight against the Spaniards, and be in a prison when they took any
English." One of their prizes was a sugar caraval from Brazil;
another was a West Indian worth two hundred thousand crowns, which
had on board fourteen coffers of wedges of silver, eight thousand
royals of eight, and six coffers of the King of Spain's treasure,
besides the pillage and rich coffers of many rich passengers. The
French captain, breaking his promise to put Smith ashore at Fayal, at
length sent him towards France on the sugar caravel. When near the
coast, in a night of terrible storm, Smith seized a boat and escaped.
It was a tempest that wrecked all the vessels on the coast, and for
twelve hours Smith was drifting about in his open boat, in momentary
expectation of sinking, until he was cast upon the oozy isle of
"Charowne," where the fowlers picked him up half dead with water,
cold, and hunger, and he got to Rochelle, where he made complaint to
the Judge of Admiralty. Here he learned that the rich prize had been
wrecked in the storm and the captain and half the crew drowned. But
from the wreck of this great prize thirty-six thousand crowns' worth
of jewels came ashore. For his share in this Smith put in his claim
with the English ambassador at Bordeaux. The Captain was hospitably
treated by the Frenchmen. He met there his old friend Master
Crampton, and he says: "I was more beholden to the Frenchmen that
escaped drowning in the man-of-war, Madam Chanoyes of Rotchell, and
the lawyers of Burdeaux, than all the rest of my countrymen I met in
France." While he was waiting there to get justice, he saw the
"arrival of the King's great marriage brought from Spain." This is
all his reference to the arrival of Anne of Austria, eldest daughter
of Philip III., who had been betrothed to Louis XIII. in 1612, one of
the double Spanish marriages which made such a commotion in France.

Leaving his business in France unsettled (forever), Smith returned to
Plymouth, to find his reputation covered with infamy and his clothes,
books, and arms divided among the mutineers of his boat. The
chiefest of these he "laid by the heels," as usual, and the others
confessed and told the singular tale we have outlined. It needs no
comment, except that Smith had a facility for unlucky adventures
unequaled among the uneasy spirits of his age. Yet he was as buoyant
as a cork, and emerged from every disaster with more enthusiasm for
himself and for new ventures. Among the many glowing tributes to
himself in verse that Smith prints with this description is one
signed by a soldier, Edw. Robinson, which begins:

   "Oft thou hast led, when I brought up the Rere,
    In bloody wars where thousands have been slaine."

This common soldier, who cannot help breaking out in poetry when he
thinks of Smith, is made to say that Smith was his captain "in the
fierce wars of Transylvania," and he apostrophizes him:

   "Thou that to passe the worlds foure parts dost deeme
    No more, than ewere to goe to bed or drinke,
    And all thou yet hast done thou dost esteeme
    As nothing.

   "For mee: I not commend but much admire
    Thy England yet unknown to passers by-her,
    For it will praise itselfe in spight of me:
    Thou, it, it, thou, to all posteritie."



Smith was not cast down by his reverses. No sooner had he laid his
latest betrayers by the heels than he set himself resolutely to
obtain money and means for establishing a colony in New England, and
to this project and the cultivation in England of interest in New
England he devoted the rest of his life.

His Map and Description of New England was published in 1616, and he
became a colporteur of this, beseeching everywhere a hearing for his
noble scheme. It might have been in 1617, while Pocahontas was about
to sail for Virginia, or perhaps after her death, that he was again
in Plymouth, provided with three good ships, but windbound for three
months, so that the season being past, his design was frustrated, and
his vessels, without him, made a fishing expedition to Newfoundland.

It must have been in the summer of this year that he was at Plymouth
with divers of his personal friends, and only a hundred pounds among
them all. He had acquainted the nobility with his projects, and was
afraid to see the Prince Royal before he had accomplished anything,
"but their great promises were nothing but air to prepare the voyage
against the next year." He spent that summer in the west of England,
visiting "Bristol, Exeter, Bastable? Bodman, Perin, Foy, Milborow,
Saltash, Dartmouth, Absom, Pattnesse, and the most of the gentry in
Cornwall and Devonshire, giving them books and maps," and inciting
them to help his enterprise.

So well did he succeed, he says, that they promised him twenty sail
of ships to go with him the next year, and to pay him for his pains
and former losses. The western commissioners, in behalf of the
company, contracted with him, under indented articles, "to be admiral
of that country during my life, and in the renewing of the
letters-patent so to be nominated"; half the profits of the enterprise
to be theirs, and half to go to Smith and his companions.

Nothing seems to have come out of this promising induction except the
title of "Admiral of New England," which Smith straightway assumed
and wore all his life, styling himself on the title-page of
everything he printed, "Sometime Governor of Virginia and Admiral of
New England." As the generous Captain had before this time assumed
this title, the failure of the contract could not much annoy him. He
had about as good right to take the sounding name of Admiral as
merchants of the west of England had to propose to give it to him.

The years wore away, and Smith was beseeching aid, republishing his
works, which grew into new forms with each issue, and no doubt making
himself a bore wherever he was known. The first edition of "New
England's Trials"--by which he meant the various trials and attempts
to settle New England was published in 1620. It was to some extent a
repetition of his "Description" of 1616. In it he made no reference
to Pocahontas. But in the edition of 1622, which is dedicated to
Charles, Prince of Wales, and considerably enlarged, he drops into
this remark about his experience at Jamestown: "It Is true in our
greatest extremitie they shot me, slue three of my men, and by the
folly of them that fled tooke me prisoner; yet God made Pocahontas
the king's daughter the meanes to deliver me: and thereby taught me
to know their treacheries to preserve the rest. [This is evidently
an allusion to the warning Pocahontas gave him at Werowocomoco.] It
was also my chance in single combat to take the king of Paspahegh
prisoner, and by keeping him, forced his subjects to work in chains
till I made all the country pay contribution having little else
whereon to live."

This was written after he had heard of the horrible massacre of 1622
at Jamestown, and he cannot resist the temptation to draw a contrast
between the present and his own management. He explains that the
Indians did not kill the English because they were Christians, but to
get their weapons and commodities. How different it was when he was
in Virginia. "I kept that country with but 38, and had not to eat
but what we had from the savages. When I had ten men able to go
abroad, our commonwealth was very strong: with such a number I ranged
that unknown country 14 weeks: I had but 18 to subdue them all."
This is better than Sir John Falstaff. But he goes on: "When I first
went to those desperate designes it cost me many a forgotten pound to
hire men to go, and procrastination caused more run away than went."
"Twise in that time I was President." [It will be remembered that
about the close of his first year he gave up the command, for form's
sake, to Capt. Martin, for three hours, and then took it again.] "To
range this country of New England in like manner, I had but eight, as
is said, and amongst their bruite conditions I met many of their
silly encounters, and without any hurt, God be thanked." The valiant
Captain had come by this time to regard himself as the inventor and
discoverer of Virginia and New England, which were explored and
settled at the cost of his private pocket, and which he is not
ashamed to say cannot fare well in his absence. Smith, with all his
good opinion of himself, could not have imagined how delicious his
character would be to readers in after-times. As he goes on he warms
up: "Thus you may see plainly the yearly success from New England by
Virginia, which hath been so costly to this kingdom and so dear to

"By that acquaintance I have with them I may call them my children [he
spent between two and three months on the New England coast] for they
have been my wife, my hawks, my hounds, my cards, my dice, and total
my best content, as indifferent to my heart as my left hand to my
right.... Were there not one Englishman remaining I would yet begin
again as I did at the first; not that I have any secret encouragement
for any I protest, more than lamentable experiences; for all their
discoveries I can yet hear of are but pigs of my sowe: nor more
strange to me than to hear one tell me he hath gone from Billingate
and discovered Greenwich!"

As to the charge that he was unfortunate, which we should think might
have become current from the Captain's own narratives, he tells his
maligners that if they had spent their time as he had done, they
would rather believe in God than in their own calculations, and
peradventure might have had to give as bad an account of their
actions. It is strange they should tax him before they have tried
what he tried in Asia, Europe, and America, where he never needed to
importune for a reward, nor ever could learn to beg: "These sixteen
years I have spared neither pains nor money, according to my ability,
first to procure his majesty's letters patent, and a Company here to
be the means to raise a company to go with me to Virginia [this is
the expedition of 1606 in which he was without command] as is said:
which beginning here and there cost me near five years work, and more
than 500 pounds of my own estate, besides all the dangers, miseries
and encumbrances I endured gratis, where I stayed till I left 500
better provided than ever I was: from which blessed Virgin (ere I
returned) sprung the fortunate habitation of Somer Isles." "Ere I
returned" is in Smith's best vein. The casual reader would certainly
conclude that the Somers Isles were somehow due to the providence of
John Smith, when in fact he never even heard that Gates and Smith
were shipwrecked there till he had returned to England, sent home
from Virginia. Neill says that Smith ventured L 9 in the Virginia
company! But he does not say where he got the money.

New England, he affirms, hath been nearly as chargeable to him and
his friends: he never got a shilling but it cost him a pound. And
now, when New England is prosperous and a certainty, "what think you
I undertook when nothing was known, but that there was a vast land."
These are some of the considerations by which he urges the company to
fit out an expedition for him: "thus betwixt the spur of desire and
the bridle of reason I am near ridden to death in a ring of despair;
the reins are in your hands, therefore I entreat you to ease me."

The Admiral of New England, who since he enjoyed the title had had
neither ship, nor sailor, nor rod of land, nor cubic yard of salt
water under his command, was not successful in his several "Trials."
And in the hodge-podge compilation from himself and others, which he
had put together shortly after,--the "General Historie," he
pathetically exclaims: "Now all these proofs and this relation, I now
called New England's Trials. I caused two or three thousand of them
to be printed, one thousand with a great many maps both of Virginia
and New England, I presented to thirty of the chief companies in
London at their Halls, desiring either generally or particularly
(them that would) to imbrace it and by the use of a stock of five
thousand pounds to ease them of the superfluity of most of their
companies that had but strength and health to labor; near a year I
spent to understand their resolutions, which was to me a greater toil
and torment, than to have been in New England about my business but
with bread and water, and what I could get by my labor; but in
conclusion, seeing nothing would be effected I was contented as well
with this loss of time and change as all the rest."

In his "Advertisements" he says that at his own labor, cost, and loss
he had "divulged more than seven thousand books and maps," in order
to influence the companies, merchants and gentlemen to make a
plantation, but "all availed no more than to hew Rocks with

His suggestions about colonizing were always sensible. But we can
imagine the group of merchants in Cheapside gradually dissolving as
Smith hove in sight with his maps and demonstrations.

In 1618, Smith addressed a letter directly to Lord Bacon, to which
there seems to have been no answer. The body of it was a
condensation of what he had repeatedly written about New England, and
the advantage to England of occupying the fisheries. "This nineteen
years," he writes, "I have encountered no few dangers to learn what
here I write in these few leaves:... their fruits I am certain may
bring both wealth and honor for a crown and a kingdom to his
majesty's posterity." With 5,000, pounds he will undertake to
establish a colony, and he asks of his Majesty a pinnace to lodge his
men and defend the coast for a few months, until the colony gets
settled. Notwithstanding his disappointments and losses, he is still
patriotic, and offers his experience to his country: "Should I
present it to the Biskayners, French and Hollanders, they have made
me large offers. But nature doth bind me thus to beg at home, whom
strangers have pleased to create a commander abroad.... Though I can
promise no mines of gold, the Hollanders are an example of my
project, whose endeavors by fishing cannot be suppressed by all the
King of Spain's golden powers. Worth is more than wealth, and
industrious subjects are more to a kingdom than gold. And this is so
certain a course to get both as I think was never propounded to any
state for so small a charge, seeing I can prove it, both by example,
reason and experience."

Smith's maxims were excellent, his notions of settling New England
were sound and sensible, and if writing could have put him in command
of New England, there would have been no room for the Puritans. He
addressed letter after letter to the companies of Virginia and
Plymouth, giving them distinctly to understand that they were losing
time by not availing themselves of his services and his project.
After the Virginia massacre, he offered to undertake to drive the
savages out of their country with a hundred soldiers and thirty
sailors. He heard that most of the company liked exceedingly well
the notion, but no reply came to his overture.

He laments the imbecility in the conduct of the new plantations. At
first, he says, it was feared the Spaniards would invade the
plantations or the English Papists dissolve them: but neither the
councils of Spain nor the Papists could have desired a better course
to ruin the plantations than have been pursued; "It seems God is
angry to see Virginia in hands so strange where nothing but murder
and indiscretion contends for the victory."

In his letters to the company and to the King's commissions for the
reformation of Virginia, Smith invariably reproduces his own
exploits, until we can imagine every person in London, who could
read, was sick of the story. He reminds them of his unrequited
services: "in neither of those two countries have I one foot of land,
nor the very house I builded, nor the ground I digged with my own
hands, nor ever any content or satisfaction at all, and though I see
ordinarily those two countries shared before me by them that neither
have them nor knows them, but by my descriptions.... For the books
and maps I have made, I will thank him that will show me so much for
so little recompense, and bear with their errors till I have done
better. For the materials in them I cannot deny, but am ready to
affirm them both there and here, upon such ground as I have
propounded, which is to have but fifteen hundred men to subdue again
the Salvages, fortify the country, discover that yet unknown, and
both defend and feed their colony."

There is no record that these various petitions and letters of advice
were received by the companies, but Smith prints them in his History,
and gives also seven questions propounded to him by the
commissioners, with his replies; in which he clearly states the
cause of the disasters in the colonies, and proposes wise and
statesman-like remedies. He insists upon industry and good conduct:
"to rectify a commonwealth with debauched people is impossible, and
no wise man would throw himself into such society, that intends
honestly, and knows what he understands, for there is no country to
pillage, as the Romans found; all you expect from thence must be by

Smith was no friend to tobacco, and although he favored the
production to a certain limit as a means of profit, it is interesting
to note his true prophecy that it would ultimately be a demoralizing
product. He often proposes the restriction of its cultivation, and
speaks with contempt of "our men rooting in the ground about tobacco
like swine." The colony would have been much better off "had they
not so much doated on their tobacco, on whose furnish foundation
there is small stability."

So long as he lived, Smith kept himself informed of the progress of
adventure and settlement in the New World, reading all relations and
eagerly questioning all voyagers, and transferring their accounts to
his own History, which became a confused patchwork of other men's
exploits and his own reminiscences and reflections. He always
regards the new plantations as somehow his own, and made in the light
of his advice; and their mischances are usually due to the neglect of
his counsel. He relates in this volume the story of the Pilgrims in
1620 and the years following, and of the settlement of the Somers
Isles, making himself appear as a kind of Providence over the New

Out of his various and repetitious writings might be compiled quite a
hand-book of maxims and wise saws. Yet all had in steady view one
purpose--to excite interest in his favorite projects, to shame the
laggards of England out of their idleness, and to give himself
honorable employment and authority in the building up of a new
empire. "Who can desire," he exclaims, "more content that hath small
means, or but only his merit to advance his fortunes, than to tread
and plant that ground he hath purchased by the hazard of his life; if
he have but the taste of virtue and magnanimity, what to such a mind
can be more pleasant than planting and building a foundation for his
posterity, got from the rude earth by God's blessing and his own
industry without prejudice to any; if he have any grace of faith or
zeal in Religion, what can be more healthful to any or more agreeable
to God than to convert those poor salvages to know Christ and
humanity, whose labours and discretion will triply requite any charge
and pain."

"Then who would live at home idly," he exhorts his countrymen, "or
think in himself any worth to live, only to eat, drink and sleep, and
so die; or by consuming that carelessly his friends got worthily, or
by using that miserably that maintained virtue honestly, or for being
descended nobly, or pine with the vain vaunt of great kindred in
penury, or to maintain a silly show of bravery, toil out thy heart,
soul and time basely; by shifts, tricks, cards and dice, or by
relating news of other men's actions, sharke here and there for a
dinner or supper, deceive thy friends by fair promises and
dissimulations, in borrowing when thou never meanest to pay, offend
the laws, surfeit with excess, burden thy country, abuse thyself,
despair in want, and then cozen thy kindred, yea, even thy own
brother, and wish thy parent's death (I will not say damnation), to
have their estates, though thou seest what honors and rewards the
world yet hath for them that will seek them and worthily deserve

"I would be sorry to offend, or that any should mistake my honest
meaning: for I wish good to all, hurt to none; but rich men for the
most part are grown to that dotage through their pride in their
wealth, as though there were no accident could end it or their life."

"And what hellish care do such take to make it their own misery and
their countrie's spoil, especially when there is such need of their
employment, drawing by all manner of inventions from the Prince and
his honest subjects, even the vital spirits of their powers and
estates; as if their bags or brags were so powerful a defense, the
malicious could not assault them, when they are the only bait to
cause us not only to be assaulted, but betrayed and smothered in our
own security ere we will prevent it."

And he adds this good advice to those who maintain their children in
wantonness till they grow to be the masters: "Let this lamentable
example [the ruin of Constantinople] remember you that are rich
(seeing there are such great thieves in the world to rob you) not
grudge to lend some proportion to breed them that have little, yet
willing to learn how to defend you, for it is too late when the deed
is done."

No motive of action did Smith omit in his importunity, for "Religion
above all things should move us, especially the clergy, if we are
religious." "Honor might move the gentry, the valiant and
industrious, and the hope and assurance of wealth all, if we were
that we would seem and be accounted; or be we so far inferior to
other nations, or our spirits so far dejected from our ancient
predecessors, or our minds so upon spoil, piracy and such villainy,
as to serve the Portugall, Spaniard, Dutch, French or Turke (as to
the cost of Europe too many do), rather than our own God, our king,
our country, and ourselves; excusing our idleness and our base
complaints by want of employment, when here is such choice of all
sorts, and for all degrees, in the planting and discovering these
North parts of America."

It was all in vain so far as Smith's fortunes were concerned. The
planting and subjection of New England went on, and Smith had no part
in it except to describe it. The Brownists, the Anabaptists, the
Papists, the Puritans, the Separatists, and "such factious
Humorists," were taking possession of the land that Smith claimed to
have "discovered," and in which he had no foothold. Failing to get
employment anywhere, he petitioned the Virginia Company for a reward
out of the treasury in London or the profits in Virginia.

At one of the hot discussions in 1623 preceding the dissolution of
the Virginia Company by the revocation of their charter, Smith was
present, and said that he hoped for his time spent in Virginia he
should receive that year a good quantity of tobacco. The charter was
revoked in 1624 after many violent scenes, and King James was glad to
be rid of what he called "a seminary for a seditious parliament."
The company had made use of lotteries to raise funds, and upon their
disuse, in 1621, Smith proposed to the company to compile for its
benefit a general history. This he did, but it does not appear that
the company took any action on his proposal. At one time he had been
named, with three others, as a fit person for secretary, on the
removal of Mr. Pory, but as only three could be balloted for, his
name was left out. He was, however, commended as entirely competent.

After the dissolution of the companies, and the granting of new
letters-patent to a company of some twenty noblemen, there seems to
have been a project for dividing up the country by lot. Smith says:
"All this they divided in twenty parts, for which they cast lots, but
no lot for me but Smith's Isles, which are a many of barren rocks,
the most overgrown with shrubs, and sharp whins, you can hardly pass
them; without either grass or wood, but three or four short shrubby
old cedars."

The plan was not carried out, and Smith never became lord of even
these barren rocks, the Isles of Shoals. That he visited them when
he sailed along the coast is probable, though he never speaks of
doing so. In the Virginia waters he had left a cluster of islands
bearing his name also.

In the Captain's "True Travels," published in 1630, is a summary of
the condition of colonization in New England from Smith's voyage
thence till the settlement of Plymouth in 1620, which makes an
appropriate close to our review of this period:

"When I first went to the North part of Virginia, where the Westerly
Colony had been planted, it had dissolved itself within a year, and
there was not one Christian in all the land. I was set forth at the
sole charge of four merchants of London; the Country being then
reputed by your westerlings a most rocky, barren, desolate desart;
but the good return I brought from thence, with the maps and
relations of the Country, which I made so manifest, some of them did
believe me, and they were well embraced, both by the Londoners, and
Westerlings, for whom I had promised to undertake it, thinking to
have joyned them all together, but that might well have been a work
for Hercules. Betwixt them long there was much contention: the
Londoners indeed went bravely forward: but in three or four years I
and my friends consumed many hundred pounds amongst the Plimothians,
who only fed me but with delays, promises, and excuses, but no
performance of anything to any purpose. In the interim, many
particular ships went thither, and finding my relations true, and
that I had not taken that I brought home from the French men, as had
been reported: yet further for my pains to discredit me, and my
calling it New England, they obscured it, and shadowed it, with the
title of Canada, till at my humble suit, it pleased our most Royal
King Charles, whom God long keep, bless and preserve, then Prince of
Wales, to confirm it with my map and book, by the title of New
England; the gain thence returning did make the fame thereof so
increase that thirty, forty or fifty sail went yearly only to trade
and fish; but nothing would be done for a plantation, till about some
hundred of your Brownists of England, Amsterdam and Leyden went to
New Plimouth, whose humorous ignorances, caused them for more than a
year, to endure a wonderful deal of misery, with an infinite
patience; saying my books and maps were much better cheap to teach
them than myself: many others have used the like good husbandry that
have payed soundly in trying their self-willed conclusions; but those
in time doing well, diverse others have in small handfulls undertaken
to go there, to be several Lords and Kings of themselves, but most
vanished to nothing."



If Smith had not been an author, his exploits would have occupied a
small space in the literature of his times. But by his unwearied
narrations he impressed his image in gigantic features on our plastic
continent. If he had been silent, he would have had something less
than justice; as it is, he has been permitted to greatly exaggerate
his relations to the New World. It is only by noting the comparative
silence of his contemporaries and by winnowing his own statements
that we can appreciate his true position.

For twenty years he was a voluminous writer, working off his
superfluous energy in setting forth his adventures in new forms.
Most of his writings are repetitions and recastings of the old
material, with such reflections as occur to him from time to time.
He seldom writes a book, or a tract, without beginning it or working
into it a resume of his life. The only exception to this is his "Sea
Grammar." In 1626 he published "An Accidence or the Pathway to
Experience, necessary to all Young Seamen," and in 1627 "A Sea
Grammar, with the plain Exposition of Smith's Accidence for Young
Seamen, enlarged." This is a technical work, and strictly confined
to the building, rigging, and managing of a ship. He was also
engaged at the time of his death upon a "History of the Sea," which
never saw the light. He was evidently fond of the sea, and we may
say the title of Admiral came naturally to him, since he used it in
the title-page to his "Description of New England," published in
1616, although it was not till 1617 that the commissioners at
Plymouth agreed to bestow upon him the title of "Admiral of that

In 1630 he published "The True Travels, Adventures and Observations
of Captain John Smith, in Europe, Asia, Affrica and America, from
1593 to 1629. Together with a Continuation of his General History of
Virginia, Summer Isles, New England, and their proceedings since 1624
to this present 1629: as also of the new Plantations of the great
River of the Amazons, the Isles of St. Christopher, Mevis and
Barbadoes in the West Indies." In the dedication to William, Earl of
Pembroke, and Robert, Earl of Lindsay, he says it was written at the
request of Sir Robert Cotton, the learned antiquarian, and he the
more willingly satisfies this noble desire because, as he says, "they
have acted my fatal tragedies on the stage, and racked my relations
at their pleasure. To prevent, therefore, all future misprisions, I
have compiled this true discourse. Envy hath taxed me to have writ
too much, and done too little; but that such should know how little,
I esteem them, I have writ this more for the satisfaction of my
friends, and all generous and well-disposed readers: To speak only of
myself were intolerable ingratitude: because, having had many
co-partners with me, I cannot make a Monument for myself, and leave
them unburied in the fields, whose lives begot me the title of
Soldier, for as they were companions with me in my dangers, so shall
they be partakers with me in this Tombe." In the same dedication he
spoke of his "Sea Grammar" caused to be printed by his worthy friend
Sir Samuel Saltonstall.

This volume, like all others Smith published, is accompanied by a
great number of swollen panegyrics in verse, showing that the writers
had been favored with the perusal of the volume before it was
published. Valor, piety, virtue, learning, wit, are by them ascribed
to the "great Smith," who is easily the wonder and paragon of his.
age. All of them are stuffed with the affected conceits fashionable
at the time. One of the most pedantic of these was addressed to him
by Samuel Purchas when the "General Historie" was written.

The portrait of Smith which occupies a corner in the Map of Virginia
has in the oval the date, "AEta 37, A. 1616," and round the rim the
inscription: "Portraictuer of Captaine John Smith, Admirall of New
England," and under it these lines engraved:

   "These are the Lines that show thy face: but those
    That show thy Grace and Glory brighter bee:
    Thy Faire Discoveries and Fowle-Overthrowes
    Of Salvages, much Civilized by thee
    Best shew thy Spirit; and to it Glory Wyn;
    So, thou art Brasse without, but Golde within,
    If so, in Brasse (too soft smiths Acts to beare)
    I fix thy Fame to make Brasse steele outweare.

"Thine as thou art Virtues


In this engraving Smith is clad in armor, with a high starched
collar, and full beard and mustache formally cut. His right hand
rests on his hip, and his left grasps the handle of his sword. The
face is open and pleasing and full of decision.

This "true discourse" contains the wild romance with which this
volume opens, and is pieced out with recapitulations of his former
writings and exploits, compilations from others' relations, and
general comments. We have given from it the story of his early life,
because there is absolutely no other account of that part of his
career. We may assume that up to his going to Virginia he did lead a
life of reckless adventure and hardship, often in want of a decent
suit of clothes and of "regular meals." That he took some part in
the wars in Hungary is probable, notwithstanding his romancing
narrative, and he may have been captured by the Turks. But his
account of the wars there, and of the political complications, we
suspect are cribbed from the old chronicles, probably from the
Italian, while his vague descriptions of the lands and people in
Turkey and "Tartaria" are evidently taken from the narratives of
other travelers. It seems to me that the whole of his story of his
oriental captivity lacks the note of personal experience. If it were
not for the "patent" of Sigismund (which is only produced and
certified twenty years after it is dated), the whole Transylvania
legend would appear entirely apocryphal.

The "True Travels" close with a discourse upon the bad life,
qualities, and conditions of pirates. The most ancient of these was
one Collis, "who most refreshed himself upon the coast of Wales, and
Clinton and Pursser, his companions, who grew famous till Queen
Elizabeth of blessed memory hanged them at Wapping. The misery of a
Pirate (although many are as sufficient seamen as any) yet in regard
of his superfluity, you shall find it such, that any wise man would
rather live amongst wild beasts, than them; therefore let all
unadvised persons take heed how they entertain that quality; and I
could wish merchants, gentlemen, and all setters-forth of ships not
to be sparing of a competent pay, nor true payment; for neither
soldiers nor seamen can live without means; but necessity will force
them to steal, and when they are once entered into that trade they
are hardly reclaimed."

Smith complains that the play-writers had appropriated his
adventures, but does not say that his own character had been put upon
the stage. In Ben Jonson's "Staple of News," played in 1625, there
is a reference to Pocahontas in the dialogue that occurs between
Pick-lock and Pennyboy Canter:

Pick.--A tavern's unfit too for a princess.

P. Cant.--No, I have known a Princess and a great one, Come forth
of a tavern.

Pick.--Not go in Sir, though.

A Cant.--She must go in, if she came forth. The blessed Pocahontas,
as the historian calls her, And great King's daughter of Virginia,
Hath been in womb of tavern.

The last work of our author was published in 1631, the year of his
death. Its full title very well describes the contents:
"Advertisements for the Unexperienced Planters of New England, or
anywhere. Or, the Pathway to Experience to erect a Plantation. With
the yearly proceedings of this country in fishing and planting since
the year 1614 to the year 1630, and their present estate. Also, how
to prevent the greatest inconvenience by their proceedings in
Virginia, and other plantations by approved examples. With the
countries armes, a description of the coast, harbours, habitations,
landmarks, latitude and longitude: with the map allowed by our Royall
King Charles."

Smith had become a trifle cynical in regard to the newsmongers of the
day, and quaintly remarks in his address to the reader: "Apelles by
the proportion of a foot could make the whole proportion of a man:
were he now living, he might go to school, for now thousands can by
opinion proportion kingdoms, cities and lordships that never durst
adventure to see them. Malignancy I expect from these, have lived 10
or 12 years in those actions, and return as wise as they went,
claiming time and experience for their tutor that can neither shift
Sun nor moon, nor say their compass, yet will tell you of more than
all the world betwixt the Exchange, Paul's and Westminster.... and
tell as well what all England is by seeing but Mitford Haven as what
Apelles was by the picture of his great toe."

This is one of Smith's most characteristic productions. Its material
is ill-arranged, and much of it is obscurely written; it runs
backward and forward along his life, refers constantly to his former
works and repeats them, complains of the want of appreciation of his
services, and makes himself the centre of all the colonizing exploits
of the age. Yet it is interspersed with strokes of humor and
observations full of good sense.

It opens with the airy remark: "The wars in Europe, Asia and Africa,
taught me how to subdue the wild savages in Virginia and New
England." He never did subdue the wild savages in New England, and
he never was in any war in Africa, nor in Asia, unless we call his
piratical cruising in the Mediterranean "wars in Asia."

As a Church of England man, Smith is not well pleased with the
occupation of New England by the Puritans, Brownists, and such
"factious humorists" as settled at New Plymouth, although he
acknowledges the wonderful patience with which, in their ignorance
and willfulness, they have endured losses and extremities; but he
hopes better things of the gentlemen who went in 1629 to supply
Endicott at Salem, and were followed the next year by Winthrop. All
these adventurers have, he says, made use of his "aged endeavors."
It seems presumptuous in them to try to get on with his maps and
descriptions and without him. They probably had never heard, except
in the title-pages of his works, that he was "Admiral of New

Even as late as this time many supposed New England to be an island,
but Smith again asserts, what he had always maintained--that it was a
part of the continent. The expedition of Winthrop was scattered by a
storm, and reached Salem with the loss of threescore dead and many
sick, to find as many of the colony dead, and all disconsolate. Of
the discouraged among them who returned to England Smith says: "Some
could not endure the name of a bishop, others not the sight of a
cross or surplice, others by no means the book of common prayer.
This absolute crew, only of the Elect, holding all (but such as
themselves) reprobates and castaways, now made more haste to return
to Babel, as they termed England, than stay to enjoy the land they
called Canaan." Somewhat they must say to excuse themselves.
Therefore, "some say they could see no timbers of ten foot diameter,
some the country is all wood; others they drained all the springs and
ponds dry, yet like to famish for want of fresh water; some of the
danger of the ratell-snake." To compel all the Indians to furnish
them corn without using them cruelly they say is impossible. Yet
this "impossible," Smith says, he accomplished in Virginia, and
offers to undertake in New England, with one hundred and fifty men,
to get corn, fortify the country, and "discover them more land than
they all yet know."

This homily ends--and it is the last published sentence of the "great
Smith"--with this good advice to the New England colonists:

"Lastly, remember as faction, pride, and security produces nothing
but confusion, misery and dissolution; so the contraries well
practised will in short time make you happy, and the most admired
people of all our plantations for your time in the world.

"John Smith writ this with his owne hand."

The extent to which Smith retouched his narrations, as they grew in
his imagination, in his many reproductions of them, has been referred
to, and illustrated by previous quotations. An amusing instance of
his care and ingenuity is furnished by the interpolation of
Pocahontas into his stories after 1623. In his "General Historie" of
1624 he adopts, for the account of his career in Virginia, the
narratives in the Oxford tract of 1612, which he had supervised. We
have seen how he interpolated the wonderful story of his rescue by
the Indian child. Some of his other insertions of her name, to bring
all the narrative up to that level, are curious. The following
passages from the "Oxford Tract" contain in italics the words
inserted when they were transferred to the "General Historie":

"So revived their dead spirits (especially the love of Pocahuntas) as
all anxious fears were abandoned."

"Part always they brought him as presents from their king, or

In the account of the "masques" of girls to entertain Smith at
Werowocomoco we read:

"But presently Pocahuntas came, wishing him to kill her if any hurt
were intended, and the beholders, which were women and children,
satisfied the Captain there was no such matter."

In the account of Wyffin's bringing the news of Scrivener's drowning,
when Wyffin was lodged a night with Powhatan, we read:

"He did assure himself some mischief was intended. Pocahontas hid
him for a time, and sent them who pursued him the clean contrary way
to seek him; but by her means and extraordinary bribes and much
trouble in three days' travel, at length he found us in the middest
of these turmoyles."

The affecting story of the visit and warning from Pocahontas in the
night, when she appeared with "tears running down her cheeks," is not
in the first narration in the Oxford Tract, but is inserted in the
narrative in the "General Historie." Indeed, the first account would
by its terms exclude the later one. It is all contained in these few

"But our barge being left by the ebb, caused us to staie till the
midnight tide carried us safe aboord, having spent that half night
with such mirth as though we never had suspected or intended
anything, we left the Dutchmen to build, Brinton to kill foule for
Powhatan (as by his messengers he importunately desired), and left
directions with our men to give Powhatan all the content they could,
that we might enjoy his company on our return from Pamaunke."

It should be added, however, that there is an allusion to some
warning by Pocahontas in the last chapter of the "Oxford Tract." But
the full story of the night visit and the streaming tears as we have
given it seems without doubt to have been elaborated from very slight
materials. And the subsequent insertion of the name of Pocahontas
--of which we have given examples above--into old accounts that had no
allusion to her, adds new and strong presumptions to the belief that
Smith invented what is known as the Pocahontas legend.

As a mere literary criticism on Smith's writings, it would appear
that he had a habit of transferring to his own career notable
incidents and adventures of which he had read, and this is somewhat
damaging to an estimate of his originality. His wonderful system of
telegraphy by means of torches, which he says he put in practice at
the siege of Olympack, and which he describes as if it were his own
invention, he had doubtless read in Polybius, and it seemed a good
thing to introduce into his narrative.

He was (it must also be noted) the second white man whose life was
saved by an Indian princess in America, who subsequently warned her
favorite of a plot to kill him. In 1528 Pamphilo de Narvaes landed
at Tampa Bay, Florida, and made a disastrous expedition into the
interior. Among the Spaniards who were missing as a result of this
excursion was a soldier named Juan Ortiz. When De Soto marched into
the same country in 1539 he encountered this soldier, who had been
held in captivity by the Indians and had learned their language. The
story that Ortiz told was this: He was taken prisoner by the chief
Ucita, bound hand and foot, and stretched upon a scaffold to be
roasted, when, just as the flames were seizing him, a daughter of the
chief interposed in his behalf, and upon her prayers Ucita spared the
life of the prisoner. Three years afterward, when there was danger
that Ortiz would be sacrificed to appease the devil, the princess
came to him, warned him of his danger, and led him secretly and alone
in the night to the camp of a chieftain who protected him.

This narrative was in print before Smith wrote, and as he was fond of
such adventures he may have read it. The incidents are curiously
parallel. And all the comment needed upon it is that Smith seems to
have been peculiarly subject to such coincidences.

Our author's selection of a coat of arms, the distinguishing feature
of which was "three Turks' heads," showed little more originality.
It was a common device before his day: on many coats of arms of the
Middle Ages and later appear "three Saracens' heads," or "three
Moors' heads"--probably most of them had their origin in the
Crusades. Smith's patent to use this charge, which he produced from
Sigismund, was dated 1603, but the certificate appended to it by the
Garter King at Arms, certifying that it was recorded in the register
and office of the heralds, is dated 1625. Whether Smith used it
before this latter date we are not told. We do not know why he had
not as good right to assume it as anybody.

[Burke's "Encyclopedia of Heraldry" gives it as granted to Capt.
John Smith, of the Smiths of Cruffley, Co. Lancaster, in 1629, and
describes it: "Vert, a chev. gu. betw. three Turks' heads couped
ppr. turbaned or. Crest-an Ostrich or, holding in the mouth a
horseshoe or."]



Hardship and disappointment made our hero prematurely old, but could
not conquer his indomitable spirit. The disastrous voyage of June,
1615, when he fell into the hands of the French, is spoken of by the
Council for New England in 1622 as "the ruin of that poor gentleman,
Captain Smith, who was detained prisoner by them, and forced to
suffer many extremities before he got free of his troubles;" but he
did not know that he was ruined, and did not for a moment relax his
efforts to promote colonization and obtain a command, nor relinquish
his superintendence of the Western Continent.

His last days were evidently passed in a struggle for existence,
which was not so bitter to him as it might have been to another man,
for he was sustained by ever-elating "great expectations." That he
was pinched for means of living, there is no doubt. In 1623 he
issued a prospectus of his "General Historie," in which he said:
"These observations are all I have for the expenses of a thousand
pounds and the loss of eighteen years' time, besides all the travels,
dangers, miseries and incumbrances for my countries good, I have
endured gratis: ....this is composed in less than eighty sheets,
besides the three maps, which will stand me near in a hundred pounds,
which sum I cannot disburse: nor shall the stationers have the copy
for nothing. I therefore, humbly entreat your Honour, either to
adventure, or give me what you please towards the impression, and I
will be both accountable and thankful."

He had come before he was fifty to regard himself as an old man, and
to speak of his "aged endeavors." Where and how he lived in his
later years, and with what surroundings and under what circumstances
he died, there is no record. That he had no settled home, and was in
mean lodgings at the last, may be reasonably inferred. There is a
manuscript note on the fly-leaf of one of the original editions of
"The Map of Virginia...." (Oxford, 1612), in ancient chirography,
but which from its reference to Fuller could not have been written
until more than thirty years after Smith's death. It says: "When he
was old he lived in London poor but kept up his spirits with the
commemoration of his former actions and bravery. He was buried in
St. Sepulcher's Church, as Fuller tells us, who has given us a line
of his Ranting Epitaph."

That seems to have been the tradition of the man, buoyantly
supporting himself in the commemoration of his own achievements. To
the end his industrious and hopeful spirit sustained him, and in the
last year of his life he was toiling on another compilation, and
promised his readers a variety of actions and memorable observations
which they shall "find with admiration in my History of the Sea, if
God be pleased I live to finish it."

He died on the 21 St of June, 1631, and the same day made his last
will, to which he appended his mark, as he seems to have been too
feeble to write his name. In this he describes himself as "Captain
John Smith of the parish of St. Sepulcher's London Esquior." He
commends his soul "into the hands of Almighty God, my maker, hoping
through the merits of Christ Jesus my Redeemer to receive full
remission of all my sins and to inherit a place in the everlasting
kingdom"; his body he commits to the earth whence it came; and "of
such worldly goods whereof it hath pleased God in his mercy to make
me an unworthy receiver," he bequeathes: first, to Thomas Packer,
Esq., one of his Majesty's clerks of the Privy Seal, "all my
houses, lands, tenantements and hereditaments whatsoever, situate
lying and being in the parishes of Louthe and Great Carleton, in the
county of Lincoln together with my coat of armes"; and charges him to
pay certain legacies not exceeding the sum of eighty pounds, out of
which he reserves to himself twenty pounds to be disposed of as he
chooses in his lifetime. The sum of twenty pounds is to be disbursed
about the funeral. To his most worthy friend, Sir Samuel Saltonstall
Knight, he gives five pounds; to Morris Treadway, five pounds; to his
sister Smith, the widow of his brother, ten pounds; to his cousin
Steven Smith, and his sister, six pounds thirteen shillings and
fourpence between them; to Thomas Packer, Joane, his wife, and
Eleanor, his daughter, ten pounds among them; to "Mr. Reynolds, the
lay Mr of the Goldsmiths Hall, the sum of forty shillings"; to
Thomas, the son of said Thomas Packer, "my trunk standing in my
chamber at Sir Samuel Saltonstall's house in St. Sepulcher's parish,
together with my best suit of apparel of a tawny color viz. hose,
doublet jirkin and cloak," "also, my trunk bound with iron bars
standing in the house of Richard Hinde in Lambeth, together--with
half the books therein"; the other half of the books to Mr. John
Tredeskin and Richard Hinde. His much honored friend, Sir Samuel
Saltonstall, and Thomas Packer, were joint executors, and the will
was acknowledged in the presence "of Willmu Keble Snr civitas,
London, William Packer, Elizabeth Sewster, Marmaduke Walker, his
mark, witness."

We have no idea that Thomas Packer got rich out of the houses, lands
and tenements in the county of Lincoln. The will is that of a poor
man, and reference to his trunks standing about in the houses of his
friends, and to his chamber in the house of Sir Samuel Saltonstall,
may be taken as proof that he had no independent and permanent

It is supposed that he was buried in St. Sepulcher's Church. The
negative evidence of this is his residence in the parish at the time
of his death, and the more positive, a record in Stow's "Survey of
London," 1633, which we copy in full:

This Table is on the south side of the Quire in Saint Sepulchers,
with this Inscription:

To the living Memory of his deceased Friend, Captaine John Smith, who
departed this mortall life on the 21 day of June, 1631, with his
Armes, and this Motto,

Accordamus, vincere est vivere.

Here lies one conquer'd that hath conquer'd Kings,
Subdu'd large Territories, and done things
Which to the World impossible would seeme,
But that the truth is held in more esteeme,
Shall I report His former service done
In honour of his God and Christendome:
How that he did divide from Pagans three,
Their heads and Lives, types of his chivalry:
For which great service in that Climate done,
Brave Sigismundus (King of Hungarion)
Did give him as a Coat of Armes to weare,
Those conquer'd heads got by his Sword and Speare?
Or shall I tell of his adventures since,
Done in Firginia, that large Continence:
I-low that he subdu'd Kings unto his yoke,
And made those heathen flie, as wind doth smoke:
And made their Land, being of so large a Station,
A habitation for our Christian Nation:
Where God is glorifi'd, their wants suppli'd,
Which else for necessaries might have di'd?
But what avails his Conquest now he lyes
Inter'd in earth a prey for Wormes & Flies?

O may his soule in sweet Mizium sleepe,
Untill the Keeper that all soules doth keepe,
Returne to judgement and that after thence,
With Angels he may have his recompence.
Captaine John Smith, sometime Governour of Firginia, and
Admirall of New England.

This remarkable epitaph is such an autobiographical record as Smith
might have written himself. That it was engraved upon a tablet and
set up in this church rests entirely upon the authority of Stow. The
present pilgrim to the old church will find no memorial that Smith
was buried there, and will encounter besides incredulity of the
tradition that he ever rested there.

The old church of St. Sepulcher's, formerly at the confluence of Snow
Hill and the Old Bailey, now lifts its head far above the pompous
viaduct which spans the valley along which the Fleet Ditch once
flowed. All the registers of burial in the church were destroyed by
the great fire of 1666, which burnt down the edifice from floor to
roof, leaving only the walls and tower standing. Mr. Charles Deane,
whose lively interest in Smith led him recently to pay a visit to St.
Sepulcher's, speaks of it as the church "under the pavement of which
the remains of our hero were buried; but he was not able to see the
stone placed over those remains, as the floor of the church at that
time was covered with a carpet.... The epitaph to his memory,
however, it is understood, cannot now be deciphered upon the
tablet,"--which he supposes to be the one in Stow.

The existing tablet is a slab of bluish-black marble, which formerly
was in the chancel. That it in no way relates to Captain Smith a
near examination of it shows. This slab has an escutcheon which
indicates three heads, which a lively imagination may conceive to be
those of Moors, on a line in the upper left corner on the husband's
side of a shield, which is divided by a perpendicular line. As Smith
had no wife, this could not have been his cognizance. Nor are these
his arms, which were three Turks' heads borne over and beneath a
chevron. The cognizance of "Moors' heads," as we have said, was not
singular in the Middle Ages, and there existed recently in this very
church another tomb which bore a Moor's head as a family badge. The
inscription itself is in a style of lettering unlike that used in the
time of James I., and the letters are believed not to belong to an
earlier period than that of the Georges. This bluish-black stone has
been recently gazed at by many pilgrims from this side of the ocean,
with something of the feeling with which the Moslems regard the Kaaba
at Mecca. This veneration is misplaced, for upon the stone are
distinctly visible these words:

     "Departed this life September....
      ....sixty-six ....years....
        ....months ...."

As John Smith died in June, 1631, in his fifty-second year, this
stone is clearly not in his honor: and if his dust rests in this
church, the fire of 1666 made it probably a labor of wasted love to
look hereabouts for any monument of him.

A few years ago some American antiquarians desired to place some
monument to the "Admiral of New England" in this church, and a
memorial window, commemorating the "Baptism of Pocahontas," was
suggested. We have been told, however, that a custom of St.
Sepulcher's requires a handsome bonus to the rector for any memorial
set up in the church which the kindly incumbent had no power to set
aside (in his own case) for a foreign gift and act of international
courtesy of this sort; and the project was abandoned.

Nearly every trace of this insatiable explorer of the earth has
disappeared from it except in his own writings. The only monument to
his memory existing is a shabby little marble shaft erected on the
southerly summit of Star Island, one of the Isles of Shoals. By a
kind of irony of fortune, which Smith would have grimly appreciated,
the only stone to perpetuate his fame stands upon a little heap of
rocks in the sea; upon which it is only an inference that he ever set
foot, and we can almost hear him say again, looking round upon this
roomy earth, so much of which he possessed in his mind, "No lot for
me but Smith's Isles, which are an array of barren rocks, the most
overgrowne with shrubs and sharpe whins you can hardly passe them:
without either grasse or wood but three or foure short shrubby old

Nearly all of Smith's biographers and the historians of Virginia
have, with great respect, woven his romances about his career into
their narratives, imparting to their paraphrases of his story such an
elevation as his own opinion of himself seemed to demand. Of
contemporary estimate of him there is little to quote except the
panegyrics in verse he has preserved for us, and the inference from
his own writings that he was the object of calumny and detraction.
Enemies he had in plenty, but there are no records left of their
opinion of his character. The nearest biographical notice of him in
point of time is found in the "History of the Worthies of England,"
by Thomas Fuller, D.D., London, 1662.

Old Fuller's schoolmaster was Master Arthur Smith, a kinsman of John,
who told him that John was born in Lincolnshire, and it is probable
that Fuller received from his teacher some impression about the

Of his "strange performances" in Hungary, Fuller says: "The scene
whereof is laid at such a distance that they are cheaper credited
than confuted."

"From the Turks in Europe he passed to the pagans in America, where
towards the latter end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth [it was in the
reign of James] such his perils, preservations, dangers,
deliverances, they seem to most men above belief, to some beyond
truth. Yet have we two witnesses to attest them, the prose and the
pictures, both in his own book; and it soundeth much to the
diminution of his deeds that he alone is the herald to publish and
proclaim them."

"Surely such reports from strangers carry the greater reputation.
However, moderate men must allow Captain Smith to have been very
instrumental in settling the plantation in Virginia, whereof he was
governor, as also Admiral of New England."

"He led his old age in London, where his having a prince's mind
imprisoned in a poor man's purse, rendered him to the contempt of
such as were not ingenuous. Yet he efforted his spirits with the
remembrance and relation of what formerly he had been, and what he
had done."

Of the "ranting epitaph," quoted above, Fuller says: "The
orthography, poetry, history and divinity in this epitaph are much

Without taking Captain John Smith at his own estimate of himself, he
was a peculiar character even for the times in which he lived. He
shared with his contemporaries the restless spirit of roving and
adventure which resulted from the invention of the mariner's compass
and the discovery of the New World; but he was neither so sordid nor
so rapacious as many of them, for his boyhood reading of romances had
evidently fired him with the conceits of the past chivalric period.
This imported into his conduct something inflated and something
elevated. And, besides, with all his enormous conceit, he had a
stratum of practical good sense, a shrewd wit, and the salt of humor.

If Shakespeare had known him, as he might have done, he would have
had a character ready to his hand that would have added one of the
most amusing and interesting portraits to his gallery. He faintly
suggests a moral Falstaff, if we can imagine a Falstaff without
vices. As a narrator he has the swagger of a Captain Dalghetty, but
his actions are marked by honesty and sincerity. He appears to have
had none of the small vices of the gallants of his time. His
chivalric attitude toward certain ladies who appear in his
adventures, must have been sufficiently amusing to his associates.
There is about his virtue a certain antique flavor which must have
seemed strange to the adventurers and court hangers-on in London.
Not improbably his assumptions were offensive to the ungodly, and his
ingenuous boastings made him the object of amusement to the skeptics.
Their ridicule would naturally appear to him to arise from envy. We
read between the lines of his own eulogies of himself, that there was
a widespread skepticism about his greatness and his achievements,
which he attributed to jealousy. Perhaps his obtrusive virtues made
him enemies, and his rectitude was a standing offense to his

It is certain he got on well with scarcely anybody with whom he was
thrown in his enterprises. He was of common origin, and always
carried with him the need of assertion in an insecure position. He
appears to us always self-conscious and ill at ease with gentlemen
born. The captains of his own station resented his assumptions of
superiority, and while he did not try to win them by an affectation
of comradeship, he probably repelled those of better breeding by a
swaggering manner. No doubt his want of advancement was partly due
to want of influence, which better birth would have given him; but
the plain truth is that he had a talent for making himself
disagreeable to his associates. Unfortunately he never engaged in
any enterprise with any one on earth who was so capable of conducting
it as himself, and this fact he always made plain to his comrades.
Skill he had in managing savages, but with his equals among whites he
lacked tact, and knew not the secret of having his own way without
seeming to have it. He was insubordinate, impatient of any authority
over him, and unwilling to submit to discipline he did not himself

Yet it must be said that he was less self-seeking than those who were
with him in Virginia, making glory his aim rather than gain always;
that he had a superior conception of what a colony should be, and how
it should establish itself, and that his judgment of what was best
was nearly always vindicated by the event. He was not the founder of
the Virginia colony, its final success was not due to him, but it was
owing almost entirely to his pluck and energy that it held on and
maintained an existence during the two years and a half that he was
with it at Jamestown. And to effect this mere holding on, with the
vagabond crew that composed most of the colony, and with the
extravagant and unintelligent expectations of the London Company, was
a feat showing decided ability. He had the qualities fitting him to
be an explorer and the leader of an expedition. He does not appear
to have had the character necessary to impress his authority on a
community. He was quarrelsome, irascible, and quick to fancy that
his full value was not admitted. He shines most upon such small
expeditions as the exploration of the Chesapeake; then his energy,
self-confidence, shrewdness, inventiveness, had free play, and his
pluck and perseverance are recognized as of the true heroic

Smith, as we have seen, estimated at their full insignificance such
flummeries as the coronation of Powhatan, and the foolishness of
taxing the energies of the colony to explore the country for gold and
chase the phantom of the South Sea. In his discernment and in his
conceptions of what is now called "political economy" he was in
advance of his age. He was an advocate of "free trade" before the
term was invented. In his advice given to the New England plantation
in his "Advertisements" he says:

"Now as his Majesty has made you custome-free for seven yeares, have
a care that all your countrymen shall come to trade with you, be not
troubled with pilotage, boyage, ancorage, wharfage, custome, or any
such tricks as hath been lately used in most of our plantations,
where they would be Kings before their folly; to the discouragement
of many, and a scorne to them of understanding, for Dutch, French,
Biskin, or any will as yet use freely the Coast without controule,
and why not English as well as they? Therefore use all commers with
that respect, courtesie, and liberty is fitting, which will in a
short time much increase your trade and shipping to fetch it from
you, for as yet it were not good to adventure any more abroad with
factors till you bee better provided; now there is nothing more
enricheth a Common-wealth than much trade, nor no meanes better to
increase than small custome, as Holland, Genua, Ligorne, as divers
other places can well tell you, and doth most beggar those places
where they take most custome, as Turkie, the Archipelegan Iles,
Cicilia, the Spanish ports, but that their officers will connive to
enrich themselves, though undo the state."

It may perhaps be admitted that he knew better than the London or the
Plymouth company what ought to be done in the New World, but it is
absurd to suppose that his success or his ability forfeited him the
confidence of both companies, and shut him out of employment. The
simple truth seems to be that his arrogance and conceit and
importunity made him unpopular, and that his proverbial ill luck was
set off against his ability.

Although he was fully charged with the piety of his age, and kept in
mind his humble dependence on divine grace when he was plundering
Venetian argosies or lying to the Indians, or fighting anywhere
simply for excitement or booty, and was always as devout as a modern
Sicilian or Greek robber; he had a humorous appreciation of the value
of the religions current in his day. He saw through the hypocrisy of
the London Company, "making religion their color, when all their aim
was nothing but present profit." There was great talk about
Christianizing the Indians; but the colonists in Virginia taught them
chiefly the corruptions of civilized life, and those who were
despatched to England soon became debauched by London vices. "Much
they blamed us [he writes] for not converting the Salvages, when
those they sent us were little better, if not worse, nor did they all
convert any of those we sent them to England for that purpose."

Captain John Smith died unmarried, nor is there any record that he
ever had wife or children. This disposes of the claim of subsequent
John Smiths to be descended from him. He was the last of that race;
the others are imitations. He was wedded to glory. That he was not
insensible to the charms of female beauty, and to the heavenly pity
in their hearts, which is their chief grace, his writings abundantly
evince; but to taste the pleasures of dangerous adventure, to learn
war and to pick up his living with his sword, and to fight wherever
piety showed recompense would follow, was the passion of his youth,
while his manhood was given to the arduous ambition of enlarging the
domains of England and enrolling his name among those heroes who make
an ineffaceable impression upon their age. There was no time in his
life when he had leisure to marry, or when it would have been
consistent with his schemes to have tied himself to a home.

As a writer he was wholly untrained, but with all his introversions
and obscurities he is the most readable chronicler of his time, the
most amusing and as untrustworthy as any. He is influenced by his
prejudices, though not so much by them as by his imagination and
vanity. He had a habit of accurate observation, as his maps show,
and this trait gives to his statements and descriptions, when his own
reputation is not concerned, a value beyond that of those of most
contemporary travelers. And there is another thing to be said about
his writings. They are uncommonly clean for his day. Only here and
there is coarseness encountered. In an age when nastiness was
written as well as spoken, and when most travelers felt called upon
to satisfy a curiosity for prurient observations, Smith preserved a
tone quite remarkable for general purity.

Captain Smith is in some respects a very good type of the restless
adventurers of his age; but he had a little more pseudo-chivalry at
one end of his life, and a little more piety at the other, than the
rest. There is a decidedly heroic element in his courage, hardihood,
and enthusiasm, softened to the modern observer's comprehension by
the humorous contrast between his achievements and his estimate of
them. Between his actual deeds as he relates them, and his noble
sentiments, there is also sometimes a contrast pleasing to the
worldly mind. He is just one of those characters who would be more
agreeable on the stage than in private life. His extraordinary
conceit would be entertaining if one did not see too much of him.
Although he was such a romancer that we can accept few of his
unsupported statements about himself, there was, nevertheless, a
certain verity in his character which showed something more than
loyalty to his own fortune; he could be faithful to an ambition for
the public good. Those who knew him best must have found in him very
likable qualities, and acknowledged the generosities of his nature,
while they were amused at his humorous spleen and his serious
contemplation of his own greatness. There is a kind of simplicity in
his self-appreciation that wins one, and it is impossible for the
candid student of his career not to feel kindly towards the "sometime
Governor of Virginia and Admiral of New England."

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