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Encyclopedia > John Smith of Jamestown
Statue at Jamestown VA, photo Aug 2007

Captain/Sir John Smith (1580June 21, 1631), was an English soldier, sailor, and author. He is remembered for his role in establishing the first permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown, Virginia, and his brief association with the Native American girl Pocahontas during an altercation with the Powhatan Confederacy, and her father, Chief Powhatan. He was a leader of the Virginia Colony (based at Jamestown) between 1607 and 1609, and led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 341 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (672 × 1180 pixel, file size: 32 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Statue of John Smith(Age 12) at Jamestown VA I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 341 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (672 × 1180 pixel, file size: 32 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Statue of John Smith(Age 12) at Jamestown VA I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Events March 1 - Michel de Montaigne signs the preface to his most significant work, Essays. ... is the 172nd day of the year (173rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... // Events February 5 - Roger Williams emigrates to Boston. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... This article is about a military rank. ... This article is about maritime crew. ... For other uses, see Author (disambiguation). ... North America North America is a continent[1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ... At Jamestown Settlement, replicas of Christopher Newports 3 ships are docked in the harbour. ... This article is about the people indigenous to the United States. ... For other uses, see Pocahontas (disambiguation). ... The Powhatan (also spelled Powatan and Powhaten) were a very powerful tribe of Native Americans, speaking an Algonquian language, who lived in what is now Virginia at the time of the first European-Native encounters. ... Chief Powhatan (detail of map published by John Smith (1612) Chief Powhatan ( 1547— 1618) , whose proper name was Wahunsenacawh or (in seventeenth century English spelling) Wahunsunacock, was the leader of the Powhatan (also spelled Powatan and Powhaten), a powerful tribe of Native Americans, speaking an Algonquian language, who lived in... The 1609 charter for the Virginia colony from sea to sea The Virginia Colony refers to the English colony in North America that existed during the 17th and 18th centuries before the American Revolution. ... The Chesapeake Bay - Landsat photo The Chesapeake Bay where the Susquehanna River empties into it. ...


His books may have been as important as his deeds; for they encouraged more English men and women to follow the trail he had blazed and colonize the New World. He was the person who gave the name New England to that region, and encouraged people with the comment, "Here every man may be master and owner of his owne labour and land...If he have nothing but his hands, he may...by industrie quickly grow rich." It was a powerful message, which attracted millions of people in the next four centuries.

Contents

Early adventures

John Smith was baptized at Willoughby near Alford, Lincolnshire where his parents rented a farm from Lord Willoughby. He was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School, Louth. After his father died, Smith left home at age 16 and set off to sea. He served as a mercenary in the army of King Henry IV of France against the Spaniards and later fought against the Ottoman Empire. Smith was promoted to captain while fighting for the Habsburgs in Hungary, in the campaign of Mihai Viteazul in 1600-1601. After the death of Mihai Viteazul, he fought for Radu Şerban in Wallachia against Ieremia Movilă, but, in 1602 he was wounded, captured and sold as a slave. Smith claimed the Turk (presumably hoping Smith would be a tutor in the short term, and a payer of a ransom in the long term) sent him as a gift to his sweetheart, who fell in love with Smith. He then was taken to Crimea, from where he escaped from the Ottoman lands into Muscovy then on to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Smith then travelled through Europe and Northern Africa, returning to England during 1604. Prior to his capture, Smith had defeated and killed three Turkish commanders in three duels, for which he was knighted by the Transylvania Prince Sigismund Báthory and given a horse. This all happened during the years 1601 and 1604. Willoughby is a place in Lincolnshire, north east of Spilsby. ... Alford (pronounced Olford) is a town in Lincolnshire, England, with a population of about 3,500 people. ... Peregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby (1555-1601) was the son of Richard Bertie and Katherine, 12th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby. ... King Edward VI Grammar School (often shortened to KEVIGS or KEVIS) is one of many Grammar schools in the United Kingdom. ... Henry IV of France, also Henry III of Navarre (13 December 1553 – 14 May 1610), ruled as King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. ... Ottoman redirects here. ... Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy; also used as the flag of the Austrian Empire until the Ausgleich of 1867. ... Engraving of Michael the Brave Mihai Viteazu redirects here. ... Map of Romania with Wallachia in yellow. ... Ieremia Movilă and his family Tomb veil of Ieremia Movilă Ieremia Movilă (Jeremi MohyÅ‚a in Polish) was a Voivode (Moldavian Prince) between August 1595 and May 1600 and again between September 1600 and July 10, 1606. ... Slave redirects here. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... A statue of an armoured knight of the Middle Ages For the chess piece, see knight (chess). ... Sigismund Bathory (1572-1613) (Báthory Zsigmond in Hungarian), Prince of Transylvania and of the Holy Roman Empire, was the son of Christopher, prince of Transylvania, and nephew of the Stefan Batory, elected king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ...


Virginia Colony

"The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles", by Capt. John Smith

In 1606, Smith became involved with plans to colonize Virginia for profit by the Virginia Company of London, which had been granted a charter from King James I of England. The expedition set sail in three small ships, the Discovery, the Susan Constant and the Godspeed on December 20, 1606. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (651x992, 580 KB) Summary Cover of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New=England, and the Summer Isles (The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Somers Isles), by Captain John Smith, 1624. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (651x992, 580 KB) Summary Cover of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New=England, and the Summer Isles (The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Somers Isles), by Captain John Smith, 1624. ... The 1609 charter for the Virginia colony from sea to sea The Virginia Colony refers to the English colony in North America that existed during the 17th and 18th centuries before the American Revolution. ... Virginia Company of London Seal The London Company (also called the Virginia Company of London) was an English joint stock company established by royal charter by James I on April 10, 1606 with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America. ... James VI and I (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scots as James VI, and King of England and King of Ireland as James I. He ruled in Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567, when he was only one year old, succeeding his mother Mary... is the 354th day of the year (355th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 27 - The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators begins ending in their execution on January 31 May 17 - Supporters of Vasili Shusky invade the Kremlin and kill Premier Dmitri December 26 - Shakespeares King Lear performed in court Storm buries a village of St Ismails near...


John Smith was apparently a troublemaker on the voyage, and Captain Christopher Newport (in charge of the three ships) had planned to execute him upon arrival in Virginia. However, upon first landing at what is now Cape Henry on April 26, 1607, sealed orders from the Virginia Company were opened. They designated Smith to be one of the leaders of the new colony, forcing Newport to spare him. The search for a suitable site ended, on May 14, 1607, when Captain Edward Maria Wingfield, president of the council, chose the Jamestown site as the location for the colony. Christopher Newport (c. ... Cape Henry is a cape on the Atlantic shore of Virginia. ... is the 116th day of the year (117th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1607 (MDCVII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... May 14 is the 134th day of the year (135th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Edward Maria Wingfield (born around 1560 in Stoneley (Huntingdonshire); died after 1613) was a soldier and English colonist in America. ... At Jamestown Settlement, replicas of Christopher Newports 3 ships are docked in the harbour. ...


Harsh weather, lack of water and attacks from Algonquian tribes of the Native Americans almost destroyed the colony. In December 1607, while seeking food along the Chickahominy River, Smith was captured and taken to meet the Chief of the Powhatans, Wahunsonacock, at Werowocomoco, the chief village of the Powhatan Confederacy on the north shore of the York River about 15 miles due north of Jamestown, and 25 miles downstream from where the river forms from the Pamunkey River and the Mattaponi River at West Point, Virginia. Although he feared for his life, Smith was eventually released without harm and later attributed this in part to the chief's daughter, Pocahontas, who, according to Smith, threw herself across his body[1]: "at the minute of my execution, she hazarded [i.e. risked] the beating out of her own brains to save mine; and not only that, but so prevailed with her father, that I was safely conducted to Jamestown".[2] The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (the two Algic languages that are not Algonquian are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... This article is about the people indigenous to the United States. ... Chickahominy also known as the Chick is a river in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Virginia, near which several battles of the United States Civil War were fought in 1862 and 1864. ... Chief Powhatan in a longhouse at Werowocomoco (detail of John Smith map, 1612) Werowocomoco was the chief village of the Powhatan Confederacy of the Native American tribes, speaking an Algonquian language, who lived in what is now Virginia at the time of the first English-Native encounters during the establishment... The Powhatan (also spelled Powatan and Powhaten) were a very powerful tribe of Native Americans, speaking an Algonquian language, who lived in what is now Virginia at the time of the first European-Native encounters. ... The York River is a navigable estuary, approximately 40 mi (64 km) long, in eastern Virginia in the United States. ... The Pamunkey River is a tributary of the York River, about 90 mi (145 km) long, in eastern Virginia in the United States. ... The Mattaponi River is a tributary of the York River estuary in eastern Virginia in the United States. ... West Point is an incorporated town in King William County, Virginia, United States. ... For other uses, see Pocahontas (disambiguation). ...


Smith's version of events is the only source, and since the 1860s, scepticism has increasingly been expressed about its veracity. One reason for such doubt is that despite having published two earlier books about Virginia, Smith's earliest surviving account of his rescue by Pocahontas dates from 1616, nearly 10 years later, in a letter entreating Queen Anne to treat Pocahontas with dignity [3]. The time gap in publishing his story raises the possibility that Smith may have exaggerated or invented the event to enhance Pocahontas' image. However, in a recent book, Lemay points out that Smith's earlier writing was primarily geographical and ethnographic in nature and did not dwell on his personal experiences; hence there was no reason for him to write down the story until this point.[4] // The First Transcontinental Railroad in the USA was built in the six year period between 1863 and 1869. ... Anna of Denmark (October 14, 1574 – March 4, 1619) was queen consort of King James I of England and VI of Scotland. ...


Henry Brooks Adams, the pre-eminent Harvard historian of the second half of the 19th century attempted to debunk Smith’s claims of heroism. He said that Smith’s recounting of the story of Pocahontas had been progressively embellished, made up of “falsehoods of an effrontery seldom equalled in modern times.” Although there is general consensus among historians that Smith tended to exaggerate, his account does seem to be consistent with the basic facts of his life. Adam’s attack on Smith, an attempt to deface one of the icons of Southern history, was motivated by political considerations in the wake of the Civil War. Adams had been influenced to write his fusillade against Smith by John Palfrey who was promoting New England colonization, as opposed to southern settlement, as the founding of America. The accuracy of Smith’s accounts has continued to be a subject of debate over the centuries.[5]. Henry Brooks Adams (February 16, 1838 - March 27, 1918) was a U.S. historian, journalist and novelist. ...



Some experts have suggested that, although Smith believed he had been rescued, he had in fact been involved in a ritual intended to symbolize his death and rebirth as a member of the tribe [6]. However, in Love and Hate in Jamestown, David A. Price notes that this is only guesswork, since little is known of Powhatan rituals, and there is no evidence for any similar rituals among other North American tribes (p. 243-4).


Whatever really happened, the encounter initiated a friendly relationship with Smith and the colonists at Jamestown. As the colonists expanded further, however, some of the Native Americans felt that their lands were threatened, and conflicts arose again. At Jamestown Settlement, replicas of Christopher Newports 3 ships are docked in the harbour. ...


In 1608, Pocahontas is said to have saved Smith a second time. Smith and some other colonists were invited to Werowocomoco by Chief Powhatan on friendly terms, but Pocahontas came to the hut where the English were staying and warned them that Powhatan was planning to kill them. Due to this warning, the English stayed on their guard, and the attack never came.[7]

Map of Virginia published by John Smith (1612)

Later, Smith left Jamestown to explore the Chesapeake Bay region and search for badly-needed food, covering an estimated 3,000 miles.[8] He was eventually elected president of the local council in September 1608 and instituted a policy of discipline, encouraging farming with a famous admonishment: "He who does not work, will not eat." Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2520x1944, 1047 KB) Summary John Smiths Map of Virginia used in various publications, first in 1612. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2520x1944, 1047 KB) Summary John Smiths Map of Virginia used in various publications, first in 1612. ... The Chesapeake Bay - Landsat photo The Chesapeake Bay where the Susquehanna River empties into it. ...


The settlement grew under his leadership. During this period, Smith took the chief of the neighbouring tribe hostage and, according to Smith he did, "take this murdering Opechancanough...by the long lock of his head; and with my pistol at his breast, I led him {out of his house} amongst his greatest forces, and before we parted made him [agree to] fill our bark with twenty tons of corn."[citation needed] A year later, full scale war broke out between the Powhatans and the Virginia colonists. Smith was seriously injured by a gunpowder burn after a rogue spark landed in his powder keg. He returned to England for treatment in Oct. 1609, never to return to Virginia. Opechancanough or Opchanacanough was a chief of the Powhatan tribe, becoming chief after his older brother, Wahunsonacock, died. ...

See also: Jamestown, Virginia

At Jamestown Settlement, replicas of Christopher Newports 3 ships are docked in the harbour. ...

New England

In 1614, Smith returned to the Americas in a voyage to coasts of Maine and Massachusetts Bay, and named the region "New England"[9]. His second attempted voyage to the New England coast in 1615 was interrupted by his capture by French pirates off the Azores. Smith escaped after weeks of captivity and made his way back to France, where he published an account of his two voyages as A Description of New England. He never left England again, and spent the rest of his life writing books. He died in 1631. Official language(s) None (English and French de facto) Capital Augusta Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 39th  - Total 33,414 sq mi (86,542 km²)  - Width 210 miles (338 km)  - Length 320 miles (515 km)  - % water 13. ... Map of Massachusetts Bay. ... This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... Motto: Antes morrer livres que em paz sujeitos (Rather die free than in peace subjugated) Anthem: A Portuguesa (national) Hino dos Açores (local) Capital Ponta Delgada (Presidency of the Regional Government) Angra do Heroísmo (Supreme Court)1 Horta (Legislative Assembly)2 Largest city Ponta Delgada Official languages Portuguese...


Publications

Title page of A Description of New England
  • A True Relation of Such Occurrences and Accidents of Note as Happened in Virginia (1608)
  • A Map of Virginia (1612)
  • The Proceedings of the English Colony in Virginia (1612)
  • A Description of New England (1616)
  • New England's Trials (1620, 1622)
  • The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles (1624)
  • An Accidence, or the Pathway to Experience Necessary for all Young Seamen (1626)
  • A Sea Grammar (1627) - the first sailors' word book in English
  • The True Travels, Adventures and Observations of Captain John Smith (1630)
  • Advertisements for the Unexperienced Planters of New England, or Anywhere (1631)

Image File history File links Descr. ... Image File history File links Descr. ...

John Smith Memorial, New Hampshire

The Captain John Smith Memorial currently lies in disrepair off of the coast of New Hampshire on a small island named Star Island. Built in 1864 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of John Smith's visit, the original monument was a tall pillar set on a triangular base atop a series of steps surrounded by granite supports and a sturdy iron railing. At the top of the original obelisk were three carved faces, representing the severed heads of three Turks that Smith lopped off while in combat during his stint as a soldier in Transylvania.[10] Star Island Chapel Star Island is one of the Isles of Shoals, located seven miles off the coast of New Hampshire in the Atlantic Ocean. ... This article is about the region in Romania. ...


In 1914, the New Hampshire Society of Colonial Wars partially restored and rededicated the monument for the 300th anniversary celebration of his historic visit [11]. The monument had weathered so badly in the harsh coastal winters that the inscription in the granite had worn away.


John Smith in film

  • John Smith is one of the main characters in Disney's 1995 film Pocahontas and its straight-to-video sequel Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World in which he is voiced by Mel Gibson in the first movie and his younger brother Donal Gibson in the sequel.

Pocahontas is the thirty-third animated feature in the Disney animated features canon. ... Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson (born January 3, 1956) is an American-Australian actor, Academy Award winning director and producer. ... It is proposed that this article be deleted, because of the following concern: notability If you can address this concern by improving, copyediting, sourcing, renaming or merging the page, please edit this page and do so. ... For other uses, see Pocahontas (disambiguation). ... Terrence Terry Malick (born November 30, 1943 in Waco, Texas) is an American film director. ... The New World is a 2005 Academy Award-nominated drama / romance film directed by Terrence Malick. ... Colin James Farrell (born May 31, 1976) is an Irish actor who has appeared in several high-profile Hollywood films including Daredevil, Miami Vice, Minority Report, Phone Booth and S.W.A.T.. // Farrell was born prematurely. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Smith, Generall Historie
  2. ^ Smith. Letter to Queen Anne.
  3. ^ Smith. Letter to Queen Anne.
  4. ^ Lemay. Did Pocahontas, p. 25. Lemay's other arguments in favour of Smith are summarized in Birchfield, 'Did Pocahontas'.
  5. ^ Lepore, Jill, "The New Yorker", Ap. 2, 2007, p. 40-45
  6. ^ Gleach, Powhatan's World, pp. 118-21.; Kupperman, Indians and English, pp. 114, 174.
  7. ^ Symonds, Proceedings, pp. 251-2; Smith, Generall Historie, pp. 198-9, 259.
  8. ^ These explorations have been commemorated in the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, established in 2006.
  9. ^ New England. (2006). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved June 20, 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service: [1]
  10. ^ J. Dennis Robinson The Ugliest Monument in New England
  11. ^ Robinson. John Smith Memorial Photo History

Trail Map Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail is a series of water routes in the United States extending approximately 3,000 miles (4,800 km) along the Chesapeake Bay, the nations largest estuary, and its tributaries in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and in the District of Columbia. ...

Further reading

  • Horn, James, ed. Captain John Smith, Writings, with Other Narratives of Roanoke, Jamestown, and the English Settlement of America (Library of America, 2007) ISBN 978-1-59853-001-8.
  • Philip L. Barbour, The Jamestown Voyages under the First Charter, 1606-1609, 2 vols., Publications of the Hakluyt Society, ser.2, 136-37 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969)
  • A. Bryant Nichols Jr., Captain Christopher Newport: Admiral of Virginia, Sea Venture, 2007
  • Philip L. Barbour, The Three Worlds of Captain John Smith (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1964)
  • Gleach, Frederic W. Powhatan's World and Colonial Virginia. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997.
  • Dorothy Hoobler and Thomas Hoobler, Captain John Smith: Jamestown and the Birth of the American Dream (Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2006)
  • Horn, James. A Land as God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America (New York: Basic Books, 2005)
  • Kupperman, Karen Ordahl ed., John Smith: A Select Edition of His Writings (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988)
  • Price, David A., Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Heart of a New Nation (New York: Knopf, 2003)
  • Lemay, J.A. Leo. Did Pocahontas Save Captain John Smith? Athens, Georgia: The University of Georgia Press, 1992, p. 25.
  • John Smith, The Complete Works of Captain John Smith (1580-1631) in Three Volumes, edited by Philip L. Barbour, 3 vols. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for The Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, 1986)
  • Smith, John. The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles. 1624. Repr. in Jamestown Narratives, ed. Edward Wright Haile. Champlain, VA: Roundhouse, 1998. pp. 198-9, 259.
  • Smith, John. Letter to Queen Anne. 1616. Repr. as 'John Smith's Letter to Queen Anne regarding Pocahontas'. Caleb Johnson's Mayflower Web Pages. 1997. Accessed 23 April, 2006.
  • Symonds, William. The Proceedings of the English Colonie in Virginia. 1612. Repr. in The Complete Works of Captain John Smith. Ed. Philip L. Barbour. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986. Vol. 1, pp. 251-2
  • Warner, Charles Dudley, Captain John Smith, 1881. Repr. in Captain John Smith Project Gutenberg Text, accessed 4 July, 2006

Volumes in the Library of America series The Library of America (LoA) is a nonprofit publisher of classic American literature. ... Charles Dudley Warner (September 12, 1829 - October 20, 1900), American essayist and novelist, was born of Puritan ancestry, in Plainfield, Massachusetts. ... Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive and distribute cultural works. ...

External links

  • Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail Official Website
  • Friends of the John Smith Trail
  • NGS Then and Now - John Smith
  • Captain John Smith Trail in Virginia
  • John Smith Water Trail Blog
  • The Captain John Smith Water Trail
  • A Description of New England (1616) online text (PDF)
  • Our Most Politically Incorrect Founding Father (WorldNet Daily)
  • The Ugliest Monument in New England (seacoastnh.com)
  • The Ugliest Monument in New England II
  • John Smith Memorial Photo History
  • Captain John Smith Chesapeake NHT is administered by the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network
  • John Smith 400 Project - 2007 Re-enactment Voyage
  • Smith Water Trail Loops
Preceded by
Matthew Scrivener
Colonial Governor of Virginia
1608-1609
Succeeded by
George Percy

  Results from FactBites:
 
About Captain John Smith (218 words)
According to the World Book Encyclopedia, John Smith (1580?-1631) was "an English soldier and adventurer." It was in 1607 that John Smith and a group of colonists landed in Virginia.
John Smith served as president of the colony from 1608-1609.
Smith went to England in 1609 (suffering from a gun powder wound) and returned to America in 1614.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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