5. Two large stones were brought, his head laid upon one of them, and the war-clubs raised to strike the deadly blow. At this moment, Pocahontas, the king’s favorite daughter, sprang forward, threw herself between him and the executioners, and by her entreaties saved his life.
6. Powhatan promised him that he should return to Jamestown, if the English would give him a certain quantity of ammunition and trinkets. Smith agreed to obtain them, provided a messenger would carry a leaf to his companions. On this leaf he briefly stated what must be sent.
7. Powhatan had never heard of writing;—he laughed at the idea that a leaf could speak, and regarded the whole as an imposition on the part of the prisoner.
8. When, however, the messenger returned with the promised ransom, he regarded Smith as nothing less than a wizard, and gladly allowed him to depart. It seemed to be the fate of this singular man to excite a powerful interest wherever he went.
9. Pocahontas had such a deep attachment for him, that, in 1609, when only fourteen years old, she stole away from her tribe, and, during a most dreary night, walked to Jamestown, to tell him that her father had formed the design of cutting off the whole English settlement.
10. Thus she a second time saved his life, at the hazard of her own. This charming Indian girl did not meet with all the gratitude she deserved.
11. Before 1612, Captain Smith received a wound, which made it necessary for him to go to England, for surgical aid; and after his departure a copper kettle was offered to any Indian who would bring Pocahontas to the English settlement.
12. She was, accordingly, stolen from her father, and carried prisoner to Jamestown. Powhatan offered five hundred bushels of corn as a ransom for his darling child.
13. Before the negotiation was finished, an Englishman of good character, by the name of Thomas Rolfe, became attached to Pocahontas, and they were soon after married, with the king’s consent.
14. This event secured peace to the English for many years. The Indian bride became a Christian, and was baptized.
The same subject, concluded.
1. In 1616, Pocahontas went to England with her husband,—was introduced at court, and received great attention.
2. King James is said to have been very indignant that any of his subjects should have dared to marry a princess; but Captain Smith has been accused, perhaps falsely, of being sufficiently cold and selfish to blush for his acquaintance with the generous North American savage.
3. Pocahontas never returned to her native country. She died at Gravesend, in 1617, just as she was about to embark for America.
4. She left one son, Thomas Rolfe; and from his daughter are descended several people of high rank in Virginia, among whom was the celebrated John Randolph of Roanoke.