Captain John Smith eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 226 pages of information about Captain John Smith.

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 city.”

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.

XV

NEW ENGLAND ADVENTURES

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.

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