Captain John Smith eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 268 pages of information about Captain John Smith.
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.

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Captain John Smith from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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