Captain John Smith eBook

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

VI

QUARRELS AND HARDSHIPS

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.

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Captain John Smith from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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