While this plot was simmering, and Smith was surrounded by treachery inside the fort and outside, and the savages were being taught that King James would kill Smith because he had used the Indians so unkindly, Captain Argall and Master Thomas Sedan arrived out in a well-furnished vessel, sent by Master Cornelius to trade and fish for sturgeon. The wine and other good provision of the ship were so opportune to the necessities of the colony that the President seized them. Argall lost his voyage; his ship was revictualed and sent back to England, but one may be sure that this event was so represented as to increase the fostered dissatisfaction with Smith in London. For one reason or another, most of the persons who returned had probably carried a bad report of him. Argall brought to Jamestown from London a report of great complaints of him for his dealings with the savages and not returning ships freighted with the products of the country. Misrepresented in London, and unsupported and conspired against in Virginia, Smith felt his fall near at hand. On the face of it he was the victim of envy and the rascality of incompetent and bad men; but whatever his capacity for dealing with savages, it must be confessed that he lacked something which conciliates success with one’s own people. A new commission was about to be issued, and a great supply was in preparation under Lord De La Ware.
SMITH’S LAST DAYS IN VIRGINIA
The London company were profoundly dissatisfied with the results of the Virginia colony. The South Sea was not discovered, no gold had turned up, there were no valuable products from the new land, and the promoters received no profits on their ventures. With their expectations, it is not to be wondered at that they were still further annoyed by the quarreling amongst the colonists themselves, and wished to begin over again.
A new charter, dated May 23, 1609, with enlarged powers, was got from King James. Hundreds of corporators were named, and even thousands were included in the various London trades and guilds that were joined in the enterprise. Among the names we find that of Captain John Smith. But he was out of the Council, nor was he given then or ever afterward any place or employment in Virginia, or in the management of its affairs. The grant included all the American coast two hundred miles north and two hundred miles south of Point Comfort, and all the territory from the coast up into the land throughout from sea to sea, west and northwest. A leading object of the project still being (as we have seen it was with Smith’s precious crew at Jamestown) the conversion and reduction of the natives to the true religion, no one was permitted in the colony who had not taken the oath of supremacy.
Under this charter the Council gave a commission to Sir Thomas West, Lord Delaware, Captain-General of Virginia; Sir Thomas Gates, Lieutenant-General; Sir George Somers, Admiral; Captain Newport, Vice-Admiral; Sir Thomas Dale, High Marshal; Sir Frederick Wainman, General of the Horse, and many other officers for life.