The Complete Writings of Charles Dudley Warner Volume 3
Charles Dudley Warner

Part 6 out of 7

have referred to the marriage to Rolfe it "some two years since," in

That Pocahontas was a gentle-hearted and pleasing girl, and, through
her acquaintance with Smith, friendly to the whites, there is no
doubt; that she was not different in her habits and mode of life from
other Indian girls, before the time of her kidnapping, there is every
reason to suppose. It was the English who magnified the imperialism
of her father, and exaggerated her own station as Princess. She
certainly put on no airs of royalty when she was "cart-wheeling"
about the fort. Nor does this detract anything from the native
dignity of the mature, and converted, and partially civilized woman.

We should expect there would be the discrepancies which have been
noticed in the estimates of her age. Powhatan is not said to have
kept a private secretary to register births in his family. If
Pocahontas gave her age correctly, as it appears upon her London
portrait in 1616, aged twenty-one, she must have been eighteen years
of age when she was captured in 1613 This would make her about twelve
at the time of Smith's captivity in 1607-8. There is certainly room
for difference of opinion as to whether so precocious a woman, as her
intelligent apprehension of affairs shows her to have been, should
have remained unmarried till the age of eighteen. In marrying at
least as early as that she would have followed the custom of her
tribe. It is possible that her intercourse with the whites had
raised her above such an alliance as would be offered her at the
court of Werowocomoco.

We are without any record of the life of Pocahontas for some years.
The occasional mentions of her name in the "General Historie" are so
evidently interpolated at a late date, that they do not aid us. When
and where she took the name of Matoaka, which appears upon her London
portrait, we are not told, nor when she was called Amonata, as
Strachey says she was "at more ripe yeares." How she was occupied
from the departure of Smith to her abduction, we can only guess. To
follow her authentic history we must take up the account of Captain
Argall and of Ralph Hamor, Jr., secretary of the colony under
Governor Dale.

Captain Argall, who seems to have been as bold as he was unscrupulous
in the execution of any plan intrusted to him, arrived in Virginia in
September, 1612, and early in the spring of 1613 he was sent on an
expedition up the Patowomek to trade for corn and to effect a capture
that would bring Powhatan to terms. The Emperor, from being a
friend, had become the most implacable enemy of the English. Captain
Argall says: "I was told by certain Indians, my friends, that the
great Powhatan's daughter Pokahuntis was with the great King
Potowomek, whither I presently repaired, resolved to possess myself
of her by any stratagem that I could use, for the ransoming of so
many Englishmen as were prisoners with Powhatan, as also to get such
armes and tooles as he and other Indians had got by murther and
stealing some others of our nation, with some quantity of corn for
the colonies relief."

By the aid of Japazeus, King of Pasptancy, an old acquaintance and
friend of Argall's, and the connivance of the King of Potowomek,
Pocahontas was enticed on board Argall's ship and secured. Word was
sent to Powhatan of the capture and the terms on which his daughter
would be released; namely, the return of the white men he held in
slavery, the tools and arms he had gotten and stolen, and a great
quantity of corn. Powhatan, "much grieved," replied that if Argall
would use his daughter well, and bring the ship into his river and
release her, he would accede to all his demands. Therefore, on the
13th of April, Argall repaired to Governor Gates at Jamestown, and
delivered his prisoner, and a few days after the King sent home some
of the white captives, three pieces, one broad-axe, a long whip-saw,
and a canoe of corn. Pocahontas, however, was kept at Jamestown.

Why Pocahontas had left Werowocomoco and gone to stay with Patowomek
we can only conjecture. It is possible that Powhatan suspected her
friendliness to the whites, and was weary of her importunity, and it
may be that she wanted to escape the sight of continual fighting,
ambushes, and murders. More likely she was only making a common
friendly visit, though Hamor says she went to trade at an Indian

The story of her capture is enlarged and more minutely related by
Ralph Hamor, Jr., who was one of the colony shipwrecked on the
Bermudas in 1609, and returned to England in 1614, where he published
(London, 1615) "A True Discourse of Virginia, and the Success of the
Affairs there till the 18th of June, 1614." Hamor was the son of a
merchant tailor in London who was a member of the Virginia company.
Hamor writes:

"It chanced Powhatan's delight and darling, his daughter Pocahuntas
(whose fame has even been spread in England by the title of
Nonparella of Firginia) in her princely progresse if I may so terme
it, tooke some pleasure (in the absence of Captaine Argall) to be
among her friends at Pataomecke (as it seemeth by the relation I
had), implored thither as shopkeeper to a Fare, to exchange some of
her father's commodities for theirs, where residing some three months
or longer, it fortuned upon occasion either of promise or profit,
Captaine Argall to arrive there, whom Pocahuntas, desirous to renew
her familiaritie with the English, and delighting to see them as
unknown, fearefull perhaps to be surprised, would gladly visit as she
did, of whom no sooner had Captaine Argall intelligence, but he delt
with an old friend Iapazeus, how and by what meanes he might procure
her caption, assuring him that now or never, was the time to pleasure
him, if he intended indeede that love which he had made profession
of, that in ransome of hir he might redeeme some of our English men
and armes, now in the possession of her father, promising to use her
withall faire and gentle entreaty; Iapazeus well assured that his
brother, as he promised, would use her courteously, promised his best
endeavors and service to accomplish his desire, and thus wrought it,
making his wife an instrument (which sex have ever been most powerful
in beguiling inticements) to effect his plot which hee had thus laid,
he agreed that himself, his wife and Pocahuntas, would accompanie his
brother to the water side, whither come, his wife should faine a
great and longing desire to goe aboorde, and see the shippe, which
being there three or four times before she had never seene, and
should be earnest with her husband to permit her--he seemed angry
with her, making as he pretended so unnecessary request, especially
being without the company of women, which denial she taking unkindly,
must faine to weepe (as who knows not that women can command teares)
whereupon her husband seeming to pitty those counterfeit teares, gave
her leave to goe aboord, so that it would pleese Pocahuntas to
accompany her; now was the greatest labour to win her, guilty perhaps
of her father's wrongs, though not knowne as she supposed, to goe
with her, yet by her earnest persuasions, she assented: so forthwith
aboord they went, the best cheere that could be made was seasonably
provided, to supper they went, merry on all hands, especially
Iapazeus and his wife, who to expres their joy would ere be treading
upon Captaine Argall's foot, as who should say tis don, she is your
own. Supper ended Pocahuntas was lodged in the gunner's roome, but
Iapazeus and his wife desired to have some conference with their
brother, which was onely to acquaint him by what stratagem they had
betraied his prisoner as I have already related: after which
discourse to sleepe they went, Pocahuntas nothing mistrusting this
policy, who nevertheless being most possessed with feere, and desire
of returne, was first up, and hastened Iapazeus to be gon. Capt.
Argall having secretly well rewarded him, with a small Copper kittle,
and some other les valuable toies so highly by him esteemed, that
doubtlesse he would have betraied his own father for them, permitted
both him and his wife to returne, but told him that for divers
considerations, as for that his father had then eigh [8] of our
Englishe men, many swords, peeces, and other tooles, which he hid at
severall times by trecherous murdering our men, taken from them which
though of no use to him, he would not redeliver, he would reserve
Pocahuntas, whereat she began to be exceeding pensive, and
discontented, yet ignorant of the dealing of Japazeus who in outward
appearance was no les discontented that he should be the meanes of
her captivity, much adoe there was to pursuade her to be patient,
which with extraordinary curteous usage, by little and little was
wrought in her, and so to Jamestowne she was brought."

Smith, who condenses this account in his "General Historie,"
expresses his contempt of this Indian treachery by saying: "The old
Jew and his wife began to howle and crie as fast as Pocahuntas." It
will be noted that the account of the visit (apparently alone) of
Pocahontas and her capture is strong evidence that she was not at
this time married to "Kocoum" or anybody else.

Word was despatched to Powhatan of his daughter's duress, with a
demand made for the restitution of goods; but although this savage is
represented as dearly loving Pocahontas, his "delight and darling,"
it was, according to Hamor, three months before they heard anything
from him. His anxiety about his daughter could not have been
intense. He retained a part of his plunder, and a message was sent
to him that Pocahontas would be kept till he restored all the arms.

This answer pleased Powhatan so little that they heard nothing from
him till the following March. Then Sir Thomas Dale and Captain
Argall, with several vessels and one hundred and fifty men, went up
to Powhatan's chief seat, taking his daughter with them, offering the
Indians a chance to fight for her or to take her in peace on
surrender of the stolen goods. The Indians received this with
bravado and flights of arrows, reminding them of the fate of Captain
Ratcliffe. The whites landed, killed some Indians, burnt forty
houses, pillaged the village, and went on up the river and came to
anchor in front of Matchcot, the Emperor's chief town. Here were
assembled four hundred armed men, with bows and arrows, who dared
them to come ashore. Ashore they went, and a palaver was held. The
Indians wanted a day to consult their King, after which they would
fight, if nothing but blood would satisfy the whites.

Two of Powhatan's sons who were present expressed a desire to see
their sister, who had been taken on shore. When they had sight of
her, and saw how well she was cared for, they greatly rejoiced and
promised to persuade their father to redeem her and conclude a
lasting peace. The two brothers were taken on board ship, and Master
John Rolfe and Master Sparkes were sent to negotiate with the King.
Powhatan did not show himself, but his brother Apachamo, his
successor, promised to use his best efforts to bring about a peace,
and the expedition returned to Jamestown.

Long before this time," Hamor relates, "a gentleman of approved
behaviour and honest carriage, Master John Rolfe, had been in love
with Pocahuntas and she with him, which thing at the instant that we
were in parlee with them, myselfe made known to Sir Thomas Dale, by a
letter from him [Rolfe] whereby he entreated his advice and
furtherance to his love, if so it seemed fit to him for the good of
the Plantation, and Pocahuntas herself acquainted her brethren
therewith." Governor Dale approved this, and consequently was
willing to retire without other conditions. "The bruite of this
pretended marriage [Hamor continues] came soon to Powhatan's
knowledge, a thing acceptable to him, as appeared by his sudden
consent thereunto, who some ten daies after sent an old uncle of
hirs, named Opachisco, to give her as his deputy in the church, and
two of his sonnes to see the mariage solemnized which was accordingly
done about the fifth of April [1614], and ever since we have had
friendly commerce and trade, not only with Powhatan himself, but also
with his subjects round about us; so as now I see no reason why the
collonie should not thrive a pace."

This marriage was justly celebrated as the means and beginning of a
firm peace which long continued, so that Pocahontas was again
entitled to the grateful remembrance of the Virginia settlers.
Already, in 1612, a plan had been mooted in Virginia of marrying the
English with the natives, and of obtaining the recognition of
Powhatan and those allied to him as members of a fifth kingdom, with
certain privileges. Cunega, the Spanish ambassador at London, on
September 22, 1612, writes: "Although some suppose the plantation to
decrease, he is credibly informed that there is a determination to
marry some of the people that go over to Virginia; forty or fifty are
already so married, and English women intermingle and are received
kindly by the natives. A zealous minister hath been wounded for
reprehending it."

Mr. John Rolfe was a man of industry, and apparently devoted to the
welfare of the colony. He probably brought with him in 1610 his
wife, who gave birth to his daughter Bermuda, born on the Somers
Islands at the time of the shipwreck. We find no notice of her
death. Hamor gives him the distinction of being the first in the
colony to try, in 1612, the planting and raising of tobacco. "No man
[he adds] hath labored to his power, by good example there and worthy
encouragement into England by his letters, than he hath done, witness
his marriage with Powhatan's daughter, one of rude education, manners
barbarous and cursed generation, meerely for the good and honor of
the plantation: and least any man should conceive that some sinister
respects allured him hereunto, I have made bold, contrary to his
knowledge, in the end of my treatise to insert the true coppie of his
letter written to Sir Thomas Dale."

The letter is a long, labored, and curious document, and comes nearer
to a theological treatise than any love-letter we have on record. It
reeks with unction. Why Rolfe did not speak to Dale, whom he saw
every day, instead of inflicting upon him this painful document, in
which the flutterings of a too susceptible widower's heart are hidden
under a great resolve of self-sacrifice, is not plain.

The letter protests in a tedious preamble that the writer is moved
entirely by the Spirit of God, and continues:

"Let therefore this my well advised protestation, which here I make
between God and my own conscience, be a sufficient witness, at the
dreadful day of judgment (when the secrets of all men's hearts shall
be opened) to condemne me herein, if my chiefest interest and purpose
be not to strive with all my power of body and mind, in the
undertaking of so weighty a matter, no way led (so far forth as man's
weakness may permit) with the unbridled desire of carnall affection;
but for the good of this plantation, for the honour of our countrie,
for the glory of God, for my owne salvation, and for the converting
to the true knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, an unbelieving
creature, namely Pokahuntas. To whom my heartie and best thoughts
are, and have a long time bin so entangled, and inthralled in so
intricate a laborinth, that I was even awearied to unwinde myself

Master Rolfe goes on to describe the mighty war in his meditations on
this subject, in which he had set before his eyes the frailty of
mankind and his proneness to evil and wicked thoughts. He is aware
of God's displeasure against the sons of Levi and Israel for marrying
strange wives, and this has caused him to look about warily and with
good circumspection "into the grounds and principall agitations which
should thus provoke me to be in love with one, whose education hath
bin rude, her manners barbarous, her generation accursed, and so
discrepant in all nurtriture from myselfe, that oftentimes with feare
and trembling, I have ended my private controversie with this: surely
these are wicked instigations, fetched by him who seeketh and
delighteth in man's distruction; and so with fervent prayers to be
ever preserved from such diabolical assaults (as I looke those to be)
I have taken some rest."

The good man was desperately in love and wanted to marry the Indian,
and consequently he got no peace; and still being tormented with her
image, whether she was absent or present, he set out to produce an
ingenious reason (to show the world) for marrying her. He continues:

"Thus when I thought I had obtained my peace and quietnesse, beholde
another, but more gracious tentation hath made breaches into my
holiest and strongest meditations; with which I have been put to a
new triall, in a straighter manner than the former; for besides the
weary passions and sufferings which I have dailey, hourely, yea and
in my sleepe indured, even awaking me to astonishment, taxing me with
remissnesse, and carelessnesse, refusing and neglecting to perform
the duteie of a good Christian, pulling me by the eare, and crying:
Why dost thou not indeavor to make her a Christian? And these have
happened to my greater wonder, even when she hath been furthest
seperated from me, which in common reason (were it not an undoubted
work of God) might breede forgetfulnesse of a far more worthie

He accurately describes the symptoms and appears to understand the
remedy, but he is after a large-sized motive:

"Besides, I say the holy Spirit of God hath often demanded of me, why
I was created? If not for transitory pleasures and worldly vanities,
but to labour in the Lord's vineyard, there to sow and plant, to
nourish and increase the fruites thereof, daily adding with the good
husband in the gospell, somewhat to the tallent, that in the ends the
fruites may be reaped, to the comfort of the labourer in this life,
and his salvation in the world to come.... Likewise, adding hereunto
her great appearance of love to me, her desire to be taught and
instructed in the knowledge of God, her capablenesse of
understanding, her aptness and willingness to receive anie good
impression, and also the spirituall, besides her owne incitements
stirring me up hereunto.,'

The "incitements" gave him courage, so that he exclaims: "Shall I be
of so untoward a disposition, as to refuse to lead the blind into the
right way? Shall I be so unnatural, as not to give bread to the
hungrie, or uncharitable, as not to cover the naked?"

It wasn't to be thought of, such wickedness; and so Master Rolfe
screwed up his courage to marry the glorious Princess, from whom
thousands of people were afterwards so anxious to be descended. But
he made the sacrifice for the glory of the country, the benefit of
the plantation, and the conversion of the unregenerate, and other and
lower motive he vigorously repels: "Now, if the vulgar sort, who
square all men's actions by the base rule of their own filthinesse,
shall tax or taunt mee in this my godly labour: let them know it is
not hungry appetite, to gorge myselfe with incontinency; sure (if I
would and were so sensually inclined) I might satisfy such desire,
though not wiihout a seared conscience, yet with Christians more
pleasing to the eie, and less fearefull in the offense unlawfully
committed. Nor am I in so desperate an estate, that I regard not
what becometh of me; nor am I out of hope but one day to see my
country, nor so void of friends, nor mean in birth, but there to
obtain a mach to my great con'tent.... But shall it please God thus
to dispose of me (which I earnestly desire to fulfill my ends before
set down) I will heartily accept of it as a godly taxe appointed me,
and I will never cease (God assisting me) untill I have accomplished,
and brought to perfection so holy a worke, in which I will daily pray
God to bless me, to mine and her eternal happiness."

It is to be hoped that if sanctimonious John wrote any love-letters
to Amonata they had less cant in them than this. But it was pleasing
to Sir Thomas Dale, who was a man to appreciate the high motives of
Mr. Rolfe. In a letter which he despatched from Jamestown, June 18,
1614, to a reverend friend in London, he describes the expedition
when Pocahontas was carried up the river, and adds the information
that when she went on shore, "she would not talk to any of them,
scarcely to them of the best sort, and to them only, that if her
father had loved her, he would not value her less than old swords,
pieces, or axes; wherefore she would still dwell with the Englishmen
who loved her."

"Powhatan's daughter [the letter continues] I caused to be carefully
instructed in Christian Religion, who after she had made some good
progress therein, renounced publically her countrey idolatry, openly
confessed her Christian faith, was, as she desired, baptized, and is
since married to an English Gentleman of good understanding (as by
his letter unto me, containing the reasons for his marriage of her
you may perceive), an other knot to bind this peace the stronger.
Her father and friends gave approbation to it, and her uncle gave her
to him in the church; she lives civilly and lovingly with him, and I
trust will increase in goodness, as the knowledge of God increaseth
in her. She will goe into England with me, and were it but the
gayning of this one soule, I will think my time, toile, and present
stay well spent."

Hamor also appends to his narration a short letter, of the same date
with the above, from the minister Alexander Whittaker, the
genuineness of which is questioned. In speaking of the good deeds of
Sir Thomas Dale it says: "But that which is best, one Pocahuntas or
Matoa, the daughter of Powhatan, is married to an honest and discreet
English Gentleman--Master Rolfe, and that after she had openly
renounced her countrey Idolatry, and confessed the faith of Jesus
Christ, and was baptized, which thing Sir Thomas Dale had laboured a
long time to ground her in." If, as this proclaims, she was married
after her conversion, then Rolfe's tender conscience must have given
him another twist for wedding her, when the reason for marrying her
(her conversion) had ceased with her baptism. His marriage,
according to this, was a pure work of supererogation. It took place
about the 5th of April, 1614. It is not known who performed the

How Pocahontas passed her time in Jamestown during the period of her
detention, we are not told. Conjectures are made that she was an
inmate of the house of Sir Thomas Dale, or of that of the Rev. Mr.
Whittaker, both of whom labored zealously to enlighten her mind on
religious subjects. She must also have been learning English and
civilized ways, for it is sure that she spoke our language very well
when she went to London. Mr. John Rolfe was also laboring for her
conversion, and we may suppose that with all these ministrations,
mingled with her love of Mr. Rolfe, which that ingenious widower had
discovered, and her desire to convert him into a husband, she was not
an unwilling captive. Whatever may have been her barbarous
instincts, we have the testimony of Governor Dale that she lived
"civilly and lovingly" with her husband.



Sir Thomas Dale was on the whole the most efficient and discreet
Governor the colony had had. One element of his success was no doubt
the change in the charter of 1609. By the first charter everything
had been held in common by the company, and there had been no
division of property or allotment of land among the colonists. Under
the new regime land was held in severalty, and the spur of individual
interest began at once to improve the condition of the settlement.
The character of the colonists was also gradually improving. They
had not been of a sort to fulfill the earnest desire of the London
promoter's to spread vital piety in the New World. A zealous defense
of Virginia and Maryland, against "scandalous imputation," entitled "
Leah and Rachel; or, The Two Fruitful Sisters," by Mr. John Hammond,
London, 1656, considers the charges that Virginia "is an unhealthy
place, a nest of rogues, abandoned women, dissolut and rookery
persons; a place of intolerable labour, bad usage and hard diet"; and
admits that "at the first settling, and for many years after, it
deserved most of these aspersions, nor were they then aspersions but
truths.... There were jails supplied, youth seduced, infamous women
drilled in, the provision all brought out of England, and that
embezzled by the Trustees."

Governor Dale was a soldier; entering the army in the Netherlands as
a private he had risen to high position, and received knighthood in
1606. Shortly after he was with Sir Thomas Gates in South Holland.
The States General in 1611 granted him three years' term of absence
in Virginia. Upon his arrival he began to put in force that system
of industry and frugality he had observed in Holland. He had all the
imperiousness of a soldier, and in an altercation with Captain
Newport, occasioned by some injurious remarks the latter made about
Sir Thomas Smith, the treasurer, he pulled his beard and threatened
to hang him. Active operations for settling new plantations were at
once begun, and Dale wrote to Cecil, the Earl of Salisbury, for 2,000
good colonists to be sent out, for the three hundred that came were
"so profane, so riotous, so full of mutiny, that not many are
Christians but in name, their bodies so diseased and crazed that not
sixty of them may be employed." He served afterwards with credit in
Holland, was made commander of the East Indian fleet in 1618, had a
naval engagement with the Dutch near Bantam in 1619, and died in 1620
from the effects of the climate. He was twice married, and his
second wife, Lady Fanny, the cousin of his first wife, survived him
and received a patent for a Virginia plantation.

Governor Dale kept steadily in view the conversion of the Indians to
Christianity, and the success of John Rolfe with Matoaka inspired him
with a desire to convert another daughter of Powhatan, of whose
exquisite perfections he had heard. He therefore despatched Ralph
Hamor, with the English boy, Thomas Savage, as interpreter, on a
mission to the court of Powhatan, "upon a message unto him, which was
to deale with him, if by any means I might procure a daughter of his,
who (Pocahuntas being already in our possession) is generally
reported to be his delight and darling, and surely he esteemed her as
his owne Soule, for surer pledge of peace." This visit Hamor relates
with great naivete.

At his town of Matchcot, near the head of York River, Powhatan
himself received his visitors when they landed, with great
cordiality, expressing much pleasure at seeing again the boy who had
been presented to him by Captain Newport, and whom he had not seen
since he gave him leave to go and see his friends at Jamestown four
years before; he also inquired anxiously after Namontack, whom he had
sent to King James's land to see him and his country and report
thereon, and then led the way to his house, where he sat down on his
bedstead side. "On each hand of him was placed a comely and
personable young woman, which they called his Queenes, the howse
within round about beset with them, the outside guarded with a
hundred bowmen."

The first thing offered was a pipe of tobacco, which Powhatan "first
drank," and then passed to Hamor, who "drank" what he pleased and
then returned it. The Emperor then inquired how his brother Sir
Thomas Dale fared, "and after that of his daughter's welfare, her
marriage, his unknown son, and how they liked, lived and loved
together." Hamor replied "that his brother was very well, and his
daughter so well content that she would not change her life to return
and live with him, whereat he laughed heartily, and said he was very
glad of it."

Powhatan then desired to know the cause of his unexpected coming, and
Mr. Hamor said his message was private, to be delivered to him
without the presence of any except one of his councilors, and one of
the guides, who already knew it.

Therefore the house was cleared of all except the two Queens, who may
never sequester themselves, and Mr. Hamor began his palaver. First
there was a message of love and inviolable peace, the production of
presents of coffee, beads, combs, fish-hooks, and knives, and the
promise of a grindstone when it pleased the Emperor to send for it.
Hamor then proceeded:

"The bruite of the exquesite perfection of your youngest daughter,
being famous through all your territories, hath come to the hearing
of your brother, Sir Thomas Dale, who for this purpose hath addressed
me hither, to intreate you by that brotherly friendship you make
profession of, to permit her (with me) to returne unto him, partly
for the desire which himselfe hath, and partly for the desire her
sister hath to see her of whom, if fame hath not been prodigall, as
like enough it hath not, your brother (by your favour) would gladly
make his nearest companion, wife and bed fellow [many times he would
have interrupted my speech, which I entreated him to heare out, and
then if he pleased to returne me answer], and the reason hereof is,
because being now friendly and firmly united together, and made one
people [as he supposeth and believes] in the bond of love, he would
make a natural union between us, principally because himself hath
taken resolution to dwel in your country so long as he liveth, and
would not only therefore have the firmest assurance hee may, of
perpetuall friendship from you, but also hereby binde himselfe

Powhatan replied with dignity that he gladly accepted the salute of
love and peace, which he and his subjects would exactly maintain.
But as to the other matter he said: "My daughter, whom my brother
desireth, I sold within these three days to be wife to a great
Weroance for two bushels of Roanoke [a small kind of beads made of
oyster shells], and it is true she is already gone with him, three
days' journey from me."

Hamor persisted that this marriage need not stand in the way; "that
if he pleased herein to gratify his Brother he might, restoring the
Roanoke without the imputation of injustice, take home his daughter
again, the rather because she was not full twelve years old, and
therefore not marriageable; assuring him besides the bond of peace,
so much the firmer, he should have treble the price of his daughter
in beads, copper, hatchets, and many other things more useful for

The reply of the noble old savage to this infamous demand ought to
have brought a blush to the cheeks of those who made it. He said he
loved his daughter as dearly as his life; he had many children, but
he delighted in none so much as in her; he could not live if he did
not see her often, as he would not if she were living with the
whites, and he was determined not to put himself in their hands. He
desired no other assurance of friendship than his brother had given
him, who had already one of his daughters as a pledge, which was
sufficient while she lived; "when she dieth he shall have another
child of mine." And then he broke forth in pathetic eloquence: "I
hold it not a brotherly part of your King, to desire to bereave me of
two of my children at once; further give him to understand, that if
he had no pledge at all, he should not need to distrust any injury
from me, or any under my subjection; there have been too many of his
and my men killed, and by my occasion there shall never be more; I
which have power to perform it have said it; no not though I should
have just occasion offered, for I am now old and would gladly end my
days in peace; so as if the English offer me any injury, my country
is large enough, I will remove myself farther from you."

The old man hospitably entertained his guests for a day or two,
loaded them with presents, among which were two dressed buckskins,
white as snow, for his son and daughter, and, requesting some
articles sent him in return, bade them farewell with this message to
Governor Dale: "I hope this will give him good satisfaction, if it do
not I will go three days' journey farther from him, and never see
Englishmen more." It speaks well for the temperate habits of this
savage that after he had feasted his guests, "he caused to be fetched
a great glass of sack, some three quarts or better, which Captain
Newport had given him six or seven years since, carefully preserved
by him, not much above a pint in all this time spent, and gave each
of us in a great oyster shell some three spoonfuls."

We trust that Sir Thomas Dale gave a faithful account of all this to
his wife in England.

Sir Thomas Gates left Virginia in the spring of 1614 and never
returned. After his departure scarcity and severity developed a
mutiny, and six of the settlers were executed. Rolfe was planting
tobacco (he has the credit of being the first white planter of it),
and his wife was getting an inside view of Christian civilization.

In 1616 Sir Thomas Dale returned to England with his company and John
Rolfe and Pocahontas, and several other Indians. They reached
Plymouth early in June, and on the 20th Lord Carew made this note:
"Sir Thomas Dale returned from Virginia; he hath brought divers men
and women of thatt countrye to be educated here, and one Rolfe who
married a daughter of Pohetan (the barbarous prince) called
Pocahuntas, hath brought his wife with him into England." On the 22d
Sir John Chamberlain wrote to Sir Dudley Carlton that there were ten
or twelve, old and young, of that country."

The Indian girls who came with Pocahontas appear to have been a great
care to the London company. In May, 1620, is a record that the
company had to pay for physic and cordials for one of them who had
been living as a servant in Cheapside, and was very weak of a
consumption. The same year two other of the maids were shipped off
to the Bermudas, after being long a charge to the company, in the
hope that they might there get husbands, "that after they were
converted and had children, they might be sent to their country and
kindred to civilize them." One of them was there married. The
attempt to educate them in England was not very successful, and a
proposal to bring over Indian boys obtained this comment from Sir
Edwin Sandys:

"Now to send for them into England, and to have them educated here,
he found upon experience of those brought by Sir Thomas Dale, might
be far from the Christian work intended." One Nanamack, a lad
brought over by Lord Delaware, lived some years in houses where "he
heard not much of religion but sins, had many times examples of
drinking, swearing and like evils, ran as he was a mere Pagan," till
he fell in with a devout family and changed his life, but died before
he was baptized. Accompanying Pocahontas was a councilor of
Powhatan, one Tomocomo, the husband of one of her sisters, of whom
Purchas says in his "Pilgrimes": "With this savage I have often
conversed with my good friend Master Doctor Goldstone where he was a
frequent geust, and where I have seen him sing and dance his
diabolical measures, and heard him discourse of his country and
religion.... Master Rolfe lent me a discourse which I have in my
Pilgrimage delivered. And his wife did not only accustom herself to
civility, but still carried herself as the daughter of a king, and
was accordingly respected, not only by the Company which allowed
provision for herself and her son, but of divers particular persons
of honor, in their hopeful zeal by her to advance Christianity. I
was present when my honorable and reverend patron, the Lord Bishop of
London, Doctor King, entertained her with festival state and pomp
beyond what I had seen in his great hospitality offered to other
ladies. At her return towards Virginia she came at Gravesend to her
end and grave, having given great demonstration of her Christian
sincerity, as the first fruits of Virginia conversion, leaving here a
goodly memory, and the hopes of her resurrection, her soul aspiring
to see and enjoy permanently in heaven what here she had joyed to
hear and believe of her blessed Saviour. Not such was Tomocomo, but
a blasphemer of what he knew not and preferring his God to ours
because he taught them (by his own so appearing) to wear their Devil-
lock at the left ear; he acquainted me with the manner of that his
appearance, and believed that their Okee or Devil had taught them
their husbandry."

Upon news of her arrival, Captain Smith, either to increase his own
importance or because Pocahontas was neglected, addressed a letter or
"little booke" to Queen Anne, the consort of King James. This letter
is found in Smith's "General Historie" ( 1624), where it is
introduced as having been sent to Queen Anne in 1616. Probably he
sent her such a letter. We find no mention of its receipt or of any
acknowledgment of it. Whether the "abstract" in the "General
Historie" is exactly like the original we have no means of knowing.
We have no more confidence in Smith's memory than we have in his
dates. The letter is as follows:

"To the most high and vertuous Princesse Queene Anne of Great


"The love I beare my God, my King and Countrie hath so oft emboldened
me in the worst of extreme dangers, that now honestie doth constraine
mee presume thus farre beyond my selfe, to present your Majestie this
short discourse: if ingratitude be a deadly poyson to all honest
vertues, I must be guiltie of that crime if I should omit any meanes
to bee thankful. So it is.

"That some ten yeeres agoe being in Virginia, and taken prisoner by
the power of Powhaten, their chiefe King, I received from this great
Salvage exceeding great courtesie, especially from his sonne
Nantaquaus, the most manliest, comeliest, boldest spirit, I ever saw
in a Salvage and his sister Pocahontas, the Kings most deare and wel-
beloved daughter, being but a childe of twelve or thirteen yeeres of
age, whose compassionate pitifull heart, of desperate estate, gave me
much cause to respect her: I being the first Christian this proud
King and his grim attendants ever saw, and thus enthralled in their
barbarous power, I cannot say I felt the least occasion of want that
was in the power of those my mortall foes to prevent notwithstanding
al their threats. After some six weeks fatting amongst those Salvage
Courtiers, at the minute of my execution, she hazarded the beating
out of her owne braines to save mine, and not onely that, but so
prevailed with her father, that I was safely conducted to Jamestowne,
where I found about eight and thirty miserable poore and sicke
creatures, to keepe possession of all those large territories of
Virginia, such was the weaknesse of this poore Commonwealth, as had
the Salvages not fed us, we directly had starved.

"And this reliefe, most gracious Queene, was commonly brought us by
this Lady Pocahontas, notwithstanding all these passages when
inconstant Fortune turned our Peace to warre, this tender Virgin
would still not spare to dare to visit us, and by her our jarres have
been oft appeased, and our wants still supplyed; were it the policie
of her father thus to imploy her, or the ordinance of God thus to
make her his instrument, or her extraordinarie affection to our
Nation, I know not: but of this I am sure: when her father with the
utmost of his policie and power, sought to surprize mee, having but
eighteene with mee, the dark night could not affright her from
comming through the irksome woods, and with watered eies gave me
intilligence, with her best advice to escape his furie: which had hee
known hee had surely slaine her. Jamestowne with her wild traine she
as freely frequented, as her father's habitation: and during the time
of two or three yeares, she next under God, was still the instrument
to preserve this Colonie from death, famine and utter confusion,
which if in those times had once beene dissolved, Virginia might have
laine as it was at our first arrivall to this day. Since then, this
buisinesse having been turned and varied by many accidents from that
I left it at: it is most certaine, after a long and troublesome warre
after my departure, betwixt her father and our Colonie, all which
time shee was not heard of, about two yeeres longer, the Colonie by
that meanes was releived, peace concluded, and at last rejecting her
barbarous condition, was maried to an English Gentleman, with whom at
this present she is in England; the first Christian ever of that
Nation, the first Virginian ever spake English, or had a childe in
mariage by an Englishman, a matter surely, if my meaning bee truly
considered and well understood, worthy a Princes understanding.

"Thus most gracious Lady, I have related to your Majestic, what at
your best leasure our approved Histories will account you at large,
and done in the time of your Majesties life, and however this might
bee presented you from a more worthy pen, it cannot from a more
honest heart, as yet I never begged anything of the State, or any,
and it is my want of abilitie and her exceeding desert, your birth,
meanes, and authoritie, her birth, vertue, want and simplicitie, doth
make mee thus bold, humbly to beseech your Majestic: to take this
knowledge of her though it be from one so unworthy to be the
reporter, as myselfe, her husband's estate not being able to make her
fit to attend your Majestic: the most and least I can doe, is to tell
you this, because none so oft hath tried it as myselfe: and the
rather being of so great a spirit, however her station: if she should
not be well received, seeing this Kingdome may rightly have a
Kingdome by her meanes: her present love to us and Christianitie,
might turne to such scorne and furie, as to divert all this good to
the worst of evill, when finding so great a Queene should doe her
some honour more than she can imagine, for being so kinde to your
servants and subjects, would so ravish her with content, as endeare
her dearest bloud to effect that, your Majestic and all the Kings
honest subjects most earnestly desire: and so I humbly kisse your
gracious hands."

The passage in this letter, "She hazarded the beating out of her owne
braines to save mine," is inconsistent with the preceding portion of
the paragraph which speaks of "the exceeding great courtesie" of
Powhatan; and Smith was quite capable of inserting it afterwards when
he made up his

"General Historie."

Smith represents himself at this time--the last half of 1616 and the
first three months of 1617--as preparing to attempt a third voyage to
New England (which he did not make), and too busy to do Pocahontas
the service she desired. She was staying at Branford, either from
neglect of the company or because the London smoke disagreed with
her, and there Smith went to see her. His account of his intercourse
with her, the only one we have, must be given for what it is worth.
According to this she had supposed Smith dead, and took umbrage at
his neglect of her. He writes:

"After a modest salutation, without any word, she turned about,
obscured her face, as not seeming well contented; and in that humour,
her husband with divers others, we all left her two or three hours
repenting myself to have writ she could speak English. But not long
after she began to talke, remembering me well what courtesies she had
done: saying, 'You did promise Powhatan what was yours should be his,
and he the like to you; you called him father, being in his land a
stranger, and by the same reason so must I do you:' which though I
would have excused, I durst not allow of that title, because she was
a king's daughter. With a well set countenance she said: 'Were you
not afraid to come into my father's country and cause fear in him and
all his people (but me), and fear you have I should call you father;
I tell you then I will, and you shall call me childe, and so I will
be forever and ever, your contrieman. They did tell me alwaies you
were dead, and I knew no other till I came to Plymouth, yet Powhatan
did command Uttamatomakkin to seek you, and know the truth, because
your countriemen will lie much."'

This savage was the Tomocomo spoken of above, who had been sent by
Powhatan to take a census of the people of England, and report what
they and their state were. At Plymouth he got a long stick and began
to make notches in it for the people he saw. But he was quickly
weary of that task. He told Smith that Powhatan bade him seek him
out, and get him to show him his God, and the King, Queen, and
Prince, of whom Smith had told so much. Smith put him off about
showing his God, but said he had heard that he had seen the King.
This the Indian denied, James probably not coming up to his idea of a
king, till by circumstances he was convinced he had seen him. Then
he replied very sadly: "You gave Powhatan a white dog, which Powhatan
fed as himself, but your king gave me nothing, and I am better than
your white dog."

Smith adds that he took several courtiers to see Pocahontas, and
"they did think God had a great hand in her conversion, and they have
seen many English ladies worse favoured, proportioned, and
behavioured;" and he heard that it had pleased the King and Queen
greatly to esteem her, as also Lord and Lady Delaware, and other
persons of good quality, both at the masques and otherwise.

Much has been said about the reception of Pocahontas in London, but
the contemporary notices of her are scant. The Indians were objects
of curiosity for a time in London, as odd Americans have often been
since, and the rank of Pocahontas procured her special attention.
She was presented at court. She was entertained by Dr. King, Bishop
of London. At the playing of Ben Jonson's "Christmas his Mask" at
court, January 6, 1616-17, Pocahontas and Tomocomo were both present,
and Chamberlain writes to Carleton: "The Virginian woman Pocahuntas
with her father counsellor have been with the King and graciously
used, and both she and her assistant were pleased at the Masque. She
is upon her return though sore against her will, if the wind would
about to send her away."

Mr. Neill says that "after the first weeks of her residence in
England she does not appear to be spoken of as the wife of Rolfe by
the letter writers," and the Rev. Peter Fontaine says that "when they
heard that Rolfe had married Pocahontas, it was deliberated in
council whether he had not committed high treason by so doing, that
is marrying an Indian princesse."

It was like James to think so. His interest in the colony was never
the most intelligent, and apt to be in things trivial. Lord
Southampton (Dec. 15, 1609) writes to Lord Salisbury that he had told
the King of the Virginia squirrels brought into England, which are
said to fly. The King very earnestly asked if none were provided for
him, and said he was sure Salisbury would get him one. Would not
have troubled him, "but that you know so well how he is affected to
these toys."

There has been recently found in the British Museum a print of a
portrait of Pocahontas, with a legend round it in Latin, which is
translated: " Matoaka, alias Rebecka, Daughter of Prince Powhatan,
Emperor of Virginia; converted to Christianity, married Mr. Rolff;
died on shipboard at Gravesend 1617. This is doubtless the portrait
engraved by Simon De Passe in 1616, and now inserted in the extant
copies of the London edition of the "General Historie," 1624. It is
not probable that the portrait was originally published with the
"General Historie." The portrait inserted in the edition of 1624 has
this inscription:

Round the portrait:

Matoaka als Rebecca Filia Potentiss Princ: Pohatani Imp: Virginim."

In the oval, under the portrait:

"Aetatis suae 21 A.

"Matoaks als Rebecka daughter to the mighty Prince Powhatan
Emprour of Attanoughkomouck als virginia converted and baptized in
the Christian faith, and wife to the worth Mr. job Rolff.
i: Pass: sculp. Compton Holland excud."

Camden in his "History of Gravesend" says that everybody paid this
young lady all imaginable respect, and it was believed she would have
sufficiently acknowledged those favors, had she lived to return to
her own country, by bringing the Indians to a kinder disposition
toward the English; " and that she died, "giving testimony all the
time she lay sick, of her being a very good Christian."

The Lady Rebecka, as she was called in London, died on shipboard at
Gravesend after a brief illness, said to be of only three days,
probably on the 21st of March, 1617. I have seen somewhere a
statement, which I cannot confirm, that her disease was smallpox.
St. George's Church, where she was buried, was destroyed by fire in
1727. The register of that church has this record:

"1616, May 2j Rebecca Wrothe
Wyff of Thomas Wroth gent
A Virginia lady borne, here was buried
in ye chaunncle."

Yet there is no doubt, according to a record in the Calendar of State
Papers, dated "1617 29 March, London," that her death occurred March
21, 1617.

John Rolfe was made Secretary of Virginia when Captain Argall became
Governor, and seems to have been associated in the schemes of that
unscrupulous person and to have forfeited the good opinion of the
company. August 23, 1618, the company wrote to Argall: "We cannot
imagine why you should give us warning that Opechankano and the
natives have given the country to Mr. Rolfe's child, and that they
reserve it from all others till he comes of years except as we
suppose as some do here report it be a device of your own, to some
special purpose for yourself." It appears also by the minutes of the
company in 1621 that Lady Delaware had trouble to recover goods of
hers left in Rolfe's hands in Virginia, and desired a commission
directed to Sir Thomas Wyatt and Mr. George Sandys to examine what
goods of the late "Lord Deleware had come into Rolfe's possession and
get satisfaction of him." This George Sandys is the famous traveler
who made a journey through the Turkish Empire in 1610, and who wrote,
while living in Virginia, the first book written in the New World,
the completion of his translation of Ovid's "Metamorphosis."

John Rolfe died in Virginia in 1622, leaving a wife and children.
This is supposed to be his third wife, though there is no note of his
marriage to her nor of the death of his first. October 7, 1622, his
brother Henry Rolfe petitioned that the estate of John should be
converted to the support of his relict wife and children and to his
own indemnity for having brought up John's child by Powhatan's

This child, named Thomas Rolfe, was given after the death of
Pocahontas to the keeping of Sir Lewis Stukely of Plymouth, who fell
into evil practices, and the boy was transferred to the guardianship
of his uncle Henry Rolfe, and educated in London. When he was grown
up he returned to Virginia, and was probably there married. There is
on record his application to the Virginia authorities in 1641 for
leave to go into the Indian country and visit Cleopatra, his mother's
sister. He left an only daughter who was married, says Stith (1753),
"to Col. John Bolling; by whom she left an only son, the late Major
John Bolling, who was father to the present Col. John Bolling, and
several daughters, married to Col. Richard Randolph, Col. John
Fleming, Dr. William Gay, Mr. Thomas Eldridge, and Mr. James Murray."
Campbell in his "History of Virginia" says that the first Randolph
that came to the James River was an esteemed and industrious
mechanic, and that one of his sons, Richard, grandfather of the
celebrated John Randolph, married Jane Bolling, the great
granddaughter of Pocahontas.

In 1618 died the great Powhatan, full of years and satiated with
fighting and the savage delights of life. He had many names and
titles; his own people sometimes called him Ottaniack, sometimes
Mamauatonick, and usually in his presence Wahunsenasawk. He ruled,
by inheritance and conquest, with many chiefs under him, over a large
territory with not defined borders, lying on the James, the York, the
Rappahannock, the Potomac, and the Pawtuxet Rivers. He had several
seats, at which he alternately lived with his many wives and guard of
bowmen, the chief of which at the arrival of the English was
Werowomocomo, on the Pamunkey (York) River. His state has been
sufficiently described. He is said to have had a hundred wives, and
generally a dozen--the youngest--personally attending him. When he
had a mind to add to his harem he seems to have had the ancient
oriental custom of sending into all his dominions for the fairest
maidens to be brought from whom to select. And he gave the wives of
whom he was tired to his favorites.

Strachey makes a striking description of him as he appeared about
1610: "He is a goodly old man not yet shrincking, though well beaten
with cold and stormeye winters, in which he hath been patient of many
necessityes and attempts of his fortune to make his name and famely
great. He is supposed to be little lesse than eighty yeares old, I
dare not saye how much more; others saye he is of a tall stature and
cleane lymbes, of a sad aspect, rownd fatt visaged, with graie
haires, but plaine and thin, hanging upon his broad showlders; some
few haires upon his chin, and so on his upper lippe: he hath been a
strong and able salvadge, synowye, vigilant, ambitious, subtile to
enlarge his dominions:.... cruell he hath been, and quarellous as
well with his own wcrowanccs for trifles, and that to strike a
terrour and awe into them of his power and condicion, as also with
his neighbors in his younger days, though now delighted in security
and pleasure, and therefore stands upon reasonable conditions of
peace with all the great and absolute werowances about him, and is
likewise more quietly settled amongst his own."

It was at this advanced age that he had the twelve favorite young
wives whom Strachey names. All his people obeyed him with fear and
adoration, presenting anything he ordered at his feet, and trembling
if he frowned. His punishments were cruel; offenders were beaten to
death before him, or tied to trees and dismembered joint by joint, or
broiled to death on burning coals. Strachey wondered how such a
barbarous prince should put on such ostentation of majesty, yet he
accounted for it as belonging to the necessary divinity that doth
hedge in a king: "Such is (I believe) the impression of the divine
nature, and however these (as other heathens forsaken by the true
light) have not that porcion of the knowing blessed Christian
spiritt, yet I am perswaded there is an infused kind of divinities
and extraordinary (appointed that it shall be so by the King of
kings) to such as are his ymedyate instruments on earth."

Here is perhaps as good a place as any to say a word or two about the
appearance and habits of Powhatan's subjects, as they were observed
by Strachey and Smith. A sort of religion they had, with priests or
conjurors, and houses set apart as temples, wherein images were kept
and conjurations performed, but the ceremonies seem not worship, but
propitiations against evil, and there seems to have been no
conception of an overruling power or of an immortal life. Smith
describes a ceremony of sacrifice of children to their deity; but
this is doubtful, although Parson Whittaker, who calls the Indians
"naked slaves of the devil," also says they sacrificed sometimes
themselves and sometimes their own children. An image of their god
which he sent to England "was painted upon one side of a toadstool,
much like unto a deformed monster." And he adds: "Their priests,
whom they call Quockosoughs, are no other but such as our English
witches are." This notion I believe also pertained among the New
England colonists. There was a belief that the Indian conjurors had
some power over the elements, but not a well-regulated power, and in
time the Indians came to a belief in the better effect of the
invocations of the whites. In "Winslow's Relation," quoted by
Alexander Young in his " Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers," under
date of July, 1623, we read that on account of a great drought a fast
day was appointed. When the assembly met the sky was clear. The
exercise lasted eight or nine hours. Before they broke up, owing to
prayers the weather was overcast. Next day began a long gentle rain.
This the Indians seeing, admired the goodness of our God: "showing
the difference between their conjuration and our invocation in the
name of God for rain; theirs being mixed with such storms and
tempests, as sometimes, instead of doing them good, it layeth the
corn flat on the ground; but ours in so gentle and seasonable a
manner, as they never observed the like."

It was a common opinion of the early settlers in Virginia, as it was
of those in New England, that the Indians were born white, but that
they got a brown or tawny color by the use of red ointments, made of
earth and the juice of roots, with which they besmear themselves
either according to the custom of the country or as a defense against
the stinging of mosquitoes. The women are of the same hue as the
men, says Strachey; "howbeit, it is supposed neither of them
naturally borne so discolored; for Captain Smith (lyving sometymes
amongst them) affirmeth how they are from the womb indifferent white,
but as the men, so doe the women," "dye and disguise themselves into
this tawny cowler, esteeming it the best beauty to be nearest such a
kind of murrey as a sodden quince is of," as the Greek women colored
their faces and the ancient Britain women dyed themselves with red;
"howbeit [Strachey slyly adds] he or she that hath obtained the
perfected art in the tempering of this collour with any better kind
of earth, yearb or root preserves it not yet so secrett and precious
unto herself as doe our great ladyes their oyle of talchum, or other
painting white and red, but they frindly communicate the secret and
teach it one another."

Thomas Lechford in his "Plain Dealing; or Newes from New England,"
London, 1642, says: "They are of complexion swarthy and tawny; their
children are borne white, but they bedawbe them with oyle and colors

The men are described as tall, straight, and of comely proportions;
no beards; hair black, coarse, and thick; noses broad, flat, and full
at the end; with big lips and wide mouths', yet nothing so unsightly
as the Moors; and the women as having "handsome limbs, slender arms,
pretty hands, and when they sing they have a pleasant tange in their
voices. The men shaved their hair on the right side, the women
acting as barbers, and left the hair full length on the left side,
with a lock an ell long." A Puritan divine--"New England's
Plantation, 1630"--says of the Indians about him, "their hair is
generally black, and cut before like our gentlewomen, and one lock
longer than the rest, much like to our gentlemen, which fashion I
think came from hence into England."

Their love of ornaments is sufficiently illustrated by an extract
from Strachey, which is in substance what Smith writes:

"Their eares they boare with wyde holes, commonly two or three, and
in the same they doe hang chaines of stayned pearle braceletts, of
white bone or shreeds of copper, beaten thinne and bright, and wounde
up hollowe, and with a grate pride, certaine fowles' legges, eagles,
hawkes, turkeys, etc., with beasts clawes, bears, arrahacounes,
squirrells, etc. The clawes thrust through they let hang upon the
cheeke to the full view, and some of their men there be who will
weare in these holes a small greene and yellow-couloured live snake,
neere half a yard in length, which crawling and lapping himself about
his neck oftentymes familiarly, he suffreeth to kisse his lippes.
Others weare a dead ratt tyed by the tayle, and such like

This is the earliest use I find of our word "conundrum," and the
sense it bears here may aid in discovering its origin.

Powhatan is a very large figure in early Virginia history, and
deserves his prominence. He was an able and crafty savage, and made
a good fight against the encroachments of the whites, but he was no
match for the crafty Smith, nor the double-dealing of the Christians.
There is something pathetic about the close of his life, his sorrow
for the death of his daughter in a strange land, when he saw his
territories overrun by the invaders, from whom he only asked peace,
and the poor privilege of moving further away from them into the
wilderness if they denied him peace.

In the midst of this savagery Pocahontas blooms like a sweet, wild
rose. She was, like the Douglas, "tender and true." Wanting
apparently the cruel nature of her race generally, her heroic
qualities were all of the heart. No one of all the contemporary
writers has anything but gentle words for her. Barbarous and
untaught she was like her comrades, but of a gentle nature. Stripped
of all the fictions which Captain Smith has woven into her story, and
all the romantic suggestions which later writers have indulged in,
she appears, in the light of the few facts that industry is able to
gather concerning her, as a pleasing and unrestrained Indian girl,
probablv not different from her savage sisters in her habits, but
bright and gentle; struck with admiration at the appearance of the
white men, and easily moved to pity them, and so inclined to a
growing and lasting friendship for them; tractable and apt to learn
refinements; accepting the new religion through love for those who
taught it, and finally becoming in her maturity a well-balanced,
sensible, dignified Christian woman.

According to the long-accepted story of Pocahontas, she did something
more than interfere to save from barbarous torture and death a
stranger and a captive, who had forfeited his life by shooting those
who opposed his invasion. In all times, among the most savage tribes
and in civilized society, women have been moved to heavenly pity by
the sight of a prisoner, and risked life to save him--the impulse was
as natural to a Highland lass as to an African maid. Pocahontas went
further than efforts to make peace between the superior race and her
own. When the whites forced the Indians to contribute from their
scanty stores to the support of the invaders, and burned their
dwellings and shot them on sight if they refused, the Indian maid
sympathized with the exposed whites and warned them of stratagems
against them; captured herself by a base violation of the laws of
hospitality, she was easily reconciled to her situation, adopted the
habits of the foreigners, married one of her captors, and in peace
and in war cast in her lot with the strangers. History has not
preserved for us the Indian view of her conduct.

It was no doubt fortunate for her, though perhaps not for the colony,
that her romantic career ended by an early death, so that she always
remains in history in the bloom of youth. She did not live to be
pained by the contrast, to which her eyes were opened, between her
own and her adopted people, nor to learn what things could be done in
the Christian name she loved, nor to see her husband in a less
honorable light than she left him, nor to be involved in any way in
the frightful massacre of 1622. If she had remained in England after
the novelty was over, she might have been subject to slights and
mortifying neglect. The struggles of the fighting colony could have
brought her little but pain. Dying when she did, she rounded out one
of the prettiest romances of all history, and secured for her name
the affection of a great nation, whose empire has spared little that
belonged to her childhood and race, except the remembrance of her
friendship for those who destroyed her people.



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.

Unfortunately for biographical purposes, Smith's life is pretty much
a blank from 1609 to 1614. When he ceases to write about himself he
passes out of sight. There are scarcely any contemporary allusions
to his existence at this time. We may assume, however, from our
knowledge of his restlessness, ambition, and love of adventure, that
he was not idle. We may assume that he besieged the company with his
plans for the proper conduct of the settlement of Virginia; that he
talked at large in all companies of his discoveries, his exploits,
which grew by the relating, and of the prospective greatness of the
new Britain beyond the Atlantic. That he wearied the Council by his
importunity and his acquaintances by his hobby, we can also surmise.
No doubt also he was considered a fanatic by those who failed to
comprehend the greatness of his schemes, and to realize, as he did,
the importance of securing the new empire to the English before it
was occupied by the Spanish and the French. His conceit, his
boasting, and his overbearing manner, which no doubt was one of the
causes why he was unable to act in harmony with the other adventurers
of that day, all told against him. He was that most uncomfortable
person, a man conscious of his own importance, and out of favor and
out of money.

Yet Smith had friends, and followers, and men who believed in him.
This is shown by the remarkable eulogies in verse from many pens,
which he prefixes to the various editions of his many works. They
seem to have been written after reading the manuscripts, and prepared
to accompany the printed volumes and tracts. They all allude to the
envy and detraction to which he was subject, and which must have
amounted to a storm of abuse and perhaps ridicule; and they all tax
the English vocabulary to extol Smith, his deeds, and his works. In
putting forward these tributes of admiration and affection, as well
as in his constant allusion to the ill requital of his services, we
see a man fighting for his reputation, and conscious of the necessity
of doing so. He is ever turning back, in whatever he writes, to
rehearse his exploits and to defend his motives.

The London to which Smith returned was the London of Shakespeare's
day; a city dirty, with ill-paved streets unlighted at night, no
sidewalks, foul gutters, wooden houses, gable ends to the street, set
thickly with small windows from which slops and refuse were at any
moment of the day or night liable to be emptied upon the heads of the
passers by; petty little shops in which were beginning to be
displayed the silks and luxuries of the continent; a city crowded and
growing rapidly, subject to pestilences and liable to sweeping
conflagrations. The Thames had no bridges, and hundreds of boats
plied between London side and Southwark, where were most of the
theatres, the bull-baitings, the bear-fighting, the public gardens,
the residences of the hussies, and other amusements that Bankside,
the resort of all classes bent on pleasure, furnished high or low.
At no time before or since was there such fantastical fashion in
dress, both in cut and gay colors, nor more sumptuousness in costume
or luxury in display among the upper classes, and such squalor in low
life. The press teemed with tracts and pamphlets, written in
language "as plain as a pikestaff," against the immoralities of the
theatres, those "seminaries of vice," and calling down the judgment
of God upon the cost and the monstrosities of the dress of both men
and women; while the town roared on its way, warned by sermons, and
instructed in its chosen path by such plays and masques as Ben
Jonson's "Pleasure reconciled to Virtue."

The town swarmed with idlers, and with gallants who wanted
advancement but were unwilling to adventure their ease to obtain it.
There was much lounging in apothecaries' shops to smoke tobacco,
gossip, and hear the news. We may be sure that Smith found many
auditors for his adventures and his complaints. There was a good
deal of interest in the New World, but mainly still as a place where
gold and other wealth might be got without much labor, and as a
possible short cut to the South Sea and Cathay. The vast number of
Londoners whose names appear in the second Virginia charter shows the
readiness of traders to seek profit in adventure. The stir for wider
freedom in religion and government increased with the activity of
exploration and colonization, and one reason why James finally
annulled the Virginia, charter was because he regarded the meetings
of the London Company as opportunities of sedition.

Smith is altogether silent about his existence at this time. We do
not hear of him till 1612, when his "Map of Virginia" with his
description of the country was published at Oxford. The map had been
published before: it was sent home with at least a portion of the
description of Virginia. In an appendix appeared (as has been said)
a series of narrations of Smith's exploits, covering the rime he was
in Virginia, written by his companions, edited by his friend Dr.
Symonds, and carefully overlooked by himself.

Failing to obtain employment by the Virginia company, Smith turned
his attention to New England, but neither did the Plymouth company
avail themselves of his service. At last in 1614 he persuaded some
London merchants to fit him out for a private trading adventure to
the coast of New England. Accordingly with two ships, at the charge
of Captain Marmaduke Roydon, Captain George Langam, Mr. John Buley,
and William Skelton, merchants, he sailed from the Downs on the 3d of
March, 1614, and in the latter part of April "chanced to arrive in
New England, a part of America at the Isle of Monahiggan in 43 1/2 of
Northerly latitude." This was within the territory appropriated to
the second (the Plymouth) colony by the patent of 1606, which gave
leave of settlement between the 38th and 44th parallels.

Smith's connection with New England is very slight, and mainly that
of an author, one who labored for many years to excite interest in it
by his writings. He named several points, and made a map of such
portion of the coast as he saw, which was changed from time to time
by other observations. He had a remarkable eye for topography, as is
especially evident by his map of Virginia. This New England coast is
roughly indicated in Venazzani's Plot Of 1524, and better on
Mercator's of a few years later, and in Ortelius's "Theatrum Orbis
Terarum " of 1570; but in Smith's map we have for the first time a
fair approach to the real contour.

Of Smith's English predecessors on this coast there is no room here
to speak. Gosnold had described Elizabeth's Isles, explorations and
settlements had been made on the coast of Maine by Popham and
Weymouth, but Smith claims the credit of not only drawing the first
fair map of the coast, but of giving the name " New England " to what
had passed under the general names of Virginia, Canada, Norumbaga,

Smith published his description of New England June 18, 1616, and it
is in that we must follow his career. It is dedicated to the "high,
hopeful Charles, Prince of Great Britain," and is prefaced by an
address to the King's Council for all the plantations, and another to
all the adventurers into New England. The addresses, as usual, call
attention to his own merits. "Little honey [he writes] hath that
hive, where there are more drones than bees; and miserable is that
land where more are idle than are well employed. If the endeavors of
these vermin be acceptable, I hope mine may be excusable: though I
confess it were more proper for me to be doing what I say than
writing what I know. Had I returned rich I could not have erred; now
having only such food as came to my net, I must be taxed. But, I
would my taxers were as ready to adventure their purses as I, purse,
life, and all I have; or as diligent to permit the charge, as I know
they are vigilant to reap the fruits of my labors." The value of the
fisheries he had demonstrated by his catch; and he says, looking, as
usual, to large results, "but because I speak so much of fishing, if
any mistake me for such a devote fisher, as I dream of nought else,
they mistake me. I know a ring of gold from a grain of barley as well
as a goldsmith; and nothing is there to be had which fishing doth
hinder, but further us to obtain."

John Smith first appears on the New England coast as a whale fisher.
The only reference to his being in America in Josselyn's
"Chronological Observations of America " is under the wrong year,
1608: "Capt. John Smith fished now for whales at Monhiggen." He
says: "Our plot there was to take whales, and made tryall of a Myne
of gold and copper;" these failing they were to get fish and furs.
Of gold there had been little expectation, and (he goes on) "we found
this whale fishing a costly conclusion; we saw many, and spent much
time in chasing them; but could not kill any; they being a kind of
Jubartes, and not the whale that yeeldes finnes and oyle as we
expected." They then turned their attention to smaller fish, but
owing to their late arrival and "long lingering about the whale"--
chasing a whale that they could not kill because it was not the right
kind--the best season for fishing was passed. Nevertheless, they
secured some 40,000 cod--the figure is naturally raised to 6o,ooo
when Smith retells the story fifteen years afterwards.

But our hero was a born explorer, and could not be content with not
examining the strange coast upon which he found himself. Leaving his
sailors to catch cod, he took eight or nine men in a small boat, and
cruised along the coast, trading wherever he could for furs, of which
he obtained above a thousand beaver skins; but his chance to trade
was limited by the French settlements in the east, by the presence of
one of Popham's ships opposite Monhegan, on the main, and by a couple
of French vessels to the westward. Having examined the coast from
Penobscot to Cape Cod, and gathered a profitable harvest from the
sea, Smith returned in his vessel, reaching the Downs within six
months after his departure. This was his whole experience in New
England, which ever afterwards he regarded as particularly his
discovery, and spoke of as one of his children, Virginia being the

With the other vessel Smith had trouble. He accuses its master,
Thomas Hunt, of attempting to rob him of his plots and observations,
and to leave him "alone on a desolate isle, to the fury of famine,
And all other extremities." After Smith's departure the rascally
Hunt decoyed twenty-seven unsuspecting savages on board his ship and
carried them off to Spain, where he sold them as slaves. Hunt sold
his furs at a great profit. Smith's cargo also paid well: in his
letter to Lord Bacon in 1618 he says that with forty-five men he had
cleared L 1,500 in less than three months on a cargo of dried fish
and beaver skins--a pound at that date had five times the purchasing
power of a pound now.

The explorer first landed on Monhegan, a small island in sight of
which in the war of 1812 occurred the lively little seafight of the
American Wasp and the British Frolic, in which the Wasp was the
victor, but directly after, with her prize, fell into the hands of an
English seventy-four.

He made certainly a most remarkable voyage in his open boat. Between
Penobscot and Cape Cod (which he called Cape James) he says he saw
forty several habitations, and sounded about twenty-five excellent
harbors. Although Smith accepted the geographical notion of his
time, and thought that Florida adjoined India, he declared that
Virginia was not an island, but part of a great continent, and he
comprehended something of the vastness of the country he was coasting
along, "dominions which stretch themselves into the main, God doth
know how many thousand miles, of which one could no more guess the
extent and products than a stranger sailing betwixt England and
France could tell what was in Spain, Italy, Germany, Bohemia,
Hungary, and the rest." And he had the prophetic vision, which he
more than once refers to, of one of the greatest empires of the world
that would one day arise here. Contrary to the opinion that
prevailed then and for years after, he declared also that New England
was not an island.

Smith describes with considerable particularity the coast, giving the
names of the Indian tribes, and cataloguing the native productions,
vegetable and animal. He bestows his favorite names liberally upon
points and islands--few of which were accepted. Cape Ann he called
from his charming Turkish benefactor, "Cape Tragabigzanda"; the three
islands in front of it, the "Three Turks' Heads"; and the Isles of
Shoals he simply describes: "Smyth's Isles are a heape together, none
neare them, against Acconimticus." Cape Cod, which appears upon all
the maps before Smith's visit as "Sandy" cape, he says "is only a
headland of high hills of sand, overgrown with shrubbie pines, hurts
[whorts, whortleberries] and such trash; but an excellent harbor for
all weathers. This Cape is made by the maine Sea on the one side,
and a great bay on the other in the form of a sickle."

A large portion of this treatise on New England is devoted to an
argument to induce the English to found a permanent colony there, of
which Smith shows that he would be the proper leader. The main
staple for the present would be fish, and he shows how Holland has
become powerful by her fisheries and the training of hardy sailors.
The fishery would support a colony until it had obtained a good
foothold, and control of these fisheries would bring more profit to
England than any other occupation. There are other reasons than gain
that should induce in England the large ambition of founding a great
state, reasons of religion and humanity, erecting towns, peopling
countries, informing the ignorant, reforming things unjust, teaching
virtue, finding employment for the idle, and giving to the mother
country a kingdom to attend her. But he does not expect the English
to indulge in such noble ambitions unless he can show a profit in

"I have not [he says] been so ill bred but I have tasted of plenty
and pleasure, as well as want and misery; nor doth a necessity yet,
nor occasion of discontent, force me to these endeavors; nor am I
ignorant that small thank I shall have for my pains; or that many
would have the world imagine them to be of great judgment, that can
but blemish these my designs, by their witty objections and
detractions; yet (I hope) my reasons and my deeds will so prevail
with some, that I shall not want employment in these affairs to make
the most blind see his own senselessness and incredulity; hoping that
gain will make them affect that which religion, charity and the
common good cannot.... For I am not so simple to think that ever any
other motive than wealth will ever erect there a Commonwealth; or
draw company from their ease and humours at home, to stay in New
England to effect any purpose."

But lest the toils of the new settlement should affright his readers,
our author draws an idyllic picture of the simple pleasures which
nature and liberty afford here freely, but which cost so dearly in
England. Those who seek vain pleasure in England take more pains to
enjoy it than they would spend in New England to gain wealth, and yet
have not half such sweet content. What pleasure can be more, he
exclaims, when men are tired of planting vines and fruits and
ordering gardens, orchards and building to their mind, than "to
recreate themselves before their owne doore, in their owne boates
upon the Sea, where man, woman and child, with a small hooke and
line, by angling, may take divers sorts of excellent fish at their
pleasures? And is it not pretty sport, to pull up two pence, six
pence, and twelve pence as fast as you can hale and veere a line?...
And what sport doth yield more pleasing content, and less hurt or
charge than angling with a hooke, and crossing the sweet ayre from
Isle to Isle, over the silent streams of a calme Sea? wherein the
most curious may finde pleasure, profit and content."

Smith made a most attractive picture of the fertility of the soil and
the fruitfulness of the country. Nothing was too trivial to be
mentioned. "There are certain red berries called Alkermes which is
worth ten shillings a pound, but of these hath been sold for thirty
or forty shillings the pound, may yearly be gathered a good
quantity." John Josselyn, who was much of the time in New England
from 1638 to 1671 and saw more marvels there than anybody else ever
imagined, says, "I have sought for this berry he speaks of, as a man
should for a needle in a bottle of hay, but could never light upon
it; unless that kind of Solomon's seal called by the English treacle-
berry should be it."

Towards the last of August, 1614, Smith was back at Plymouth. He had
now a project of a colony which he imparted to his friend Sir
Ferdinand Gorges. It is difficult from Smith's various accounts to
say exactly what happened to him next. It would appear that he
declined to go with an expedition of four ship which the Virginia
company despatched in 1615, and incurred their ill-will by refusing,
but he considered himself attached to the western or Plymouth
company. Still he experienced many delays from them: they promised
four ships to be ready at Plymouth; on his arrival "he found no such
matter," and at last he embarked in a private expedition, to found a
colony at the expense of Gorges, Dr. Sutliffe, Bishop o Exeter, and a
few gentlemen in London. In January 1615, he sailed from Plymouth
with a ship Of 20 tons, and another of 50. His intention was, after
the fishing was over, to remain in New England with only fifteen men
and begin a colony.

These hopes were frustrated. When only one hundred and twenty
leagues out all the masts of his vessels were carried away in a
storm, and it was only by diligent pumping that he was able to keep
his craft afloat and put back to Plymouth. Thence on the 24th of
June he made another start in a vessel of sixty tons with thirty men.
But ill-luck still attended him. He had a queer adventure with
pirates. Lest the envious world should not believe his own story,
Smith had Baker, his steward, and several of his crew examined before
a magistrate at Plymouth, December 8, 1615, who support his story by
their testimony up to a certain point.

It appears that he was chased two days by one Fry, an English pirate,
in a greatly superior vessel, heavily armed and manned. By reason of
the foul weather the pirate could not board Smith, and his master,
mate, and pilot, Chambers, Minter, and Digby, importuned him to
surrender, and that he should send a boat to the pirate, as Fry had
no boat. This singular proposal Smith accepted on condition Fry
would not take anything that would cripple his voyage, or send more
men aboard (Smith furnishing the boat) than he allowed. Baker
confessed that the quartermaster and Chambers received gold of the
pirates, for what purpose it does not appear. They came on board,
but Smith would not come out of his cabin to entertain them,
"although a great many of them had been his sailors, and for his love
would have wafted us to the Isle of Flowers."

Having got rid of the pirate Fry by this singular manner of receiving
gold from him, Smith's vessel was next chased by two French pirates
at Fayal. Chambers, Minter, and Digby again desired Smith to yield,
but he threatened to blow up his ship if they did not stand to the
defense; and so they got clear of the French pirates. But more were
to come.

At "Flowers" they were chased by four French men-of-war. Again
Chambers, Minter, and Digby importuned Smith to yield, and upon the
consideration that he could speak French, and that they were
Protestants of Rochelle and had the King's commission to take
Spaniards, Portuguese, and pirates, Smith, with some of his company,
went on board one of the French ships. The next day the French
plundered Smith's vessel and distributed his crew among their ships,
and for a week employed his boat in chasing all the ships that came
in sight. At the end of this bout they surrendered her again to her
crew, with victuals but no weapons. Smith exhorted his officers to
proceed on their voyage for fish, either to New England or
Newfoundland. This the officers declined to do at first, but the
soldiers on board compelled them, and thereupon Captain Smith busied
himself in collecting from the French fleet and sending on board his
bark various commodities that belonged to her--powder, match, books,
instruments, his sword and dagger, bedding, aquavite, his commission,
apparel, and many other things. These articles Chambers and the
others divided among themselves, leaving Smith, who was still on
board the Frenchman, only his waistcoat and breeches. The next day,
the weather being foul, they ran so near the Frenchman as to endanger
their yards, and Chambers called to Captain Smith to come aboard or
he would leave him. Smith ordered him to send a boat; Chambers
replied that his boat was split, which was a lie, and told him to
come off in the Frenchman's boat. Smith said he could not command
that, and so they parted. The English bark returned to Plymouth, and
Smith was left on board the French man-of-war.

Smith himself says that Chambers had persuaded the French admiral
that if Smith was let to go on his boat he would revenge himself on
the French fisheries on the Banks.

For over two months, according to his narration, Smith was kept on
board the Frenchman, cruising about for prizes, "to manage their
fight against the Spaniards, and be in a prison when they took any
English." One of their prizes was a sugar caraval from Brazil;
another was a West Indian worth two hundred thousand crowns, which
had on board fourteen coffers of wedges of silver, eight thousand
royals of eight, and six coffers of the King of Spain's treasure,
besides the pillage and rich coffers of many rich passengers. The
French captain, breaking his promise to put Smith ashore at Fayal, at
length sent him towards France on the sugar caravel. When near the
coast, in a night of terrible storm, Smith seized a boat and escaped.
It was a tempest that wrecked all the vessels on the coast, and for
twelve hours Smith was drifting about in his open boat, in momentary
expectation of sinking, until he was cast upon the oozy isle of
"Charowne," where the fowlers picked him up half dead with water,
cold, and hunger, and he got to Rochelle, where he made complaint to
the Judge of Admiralty. Here he learned that the rich prize had been
wrecked in the storm and the captain and half the crew drowned. But
from the wreck of this great prize thirty-six thousand crowns' worth
of jewels came ashore. For his share in this Smith put in his claim
with the English ambassador at Bordeaux. The Captain was hospitably
treated by the Frenchmen. He met there his old friend Master
Crampton, and he says: "I was more beholden to the Frenchmen that
escaped drowning in the man-of-war, Madam Chanoyes of Rotchell, and
the lawyers of Burdeaux, than all the rest of my countrymen I met in
France." While he was waiting there to get justice, he saw the
"arrival of the King's great marriage brought from Spain." This is
all his reference to the arrival of Anne of Austria, eldest daughter
of Philip III., who had been betrothed to Louis XIII. in 1612, one of
the double Spanish marriages which made such a commotion in France.

Leaving his business in France unsettled (forever), Smith returned to
Plymouth, to find his reputation covered with infamy and his clothes,
books, and arms divided among the mutineers of his boat. The
chiefest of these he "laid by the heels," as usual, and the others
confessed and told the singular tale we have outlined. It needs no
comment, except that Smith had a facility for unlucky adventures
unequaled among the uneasy spirits of his age. Yet he was as buoyant
as a cork, and emerged from every disaster with more enthusiasm for
himself and for new ventures. Among the many glowing tributes to
himself in verse that Smith prints with this description is one
signed by a soldier, Edw. Robinson, which begins:

Oft thou hast led, when I brought up the Rere,
In bloody wars where thousands have been slaine."

This common soldier, who cannot help breaking out in poetry when he
thinks of Smith, is made to say that Smith was his captain "in the
fierce wars of Transylvania," and he apostrophizes him:

Thou that to passe the worlds foure parts dost deeme
No more, than ewere to goe to bed or drinke,
And all thou yet hast done thou dost esteeme
As nothing.

For mee: I not commend but much admire
Thy England yet unknown to passers by-her,
For it will praise itselfe in spight of me:
Thou, it, it, thou, to all posteritie."



Smith was not cast down by his reverses. No sooner had he laid his
latest betrayers by the heels than he set himself resolutely to
obtain money and means for establishing a colony in New England, and
to this project and the cultivation in England of interest in New
England he devoted the rest of his life.

His Map and Description of New England was published in 1616, and he
became a colporteur of this, beseeching everywhere a hearing for his
noble scheme. It might have been in 1617, while Pocahontas was about
to sail for Virginia, or perhaps after her death, that he was again
in Plymouth, provided with three good ships, but windbound for three
months, so that the season being past, his design was frustrated, and
his vessels, without him, made a fishing expedition to Newfoundland.

It must have been in the summer of this year that he was at Plymouth
with divers of his personal friends, and only a hundred pounds among
them all. He had acquainted the nobility with his projects, and was
afraid to see the Prince Royal before he had accomplished anything,
"but their great promises were nothing but air to prepare the voyage
against the next year." He spent that summer in the west of England,
visiting "Bristol, Exeter, Bastable? Bodman, Perin, Foy, Milborow,
Saltash, Dartmouth, Absom, Pattnesse, and the most of the gentry in
Cornwall and Devonshire, giving them books and maps," and inciting
them to help his enterprise.

So well did he succeed, he says, that they promised him twenty sail
of ships to go with him the next year, and to pay him for his pains
and former losses. The western commissioners, in behalf of the
company, contracted with him, under indented articles, "to be admiral
of that country during my life, and in the renewing of the letters-
patent so to be nominated"; half the profits of the enterprise to be
theirs, and half to go to Smith and his companions.

Nothing seems to have come out of this promising induction except the
title of "Admiral of New England," which Smith straightway assumed
and wore all his life, styling himself on the title-page of
everything he printed, "Sometime Governor of Virginia and Admiral of
New England." As the generous Captain had before this time assumed
this title, the failure of the contract could not much annoy him. He
had about as good right to take the sounding name of Admiral as
merchants of the west of England had to propose to give it to him.

The years wore away, and Smith was beseeching aid, republishing his
works, which grew into new forms with each issue, and no doubt making
himself a bore wherever he was known. The first edition of "New
England's Trials"--by which he meant the various trials and attempts
to settle New England was published in 1620. It was to some extent a
repetition of his "Description" of 1616. In it he made no reference
to Pocahontas. But in the edition of 1622, which is dedicated to
Charles, Prince of Wales, and considerably enlarged, he drops into
this remark about his experience at Jamestown: "It Is true in our
greatest extremitie they shot me, slue three of my men, and by the
folly of them that fled tooke me prisoner; yet God made Pocahontas
the king's daughter the meanes to deliver me: and thereby taught me
to know their treacheries to preserve the rest. [This is evidently
an allusion to the warning Pocahontas gave him at Werowocomoco.] It
was also my chance in single combat to take the king of Paspahegh
prisoner, and by keeping him, forced his subjects to work in chains
till I made all the country pay contribution having little else
whereon to live."

This was written after he had heard of the horrible massacre of 1622
at Jamestown, and he cannot resist the temptation to draw a contrast
between the present and his own management. He explains that the
Indians did not kill the English because they were Christians, but to
get their weapons and commodities. How different it was when he was
in Virginia. "I kept that country with but 38, and had not to eat
but what we had from the savages. When I had ten men able to go
abroad, our commonwealth was very strong: with such a number I ranged
that unknown country 14 weeks: I had but 18 to subdue them all."
This is better than Sir John Falstaff. But he goes on: "When I first
went to those desperate designes it cost me many a forgotten pound to
hire men to go, and procrastination caused more run away than went."
"Twise in that time I was President." [It will be remembered that
about the close of his first year he gave up the command, for form's
sake, to Capt. Martin, for three hours, and then took it again.] "To
range this country of New England in like manner, I had but eight, as
is said, and amongst their bruite conditions I met many of their
silly encounters, and without any hurt, God be thanked." The valiant
Captain had come by this time to regard himself as the inventor and
discoverer of Virginia and New England, which were explored and
settled at the cost of his private pocket, and which he is not
ashamed to say cannot fare well in his absence. Smith, with all his
good opinion of himself, could not have imagined how delicious his
character would be to readers in after-times. As he goes on he warms
up: "Thus you may see plainly the yearly success from New England by
Virginia, which hath been so costly to this kingdom and so dear to

By that acquaintance I have with them I may call them my children [he
spent between two and three months on the New England coast] for they
have been my wife, my hawks, my hounds, my cards, my dice, and total
my best content, as indifferent to my heart as my left hand to my
right.... Were there not one Englishman remaining I would yet begin
again as I did at the first; not that I have any secret encouragement
for any I protest, more than lamentable experiences; for all their
discoveries I can yet hear of are but pigs of my sowe: nor more
strange to me than to hear one tell me he hath gone from Billingate
and discovered Greenwich!"

As to the charge that he was unfortunate, which we should think might
have become current from the Captain's own narratives, he tells his
maligners that if they had spent their time as he had done, they
would rather believe in God than in their own calculations, and
peradventure might have had to give as bad an account of their
actions. It is strange they should tax him before they have tried
what he tried in Asia, Europe, and America, where he never needed to
importune for a reward, nor ever could learn to beg: "These sixteen
years I have spared neither pains nor money, according to my ability,
first to procure his majesty's letters patent, and a Company here to
be the means to raise a company to go with me to Virginia [this is
the expedition of 1606 in which he was without command] as is said:
which beginning here and there cost me near five years work, and more
than 500 pounds of my own estate, besides all the dangers, miseries
and encumbrances I endured gratis, where I stayed till I left 500
better provided than ever I was: from which blessed Virgin (ere I
returned) sprung the fortunate habitation of Somer Isles." "Ere I
returned" is in Smith's best vein. The casual reader would certainly
conclude that the Somers Isles were somehow due to the providence of
John Smith, when in fact he never even heard that Gates and Smith
were shipwrecked there till he had returned to England, sent home
from Virginia. Neill says that Smith ventured L 9 in the Virginia
company! But he does not say where he got the money.

New England, he affirms, hath been nearly as chargeable to him and
his friends: he never got a shilling but it cost him a pound. And
now, when New England is prosperous and a certainty, "what think you
I undertook when nothing was known, but that there was a vast land."
These are some of the considerations by which he urges the company to
fit out an expedition for him: "thus betwixt the spur of desire and
the bridle of reason I am near ridden to death in a ring of despair;
the reins are in your hands, therefore I entreat you to ease me."

The Admiral of New England, who since he enjoyed the title had had
neither ship, nor sailor, nor rod of land, nor cubic yard of salt
water under his command, was not successful in his several "Trials."
And in the hodge-podge compilation from himself and others, which he
had put together shortly after,--the "General Historie," he
pathetically exclaims: "Now all these proofs and this relation, I now
called New England's Trials. I caused two or three thousand of them
to be printed, one thousand with a great many maps both of Virginia
and New England, I presented to thirty of the chief companies in
London at their Halls, desiring either generally or particularly
(them that would) to imbrace it and by the use of a stock of five
thousand pounds to ease them of the superfluity of most of their
companies that had but strength and health to labor; near a year I
spent to understand their resolutions, which was to me a greater toil
and torment, than to have been in New England about my business but
with bread and water, and what I could get by my labor; but in
conclusion, seeing nothing would be effected I was contented as well
with this loss of time and change as all the rest."

In his "Advertisements" he says that at his own labor, cost, and loss
he had "divulged more than seven thousand books and maps," in order
to influence the companies, merchants and gentlemen to make a
plantation, but "all availed no more than to hew Rocks with Oister-

His suggestions about colonizing were always sensible. But we can
imagine the group of merchants in Cheapside gradually dissolving as
Smith hove in sight with his maps and demonstrations.

In 1618, Smith addressed a letter directly to Lord Bacon, to which
there seems to have been no answer. The body of it was a
condensation of what he had repeatedly written about New England, and
the advantage to England of occupying the fisheries. "This nineteen
years," he writes, "I have encountered no few dangers to learn what
here I write in these few leaves:... their fruits I am certain may
bring both wealth and honor for a crown and a kingdom to his
majesty's posterity." With 5,000, pounds he will undertake to
establish a colony, and he asks of his Majesty a pinnace to lodge his
men and defend the coast for a few months, until the colony gets
settled. Notwithstanding his disappointments and losses, he is still
patriotic, and offers his experience to his country: "Should I
present it to the Biskayners, French and Hollanders, they have made
me large offers. But nature doth bind me thus to beg at home, whom
strangers have pleased to create a commander abroad.... Though I can
promise no mines of gold, the Hollanders are an example of my
project, whose endeavors by fishing cannot be suppressed by all the
King of Spain's golden powers. Worth is more than wealth, and
industrious subjects are more to a kingdom than gold. And this is so
certain a course to get both as I think was never propounded to any
state for so small a charge, seeing I can prove it, both by example,
reason and experience."

Smith's maxims were excellent, his notions of settling New England
were sound and sensible, and if writing could have put him in command
of New England, there would have been no room for the Puritans. He
addressed letter after letter to the companies of Virginia and
Plymouth, giving them distinctly to understand that they were losing
time by not availing themselves of his services and his project.
After the Virginia massacre, he offered to undertake to drive the
savages out of their country with a hundred soldiers and thirty
sailors. He heard that most of the company liked exceedingly well
the notion, but no reply came to his overture.

He laments the imbecility in the conduct of the new plantations. At
first, he says, it was feared the Spaniards would invade the
plantations or the English Papists dissolve them: but neither the
councils of Spain nor the Papists could have desired a better course
to ruin the plantations than have been pursued; "It seems God is
angry to see Virginia in hands so strange where nothing but murder
and indiscretion contends for the victory."

In his letters to the company and to the King's commissions for the
reformation of Virginia, Smith invariably reproduces his own
exploits, until we can imagine every person in London, who could
read, was sick of the story. He reminds them of his unrequited
services: "in neither of those two countries have I one foot of land,
nor the very house I builded, nor the ground I digged with my own
hands, nor ever any content or satisfaction at all, and though I see
ordinarily those two countries shared before me by them that neither
have them nor knows them, but by my descriptions.... For the books
and maps I have made, I will thank him that will show me so much for
so little recompense, and bear with their errors till I have done
better. For the materials in them I cannot deny, but am ready to
affirm them both there and here, upon such ground as I have
propounded, which is to have but fifteen hundred men to subdue again
the Salvages, fortify the country, discover that yet unknown, and
both defend and feed their colony."

There is no record that these various petitions and letters of advice
were received by the companies, but Smith prints them in his History,
and gives also seven questions propounded to him by the
commissioners, with his replies; in which he clearly states the cause
of the disasters in the colonies, and proposes wise and statesman-
like remedies. He insists upon industry and good conduct: "to
rectify a commonwealth with debauched people is impossible, and no
wise man would throw himself into such society, that intends
honestly, and knows what he understands, for there is no country to
pillage, as the Romans found; all you expect from thence must be by

Smith was no friend to tobacco, and although he favored the
production to a certain limit as a means of profit, it is interesting
to note his true prophecy that it would ultimately be a demoralizing
product. He often proposes the restriction of its cultivation, and
speaks with contempt of "our men rooting in the ground about tobacco
like swine." The colony would have been much better off "had they
not so much doated on their tobacco, on whose furnish foundation
there is small stability."

So long as he lived, Smith kept himself informed of the progress of
adventure and settlement in the New World, reading all relations and
eagerly questioning all voyagers, and transferring their accounts to
his own History, which became a confused patchwork of other men's
exploits and his own reminiscences and reflections. He always
regards the new plantations as somehow his own, and made in the light
of his advice; and their mischances are usually due to the neglect of
his counsel. He relates in this volume the story of the Pilgrims in
1620 and the years following, and of the settlement of the Somers
Isles, making himself appear as a kind of Providence over the New

Out of his various and repetitious writings might be compiled quite a
hand-book of maxims and wise saws. Yet all had in steady view one
purpose--to excite interest in his favorite projects, to shame the
laggards of England out of their idleness, and to give himself
honorable employment and authority in the building up of a new
empire. "Who can desire," he exclaims, "more content that hath small
means, or but only his merit to advance his fortunes, than to tread
and plant that ground he hath purchased by the hazard of his life; if
he have but the taste of virtue and magnanimity, what to such a mind
can be more pleasant than planting and building a foundation for his
posterity, got from the rude earth by God's blessing and his own
industry without prejudice to any; if he have any grace of faith or
zeal in Religion, what can be more healthful to any or more agreeable
to God than to convert those poor salvages to know Christ and
humanity, whose labours and discretion will triply requite any charge
and pain."

"Then who would live at home idly," he exhorts his countrymen, "or
think in himself any worth to live, only to eat, drink and sleep, and
so die; or by consuming that carelessly his friends got worthily, or
by using that miserably that maintained virtue honestly, or for being
descended nobly, or pine with the vain vaunt of great kindred in
penury, or to maintain a silly show of bravery, toil out thy heart,
soul and time basely; by shifts, tricks, cards and dice, or by
relating news of other men's actions, sharke here and there for a
dinner or supper, deceive thy friends by fair promises and
dissimulations, in borrowing when thou never meanest to pay, offend
the laws, surfeit with excess, burden thy country, abuse thyself,
despair in want, and then cozen thy kindred, yea, even thy own
brother, and wish thy parent's death (I will not say damnation), to
have their estates, though thou seest what honors and rewards the
world yet hath for them that will seek them and worthily deserve

"I would be sorry to offend, or that any should mistake my honest
meaning: for I wish good to all, hurt to none; but rich men for the
most part are grown to that dotage through their pride in their
wealth, as though there were no accident could end it or their life."

"And what hellish care do such take to make it their own misery and
their countrie's spoil, especially when there is such need of their
employment, drawing by all manner of inventions from the Prince and
his honest subjects, even the vital spirits of their powers and
estates; as if their bags or brags were so powerful a defense, the
malicious could not assault them, when they are the only bait to
cause us not only to be assaulted, but betrayed and smothered in our
own security ere we will prevent it."

And he adds this good advice to those who maintain their children in
wantonness till they grow to be the masters: "Let this lamentable
example [the ruin of Constantinople] remember you that are rich
(seeing there are such great thieves in the world to rob you) not
grudge to lend some proportion to breed them that have little, yet
willing to learn how to defend you, for it is too late when the deed
is done."

No motive of action did Smith omit in his importunity, for "Religion
above all things should move us, especially the clergy, if we are
religious." " Honor might move the gentry, the valiant and
industrious, and the hope and assurance of wealth all, if we were
that we would seem and be accounted; or be we so far inferior to
other nations, or our spirits so far dejected from our ancient
predecessors, or our minds so upon spoil, piracy and such villainy,
as to serve the Portugall, Spaniard, Dutch, French or Turke (as to
the cost of Europe too many do), rather than our own God, our king,
our country, and ourselves; excusing our idleness and our base
complaints by want of employment, when here is such choice of all
sorts, and for all degrees, in the planting and discovering these
North parts of America."

It was all in vain so far as Smith's fortunes were concerned. The
planting and subjection of New England went on, and Smith had no part
in it except to describe it. The Brownists, the Anabaptists, the
Papists, the Puritans, the Separatists, and "such factious
Humorists," were taking possession of the land that Smith claimed to
have "discovered," and in which he had no foothold. Failing to get
employment anywhere, he petitioned the Virginia Company for a reward
out of the treasury in London or the profits in Virginia.

At one of the hot discussions in 1623 preceding the dissolution of
the Virginia Company by the revocation of their charter, Smith was
present, and said that he hoped for his time spent in Virginia he
should receive that year a good quantity of tobacco. The charter was
revoked in 1624 after many violent scenes, and King James was glad to
be rid of what he called "a seminary for a seditious parliament."
The company had made use of lotteries to raise funds, and upon their
disuse, in 1621, Smith proposed to the company to compile for its
benefit a general history. This he did, but it does not appear that
the company took any action on his proposal. At one time he had been
named, with three others, as a fit person for secretary, on the
removal of Mr. Pory, but as only three could be balloted for, his
name was left out. He was, however, commended as entirely competent.

After the dissolution of the companies, and the granting of new
letters-patent to a company of some twenty noblemen, there seems to
have been a project for dividing up the country by lot. Smith says:
"All this they divided in twenty parts, for which they cast lots, but
no lot for me but Smith's Isles, which are a many of barren rocks,
the most overgrown with shrubs, and sharp whins, you can hardly pass
them; without either grass or wood, but three or four short shrubby
old cedars."

The plan was not carried out, and Smith never became lord of even
these barren rocks, the Isles of Shoals. That he visited them when
he sailed along the coast is probable, though he never speaks of
doing so. In the Virginia waters he had left a cluster of islands
bearing his name also.

In the Captain's "True Travels," published in 1630, is a summary of
the condition of colonization in New England from Smith's voyage
thence till the settlement of Plymouth in 1620, which makes an
appropriate close to our review of this period:

"When I first went to the North part of Virginia, where the Westerly
Colony had been planted, it had dissolved itself within a year, and
there was not one Christian in all the land. I was set forth at the
sole charge of four merchants of London; the Country being then
reputed by your westerlings a most rocky, barren, desolate desart;
but the good return I brought from thence, with the maps and
relations of the Country, which I made so manifest, some of them did
believe me, and they were well embraced, both by the Londoners, and
Westerlings, for whom I had promised to undertake it, thinking to
have joyned them all together, but that might well have been a work
for Hercules. Betwixt them long there was much contention: the
Londoners indeed went bravely forward: but in three or four years I
and my friends consumed many hundred pounds amongst the Plimothians,
who only fed me but with delays, promises, and excuses, but no
performance of anything to any purpose. In the interim, many
particular ships went thither, and finding my relations true, and
that I had not taken that I brought home from the French men, as had
been reported: yet further for my pains to discredit me, and my
calling it New England, they obscured it, and shadowed it, with the
title of Canada, till at my humble suit, it pleased our most Royal
King Charles, whom God long keep, bless and preserve, then Prince of
Wales, to confirm it with my map and book, by the title of New
England; the gain thence returning did make the fame thereof so
increase that thirty, forty or fifty sail went yearly only to trade
and fish; but nothing would be done for a plantation, till about some
hundred of your Brownists of England, Amsterdam and Leyden went to
New Plimouth, whose humorous ignorances, caused them for more than a
year, to endure a wonderful deal of misery, with an infinite
patience; saying my books and maps were much better cheap to teach
them than myself: many others have used the like good husbandry that
have payed soundly in trying their self-willed conclusions; but those
in time doing well, diverse others have in small handfulls undertaken
to go there, to be several Lords and Kings of themselves, but most
vanished to nothing."



If Smith had not been an author, his exploits would have occupied a
small space in the literature of his times. But by his unwearied
narrations he impressed his image in gigantic features on our plastic
continent. If he had been silent, he would have had something less
than justice; as it is, he has been permitted to greatly exaggerate
his relations to the New World. It is only by noting the comparative
silence of his contemporaries and by winnowing his own statements
that we can appreciate his true position.

For twenty years he was a voluminous writer, working off his
superfluous energy in setting forth his adventures in new forms.
Most of his writings are repetitions and recastings of the old
material, with such reflections as occur to him from time to time.
He seldom writes a book, or a tract, without beginning it or working
into it a resume of his life. The only exception to this is his "Sea
Grammar." In 1626 he published "An Accidence or the Pathway to
Experience, necessary to all Young Seamen," and in 1627 "A Sea
Grammar, with the plain Exposition of Smith's Accidence for Young
Seamen, enlarged." This is a technical work, and strictly confined
to the building, rigging, and managing of a ship. He was also
engaged at the time of his death upon a "History of the Sea," which
never saw the light. He was evidently fond of the sea, and we may
say the title of Admiral came naturally to him, since he used it in
the title-page to his "Description of New England," published in
1616, although it was not till 1617 that the commissioners at
Plymouth agreed to bestow upon him the title of "Admiral of that

In 1630 he published " The True Travels, Adventures and Observations
of Captain John Smith, in Europe, Asia, Affrica and America, from
1593 to 1629. Together with a Continuation of his General History of
Virginia, Summer Isles, New England, and their proceedings since 1624
to this present 1629: as also of the new Plantations of the great
River of the Amazons, the Isles of St. Christopher, Mevis and
Barbadoes in the West Indies." In the dedication to William, Earl of
Pembroke, and Robert, Earl of Lindsay, he says it was written at the
request of Sir Robert Cotton, the learned antiquarian, and he the
more willingly satisfies this noble desire because, as he says, "they
have acted my fatal tragedies on the stage, and racked my relations
at their pleasure. To prevent, therefore, all future misprisions, I
have compiled this true discourse. Envy hath taxed me to have writ
too much, and done too little; but that such should know how little,


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