John Smith (explorer)

English soldier, explorer, writer (1580–1631)

Captain John Smith (baptized 6 January 1580 – 21 June 1631) Admiral of New England was an English soldier, explorer, and author. He was knighted for his services to Sigismund Bathory, Prince of Transylvania and friend Mózes Székely. He is remembered for his role in establishing the first permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown, Virginia, and his brief association with the Virginia Indian[1] girl Pocahontas during an altercation with the Powhatan Confederacy and her father, Chief Powhatan. He was a leader of the Virginia Colony (based at Jamestown) between September 1608 and August 1609, and led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay.

Captain John Smith, after an early portrait by Simon de Passe, 18th century
Pocahontas Saving the Life of Capt. John Smith

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  • Heaven &earth never agreed better to frame a place for man's habitation; were it fully manured and inhabited by industrious people. Here are mountains, hills, plains, valleys, rivers, and brookes, all running most nicely into a faire Bay, compassed but for the mouth, with fruitful and delightsome land.
    • Describing the countryside around Chesapeake Bay (1606); reported in The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England & The Summer Isles (1907), vol. 2, pp. 44–45.
  • You must obey this now for a Law, that he that will not work shall not eat (except by sickness he be disabled:) for the labors of thirty or forty honest and industrious men shall not be consumed to maintain a hundred and fifty idle loiterers.
    • Advice to his company when he was governor of Jamestown Colony, Virginia (1608); reported in The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England & The Summer Isles (1907), vol. 1, chapter 10, p. 174.
  • At last, upon those inducements, some well-disposed Brownists, as they are termed, with some Gentlemen and Merchants of Layden and Amsterdam, to save charges would try their own conclusions, though with great loss and much misery till time had taught them to see their own error; for such humorists will never believe well, till they bee beaten with their own rod.

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