Captain John Smith (–) Admiral of New England was an English soldier, sailor, and author. He is remembered for his role in. Smith as Unreliable Narrator in The General History of Virginia While John Smith did many things for the. In chapter 1, book 3 of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles, published in , Captain John Smith describes.

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In our smtih, inquiring still for this matchqueon [as the Indians called this spangled pin-dust], the king of Potomac gave us guides to conduct us up a little river called Quiyough [Aquia Creek], up which we rowed so high as we could.

Two or three days we expected [experienced] wind and weather whose adverse extremities added such discouragement that three or four fell sick, whose pitiful complaints caused us to return, leaving the Bay some nine miles broad at nine and gendrall fathom water.

The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles – Wikipedia

Though I be no scholar I am past a schoolboy, and I desire but to know what either you and these here do know but that I have learned to tell you by the continual hazard of my life.

Thus if you please to consider this account and of the unnecessary wages to Captain Newport or his ships so long lingering and staying here for notwithstanding his boasting to leave us victuals for twelve months, though we had eighty-nine by this discovery lame and sick and but a pint of corn a day for a man, we were constrained to give him three hogsheads of that to victual him homeward or yet [not] to send into Germany or Poland for glassmen and the rest till we be able to sustain ourselves and relieve them.

Yet although he were but twentie myles from his habitation the time we were in the Downes and notwithstanding the stormy weather, nor the scandalous imputations of some few, little better then Atheists, of the greatest ranke amongst vs suggested against him, all this could never force from him so much as a seeming desire to leaue the busines, but preferred the service of God, in so good a voyage, before any affection to contest with his godlesse foes, whose disasterous designes could they haue prevailed.

But our comedies never endured long without a tragedy. Robert Cotton, a tobacco pipe-maker. But he was not long absent but his men went ashore, whose want of government gave both occasion and opportunity to the savages to surprise one George Cassen, whom they slew, and much failed not to have cut off the boat and all the rest.

The President returning from amongst the woods, seeing the time consumed and no provision gotten and the ship lay idle at a great charge and did nothing presently embarked himself in the discovery barge, giving order to the Council to send Lieutenant Percy after him with the next barge that arrived at the fort. Leaving the boat, with six shot and diverse savages he marched seven or eight miles before they came to the mine.

And had not Captain Newport cried Peccavi, the President would have discharged the ship and caused him to have stayed one year in Virginia to learn to speak of his own experience. At our first meeting our captain ever observed this order: Seven or eight miles we sailed up this narrow river. And in diverse places that abundance, of fish lying so thick with their heads above the water [that] as for want of nets our barge driving among them we attempted to catch them with a frying pan, but we found it a bad instrument to catch fish with.


For the charge of this voyage of two or three thousand pounds: At your ship’s arrival the savages’ harvest was newly gathered, and we going to buy it, our own not being half sufficient for so great a number. For remedy of which sin, the President devised how to have every man’s oaths numbered. John Lewes, a Cooper. Now Captaine Smithwho all this time uohn their departure from the Canaries was restrained as a prisoner vpon the scandalous suggestions of some of the chiefe envying his repute who fained generalll intended to vsurpe the government, murther the Councell, and make himselfe King, that his confederats were dispersed in all the three ships, and that divers of his confederats that revealed it, would affirme it, for this he was nohn as a prisoner: Had we been as free from all sins as gluttony and drunkenness, we might have been canonized for saints.

There we found Master Scrivener and diverse others well recovered; many dead, some sick; the late President a prisoner for mutiny; by the most honest diligence of Master Scrivener the harvest gathered, but the provision in the store much spoiled with rain.

Labourers smigh laborers listed, including one named “Old William”. The want of the language, knowledge to manage his boat without sails, the want of a sufficient power knowing the multitude of the savagesapparel for joyn men, and other necessaries, were infinite impediments, yet no discouragement.

Transcription from Original

But thirty of us he conducted down the river some five miles hkstorie Jamestown to learn to make Clapboard, cut down trees, and lay in woods. Gone from thence in search of Virginiathe company was not a little discomforted, seeing the Marriners had 3 dayes passed their reckoning and found no land, so that Captaine Ratliffe Captaine vigginia the Pinnace rather desired to beare vp the helme to returne for Englandthen make further search.

Neither hkstorie it a small policy in Newport and the mariners to report in England we ha such plenty and snith us so many men without victuals when they had so many private factors in the fort that within six or seven weeks [out] of two or yenerall hundred axes, chisels, hoes, and pickaxes scarce twenty could be found.

The Salvages often visited vs kindly. And I humbly entreat you hereafter let us know what we should receive and not stand to the sailors’ courtesy to leave us what they please, else you may charge us with what you will but we not you with anything.

But having lain in this small barge not above twelve or fourteen days, oft tired at the oars, our bread spoiled with wet so much that it was rotten yet so good were their stomachs that they could digest it they did with continual complaints so importune him now to return as caused him bespeake them in this manner: Six weekes being spent in this manner, Captaine Newport who was hired onely for — page 43 — our transportation was to returne with the ships.


And this having fried some 26 weeks in the ship’s hold contained as many worms as grains, so that we might truly call it rather so much bran than corn. And so landing his men, and vidginia to charge them, they immediately fled; and presently after sent their ambassadors with corn, fish, fowl, and what they had to make their peace. Two days virginja were enforced to inhabit these uninhabited isles, which for the extremity of gusts, thunder, rain, storms, and ill weather we called Limbo.

When we first set sail some of our gallants doubted nothing but that our captain would make too much haste home. By this let all men judge how this business could prosper, being thus abused by such pilfering occasions. Further, he had never visited Bermuda, which had been separated from Virginia to be managed by the Somers Isles Company formed in by the shareholders of the Virginia Company.

Colonial Virginia books British books. Strange were these pleasures to their conditions; yet lodging, eating and drinking, working or playing, they [were] but doing as the President did himself. The book is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, histories of the territory administered by the London Company. At last one of them desired us to go to virginiw house up that river.

But [he found] plenty of corn in the river of Chickahominy, where hundreds of savages in diverse places stood with baskets expecting his coming. The 16th of June we fell with the river Potomac. Genersll for the two ships’ loading of corn Newport promised to provide us from Powhatan, he brought us but four teen bushels, and from the Monacans nothing, but the most of the men sick and near famished.

I have not concealed from you anything I know, but I fear some cause you to virgknia much more than is true. The simple savages seeing our captain hurt and another bloody by breaking his skin, our numbers of bows, arrows, swords, mantles, and furs would needs imagine we had been at wars.

It were better to give five hundred pounds a ton -for those gross commodities in Historiie than send for them hither till more necessary things be provided. This done, seeing the savages’ superfluity begin to decrease with some of the workmen shipped himself in the shallop to search historue country for trade. Some episodes may have been fabricated, vriginia, or truncated, the most famous perhaps being whether or not he was actually “saved” from death by Pocahontas in a fact Smith did not write about until this publication.

More than a hundred arrows stuck in our targets and about the boat. Fear being gone and our men recovered, we were all content to take some pains to know the name of that seven mile broad river.

The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles

Their corn being that year but bad, they complained extremely of their own wants, yet freighted our boats with a hundred bushels of corn and in like manner Lieutenant Percy’s that not long after arrived. William LoueTaylor.

Samuell Collierboy.