List Of Contents | Contents of Captain John Smith by, Charles Dudley Warner
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were in despair, and would rather starve and rot than do anything for
their own relief, and the Indian trade was decreasing.  Under these
circumstances, Smith says in his "True Relation," "I was sent to the
mouth of the river, to Kegquoughtan [now Hampton], an Indian Towne,
to trade for corn, and try the river for fish."  The Indians,
thinking them near famished, tantalized them with offers of little
bits of bread in exchange for a hatchet or a piece of copper, and
Smith offered trifles in return.  The next day the Indians were
anxious to trade.  Smith sent men up to their town, a display of
force was made by firing four guns, and the Indians kindly traded,
giving fish, oysters, bread, and deer.  The town contained eighteen
houses, and heaps of grain.  Smith obtained fifteen bushels of it,
and on his homeward way he met two canoes with Indians, whom he
accompanied to their villages on the south side of the river, and got
from them fifteen bushels more.

This incident is expanded in the "General Historie."  After the lapse
of fifteen years Smith is able to remember more details, and to
conceive himself as the one efficient man who had charge of
everything outside the fort, and to represent his dealings with the
Indians in a much more heroic and summary manner.  He was not sent on
the expedition, but went of his own motion.  The account opens in
this way: "The new President [Ratcliffe] and Martin, being little
beloved, of weake judgement in dangers, and loose industrie in peace,
committed the management of all things abroad to Captain Smith; who
by his own example, good words, and fair promises, set some to mow,
others to binde thatch, some to builde houses, others to thatch them,
himselfe always bearing the greatest taske for his own share, so that
in short time he provided most of them with lodgings, neglecting any
for himselfe.  This done, seeing the Salvage superfluities beginne to
decrease (with some of his workmen) shipped himself in the Shallop to
search the country for trade."

In this narration, when the Indians trifled with Smith he fired a
volley at them, ran his boat ashore, and pursued them fleeing towards
their village, where were great heaps of corn that he could with
difficulty restrain his soldiers [six or seven] from taking.  The
Indians then assaulted them with a hideous noise: "Sixty or seventy
of them, some black, some red, some white, some particoloured, came
in a square order, singing and dancing out of the woods, with their
Okee (which is an Idol made of skinnes, stuffed with mosse, and
painted and hung with chains and copper) borne before them; and in
this manner being well armed with clubs, targets, bowes and arrowes,
they charged the English that so kindly received them with their
muskets loaden with pistol shot, that down fell their God, and divers
lay sprawling on the ground; the rest fled againe to the woods, and
ere long sent men of their Quiyoughkasoucks [conjurors] to offer
peace and redeeme the Okee."  Good feeling was restored, and the
savages brought the English "venison, turkies, wild fowl, bread all
that they had, singing and dancing in sign of friendship till they
departed."  This fantastical account is much more readable than the
former bare narration.

The supplies which Smith brought gave great comfort to the despairing
colony, which was by this time reasonably fitted with houses.  But it
was not long before they again ran short of food.  In his first
narrative Smith says there were some motions made for the President
and Captain Arthur to go over to England and procure a supply, but it
was with much ado concluded that the pinnace and the barge should go
up the river to Powhatan to trade for corn, and the lot fell to Smith
to command the expedition.  In his "General Historie" a little
different complexion is put upon this.  On his return, Smith says, he
suppressed an attempt to run away with the pinnace to England.  He
represents that what food "he carefully provided the rest carelessly
spent," and there is probably much truth in his charges that the
settlers were idle and improvident.  He says also that they were in
continual broils at this time.  It is in the fall of 1607, just
before his famous voyage up the Chickahominy, on which he departed
December 10th--that he writes: "The President and Captain Arthur
intended not long after to have abandoned the country, which project
was curbed and suppressed by Smith.  The Spaniard never more greedily
desired gold than he victual, nor his soldiers more to abandon the
country than he to keep it.  But finding plenty of corn in the river
of Chickahomania, where hundreds of salvages in divers places stood
with baskets expecting his coming, and now the winter approaching,
the rivers became covered with swans, geese, ducks, and cranes, that
we daily feasted with good bread, Virginia peas, pumpions, and
putchamins, fish, fowls, and divers sorts of wild beasts as fat as we
could eat them, so that none of our Tuftaffaty humorists desired to
go to England."

While the Chickahominy expedition was preparing, Smith made a voyage
to Popohanock or Quiyoughcohanock, as it is called on his map, a town
on the south side of the river, above Jamestown.  Here the women and
children fled from their homes and the natives refused to trade.
They had plenty of corn, but Smith says he had no commission to spoil
them.  On his return he called at Paspahegh, a town on the north side
of the James, and on the map placed higher than Popohanock, but
evidently nearer to Jamestown, as he visited it on his return.  He
obtained ten bushels of corn of the churlish and treacherous natives,
who closely watched and dogged the expedition.

Everything was now ready for the journey to Powhatan.  Smith had the
barge and eight men for trading and discovery, and the pinnace was to
follow to take the supplies at convenient landings.  On the 9th of
November he set out in the barge to explore the Chickahominy, which
is described as emptying into the James at Paspahegh, eight miles
above the fort.  The pinnace was to ascend the river twenty miles to
Point Weanock, and to await Smith there.  All the month of November
Smith toiled up and down the Chickahominy, discovering and visiting
many villages, finding the natives kindly disposed and eager to
trade, and possessing abundance of corn.  Notwithstanding this
abundance, many were still mutinous.  At this time occurred the
President's quarrel with the blacksmith, who, for assaulting the
President, was condemned to death, and released on disclosing a
conspiracy of which Captain Kendall was principal; and the latter was
executed in his place.  Smith returned from a third voyage to the
Chickahominy with more supplies, only to find the matter of sending
the pinnace to England still debated.

This project, by the help of Captain Martin, he again quieted and at
last set forward on his famous voyage into the country of Powhatan
and Pocahontas.



We now enter upon the most interesting episode in the life of the
gallant captain, more thrilling and not less romantic than the
captivity in Turkey and the tale of the faithful love of the fair
young mistress Charatza Tragabigzanda.

Although the conduct of the lovely Charatza in despatching Smith to
her cruel brother in Nalbrits, where he led the life of a dog, was
never explained, he never lost faith in her.  His loyalty to women
was equal to his admiration of them, and it was bestowed without
regard to race or complexion.  Nor is there any evidence that the
dusky Pocahontas, who is about to appear, displaced in his heart the
image of the too partial Tragabigzanda.  In regard to women, as to
his own exploits, seen in the light of memory, Smith possessed a
creative imagination.  He did not create Pocahontas, as perhaps he
may have created the beautiful mistress of Bashaw Bogall, but he
invested her with a romantic interest which forms a lovely halo about
his own memory.

As this voyage up the Chickahominy is more fruitful in its
consequences than Jason's voyage to Colchis; as it exhibits the
energy, daring, invention, and various accomplishments of Captain
Smith, as warrior, negotiator, poet, and narrator; as it describes
Smith's first and only captivity among the Indians; and as it was
during this absence of four weeks from Jamestown, if ever, that
Pocahontas interposed to prevent the beating out of Smith's brains
with a club, I shall insert the account of it in full, both Smith's
own varying relations of it, and such contemporary notices of it as
now come to light.  It is necessary here to present several accounts,
just as they stand, and in the order in which they were written, that
the reader may see for himself how the story of Pocahontas grew to
its final proportions.  The real life of Pocahontas will form the
subject of another chapter.

The first of these accounts is taken from "The True Relation,"
written by Captain John Smith, composed in Virginia, the earliest
published work relating to the James River Colony.  It covers a
period of a little more than thirteen months, from the arrival at
Cape Henry on April 26, 1607, to the return of Captain Nelson in the
Phoenix, June 2, 1608.  The manuscript was probably taken home by
Captain Nelson, and it was published in London in 1608.  Whether it
was intended for publication is doubtful; but at that time all news
of the venture in Virginia was eagerly sought, and a narrative of
this importance would naturally speedily get into print.

In the several copies of it extant there are variations in the title-
page, which was changed while the edition was being printed.  In some
the name of Thomas Watson is given as the author, in others
"A Gentleman of the Colony," and an apology appears signed " T. H.,"
for the want of knowledge or inadvertence of attributing it to any
one except Captain Smith.

There is no doubt that Smith was its author.  He was still in
Virginia when it was printed, and the printers made sad work of parts
of his manuscript.  The question has been raised, in view of the

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