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

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For remedy of which sin, the President devised how to have every man’s oaths numbered.

Wherein to express all the dangers, accidents, and encounters this small historle passed in that small barge, by the scale of proportion about three thousand miles with such watery diet in those great waters and barbarous countries till then to any Christian utterly unknown I rather their merit to the censure of the courteous and experienced reader than I would be tedious or partial, being a party. Smihh for your fears that I will lose myself in these unknown large waters or be swallowed up in some stormy gust, abandon these childish fears, for worse than is passed is not likely to happen.

And whether the Bay were endless or how far it extended.

What it was I know not, for you saw no hand of mine to it, nor ever dreamt I of any such matter. I fear smitb will be the confusion of us all ere we hear from you again.

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

Far we were not gone ere they came again and began to sing and dance generxll recall us. For the idle letter sent to my Lord of Salisbury by the President [Ratcliffe] and his confederates for dividing the country, etc.: By them we anchored that night and called them Rickard’s Cliffs. But he so much scorned their charitie, and publikely defied the vttermost of their crueltie, he wisely prevented their policies, though he could not suppresse their envies, yet so well he demeaned histoeie in this businesse, as all the hstorie did see his te, and his adversaries malice, and those suborned to accuse him, accused his accusers of subornation; many vntruthes were alledged against him; but being so apparently disproved, begat a generall hatred in the hearts of the company against such vniust Commanders, that the President was adiudged to giue him 1.

The President perceiving it was Powhatan’s policy to starve us, told them he came not so much for their corn as to revenge his imprisonment and the death of his men murdered by them.

In our return, 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. 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.


Early in the morning four savages came to us in their canoe, whom we used with such courtesy.

Captain John Smith, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles ()

To express all our quarrels, treacheries, and encounters amongst those savages I should be too tedious. If he and Archer return again, they are sufficient to keep us always in factions. And thus we began our first acquaintance.

These brawls are so disgustful, as some will say, they were better forgotten, yet all men of good judgment uohn conclude it were better their baseness should be manifest to the world than the business bear the scorn and share of their excused disorders.

The people, he told us, were all a hunting but in the isle was his house, to which he invited us with much kindness. His country is a pleasant fertile clay soil, some small creeks, good harbors for small barks but not for ships. No sooner were we landed but the President dispersed so many as were able, some for glass, others for tar, pitch, and soap-ashes, leaving them with the fort to the Council’s oversight.

But the good news of our discovery and the good hope we had by the savages’ relation that our Bay had stretched into the South Sea or somewhat near it, appeased their fury. But [he found] plenty of corn in the river of Chickahominy, where hundreds of savages in diverse places stood with baskets expecting his coming. And hard gemerall it runneth a fair brook of crystal-like water where they wash away the dross and keep the remainder, which skith put in little bags and sell it all over the country to paint their bodies, faces, or idols, which makes them look like blackamoors dusted over with silver.

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. This river, but only at the entrance, is very narrow, and the people of small stature as them of Wighcocomoco; the land but low, yet it may prove very commodious because it is but a ridge of land betwixt the Bay general the main ocean.

But in the interim he made three or four journeys and discovered the people yenerall Chickahamania. At last one of them desired us to go to his house up that river.

Expressly to follow your directions by Captain Newport, though they be performed I was directly against it; but according to our commission, I was content to be overruled by the major part of the Council. Repairing our sail with our shirts, we set sail for the main and fell with a pretty convenient river on the east called Kuskarawaok [Nanticoke].


His information on Bermuda may have come from the then Governor, Nathaniel Butlerwho probably provided the drawing which was the basis of the engraving printed joohn the Historie, a map, and illustrations of important sites in that.

Transcription from Original

The others being come, desired us also to go but a little higher to see their houses. The people at first with great fury seemed to assault us, yet at last with songs and dances and much mirth became very tractable.

In their absence I followed the new begun works of pitch and tar, glass, soap-ashes, and clapboard; whereof some small quantities we have sent you.

The simple savages seeing our captain hurt and another bloody by breaking his skith, our numbers of bows, arrows, swords, mantles, and furs would needs imagine we had been at wars. But it chanced our captain taking a fish from his sword not knowing her condition being much of the fashion of a thornback but a long tail like historiee riding rod, whereon the middest is a most poisoned sting of two virgginia three inches long, bearded like a saw on each side, which she struck into the wrist of his arm near an inch and a half.

But our President would never have been admitted, for engrossing to his private [use] oatmeal, geherall, oil, aquavitae, beef, eggs, or what not, but the [common] kettle.

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

We digged and searched in many places but before two days were expired, we would have refused two barricoes of gold for one of that puddle water of Wighcocomoco.

This king was the comeliest, proper, civil savage we encountered. But the grazing of our bullets upon the water many being shot on purpose they might see them with the echo of the woods so amazed them as down went their bows and arrows; and exchanging hostages, James Watkins was sent six miles up the woods to their king’s habitation.

Smith told them if only six of them would come unarmed and load his boat, he would histogie only be their friend, but restore them their Okee, and give them beads, copper, and hatchets besides: They boldly demanded what we were thee what we would, but after many circumstances they seemed virvinia kind and directed us to Accomac, the habitation of their werowance, where we were kindly entreated.