John Smith Essay

John Smith

In the country of Lincolnshire, England, I was born in 1579. My father was from the ancient stock of Smiths of Crud-ley and my mother was from Rickards, at Great Heck, Yorkshire. I received my incomplete education from a free school of Lotus and Alford and I followed Christianity as religion.  My interest, however, was not in schooling because I was extremely eager to have a life full of adventure (Simms, 1846, p. 11).

I spent most of the day by wandering here and there with less interest in my family. My relations with my mother were not amiable and conversation with her was usually strained. At a very early age of 13, I sold my books, satchel and planned to have an adventure on the sea. My father’s death hindered my dream of adventure and so my inclination toward wandering was increased. After the death of my father, I inherited the property. I apprenticed with the greatest merchant of Lynn, Thomas Sendall. The work with the merchant did not interest me much so I did not stay and left for my passion to search out the sea and get to foreign lands (Simms, 1846, p. 11-12).

I served the English army as a soldier in the war of Netherlands and in France; I served the son of Lord Willoughby, my liege lord where I volunteered my services in the war for Dutch independence from Spain. I served in Netherlands and France for 3 to 4 years (Hoobler & Hoobler, 2005, p. 17-18).  My real continental adventure began, when I returned to the Netherlands. The wars of France and Netherlands taught me to “ride a horse and to use my arms” (Simms, 1846, p. 23).

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I was promoted as captain when I tried my fortune against the Turks while fighting in Hungary. In Transylvania, fighting with Turks, my luck took an awful turn. The Turks wounded and captured me. I was than sold as a slave and gifted to young women Charatza living in Constantinople (Hoobler & Hoobler, 2005, p. 38). She further sent me to her brother who was a Timor government official. I passed a terrible life as a slave as I was made to work in the fields for threshing the wheat, all tied up in chains (Hoobler & Hoobler, 2005, p. 40). At last my fate favored me and I was able to escape from slavery by killing my master. I made my way through 2,500 miles of unfamiliar territory in Eastern Europe while wearing leg chains (Hoobler & Hoobler, 2005, p. 91). By fleeing through Russia I returned to Transylvania then I traveled throughout Europe, Northern Africa and returned to England.

 Traveling and fighting in war against the Turks did not end my adventurous life. On returning to England, I invested in the London Company, which was formed with a group of Londoners, all interested in the southern venture (Bradley, 2001, p. 50). I soon met Captain Bartholomew Gosnold with whom a group was planning to establish a colony in Virginia. I was lucky to join this group, as this work was both exciting and profitable for me. The group consisted of three ships. We departed in December and reached Chesapeake Bay in April 1607 (Warner, 2004, p. 25).

The council members who were to rule the colony, once it was established were selected but no one knew who they were as the box, which carried the list, was sealed. After four month of voyage, we reached our destination and named the settlement, Jamestown. When the sealed box was opened, my name was there in the list of the selected council responsible to govern the new colony, the Jamestown. I was selected as the member for one year and among ourselves we were to choose the President (Simms, 1846, p. 109).

 The land was beautiful. All of the seamen and the gentlemen went on the shore with the party of 30 people. We all explored the beautiful place. A group of savages attacked us when we were returning to the ship. The captain ordered us to discharge our firearms and so the savages disappeared. We decided to build our village near the shore. Some set the cloth tents we brought with us and some laid out the fort, which we needed to save us from savage onslaught. On 15th of June, ship sailed out leaving 100 of us to build the colony on the land surrounded by savages (Kaler, 1901, p. 43-54).

Not all the men get involved in helping and making houses and keeping the area clean as they acted like the gentlemen, waiting others to do for them. The winter was callous and the heavy rainfall covered the area with the all sort of waste. There was no cleanliness, and lack of fresh water made our life difficult. Our condition was further aggravated when we were attacked by the Indians, forcing us to leave their place. They raided our camps and stole pistols, gunpowder and other supplies. The Indian attacked and killed many of the people. It was because of the weather and Indian attacks, that sickness spread. Our condition was not good. I took the charge and did my best to fight with the Indians. After killing many of our people, the Indians took me to their chief, Powhatan. They kept me in captivity but then chose release me to return to Jamestown (Hoobler & Hoobler, 2005).

The colony, however, was in bad shape, so I left for Chesapeake Bay for the food supplies. I explored the water, made friendly alliances and smoothed the way for future settlements. It was at this time that the local council selected me for the President’s post. I enacted constructive policies and strict discipline and encouraged farming which showed good results. Under my presidency, the colony prospered and strengthened.  Unfortunately, an accident with some gunpowder injured me. I was weak and exhausted, hence leaving the government in the hands of Mr. Percy, I returned to England in 1609 and so my adventures in Jamestown ended (Simms, 1846, p. 320).


Bradley, A. G. (2005). Captain John Smith. London: Adamant Media Corporation.

Hoobler, Thomas., & Hoobler, Dorothy (2005). Captain John Smith: Jamestown and the Birth of the American Dream. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Kaler, James O. (2005). Richard of Jamestown: A Story of the Virginia Colony. London: Kessinger Publishing.

Simms, William G. (1846). Life of Captain John Smith: The Founder of Virginia. Boston: J. E. Potter.

Warner, Charles D. (2004). Captain John Smith. London: Kessinger Publishing.


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