John Smith On Pocahontas Sparknotes

859 Words4 Pages
‘“The twenty-second day of May, Captain Newport and myself, with others, to the number of twenty-two persons, set forward to explore the river some fifty or sixty miles,” wrote Captain John Smith in The General History of Virginia, New England and the Summer Isles’ (Edward 31). This book is the most important record of the early days at Jamestown. However, many parts of this book aren’t true. The most famous story in this book is that of Pocahontas. While John Smith explored the surrounding area, Native Americans captured him. According to Smith, he was taken to Powhatan’s village and forced to kneel on a stone altar. Just when a Native American was about to smash his skull with a heavy club, Pocahontas threw herself over his body, protecting…show more content…
When Smith first encountered Pocahontas, Pocahontas was only eleven and John Smith was twenty-eight years old. According to John Smith, Smith was forced to kneel before Powhatan, and then Powhatan’s favorite daughter Pocahontas laid her head over John Smith in order to prevent him from being killed, but it is hard to believe that an eleven-year-old girl threw herself to save Smith’s life. Suppose this claim is correct, then why did John Smith didn’t publish his book until 1624? Smith didn’t broach the subject of Pocahontas until 1624 when he published his book. Pocahontas died in 1617, so there was no one alive to refute this claim. John Smith needed the Native American princess’s legend to secure his own fame, so after Pocahontas’s death; Smith intentionally distorted the story of Pocahontas after her death. For instance, John Smith said that Pocahontas was very friendly to colonists. However, Pocahontas worried that the English would go too far in trying to control her people. Pocahontas upbraided John Smith, as she believed he had broken the bonds of kinship with her people, adding tartly, “Your countryman will lie much.” (Street 42). Pocahontas clearly had few illusions about the purity of her host’s intentions toward her own people (Street

    More about John Smith On Pocahontas Sparknotes

      Open Document