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Title: The Pocahontas-John Smith Story

Author: Pocahontas Wight Edmunds

Editor: James H. Bailey

Release date: April 13, 2011 [eBook #35863]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Mark C. Orton, David E. Brown and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at







The Pocahontas-John Smith Story




Pocahontas Wight Edmunds


James H. Bailey, Ph.D., Editor







Copyright © 1956, by



Quotes from Cornhuskers by Carl Sandburg. Copyright, 1918, by Henry Holt and Company, Inc. Copyright, 1946, by Carl Sandburg. By permission of the publishers.

Quotes from Western Star by Stephen Vincent Benet. Copyright, 1943, by Rosemary Carr Benet. Published by Rinehart & Company.







WHEN my Tales of the Virginia Coast was published in 1950 the New York Times (Book Review) page "In and Out of Books" asked the Dietz Press: "Do you really have an author named Pocahontas Wight Edmunds?" Before the printer's ink was dry a reporter rushed in to tell him that his grandmother had that name. I hastened to write that my great-grandmother was named Pocahontas as was my mother, my niece and several cousins. Besides we had two Matoacas in our family and all of us are descendants in two lines, since first cousins married about a century ago. The name of the present first lady of Virginia is Anne Pocahontas Stanley, and Pocahontas was that of her mother. If ships, hotels, camps, counties and commercial products appropriate the name, why not descendants? To be named "Pocahontas" is to borrow glory and to attract excitement as surely as dark flannel attracts lint.

When I was five our family visited the Croatan settlement near Red Springs, North Carolina, and my father imprudently revealed the Indian names of his wife and daughter. Mother blushed and I bawled as the drunken crowd of Sunday afternoon clasped us to their bosoms so tenaciously that Father could scarcely extricate us from their clutches. Later in the week, Chief Locklear came calling in a golden, yellow surry with yellow fringe, bearing tribute of native scuppernong grapes. They were offered red and sweet, for red, sweet Pocahontas's sake rather than ours.

I was usually given the Indian role in school plays. In 1923 I was asked to take the Pocahontas role in the mammoth Virginia pageant in Richmond. In 1925 the Fox News-Reel introduced me: "Descendant of Chief Powhatan Opens the Biggest Book in the World." This volume was Dr. Matthew Page Andrews's[6] Story of the South, which had stood ten feet tall on the stage of the Strand Theater when I had played "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia" on my violin in front of the illustration of my ancestress.

Lecturers and notables have singled me out of the mob for the name's sake only. The sonorous American poet Vachel Lindsay bent low as he halted a campus receiving line: "My dear, I must kiss your hand!" When Father told Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, who is also a descendant, of his wife's and daughter's names, she told him: "Now, I want to shake both of your hands."

A tobacco company sent an agent to ask if Mother and I, as descendants of John Rolfe, the first tobacconist, would endorse their product. I have received a letter while abroad addressed: "Mademoiselle, la Princesse des Peaux Rouges." That is less surprising when it is noted that a tavern called: "La Belle Sauvage" still stood in England two and a half centuries after her visit. I was told, even before the daily newspaper controversy in 1950 about her burial place that every English school-child knows the story of Pocahontas. The English were delighted when my three children and I signed the register book at the Pocahontas Memorial Chapel of Unity on July 3, 1955.

The vestry book at St. George's Church at Gravesend, England declares that Pocahontas is buried under the chancel there. However, in 1907 a Mr. Tucker of Dover Road, Norfleet claimed to have exhumed the very skeleton and relics one mile from the church. In 1923 the Associated Press reported from Gravesend that excavations had been started to locate the bones in the presence of the recorder of the church and representatives of the English-Speaking Union and of the British Museum. Thirty skeletons were secretly dug up, but not identified. On the last day of May of that year, it was reported that citizens, who resented having their ancestors exhumed, had told the offending archaeologists, one of whom was a descendant of Pocahontas, that they would be punished by visiting evil spirits. They peered furiously through the gates as one hundred skeletons were dug up.

In 1914 the Colonial Dames of America in the State of[7] Virginia had placed two stained glass windows in the church, one depicting Ruth among the alien corn, and the other Rebecca—that being the baptismal name of the converted savage. The deserted church became the concern of Rev. Daughton-Fear. He solicited funds to preserve it as a "Chapel of Unity" for all faiths as a memorial to Pocahontas. Many Americans urged that her bones be brought home. A Glass Company offered a reward for their return, and gallant volunteers such as the Playwright Paul Green were heard from until the project was dismissed as impractical.







JOHN Smith was well worth rescue by Pocahontas for this country's sake, if not for her own. Americans halt before his statue—however tarnished and battered the brass. Still, he was no model lad in his lively day. He was the bold exception to the rules of the school at Louth, England, which he recommended for the other—and duller fellow. A duller fellow would have dug in the lush Lincolnshire countryside forever and a day.

His tenant-farmer father, George Smith, had relished the life, whether he was sitting as juror solemnly, or playing at bowls or horses right jollily. He died early, leaving his family comfortable feather beds and goodly pewter plates and candlesticks. His widow married too hastily to suit her sensitive son John, who now tucked away his memory of her, and deserted home, having already bolted his desk. Now that he was a free young man, his place as an apprentice did not detain him, for the call of salt and hemp in the port of Lynn had already lured him.

At this reckless point Lord Willoughby, his father's protector, stood him in good stead. The noble was touched by lowly George Smith's bequest of a two-year old mare. George could not have done better indirectly by his son John. It was as if he mounted him on a dashing steed, champing to be off for heroic travel. Willoughby lifted the fatherless young John Smith into a knightly sphere which was rare for a lad of his station. Besides being gratified by his friend's affection, he was mindful of John's resourceful and entertaining companionship for his own two gentler lads.

He invited him to "Grimothorpe," a rugged castle with a stone tower and twelve chimneys. Willoughby had fought with Sir Phillip Sydney and he, like Sydney, had ballads written about[10] himself. John enjoyed his hospitality before setting out with the boys' tutors, servants and horses on a Continental journey. They went from northwestern to southeastern France, stopping at Orleans and at Turenne. After six weeks with the party, John continued on his own to Paris, Holland and Edinburgh.

Returning to his home-town John, feeling "glutted with too much company" took to the woods, where he studied the art of combat. After incredible exploits, he returned to London as a seasoned hero of twenty-four years, and was listed as "gent."

He was not ready to settle down yet by any manner of means and he pricked up his ears at the clarion call of the West. Agriculture and industry were bogging down and limiting commerce in England, and many wanted a new livelihood.

The old world's clutch on western shores had failed. The Roanoke Colony had filed valorously into oblivion to the South after Sir Walter Raleigh had tried three times to establish a permanent settlement. Attempts in the North at Elizabeth's Island and at St. George's Fort had been equally unsuccessful. It was recalled now that Hakluyt had advised Raleigh in 1586 that the present Virginian coast would be the most favorable point for colonization. But Raleigh himself was now a prisoner in the Tower of London, pacing back and forth on the narrow battlement which was assigned to him for exercise. Queen Elizabeth I herself, as a young prisoner there, had had but little more range—but she had reigned long, and had been dead for three years, and the colony which Raleigh had named Virginia for the Virgin Queen had disappeared.

Yet the men who now induced her successor, King James, to incorporate two Virginia companies had been associated with Raleigh. That John Smith should be included in their councils indicated how far he had gotten. Since he was a veteran traveller, his betters had deigned to include him in their enterprise, and he was to sail with the group sent by the company for South Virginia.

Three ships were being loaded. Smith would be on the Susan Constant, of one hundred tons, under Christopher Newport, which carried seventy-one passengers, and which flew the red cross[11] of England at her masthead. The Godspeed, of forty tons was under Captain Gosnold, a veteran colonist, and the Discovery, of twenty tons, under Captain John Ratcliffe. All three ships were rigged alike, having three masts, with square sails on the fore and mainmasts. The weather detained them until February, although they got off to a false start just before Christmas when they were clamped in the Downs until New Year's Day.

A third of the passengers were gentlemen, and therefore overbearing. They resented Smith's assurance and soon had him in chains, accusing him of exciting mutiny and trying to make himself king of Virginia. The trip was as stormy without as within, and six weeks of each other's discordant company seemed too, too much.

At long last, at dawn on the twenty-sixth day of April, they spied land.

Some of them ventured ashore to the envy of Smith, who was still in chains. All day long they found the calm as deceptive as it was enticing, for as they returned to the ship in the late afternoon, savages crept toward them on all fours like bears with their bows in their mouths. Gabriel Archer got wounded in both hands and a sailor more seriously.

The colonists crowded on the Susan Constant that night, and opened the secret box which named the seven leaders. While each hoped to have his name among the elect, none was so confident as Smith, although he was not allowed to take his appointed place when his name was read out. He would bide his time, knowing that he would soon be free to make their maps with his feet as well as with his hands.

On the twenty-seventh of April they put together the shallop, which had been brought from England in pieces, so that Newport and a group could explore further. Their findings were delightful. Oysters covered the ground as thick as stones and large and tender to the taste. Soon they pounced upon strawberries too.

"Taste these strawberries! They are four times bigger and better than ours back home."

"Still the Devonshire cream and sugar dishes are missing, as well as the Devonshire cream and sugar."

[12]"And the lass with the strawberry and cream complexion!"

"Those savages we saw yesterday certainly had no strawberry and cream complexions."

They shuddered as they remembered their first glimpse of people painted black or red, as if nature had not darkened them enough. As they penetrated the savage forests, in the next few weeks, they learned to expect any adornment, or none. Anything might dangle for earrings: a bird's claw, or a chicken leg. A naïvely happy warrior even had a live yellow and green snake which was attached to his ear, and coiled loosely about his neck so that the snake would spring forward and kiss the warrior's lips when he chose.

This particular day they encountered no Indians, but a fire-screen kept them anxious.

"Who says that there are no cooks over here?" The odor of burning grass had alerted them. "Sniff these oysters, sizzling yet on somebody's fires."

On the twenty-ninth they set up a cross and called their first finding "Cape Henry" for their prince. They spread a sailcloth no longer to the wind, but blessedly to the beaming sun, and thanked God for bringing them so far, thus far. Fortunately, another cape would be named for Prince Charles.

On the thirtieth they found a good channel up the river which they named "Point Comfort."

Here they saw five Indians. When Newport landed and laid his hand on his heart, they discarded their bows and arrows and invited him to their town, Kecoughtan. Here they tasted their first cornbread, and smoked tobacco. Besides, they were entranced by a native dance which was wild with shouting, stamping, and such antics as would have been expected of wolves and devils.

On the thirteenth of May, having probed thirty miles up the river which Indians called the "Powhatan," but which they would name the "James," they stopped at a place six fathoms deep where they tied their ships to trees—as trustingly as if they had been country nags hitched to churchyard posts. They landed the next day.

[13]That first night many slept in the open, being too tired to fear any rustling, whether of Indians or serpents, outside the rim of their campfire. A few stood watch day and night. The brave explored the forests to fell trees, but the cautious cleared a spot for tents that was nearer the boat. Boughs of trees made up a half-moon fortification. Clapboards were loaded on the ship to return to England where lumber was not plentiful and free. They were not an industrious crowd by nature, but necessity now pressed every mother's son of them to work whether his mother had reared him to do tough chores or not. There were eleven laborers, four carpenters, a blacksmith, a bricklayer, a sailor, a mason, a tailor and a chirurgien.

The colonists had been warned against marshy land, and forbidden to settle near a low or moist place, and that was just what Jamestown Island was, although it looked enticingly green along the tawny river. Half of its fifteen hundred acres were swampy, but the settlers counted on making the cleared land produce crops in another year, and a quick wheat crop just now. They were tired of seeking a haven, and this spot had a subtle charm, for secret pools and creeks meandered from marsh to forests, and wide weed-ridden marshes were slashed through the forests like alleys. At Black Point they would soon see lilies and mallows blanching the sable ground.

Smith was allowed to go with Captain Newport on an exploring trip to the falls of the river in search of gold. On their way they made friends with a savage chief who was the son of the great Powhatan. Their "firewater" overwhelmed him for a day, but on the next day he was ready for more.

While they were gone, the unprotected colony was attacked by Indians. Fortunately, in Smith's absence, someone else had an idea, and a thundering broadside from the boat dispersed the enemy who had victory in their grasp if they had only known it. Smith had been suspecting that mischief was brewing back behind the screens of fire which the Indians maintained. Had he not told them that they needed a palisade?





HE was allowed to take his seat on the council on the tenth of June. Eleven days later the Reverend Robert Hunt gave Communion to all. Captain Newport, having dined ashore that Sunday, invited the leaders to supper on his ship. He sailed the next morning to report the grim time which the colonists were having without sufficient supplies. Smith wrote: "Our drink was water, our lodgings, castles in the air."

Every man was doled out three ounces of bread, and a skimpy helping of bran and water. Typhoid and malaria took their toll. Weakened by both diet and disease, they staggered as they toted logs to the fort, and they made a pitiful spectacle for any Indians or spying Spaniards who may have seen them. While wheat grew as high as a man's head within seven weeks of the planting, there was not enough to satisfy the hungry.

By mid-June the fort was built on a low and level half-acre, which was shaped like a triangle. There were streets of occupied houses—each of which had about thirty feet clearance of the palisade. Mud or thatched-reed clamped heavy roofs on the early huts, making them suffocatingly hot. Added to this misery, the eating of molded corn and drinking of brackish water downed nearly all, and killed half of the colonists before the summer had passed. Once only five men were up and about. "Had we been as free from all sins as gluttony and drunkenness we might have been canonized," observed Smith.

Unwilling to be among the downed, he cured himself somehow and learned to subsist on crabmeat and sturgeon, going foraging, trading and exploring up and down the rivers with a few hardy survivors. He heard a great deal about the great Powhatan whose realm included all of the country from the[15] Roanoke River in the south to the head of the Chesapeake in the north. His chief seat was upon the north side of the York River at Werowocomoco.

As Smith crept up the James River in his shallop, guileless Indian swimmers beckoned him on. Taken in by Smith's friendly greetings, they opened the doors of their bark-covered wigwams, where Smith, a natural and welcome democrat, sat down and ate as one of them. He noted that their canoes were often carved out of single trees, that their oval-shaped wigwams were made of bark upon a framework of saplings, and that their gardens produced cymblings, beans and corn as well as tobacco.

Soon he was paying return visits to the same places in order to trade for corn, but hospitality soon gave out, if corn did not. They even scorned the beads with which he tried to bargain. Counting on relegating them to their timid places, he fired some muskets, putting the dickering savages to flight. These white devils were surely "sons of thunder" they decided, with their "fire-sticks" and their "thunder tubes."

Now, with cool weather, things seemed better. Smith assured the forlorn colonists that this was a sportsmen's paradise with sturgeon in the sea, squirrel and deer on the land and quail in the air.

All was not peaceful within the palisade, however. Edward Maria Wingfield was unpopular as President, and all resented his hauteur and the luxuries which he allowed himself while others had short rations. Smith went along with John Martin and Captain Ratcliffe to bear grudges. What about the bad corn which he had allotted to them? He would not let Ratcliffe have so much as a penny whittle, a chicken or a spoonful of beer. Besides, he had called him, Smith, a liar! They won out and Wingfield was deposed, Ratcliffe being elected in his place.

Smith himself, when he came in and out of Jamestown, was busy preventing efforts of both Ratcliffe and Wingfield to abandon the country. He was not yet even the nominal leader of these people but there was a bold streak in him that darted ahead of the herd. Nothing stumped him—not even a huge tree sprawled[16] in the Chickahominy River which halted his boat. Leaving seven of his men in that, he needled his way recklessly ahead in a canoe with two companions and Indian guides, sailing rashly right into a trap. Two hundred warriors were hunting deer with crafty Opechancanough, brother and heir to the chief. They had counted on trapping a dozen of the timid creatures within a rim of fire, where their arrows would settle matters briefly; but when they trapped the cockiest of all palefaces instead, they were exultant. They had not expected this, although they scorned the English efforts to hunt—noisy, boasting men that they were. Indians let only their arrows clip the quiet air, tipping silently, natural Nimrods of these woods, where no white man was at home, nor welcome.

They had first captured a hapless Englishman who had strayed from the barge against Smith's orders, and who did not help matters by tattling that Smith was at large. They scraped off his skin with mussel shells, and roasted him alive and when they found Smith and his friends, they did away with all but the leader with similar unscrupulousness. Resting on their laurels, they now took their time with him as much for their own amusement as his torment. They were amazed at the nerve with which he defended himself to the end. First, he thrust his Indian guide in front of him as a shield, attaching him to his right arm with a garter, then he felled several Indians before he sank waist deep in the morass like a fly in glue, flapping his wings hopefully until grounded.

"Your men and your canoe have gone. Hand over your arms if you prefer to survive them," taunted the chief. They tied him to a tree, shooting twenty arrows his way, none of which did him much harm. In the nick of time, Smith now pulled a trick from his sleeve. When he held up a compass in an ivory case, the naïve onlookers blinked at the tiny magic arrow under a transparent crust of glass. Wonderful how you could not feel that arrow with your fingers, yet it went on pointing its stubborn way just like its owner!

"This is a compass. It points North, and that is the way it[17] told me to go until you stopped me. It shows me the way out of any dilemma anywhere in the world, and I have been to most places."

"Not this one, my clever Captain Smith," reminded Opechancanough, who knew he had him now. Except that he was entertaining his captors, he would not be dangling this mysterious toy. This moment was amusing to all around but Smith himself. Still a humorous glint in Smith's eye warned him not to be so sure about that. "And where is North?" wondered the chief, whose hungry mind got the better of his discretion.

"Did you not know of the four winds, North, South, East, West? I have followed them everywhere, and will keep doing it at your kind permission. I am an explorer. I seek the great salt sea just beyond. I have crossed one already, and many other waters. My companions flung me into the Mediterranean like poor Jonah of old. But the Lord looked out for me too."

"Who was Jonah?"

"Quite a fellow. He had a way with fish. You know we tried to catch some in frying-pans, yours are so bountiful. Then we decided fish first, fry afterwards."

"You know nothing of sport. You make too much noise in the woods and along the streams. If you have been around as much as you say, you should know better. You talk too much, but I would hear you out. Tell me some more about this God of yours. I have heard of Captain Smith's God!"

They had a wholesome respect for the Smith God, the Smith nerve, and the Smith tongue, which was no laggard in any language. All these attributes stood him in good stead now, but it would not be for long. Smith lapsed into a long harangue about the mysterious ways God moved, his wonders to perform, and the mysterious doings of the universe. "Know ye not that the earth is round, it doth move, and the sun also?" He made grand gestures describing the movements of the planets.

"What goes on in the world away?" Opechancanough just had to know. Curiosity killed a cat, but it was not going to kill him, for he was sparing Captain Smith long enough to empty his[18] mind like a casket for his captor. What a captive he had bagged! He had none of his big brother Powhatan's tolerance of the invader. Powhatan was old, fat, and rich—not enough fight left in him. The people should see what manner of chief was heir to his dozen tribes, and what a white beast he had leashed. He sent couriers ahead so that no village between here and Werowocomoco should fail to note the parade he made of this captain with the bristling red beard, the flexing muscles, and the bragging airs. He arranged a square of twenty warriors around him—one with tomahawk to the left, another with tomahawk to the right of him, and a straggling, painted and feathered queue bringing up the rear.

John Smith, a swaggering Elizabethan on any stage, however humiliating his role, contrived to look as if he had matters quite in hand, even though his hands were tied. Although he had apprehensions about the medicine man's rites at night he did not bat an eye, later did not close one. Opechancanough had planned this ceremony to make sure that Smith was shorn of whatever magic still lurked in his being. He had already handed over his compass to the chief, of his own accord. Hungry as he was, Smith had little appetite for the quantity of food offered him, and he spurned it at first, until he had made sure that it was not poisoned.

"You'd make a nice meal yourself, paleface. Admit we are feeding you well. That is an old custom of ours. We fatten our captives for the slaughter."

"Cannibals?" insinuated Smith, insolently.

"Algonquins. You should know. You talk our language. Your head is full of too much if not your stomach. I'd like to scalp a bushy head like that."

"Then why don't you?" Smith wondered coolly.

"I'm just the chief's brother. He saves the best of everything for himself, including the privilege of doing away with you how and when he likes. He has a line of scalps drying between trees in his back yard every morning. Old as he is, he has the pick of young women about. You will see a young one on either side of him, and a row at the back of the discarded ones, about twenty.[19] He hands them down to favorite warriors, in order as he thinks them most deserving. Mind you, don't cast a speculative eye on any of those. You are not a favorite warrior, nor even a favorite captive." He suspected that this brave man might have a way with women. "All the women you see, all the feasting will be to tantalize you, all to make you appreciate how excruciatingly sweet life can be, when your minutes are numbered."

Smith's bluff was being called. He was frightened over Powhatan's power over many tribes, but most just now over his own hide. He admitted to himself that he was intimidated by this emperor, as he was led into his long house, and in awe of his strange dignity. This savage chieftain reclining on a couch-like throne could show King James how majestic a monarch should look. His face wrinkled, round and ugly, seemed to be carved of granite, and it neither crinkled with mirth nor softened with mercy. He wore pearls about his neck and a raccoon mantle about his shoulders. He had two handmaidens bring to Smith, first, a basin in which to rinse his fingers, then feathers to dry them. The other women surrounding him, as his brother had described, were silent and motionless.

A certain little girl in their midst was more moved than any by Smith's brave appearance, and his fascinating self-defense. Earnest concern for him made her look more serious than usual, for all her names described her sunny nature—Pocahontas, they called her, meaning "Playful," "Bright Stream between Two Hills," "Quick Water," "Sunlight Running Through Darkness." She was as blithe and trusting of the stranger as her father and uncle were wary.

Opechancanough introduced him as the dangerous enemy of the red men, the toughest and craftiest of his tribe. He showed the compass, and told of how cleverly Smith had defended himself single-handed. If his brother wanted peace at any price, now was the time to annihilate this most dangerous of the invaders.

Powhatan listened without changing his expression. "Now what can you say for yourself, paleface?"

John Smith said as much as he could, and that was always a[20] great deal. He boasted of the places to which he had been, miraculously guided by his compass. He had decapitated three Turks with his sword. If any did not believe it, they had only to observe his arms.

Powhatan inquired with superb scorn: "Why have you and your people come into my land without an invitation?"

Smith fibbed: "We had to land while struggling both with our old enemies, the Spaniards, and the weather."

"Then why did you come up so far in your boat?"

"We were seeking the back sea for salt water. Besides we wanted to avenge Newport's child who had been slain by the Monacans." He invented this one, knowing that the Monacans were Powhatan's enemies.

Powhatan could not swallow so many answers whole. Nothing Smith had said seemed to have made a dent on his equanimity after several conferences, and Smith, who read faces, began to foresee his doom. "Lay the death stones beside the fire," commanded Powhatan of two warriors. As soon as that was done, he motioned to several others to pick him up and lay him thereon.

Facing first Powhatan's granite countenance, and now the stones, Smith knew that he had struck real barriers. He was numb with despair as tomahawks were raised to brain him. His usual imagination could not make him hopeful.

Pocahontas, as fleet of foot as of heart, darted in the way of the tomahawks. Smith, barely conscious and having committed his soul to Divine Mercy alone, broke into a cold sweat, as her soft dark cheek was pressed against his blanched one. "Save him Father to make toys for me and hatchets for you if you like."

Powhatan did not like it, but he paused to ponder, as the tomahawks hung heavily over John Smith's head.

The surly crowd, thirsting for blood, snarled "Pocahontas!" as this child meddled with grim manly business, Opechancanough's temper leading the fury. Was that fool brother of his going to let a child keep him from annihilating this captive? He ought to be on the throne instead of this weak indulger of children's whims, for no pampered daughter should challenge his will.

[21]Powhatan had looked obdurate, but with the wilful whimsy of kings, he suddenly changed his mind, motioning to the warriors to stay their tomahawks.

"Certainly my daughter can have her wish, if the life of this queer captive appeals to her. I am the Chief, and she is my playful one, my Pocahontas."

John Smith scrambled to his feet. "At your service, sire. Hatchets for you too, as she says."

"I will indeed find need of such stern weapons instead of toys. I should like some of your swords and fire-tubes too."

"You flatter me. As if I could produce those at will!"

"I think so. You can do anything you say. I hear there is no lack of them in your men's hands. Give me a few days to ponder our future relations. Meanwhile, amuse the child. You owe her that at least."

Pocahontas was enchanted. She sat first at John Smith's feet, then climbed up on his knee, where she listened spellbound to his tales of Londontown, especially of the Tower where the little princes with corn silk hair had pined away and been murdered by their wicked old uncle. "Must be like Uncle Opechancanough," she shuddered.

"Poor things, they didn't have a Pocahontas to save them."

"Who is left yet in the tower?"

"There is a noble knight named Raleigh who started us coming over on this side. He flung down his velvet cloak across a mud puddle for Queen Bess to tread on. I would do the same for you, little Princess, only I have no velvet cloak. I am a poor man."

"Very poor?" she wondered solicitously.

"So poor, that once I went begging. They hold that against me down in Jamestown."

"As if you could help it! Do you go hungry now?"

"Ravenously. We eat parched and molded corn."

"Ugh. I shall bring you rich dishes from Powhatan's table, and corn for your men, if they do what you tell them."

"This is exactly what they will not do. They had me in chains[22] until the secret orders were revealed saying: 'You must put Smith on the council!'"

"Secret!" She clapped her hands. Then somebody did appreciate her wonderful Captain. "Then we are your people. I shall call you Father for I love you just as much as I do Powhatan. Now you must tell me all about yourself before you become one of us. Tell about the fine Turkish lady, Tragabigzanda who looked out for you after the cruel Turks, too, put you in chains. She had dark eyes you say?" Then he liked them with dark eyes, and she liked that, but she did not like the idea of the lady, Tragabigzanda. "Was she very beautiful?"

"Oh, my yes."

"What were you to her?"

"A roving adventurer."

"Was she sad when you went away from her?"

"How should I know?"

"I will be sad if you go away from me. You will stay, won't you, a long time? Powhatan says you can live right by us."

Smith preferred to get himself home to Jamestown, for he felt surfeited with savage patronage. He was less pleased than he appeared by Powhatan's invitation.

"So soon? Have we not treated you like an honored guest instead of a helpless captive?"

"Indeed yes. But I am a man of affairs like yourself. I need to get back and get busy."

"My affair at the moment is to create peace between our peoples. I am an old man, and seek no fighting. Tell your friends to come and abide at the mouth of the Pamunkey. We will live as brothers, each in his own way, but combine against our common enemy."

Smith promised this or any suggestion now, just to get away.

"Well you may go then, and I will send my trusted Rawhide and other warriors to escort you. I only stipulate that each shall bring back one of your guns."

"Indeed they shall."

He thought of a way out of this on the two-day tramp through[23] the woods home. Just out of Jamestown he breathed easier, but he made sure that they did not.

"See those big guns by the gates, friends? I want you to take them home to Father Powhatan."

"You know well enough that they are too big for us to lift. They would break our backs."

"You have not even tried. First let's see if they work as well as they were doing when I left. I want to give Powhatan our best."

He mischievously signalled to the gate-keeper to fire one, and it instantly shook a nearby tree into a spasm. Encrusted with ice as it was, every brittle twig scattered as far as it could go. So did one little, two little, three little, four little Indians.

Smith strode into the fort to tell his astounding tale on January 8, but kept mum about that hair-raising, but thanks to Providence and Pocahontas, not scalp-raising experience. Better not tell that one, lest he scare off colonists here, or in England.

His hearers were envious of his account of the food and furs at Powhatan's long house, but did not praise his prowess in felling several Indians single-handed. If he was as clever as all this, why did he not look out for his companions? Three white men were missing, notice.

They unreasonably tried Smith for that, as if he could have helped it. He threw up his hands in despair for the lot of them.





GABRIEL ARCHER was now a member of the council, and since he was unfriendly to Smith, he summarily had him arrested and tried. He would have been executed the following day had not Newport arrived from England in the nick of time and saved him.

Newport was welcome to all because he brought in the first relief supply as well as new settlers to back them up in their weak situation. Careless newcomers were blamed, however, for the disastrous fire which broke out a few days after their landing, and which licked up shacks, tents and pitiful personal possessions.

Those who groaned over their plight, were rebuked by the meekness of the Reverend Robert Hunt, who had lost his library—which might have been the nucleus of culture in the colony. They remembered how he had not complained before when he was more ill than any of them had been on the ship coming over. Contritely they built a church for him even though the palisade was not immediately replaced. A store and storehouse went up too.

Fifty new houses improved on the former ones. These had cool roofs of bark, instead of thatch, a page out of the Indian book. Besides they had "country chimneys" where a man might warm himself in winter at ease, provided he had a gun handy. Bright Indian mats decorated the huts. A bell in the church signified when work should begin and when it should stop. Since there was but one skilled carpenter, the rebuilding of the settlement after the fire seemed remarkable. The colonists were not industrious enough to suit Smith, however, who planned a letter to the Company telling them to send lumber from England next time. That would be cheaper than paying these lazy aristocrats.

[25]Newport went with Smith to trade with Powhatan, letting Smith talk out a day first before he appeared.

"What about those guns my men were to bring back, but did not?" the great chief asked.

"I told Rawhide and another to tote home the two best we had."

"Big ones! You knew very well that they could not lift them. If you had given them small ones, we would have been quite satisfied."

"I did not want your gracious highness to think me more stingy than yourself." Smith kept a straight face if not a straight record. "They didn't even try to lift them."

"No wonder. You scared them with that thunder at your gates, and they ran home."

"You should have brave warriors. Mine too are sometimes cowards, and weak with hunger besides. We want corn."

"What shall you pay—guns?"

Smith diverted him with presents, but the Indian kept his disdainful manner.

"Captain Newport, it is not agreeable with my greatness in this paltry manner to trade for trifles and I esteem you a great chief. Therefore, lay down all your commodities together, and what I like I will take."

Smith artfully toyed with a string of blue beads. Their gleam would draw a brighter one in the eyes of Powhatan's young favorite.

The indulgent old man sighed "How much?"

"These? Why these are not for sale, your Highness. Blue beads are very rare. You can dye red and brown ones with berries, but these are imported, and their value high as the blue sky whence descends their radiance."

"How much?" plugged Powhatan. "I foolishly indulged one girl with your life. Now probably another must have your foolish bauble."

"I'll let you know tomorrow. I had not thought of parting with them."

[26]By morning, Smith was having Indians load his boat with two hundred bushels of corn.

Newport was ever for conciliating the chief, and when Powhatan sent him twenty turkeys saying to send twenty swords back by bearers, he complied. Not so John Smith, when Newport was gone. This time the turkeys were kept, but the swords also—in English scabbards.

Powhatan was so riled when the swords were not forthcoming, that he told his men to get them by hook or crook. When Smith caught them pilfering he flogged them and imprisoned them. Powhatan now tried diplomacy, knowing how indebted Smith would feel to "Pocahontas, his dearest daughter." He sent her down to Jamestown to persuade him to release the prisoners. He asked Smith "to excuse him of the injuries done by some rash untoward captains, his subjects, desiring their liberties for this time with the assurance of his love forever." Smith delivered them to Pocahontas, "for whose sake only he feigned to have saved their lives and gave them their liberty."

Pocahontas, with her gay capers, amused all Jamestown enormously. If this had been a clown's act upon a London stage, or a traveling circus in the English countryside, it could not have put the discouraged colony into such a gale.

When Newport returned he brought back an idea of King James, of which Smith thought little. If they softened Powhatan up with civilized luxuries, they could handle him more easily. Therefore he should be crowned at Jamestown. Grudgingly, Smith went to see the hardy old monarch about it. He found him not "at home." Like a haughty host, perhaps, thought Smith. But when he saw what an elaborate entertainment Pocahontas had gotten up for him, he decided that no slight was intended.

She, a child raised in a heathen sensual court, arranged a show for him and his four men at which Smith was astonished. Powhatan's warriors, she knew, would have been enchanted by the dance number put on by older girls to amuse the strangers. Pocahontas had heard her people wonder how it was that the English came without women, stayed a long time and yet got on[27] without them. Their pale women must have been too timid to come along, and they must be lonesome and bored without feminine allure around. Thirty girls wearing nothing but green leafy aprons pranced out of the woods, their bodies painted in various colors. Some wore antler's horns on their heads, and all were brandishing crude weapons that were less frightening than their wild contortions and fiendish yells. At first the men grabbed their own weapons in alert defense. The Englishmen were embarrassed by the brazen savage scene, and more so when the dancers ran to the woods to change to regular garb, for they now wound their arms about blushing necks, murmuring torridly "Lovest thou me? Lovest thou me?" "These nymphs the more tormented him than ever with crowding and pressing, hanging upon him, most tediously crying 'love you me,'" it was reported.

Pocahontas herself would have liked to ask John Smith that, for she knew that the welling adoration she had for him was growing faster than herself, and was something she would not put aside with childish fancies. She was sorry he was not pleased with today's entertainment, even when great platters of food were set before his men, and they were led to their rest by torches. He had business on his mind and looked relieved when Powhatan showed up in the morning.

"Your highness, our king across the seas lives in such grandeur as you can scarcely imagine. Newport tells me he was so troubled to find out that you did not have the sort of luxuries that befit a great werowance like yourself, that he sent back fine gifts for you."

"What then should a king have that I have not?"

"He wears a crown. A king is quite a fellow."

"Indeed. You speak the truth there. That is quite so."

"Come down to Jamestown and be crowned. We will be friends, and fight our common enemies the Monacans."

Powhatan looked him down cooly. "If your king has sent me presents, I also am a king and this is my land. Eight days will I stay here to receive them. Your father is to come to me, not I[28] to him, nor yet to your fort. Neither will I bite at such bait. As for the Monacans, I can revenge my own injuries."

There was no course left for Newport and Smith but to trudge twelve miles over land, while they sent the cumbersome presents by water. First they proffered the red suit and cloak which Powhatan tried on grudgingly. He knew that he could strut, even in incongruous rigging. His row of women admired him, putting him in an amiable mood.

"What is this ewer and basin for?"

"Ablutions, Majesty."

His hands were quite clean, but he rinsed them to show that he could use such fixings. If a European peddler had been opening his bag, the chief could not have looked more dubious about purchases.

At last they approached with the crown.

"Please kneel, sire."

Indeed he would not an inch, not so much as a notch on a stick. Stiff as a stalk he stood, but every inch a ruler, defiant in the passing wind. Smith had already observed that he had never seen such majesty in any creature.

"It is customary for our monarchs to kneel. They are in a great church. A man of God anoints them."

"Your O'Kee?"

"His minister. It is not at all humiliating."

"Captain Smith's God?"

"Not mine alone. All believers, sire."

"I am not a believer."

"Will you kneel, sire?"

"A king kneels to none."

They must grin and bear it, so did both. As Smith described it: "At last by leaning hard on his shoulders he a little stooped, and Newport put the crown on his head."

It was awry, and more so as a pistol shot succeeded by a volley from the ship, made Powhatan spring up in an unkingly panic. "What is that?"

"A salute of honor to a king just crowned or born."

[29]"I don't like it. I was born before any of you, if not crowned," he muttered grumpily, settling back on his throne. As a last disdainful thrust, he handed over his discarded cloak and moccasins. "Perhaps your king might like these." His eyes added: "To show how we dress up over here." Smith caught it.

On April tenth, 1608 Newport took away the mighty fallen Wingfield and the rebuked Archer. Ten days later Captain Nelson arrived with one hundred and two colonists and sufficient provisions for those on hand as well as for his own passengers. On his return trip he took off John Martin, a veteran colonist, who had cooled lately to Smith's blustering personality.

Smith got his punishment from nature as well as from people. In June he was bitten by a stingray fish while he was spearing it. He was so beside himself with pain that he jumped into the water to cool his agony. His companions were pessimistically preparing his grave without reckoning on his vitality. In a short while he had recovered not only his nerve but even his appetite, and by supper time he was eating that very fish and chuckling about it.

Usually, it was the others who were down, and he who had the situation entirely in hand. He made sure that the Indians always supposed that all was well whether it was or not. When the others on the boat were prostrate with illness, he covered them with a tarpaulin. Then, for the wily deception of the red enemy along the shores, he contrived a clever ruse. He stuck his mens' hats up on sticks like scarecrows, and he fastened the oars along the boat so that the intimidated Indians kept at a cautious and unobservant distance.

When he got back, he found that his own prestige in Jamestown was increasing inversely as that of Ratcliffe tottered. Ratcliffe's position as President had so gone to his head that he was having a palace built for himself. Smith stopped it in mid-air when he came back and heard other colonists hoot at their leader's silly pretensions.

When he returned on September seventh he found Jamestown the worse for his absence as well as for wear. At long last he was made President, on the tenth. He resented the London Company's[30] complaints of the sorely tried colonists. The Company had threatened that if Newport did not bring back sufficient cargo this fall to pay his two thousand pounds of expenses that it would abandon the colony. In hot haste, Smith dispatched a scathing reply, and this fortified his gathering and overdue popularity. He stood in with the Indians better than others did, and he believed in friendly and adroit relations with them when possible. Leadership brought out his prime qualities: his zest for adventure, his hardihood for physical trials, and his bravery to the arrow's point. He believed in discipline and hard work, and calling to mind the strict habits of his school days, he made the sloven and surly bachelors walk-a-chalk. If they swore, water was dashed down their sleeves. They must brush their clothes, wash their hands, sing psalms daily—and like it! He thought this discordant group needed harmony as well as guidance every rousing morning. Mindful of God, the church was repaired; mindful of Mammon, too, the storehouse was covered. Early Virginia was more Puritan than it pretended. Smith also had the fort increased by three acres and had a pentagon made of it. He had men getting cedar, walnut and clapboard for buildings.

Newport brought in the second supply in October 1608, and with it many changes. Two women were among the passengers—Mrs. Forrest and her maid, Anne Burras. When the latter became the bride of John Laydon, colonists saw their first recorded marriage on this side of the world.

That October the harvest had not been plentiful so they were cheered by the prospect of a new business venture. They had sent word that they had the proper ingredients on hand with which to start a new glass works: tar, pitch and soap-ashes. Accordingly eight Dutchmen and Poles, who were skilled in the craft, were among the passengers. The Glass House soon took its bright stand, like a jewel in the wilderness, about a mile down the forest from James Fort. Within two months glass was shipped back, although not very profitably.

Another bright and futile dream bedazzled the lazier colonists—gold. Smith, having given up the search, was disgusted[31] with men who would do nothing but "dig gold, wash gold, refine gold, and load gold," and he scolded them soundly for sending the gilded dirt to England in April where it was properly dismissed as mica. "For the country was to them a misery, a ruin, a death, a hell, and their own reports here, and their own actions according."

Smith and Newport were told by their credulous patrons to hunt up the lost colonists of Roanoke, for lost brothers, like lost sheep, should be reclaimed. Powhatan had told Smith of white men who were attired like himself and who were now abiding in Ocanahawan, so Smith had already recorded that on his map. Captain Newport now made an expedition to Panawick, a village beyond Roanoke Island, but his Indian guide led him astray. In December of 1608 Smith led another expedition and sent Master Sicklemore and two guides to seek the lost colonists, but Indians merely showed them some crosses and letters on the bark of trees.

While Newport and Ratcliffe returned to England at the end of December, Smith enjoyed a Christmas holiday with the Indians near Kecoughtan without envy of English Yule Logs, plum puddings and traditional celebrations. He entered into the native merriment heartily. Here was shining snow, frost and cedar, as well as delicious oysters, fish, flesh and wild fowl. He declared that he "never had better fires in England than in the dry, smoky houses of Kecoughtan." Smith knew however that Powhatan was becoming envious of the English way of life if he was not, so he was on his way with fourteen men to build a house for the Emperor.

Powhatan had wanted to gird himself with more and more English trappings, and he requested a cock, a hen and a grindstone. How about a coach-and-four, such as he heard their king had? Most of all he had wanted an English house, for nothing less than sheltering walls could keep off the threat of guns, of which he was so afraid.

Smith already had some German house builders on hand. Instead of having them build a house for himself, he, the great white father, turned them over to the great red father. It was not[32] such a sacrifice, for Smith knew himself to be a born wanderer on the face of the earth. He could do without his own roof, as without his own woman, more easily than could most men. Tragabigzanda, his Turkish angel who had left him in her brother's keeping for a while, had been wasting her pains. Likewise, if young Pocahontas here had designs upon him, she must give them up before hero-worship developed into something too mature and possessive. He was his own man and that of no woman alive.

Smith was embarrassed not so much by indebtedness to the Indian maid as by apprehension of her adoration. His best gratitude to her who had saved his life would be to leave her hers without involving it. What irony that she, like most women, appreciated him too much, while men, who would do better than women to follow him, appreciated him too little! The time was coming when he should move on to new worlds to conquer, for he and his men here could never see eye to eye.

Much less could he and Powhatan. Powhatan, he admitted, had talked to him with simple eloquence: "Think you I am simple not to know it is better to eat good meat, lie well and sleep quietly with my women and children, laugh and be merry with you, have copper, hatchets, or what I want, be your friend; than be forced to fly from all, to lie cold in the woods, feed upon acorns, roots and such trash, and be so hunted by you that I can neither rest, eat, nor sleep, but my tired man must watch and if a twig but break every one cry: 'There comes Captain Smith.' Then must I fly I know not whither, and thus with miserable fear end my miserable life?"... "What no guns, no swords? The copper hatchets you made are of no use to me and my people. We can eat our corn, but not your copper."

Smith reminded him that he had sent the Germans to build a house. Powhatan said, "If you are such friends of ours, why do you not lay down your arms in our presence? That is our custom."

Smith stuck to his guns. Then he changed the subject. How would Powhatan like a kettle which spewed steam out of its snout? Powhatan did bite at such bait after all.

Not having secured as much corn from Powhatan as he had[33] hoped, Smith now decided to tackle Opechancanough. He challenged the Indian to individual combat, being well aware that the old chief had been impressed with the three Turk's heads on his shield. Cringingly he offered to heap up all the corn demanded. Smith now snatched him by his long lock, and then appropriated bow and arrow. "You promised to freight my ship ere I departed, and so you shall; or I mean to load her with your dead carcasses." Before he left there, he held his pistol at the chief's breast, and led him meekly among his own forces, making him fill his bark with twenty tons of corn.

Still, it was not by parrying words with Powhatan, nor weapons with his brother, that he secured essential food, but by the loving mercy of Pocahontas. That frail and loyal bond between them saved the colonists. She had seemed like the goddess of the maize, bearing corn to them.

With braver mercy still, she stole through the woods at night to tell Smith of the plot which her father was contriving with the aid of the treacherous foreigners whom he had sent to build a house for Powhatan. Powhatan was about to have a gala feast spread for Smith and his men, but in the morning when they slept stupidly after too much food and drink, Powhatan's men would descend upon them and kill.

Smith, now prepared, made the bearers of Powhatan's treacherous bounty taste every dish before he did, and again he escaped, guarding his appetite and his life.

Between February and May of 1609 a well was dug, forty acres were cleared and planted in corn, the church was covered, and twenty new cabins were erected. A blockhouse was built at the isthmus, and a new fort was reared opposite Jamestown. Food was still scarce, however, and rats consumed most of the corn crop. Believing that it was best to keep in with the Indians, Smith induced some Englishmen to live with the natives. Desperately he sent others to the oyster banks to prevent starvation, but the queer diet was unhealthy, and made the skin peel from their bodies.

News of these dire conditions got to London and alienated[34] the Company to Smith, whose enemies had talked effectively against him. The stockholders were already displeased with the lack of profit from Virginia, so they decided to appoint their treasurer, Sir Thomas Smith, as absentee President. Little did London care if the bitter colonists saucily wished him astride the mare which they had boiling in a stew, and if they saluted their fancy with impudent glee: "Sir Thomas!" The Company decided to dispatch Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers, followed by Lord Delaware who would get everything under control in Jamestown.

When Captain Samuel Argall, the privateer, turned up in July with letters from the Company criticizing Smith and telling of the third supply to be brought by Lord Delaware, Smith was embittered. A month later four ships of the supply came in early bearing—of all people—Smith's former enemies: Ratcliffe, Archer and Martin, all captains now. The Sea Venture and other ships had not been heard from, but Smith had had enough and he was hurt by lack of confidence in his command. He was thinking of returning to England anyhow before his enemies sped him on his way. An accident made up his mind for him.

While he was napping in the afternoon a keg of gunpowder exploded and set him on fire. Distracted with agony he jumped into the water to cool the burns. Much of his flesh was torn from his body and thighs. A hundred miles stretched between him and Jamestown, and thousands more to London, but there only he could get proper doctoring. Fortunately a ship was just leaving Jamestown which could and would take him on. Percy was the only one who could be persuaded to take his place, for even his enemies did not want it at this dubious stage.

Smith claimed that the colony now had three ships and seven boats, and many desirable commodities. There were provisions for ten weeks for the four hundred and ninety people, besides twenty-four pieces of ordnances, three hundred muskets, firelocks, shot, powder and match and swords. One hundred soldiers could speak the Indian language. There were six mares, horses, five hundred swine, hams, chickens, goats and sheep. He had done[35] his best, and it was no poor best. His friends agreed eloquently: "He made justice his first guide and experience his second, ever hating baseness, sloth, pride and indignity more than any dangers, that never allowed more for himself than for his soldiers with him, that upon no danger would send them where he would not lead them himself, that never see us want what he had or either could by any means get us, that would rather want than borrow, or starve than not pay, that loved action more than words, and hated falsehood and covetousness worse than death, whose adventures were our lives, and whose loss our deaths."

So Smith was out of sight, and for most out of mind. Such word of him as got to the Indians was that he was dead. Powhatan, who had feared and hated him when he was around, now defended him. "My daughter, you see how treacherous the white men are. The foolish palefaces have killed the best man whom they had."

Without Smith, the remaining whites fared worse with the Indians. Ratcliffe and others were slaughtered, and Archer died. The "Starving Time" which had set in during Smith's office was worse than at any period. An oatmeal thief had a bodkin thrust through his tongue. The most cruel man of all had chopped up his wife and salted the parts, consuming some, before he was caught and executed. Only sixty of five hundred people survived.

There was no way for them to know that the chief relief ship the Sea Venture had been tossed about at sea, and wrecked on the Bermuda shores, by a terrible storm. Shakespeare, on hearing of it, wrote his play the Tempest, moved by the drama of the storm, and the strange lull afterward on the balmy isles.





THE Sea Venture which had left England with one hundred and fifty passengers on June 2, 1609, had not only Sir Thomas Gates aboard, but an ordinary Englishman named John Rolfe and his wife. The lull after the storm which wrecked the ship off the Bermuda Isles was such a relief that they named their baby born there "Bermuda" after the island. She was baptized by the Reverend Richard Buck, who was to stand by John Rolfe on many occasions in the future. The burial of the baby was the next of these. Their sojourn on the healthy islands was a blessing to most of the refugees, although they were supposed dead by the Jamestown colonists, few of whom were surviving themselves during their "Starving Time" that winter and early spring.

Praying only for a safe arrival in Jamestown before long, they looked only that far ahead. John Rolfe did not anticipate that his wife would die soon. Sir George Somers did not foresee that he would come to an inglorious end on this very island many months hence from eating a surfeit of pig; and Sir Thomas Gates, the first absolute Governor of Virginia, did not know that his desperate decision on arrival at Jamestown would nearly end the colony, making it disappear in the mysterious trail of Roanoke Island, Elizabeth Island and St. George's Fort.

Resolutely these sanguine refugees saw that boats were built out of salvaged timbers from the wrecked ship, along with fresh and strong cedar from the Islands, and they put faith if not wind into the sails of the aptly named Patience and Deliverance.

The forlorn colonists at Jamestown could scarcely believe their eyes as the stalwart ships came up the river with their castaways a May morning in 1610. The sixty survivors on the shore[37] were too weak to fall in with any brave plans at this point, for plague, starvation and Indian enmity had had their will of them.

Gates landed with high hopes and high orders. He intended to establish a colony at a higher and healthier spot. He was going to keep looking for the Roanoke colonists, and yes, for gold, too, until the tottering ruin of Jamestown appalled him. People had gnawed on molded bread, eaten rats and snakes, and perhaps corpses. Listening to their tales of woe, he promised to take them away, for his food would only sustain them all for sixteen days here. Palisades were torn down, ports opened, gates ripped from their hinges, the church ruined—and it would have been bitterly deserted if it had been habitable. Gates declared martial law. The survivors with their pitiful possessions and small arms were gotten on board to the militant beating of drums. He saw that the heavier cannon were buried, and he was himself the last to board the ship, being afraid that the sullen colonists would set fire to what remained. He considered himself a good housekeeper, leaving his premises tidy for any who should come after, never dreaming that that would be of all people—himself.

He had sent the pinnace Virginia to pick up the guard at Point Comfort. After making six miles, they stopped for the night at Hog Island. In the morning they had travelled but eight more miles when they were baffled at sight of the white sails of the Virginia, which was heading toward them with an important message which reversed the course of western history. Lord Delaware was on his way with one hundred and fifty men to their rescue, and they must go meekly back to await his orders. They met this news with bad grace, but followed the directions.

Gates had his company duly standing in arms, and William Strachey, then Secretary of State, let his colors fall at his lordship's feet, as Delaware entered from the river that Sunday afternoon, falling on his knees to pray silently, on the threshold of the fort at the south gate. He passed on to the church where the Reverend Richard Buck preached.

Delaware was a man who got things done on week days as well as on Sundays, although he fastidiously kept to his quarters[38] on the ship after a look about at rotting Jamestown. He got houses mended, having rails put on leaking roofs, and Indian mats hung over drafty huts. He dealt with the Indians with short shrift, and he sent to seek gold once again. Not since John Smith's day had such an efficient leader hustled lazier men.

The chapel was made the most exalted place of worship yet seen over here. Pews, pulpit, and chancel were built of pungent cedar, and the deeper fragrance of fresh flowers cheered the colonists. The Communion table was built of walnut. Fifty men in bright red livery sat on either side of Delaware, or behind him, as he attended services. Two preachers took turns for two services on Sundays and for another on Thursday. Two bells in the west end of the chapel called all to prayer daily at ten and at four. Everybody and everything seemed on the mend but his lordship himself.

He did not have the stamina to endure this unhealthy climate. The flux, cramp, gout, scurvy and general debility sickened him so that he fled to the Island of Nevis for the cure, wanting to prescribe for himself in as modern and salubrious a manner as he had for the ailing colony. His cure was due to be sunshine, hot baths, balmy climate, oranges and lemons, a far cry from any at poor Jamestown, but winds and waves swept him to London sooner than he had planned.

He was briefly succeeded by Sir Thomas Dale, a grim disciplinarian. Dale was disgusted with the carefree bowling in the streets. He would have been more so a few years back had he seen the naked Pocahontas turning cart-wheels in these streets while the serving boys whirled in her trail, never quite keeping up with her—nor would he have liked the tall tobacco growing rampant in these streets, a few years hence at a time when food crops were needed. Dale believed in all work and no play—never mind dull boys. Houses, the storehouse, and the church needed repairs. Besides he ordered new buildings: a stable, a munition house, a powder house, fishhouse, a barn, a smith's forge, a clean well, and a wharf for landing goods.

He also built up two new towns. Bermuda City he named for the haven which the Sea Venture survivors had appreciated after[39] the tempest. After Gates became governor in 1611, Dale preferred to live in Henricopolis, which was situated on a higher and drier site than Jamestown enjoyed. It had three streets of well-framed houses, several having brick first stories. They had gardens and orchards, and more space than those in Jamestown.

By Christmas there was a pretty street in Jamestown itself which had a London look. There were "two fair rows of framed timber houses with upper garrets corn-loft high." Some had plaster on the lower framing and some weather boarding, while still others had shingle tiles which were hung from the battens across the posts. There was a blockhouse outside of town, the town itself being enclosed with a palisade.

Sir Thomas Gates who had arrived again in August of 1611 with six vessels and three hundred men, replacing Dale, had the "Country House" for governors built. It had a commanding view of the river, outside of the town limits.

Fine as these buildings were, they were constantly needing repair. A jealous Spanish spy declared in 1613 that the whole settlement could be kicked over. Spanish spies had been captured outside of Jamestown in 1611 and were kept there for several years.

Until 1612 Sir Thomas Smith, who was no kin of John, but who gave prestige to the name, being the most powerful merchant in London, had managed the colony by remote control, along with his docile council in England. Then a joint stock company began, being composed of the "court party" which urged martial law and the "patriot party." Sir Thomas Smith gradually veered from the patriot to the court party, leaving the former to brilliant Sir Edwin Sandys.

Samuel Argall, a cousin of Thomas Smith, had landed with Delaware earlier. In 1613 he was sent to capture fifteen Frenchmen who had left Nova Scotia to try a settlement in Mount Desert, Maine, and he brought them as prisoners to Jamestown.

That same year Argall became a frequent figure in the Pocahontas story.





POCAHONTAS, whose frantic questions had to be hushed with the lie that Smith was no more, now shunned the colony, and her pent-up adoration became a resentment against his people. It was as if he had been adopted into her tribe as well as her heart. A red woman, when she has given her heart, does not take it back. Her moods were more dark than bright, although with the braves and girls her own age she smiled and danced once in a while, like sunlight that would out in darkest woods at noon. A lovely maiden cannot remain woebegone too long, and Powhatan's people, especially those eager for his favor, did their merriest to scatter her dark moods.

She was visiting in the house of Chief Japazaws when he made a deal with the English of which she was not aware. Captain Argall, whose ship was anchored nearby, had dangled a copper kettle so temptingly in front of Japazaws and his greedy squaw that they could not wait until it spewed steam on their hearth. Captain Argall wanted Pocahontas as a hostage to exchange for English prisoners whom Powhatan had detained too long. That would be easy, agreed Japazaws, for she used to like the English and was grieving even now for their John Smith. After some pouting, she would be happy as a lark sailing down the river with the English in their great canoe.

"I have never been on a ship in my life," the artful squaw begged her spouse. "Captain said he would show it to me."

"Go where you like," shrugged Japazaws.

"Why don't you?" added Pocahontas indifferently.

"Not by myself—the only woman! Besides, I do not know those palefaces. You used to know them right well, Pocahontas. Come along."

[41]Pocahontas complied, but she appeared listless as she went over the ship while the squaw squealed with delight at everything she saw. At dinner Pocahontas did not notice that drunken Japazaws pressed gleefully on Argall's toes. "She's as good as yours."

Afterwards she was looking over the guns in the gun-room, and thinking how Powhatan would have coveted them, when she was told that the chief and his squaw had skipped off of the ship, guiltily swinging their kettle between them.

When she found herself a prisoner, she pulled such a long face, that the English gentlemen felt quite contrite, and every man of them henceforth did his best to cheer her, especially John Rolfe.

John Rolfe was not beholden to the Company for bringing him here, and he carried his own weight in all general endeavors, as well as in his personal projects. He was a far cry from the pampered aristocrats whose idling and futile digging for fool gold had annoyed Captain John Smith. He hailed from the sturdy British farming class, which could come through a Bermuda ship-wreck or a Jamestown disaster in that time, as well as they could a Dunkirk or a "blitz" in the twentieth century. Having arrived with Gates in a prudently salvaged ship, he left with Gates when the Jamestown outpost seemed untenable. He also returned with Gates at Delaware's reinforcement. He, for one, determined to make a go of it, although after his wife's death he was the loneliest of all the bachelor colonists. He sublimated his grief in hard work, and soon in a shrewd project which was to be of value to the colony as well as to his personal fortunes.

He knew instinctively the wisdom of the dying farmer who told his sons that they could dig for their heritage and treasure in the lands on which they lived. If others had heeded such a fable, they would have warmed on the trail of wealth for the colony. In Rolfe's case this was not merely profitable production of the land, but of the specific and prime crop for Virginia—tobacco. He put his finger on the business pulse of the new world. Here was the pot of gold at the foot of Columbus's rainbow; here was the gold for which the laziest colonists had wasted time[42] prospecting elsewhere. For most of the next two centuries tobacco would be virtually coin of the realm. With it a man would pay the preacher, buy a wife, set her up in fine style, and then be taxed according to the degree of that style, paying in tobacco.

Rolfe was the first tobacconist. In 1610 an excellent plant was imported from Trinidad. Later, another from Venezuela was transported here, and cross-breeding was tried. He had seeds from Bermuda, and he was willing to learn from Indians about what they knew of the soil, and its cultivation. Like a good cook he savored his own product. He sensed that the Indians had none of the earnest industry of his own thrifty family who made the most of every tended acre in England, for they craved only so-so tobacco for their own pipes. This "apooke" was harsh, and English smokers preferred the West Indies product. He was going to improve it until England clamored for its import. Tobacco was a better crop than corn, a more valuable export than mica, lumber, iron, pitch, tar, walnut or cedar. It was more profitable than the mulberry trees which were supposed to produce silk. Rats ate the silk worms, and neither foreign teachers nor statutes could make the silk business succeed. The Glass House never satisfied investors. Yes, tobacco was the thing, and he was keenly on its scent. Within two years he and his neighbors were sending their product to England.

Meanwhile he "looked around," and was one of those Johns who could speak for himself. He could not do without a woman, any more than John Smith could have done with one. When he saw the slim and pensive prisoner, Pocahontas, he was susceptible at first glance, although he admitted that there were plenty of Christians more pleasing to the eye, and he tried to convince himself that he was more concerned for her soul than for her heart. Like an eighteen-year-old schoolgirl she was learning the language and the catechism from the Reverend Alexander Whitaker, and as a devout layman Rolfe was happy to enlighten her.

Three months after she had been taken as a hostage Powhatan did return the seven Englishmen and three muskets and he promised five hundred bushels of corn. The English did not want[43] to give Pocahontas up until they got more arms from Powhatan, and Rolfe and Whitaker did not want to surrender her until they were sure of her becoming the first convert on this side of the world.

Rolfe craved her in marriage with an intensity that troubled his mind no less than his heart, and his conscience was more sorely beset than either, for no one else had risked marriage with the alien race, so why should he of all people, the most religious and ambitious man in the lot? His course seemed brave to him—"to sweep and make clean the path wherein I walk, from all suspicions and doubts." He wrote to Governor Dale about the "grounds and principal agitations which thus should provoke me to be in love."

He still had no compunctions about being impure. "Nor am I in so desperate an estate that I regard not what becometh of me, nor am I out of hope one day to see my country, not so void of friends, nor mean in birth, but there to obtain a match to my great content." Rolfe believed that he was not "led with unbridled desire of carnal affection; but for the good of this plantation; for the honor of our country; for the glory of God; for my own salvation; and for the converting to the true knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, an unbelieving creature, namely Pocahontas, to whom my heart is and best thoughts are, and have a long time been so entangled, and inthralled in so intricate a labyrinth, that I was ever awearied to unwind myself thereout."

Rolfe confessed his heart's erring with the local preacher as well as the Governor. Both surprised him by thinking it a good thing. Governor Dale thought it would be a love match between the races.

The preacher said: "Don't worry about being unequally yoken with an unbeliever. That one is easy. Convert the heathan." He thought that it would be a feather in his cap to baptize, and later to marry the girl to Rolfe, and not too flamboyant a feather in Rolfe's to marry her. Powhatan would be immensely pleased, although he would never admit it.

All these doubts that had tormented the distraught John made him more bewilderingly in love with this dusky sweetheart.[44] It was April, and redbud blushed through the forest, promising another spring. What that dogwood drifted tardily along in its trail, pure white, and sure of itself? For most men dogwood is synonymous of spring in Virginia, but to him redbud bloomed first, and the more persuasively of spring. To John Rolfe, this comely maid with gentler manners than habitual in her race, yet with warm bloom belonging to this land and this moment, seemed enchanting.

As for Pocahontas, having grieved for that other John two winters, how could she think of another? She had been immature then and destiny had moved him beyond her reach, indeed if he had ever been within it. This man, too, had known grief. The English, unlike Indian men, desired and valued but one woman. There was an empty place in his life now that she would fill, for she too was lonely.

Sir Thomas Dale had sailed up the York River with Captain Argall, hoping to retrieve arms from Powhatan, but without success. John Rolfe was now sent to deal with Powhatan but he got no closer to him than his brother, Opechancanough.

While they were arguing with the Indians, John Rolfe's friend, Ralph Hamor, handed Rolfe's long letter to Dale explaining his confusing love for the Indian princess. Meanwhile Pocahontas went ashore and told a few choice Indians of her new romance. She said that if her father had loved her, he would value her more than old swords and axes. Therefore she would live instead with the English, who loved her. If there had been a flag for bold romance it should have whipped in the breeze along the James River, together with the red cross of St. George at the masthead. Now the fanfaron was of trumpets, drums, guns, and clapping hands, but soon wedding-bells would call the tune.

Pocahontas considered herself a grown woman now, and free to go her own way. This marriage would be an omen of peace, a union of peoples as well as persons. She anticipated it happily, knowing that it would be an exciting affair for her own people, and a nostalgic one for the colonists, who had seen but little[45] romance here. She was baptized and given the Christian name of "Rebecca" the week before the nuptials.

It was as she surmised. Powhatan was gratified and he could scarcely keep from showing it, but he did not deign to come to Jamestown for such a foreign ceremony. If he had not gone to get himself crowned, why should he go to see his daughter married? Nevertheless, he sent his brother Apachisco to represent him, for Opechancanough would not flatter the English by attending, eager as he was to see the goings-on. Powhatan also sent two of his sons and some other young people to participate, and these added a colorful note to the scene.

The wedding itself was the most paintable scene yet staged in the wilderness, and an idealistic picture of it has hung in American homes ever since. In the wooden church stood guests of international prestige. The picture shows Don Diego de Molina, a Spanish grandee and Argall's French prisoners. Governor Dale, ranking highest, wore full regalia: doublet, ballooning breeches, and stockings with ribbon at the knee. The strange and haunting romance of the scene lingers with those not there, for Pocahontas herself was the most romantic figure in American history. Her sleek black hair dropped upon an Indian mantle which was embroidered in the native fashion, but the dress was of demure white muslin. Her tawny skin had a ruddy glow, and her eyes, as they met Rolfe's showed shining trust, for they intended to live together "civilly and lovingly."

The couple went to live at Varina which was named for the strain of tobacco which Rolfe raised there. He was the sort of bridegroom, who soon forgot the honeymoon, and measured his love in support and proud surroundings.

Governor Dale, impressed with their success, sent an emissary to Powhatan. His house was surrounded by two hundred bowmen, but he offered a friendly pipe of peace, and asked why the messenger did not wear the pearl chain, due to be worn by any messenger between the two leaders. "How is my brother?" he asked. "How do my daughter and her husband live, love and like?"

"Your brother is well, and your daughter is so contented that[46] she would not live again with you." Answering why he had come, the messenger said: "Sir Thomas Dale hath sent you two pieces of copper, five strings of blue and white beads, five wooden combs, two fish-hooks, a pair of knives, and when you will send for it, he will give you a grindstone."

Glad to live on their own ample acres provided by Powhatan, but left to themselves, the couple were happy and prosperous. Pocahontas swam, fished, hunted, and roamed her woods. Housekeeping was easier for her than for other squaws, for she had not only a solicitous and helpful husband, but English household goods. Their son Thomas was born in 1615, and he too thrived here.

After a while she became piqued with her preoccupied spouse, who kept planting, and improving tobacco crops, having advanced beyond the rugged Indian agriculture which she had taught him. Indians planted merely enough for their own pipes, and those of a circle of friends, while John Rolfe wanted a bigger and better crop each year. The seedlings were transplanted, thinned and cured as Pocahontas had taught but with added pains that made the product sweet rather than bitter. Soon hogsheads of tobacco were being rolled off his wharf for shipment to England, which rewarded him for his thrifty work. When he got coin of the realm in exchange, he intended to heap it in her aproned lap, but the ex-Princess was tired of aprons, and craved something else besides coin out of England.

If tobacco of the Rolfe plantation rolled the seas, why not its charming young mistress, who was eager to see the land of John Smith? As she hoped, Sir Thomas Dale invited the Rolfes to come along on his trip, thinking they would make a fine advertisement for the London Company. Just in case they looked too fine, he also took along a savage troop.

Powhatan was more dubious about this than he had been about the marriage, wanting to keep his bold daughter where he could keep an eye on her. But finally he consented, provided that she have several of her own along, and her sister, her brother-in-law Tacomoco, and Uttamatomakkin. Powhatan told this man[47] to make notches on sticks for every white he saw over there. He was not too hospitable a host over on this side, and he would like to get an idea of how many guests were to be expected in his western world, just in case there was a wholesale exodus from England.





WHILE away from Virginia Smith had kept up with its happenings, if Virginia had not of his own. He kept talking it up with missionary fervor as a place of settlement. "The mildness of the air, the fertility of the soil, and the situation of the rivers are so propitious to the nature and the use of man as no place is more convenient for pleasure, profit and man's sustenance." In England he could chuckle at the complaints against other leaders. Since he had been blamed for rigid discipline, he was amused at Dale's martial law. The death penalty was given for telling lies, blasphemy, gaming or even picking a flower in another's garden, or in one's own if on the Sabbath. Failing to attend church or trade with the Indians was as severely punished, but lesser offenses got merely whipping or mutilation. He could have told them that a fine gentleman such as Delaware would not stick it out over there. It seemed to him that neither he nor his men had had a fair chance in Virginia, for after two years of toil and trials, they had no gold, silver, nor quantity of fur, tar, pitch and hemp, and little glass. Yet they had gone without women, drink and entertainment, wealth, even food and shelter at times, and they had seen their companions drowned, scalped or starved.

Yes, Smith was very much alive on his side of the great salt waters, Powhatan to the contrary. He still yearned for Virginia. When he had left he had been cut to the quick that his righteous authority was questioned by the sending over of his former enemies—captains all—and the haughty governor, and other new officers to follow. His pride was sorer than his burns.

Denied southern Virginia, he began to crave the northern coast which stretched to the present Nova Scotia. While fifteen[49] voyages had traced it already, the plan outlined by the second company had not been successful. "As I liked Virginia well, though not their proceedings, so I desired to see this country and spend some time in trying what I could find." He scurried about Plymouth and London until he found backing and two ships were loaded and manned for him. In spite of his short stature, and mediocre lineage, he was every inch their commander as he took his stand high on the poop deck, although he allowed another to run the ship. He had a high brow, his long hair sweeping back from the temples. Easily annoyed, furrows soon wrinkled his forehead. A hint of scorn ran in the line from flaring nostril to mouth. He could be tough or tender, furious, or exultant, but never niggardly nor lugubrious. His features have engraved themselves facilely on the American mind, as hero, and founding father, although his enemies begrudged him the honor.

After two eventful voyages to the Northern coast, he wrote The Description of New England. His boyhood friend and patron, the present Lord Willoughby, lived with the royal family and Smith easily secured the help of Prince Charles. Smith indulgently let the Prince give English names to the coast which he had already decided to name "New England." On the title page of the book he was heralded as "Admirall of New England."

Just as his book appeared Smith heard in London that a letter from Sir Thomas Dale declared that Dale and his party from Virginia were in Plymouth awaiting a favorable wind before continuing to London. Captain Argall had brought them over on the Treasurer. So ... Smith's colorful past had caught up with him, and he recognized this as good luck. The exciting arrival from the other side of the world was a windfall for him, even if he could not get to either of the Virginias. Publicity would be opportune for the sale of his book.

He was not entirely mercenary, and he was deeply grateful to Pocahontas who had saved his life, and the perilous colony besides. Now it could all be told. He must advise Queen Anne, King James' wife, that it would help the Virginia plantation if Pocahontas was received like royalty. Londoners had known of[50] the marriage for a year, but they had never heard of Pocahontas and John Smith—only of Pocahontas and John Rolfe. When the council for Virginia in London heard of that marriage they had debated solemnly whether Rolfe should be tried for treason. Smith was possibly jealous that Rolfe had hit upon a practical export from Virginia, if not because he had married Powhatan's daughter. An idealist, and a soldier-adventurer, he scorned financial success, at least when it was not his own, and that was usually.

Actually John Rolfe was the independent and industrious colonist for whom Smith had longed, wanting such a one to stay busy in Jamestown while he, Smith, did the exploring. Both had been essential to the colony, the one as path-finder, and the other as planter and producer. Pocahontas, who loved both, would have been baffled by their incompatibility had the two men been thrown together, but fate kept them out of each other's way, and denied both for long to hers, or to the colony's.

Smith found it easier to make England bow to the Rolfes than to himself. Pocahontas became the most distinguished visitor of the year in England. While she could not speak the King's English glibly, she could conduct herself as the daughter of a king. London gentlemen of the court sent engravings of her picture to friends around the world, as if to say with a flourish: "Look whom we have here!"

Uttamatomakkin preferred to impress the English with diabolic antics. People at the landing in Plymouth and also in London thought the savages a circus, but not so the stately Pocahontas.

From the moment she walked off the boat, she moved with a strange new majesty that baffled her own husband as much as others. How could a mere man explain the unaccountable poise which a clever woman could affect in the most unfamiliar setting?

In their own modest lodgings, Rolfe could scarcely keep off curiosity seekers, especially fine lords in elaborate dress who cantered into the cobblestone court and called for Madame Rolfe.

John Rolfe bowed low, contending that Madame was indisposed after her trip, and could not see strangers, no matter of[51] what importance. He would not have them mocking his strange, proud wife. Yet when she met the same lords at balls, he was surprised to find himself in an humble, obscure place in the background. A snobbish Britisher, he was secretly proud of her, though his eyes smouldered occasionally with resentment at some snobbery to himself. It was enough to turn the impressionable woman's head, but he told himself she was at heart a sincere sweet thing.

John Rolfe heard that the King thought that he had aspirations to become Powhatan's heir, and as such James's rival over there, and for that reason was snubbing him to keep him in his place.

John Smith, very much alive after all, was just out of three weeks in jail where he had been put for fancying himself king of Virginia. Because he should show his gratitude, he thought that England should show hers, and that the latter was good business, he wrote a "little book" to the Queen telling her how things were. Now, for the first time he told her of the rescue, hitherto kept secret by his discretion. Queen Anne just must do the right thing by Powhatan's girl.

He wrote of how, when he had but eighteen men with him, Pocahontas came to warn him of her father's plot, and "the dark night could not affright her from coming through the irksome woods and with watered eyes, gave me intelligence with her best advice to escape his fury, which had he known, he had surely slain her. Jamestown with her wild train, she as freely frequented as her father's habitation; and during the time, two or three years, she, next under God, was still the instrument to preserve this colony from death, famine, and utter confusion."

The queen was duly persuaded, commanding, "Bring her on." All the court was as keen as the people in the street to get a close-up view of the tamed Pocahontas and her wild retinue. Fastidious Anne saw that these kept their distance, but she offered her plump, white, jewelled hand to Pocahontas.

"What do you mean, Mr. Rolfe," King James scolded John, "by marrying a princess of the blood, you, a mere commoner?"

[52]Royal society tittered behind its hands. Was the king pulling poor John's leg, or was he really jealous of his share of Powhatan's realm? After all, John Smith had been put in jail recently. Rolfe had imported quite a fortune in tobacco, and he had been no fool in marrying Powhatan's daughter who did him honor as Lady Delaware presented her.

"Captain Smith wrote me of your indispensable aid to our forlorn colony, my Lady Rebecca, and I thank you for all my people. For myself, I would say, now that I see how pretty you are, I wonder that John did not speak for himself."

"I was a child when I saved the brave Captain," murmured Pocahontas modestly.

She felt here like the princess whose fairy-tale had come true in climactic palace scenes. There was more of a kind to come because she was now the fashion—having her portrait painted, and numerous engagements sought after. The Bishop of London gave a masquerade ball in her honor, at which she danced with court celebrities. The Bishop, John King, whom Queen Elizabeth had called the "king of preachers," never honored a lady more. Her brother-in-law Tacomoco looked on with more pride than Rolfe, who was too much of a provincial Puritan to enjoy court circles, especially those at which he was improperly snubbed. He was repeatedly confounded by his wife's poise. They went to "Twelfth Night," other theatrical occasions, and one masqued ball after another. Pocahontas's acquiline features were as inscrutable as Mona Lisa's. Powdered and painted, dressed up like an English lady in small tailored hats, and billowing swishing skirts, she kept her face the very mask of fashion, concealing its Indian thoughts.

"The Masque of Christmas" was attended by King James, Queen Anne and Pocahontas. There the queen danced with the Earl of Buckingham and the Earl of Montgomery and Pocahontas had her noble partners too.

In February she would attend the "Masque of Lovers Made Men" as would the King and Queen. The Lord Mayor would be[53] there as well as the Duke of Lenox and Lord Hay, the entertainment being in honor of the French ambassador.

Rolfe, piqued at his own unimportance at these festive occasions, wrote a political and economic treatise on the colony. Pocahontas objected to any plans for an early return home.

The Lady Rebecca liked London, even though the foggy climate was giving her a hacking cough that worried Rolfe, who wanted her to get on to the country to meet his family. Neither rolling wagons and carriages on the cobblestone street, nor roistering revellers downstairs beneath their lodgings disturbed her, she said.

Naïve, ordinary Indians did not admit themselves so pleased as she was. John Smith ran into Uttamatomakkin in London.

"Powhatan did bid me to find you out to show me your God, the King, Queen, and Prince, you so much told us of."

"God is not to be seen by human eye. The King you have seen. And the rest you shall see when you choose."

The Indian shook his head. "Nay, not yet have I seen the King."

"You did see him, just yesterday," insisted Smith.

"He did not look as much like a king as our Powhatan. And he didn't give me a present. You gave Powhatan a white dog, which Powhatan fed as himself; but your king gave me nothing, and I am better than your white dog." He had long since given up counting white men since he was quickly weary of that task.

Smith could not do anything about that, but he could and did go calling on the Rolfes, having no idea that Pocahontas considered him long under the sod. He knew that now as the pet of society in London, she must have changed, but he had not known how much, and he was impressed with her formal appearance when he went to Brentford to see her.

"The Lady Rebecca!" he greeted her with a flourishing bow.

Suddenly the Lady Rebecca in her stiff, swishing London costume vanished, and only a forlorn little maid was left. Her beating heart, like her frivolous London mood, nearly stopped with pain at this spectre from the past! There stood the one she[54] had thought dead, come alive, too late to be alive for her. She who had saved him, and lost him, had found him too late, once again—or was it? Her heart seemed bare and wounded, although she was not disillusioned in the stocky figure in the shabby clothes of this man who was old in his thirties, because he had lived too many lives in one. His figure was paunchy and his eyes bloodshot, but she was blind to imperfections in her hero, for she saw him only in the colors of her caressing brush. He had come true in the make-believe world where he was the greatest wonder of all for the little princess, but this boon which she craved most was probably not for her.

"They told me you were dead," she muttered dully.

She rushed from the room, and it took her hours to compose herself. When she would have flung her arms about his neck, his cool English eyes had reproved her, calling her rebellious heart to a halt. For her there should be retreat from the Captain, who always had everything under control, including his own heart. Hers was bleeding unstaunched, for a red woman, when she has given her heart does not take it back. What they call Indian-giving was not the heart of Pocahontas, for its pulse measured out time, that of a country and its founder, if not of herself.

She was not aged, pious and resigned like Moses looking into unobtainable Canaan. She was a young, wild thing, untamed and hopeful yet.

When she came back she had washed away her hot tears, powdered and painted her face, trying to match her stiff London clothes. She was like a bird with its gay feathers taut and drawn, winging away no more ... unless some merciful human opened a window. She reproached him, looking as sad as if death was in the house, as it was in her heart.

"They did always tell us that you were dead, and I did not know that you were not until after I came to England. Only Powhatan did not believe that you were, and ordered Tacomoco to seek you out because he said your people always lie so much."

He smiled, silent for once, and she went on hurting him who had hurt her so much. "You promised Powhatan that what was[55] yours should be his, and he promised the same to you. You called him yours when you were a stranger in his country, and now that I am here in yours, I will call you 'Father'."

Again he thrust her shameless heart back behind her London lady's mask. "You mustn't do that. You are a king's daughter, and I am a poor man looking for a boat."

She reproached him yet again. "You were not afraid to go into my father's country and put fear into all his people but myself." Perfect love, she knew casteth out fear—with the simple wisdom of a child of a childish people. "But now you are afraid to let me call you father. I tell you that I will, and that you shall ever call me your child, and remember that you and I are of one people, and that we are fellow countrymen."

"I cannot, Lady Rebecca Rolfe." He, master of every situation put her in her place in this.

Ah, if one of her could walk demurely down the dull road to "Heacham Hall," clinging to John Rolfe's arm, and keep on with him to "Varina" near Powhatan, bearing other descendants for the pride of Rolfe and Powhatan, but if the other could wing away with Smith going far places! Tragabigzanda had tried to keep him in chains for herself; Pocahontas had saved him only to lose him. He was a man belonging to the world, but to no woman.

She had to be the staid English housewife, not the princess of the wild woods. As she had her wild dreams of a different way out, she looked into his sea-faring blue eyes, and found there no response, only respect for Anglo-Saxon domestic respectability.

"You are the Lady Rebecca, the toast of London."

Toast, that should be a foaming, intoxicating drink, not a staid, insipid dose. She was a sick woman, but even sicker at heart.

"It is not seemly that a poor explorer be familiar with a lady of your position."

Position, she would snap her fingers at it! She wanted yesterday in Virginia fields where the corn tassels tossed in the sunny breeze, or an impossible dazzling tomorrow, but must take dull today. She was in Christian London, where the bells in the church spires chimed monotonously, chastening the savage din in her ears.

[56]She snatched up small Tom who had been gazing at the captain who had strode out of a story book into the room. They left the two men to their boasting—Rolfe of his tobacco crop in the new world, Smith of newer worlds he would set out to conquer.

So John Smith passed out of Pocahontas' life more finally than he had before, because he went deliberately. The hand of death was definitely upon her, not upon him, the more so because she scarcely resisted it. Her Christian resignation, more like that of an elderly saint, than a youthful worldling now gratified, now confounded her serious husband. Gone was her gay delight in the adulation of the London populace, and the frivolity of the court, which he had long since deplored. She had not minded the late hours, the murky London atmosphere, worsening her cough; nor the noise of the cobblestone streets, nor the roisterers beneath their lodgings before, but now she was as weary of London as he was.

She was meekly ready to accompany him to "Heacham Hall," his family's seat in Norfolk, where the sunny air seemed to him the healthiest atmosphere for a cough like hers. While his doubts about mating with a strange woman were long past, he wanted to set the seal of his family's approval upon her. Had there been any doubt about that, news of her London reception had dispelled it.

Sister Pocahontas was not nearly so savage as they had feared, and her amenability to their tutelage gratified their provincial vanity. She was willing to learn how primly a Rolfe wife should fold her hands in church of a Sabbath morning, and tastefully gather roses and stocks from the flower borders to arrange them in the parlor mantel vases. It was important too, to sew a fine seam, or mend to the last thread. Adept needle-women themselves, the Rolfe sisters made a picture in needlepoint of Pocahontas and little Tom. She would learn how to bake a steak and kidney pie, or a goodly pound cake as John liked it.

Strange that whatever they subsisted on over there agreed with John and little Tom, and after a while John decided that[57] nothing else except Virginia air would revive his ailing wife. She was not acclimated to this small, neat isle. Only when she rode horseback, as she had longed to do, reining in beside the trim stable back of the substantial stone house was there the wild gay vein in her eyes that had ever led him where she would. Then she had raced away a while from the broken health and the broken heart.

Soon she was too ill for the rides, and Rolfe arranged passage on Argall's boat, The George, which was embarking from Gravesend. Its pitiful passenger was immediately on her deathbed, where her resignation and Christian testimony inspired the beholders: the ministering foreign women and the men, Argall and Rolfe reading scriptures. She was buried beneath the chancel at St. George's Church where her dust rests, some think, out of place.





ARGALL'S ship had put into Gravesend to have Pocahontas buried in St. George's Church. The vestry-book recorded her name erroneously: "Rebecca Wrothe, Wyffe of Thomas Wrothe, a Virginia-lady born here was buried in ye chancell." While the faded writ remains wrong to this day, it was preciously bound in white leather and kept in a vault, and the church building therefore became a shrine, although the argument as to where she lies there, or whether she should be brought here will be interminable.

Thomas was the name of her son, and the child's illness on the George, as it put to sea again, distracted John Rolfe, who remembered how he had lost another wife and child almost within grasp of the waves. Again the ship returned to English shores, this time to Plymouth, where the frantic father sought out Sir Lewis Stewkley and persuaded him to take care of the little lad until Henry Rolfe, a London merchant, could take his nephew in charge. Stewkley who was to betray his own cousin, Sir Walter Raleigh, still proved worthy of Rolfe's trust.

At that moment John Smith, who was trying to get support for a New England colony, bustled about Plymouth unsuccessfully, and then tried London. Pocahontas was lost to her own country, but her ambitious Johns both coveted it still for themselves.

Rolfe, in spite of the buffetings of disaster and grief, was a man who got things done as long as he was alive to do them. Without Smith's brilliant, antagonistic and fascinating temperament he, if not Smith, got on to America since that was his aim, and there he took his third wife, Jane, daughter of William Pearce, Captain of James Fort.

[59]Rolfe was made Secretary and was soon put on the Council. He yearned over his absent son for the next few years, and wrote Sir Edwin Sandys that he hoped that he would not be censured for leaving him behind, but that that seemed the only way the lad could survive. A practical man, he requested Pocahontas' stipend of the company. Later Henry Rolfe tried to get more indemnity from the company to repay him for his expenses in bringing up the lad.

Rolfe's marriage with Pocahontas was credited with bringing about eight years of peace with the Indians. But Opechancanough had long bided his time for revenge on the English, grimly sure that the American story would have been different had he been allowed to deal with John Smith. He was called "White Hair Man" because of his white fur mantle. Kingly ermine was never worn more haughtily. He planned the massacre of 1622. Tragic John Rolfe is supposed to have been among the victims.

Rolfe was a marked man as well as a man of mark. While he could have handled his own life ably at any time if violent tragedy had not overcome him, none could have survived his disasters. He achieved the first colonial business success and the first interracial marriage and he had mastered personal grief. He had married three women happily before he was forty years of age, and each bore him a child. He had survived shipwreck and ship illnesses although his first two wives had not. He had thought that he had the red man's land in hand, but was instead in the hands of the red men.

Nevertheless, his son Thomas, then still in England, had inherited lands from his grandfather, Powhatan, and he would return to the land of his Indian fathers and now of his English father, who also willed him lands and carry on in his unique heritage the American tradition. It was reported that the two old chiefs, Powhatan and Opechancanough had gone up and down the country asking about the welfare of the motherless boy in England, and too solicitous for him to return until he was stronger. After Powhatan's death in 1618 Opechancanough talked grandly of giving the whole country to the child. Rolfe had been[60] sent to him to be reassured about the peace between the races ever since the Pocahontas marriage. To him and others Opechancanough declared that the sun should sooner fall out of the sky, than his friendliness.

Another colonist had also been deceived by him. This hopeful missionary believed that he had converted him, and he built him an English house. The chief was so tickled with lock and key, that he tinkered with both constantly. Still the naïve builder was killed for his kind pains. In the massacre Indians had sat at table with English at breakfast Good Friday only to slay them wherever they found them, in field or cottage.





AND what now of Smith in England? Neither in Plymouth nor in London did he succeed in getting backers to send him to New England although the Pilgrims studied his maps and books. He wanted to go along with them but he was considered too expensive and too headstrong a companion for such stern settlers. Again he poured out his enthusiasm into another book, for only his pen could keep busy, but that, like his tongue, was no lagger. The man himself remained unemployed and unimportant, for his betters had no idea of letting worth be as recognized as birth. What had he got for exploring and advising for New England?

He began to brood about what Virginia owed him for his risks and services. Land had been the only wages of the London Company and he was not in Virginia to stake his claims. In May 1621 he appealed to the company court and reminded them that he had risked money and peril of his life for the good of the Plantation. He had built up Jamestown, and had given five years of his life at great risk to establish Virginia, and he had spent five hundred pounds of his scant estate in the effort. Surely now he deserved remuneration either from the local treasury or from the general Virginia profit in England—but he got none. The London Company's affairs were not in good shape in either place and the massacre of 1622 made them worse. Incensed at this latest blow to his colony, Smith rashly volunteered to rush to their aid with a small army.

In all of his far-flung adventures there was nothing so satisfying to him as this colony which he had founded. Raleigh had named Virginia, while he had named New England, but Virginia was his first love, and he much preferred her sporting planters[62] and adventurers to the pious and thrifty townsmen of New England. If there was a woman in his life, it was Virginia—not Pocahontas nor any other. Virginia had never got out of his blood. He dreamed of cementing the two coasts on one map, but this, like his every proposition, was turned down.

Rebuffed, he brought out a revised edition of his New England's Trials, and expressed his love of the American outpost eloquently, "I may call them my children for they have been my wife, hawks, my hounds, my dice and in total my best content, as indifferent to my heart as my left hand to my right." As a patroness for his handsome book The General Historie in 1624, the Duchess of Richmond came to his aid.

Smith had important male backers of his literary works now, if not of explorations. When he wrote the Seaman's Grammar in 1629, Sir Samuel Saltonstall was the backer. Among his friends was a collector and scientist whose house was called "Tradescant's Ark." If he had not been close to Smith how could his collection include Powhatan's discarded robe, Indian combs, rattles, bows and arrows, feathered crowns and tobacco pipes? Smith even willed him a fourth of his library.

Smith's True Travels appeared in 1629, and the incredible tale of his adventures read well to Londoners who were disturbed with financial depression and with the plague besides.

In order to escape the plague Smith spent much time in the country near Essex in the hospitable home of Sir Humphrey Mildmay. Mildmay dubbed his wife "the old woman," and he often escaped his family with the boisterous and masculine Smith to roam his fields, to hunt, fish, dice and drink. His six children delighted in their tarrying visitor, but Smith often eluded the happy and hearty family to write history in his own room. The huge home had wings, and it was set in a shady grove from which he could see London, thirty miles away, on clear days. He did not tarry there indefinitely being sometimes impatient for London itself where he also had a room in Saltonstall's house.

Yes, he had patronizing friends, but he was alone in his frustrated hopes. He had been so far and done so much as a[63] leader of men whether they admitted it or not, and as such he was a being apart. He had been so as an adolescent who had lost his father by death, his mother by marriage, who had quit school and master as well as home. As an adult he had left country, colony and yet another colony, and when he wanted them back they had not wanted him. Finally, he was lonely because he had risen above his class in society without ever feeling secure among his betters in spite of their hospitality to an entertaining explorer and literary notable. Smith was ever without a home of his own, if never without a hope.

As time went on while the hands of benevolent ladies helped him over hurdles, men were usually the ones beside him, if not back of him. He could visit for months at a time as at the Mildmay's or for years as at Saltonstall's.

It was at the latter house that he died suddenly at the age of fifty-one. He had made arrangements for a dignified burial, knowing that others would not make it what it should be—before history inevitably brought him into his own. Where Shakespeare willed arms, he, Smith, the hero of legends as well as the author of them, willed books—of which he had written many and read more. An epitaph in brass extolled his feats: the victory over the three Turks; and the claim, that he had "dispersed the heathen like smoke" and made their land "a habitation for a Christian nation." Because he was buried there, St. Sepulchre's would become a shrine even as St. George's has.

[64]Regardless of the fact that Pocahontas married John Rolfe, the public unites her name rather with that of Smith. The three make up an integral triangle. Each lived briefly, but intensely, Pocahontas passing first in the springtime of her life. Rolfe had wanted to take care of her, giving her protection, and glory in both of their countries, and proud descendants. He was more than just her husband. The poet Stephen Vincent Benet puts it:

"You may think of him as Pocahontas' husband,
He was rather more than that and his seed still lives,
And we would do well to fence the small plot of garden,
Where, in hose and doublet, he planted the Indian weed."[1]

For all of his practical ability, fate allowed him neither to take care of her nor of himself. He met violent death at the hands of her people, dying in her country just as she had gone first in his, for neither was able to survive an alien way of life.

Although Smith adventured valiantly for God, and Rolfe persuaded himself that he had married the Indian maid to save her soul more than her heart, Pocahontas, the purer spirit, transcends both.

The spirit of Pocahontas broods yet on her own side of the great salt waters. Her dust rests out of place at St. George's Church on the Thames, even if it is named the "Chapel of Unity" for all faiths, because of her peaceable heart.

"Pocahontas' body, lovely as a poplar, sweet as a red haw in November or a paw-paw in May ..." mused the poet Carl Sandburg. "Did she wonder? Does she remember ... in the dust, in the cool tombs?"[2] She lives, believed the poet Vachel Lindsay, in the waving corn, and in her spiritual descendants, the American people. She lives still in the blood of some Americans, but for longer in her poignant tale, whose true red hue has not paled through the years.


Historical Background


The story of the rescue of America's prime folk-hero, John Smith, by Pocahontas, America's most appealing heroine, fills such a patriotic need that it would have been fabricated had it been untrue. It passed for sure history for two hundred and thirty-six years, except for the feeble denial of Thomas Fuller in his Worthies of England.[1] Smith held his own word to be the first and last about history and himself. Yet now the howling squabble over his merits, never hushed in his time, flairs again after three centuries.

In 1860 Charles Deane of Massachusetts asked why Smith had concealed the story for sixteen years.[2] Henry Adams, while he bowed to Pocahontas as the most romantic figure in American history, and as the visiting celebrity of 1616 in England, stepped up to Deane's standard,[3] as did William Cullen Bryant and Sydney Howard Gay,[4] and the Southern scholar, Alexander Brown.[5]

But William Wirt Henry,[6] Mrs. Mary Newton Stanard,[7] and Lyon G. Tyler[8] remained fast friends of the cherished tale. Edward Arber, the[66] most careful editor of Smith's work, accepts it.[9] John Fiske points out that the printed text of the True Relation was incomplete for Smith had written much which his editor in London omitted as "fit to be printed."[10] Allan Nevins, in The Gateway to History, suggests that Smith may have told the story in 1608.[11] Mrs. Stanard[12] and William Wirt Henry[13] also stress this fact. Edward Channing assails the story[14] but Charles M. Andrews accepts it.[15] Many more writers contend that Smith may have deliberately kept the story dark in order that possible new colonists might not be frightened. The tale was not denied when it was told to Smith's contemporaries in 1624.

Many public school teachers have taken the middle ground that the story is almost indispensable and is probably true. Bradford Smith, whose biography of Captain John Smith is notable among a score on the subject, declares that there is not a scrap of evidence to disprove the narrative, and many reasons to establish it.[16] Without the story it would be hard to explain why Powhatan spared Smith since, according to Smith, two Indians had been killed.[17] It was customary for a chief's daughter to be allowed the life of a favorite captive. Juan Ortiz had been saved twice in this manner near Tampa, Florida, nearly a century before.

While Smith is considered a boastful liar by Alexander Brown and others, he still has not only reluctant admirers but fervent defenders among historians. Matthew Page Andrews admitted: "Than Smith there has[67] been no more daring adventurer in English history."[18] Say Henry Steele Commager and Allan Nevins in The Heritage of America, a source history for Virginia's high schools: "He was a figure worthy of the English race which found in him the first great American representative.... Smith was worth all the others put together."[19]

The public has been inclined to couple the Indian maiden's name with that of John Smith, more than with that of John Rolfe. But this present author's point that Pocahontas did not know that Smith was still alive when she married Rolfe, and that she was still in love with Smith, is unusual. However, it is not original. It has been taken in some plays and short stories. William Wirt Henry's address before the Virginia Historical Society in 1882 and Samuel Purchas's Pilgrimage[20] suggest that Smith could have married her had he so desired. This book is presented as a probable story rather than as documented history.

The Pocahontas-John Smith Story is most stoutly defended not by historians, nor even patriotic societies, but by poets, dramatists, and idealistic youth, who think that it is theirs, and by descendants, who know that it is theirs. The line is utterly Virginian be it in blood or ink from the Pocahontas, who like Will Rogers's ancestors "met the boat" to the Pocahontas who wrote the book. And so I sign here

Pocahontas Wight Edmunds.

Halifax, Virginia,
April, 1956.




[1] Thomas Fuller, The History of the Worthies of England (John Nichols, ed.; London, 1811), I, 189.

[2] Charles Deane (ed.), "Edward Maria Wingfield, 'A Discourse of Virginia,'" Transactions and Collections of the American Antiquarian Society, IV (1860), 92-95n.

[3] Henry Adams, "Captaine John Smith, Sometime Governour in Virginia and Admirall of New England," Chapters of Erie and Other Essays by Henry Adams and Charles F. Adams, Jr. (Boston: J. R. Osgood & Company, 1871), pp. 192-224.

[4] William Cullen Bryant and Sydney Howard Gay, A Popular History of the United States (New York: Scribner, Armstrong & Co., 1885-1886), I, 282-283.

[5] Alexander Brown, The Genesis of the United States (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1890), II, 1006-1010; The First Republic in America (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1898), pp. 56-57, 469n.

[6] William Wirt Henry, "The Settlement at Jamestown With Particular Reference to the Late Attacks Upon Captain John Smith, Pocahontas and John Rolfe," Proceedings of the Virginia Historical Society at the Annual Meeting, February 24, 1882 (Richmond: 1882).

[7] Mary Newton Stanard, The Story of Virginia's First Century (Philadelphia and London: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1928), p. 47.

[8] Lyon G. Tyler, Narratives of Early Virginia, 1606-1625 (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1907), p. 28.

[9] Edward Arber (ed.), Travels and Works of Captain John Smith (Edinburgh: J. Grant, 1910), I, xiv-xv.

[10] John Fiske, Old Virginia and Her Neighbours (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1897), I, 103-108.

[11] Allan Nevins, The Gateway to History (New York: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1938), pp. 139, 150.

[12] Stanard, op. cit., p. 48.

[13] Henry, loc. cit.

[14] Edward Channing, History of the United States (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1925), I, 174.

[15] Charles M. Andrews, The Colonial Period of American History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934), I, 142n.

[16] Bradford Smith, Captain John Smith, His Life and Legend (Philadelphia and New York: Lippincott, 1953), p. 118.

[17] John Smith, "The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles, 1624," Travels and Works of Captain John Smith (Edward Arber, ed.; Edinburgh: J. Grant, 1910), II, 395.

[18] Matthew Page Andrews, Virginia, the Old Dominion (New York: Doubleday, Doran, and Company, Inc., 1937), p. 42.

[19] Henry Steele Commager and Allan Nevins, (eds.), The Heritage of America (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1939), p. 23.

[20]Samuel Purchas, Purchas His Pilgrimage (London: 1614), pp. 764-765.




Adams, Henry, "Captain John Smith, Sometime Governour in Virginia and Admirall of New England," Chapters of Erie and Other Essays by Henry Adams and Charles Francis Adams, Jr. Boston: J. R. Osgood and Company, 1871, pp. 192-224.

Andrews, Charles M., The Colonial Period of American History, 4 Vols. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934-1938.

Andrews, Matthew Page, Virginia, the Old Dominion. New York: Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc., 1937.

Arber, Edward (ed.), Travels and Works of Captain John Smith. 2 Vols. Edinburgh: J. Grant, 1910.

Benet, Stephen Vincent, Western Star. New York and Toronto: Farrar and Rinehart, Inc., 1943.

Brown, Alexander, The First Republic in America. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1898.

Brown, Alexander, The Genesis of the United States. 2 Vols. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1890.

Brown, Alexander, English Politics in Early Virginia History. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1907.

Bryant, William Cullen, and Gay, Sydney Howard, A Popular History of the United States. 4 Vols. New York: Scribner, Armstrong and Company, 1885-1886.

Channing, Edward, History of the United States. 6 Vols. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1921-1926.

Commager, Henry Steele, and Nevins, Allan (eds.), The Heritage of America. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1939.

Davis, J. E., Round About Jamestown. Hampton, Va., 1907.

Deane, Charles (ed.), "Edward Maria Wingfield, A Discourse of Virginia." Transactions and Collections of the American Antiquarian Society. IV, 1860, 69-103.

Early, R. H., Byways of Virginia History. Richmond, Va.: Everett Waddey, 1907.

Fiske, John, Old Virginia and Her Neighbours. 2 Vols. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1897.

Forman, Henry Chandler, Jamestown and St. Mary's: Buried Cities of Romance. Baltimore, Md.: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1938.

Fuller, Thomas, The History of the Worthies of England (John Nichols, ed.). 4 Vols. London: 1811.

Garnett, David, Pocahontas. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1933.

Goodwin, Rutherfoord, A Brief History and Guidebook to Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. Richmond, Va.: Cottrell and Cook, Inc., 1930.

Gwathmey, John Hastings, The Love Affairs of Captain John Smith. Richmond, Va.: Dietz, 1935.

[70]Hatch, Charles A., The Oldest Legislative Assembly in America and its First State House. National Park Service, Series: History, No. 2.

Henry, William Wirt, "The Settlement at Jamestown, with Particular Reference to the Late Attacks Upon Captain John Smith, Pocahontas and John Rolfe." Proceedings of the Virginia Historical Society at the Annual Meeting, February 24, 1882. Richmond, 1882.

Kester, Vaughan, John O' Jamestown. Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill, 1913.

Leighton, Margaret, The Sword and the Compass. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1951.

Marshall, Edison, Great Smith. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1943.

Nevins, Allan, The Gateway to History. New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1938.

Page, Thos. Nelson, Address. Richmond, Va.: Whittet and Shepperson, Printers, 1919.

Purchas, Samuel, Purchas His Pilgrimage. London, 1614.

Robertson, Wyndham, Pocahontas and Her Descendants. Richmond, Va.: J. W. Randolph and English, 1887.

Rolfe, John, A True Relation of the State of Virginia. New Haven: Yale Press, 1951.

Sandburg, Carl, Complete Poems. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1950. Cornhuskers. Henry Holt and Company, 1918.

Schlesinger, Arthur, A History of American Life. 12 Vols. New York: The Macmillan and Company, 1927-1944.

Smith, Bradford, Captain John Smith, His Life and Legend. Philadelphia and New York: Lippincott, 1953.

Stanard, Mary Newton, The Story of Virginia's First Century. Philadelphia and London: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1928.

Tyler, Lyon G., Narratives of Early Virginia, 1606-1625. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1907.

Wayland, John W., History of Virginia for Boys and Girls. New York: Macmillan and Company, 1938.

Wertenbaker, Thomas J., The First Americans. New York: Macmillan and Company, 1927.

Willis, Carrie, and Saunders, Lucy S., The Story of Virginia. New York, N. Y.: Newson, 1950.


Comments on Biographies

By Mrs. Edmunds and the late H. J. Eckenrode


Of Rutherford B. Hayes, first volume of Dodd, Mead and Company's American Political Leaders. New York, 1930:

"If the series maintains the standard of this first volume it will be a landmark in American letters and scholarship. An excellent book, interesting and convincing, sane and balanced."

James Truslow Adams,
Editor of Dictionary of American Biography.

"A fascinating biography, scholarly, brilliant, entertaining and illuminating."

Claude Bowers, Noted Historian and Ambassador.

"She contributed several of the early chapters which are sprightly and engrossing."

Virginius Dabney, Editor and Author.


Of E. H. Harriman, The Little Giant of Wall Street, Greenberg. New York, 1933:

"Mrs. Edmunds and Dr. Eckenrode have the gift of breathing life into those they treat and I particularly like their force of style."

Allan Nevins, Noted Historian.

"Excellent capitalist lore"

Review in the World Telegram.


Of Mrs. Edmunds, Legends of the North Carolina Coast, Garrett and Massie. Richmond, Va., 1941:

"Mrs. Edmunds's style is good."

Dubose Heyward, Author of Porgy.

"Charming book ... written with poetic fervor, brief and evocative."

New York Herald-Tribune Book Review.

"Written with craftsmanship and genuine artistry."

The Atlanta Journal.

"Written with lyrical beauty and a fine sense of selection."

Greensboro News.

"Interesting new book...."

Douglas Freeman, Editor and Author.


Of Mrs. Edmunds, Tales of the Virginia Coast, Dietz Press. Richmond, Va., 1950:

"A fine and useful piece of writing."

Laura Krey, Author of: And Tell of Time.







Inconsistencies in spelling and hyphenation have been retained from the original.

Obvious typographical errors in the original have been corrected as follows:

Page 15: sportmens' changed to sportsmen's
Page 18: cooly changed to coolly
Page 37: fastidously changed to fastidiously
Page 68: (Boston: J. R. Osgood & Company, 18713 changed to (Boston: J. R. Osgood & Company, 1871)
Page 70: Refgrence changed to Reference

Punctuation has been corrected without note.

Footnote anchors exist on page 64, but no footnotes exist in the original.

Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.