Christopher Newport returned just in time to save John Smith from being hanged on January 2, 1608. The first resupply mission came at a perfect time, but the colony continued to suffer.
Newport and Smith eventually accepted an invitation from Powhatan, which was the first of a series of exploratory trips that Smith would take during the next few months.
As John Smith gallivanted throughout the Tidewater region, Jamestown was crumbling. John Ratcliffe’s administration as well as increasingly hot weather and gold fever killed half of the colonists, and those still alive thought about mutiny.
Once Smith returned from his first journey, the time seemed perfect for a coup, but Smith still wanted to explore. Governing was not on his mind. Not yet at least. But once he completed the second venture, Smith decided to acquiesce, and became the Virginia Colony’s next President.
Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” and Klaus Badelt, “The Black Pearl” from Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl both songs are available on iTunes.
John Smith was a bold guy. He told us so, and that’s most of what we have to go by concerning his life events. Whether or not history happened the way he remembered it, something happened during his Jamestown tenure. If it weren’t his bold actions, then Jamestown’s complete collapse would most likely have happened.
This episode summarizes what John Smith told us about his early life before sailing to Jamestown. From there, the narrative picks back up amid the chaotic political posturing that was discussed in the last episode. Smith couldn’t sit still and do nothing. He risked his life, and in so doing saved it, as well as those of the remaining colonists.
Because of Smith’s actions, and perhaps some of his story telling, he and a certain young Native American Indian girl are still remembered today, not only as historical figures, but also as life inspiring characters who overcame boundaries, tensions, and cultures. They persevered, and there perseverance helped lay the foundation upon which a great state was born.
May 14, 1607 was a big day in both Virginian and American History. It was the day that the English decided to settle what is now known as Jamestown Island. The two weeks between first landing at Cape Henry and choosing the Island were action packed. A government was set up, parts of Virginia Beach were explored, as was approximately a 70 mile stretch of the James River.
Along the way, the English became acquainted with no less than 3 Native tribes as well. So much happened in a short period of time, and all of it was foundational to what would become Virginia and eventually the United States. Join me in this podcast, as I recount this vital two week journey before Jamestown Island was foolishly chosen.