John Smith played an extremely important role in the beginning of American history. He was born in 1580 in Willoughby, England. Smith first began traveling when he volunteered for France who was fighting for Dutch independence from Spain. In 1600 he joined the Austrian army and fought against the Turks. There he earned the title of Captain.
In 1602, while fighting in Transylvania, Smith was wounded and captured. He was then sold as a slave. After killing one of his owners, Smith escaped and fled back to Transylvania. He was released from his service and got a large reward. Smith returned to England in 1604.
Smith got involved in plans to colonize Virginia for profit by the Virginia Company. He set sail on December 20, 1606, and was granted a charter from King James I. Their three small ships didn't land until April of 1607. On the ships was a small locked box that contained the names of seven councilmen who were to govern Jamestown. John Smith's name was on it, and they were ready to begin their lives in America.
The new settlers had many hardships. There was a lack of fresh water, extremely cold winters, spread of diseases, and worst of all, they were constantly attacked by the Native Americans. John Smith and his fellow settlers did their best to fight them off.
One day, Smith was captured by the natives and was taken to their chief, Powhatan. The chief was interested by John Smith and he was spared and returned to Jamestown. Smith is certain that the chief's daughter, Pocahontas, saved his life.
When Smith got back to Jamestown, he saw that the colony had gotten much worse. Some colonists even tried to leave. When Smith saw this he decided to explore the Chesapeake...