Captain John Smith Captain John smith was more important to the success of Virginia by 1630 then John Rolfe. Like many famous heroes, John Smith was feisty, abrasive, self-promoting, and ambitious.
He was an experienced soldier and adventurer, the man who boldly went out and got things done. If not for him, the colony may have failed at the start. John Rolfe is best successful for having introduced tobacco as a commercial crop to Virginia colonists.The production of this valuable commodity shaped the future development of the colony and provided an economic incentive for future expansion and settlement of the New World. Rolfe is best remembered of his marriage to Pocahontas.
This marriage brought a much-need period of peace between the Indian and the colonists until Powhatans death. But John Smith was more successful then John Rolfe because of the myths he himself created. Smith promoted the Virginia companys interests in the New World and he provided the leadership necessary to save the colonists during the early years of the settlement.Although many of his narratives seem boastful and swashbuckling, his accounts were intended to lure adventurous new settlers to Virginia.
When the colonist suffered harsh winter, lack of fresh water, and the spread of disease made in Jamestown difficult for the settlers. Attacks by the native Indians, hoping that the settlers would give up and leave, raided their camps, stealing pistols, gunpowder, and other necessary supplies. Captain John Smith stepped forward as the leader of the colony when it became apparent that the council of seven was ineffective.
He led expeditions into the interior and traded with the Indians for corn. In 1607, Smith and several other colonists left the fort to explore the local area.Unfortunately they ran into an Indian hunting party and were promptly captured by the Indians. Smith was treated kindly and a great feast was prepared in his honor. When Smith was not well received in Jamestown, Captain Christopher Newport and Gabriel Archer had assumed leadership during Smiths absence and the colonists still suffered from a lack of food and proper shelter. Smith soon escaped from the tension of the fort and proceeded to explore the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers and the Chesapeake Bay during the summer of 1608. His explorations of Virginia were later complied in his Map of Virginia.
Due to bed government, Smith was eventually elected president of the local council in September 1608. Because of the strong leadership the settlement survived and grew during the next year. However, Smith prominent role in the colony was short-lived; Captain Newport returned to Jamestown in 1609, brining new settlers and supplies and armed with new charter for the Virginia Company. A power struggles ensued and Smith eventually lost his position as the president of the colony. When Smith was injured from a gunpowder explosion, he went back to England in 1609 and never return to Virginia. Smith did not abandon his commitment to the success of the Virginia settlement.
Instead, he continued his efforts to promote Jamestown (or Virginia Company) in England, producing numerous narratives and maps of the new colony. Captain John Smith was indeed more successful then John Rolfe, not because of his leadership but his bravery. Virginia would not go anywhere if Captain John Smith did stood up for himself and others to save the colonist during the years of the settlement. A successful hero to be remember of the finding of Virginia.