SMITH'S PRESIDENCY AND PROWESS
On the 10th of September, by the election of the Council and the request of the company, Captain Smith received the letters-patent, and became President. He stopped the building of Ratcliffe's "palace," repaired the church and the storehouse, got ready the buildings for the supply expected from England, reduced the fort to a "five square form," set and trained the watch and exercised the company every Saturday on a plain called Smithfield, to the amazement of the on-looking Indians.
Captain Newport arrived with a new supply of seventy persons. Among them were Captain Francis West, brother to Lord Delaware, Captain Peter Winne, and Captain Peter Waldo, appointed on the Council, eight Dutchmen and Poles, and Mistress Forest and Anne Burrows her maid, the first white women in the colony.
Smith did not relish the arrival of Captain Newport nor the instructions under which he returned. He came back commanded to discover the country of Monacan (above the Falls) and to perform the ceremony of coronation on the Emperor Powhatan.
How Newport got this private commission when he had returned to England without a lump of gold, nor any certainty of the South Sea, or one of the lost company sent out by Raleigh; and why he brought a "fine peeced barge" which must be carried over unknown mountains before it reached the South Sea, he could not understand. "As for the coronation of Powhatan and his presents of basin and ewer, bed, bedding, clothes, and such costly novelties, they had been much better well spared than so ill spent, for we had his favor and better for a plain piece of copper, till this stately kind of soliciting made him so much overvalue himself that he respected us as much as nothing at all." Smith evidently understood the situation much better than the promoters in England; and we can quite excuse him in his rage over the foolishness and greed of most of his companions. There was little nonsense about Smith in action, though he need not turn his hand on any man of that age as a boaster.
To send out Poles and Dutchmen to make pitch, tar, and glass would have been well enough if the colony had been firmly established and supplied with necessaries; and they might have sent two hundred colonists instead of seventy, if they had ordered them to go to work collecting provisions of the Indians for the winter, instead of attempting this strange discovery of the South Sea, and wasting their time on a more strange coronation. "Now was there no way," asks Smith, "to make us miserable," but by direction from England to perform this discovery and coronation, "to take that time, spend what victuals we had, tire and starve our men, having no means to carry victuals, ammunition, the hurt or the sick, but on their own backs?"
Smith seems to have protested against all this nonsense, but though he was governor, the Council overruled him. Captain Newport decided to take one hundred and twenty men, fearing to go with a less number and journey to Werowocomoco to crown Powhatan. In order to save time Smith offered to take a message to Powhatan, and induce him to come to Jamestown and receive the honor and the presents. Accompanied by only four men he crossed by land to Werowocomoco, passed the Pamaunkee (York) River in a canoe, and sent for Powhatan, who was thirty miles off. Meantime Pocahontas, who by his own account was a mere child, and her women entertained Smith in the following manner:
"In a fayre plaine they made a fire, before which, sitting upon a mat, suddenly amongst the woods was heard such a hydeous noise and shreeking that the English betook themselves to their armes, and seized upon two or three old men, by them supposing Powhatan with all his power was come to surprise them. But presently Pocahontas came, willing him to kill her if any hurt were intended, and the beholders, which were men, women and children, satisfied the Captaine that there was no such matter. Then presently they were presented with this anticke: Thirty young women came naked out of the woods, only covered behind and before with a few greene leaves, their bodies all painted, some of one color, some of another, but all differing; their leader had a fayre payre of Bucks hornes on her head, and an Otters skinne at her girdle, and another at her arme, a quiver of arrows at her backe, a bow and arrows in her hand; the next had in her hand a sword, another a club, another a pot-sticke: all horned alike; the rest every one with their several devises. These fiends with most hellish shouts and cries, rushing from among the trees, cast themselves in a ring about the fire, singing and dancing with most excellent ill-varietie, oft falling into their infernal passions, and solemnly again to sing and dance; having spent nearly an hour in this Mascarado, as they entered, in like manner they departed.
"Having reaccommodated themselves, they solemnly invited him to their lodgings, where he was no sooner within the house, but all these Nymphs more tormented him than ever, with crowding, pressing, and hanging about him, most tediously crying, 'Love you not me? Love you not me?' This salutation ended, the feast was set, consisting of all the Salvage dainties they could devise: some attending, others singing and dancing about them: which mirth being ended, with fire brands instead of torches they conducted him to his lodging."
The next day Powhatan arrived. Smith delivered up the Indian Namontuck, who had just returned from a voyage to England whither it was suspected the Emperor wished him to go to spy out the weakness of the English tribe and repeated Father Newport's request that Powhatan would come to Jamestown to receive the presents and join in an expedition against his enemies, the Monacans.
Powhatan's reply was worthy of his imperial highness, and has been copied ever since in the speeches of the lords of the soil to the pale faces: "If your king has sent me present, I also am a king, and this is my land: eight days I will stay to receive them. Your father is to come to me, not I to him, nor yet to your fort, neither will I bite at such a bait; as for the Monacans, I can revenge my own injuries."
This was the lofty potentate whom Smith, by his way of management, could have tickled out of his senses with a glass bead, and who would infinitely have preferred a big shining copper kettle to the misplaced honor intended to be thrust upon him, but the offer of which puffed him up beyond the reach of negotiation. Smith returned with his message. Newport despatched the presents round by water a hundred miles, and the Captains, with fifty soldiers, went over land to Werowocomoco, where occurred the ridiculous ceremony of the coronation, which Smith describes with much humor. "The next day," he says, "was appointed for the coronation. Then the presents were brought him, his bason and ewer, bed and furniture set up, his scarlet cloke and apparel, with much adoe put on him, being persuaded by Namontuck they would not hurt him. But a foule trouble there was to make him kneel to receive his Crown; he not knowing the majesty nor wearing of a Crown, nor bending of the knee, endured so many persuasions, examples and instructions as tyred them all. At last by bearing hard on his shoulders, he a little stooped, and three having the crown in their hands put it on his head, when by the warning of a pistoll the boats were prepared with such a volley of shot that the king start up in a horrible feare, till he saw all was well. Then remembering himself to congratulate their kindness he gave his old shoes and his mantell to Captain Newport!"
The Monacan expedition the King discouraged, and refused to furnish for it either guides or men. Besides his old shoes, the crowned monarch charitably gave Newport a little heap of corn, only seven or eight bushels, and with this little result the absurd expedition returned to Jamestown.
Shortly after Captain Newport with a chosen company of one hundred and twenty men (leaving eighty with President Smith in the fort) and accompanied by Captain Waldo, Lieutenant Percy, Captain Winne, Mr. West, and Mr. Scrivener, who was eager for adventure, set off for the discovery of Monacan. The expedition, as Smith predicted, was fruitless: the Indians deceived them and refused to trade, and the company got back to Jamestown, half of them sick, all grumbling, and worn out with toil, famine, and discontent.
Smith at once set the whole colony to work, some to make glass, tar, pitch, and soap-ashes, and others he conducted five miles down the river to learn to fell trees and make clapboards. In this company were a couple of gallants, lately come over, Gabriel Beadle and John Russell, proper gentlemen, but unused to hardships, whom Smith has immortalized by his novel cure of their profanity. They took gayly to the rough life, and entered into the attack on the forest so pleasantly that in a week they were masters of chopping: "making it their delight to hear the trees thunder as they fell, but the axes so often blistered their tender fingers that many times every third blow had a loud othe to drown the echo; for remedie of which sinne the President devised how to have every man's othes numbered, and at night for every othe to have a Canne of water powred downe his sleeve, with which every offender was so washed (himself and all), that a man would scarce hear an othe in a weake." In the clearing of our country since, this excellent plan has fallen into desuetude, for want of any pious Captain Smith in the logging camps.
These gentlemen, says Smith, did not spend their time in wood-logging like hirelings, but entered into it with such spirit that thirty of them would accomplish more than a hundred of the sort that had to be driven to work; yet, he sagaciously adds, "twenty good workmen had been better than them all."
Returning to the fort, Smith, as usual, found the time consumed and no provisions got, and Newport's ship lying idle at a great charge. With Percy he set out on an expedition for corn to the Chickahominy, which the insolent Indians, knowing their want, would not supply. Perceiving that it was Powhatan's policy to starve them (as if it was the business of the Indians to support all the European vagabonds and adventurers who came to dispossess them of their country), Smith gave out that he came not so much for corn as to revenge his imprisonment and the death of his men murdered by the Indians, and proceeded to make war. This high-handed treatment made the savages sue for peace, and furnish, although they complained of want themselves, owing to a bad harvest, a hundred bushels of corn.
This supply contented the company, who feared nothing so much as starving, and yet, says Smith, so envied him that they would rather hazard starving than have him get reputation by his vigorous conduct. There is no contemporary account of that period except this which Smith indited. He says that Newport and Ratcliffe conspired not only to depose him but to keep him out of the fort; since being President they could not control his movements, but that their horns were much too short to effect it.
At this time in the "old Taverne," as Smith calls the fort, everybody who had money or goods made all he could by trade; soldiers, sailors, and savages were agreed to barter, and there was more care to maintain their damnable and private trade than to provide the things necessary for the colony. In a few weeks the whites had bartered away nearly all the axes, chisels, hoes, and picks, and what powder, shot, and pikeheads they could steal, in exchange for furs, baskets, young beasts and such like commodities. Though the supply of furs was scanty in Virginia, one master confessed he had got in one voyage by this private trade what he sold in England for thirty pounds. "These are the Saint-seeming Worthies of Virginia," indignantly exclaims the President, "that have, notwithstanding all this, meate, drinke, and wages." But now they began to get weary of the country, their trade being prevented. "The loss, scorn, and misery was the poor officers, gentlemen and careless governors, who were bought and sold." The adventurers were cheated, and all their actions overthrown by false information and unwise directions.
Master Scrivener was sent with the barges and pinnace to Werowocomoco, where by the aid of Namontuck he procured a little corn, though the savages were more ready to fight than to trade. At length Newport's ship was loaded with clapboards, pitch, tar, glass, frankincense (?) and soapashes, and despatched to England. About two hundred men were left in the colony. With Newport, Smith sent his famous letter to the Treasurer and Council in England. It is so good a specimen of Smith's ability with the pen, reveals so well his sagacity and knowledge of what a colony needed, and exposes so clearly the ill-management of the London promoters, and the condition of the colony, that we copy it entire. It appears by this letter that Smith's "Map of Virginia," and his description of the country and its people, which were not published till 1612, were sent by this opportunity. Captain Newport sailed for England late in the autumn of 1608. The letter reads:
RIGHT HONORABLE, ETC.:
I received your letter wherein you write that our minds are so set upon faction, and idle conceits in dividing the country without your consents, and that we feed you but with ifs and ands, hopes and some few proofes; as if we would keepe the mystery of the businesse to ourselves: and that we must expressly follow your instructions sent by Captain Newport: the charge of whose voyage amounts to neare two thousand pounds, the which if we cannot defray by the ships returne we are likely to remain as banished men. To these particulars I humbly intreat your pardons if I offend you with my rude answer.
For our factions, unless you would have me run away and leave the country, I cannot prevent them; because I do make many stay that would else fly away whither. For the Idle letter sent to my Lord of Salisbury, by the President and his confederates, for dividing the country, &c., what it was I know not, for you saw no hand of mine to it; nor ever dream't I of any such matter. That we feed you with hopes, &c. Though I be no scholar, I am past a schoolboy; and I desire but to know what either you and these here doe know, but that I have learned to tell you by the continuall hazard of my life. I have not concealed from you anything I know; but I feare some cause you to believe much more than is true.
Expressly to follow your directions by Captain Newport, though they be performed, I was directly against it; but according to our commission, I was content to be overouled by the major part of the Councill, I feare to the hazard of us all; which now is generally confessed when it is too late. Onely Captaine Winne and Captaine Walclo I have sworne of the Councill, and crowned Powhattan according to your instructions.
For the charge of the voyage of two or three thousand pounds we have not received the value of one hundred pounds, and for the quartered boat to be borne by the souldiers over the falls. Newport had 120 of the best men he could chuse. If he had burnt her to ashes, one might have carried her in a bag, but as she is, five hundred cannot to a navigable place above the falls. And for him at that time to find in the South Sea a mine of gold; or any of them sent by Sir Walter Raleigh; at our consultation I told them was as likely as the rest. But during this great discovery of thirtie miles (which might as well have been done by one man, and much more, for the value of a pound of copper at a seasonable tyme), they had the pinnace and all the boats with them but one that remained with me to serve the fort. In their absence I followed the new begun works of Pitch and Tarre, Glasse, Sope-ashes, Clapboord, whereof some small quantities we have sent you. But if you rightly consider what an infinite toyle it is in Russia and Swethland, where the woods are proper for naught els, and though there be the helpe both of man and beast in those ancient commonwealths, which many an hundred years have used it, yet thousands of those poor people can scarce get necessaries to live, but from hand to mouth, and though your factors there can buy as much in a week as will fraught you a ship, or as much as you please, you must not expect from us any such matter, which are but as many of ignorant, miserable soules, that are scarce able to get wherewith to live, and defend ourselves against the inconstant Salvages: finding but here and there a tree fit for the purpose, and want all things else the Russians have. For the Coronation of Powhattan, by whose advice you sent him such presents, I know not; but this give me leave to tell you, I feare they will be the confusion of us all ere we heare from you again. At your ships arrivall, the Salvages harvest was newly gathered, and we going to buy it, our owne not being halve sufficient for so great a number. As for the two ships loading of corne Newport promised to provide us from Powhattan, he brought us but fourteen bushels; and from the Monacans nothing, but the most of the men sicke and neare famished. From your ship we had not provision in victuals worth twenty pound, and we are more than two hundred to live upon this, the one halfe sicke, the other little better. For the saylers (I confesse), they daily make good cheare, but our dyet is a little meale and water, and not sufficient of that. Though there be fish in the Sea, fowles in the ayre, and beasts in the woods, their bounds are so large, they so wilde, and we so weake and ignorant, we cannot much trouble them. Captaine Newport we much suspect to be the Author of these inventions. Now that you should know, I have made you as great a discovery as he, for less charge than he spendeth you every meale; I had sent you this mappe of the Countries and Nations that inhabit them, as you may see at large. Also two barrels of stones, and such as I take to be good. Iron ore at the least; so divided, as by their notes you may see in what places I found them. The souldiers say many of your officers maintaine their families out of that you sent us, and that Newport hath an hundred pounds a year for carrying newes. For every master you have yet sent can find the way as well as he, so that an hundred pounds might be spared, which is more than we have all, that helps to pay him wages. Cap. Ratliffe is now called Sicklemore, a poore counterfeited Imposture. I have sent you him home least the Company should cut his throat. What he is, now every one can tell you: if he and Archer returne againe, they are sufficient to keep us always in factions. When you send againe I entreat you rather send but thirty carpenters, husbandmen, gardiners, fishermen, blacksmiths, masons, and diggers up of trees roots, well provided, then a thousand of such as we have; for except wee be able both to lodge them, and feed them, the most will consume with want of necessaries before they can be made good for anything. Thus if you please to consider this account, and the unnecessary wages to Captaine Newport, or his ships so long lingering and staying here (for notwithstanding his boasting to leave us victuals for 12 months, though we had 89 by this discovery lame and sicke, and but a pinte of corne a day for a man, we were constrained to give him three hogsheads of that to victuall him homeward), or yet to send into Germany or Poleland for glassemen and the rest, till we be able to sustaine ourselves, and releeve them when they come. It were better to give five hundred pound a ton for those grosse Commodities in Denmarke, then send for them hither, till more necessary things be provided. For in over-toyling our weake and unskilfull bodies, to satisfy this desire of present profit, we can scarce ever recover ourselves from one supply to another. And I humbly intreat you hereafter, let us have what we should receive, and not stand to the Saylers courtesie to leave us what they please, els you may charge us what you will, but we not you with anything. These are the causes that have kept us in Virginia from laying such a foundation that ere this might have given much better content and satisfaction, but as yet you must not look for any profitable returning. So I humbly rest.
After the departure of Newport, Smith, with his accustomed resolution, set to work to gather supplies for the winter. Corn had to be extorted from the Indians by force. In one expedition to Nansemond, when the Indians refused to trade, Smith fired upon them, and then landed and burned one of their houses; whereupon they submitted and loaded his three boats with corn. The ground was covered with ice and snow, and the nights were bitterly cold. The device for sleeping warm in the open air was to sweep the snow away from the ground and build a fire; the fire was then raked off from the heated earth and a mat spread, upon which the whites lay warm, sheltered by a mat hung up on the windward side, until the ground got cold, when they builded a fire on another place. Many a cold winter night did the explorers endure this hardship, yet grew fat and lusty under it.
About this time was solemnized the marriage of John Laydon and Anne Burrows, the first in Virginia. Anne was the maid of Mistress Forrest, who had just come out to grow up with the country, and John was a laborer who came with the first colony in 1607. This was actually the "First Family of Virginia," about which so much has been eloquently said.
Provisions were still wanting. Mr. Scrivener and Mr. Percy returned from an expedition with nothing. Smith proposed to surprise Powhatan, and seize his store of corn, but he says he was hindered in this project by Captain Winne and Mr. Scrivener (who had heretofore been considered one of Smith's friends), whom he now suspected of plotting his ruin in England.
Powhatan on his part sent word to Smith to visit him, to send him men to build a house, give him a grindstone, fifty swords, some big guns, a cock and a hen, much copper and beads, in return for which he would load his ship with corn. Without any confidence in the crafty savage, Smith humored him by sending several workmen, including four Dutchmen, to build him a house. Meantime with two barges and the pinnace and forty-six men, including Lieutenant Percy, Captain Wirt, and Captain William Phittiplace, on the 29th of December he set out on a journey to the Pamaunky, or York, River.
The first night was spent at "Warraskogack," the king of which warned Smith that while Powhatan would receive him kindly he was only seeking an opportunity to cut their throats and seize their arms. Christmas was kept with extreme winds, rain, frost and snow among the savages at Kecoughton, where before roaring fires they made merry with plenty of oysters, fish, flesh, wild fowls and good bread. The President and two others went gunning for birds, and brought down one hundred and forty-eight fowls with three shots.
Ascending the river, on the 12th of January they reached Werowocomoco. The river was frozen half a mile from the shore, and when the barge could not come to land by reason of the ice and muddy shallows, they effected a landing by wading. Powhatan at their request sent them venison, turkeys, and bread; the next day he feasted them, and then inquired when they were going, ignoring his invitation to them to come. Hereupon followed a long game of fence between Powhatan and Captain Smith, each trying to overreach the other, and each indulging profusely in lies and pledges. Each professed the utmost love for the other.
Smith upbraided him with neglect of his promise to supply them with corn, and told him, in reply to his demand for weapons, that he had no arms to spare. Powhatan asked him, if he came on a peaceful errand, to lay aside his weapons, for he had heard that the English came not so much for trade as to invade his people and possess his country, and the people did not dare to bring in their corn while the English were around.
Powhatan seemed indifferent about the building. The Dutchmen who had come to build Powhatan a house liked the Indian plenty better than the risk of starvation with the colony, revealed to Powhatan the poverty of the whites, and plotted to betray them, of which plot Smith was not certain till six months later. Powhatan discoursed eloquently on the advantage of peace over war: "I have seen the death of all my people thrice," he said, "and not any one living of those three generations but myself; I know the difference of peace and war better than any in my country. But I am now old and ere long must die." He wanted to leave his brothers and sisters in peace. He heard that Smith came to destroy his country. He asked him what good it would do to destroy them that provided his food, to drive them into the woods where they must feed on roots and acorns; "and be so hunted by you that I can neither rest, eat nor sleep, but my tired men must watch, and if a twig but break every one crieth, there cometh Captain Smith!" They might live in peace, and trade, if Smith would only lay aside his arms. Smith, in return, boasted of his power to get provisions, and said that he had only been restrained from violence by his love for Powhatan; that the Indians came armed to Jamestown, and it was the habit of the whites to wear their arms. Powhatan then contrasted the liberality of Newport, and told Smith that while he had used him more kindly than any other chief, he had received from him (Smith) the least kindness of any.
Believing that the palaver was only to get an opportunity to cut his throat, Smith got the savages to break the ice in order to bring up the barge and load it with corn, and gave orders for his soldiers to land and surprise Powhatan; meantime, to allay his suspicions, telling him the lie that next day he would lay aside his arms and trust Powhatan's promises. But Powhatan was not to be caught with such chaff. Leaving two or three women to talk with the Captain he secretly fled away with his women, children, and luggage. When Smith perceived this treachery he fired into the "naked devils" who were in sight. The next day Powhatan sent to excuse his flight, and presented him a bracelet and chain of pearl and vowed eternal friendship.
With matchlocks lighted, Smith forced the Indians to load the boats; but as they were aground, and could not be got off till high water, he was compelled to spend the night on shore. Powhatan and the treacherous Dutchmen are represented as plotting to kill Smith that night. Provisions were to be brought him with professions of friendship, and Smith was to be attacked while at supper. The Indians, with all the merry sports they could devise, spent the time till night, and then returned to Powhatan.
The plot was frustrated in the providence of God by a strange means. "For Pocahuntas his dearest jewele and daughter in that dark night came through the irksome woods, and told our Captaine good cheer should be sent us by and by; but Powhatan and all the power he could make would after come and kill us all, if they that brought it could not kill us with our own weapons when we were at supper. Therefore if we would live she wished us presently to be gone. Such things as she delighted in he would have given her; but with the tears rolling down her cheeks she said she durst not to be seen to have any; for if Powhatan should know it, she were but dead, and so she ran away by herself as she came."
[This instance of female devotion is exactly paralleled in D'Albertis's "New Guinea." Abia, a pretty Biota girl of seventeen, made her way to his solitary habitation at the peril of her life, to inform him that the men of Rapa would shortly bring him insects and other presents, in order to get near him without suspicion, and then kill him. He tried to reward the brave girl by hanging a gold chain about her neck, but she refused it, saying it would betray her. He could only reward her with a fervent kiss, upon which she fled. Smith omits that part of the incident.]
In less than an hour ten burly fellows arrived with great platters of victuals, and begged Smith to put out the matches (the smoke of which made them sick) and sit down and eat. Smith, on his guard, compelled them to taste each dish, and then sent them back to Powhatan. All night the whites watched, but though the savages lurked about, no attack was made. Leaving the four Dutchmen to build Powhatan's house, and an Englishman to shoot game for him, Smith next evening departed for Pamaunky.
No sooner had he gone than two of the Dutchmen made their way overland to Jamestown, and, pretending Smith had sent them, procured arms, tools, and clothing. They induced also half a dozen sailors, "expert thieves," to accompany them to live with Powhatan; and altogether they stole, besides powder and shot, fifty swords, eight pieces, eight pistols, and three hundred hatchets. Edward Boynton and Richard Savage, who had been left with Powhatan, seeing the treachery, endeavored to escape, but were apprehended by the Indians.
At Pamaunky there was the same sort of palaver with Opechancanough, the king, to whom Smith the year before had expounded the mysteries of history, geography, and astronomy. After much fencing in talk, Smith, with fifteen companions, went up to the King's house, where presently he found himself betrayed and surrounded by seven hundred armed savages, seeking his life. His company being dismayed, Smith restored their courage by a speech, and then, boldly charging the King with intent to murder him, he challenged him to a single combat on an island in the river, each to use his own arms, but Smith to be as naked as the King. The King still professed friendship, and laid a great present at the door, about which the Indians lay in ambush to kill Smith. But this hero, according to his own account, took prompt measures. He marched out to the King where he stood guarded by fifty of his chiefs, seized him by his long hair in the midst of his men, and pointing a pistol at his breast led, him trembling and near dead with fear amongst all his people. The King gave up his arms, and the savages, astonished that any man dare treat their king thus, threw down their bows. Smith, still holding the King by the hair, made them a bold address, offering peace or war. They chose peace.
In the picture of this remarkable scene in the "General Historie," the savage is represented as gigantic in stature, big enough to crush the little Smith in an instant if he had but chosen. Having given the savages the choice to load his ship with corn or to load it himself with their dead carcasses, the Indians so thronged in with their commodities that Smith was tired of receiving them, and leaving his comrades to trade, he lay down to rest. When he was asleep the Indians, armed some with clubs, and some with old English swords, entered into the house. Smith awoke in time, seized his arms, and others coming to his rescue, they cleared the house.
While enduring these perils, sad news was brought from Jamestown. Mr. Scrivener, who had letters from England (writes Smith) urging him to make himself Caesar or nothing, declined in his affection for Smith, and began to exercise extra authority. Against the advice of the others, he needs must make a journey to the Isle of Hogs, taking with him in the boat Captain Waldo, Anthony Gosnoll (or Gosnold, believed to be a relative of Captain Bartholomew Gosnold), and eight others. The boat was overwhelmed in a storm, and sunk, no one knows how or where. The savages were the first to discover the bodies of the lost. News of this disaster was brought to Captain Smith (who did not disturb the rest by making it known) by Richard Wiffin, who encountered great dangers on the way. Lodging overnight at Powhatan's, he saw great preparations for war, and found himself in peril. Pocahontas hid him for a time, and by her means, and extraordinary bribes, in three days' travel he reached Smith.
Powhatan, according to Smith, threatened death to his followers if they did not kill Smith. At one time swarms of natives, unarmed, came bringing great supplies of provisions; this was to put Smith off his guard, surround him with hundreds of savages, and slay him by an ambush. But he also laid in ambush and got the better of the crafty foe with a superior craft. They sent him poisoned food, which made his company sick, but was fatal to no one. Smith apologizes for temporizing with the Indians at this time, by explaining that his purpose was to surprise Powhatan and his store of provisions. But when they stealthily stole up to the seat of that crafty chief, they found that those "damned Dutchmen" had caused Powhatan to abandon his new house at Werowocomoco, and to carry away all his corn and provisions.
The reward of this wearisome winter campaign was two hundred weight of deer-suet and four hundred and seventy-nine bushels of corn for the general store. They had not to show such murdering and destroying as the Spaniards in their "relations," nor heaps and mines of gold and silver; the land of Virginia was barbarous and ill-planted, and without precious jewels, but no Spanish relation could show, with such scant means, so much country explored, so many natives reduced to obedience, with so little bloodshed.