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A Description of New England

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By: (1580-1631)

A Description of New England by Captain John Smith is a detailed account of the early exploration and settlement of the New England region by English colonists. Smith writes with a sense of wonder and excitement about the natural beauty of the land, describing the rivers, forests, and mountains in vivid detail.

One of the most striking aspects of the book is Smith's interactions with the indigenous peoples of the region. He portrays them as primitive and savage, but also as skilled hunters and warriors. Smith's encounters with tribes such as the Powhatan and the Narragansett provide a fascinating glimpse into the cultural clashes and misunderstandings that characterized early European colonization.

Overall, A Description of New England is a fascinating read for anyone interested in early American history. Smith's writing style is engaging and his firsthand accounts of exploration and settlement are both informative and entertaining. It is a valuable primary source for historians and a compelling narrative for general readers alike.

Book Description:

Captain John Smith (c. January 1580 – June 21, 1631) Admiral of New England was an English soldier, explorer, and author. He was knighted for his services to Sigismund Bathory, Prince of Transylvania. He is remembered for his role in establishing the first permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown, Virginia, and his brief association with the Virginia Indian girl Pocahontas during an altercation with the Powhatan Confederacy and her father, Chief Powhatan. He was a leader of the Virginia Colony (based at Jamestown) between September 1608 and August 1609, and led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay.

His books and maps may have been as important as his deeds, as they encouraged more Englishmen and women to follow the trail he had blazed and to colonize the New World. He gave the name New England to that region, and encouraged people with the comment, “Here every man may be master and owner of his owne labour and land…If he have nothing but his hands, he may…by industrie quickly grow rich.”

In 1614, Smith returned to the Americas in a voyage to the coasts of Maine and Massachusetts Bay. He named the region “New England”. He made two attempts in 1614 and 1615 to return to the same coast. First a storm dismasted his ship. In the second attempt, he was captured by French pirates off the Azores. Smith escaped after weeks of captivity and made his way back to England, where he published an account of his two voyages as A Description of New England. He never left England again. He died in the year 1631 in London at the age of 51. (Introduction by Wikipedia)

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