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serve the infant colony in a state of comparative ease and security while he resided among them.

It unfortunately happened that, while engaged in an expedition for the purpose of exploring the country, and examining some of its principal rivers, Captain Smith was attacked by a band of Indians. He had proceeded a considerable way in advance of his party, accompanied only by two of his men, both of whom were killed. He afterwards made a most gallant defence with his fire-arms, killing three of his opponents; but at length being disabled, he was taken prisoner. His enemies, having decided to put him to death, were fastening him to a tree, that they might shoot him with arrows, when Smith, with great presence of mind, pulled out a pocket mariners'-compass, and presented it to their chief. The astonishment felt by the Indians at seeing the movements of the needle—which they were unable to touch on account of its glass cover interposing an invisible obstruction, the cause of which they could not comprehend—and the extraordinary appearance of the instrument and its motions, induced the savages to postpone his execution. They probably looked upon Smith as a magician, and determined to carry him to their king, Powhatan. He was accordingly led in triumph through many villages, among the numerous tribes governed by that prince. Smith was every where feasted on his march; but he observed that none of the Indians would, upon any occasion, eat with him, although, after he had finished his meal, they sat down, and partook of the provisions. This he looked upon as a bad omen of the reception he was likely afterwards to meet with.

* “Captain John Smith," says Granger, “deserves to be ranked with the greatest travellers and adventurers of his age. He was some time in the service of the Emperor and the Prince of Transylvania, against the Grand Seignor, when he distinguished himself by challenging three Turks of quality to single combat, and cutting off their heads; for which heroic exploit he wore a chevron betwixt three Turks' heads on his arms. He afterwards went to America, where he was taken by the savage Indians, from whom he found means to escape.

He often hazarded his life in naval engagements with pirates, Spanish men of war, and in other adventures, and had a considerable hand in reducing New England to the obedience of Great Britain, and in reclaiming the inhabitants from barbarism." - Granger's Biographical History. Mr. Jefferson, in his Notes on the State of Virginia, observes, “Captain Smith, who, next to Sir Walter Raleigh, may be considered as the founder of our colony, has written its History, from the first adventures to it, till the year 1624. He was a member of the council, and afterwards president of the colony; and to his efforts principally may be ascribed its support against the opposition of the natives. He was honest, sensible, and well informed: but his style is barbarous and uncouth. His History, however, is almost the only source from which we derive any knowledge of the infancy of our state."— Jefferson's Notes on Virginia. Query 22.

Powhatan was then supreme potentate over all the Indians in that part of the country, and was

6. He

supposed to have under his command a force of between two and three thousand warriors. lived,” says Stith in his History of Virginia, "in great barbaric state and magnificence. He usually had about his person forty or fifty of the tallest men his country afforded, which guard was increased to two hundred on account of the English. Every night, upon the four corners of his house, were placed four sentinels, each a flight-shot from the other; and every half-hour one from the main guard hollowed out, shaking his finger between his lips, and every sentinel was obliged to answer from his stand. At all his ancient inheritances he had houses, some of them thirty or forty yards long, and at every house provisions for his entertainment, according to the season. ". To the august presence of this aboriginal monarch, Captain Smith was led captive in triumphal procession; and he thus narrates, in the quaint style of that 'age, the appearance of Powhatan's court : “ Here were more than two hundred of thesė grim courtiers stood wondering as hee had been a monster, till Powhatan and his trayne had putt themselves in theyre greatest braveries. Befóre a fire, upon a seate like a bedsteade, hee sat covered with a great robe of rarowcan (racoon)


* History of Virginia, by the Rev. William Stith, book ii. America, 1747.

skinnes, and all the tayles hanging by. On either hand did sit a young wench of about sixteen or eighteen yeares, and along on each side the house as many women, with all theyre beades and shoulders painted red; manie of theyre heades bedecked with white down of birdes, but everie one with something, and a great chayne of white beades about theyre necks. At his entrance before the king, all the people gave a great shout. The queen of

of Appamatuck was appointed to bring him water to wash his hands, and another brought him a bunch of feathers, insteade of a towel, to dry them.”*

After these and other Indian ceremonies, Captain Smith was again feasted ; and a council being now held, it was decided that he should be immediately put to death. He was accordingly dragged forward before the king, and his head placed upon a large stone on the ground, in order to have his brains beat out by two men armed with clubs. This sentence was on the point of being executed, when, to the astonishment of the whole assembly, the king's favourite daughter, Pocahontas, then about twelve or thirteen

years of age, rushed forward, and throwing herself down, folded her arms round the head of the captive, to save him from the blow of the executioner. Such was her generous and persevering resolution, that

* The Generall Historie of Virginia, &c. &c., by Captaine John Smith, ch. 1. 1632.

Powhatan at length ordered Smith to be released. From that time he was treated with distinguished regard by the king, as well as by his brave sonsa He was soon afterwards sent back to the settlement at Jamestown, under an escort of twelve trusty Indians ; peace was established between Powhatan and the English ; and the young Pocahontas, having become their avowed friend and protectress, was allowed to visit the colony with her attendants, and to carry provisions and presents to thein when ever they were in want.*

Some time afterwards, however, hostilities were unfortunately renewed, and Powhatan became very anxious once more to get Captain Smith into his power. In order to save him, Pocahontas again exerted herself. In a dark and dreary night, she found her way alone through the woods, and having reached the spot where Smith and a party of his people were encamped near her father's residence, she informed him that Powhatan, under the cloak of friendship, intended immediately to send some of

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* “Her true name," says Purchas, “ was Matokes, which they concealed from the English, in a superstitious feare of hurt by the English, if her name were knowne." – Pilgrimes; part v., book viii., ch. 5. The Indians had the notion that the Europeans were great magicians, but that they could not materially harm any one against whom their magic was exercised, when the object was only known to them under a fictitious name.

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