Of all the encounters between Captain John Smith and the Indians of the Chesapeake, none was more important than his contact with Powhatan, the paramount chief of many tribes in the vast area of Tsenacomoco, which his people called their part of Virginia.
It would be several months before Smith would meet Chief Powhatan. When the first re-supply ship did not return to Jamestown in November, John Smith set out to trade with the Indians for food. This took Smith to many villages up and down the river, and he soon became quite knowledgeable about the Powhatan people.
Unfortunately for the Native Americans, Smith believed that the English should treat them as the Spanish had: to compel them to “drudgery, work, and slavery,” so English colonists could live “like Soldiers upon the fruit of their labor.” Thus, when his negotiations for food occasionally failed, Smith took what he
John Smith’s Diplomancy Compared to other Europeans of the early 1600s, Captain Smith seems to have been open-minded towards native peoples. He described them in glowing terms as comely and civil and referred to their chiefs as kings and emperors.
Relations with American Indians in the Southern Colonies began somewhat as a peaceful coexistence. As more English colonists began to arrive and encroach further into native lands, the relationship became more violent.
Trade was one of the first bridges between New England colonists and local Native American populations. The Native Americans provided skins, hides, food, knowledge, and other crucial materials and supplies, while the settlers traded beads and other types of currency (also known as “wampum”) in exchange for these goods.
According to Smith, during this visit Pocahontas again saved his life by running through the woods that night to warn him her father intended to kill him. However, as in 1607, Smith’s life was not in danger.
1607-1612. The first meeting of Pocahontas and Captain John Smith is a legendary story, romanticized by Smith in his later writings. He was leading an expedition of the new Virginia colonists in December 1607 when he was taken captive by some Indians.
Interesting Facts about John Smith He met Pocahontas in London when she traveled there in 1616. John Smith was a major character in the Disney animated film Pocahontas. While mapping the coast of Massachusetts, he was captured by French pirates. He escaped and made his way back to England.
According to Smith, the chief’s young daughter, Pocahontas, saved him from execution; historians have questioned his account. In any case, the Powhatan released Smith and escorted him back to Jamestown. By January 1608, only 38 of the original 104 settlers were still alive.
Initially, white colonists viewed Native Americans as helpful and friendly. They welcomed the Natives into their settlements, and the colonists willingly engaged in trade with them. The Native Americans resented and resisted the colonists’ attempts to change them.
For decades archaeologists thought the first Americans were the Clovis people, who were said to have reached the New World some 13,000 years ago from northern Asia. But fresh archaeological finds have established that humans reached the Americas thousands of years before that.
The American Indian tribes in the land area of the Carolinas included the Westos, Creeks, Shawnees (Savannahs), Cherokees, and Yamasees. In 1653, the first permanent settlement was created in the northeastern corner of present-day North Carolina.
Conflict between the Pilgrims and Wampanoags was sure to happen since the two groups cared about different things and lived differently. Pilgrims and Wampanoags cooperated a lot in the early years of contact, but conflict was eventually going to happen because the two sides did not communicate very well.