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Children's LiteratureJohn Smith was an adventurer. Born in 1580 in England, he was only sixteen when he joined the army. He sailed across the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, participated in wars in Hungary, the Netherlands, and Slovenia. He was a born traveler and visited many countries throughout his lifetime. One of his adventures resulted in his capture and enslavement. His owner was a woman who took pity on him and treated him kindly, but her brother did not treat him as well. Eventually, Smith escaped. He found his way to the New World, where he had his most memorable adventures. The ship he was on landed in Virginia. He tried to establish an English colony but first had to make peace with the native people led by a chief named Powhatan. It was a constant struggle for the colonists to live among the Indians. They had to fight for survival, find food and shelter, and deal with illness. When Smith was captured by Chief Powhatan's tribe, he met Pocahontas for the first time. She saved his life when her father, Chief Powhatan, marked Smith for death. In 1616, Smith met Pocahontas again when she visited England with her husband John Rolfe. A year later, she died from an unknown illness. In 1631, Captain John Smith died at the age of fifty-one. He led an adventurous, exciting life and is remembered for his attempts at colonizing Virginia and his meeting with the Indian princess, Pocahontas. Illustrations and back matter material are included. 2006, Morgan Reynolds Publishing Inc, Ages 10 up.
—Della A. Yannuzzi