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Smith, John,d. 1612, English nonconformist: see Smyth, JohnSmyth or Smith, John,
c.1554–1612, English nonconformist clergyman and early believer in adult baptism.
..... Click the link for more information. .
Smith, John,c.1580–1631, English colonist in America, b. Willoughby, Lincolnshire, England. A merchant's apprentice until his father's death in 1596, he thereafter lived an adventurous life, traveling, fighting in wars against the Turks in Transylvania and Hungary, and surviving a period of slavery in Turkey. His own account of these adventures has been doubted by some investigators but has been substantiated in a number of particulars. Returning to England, he invested in the new London CompanyLondon Company,
corporation composed of stockholders residing in and about London, which, together with the Plymouth Company (see Virginia Company), was granted (1606) a charter by King James I to found colonies in America.
..... Click the link for more information. and in 1606 sailed from London for America with Capt. Christopher NewportNewport, Christopher,
1565?–1617, English mariner, commander of early voyages to Virginia. He commanded a privateering expedition to the West Indies (1592) that returned to England with the Spanish vessel Madre de Dios,
..... Click the link for more information. . On arrival in Virginia, Smith was named a member of the governing council of the Jamestown settlement, although not permitted to serve immediately, and began his explorations of the surrounding territory. He established trade relations with the Native Americans, drew up a map of Virginia, and finally fell into the hands of the Native American chief PowhatanPowhatan
, d. 1618, Native North American chief of the Powhatan tribe in Virginia, whose personal name was Wahunsenaca, Wahunsenacawh, or Wahunsonacock. He greatly extended the dominion of the Powhatan Confederacy and after the marriage (1614) of his daughter Pocahontas to John
..... Click the link for more information. . Although there is no definite proof of the famous incident of Smith's being saved from death by Powhatan's daughter, PocahontasPocahontas
, c.1595–1617, Native North American woman, daughter of Chief Powhatan. Pocahontas, meaning "playful one" (her birth name was Amonute, and her family called her Matoaka), used to visit the English in Virginia at Jamestown.
..... Click the link for more information. , it is considered quite probable that it happened. After his return (1608) to Jamestown, Smith's enemies arrested him, but he was saved from hanging by the arrival of Newport with new settlers. Smith then became president of the council and energetically resisted the company's peremptory demands that the colonists find gold. Maintaining his leadership despite opposition, he carried the colony through periods of intense suffering, hunger, and want (the "starving time"), remaining firm, tactful, and resourceful. Injured in an explosion, he returned to England in 1609. In 1614 he was sent to New England by a group of London merchants, and returned with a valuable cargo of fish and furs. He emphasized the importance of fishing and upheld the prospects for settlement in New England. On another voyage he was captured by pirates and then by the French, but eventually returned to England. He wrote A True Relation of … Virginia (1608), A Map of Virginia (1612), A Description of New England (1616), New England's Trials (1620, 2d ed. 1622), The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles (1624), An Accidence; or, The Path-Way to Experience (1626; enl. and repub. as A Sea Grammer, 1627), The True Travels, Adventures, and Observations of Captaine John Smith (1630), and Advertisements for the Unexperienced Planters of New England, or Anywhere (1631).
See edition of his works by E. Arber (1884; repr. and ed. by A. G. Bradley, 2 vol., 1910, repr. 1967); biographies by J. G. Fletcher (1928, repr. 1972), B. Smith (1953), P. L. Barbour (1964), N. B. Gerson (1966), and E. H. Emerson (1971).
Smith, John,1938–94, British politician. A barrister, he was first elected to Parliament in 1970 as a Labour partyLabour party,
British political party, one of the two dominant parties in Great Britain since World War I. Origins
The Labour party was founded in 1900 after several generations of preparatory trade union politics made possible by the Reform Bills of 1867 and 1884,
..... Click the link for more information. member from Scotland. He served as secretary for trade in 1970 and subsequently as Labour spokesperson on a number of economic and industrial issues, developing a reputation as a moderate. Smith was elected leader of the Labour party when Neil KinnockKinnock, Neil Gordon
, 1942–, British politician, b. Tredegar, Wales. The son of a miner, he studied at University College, Cardiff. In 1970 he was elected to Parliament as a Labour party member.
..... Click the link for more information. resigned following the Conservative victory in the 1992 general elections; he served as party leader until his death in 1994.
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Smith, John(1579–1631) explorer, adventurer, colonist; born in Lincolnshire, England. After fighting the Ottoman Turks, he helped to found Jamestown in 1607. He became a member of the governing council and was once captured by the Indians of Powhatan's tribe—he was rescued by the chief's daughter, Pocahontas. From 1608 to 1609 he served as the president of the Jamestown colony, but he was plagued by constant bickering with other settlers. Following a severe injury, he returned to England in 1609. He returned to America in 1614 and explored the coast of what he called New England. He wrote several books on Virginia, the settlement at Jamestown, New England, and his earlier travels in Europe and Asia. The books induced many settlers to leave for the New England area.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.