John Smith Analysis in the General History of Virginia

Topics: Virginia, Native Americans in the United States, Cannon Pages: 1 (331 words) Published: November 5, 2008
How do you views of Native Americans compare to that of John Smith? Smith’s The General History of Virginia shows the Native Americans as backward, barbaric, and dangerous. John Smith saw firsthand the hostile actions, different clothes, and inferior technology of the Native Americans. John Smith wrote his opinion of the Native Americans in The General History of Virginia.

Some of the Native Americans that inhabited the New World were hostile to the colonists. Smith was captured by the Native Americans and brought back to their camp. Smith wrote that “Within an hour, the prepared to shoot him”. They decided against shooting him, realizing his apparent power and waited until Powhatan “ordered two large stones to be brought to him” so the could “beat out (Smith’s) brains”.

When John Smith was captured by the Native Americans he wrote about their different, primitive clothing. He wrote that their leader, Powhatan “sat covered with a great robe made of raccoon skin and tails hanging by”. The other members of the tribe had “their heads and shoulders painted red” and their “heads bedecked with the white down of birds”. Compared to the colonists’ clothing, the Native Americans would have looked barbaric to Smith.

The Native Americans inferior technology led to Smith writing that they were a “backwards” tribe. While being a captive of the Native Americans, Smith saw the Native Americans “marvel at the compass and the glass that covered it”. After Smith was escorted back to Jamestown to give Powhatan two cannons, Smith demonstrated how to use the cannon to the Native Americans and saw “the poor savages run away half dead with fear”.

John Smith wrote his firsthand account of what he experienced in the New World. He wrote of the relationship between the colonists and the Native Americans. Smith wrote The General History of Virginia in his own opinion of the Native Americans. Are your views of the Native Americans the same or different from John Smith’s?...
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