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John Smith born in1579 and died in 1631 was an English colonizer in North America who helped establish Jamestown Virginia the first permanent English settlement Smith was born in Willoughby Lincolnshire He worked on his fathers farm until he left home as a teenager and became a soldier His military adventures led him through Europe and eventually to Hungary where he fought against invading Turks In 1601 Turks captured Smith and sold him into slavery from which he later escaped By 1604 Smith had returned to England where he became a member of the London Companys colony council In December 1606 Smith and the rest of the colonial expedition set sail for America During the voyage he was accused of conspiracy although the charges against him were dropped Smith was one of seven men chosen to be on the governing Council of Virginia by the London Company He was not formally sworn in as Councillor until June 1607 The expedition founded the settlement named Jamestown in May 1607 The colonists fared badly suffering from famine disease and attacks by the natives In December 1607 George Kendall the leader of the council of Jamestown was shot for mutiny Smith was chosen president of the colony in 1608 Smith insisted that all the colonists work declaring He that will not work shall not eat except by sickness he be disabled The colony survived but Smiths strict leadership resulted in uneasy relations with some of the colonizers especially members of the gentry who were not used to hard labor Smith organized trade with the Native Americans and led expeditions to explore and map the region surrounding Jamestown On one of these expeditions he was captured by the Native American chief Powhatan and according to his account in a book he published in 1624 he was saved from being put to death by the chiefs daughter Pocahontas This adventure has become part of American history However most historians do
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