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John Smith One of our countrys founding fathers John Smith exhibited an adventuresome proud and boastful spirit which led to his great fame yet today he remains one of the least understood figures of early American history His name evokes a popular image of a romantic hero who was rescued by the legendary Pocahontas Many people once believed that the heroic adventures described in his writings were written simply to promote himself but most of his writings have been substantiated of late Even as a young boy John Smiths spirit for adventure shone through He was born in Willoughby Lincolnshire England to George and Alice Smith John was also baptized there on January 9 1579 Johns father a tenant farmer died in 1596 leaving John a modest property Smith attended grammar school and was then apprenticed to a prominent merchant Thomas Sendall of Lynn His apprenticeship lasted a short time however because John left soon after he began it to seek adventure elsewhere Smith 1 As John Smith grew older his sense of adventure only grew stronger as he traveled throughout Europe engaging in war John Smith was first beckoned by the Dutch war of independence from Spain and he later joined British volunteers in the Netherlands in the late 1590s Smith then sought adventure in France Later he boarded a merchant ship bound for the Near East and ended up in Italy He then joined the Austrian forces in the Long War against the Turks in late 1600 Barbour 59 Even these numerous and adventure-filled expeditions that Smith took part in could not fulfill Smiths strong desire for constant excitement Life for John Smith began to fall rapidly into place as his stature grew and he encountered more adventure than he could have ever imagined After having been promoted to captain for his services in Hungary Smith was sent to Transylvania in the spring of 1602 Here Smith was said to have been
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