Captain John Smith and the English Colonists Changing Perceptions of Virginia and the Algonquin Native Americans, 1584 to 1622

Jalyn Glassco


During the seventeenth century English colonist John Smith wrote of his presence in the New World in the Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles. Before voyaging to the New World Smith and other colonists came to Virginia with the expectation Virginia was an Edenic paradise full of abundance and natural resources. They thought Virginia was similar to the biblical image of the Garden of Eden. Once the colonists landed in Virginia the reality was that Virginia was a wild, untamed, and uncivilized and needed to be controlled by Englishmen. Events like the attack on Cape Henry, the Starving Times, and the Massacre of 1622 contributed to the colonists’ changing views of Virginia and the native people, which had a direct effect on the colonists’ relationship with the Algonquin Native Americans. I explore this relationship through the themes of trade, conquest, and religion.


© Copyright 2015 Jalyn Glassco