Portrait Gallery


Among the most enterprising and brave of the Virginia settlers was Capt. John Smith. Under pretext of commerce, he was drawn into an ambush of a numerous body of Indians, who seized and carried him in triumph to Powhattan their king. Powhattan sentenced him to death. Capt. Smith was led out, and his head placed upon a large stone, to receive the fatal blow. At this moment, Pocahontas, the youngest and darling daughter of Powhattan, then thirteen years old, rushed to the spot where Capt. Smith lay, threw her arms about his neck, and placed her own head on his, declaring that if the cruel sentence was executed, the first blow should fall on her. The sachem was moved -- yielded to the entreaties of his daughter, and consented to spare his victim upon the conditions of a ransom. The ransom was paid -- Capt. Smith was then released, and returned, unhurt, to Jamestown.

from John Warner Barber, Incidents in American History, 1847.