John Smith

John SmithJohn Smith was one of the original settlers of Jamestown in 1607.

Much of what we know happened in Jamestown in its early years is from his point of view left behind in his writings.

Jamestown faced destruction daily from a number of sources. Attacks from Native Americans, starvation, disease, and much more were common problems.

After many people died in the new colony, John Smith rose to be the leader. Under his leadership he issued many rules and acted as dictator to keep order in the colony. Among his many rules was the infamous, “No work, no food!” Jamestown was established with many gentlemen colonists who were people of wealth and simply did not work, refused to work, or had no skills to help the colony be successful. John Smith changed that.

Without the help of John Smith’s leadership, Jamestown may not have survived long enough to see any success.

Related Terms & Topics

Discussion Questions:

  1. How was John Smith successful in keeping Jamestown from destruction?
  2. Do you feel that John Smith was an actual dictator?

Illustrations by Justin Weinmann