National Geographic : 1957 May
"...In Such a Rage Snatched the King by His Long Locke in the Middest of His Men..." In the winter of 1608-9 Smith went trading for corn. While he was negotiating with one Indian chief, 700 tribes men surrounded his band of 15 men. Quickly the captain seized the chief by his scalp lock and pointed a loaded pistol at his breast. Later a colonist described the incident: "Thus he led the trembling King, neare dead with feare amongst all his people: who delivering the Captaine his Vambrace, Bow, and Arrowes, all his men were easily in treated to cast downe their Armes, little dreaming any durst in that manner have used their King." This engraving by Robert Vaughan illustrated the scene in Smith's Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles, published in 1624. © Hulton Press, Ltd. So on they went until they reached the "Patawomeck" (Potomac), sailing beyond where Washington now stands until they had reached the falls, where "we found mighty Rocks, growing in some places above the grownd as high as the shrubby trees, and divers other solid quarries of divers tinc tures." They went downstream again and next entered the "Toppahanock" (Rappahan nock). Fish swarmed in its shoals. "Our Captaine sporting himselfe by nayl ing them to the grownd with his sword, set us all a fishing in that manner: thus we tooke more in one houre then we could eate in a day." The last fish John's sword speared was a sting ray which thrust its sting an inch and a half into his arm. His arm and shoulder swelled so his men despaired of his life, but by suppertime he had recovered enough to eat of the fish he had caught. Heading homeward at last, the explorers rounded "Poynt comfort" and sailed up the James, their barge decked out in colored streamers. They found the colony plagued with sickness and dissatisfaction. Smith was in no mood to stay around and hold the set tlers' hands, so in three days he set out again. After encounters with sickness and canoe loads of warlike Indians, the explorers reached the head of Chesapeake Bay and sailed up the Susquehanna, close to what is now the Penn sylvania line. When rocks barred the way, Smith sent word by Indian messengers to the "Sasquesahanough" tribe, inviting them to come and meet him. "Gyants" Come Down the Susquehanna After three or four days, 60 of them came, bearing gifts of all sorts. They looked "gyant like," but they were friendly enough. Not only did they bring food, tobacco pipes, and other examples of their craft; they danced and sang, and then began to "adore" young Captain Smith like a god.