John Smith (colonist)

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Smith, John (1580–1631) English soldier and colonist. Smith took the leading role in establishing the first English colony in North America, at Jamestown (1607). Exploring Chesapeake Bay, he was captured by Powhatan and possibly saved from death by Powhatan's daughter, Pocahontas. In 1608, Smith saved the colony from starvation by obtaining maize from the local people. He returned to England in 1609, later writing his Description of New England (1616).