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Did Pocahontas save Captain John Smith?

Author: J A Leo Lemay
Publisher: Athens : University of Georgia Press, ©1992.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
By the mid-nineteenth century, Captain John Smith, the early Colonial explorer and settler, was a well-known figure in American history. The story of how the Powhatan princess Pocahontas saved him in 1607 from execution by her tribe appeared in all the standard American histories; numerous plays, novels, and poems were devoted to the episode. Starting in the 1860s, however, scholars began to question Smith's
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Genre/Form: History
Named Person: John Smith; Pocahontas; Pocahontas; John Smith; Pocahontas
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: J A Leo Lemay
ISBN: 0820314617 9780820314617 9780820336282 0820336289
OCLC Number: 25200545
Description: xx, 144 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. History of the Dispute --
2. The Pocahontas Episode in Smith's Writings --
3. Considerations Bearing upon the Dispute --
Afterword: Henry Adams and Captain John Smith.
Responsibility: J.A. Leo Lemay.

Abstract:

An analysis of the historiography of the debate surrounding the story of how, in 1607, the Powhatan princess Pocahontas saved explorer Captain John Smith from execution by her tribe. Having examined  Read more...

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Lemay has provided the most thorough study to date of the crucial documents concerning Pocahontas's supposed rescue of John Smith.|His examination of his sources is quite thorough and illuminates Read more...

 
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   schema:description "By the mid-nineteenth century, Captain John Smith, the early Colonial explorer and settler, was a well-known figure in American history. The story of how the Powhatan princess Pocahontas saved him in 1607 from execution by her tribe appeared in all the standard American histories; numerous plays, novels, and poems were devoted to the episode. Starting in the 1860s, however, scholars began to question Smith's published accounts of the Pocahontas incident, and a controversy ensued, with Henry Adams becoming Smith's most famous detractor. Today many scholars continue to regard Smith as a vainglorious braggart who lied about his rescue. Did Pocahontas Save Captain John Smith? is the first full analysis of the historiography of this debate. Examining all the primary and secondary evidence, J. A. Leo Lemay persuasively demonstrates that the incident did in fact occur."@en ;
   schema:description "1. History of the Dispute -- 2. The Pocahontas Episode in Smith's Writings -- 3. Considerations Bearing upon the Dispute -- Afterword: Henry Adams and Captain John Smith."@en ;
   schema:description "A valuable rebuttal to Adams had been published by William Wirt Henry in 1875, but it was largely ignored and forgotten. As he reevaluates the evidence, Lemay deduces that many old Virginia hands could have learned the story only from the Powhatan Indians. Moreover, even Smith's enemies - who were in a position to refute his story - never expressed doubt that Pocahontas had saved the Captain. The Reverend Samuel Purchas, who interviewed the Virginia colonists and the Indians who visited England, believed and repeated Smith's description of the Incident. Finally, according to Lemay, Henry Adams's original attack on Smith was actually written during the Civil War as a South-baiting polemic and suppresses pertinent evidence. A tightly argued study, Did Pocahontas Save Captain John Smith? refutes the outright skeptics and effectively reverses the prevailing judgment that the truth will never be known."@en ;
   schema:description "As Lemay notes, Adams's case against Smith (first published in 1867) hinged primarily on the fact that Smith's earliest accounts of his experiences in Virginia made no references to Pocahontas's intervention. It was not until 1624 that Smith published the well-known account of his rescue by Pocahontas. Following Adams and others who attacked Smith, a Hungarian scholar asserted in 1890 that Smith had also bragged and lied about his experiences in eastern Europe during the Hungarian wars against the Turks; this claim added fuel to the general skepticism about Smith's veracity as a historical reporter. Scholarly findings in the twentieth century rehabilitated Smith's reputation somewhat by showing that the descriptions of the places and battles he had witnessed during his European adventures were accurate; still, many felt that no convincing evidence existed to prove the Pocahontas story."@en ;
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