11 Feb. 2013
Smith v. Bradford
John Smith was born into a farmer’s family in 1580. At the age of fifteen he was an apprentice for a shop keeper. After his fathers’ death, he joined the military and then became enslaved. After killing his master, he followed his dreams of exploration. Meanwhile, William Bradford, also, was born into a farmer’s family in 1590. As a teenager Bradford joined a religious group. Both men came from farming families in England and were inspired as teenagers. John Smith was inspired by tales of adventure and exploration, while William Bradford was inspired by the sermons of a minister. John Smith and William Bradford had some similarities in their backgrounds, goals in colonizing successfully, and following their passions; but they had very different motivations. Smith and Bradford were both leaders and shared a similar goal of successfully colonizing in America, and they both viewed the new world as a land of opportunity and dreams, although their motives were very different. Smith wanted adventure and fame, while Bradford sought for religious freedom and spreading the word of God. Smith and Bradford have many differences but both of their writings give us insight to what America was like over four hundred years ago. John Smith was a major player in the colonization of America for England. His writings were intended for an England audience and his stories of captivity and rescue give America its’ first adventure story. In his writings he gives detailed maps of Virginia and adventurous tales, which gave him the fame he was seeking. He talks about how “such extreme weakness and sickness oppressed”(83) the colony. Then Smith goes on about how he lost his men to the Indians and was taken captive. He gives detailed descriptions of the places he was taken and the people he met while in captivity. He credits his rescue to Pocahontas, the daughter of the Chief of the Chesapeake...
Cited: Smith, John. “From The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles.” The
Norton Anthology: American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym. New York: W.W. Norton &
Company, 2012. 83-90. Print.
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