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Portrait of Pocahontas
Portrait of Pocahontas in European garb

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John Smith Became a Leader of Jamestown
September 10, 1608

The charismatic and controversial Smith was originally excluded from the government of the settlement on the grounds that he had conspired to mutiny during the voyage to Virginia. But because of his strength and ingenuity, the people of Jamestown needed him. He began to run things long before he officially received his post, leading the settlers through struggles against disease, starvation, and frequent raids upon the settlement by the Native American tribes. A brash figure with a bold self-confidence, Smith brought his soldiering experience to Virginia.
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