Captain John Smith
Captain John Smith was born in Willoughby in 1580 and was educated in Alford.
Captain John Smith (January 9, 1580 - June, 1631) was one of the founders of the Jamestown in Virginia, USA. Smith also led expeditions exploring Chesapeake Bay and the New England coast.
John Smith was one of a group of people who sailed from England in 1606, and landed in Virginia in 1607. When they reached North America, the group opened sealed instructions and found that Smith was chosen as one of the seven leaders of the new colony.
They established Jamestown on May 24, 1607; it became the first permanent English settlement in North America. Jamestown was located on an island in the James River in what is now Virginia. Smith was the colony's leader and explorated the area. He traveled as far as what is now Richmond, Virginia (1607). On another trip later that year, Smith was captured by the Chief of the Powhatan Indians. The chief's daughter, Pocahontas, saved John Smith's life.
In 1608, Smith led a small expedition exploring the Chesapeake Bay area. On their return trip, they also went up the Potomac River. Smith caught a stingray that almost killed him. That area of the Rapahannock River is still called Stingray Point. Later, he mapped much of the Chesapeake Bay area.
Smith was injured during a disagreement and returned to England in October, 1609. Smith went to America again in 1614, traveling to what he called New England. Again he returned to England never to return.