John Smith’s Generall Historie of Virginia (1624) was produced at a time when the English settlements in Virginia were in a perilous position. The English colonists were still reeling from an Indigenous attack in 1622 which had left hundreds of colonists dead and a number of settlements destroyed. Smith, while ostensibly producing a history of the early English settlements, also sought to provide a remedy to the dire circumstances his fellow Englishmen and women found themselves in. This article examines Smith’s argumentative strategy, arguing that it is reliant on recasting the colonial past both textually and visually. Moving beyond the current scholarship that has largely focused on narrow sections of the text, this article demonstrates the productive power of print in the early modern period, illustrating how the Generall Historie provoked new ideas about Indigenous people, their character, and how they should be approached by English colonists.
|Early online date||9 Mar 2021|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Mar 2021|
- print culture