John Smith helped obtain the charter for Virginia from James I, and in early 1607 more than 100 colonists left for the New World to establish the Jamestown colony. For one who was so important to the development of the New World and English exploration, little has been written about John Smith except by Smith himself.
Following the first winter, which fewer than 40 colonists survived, he appealed to England for help. This began a period of increasing resentment on both sides of the ocean. The Virginia Company financial backers called Smith to England in 1609, and he never returned to the colony. The following winter was even more harsh on the remaining colonists, who survived only because of a group of relief ships with provisions.