Captain John Smith: Conqueror, Colonizer, Commissioner

The Sea Mark: Captain John Smith’s Voyage to New England, published by University Press of New England (, juxtaposes three different mentalities and activities: the conqueror, colonizer, and commissioner.

Smith the conqueror was a soldier who believed that whoever was in the way of his interest, that is England’s interest, was expendable.

Smith the colonizer believed it was his and England’s destiny to expand power, increase wealth (and possessions), and control.

Smith the commissioner believed it was his and England’s job to act on the Great Commission, that of Christ to spread the Gospel to all nations.

Are these contradictory or commensurate? What kind of personality combines these three disparate mentalities and activities?

Today, Smith’s three mentalities—conqueror, colonizer, commissioner—appear contradictory, but to him, in his time, they were commensurate.

Smith was an Anglican, convinced that God’s Providence was at work throughout time and in Smith’s own life.

It was God’s will, Smith believed, that he engage in these, to him, commensurate activities of conquering, colonizing, and commissioning the Gospel to the Indians.

The Sea Mark: John Smith’s Voyage to New England, tells the story of this complex man, John Smith, in the context of his 1614 voyage along the northeast American coast, during which he christened the land, New England.

About theamericanplutarch

Writer, thinker, historian.
This entry was posted in History and Philosophy. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s