The reason of my being in this country of Virginia at so young an age, is directly concerned with that brave soldier and wondrous adventurer, Captain John Smith, of whom I make no doubt the people in this new world, when the land has been covered with towns and villages, will come to know right well, for of a truth he is a wonderful man.
In the sixth month of Grace, 1606, I Was living as best I might in that great city of London, which is as much a wilderness of houses, as this country is a wilderness of trees.
My father was a soldier of fortune, which means that he stood ready to do battle in behalf of whatsoever nation he believed was in the right, or, perhaps, on the side of those people who would pay him the most money for risking his life.
He had fought with the Dutch soldiers under command of one Captain Miles Standish, an Englishman of renown among men of arms, and had been killed.
My mother died less than a week before the news was brought that my father had been shot to death. Not then fully understanding how great a disaster it is to a young lad when he loses father or mother, and how yet more sad is his lot when he has lost both parents, I made shift to live as best I might with a sore heart; but yet not so sore as if I had known the full extent of the misfortune which had overtaken me.