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Smith was one of 105 settlers who sailed from England on December 19, 1606, and landed in Virginia on April 26, 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. This was controversial since Smith had been accused of mutiny on the voyage.
The settlers 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 also led hunting and exploration expeditions around the area. He traveled as far as what is now Richmond, Virginia (1607). On another trip later that year, Smith was taken captive by the Chief of the Powhatan Indians and was condemned to death. Pocahontas (1595-1617), daughter of the Indian chief, saved Smith's life. (Pocahontas eventually married the English settler John Rolfe and later died of smallpox.)