- from Early Settlements
John Smith was a restless man. He liked to keep moving. In 1609, he left Jamestown and returned to England. By 1614, he really wanted to see America again. He and a crew set off in two whaling ships for North America.
Other people paid for this trip. They thought Smith and his crew would return with fresh whale meat. But catching whales was hard. So while most of the crew fished and traded for furs, Smith and a few others explored the coast. They went as far north as southern Canada and as far south as Cape Cod. Smith named the area New England and made a map of it. Back in England, he wrote a book called A Description of New England. The book and map were published in 1616. On his map, Smith named one place New Plymouth. In his book, he called it “an excellent good harbor, good land.”* He said the only thing missing was hard-working people. Four years later, partly thanks to Smith’s book, new people arrived.
*From Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. American Stationers’ Company, 1837.