Smith Vs. Columbus

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There are many stories from the past that are said to contain accurate depictions of what the New World truly looked like and what it had to offer, none of which scratched the surface of exploration compared to those of Christopher Columbus and Captain John Smith. These two “stories” are actually said to be direct entries from the journals of those two famous explorers in times of their many voyages and discoveries. Therefore, the depiction of the New World by Christopher Columbus and that of Captain John Smith in The General History are known to contain some of the most accurate information. However, if I were to compare and contrast the two entries, there would be a noticeable difference between the writings of Columbus and Smith. So which of these to sources do I believe to be more reliable? When referring to the entry written by Christopher Columbus, he begins with notes on going ashore the New World and immediately coming across an unoccupied Native home. Columbus also writes, in detail, about how the island exceeds the others in beauty and fertility. When referring to The General History, Captain John Smith begins with no writing of the New World’s surrounding area or of any immediate Native encounters. However, The General History includes much information on the terrible living conditions and bad farming/planting of the colony formed by the group of settlers that Captain John Smith was within. For some reason, the entry of Christopher Columbus contains no information about a settlement of any sort, almost as if he and his crew stayed in the New World for only one day. From this point, both entries seem to be of equal reliability due to the equal lack of common information. When reading further into The General History, Captain John Smith writes about how his first encounter with live Natives in the New World was while he was on an expedition with two

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