Among the earliest observations by an Englishman of native building, those by Captain John Smith (c. 1580–1631) cover the period 1607 through 1609 when he served for a time as the president of the Jamestown colony he had been instrumental in establishing. His account, published later, reveals certain prevalent European prejudices which conditioned Smith’s perception. Nonetheless, his observation about the natives placing their villages “not farre distant from some fresh spring” was no doubt prompted by the unfortunate siting of the first Jamestown settlement next to a pitch pine swamp so that the wells repeatedly filled with brackish water, plaguing the first residents with numerous “Fluxes and Agues.”