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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Varina in Henrico County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Osborne Landing

Captain John Smith’s Adventures on the James

 

—www.johnsmithtrail.org —

 
Osborne Landing Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, February 21, 2009
1. Osborne Landing Marker
Inscription. The Arrohateck Indians lived along the James River north of the Appomattox. They met Smith and his comrades on their initial journey up the James, paddling out to meet the English on a small island. “In the midway staying to refresh our selves in [a] little Ile,” wrote Smith, “foure or five savages came unto us which described unto us the course of the River, and after in our journey, they often met us, trading with us for such provision as wee had.”

Advice of the Natives was no doubt helpful to the English when navigating a succession of oxbows in the river below modern Richmond. Laced with creeks and cloaked in marsh, some of the low peninsulas become islands at high tide. Modern river travelers follow a more direct course through man-made channels.

Capt. John Smith’s Trail
John Smith knew the James River by its Algonquian name: Powhatan, the same as the region’s paramount chief. Smith traveled the river many times between 1607 and 1609, trading with Virginia Indians to ensure survival at Jamestown. What he saw of Virginia’s verdant woodlands and pristine waters inspired him to explore the greater Chesapeake Bay, chronicling its natural wonders.

(sidebar)
Historic Osborne
Osborne Boat Landing is across the river from the historic village of
1770 map showing Osburns on the James River. Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, February 21, 2009
2. 1770 map showing Osburns on the James River.
Osborne. Named in honor of one of the colonists and located at the mouth of Proctor’s Creek, Osborne was once a busy port. A ferry operated here between Henrico and Chesterfield counties.

Peter Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s father, was born here in 1708 and later married at this little settlement. Unfortunately, Osborne was deemed unsuitable for farming, so the House of Burgesses approved the motion that the land be sold in 1761. The site was divided into 120 lots, but the project was largely unsuccessful.

In 1781, during the Revolutionary War, British troops under Benedict Arnold burned the town and engaged American vessels in a fierce battle just offshore.
 
Erected by Captain John Smith’s Trail, James River Association, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network. (Marker Number 8.)
 
Location. 37° 24.075′ N, 77° 23.19′ W. Marker is near Varina, Virginia, in Henrico County. Marker can be reached from Osborne Turnpike 0.3 miles north of Kingsland Road, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. This marker is located on the river bank at Osborne Park & Boat Landing. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9680 Osborne Turnpike, Henrico VA 23231, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers
Map of Captain John Smith's Trail. Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, February 9, 2009
3. Map of Captain John Smith's Trail.
are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Naval Assault at Drewry’s Bluff (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Osborne Landing (here, next to this marker); Curvy Course (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Hoke: Empty Victory (approx. 1.2 miles away); Guns of Fort Brady (approx. 1.5 miles away); Powder Magazine (approx. 1.5 miles away); a different marker also named Powder Magazine (approx. 1.5 miles away); Guarding the James (approx. 1.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Varina.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a depiction of the exploration of the James River by English colonist. The photo carries the caption, "“The New World” © MMV, New Line Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. Photo by Merie Wallace. Photo appears courtesy of New Line Productions, Inc."

On the upper center is a sketch of an English shore party with the caption, "Drawing by Marc Castelli E.W. Haile’s book Where None Hath Stood Before. © 2006”

On the upper right is a map of Captain John Smith's Trail with the caption, "Capt. John Smith’s Trail on the James is a 40-site water trail and auto tour for modern explorers."

On the right of the sidebar is an "Excerpt of “A New and Acurate Map of Virginia,” which
Osborne Landing Markers Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, February 21, 2009
4. Osborne Landing Markers
shows the historic town of Osborne (Osburns). This map was created by John Henry and published in 1770. Image Courtesy of the Library of Virginia."

 
Also see . . .  Captain John Smith’s Trail. (Submitted on February 22, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Colonial EraExplorationNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
Heron at Osborne Landing Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, November 25, 2009
5. Heron at Osborne Landing
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,963 times since then and 86 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   5. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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