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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hopewell, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

City Point

Captain John Smith’s Adventures on the James

 

—www.johnsmithtrail.org —

 
Captain John Smith's Trail City Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 31, 2009
1. Captain John Smith's Trail City Point Marker
Inscription. Just east of the shallow bay where the Appomattox River empties into the James, City Point juts into the water. Upon first spying the easily defensible peninsula, Capt. Christopher Newport determined to deposit his boatload of colonists there. However, the shallow harbor and, according to Percy, “many stout and able Savages” forced the English back downriver, where they founded Jamestown.

In choosing the low-lying island of Jamestown, they defied the advice of the London Company: “You shall judge of good air by the people; for some part of that coast where the lands are low, have their people blear eyed, and with swollen bellies and legs; but if the naturals be strong and clean made, it is a true sign of wholesome soil.”

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)
Yalta Conference on the James
During one week in February 1945, three of the most powerful men in the world convened
Map of Captain John Smith's Trail. image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 31, 2009
2. Map of Captain John Smith's Trail.
Capt. John Smith’s Trail on the James is a 40-site water trail and auto tour for modern explorers.
for the Yalta Conference in Crimea. United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Premier Joseph Stalin of Russia gathered to lay out a strategy to bring an end to World War II. A similar event, aimed at bringing an end to one of the biggest tragedies in American history, occurred right here at City Point on March 28, 1865.

On board the vessel River Queen, anchored in the river before you, President Abraham Lincoln, Gens. Ulysses S, Grant and William T. Sherman, and Adm. David Porter met to discuss how the end of America's Civil War would be handled.

“Let them surrender and go home... Let them [the Confederate soldiers] all go, officers and all, let them have their horses to plow with, and, if you like, their guns to shoot crows with. Treat them liberally. We want these people to return to their allegiance and submit to the laws. Therefore, I say, give them the most liberal and honorable terms.” Abraham Lincoln, March 28, 1865.

On the waters in front of you, the groundwork for reconstruction began. However, without its visionary, who perished fewer than three weeks later, what seemed like such a promising strategy never reached its potential.
 
Erected by Captain John Smith’s Trail, James River Association, Virginia Department
<i>"The Peacemakers"</i> conference at City Point. image. Click for full size.
By George P.A. Healy
3. "The Peacemakers" conference at City Point.
of Conservation and Recreation, Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network. (Marker Number 16.)
 
Location. 37° 18.977′ N, 77° 16.391′ W. Marker is in Hopewell, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Water Street near Pecan Avenue. Click for map. This marker is located in the Old City Point Waterfront Park. Marker is in this post office area: Hopewell VA 23860, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Virginia Indians near City Point (here, next to this marker); Hurricane Isabel (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named City Point (within shouting distance of this marker); The Waterfront (within shouting distance of this marker); Quartermaster Repair Shops (within shouting distance of this marker); A Busy Port (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Taverns (about 600 feet away); Historic City Point (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Hopewell.
 
More about this marker. On the left of the panel is a “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.

The sidebar depicts “The Peacemakers” by George P.A. Healy. Image courtesy of the White House Historical
Overlooking the James River (facing north). image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 31, 2009
4. Overlooking the James River (facing north).
Bermuda Hundred Landing is to the right of the distant smokestacks.
Association (White House Collection) (205)

 
Also see . . .
1. White House Historical Association. The Peacemakers. (Submitted on June 5, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. Captain John Smith's Trail. (Submitted on October 20, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
 
Categories. ExplorationNative AmericansSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
 
Overlooking the James River (facing northeast). image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 31, 2009
5. Overlooking the James River (facing northeast).
On the opposite shoreline is Eppes Island and Shirley Plantation.
Old City Point Waterfront Park. image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 31, 2009
6. Old City Point Waterfront Park.
City Point Waterfront on Water Street. image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher
7. City Point Waterfront on Water Street.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 801 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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