Arlington in Arlington County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
American Indian Villages and Captain John Smith
The first three villages below the falls, on the right bank of the Potomac, were located on lands now part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The names of these villages, as heard by Smith and spelled in Elizabethan English, were Namoraughquend, Assaomeck, and Namassingakent. Translated from Eastern Algonquian into English they mean "fishing place," "middle fishing place," and "fish - plenty of." The village of "fishing place" was probably between present-day Theodore Roosevelt Island and the Pentagon.
From late winter through August, anadromous fish (that live in salt water but spawn in fresh) like herring and sturgeon, swam upriver to the falls. When Smith first observed these three villages it was late June, after the native peoples had planted their crops. Very likely, the villages were seasonal fishing camps and not more-permanent agricultural towns.
Captain John Smith's Map of Virginia (above), first
If the map appears "sideways," it is because "up" is west rather than north. In the 1600s, mapmakers customarily drew maps from the perspective of a sailor approaching the land from the sea.
Erected by George Washington Memorial Parkway - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. 38° 53.734′ N, 77° 4.001′ W. Marker is in Arlington, Virginia, in Arlington County. Marker is on George Washington Parkway, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located in the parking area adjacent to the foot bridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island. Marker is in this post office area: Arlington VA 22209, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Haggerty (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Theodore Roosevelt (approx. 0.2 miles away in District of Columbia); Mason Mansion about 1900 (approx. 0.2 miles away in District of Columbia); The Mason Estate (approx. Rosslyn (approx. 0.4 miles away); Purple Heart Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Watergate Investigation (approx. 0.4 miles away); History Of The U. S. Marine Corps (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Arlington.
More about this marker. On the far right are illustrations of Native Americans life as seen by the European explorers. In 1584-85, Englishman John White, a member of the Roanoke Colony, drew a series of watercolors depicting the life of the North Carolina Algonquians, who shared a culture similar to that of their linguistic cousins of the Potomac River. The image above depicts Indians fishing from a dugout canoe, including a fish weir for trapping fish (shown in the background). Another image shows how they broiled fish over an open fire.
Categories. • Exploration • Native Americans •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,190 times since then and 73 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.