Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Williamsburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

John Smith Explores the Chesapeake

Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail

 
 
John Smith Explores the Chesapeake Marker-Panel 1 image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 17, 2016
1. John Smith Explores the Chesapeake Marker-Panel 1
Inscription. (panel 1)
John Smith Explores the Chesapeake

Captain John Smith explored the Chesapeake Bay in the early 1600s seeking precious metals and a passage to Asia. He traveled the James, Chickahominy, and York rivers in 1607, and led two major expeditions from Jamestown in 1608. Smith and his crew sailed and rowed a primitive 30-foot boat nearly 3,000 miles, reaching as far north as the Susquehanna River.

Although Smith did not discover gold, or a river to the Pacific, his precise map and detailed observations of American Indian societies and the abundant natural resources guided future explorers and settlers.

Native Inhabitants
At the time of Smith's explorations, an estimated 50,000 American Indians dwelled in the Chesapeake region—as their ancestors had for thousands of years. Their sophisticated societies included arts and architecture, systems of government, extensive trade and communication networks, and shared spiritual beliefs. The native people hunted, fished, grew crops, and gathered food and raw materials from the land and waterways.

An Abundance of Life
Smith discovered a treasure trove of natural wonders in the Chesapeake region: thick forests of giant pines, oaks, and hickories; vast marshlands, huge turtles, 800-pound sturgeon, and great
Join the Adventure Marker-Panel 2 image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 17, 2016
2. Join the Adventure Marker-Panel 2
schools of shad and striped bass. Massive flocks of ducks, geese, and swans darkened the sky; and enormous oyster reefs rose above the water's surface.

To learn more about the trail visit www.smithtrail.net

(captions)
Smith’s remarkably accurate map of the Chesapeake Bay (published in 1612), and his spirited written accounts of a lush landscape inspired European migration.

Decorative shells-such as those found on this ceremonial robe-were valuable in the American Indian’s trading network that extended for hundreds of miles. This robe (which may have belonged to paramount chief Powhatan) was crafted from four elk skins and adorned with more than 17,000 shells.

Wood ducks and other waterfowl flourished
The forests and lowlands teemed with deer
Cattails grew thick in pristine marshes
Flocks of geese filled the sky

(panel 2)
Join the Adventure

Explore the places Englishman John Smith traveled in the early 1600s. Learn about the thriving American Indian communities he encountered and imagine the bountiful Chesapeake he observed. Experience the natural and cultural richness that exists in the region today.

The 3,000-mile Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail traces the exploratory voyages Smith conducted from 1607 to 1609 on the Chesapeake Bay and
John Smith Explores the Chesapeake Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 17, 2016
3. John Smith Explores the Chesapeake Marker
The beach house is in the background.
along several major rivers. The trail includes parks, museum sites, driving tours, and water trails that align with Smith's historic voyage routes and offer opportunities for recreation and discovery.

Experience the Trail
• Explore rivers, coves, and open water by kayak, sailboat, or motor craft.
• Bicycle or hike along woodland trails and shoreline paths.
• Follow winding back roads through rural landscapes and historic villages.
• Visit places that celebrate American Indian heritage.
• See birds and other wildlife foraging in marshes, waterways, and forests.
• Attend festivals and demonstrations, or join a guided tour.

To learn more about the trail and to plan your adventure, visit
www.smithtrail.net

(captions)
Captain John Smith’s Historic Voyage Routes
“Here are mountains, hils, plaines, valleys, rivers, and brookes all running most pleasantly into a faire Bay compassed but for the mouth with fruitful and delightsome land.”
– John Smith, 1612

Overlooking the Susquehanna River
Students aboard Discovery at Jamestown Settlement
Kayakers explore the trail
Indian dance demonstration at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum
 
Erected by National Park Service, US Department of Interior.
 
Location.
John Smith Explores the Chesapeake Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 17, 2016
4. John Smith Explores the Chesapeake Marker
The beach house and beach are in the background
37° 13.52′ N, 76° 47.329′ W. Marker is in Williamsburg, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Jamestown Road (Virginia Route 31) 0.4 miles south of Greensprings Road (Virginia Route 614), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located on a walkway between the parking lot and the beach house in Jamestown Beach Event Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2205 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg VA 23185, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Powhatan Indian Village (approx. 0.2 miles away); At Jamestown Began: (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ships (approx. 0.2 miles away); Susan Constant (approx. ¼ mile away); James Fort (approx. ¼ mile away); Voyage to Virginia (approx. ¼ mile away); Godspeed (approx. ¼ mile away); Discovery (approx. ¼ mile away).
 
Also see . . .  Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. National Park Service (Submitted on August 30, 2016.) 
 
Categories. Colonial EraExplorationNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
Jamestown Beach Park image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 17, 2016
5. Jamestown Beach Park
Sign at the entrance to Jamestown Beach Park image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 17, 2016
6. Sign at the entrance to Jamestown Beach Park
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 88 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on August 30, 2016.
Paid Advertisement