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Surry in Surry County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Captain John Smith’s Adventures on the James

Chippokes Plantation State Park

 

—James River beach —

 
John Smith’s Adventures on the James Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 20, 2016
1. John Smith’s Adventures on the James Marker
Inscription. Prior to unloading at Jamestown, the English sailed the James in search of a suitable location. In his account, George Perch recalls crossing to the southern shore on May 5, 1607 at the invitation of a chief he misidentifies as the "Werowance of Rapahanna." In fact, the expedition visited a Quiyoughcohannock village that appears on John Smith’s 1612 map. Percy described the Quiyoughcohannock chief, or werowance, “playing on a Flute made of Reed…with two long Feathers in fashion of a paire of Hornes placed in the midst of his Crowne. His body was painted all with Crimson, with a Chaine of Beads about his necke, his face painted blew…and in either eare a Birds Claw.”

Percy also admired the man’s demeanor: “he entertained us in so modest a proud fashion, as though he had beene a Prince of civill government, holding his countenance without laughter or any such ill behaviour.” It is possible that this chief was the same Chippoke who befriended the colonists and according to Smith, “did always at our greatest need supply us with victuals of sorts, which he did notwithstanding the continual wars which we had in the rest of the country; and upon his deathbed charged his people that they should forever keep good quiet with the English.”

(sidebar)
Shells as Thick as Stones
Fossils
John Smith’s Adventures on the James Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 20, 2016
2. John Smith’s Adventures on the James Marker
This marker is the marker on the left. The marker on the right was not legible.
in the sandy cliffs at Chippokes Plantation reveal that shellfish have thrived in the Chesapeake Bay for millions of years. For Algonquians living along the lower James River, oysters and mussels were high-protein dietary staple. Virginia Indians also crafted jewelry of pearls and made razors from oyster shells. George Percy recalled that when exploring the Elizabeth River on April 28, 1607, “We got good store of Mussels and Oysters, which lay on the ground as thicke as stones: wee opened some, and found in many of them Pearles.” The once abundant oyster reefs not only supply food but also contribute to the health of the Chesapeake Bay. By filtering sediment from water, oysters improve the habitat for underwater grasses and fish.

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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.

Capt. John Smith’s Trail on the James is a 40-site water trail and auto tour for modern explorers.
 
Erected by Captain John Smith’s Trail, James River Association,
Chippokes Plantation Farm Museum image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 20, 2016
3. Chippokes Plantation Farm Museum
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network. (Marker Number 30.)
 
Location. 37° 8.765′ N, 76° 44.304′ W. Marker is in Surry, Virginia, in Surry County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Chippokes Park Road (Virginia Route 665) and Plantation Road (Virginia Route 783), on the left when traveling north. Click for map. The marker is located in Chippokes Plantation State Park near the Farm Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 695 Chippokes Park Road, Surry VA 23883, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Working the Land (here, next to this marker); Quiyoughcohannock Indians (approx. 2.5 miles away); Hog Island (approx. 2.8 miles away); Bacon’s Castle (approx. 2.9 miles away); Jamestown Ferry (approx. 3.7 miles away); Lawne’s Creek Church (approx. 3.8 miles away); Virginia’s Vintage (approx. 3.9 miles away); Bowl, Pot, and Pipe (approx. 3.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Surry.
 
Also see . . .
1. Captain John Smith’s Trail. (Submitted on September 27, 2016.)
2. Chippokes Plantation State Park. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (Submitted on September 27, 2016.) 
 
Categories. Colonial EraExplorationNative AmericansWaterways & Vessels
 
Chippokes Plantation Farm Museum image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 20, 2016
4. Chippokes Plantation Farm Museum
Chippokes Plantation Farm Museum image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 20, 2016
5. Chippokes Plantation Farm Museum
Chippokes Plantation State Park banner image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 20, 2016
6. Chippokes Plantation State Park banner
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 142 times since then and 19 times this year. 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 September 27, 2016.
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