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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Suffolk, 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, September 21, 2016
1. John Smith Explores the Chesapeake Marker-Panel 1
Inscription.
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 schools of shad and striped bass. Massive flocks of ducks, geese, and swans darkened

Marshland Diversity-Panel 2 image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 21, 2016
2. Marshland Diversity-Panel 2
the sky; and enormous oyster reefs rose above the water's surface.

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

Captions
Smithís 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 Indianís 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
 
Erected by National Park Service US Department of Interior.
 
Location. 36° 51.05′ N, 76° 29.038′ W. Marker is in Suffolk, Virginia. Marker is on Bennetts Creek Park Road. Click for map. The marker is located in Bennett's Creek Park near the fishing pier and boat launch. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3000 Bennetts Creek Park Road, Suffolk VA 23435, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Florence Graded School (approx. 1.9 miles away); Glebe Church

Join the Adventure Marker-Panel 3 image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 21, 2016
3. Join the Adventure Marker-Panel 3
(approx. 2 miles away); Hargrove's Tavern (approx. 2 miles away); Bennett's Home (approx. 2 miles away); Sleepy Hole Ferry (approx. 2.1 miles away); Yeates School (approx. 2.1 miles away); James Bowser, Revolutionary Soldier (approx. 2.4 miles away); African American Oystermen (approx. 3.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Suffolk.
 
Categories. Colonial EraExplorationSettlements & Settlers
 
Bennett's Creek Boat Launch image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 21, 2016
4. Bennett's Creek Boat Launch
Bennett's Creek-wildlife image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 21, 2016
5. Bennett's Creek-wildlife
Sign at the entrance to Bennett's Creek Park image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 21, 2016
6. Sign at the entrance to Bennett's Creek Park
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 89 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on October 4, 2016.
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