John Smith Explores the Chesapeake
Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historical Trail
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
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 passage to the Pacific, his precise map and detailed observation of American Indians societies and the abundant natural resources guided future explorers and settlers.
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 the sky; and enormous oyster reefs rose above the water’s surface.
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
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Exploration • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1607.
Location. 39° 12.468′ N, 76° 25.433′ W. Marker is in Sparrows Point, Maryland, in Baltimore County. Marker is on Old Bay Shore Road. The marker is in North Point State Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sparrows Point MD 21219, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hard Travel (here, next to this marker); The Trolley Station at Bayshore Park (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dreaded Alarm (about 700 feet away); About This Fountain… (about 700 feet away); The Rebirth of a Maryland Historical Treasure (about 700 feet away); Wetlands (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Presbytery of Baltimore (approx. 0.8 miles away); Todd’s Inheritance (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sparrows Point.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 19, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 201 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 19, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.