John Smith Explores the Chesapeake
Captain John Smith National Historic 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 observations 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 duck, geese, and swans darkened the sky, and enormous oyster reefs rose above the water’s surface.
At the time of Smith’s explorations, and estimated 50,000 American Indians dwelled in the Chesapeake region-as their ancestors had for thousands of years, Their
To learn more about the trail, visit www.smithtrail, net.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Exploration • Native Americans. A significant historical year for this entry is 1607.
Location. 38° 41.712′ N, 77° 3.947′ W. Marker is in Accokeek, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker is on Bryan Point Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Accokeek MD 20607, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cherished Homeland (here, next to this marker); Join the Adventure (here, next to this marker); People Shaping the Land (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to the Visitor Center (within shouting distance of this marker); The Hon. Frances Payne Bolton (within shouting distance of this marker); Land Shaping People (within shouting distance of this marker); Ecosystem Farm (within
Credits. This page was last revised on June 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 2, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 280 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 2, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.