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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Williamsburg in James City County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Captain John Smith

 
 
Captain John Smith Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
1. Captain John Smith Marker
Inscription. John Smith was born about 1580 the son of a yeoman farmer of modest means. As a young man he traveled throughout Europe and fought as a soldier in the Netherlands and in Hungary. There he was captured, taken to Turkey and sold into slavery in Russia. He murdered his master, escaped and journeyed back to Hungary to collect a promised reward of money and a coat-of-arms. He returned to England in time to participate in the settlement of Virginia.

He was an arrogant and boastful man, often tactless and sometimes brutal. Physically strong and worldly wise, he made an excellent settler. However, his personality, his obvious qualifications and his low social position infuriated many of the colony’s leaders and settlers. Despite this, he was named to the first Council in May, 1607. He learned the Indians’ language and became the colony’s principal Indian trader. During the summer of 1608 he led a 3,000 mile expedition in an open boat to explore and map Chesapeake Bay and its principal rivers. On September 10, 1608 the Council elected him Governor of Virginia for a one-year term. He was an able leader who understood both the Indians and the settlers’ needs and the colony prospered.

Captain Smith returned to England in October, 1609 following an accidental gunpowder burn and became Virginia’s most effective propagandist and historian.
Marker in Historic Jamestown image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
2. Marker in Historic Jamestown
Captain John Smith looks out over the James River.
His True Relation of Virginia (1608), Map of Virginia (1612) and General History of Virginia (1624) presented the colony as Smith understood it. In 1614 he made a short voyage to New England where he explored and mapped the coast from Cape Cod to Maine. Smith returned to England and never visited Virginia again, never married and never received the recognition he thought he deserved. He died June 21, 1631 and was buried in St. Sepulchre’s Church in London.

The statue by William Couper was erected in 1909.
 
Erected by Colonial National Historical Park, National Park Service.
 
Location. 37° 12.498′ N, 76° 46.727′ W. Marker is near Williamsburg, Virginia, in James City County. Marker can be reached from Colonial Parkway, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in the "Old Towne" section of the Historic Jamestown unit of Colonial National Historic Park. Marker is in this post office area: Williamsburg VA 23185, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Captain John Smith (here, next to this marker); Palisades (a few steps from this marker); Storehouse & First Well (within shouting distance of this
Captain John Smith Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, October 23, 2016
3. Captain John Smith Marker
The marker has been moved from behind the statue to a new location to the right of the statue.
marker); The First General Assembly of Virginia (within shouting distance of this marker); Barracks (within shouting distance of this marker); Jamestown’s Churches (within shouting distance of this marker); The Tombstones (within shouting distance of this marker); The Tombs of James and Sarah Blair (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Williamsburg.
 
More about this marker. The upper left of the marker contains a portrait of Captain John Smith at age 37, done in 1616.
 
Also see . . .
1. Historic Jamestowne. Colonial National Historic Park from National Park Service website. (Submitted on September 11, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Historic Jamestowne. Historic Jamestowne is the site of the first permanent English settlement in America. The site is jointly administered by APVA Preservation Virginia and the National Park Service. (Submitted on September 11, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

3. Wikipedia Entry for John Smith
Statue of Captain John Smith image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
4. Statue of Captain John Smith
This statue of Capt. Smith is located in front of the marker, within the Jamestown fort on the James River.
. “During the voyage, Smith was charged with mutiny, and Captain Christopher Newport (in charge of the three ships) had planned to execute him. Fortunately for Smith, upon first landing at what is now Cape Henry on 26 April 1607, unsealed orders from the Virginia Company designated Smith to be one of the leaders of the new colony, thus, perhaps, sparing Smith from the gallows.” (Submitted on September 9, 2017.) 
 
Categories. Colonial EraNotable PersonsNotable Places
 
Captain John Smith Governor of Virginia 1608 image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, July 1973
5. Captain John Smith Governor of Virginia 1608
Closeup of Captain John Smith Statue image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 14, 2008
6. Closeup of Captain John Smith Statue
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 9, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 11, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,195 times since then and 103 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 11, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3. submitted on December 1, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.   4. submitted on September 11, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   5. submitted on September 11, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   6. submitted on September 11, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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