Hopewell, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Virginia Indians near City Point
Captain John Smith’s Adventures on the James
Newport described a kingdom full of pearl-mussels at the junction of the Appomattox and the James called “Waynauk,” where the Natives welcomed him with rejoicing and dances. The Weyanock controlled many miles on both sides of the James from the Appomattox east to Paspahegh lands. Smith's early map indicates the werowance's, or chief's, house near the peninsula across from here.
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.
Early English Expansion
Sir Thomas Dale spearheaded the expansion of English land holdings near the confluence of these two rivers. Though his settlements, the Citie
Demand for cropland, fueled by demand for tobacco after 1614, led the English to seek the best land, which in many cases had already been laboriously cleared by Indians using stone tools. In some instances, Dale and his compatriots drove Indians from their fields and towns. More often, they chose what they thought were former field or habitation sites. However, the Natives had not actually abandoned these meadows, as they frequently reoccupied sites after allowing surrounding fields to remain fallow.
Of the trees the English did clear, many were used to fence out the displaced Natives.
Erected by Captain John Smith’s Trail, James River Association, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network. (Marker Number 16.)
Location. 37° 18.975′ N, 77° 16.389′ W. Marker is in Hopewell, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Water Street near Pecan Avenue. Touch for map. This marker is located in the Old City Point Waterfront Park. Marker is in this post office area: Hopewell VA 23860, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hurricane Isabel (here, next to this marker); City Point The Waterfront (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named City Point (within shouting distance of this marker); Quartermaster Repair Shops (within shouting distance of this marker); Taverns (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Housing Several Thousand Federal Troops (about 600 feet away); A Busy Port (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hopewell.
More about this marker. On the lower left is a depiction of Native Americans along the banks of the James River. The photo carries the caption “The New World” © MMV, New Line Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. Photo by Merie Wallace. Photo appears courtesy of New Line Productions, Inc.
On the upper right is a map of Captain John Smith's Trail.
The sidebar shows a painting of "Sir Thomas Dale" courtesy of Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Also see . . . Captain John Smith's Trail. (Submitted on October 20, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • Exploration • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 5, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,012 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 5, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.