Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Welcome to Richmond’s Historic Riverfront
Captain John Smith’s Adventures on the James
About a mile below the falls, Christopher Newport, John Smith and 21 others found a native settlement called Powhatan in what is now the vicinity of Fulton Bottom. Clusters of people the English called “Virginians” offered them food from the shore. They spent the evening and made a league of friendship with Powhatan’s son, Parahunt, who, under the influence of “beere, aquavite, and sack,” promised to guide them to the mines of iron and copper. On May 24, 1607, they proceeded to the falls where Newport planted a cross with the inscription “Jacobus Rex 1607” to claim the land for the king of England. To dispel any suspicions, Newport told the Natives that the two arms of the cross signified the united league between Powhatan and himself.
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
Capt John Smith’s Trail on the James is a 40-site water and auto tour for modern explorers.
Tickets for seasonal boat tours can be purchased along the canal near 14th Street. Interpreters make history come alive by telling the story of the canal and its relationship with our capital city.
A cross planted along the canal at 12th and Byrd streets pays tribute to the first Englishmen to explore the area. A short walk east along the canal walk takes you to historic Shockoe Slip.
The historic capital city of Richmond looks over the mighty James River. Breathtaking views can be had from Brown’s Island river overlook and the pedestrian bridge to Belle Isle.
A shelf of granite that falls 105 feet in seven miles creates the Jame’s famous rapids. The class IV and V rapids through the heart of Richmond have earned the designation of “best urban whitewater” in the nation.
Erected by Captain John Smith’s Trail, James River Association, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network. (Marker Number 3.)
Location. 37° 32.061′ N, 77° 26.915′ W. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Richmond VA 23219, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Belle Isle (a few steps from this marker); Robert E. Lee Bridge (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tredegar in the Twentieth Century / Then and Now (about 500 feet away); Horseshoe Shops (about 500 feet away); Making Machines at Tredegar (about 600 feet away); Tredegar Rolling Mills (about 600 feet away); Industrial Recycling (about 600 feet away); Belle Isle Prison (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
Regarding Welcome to Richmond’s Historic Riverfront. On the left is a map of the “Richmond Historic Canal and Riverfront” with an insert map of the “Belle Isle James River Park System” trails.
On the upper right is a map of Captain John Smith's Trail.
Also see . . .
1. Captain John Smith’s Trail. (Submitted on October 27, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
2. City of Richmond - James River Park System. (Submitted on October 27, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
3. NPS - James River and Kanawha Canal Historic District (Submitted on October 27, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
4. Friends of the James River Park. (Submitted on October 27, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
5. Civil War Visitor Center at Tredegar Iron Works. Richmond National Battlefield Park. (Submitted on October 27, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
6. American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. (Submitted on October 27, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
7. Venture Richmond – Canal Cruises. (Submitted on October 27, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • Exploration • Native Americans • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 27, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 765 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on October 27, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.