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

John Smith Explores the Chesapeake

Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail

 
 
John Smith Explores the Chesapeake Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, April 20, 2013
1. John Smith Explores the Chesapeake Marker
Inscription. 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 Indian 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.

Native Inhabitants
At the time of Smith’s exploration, an estimated 50,000 American Indians dwelled in the Chesapeake region—as their ancestors had for thousands of years. Their sophisticated societies included arts and architecture, systems of government, extensive trade and communication networks, and shared spiritual beliefs. The native peoples hunted, fished, grew
Yorktown's Riverwalk image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher
2. Yorktown's Riverwalk
crops, and gathered food and raw materials from the land and waterways.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 37° 14.377′ N, 76° 30.645′ W. Marker is in Yorktown, Virginia, in York County. Marker can be reached from Water Street west of Buckner Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Located along Yorktown's Riverwalk. Marker is at or near this postal address: 309 Water Street, Yorktown VA 23690, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Join the Adventure (here, next to this marker); The Watermen's Museum (a few steps from this marker); Aviation Field Yorktown (a few steps from this marker); Yorktown's Windmill (a few steps from this marker); Naval Weapons Station (within shouting distance of this marker); The Yorktown Windmill (within shouting distance of this marker); The Betsy (within shouting distance of this marker); Chesapeake Bay Watermen (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yorktown.
 
Categories. ExplorationNative Americans
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 21, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 201 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 21, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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