Captain John Smith's Chesapeake Voyages: Events & Initiatives
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

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There are a number of John Smith and Jamestown Anniversary projects and events going on around the Bay. Here's a list of some of them:


America 's Anniversary Weekend
Friday, May 11-Sunday, May 13
Jamestown Island

A weekend of cultural and heritage events, living history and interactive exhibits, musical performances, and other entertainment will mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. Festivities take place at three venues—Historic Jamestowne, Jamestown Settlement, and Anniversary Park. For information on events and tickets: America's Anniversary Weekend at Jamestown will also mark the official launch of the first national water trail, the reenactment of Smith's voyages in a replica shallop, and NOAA's innovative Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System. The three ceremonial launchings will take place on May 12, starting at 10:30 a.m., and are part of a coordinated effort to draw attention to the new Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historical Trail.

“Algonquian, Iroquoian and English Language Speakers of the Chesapeake Bay Drainage through the Time Machine of Archaeology”
Wayne E. Clark
Thursday, May 17, 7:00 p.m.
Greenwell State Park

Wayne Clark is one of the principal authors of the new book entitled Captain John Smith’s Chesapeake Voyages: 1607-1609. The lecture will illustrate historical and archaeological evidence from Southern Maryland and throughout the bay region of the rich diversity of native cultures that the English encountered during their initial period of settlement and exploration. Through the lens of archaeology, history and linguistics, the deep history of the different Indian cultures will be discussed so that the varied native reactions to Smith’s voyages and English settlement can be placed in an expanded historical perspective.

“What’s For Captain Smith’s Dinner? - A 400 Year Comparison of the Plants and Animals of the Chesapeake Bay”
Dr. Walter Boynton
Thursday, June 21, 7:00 p.m
Flag Ponds Nature Park

What did the Chesapeake Bay’s food web look like back in the 1600’s? What essential nutrients were coming from the watershed, which was almost all forested, and what kind of plants probably served as the basis of the food web? What types of animals lived in this area and how did they manage their daily lives? A lot has changed in the intervening centuries, and some things have changed surprisingly little. As a scientist at UMCES Chesapeake Biological laboratory, Dr. Boynton’s specializes in the areas of estuarine ecosystems production, comparative ecology, and landscape-estuarine interactions. In this presentation, he will bring his considerable knowledge and insightful observations to bear on the changes in the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay over the last 400 years.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival: The Roots of Virginia Culture
Wednesday, June 27 - Sunday, July 1 and Wednesday, July 4-Sunday, July 8
National Mall, Washington, D.C.

The 41st annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival explores Virginia's Native American, English, and West African roots and marks the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States.

“A Collision Of Worlds: The Indians and the English As They Were In 1607”
Helen Rountree
Saturday, July 7, 7:00 p.m.
Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum

Many people assume that the Indian world of 1607 can’t be known, based upon the short shrift the Indian side of things is given in popular books and films. Consequently, the Native Americans are often portrayed as “mere savages.” In reality we know a good deal about the world of the Yoacomocos, Pawtuxunts, and other Algonquian-speakers around the Chesapeake Bay, thanks to detailed writings about their customs by Captain John Smith and others. Helen Rountree, one of the three principal authors of Captain John Smith’s Chesapeake Voyages: 1607-1609, shares her unique knowledge of Native American life as informed by a broad, multidisciplinary perspective.

American Indian Intertribal Cultural Festival
Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22
Hampton, Virginia

Virginia Indian tribes showcase the various cultures of American Indian nations. Focusing on the contributions and cultures of Virginia Indians, the festival highlights the similarities and differences among Virginia tribes as well as tribes elsewhere in the country through native foods, dances, traditional stories, arts and crafts, cultural demonstrations, and historical information.

Patuxent Encounters: The Patuxent Indians and Captain John Smith
Saturday, August 4 and Sunday, August 5
Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, St. Leonard, Maryland

The two-day festival focuses on the lasting contributions that American Indians have made, and continue to make to the social, political, technological, and cultural fabric of the nation. Features exhibits, traditional dance and music, storytelling, crafts, educational presentations, and the landing of the recreated John Smith shallop.

“Beginning In 1608: Epic Encounters and Dramatic Changes around Chesapeake Bay”
Henry M. Miller
Wednesday, August 22, 7:00 p.m.
UMCES Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

Miller is the Director of Research for Maryland’s state museum at Historic St. Mary’s City and has over 35 years of archaeological and museum experience in the Chesapeake region. This lecture will address the 1608 voyage of exploration conducted by Captain John Smith and the unique world he encountered. Based on history, archaeology and ecology, Dr. Miller will discuss English colonization, Chesapeake Bay Indians, and the natural environments Smith observed. Smith’s epic voyage spurred a vast range of changes, both human and natural, in the Chesapeake region, and the consequences of his voyage that still influence our lives four centuries later.

“What’s Happening to Our Beloved Chesapeake: A Geographer’s Perspective”
Professor Daniel McDermott
Tuesday, September 11, 7:00 p.m.
American Chestnut Land Trust at the Prince Frederick Library

Using satellite and fine-art imagery, Professor McDermott will focus on what’s happening to our beloved Chesapeake. Starting with historical and geographic facts showing how the bay was formed, he will illustrate how the early colonial settlers impacted the environment. When they came, they brought not only different land use practices, but non-native plants and animals that changed the environment forever. And the changes go on today, as the impacts of global warming and rising water levels are beginning to be felt. Professor McDermott, a cartographer and photographer, brings a unique perspective to the ever-changing landscape of the Chesapeake Bay region.

"The Strange Adventures of Anas Todkill”
Willie Balderson
Saturday, October 13, 2:00 p.m.
Historic St. Mary’s City

Meet Anas Todkill, a soldier who arrived at Jamestown in 1607 and accompanied Capt. John Smith on most of his explorations of the Chesapeake - including the two 1608 “Voyages of Discovery.” Balderson, as Anas Todkill, will share his experiences while exploring this strange new land we call Virginia, as well as his encounters with the native people that live here. Mr. Balderson is a costumed interpreter for Colonial Williamsburg where he has perfected the character of Anas Todkill, a member of John Smith’s crew during his exploration of the Chesapeake. Willie Balderson is the Manager of Public History Development for Colonial Williamsburg.

Chickahominy Corn Festival
Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 10
Charles City, Virginia

A port-of-call visit by the Jamestown Settlement Godspeed to commemorate Captain John Smith's historic Chickahominy voyages in November 1607 when Smith set out to explore the river and trade with the Chickahominy Indians. Hundreds of barrels of Chickahominy corn fed the Jamestown settlement through its first winter. Festival will feature a ceremonial commemoration of the encounter and demonstrate the many ways in which the “Coarse Ground Corn People,” the Chickahominy, cooked and used corn. Native dancing, crafts, and food.

“The Voyage of the John Smith Shallop: 2007”
Drew McMullen
Thursday, November 15, 7:00 p.m.
Calvert Marine Museum

Mr. McMullen is the President of Sultana Projects, based in Chestertown, Maryland. Over the summer of 2007, Sultana Projects will oversee an effort to reenact Captain John Smith’s 1608 Chesapeake expeditions as part of the Captain John Smith Four Hundred Project. Employing a full-scale replica of Smith’s open boat, or “shallop,” and traveling by oar and sail alone, Sultana’s team of 12 modern adventurers will spend 121 days retracing the full 2,000 mile route of Smith’s 1608 voyages. During his presentation McMullen will share photos, videos and stories from the recently completed expedition.


The National Park Service, Sultana Projects, Inc., National Geographic, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, NOAA, The Conservation Fund, the states of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and other partners in the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail are developing exhibits, interpretive products, and educational materials related to the trail and the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Smith's expeditions. Check the following websites frequently for information

General Interest:

The Trail:

Education Websites:

Recreational Opportunities:

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