American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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John Smith's Map of the Chesapeake Bay

Virginia, Discovered and Discribed by Captayn John Smith
John Smith
(ca. 1580-1631)
Virginia, Discovered and Discribed
by Captayn John Smith
,
Sixth state.
[London: William Hole, 1624]
Engraved map
Geography & Map Division (19.2)

Based on a three-month exploratory survey by boat in the summer of 1608 under the direction of Captain John Smith, this map is the earliest published of the entire Chesapeake region. It not only shows the location of Jamestown, the first English settlement in the region, but also the location of Indian villages along the bay and its numerous tributaries. The map is oriented with west at the top, drawing attention to the approaching ships from England at the bottom of the sheet.

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