The 18th Century Search for the Blue Nile

John Smith's Journey in Virginia

Captain John Smith led two expeditions around the Chesapeake Bay area in 1608. The first voyage, from June 2 to July 21, began after Smith had been held as a captive of the Powhatan tribes in Virginia. Smith departed from Cape Charles at the Bay's mouth and moved along north along the eastern shore. He then veered west and then south along the western shore. Focusing on inlets and rivers such as the Patapsco, the Potomac, and the Rappahannock, Smith and his men hoped to discover a Northwest Passage to the Pacific. The second voyage began soon after the first on July 24 and concluded on September 7. Beginning at the head of the Bay, Captain Smith focused more heavily on smaller rivers. The expedition covered more than 1,000 miles and Smith was able to confirm that the Chesapeake was not home to the Northwest Passage, but instead the Susquehanna River. 

Source:  "Captain John Smith's Chesapeake Voyages: The Voyages." Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network. 2009. Accessed May 15, 2015.  

Captain John Smith
John Smith's Journey in Virginia