Assignments for Class 6: Colonial Settlement Patterns in Virginia ("Why There?")

Objectives for the Class

Web Exercises (two places to explore, plus a reading that elaborates on the original map):
Look at John Smith's 1612 map, then compare modern maps to it at the Virtual Jamestown site. To learn more, see "A Map of Virginia, with a Description of its Commodities, People, Government, and Religion" by John Smith (1612)
Note the statement that Virginia includes 10 degrees of latitude - and as for the west, "the limits are unknowne." Smith refers to what we now call the York River as the Pamaunke, and the next major stream to the north (today's Rappahannock River) as the Toppahanock. Within the boundaries of Virginia is the Pawtuxunt - because no colony of Maryland had been created yet.
In his description of "5 faire and delightfull navigable rivers" on the west side of the bay, Smith fails to include the river inhabited by "a people called Sasquesahanock." He identifies it as a northern stream, but fails to note its large size compared to all the other streams.

Watch "The Shenandoah Valley" on GMU-TV streaming video

Map Exercise:
Flip through the DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer pages to sail up the James River from its mouth to Richmond, following the path of Christopher Newport in 1607. Is Jamestown halfway to the Fall Line? Where is the Chickahominy River, in relation to Jamestown? On which side of the James River is Bermuda Hundred?

Site Visit:
In comparison to the Native American scavenger hunt last week, visit a site near your home/work that commemorates a Civil War event. Describe
- why the site is important enough to be highlighted (what happened there?)
- who is responsible for managing it (National Park Service? State of Virginia? a county? a non-government organization?)
- how realistic vs. "prettified" is the representation of what happened at that historic place? (Does that Civil War site discuss how the wounded were treated or the dead were buried, or even mention slavery?)
- what place names in your neighborhood, or Virginia, are associated with the site you visited? (Were generals honored with street names, or are there modern shopping centers that draw their names from events 150 years ago?)
- finally, write a 2-paragraph interpretive marker for the site that highlights some characteristic of the place *other* than the Civil War event. What could you share with visitors about the local geology, hydrography, Native American, or colonial heritage of that location?

reconstructed Algonquian dwelling at Henricus Historical Park
reconstructed Algonquian dwelling at Henricus Historical Park


1. Natural Resource Management Plan for Riverbend Park, Fairfax County Park Authority, a href=""> (last checked October 1, 2011)
2. Cultural Resource Management Plan 2006-2010, Fairfax County Park Authority, p. 3 (last checked October 1, 2011)
3. "A Seventeenth Century Chronology Drawn from Colonial Records with Contemporary Native Perspectives," in A Study of Virginia Indians and Jamestown: The First Century, Colonial National Historical Park (National Park Service), December 2005 (last checked October 2, 2011)

Geography of Virginia (GGS380)
Virginia Places