First People of the Potomac

First People of the Potomac (HM5EE)

Location: Bryans Road, MD 20616 Charles County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 40.741', W 77° 5.289'

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Piscataway Park

When Europeans first arrived on the shores of North America, they found a continent inhabited by perhaps tens of millions of people! These people had arrived more than 10,000 years earlier, and through many generations had created complex societies, formed viable political systems, built monumental structures in the Mississippi River valley, and farmed the land long the Potomac River.

The Piscataway people have lived in southern Maryland for close to a thousand years. Their language and heritage were related to those of over one hundred other tribes spread across the country, indicating an adaptable and productive culture. They farmed this land, growing corn, beans and squash, and they fished in the plentiful waters nearby.

The Piscataway welcomed the English settlers as military allies. However, with the English settlers came new diseases and social upheaval. Attacks by northern tribes—the Susquehannocks and Iroqouis—further reduced the Piscataway from 5,000 people in a confederation of 11 tribes to less than 500 in just one generation. Today, the Piscataway people continue to practice many of the traditions and customs of their ancestors who lived here.

Illustrations by Theodor de Bry (after drawings of John White) in Thomas Harriot's "A Briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia," (1590 edition):
"Xiii. Their manner of fishynge in Virginia."
"Xiiii. The brovvyllinge of their fifhe ouer the flame." (detail)
"XX. The tovyne of Secota." (detail)
Detail of map produced by John Smith indicates the density of Native American settlements in the early 17th century.
HM NumberHM5EE
Series This marker is part of the National Historic Landmarks series
Placed ByNational Park Sevice, U.S. Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 5:12pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 318360 N 4283226
Decimal Degrees38.67901667, -77.08815000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 40.741', W 77° 5.289'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 40' 44.46" N, 77° 5' 17.34" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6900-6902 Branitan Pl, Bryans Road MD 20616, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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