Captain John Smith's Adventures on the Pamaunk Flu
— www.johnsmithtrail.org —
With his contempt for the distant English gentlemen who demanded the colonists search for gold instead of focus on building a strong settlement, Smith foreshadows the anger that Americans felt under British rule.
The lowborn colonists who shouldered most of the work required to settle in Virginia were attracted by the personal freedom enjoyed by Indian men. Many deserted to the Indians, particularly during the starving time. As the son of a yeoman farmer, Smith was proud of his origins and scorned the highborn councilmen who disagreed with his practical (and successful) approach to managing the colony. "Let all men have as much freedom in reason as may be, and true dealing, for it is the greatest comfort you can give them, where the very name of servitude will breed much ill blood, and become odious to God and man."
Capt. John Smith's Trail
John Smith knew the York river and its tributaries by their Algonquian name: the Pamaunk Flu. Smith traveled these rivers and the Chesapeake Bay many times between 1607 and 1609, trading with Virginia's Indians to ensure survival of the young English colony. What he saw of Virginia's verdant woodlands and pristine waters inspired him to chronicle its natural wonders.
Capt. John Smith's Trail on the Pamaunk Flu is a 36-site water trail and auto tour for modern explorers.
(sidebar)October 19, Yorktown Day commemorations
Since the British forces under Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington on October 19, 1781, the anniversary has held special significance to our nation. Commemorations began as early as 1824 when Lafayette returned to Yorktown as part of a national tour. In 1879, events were staged to aid in planning the 1881 centennial. While other commemorations were held periodically over the years, in 1909 the Yorktown Historical Society and the Society of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence began holding annual Yorktown Day celebrations. They continued until the Comte de Grasse Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution formed and began coordinating the event in 1922.
The Yorktown Day Association, consisting of various patriotic societies and organizations, formed in 1949. Today the association, with co-sponsor Colonial National Historical Park, continues the tradition of planning the annual commemorative activities.
The 1881 centennial, 1931 sesquicentennial and 1981 bicentennial celebrations each included participation by the President of the United States and drew national attention. The 225th anniversary in 2006 was one of the signature events held in honor of the 400th anniversary of the founding of nearby Jamestown.
The aerial photograph shows the 1931 sesquicentennial celebration, including the "tent city," exhibition areas, entry arches, and the naval, historic and private ships moored in the York River.