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Replica John Smith Shallop

Virginia, c. 1624 by Captain John Smith, with the north oriented to the right. Smith explored much of the Chesapeake Bay during two voyages in the summer of 1608.
Virginia, c. 1624 by Captain John Smith, with the north oriented to the right. Smith explored much of the Chesapeake Bay during two voyages in the summer of 1608.

In the summer of 1608, a small boat or a “shallop” like this was used by Captain John Smith to make the first detailed European exploration of the Chesapeake Bay. In the decades that followed, the knowledge gained from Smith’s voyages played a key role in opening the interior of America to tens of thousands of European settlers. In the summer of 2007, a crew of 12 modern explorers set out in this replica of Smith’s shallop to retrace the 1608 voyages. Traveling 121 days and 1,700 miles (2,736 km) under oar and sail power, the crew revisited Smith’s original route. The reenactment voyage introduced the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, established by Congress to commemorate Smith’s epic voyages and their impact on American history.

Built: 2006, Chestertown, MD by John E. Swain, Nicholas Biles and volunteers of the Sultana Shipyard

Length: 28 ft (8.53 m)

Beam: 7 ft (2.13 m)

Shallop replica, 2006. Gift of Sultana Education Foundation.

Donations to the Annual Fund generously support the maintenance of the John Smith Shallop, as well as our other restoration, education, and exhibition programs.

Portrait of Captain John Smith from A Description of New England, or, The Observations, and Discoveries, of Captain John Smith, c. 1616.
Portrait of Captain John Smith from A Description of New England, or,
The Observations, and Discoveries, of
Captain John Smith, c. 1616.