Captain John Smith

Captain John Smith > The Voyages > Second Voyage

Captain John Smith’s Second Chesapeake Voyage: July 24 to September 7, 1608

Within a few days of returning from his first voyage, Captain John Smith set out on a second wave of exploration. This time, he brought 12 men, making the shallop less crowded and more comfortable.

On this trip, Captain John Smith reached the head of Chesapeake Bay and determined there was no route to the Pacific. The voyage covered a lot of territory and brought him in contact with many different Indian tribes but was marked by sickness, conflict, and a crewman’s death. Read more about Smith’s second voyage up the Chesapeake Bay.

Smith's Second Voyage

Second Chesapeake Voyage Highlights

  • July 25-26 - Smith and his men fire aerial flares to impress the Indians.
  • July 27-30 - They head north to the head of the Bay and the Susquehanna River.
  • July 31 - So many of the crew were sick that when they encounter the Massawomeck’s canoes, they perch hats on their guns to make their small party look bigger.
  • Aug. 1-7 - They make contact with Indian tribes speaking different languages, including the “giant-like” Sasquesahanock who become their trade partners.
  • Aug. 8 -16 - Heading south, they explore the Pawtuxunt (Patuxent) River and report friendly encounters with the people there.
  • Aug. 17-20 - Exploring the Rappahannock River, the crew is attacked by the Rappahannock Indians who wound Anas Todkill. After initial conflict, peace is made.
  • Aug. 21 - Death of Richard Fetherstone, probably of malaria.
  • Aug. 22 - At the head of the Rappahannock River, the crew successfully fight off attack by the Mannahoac.
  • Aug. 18-30 - On their return, Smith and his men are honored by the Rappahannock for battling the Mannahoac.
  • Aug. 31-Sept. 7 - After brief explorations of the Payankatank (Piankatank) River “so high as it was navigable,” and the Elizabeth and Nansemond rivers, Captain John Smith returns to Jamestown.

Second 1608 Voyage Crew:

Captain: John Smith
Doctor: Anthony Bagnall
Gentlemen (familiar with firearms): James Bourne, Richard Fetherstone, Thomas Momford, Nathaniel Powell, Michael Sicklemore
Carpenter (boat repair): Edward Pising
Fish merchant (knew edible fish): Richard Keale
Fisherman/sailor: Jonas Profit
Laborer/soldier: James Watkins
Soldier: Anas Todkill
Tailor (or clothes and canvas): William Ward

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