Bay History

What does "Chesapeake" mean?

Historians are not sure of the true meaning of the name Chesapeake. It is usually cited as deriving from the Algonquin word chesepiooc, meaning “great shellfish bay.” But records from the 1580s refer to the Bay as chesapiock or chesapiuck, meaning “people on the great river.”

Who was Captain John Smith?

Captain John Smith was an English explorer who played a pivotal role in settling America. His contacts with Native Americans and his Chesapeake Bay travels, which he documented in maps and journals, drew attention to the region and helped educate and attract English colonists to America. Today, they provide excellent insight into the Bay’s natural history before Europeans settled the region.

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