Source Analysis

John Smith Map


Scholar Analysis

Listen to Smithsonian curator Barbara Clark Smith discuss John Smith’s Map of Virginia published in London in 1612. Barbara Clark Smith is Curator of Social History at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where she has worked since 1983. Her research ranges from the material culture of household life to forms of popular participation in the era of the American Revolution. Her publications include After the Revolution: The Smithsonian History of Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Century; “Food Rioters and the American Revolution,” William and Mary Quarterly, (1994); and “Revolution in Boston,” for the National Park Service handbook for the Freedom Trail.

Teacher Analysis

Listen to fourth-grade teacher Stacy Hoeflich discuss her 50-minute lesson on John Smith’s Map. Stacy Hoeflich teaches fourth grade in Alexandria, Virginia. A participant in numerous educational training programs, including Teaching American History, National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, and Adventure of the American Mind. She also sat on the committee to set the Virginia Standards of Learning for Virginia Studies. She received her B.A. in English and Masters of Education from The George Washington University.

Classroom Practice

Watch Stacy Hoeflich teach this lesson in her fourth grade classroom in Alexandria, Virginia.

Lesson Plan

“John Smith’s 1612 Map: What can it show us?”
John Smith’s map of the Chesapeake region connects directly to John Smith and clearly shows the Chesapeake Tidewater region in exquisite detail. The map also shows students, who are used to the paved highways of the 21st century, the important role waterways played for transportation and settlement in the 17th century.

View the Map

Download John Smith’s 1612 Map of Virginia.


Access transcripts of the scholar analysis and teacher analysis videos.


Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following institutions and individuals for the use of images from their collections:

  • The British Museum
  • Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
  • Library of Congress
  • London Maritime Museum
  • National Archives and Records Administration
  • New York Public Library
  • Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
  • University of North Carolina Libraries
  • University of Pennsylvania Libraries
  • University of Virginia Alderman Library
  • Virginia Historical Society