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John Smith's Iconic Ould Virginia

A nice example of one of John Smith's important maps of America. The map covers the region first settled by Walter Raleigh at Roanoak Island, in present-day North Carolina, between Cape Henry and Cape Fear. The map is surrounded by engravings of his adventures, capture by King of Pamaunkee and rescue by Pocahontas.

The remarkable rare engraving appeared in The generall historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Iles : with the names of the adventurers, planters, and governours, from their first beginning, ano 1584 to this present 1625 printed by James Reeve. The engraving includes the following:

  • Map: A description of part of the adventures of Cap Smith in Virginia
  • C: Smith bound to a tree to be shott to death 1607
  • A Coniver
  • Their Idoll
  • A priest
  • Their conviration about C. Smith 1607
  • C Smith taketh the King of Pamaunkee prisoner 1608
  • King Powhatan comands C: Smith to be Slayn but daughter Pokahontas beggs his live his thankfullness and how he subiected of their kings read ye history
  • C: Smith takes the King of Pasphegh prisoner Ao. 1609.
  • C: Smith bindet a Salvage to his arme, fighteth with the king of Pamaunkee and all his company, and slew 3 of them.

The name "Ould Virginia" was briefly used to describe the territory south of the Chesapeake Bay covered by Sir Walter Raleigh's 1584 patent of discovery. It is possible that John Smith originated the use of the name "Old Virginia" and that this map engraved by Vaughn popularized the name. Previously William Strachey had used South Virginia in 1612 to describe the area.


This Burden's state 4 (of 4), with the words "printed by James Reeve" added in the Pocahontas-Smith image to the right. Davers Ile and P Barkley added along the coastline, but before the addition of Adams Sound above C Henry.

State 4 appears in the 1627 edition of the book, as well as the1631 and 1632.


The map is very rare on the market, having only appeared in Smith's Generall History . . . AMPC lists only a single copy on the market in the past 30 years.

Condition Description
Narrow margins. Repaired tear at right side of image, extending to just above "1608." Evidence of old folds. A bit of red at bottom right from an early binding.
Burden 212, state 3 (of 4)