When it comes to John Smith, NH really rocks
On Aug. 14, the state will commemorate the 400th anniversary of Capt. John Smith's visit to the Seacoast with the dedication of a new granite monument in Rye Harbor State Park.
In 1614 - six years before a Pilgrim stepped onto a now-famous rock in Massachusetts, as legend has it - Smith explored and mapped the coast of what he dubbed "New England," a name the King of old England agreed to grant. Smith's map - decorated with his own portrait - included a group of islands he called "Smith Iles;" today, we call them the Isles of Shoals.
And while Massachusetts and Boston are more famous for their Colonial history, McLeod said, "New Hampshire has a rightful place in the discovery of the New World and the activities that occurred in the first years when the settlers came here from across the sea."
"This is an historical event that's significant to our region and really to the whole Colonial period and the founding of our country," Campbell said. "It was the first nautically accurate map. It actually led the Pilgrims to Plimoth; it was used by John Winthrop to find the River Charles, where he founded Boston in 1630."
Four private donors purchased granite benches, donating $5,000 each.
John Smith himself is expected to attend, portrayed by actor Paul Strand of Portsmouth.
Smith was so unpopular, in fact, that another settler set fire to the bag of gunpowder he wore at his waist, causing a leg injury that sent Smith back to England, Strand said.
Sen. Nancy Stiles, R-Hampton, vice chairwoman of the commission that oversaw the monument's creation, said its purpose is "to show that there were people here before the Pilgrims who actually mapped out that area."
For more, visit: islesofshoals1614.blogspot.com/
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