Andrew Shaw

Andrew Shaw is adventuring and investigating in the history-steeped rivers of Virginia. In order to better understand how these important natural features were used for mass transit and economics long before cars even existed, he is traveling their lengths the old-fashioned way. Early this summer, Virginia Commonwealth University launched an innovative course intended to give...

200 years ago today Chief Justice John Marshall, along with a crew of boatmen, completed a river survey through Appalachia aimed at determining the feasibility of a canal that would connect Richmond with the Ohio River Valley.  A canal would drastically improve the movement of goods and people through the Appalachian frontier and would facilitate...

A lot has happened in the last few weeks on the Marshall Expedition.  At last writing the crew was holed up in Buchanan, VA waiting out the rain with about 65 more up-river miles to cover.  The river increased in difficulty as the level rose and rapids came in quick succession.  We reached the head of...

Having traveled 138 miles upriver through the Piedmont, the Marshall Expedition trailered the boat around 23 miles of dams to Snowden, Virginia where we began our ascent through the James River Gorge: by far the most challenging part of our upriver journey.  In the Gorge the James breaks through the Blue Ridge mountains, dropping at an...

Last night at about nine o’clock the crew of the Marshall Expedition poled into Lynchburg, VA (where four of the six crew call home) greeted by about 40 friends and family members and a pot luck dinner.  Physically drained but energized by our hosts we reveled in good company and shared stories from the river.  In ten days...

200 years ago Chief Justice John Marshall lead a six week river survey through western Virginia to determine the feasibility of realizing Washington’s vision of establishing a river based trade route between the eastern seaboard and the Ohio River Valley.  Marshall’s journey took him upstream on the James River from Lynchburg, VA for over 80 miles...