• Structure 17, Glassblowing and Island Drive

    Historic Jamestowne

    Part of Colonial National Historical Park Virginia

An Unoccupied Site

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Chief Powhatan was the ruler of over 30 tribes and 160 villages in Tidewater Virginia. This illustration was inspired by a 16th-century John White watercolor of a village in present-day North Carolina.
NPS image by artist Sydney King
 

“Do not offend the naturals,” advised the Council of the Virginia Company of London. An estimated 15,000 Virginia Indians dwelt in Tidewater Virginia in 1607 and their goodwill was needed by the newcomers. The future site of Jamestown, although likely serving as a seasonal hunting preserve for the nearby Paspahegh, was unoccupied when the three ships landed there May 13, 1607.

 

Did You Know?

Dancers at the Chickahominy Fall Festival and Pow-Wow, 2010.

No Virginia Indian tribes have federal recognition. The normal way – petitioning the Bureau of Indian Affairs – cannot be taken because of Walter Plecker’s "paper genocide" in the 1900s. Since the 1990s, six of the state-recognized tribes have been trying to get it through an Act of Congress. More...