A Study of Virginia Indians and Jamestown: The First Century
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Narrative History

Martha W. McCartney

Research Design

Among the numerous primary sources examined in pursuit of this project's objectives were originals and transcriptions of the official records generated by the Virginia colony's government from 1607 until the early eighteenth century. Of special interest were the minutes and other records produced by Virginia governors and their councils and the colony's legislative assembly, which document colonization's impact upon Native society. Throughout the research process, diligent efforts were made to locate references to Virginia Indians and their activities as they pertained to Jamestown Island during the seventeenth century. Among the other issues addressed were the loss of Native lands and civil rights, changing demographics, and the indigenous population's evolving cultural context.

Numerous narratives, first person accounts, and collections of private correspondence were examined, as were facsimiles of historical maps. All of these categories of records were known to contain information on Native peoples during the early colonial period. The writings of Captain John Smith, George Percy, Peter Wynne, John Rolfe, Ralph Hamor, William Strachey, Thomas Dale, Alexander Whittaker, Henry Spellman, William Peirce, and others were examined, as were the accounts later produced by John Clayton, John Lederer, and Robert Beverley II. Records compiled by the Virginia Company of London, under whose aegis Virginia was first colonized, were studied carefully. Some use was made of documents on file in the British Public Records Office, which were accessed by means of the Virginia Colonial Records Project's survey reports and microfilms.

Among the local records groups examined were documents generated by the justices of James City, York, Isle of Wight, Charles City, and Surry Counties, accessed by means of abstracts and transcriptions when available. Other groups of documents that were studied were the abstracts of British colonial records compiled by William Noel Sainsbury and his associates and collections of private papers. Use was made of certain documentary sources identified during the Jamestown Archaeological Assessment, notably the Ferrar Manuscript and the Ambler Papers.

Abstracts of land patents and grants were useful in documenting the spread of settlement, a consequence of which was Native land loss. Occasionally the names of Indians (imported from other colonies) were included in lists of headrights that accompanied patents. Some of the data utilized were accumulated by the author during previous research projects that focused upon Native American groups in Tidewater Virginia. These include the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Indian Reservations and Camden National Register Nominations and essays that have appeared in several professional journals and books, an encyclopedia, and numerous cultural resource management reports. A judicious use was made of respected secondary sources. General background information on the Powhatan Chiefdom was derived from the writings of Helen C. Rountree, Theodore Stern, E. Randolph Turner, Stephen Potter, Wilcomb Washburn, Christian Feest and others.

Limitations of the Sources

Almost all of the antebellum court records of James City County, the jurisdiction within which the study area lies, were destroyed during the Civil War and nearly all of Charles City's early records were lost. However, the records of the local courts of Surry (split off from James City County in 1652), Isle of Wight, and York Counties essentially are intact and warrant a thorough examination. The records generated by the governor's council and the assembly are incomplete. However, they describe interaction between the colonists and the Native population throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Many early land patents were lost or destroyed, creating numerous gaps in the records, and extant patents predating 1683 are transcriptions, not originals. However, thanks to early colonists' interest in the indigenous population and urban Jamestown's role as the colony's seventeenth century capital, much useful information has survived.


The narrative that follows draws upon some of the numerous sources that have been identified to date, a considerable number of which await in-depth exploration. Collections of private papers, seventeenth century court records of nearby counties and document groups at outlying repositories, such as those on file at the Virginia Historical Society, Library of Congress, National Archives, and the British Public Records Office, are among the archival materials that warrant initial or (in some cases) a more thorough examination.

It should be noted that the names of European colonists have been included in certain portions of the discussion that follows. This has been done purposefully because almost all of the colony's extant official records (whether generated by local courts or the overarching branches of government) are indexed under the names of specific European colonists involved in court action and land claims. Thus, those colonists' names point the way to future research.

In contrast, legislation enacted in an attempt to control or govern the indigenous population as a group identifies the Natives categorically. Because the colony's principal leader, the governor, exerted a strong influence upon public policy, within the discussion that follows, the changes that occurred progressively have been linked to specific administrations. Original phonic spellings have been preserved within quotations.

Prelude to Colonization

Jamestown Island's First Inhabitants

Thousands of years before the first European colonists arrived in Virginia, an indigenous population inhabited the coastal plain, leaving a faint imprint upon the land. The early history of the Indians or Native Americans, though largely unrecorded, is an integral part of America's heritage. Our knowledge of these very early people comes to us through archaeology.

By the time the first colonists arrived, the Indians' way of life was well established. Early explorers, who recorded their observations, shed light upon how they lived. However, it is important to remember that the explorers' narratives reflect their own perception of Native culture. Undoubtedly they missed many subtleties, just as they misunderstood or misinterpreted larger issues.

Corn or maize, introduced into the region from Mexico, adapted well to Virginia's environment. It fulfilled the Indians' nutritional needs, enabling them to thrive and become more populous. Archaeologists speculate that control of the food supply led to the development of Native societies with differences in the rank or status of certain individuals. Immediately prior to European contact, villages replaced the base camps the Indians used during earlier periods, for a surplus of cultivated crops allowed them to store food and linger in one location for longer periods of time. Their social order gradually became more complex. In chiefdoms, which had begun to develop by the late 1500s, leaders accepted tribute, which they retained or redistributed.

When the literally hundreds of villages that existed in Tidewater Virginia began to compete for territory and economic supremacy, weaker tribes were forced to pay tribute to stronger ones that guaranteed them protection in times of war. The Natives, like their forebears, followed a seasonal pattern of hunting and gathering. They lived along the banks of tidal waterways during the warmer months and then moved into the interior during the winter, when their gardens were dormant and fishing was less productive. It was then they relied upon stored food and the game they could procure. Ceremonial life was important and creativity flourished. The Indians wrought objects of stone, copper and shell that reflected their belief system. Their relatively substantial houses usually were clustered close together or interspersed with fields used for gardening. Their villages were well organized and sometimes surrounded by a palisade. The Indians typically built their homes upon the floodplain and low-lying necks of land with rich, sandy soil. Their principal food crops were beans, squash, and corn and as time went on, they began growing tobacco. Indian women and elderly men usually planted crops, employing the slash-and-burn method of clearing the ground they used for agriculture. Virginia's coastal plain offered the Indians a broad variety of fish, shell-fish, and game species upon which to feast.

By the time Europeans began documenting their exploratory visits to the New World, the Indians of Virginia's coastal plain had a well-developed social order. They spent most of the year in villages that lined the banks of the region's rivers and they spoke the Algonquian language, a distinct dialect that set them apart from those communicating in the Iroquoian, Sioux and other tongues. Virginia's Algonquians shared a common linguistic bond with some of the Native peoples to the north and south. Although European explorers' sketches and written accounts capture a sense of Indian life, many of the numerous differences between the two cultural groups surely escaped notice (Egloff et al. 1992:24-26, 37; Trigger 1978:70-74, 240, 253).

The Indians' Introduction to Europeans

The Spanish were persistent in their attempts to colonize North America and other Europeans are known to have visited. In 1565 the Spanish established St. Augustine, Florida, a military outpost at the southeastern tip of North America. However, earlier on, a Spanish ship visiting the Chesapeake took aboard an Indian boy, reputedly a chief's son, and transported him to Spain where he was converted to Christianity and renamed Don Luis. Later, the youth traveled to Cuba and St. Augustine, where Jesuit missionaries heard him speak of his native land, Ajacan. It was then they resolved to set sail for the Chesapeake to spread the Christian message, using Don Luis as an intermediary.

In 1570 a Spanish ship bearing eight Jesuit missionaries, Don Luis, and a Cuban boy named Alonzo de Olmos arrived in the Chesapeake Bay or Bahia de Santa Maria. They entered a broad, navigable river, the James, and continued inland approximately 40 miles to the converted Native's homeland. They reached a large tributary waterway (College Creek), at the eastern end of what we know as Jamestown Island, and then followed it inland. Afterward, they portaged overland to another navigable stream, probably Queens Creek, which took them to the York River. At that point the Jesuits began searching for a suitable place to establish their mission. They learned that there had been "six years of famine and death" in Don Luis's land and that many Indians had died or left in search of food. The missionaries sent word to St. Augustine that they needed a supply of corn for their own subsistence and to dispense to the Natives for use in their gardens. This, they felt, would provide them with an opportunity to sow the seeds of Christianity. But a few months later, when a relief ship came, the missionaries were nowhere to be seen and canoes filled with Indian warriors initiated an attack. A Native captured in the melee revealed that the Jesuits were dead and only young Alonzo was alive.

In 1572 Cuba's Governor Pedro Menendez de Aviles decided to visit the Chesapeake to search for the Cuban boy and to learn what happened to the Jesuit missionaries. He dispatched a small-armed vessel with a priest, 30 soldiers, and the Indian captured by the relief ship, to retrace the route taken by the Jesuits. They sailed up the James, entered College Creek, and continued inland a short distance before dropping anchor. When a group of Natives came aboard to trade, the Spaniards noticed that one was wearing around his neck a piece of the missionaries' communion silver. They promptly seized their visitors and headed back downstream, fending off attacking warriors along the way. The Indians offered to return the Cuban boy, but when he failed to appear, the Spaniards decided to leave and fired a departing shot into a throng of Native onlookers. When they reached the mouth of the James, they found the boy whom the Indians had taken there. He reported that as soon as Don Luis reached his homeland, he discarded his Christian religion and fled to his own people. The abandoned missionaries, who were left to fend for themselves, built a small hut and became resigned to death by starvation. However, they sent word to Don Luis, asking for help in bringing religion to his people. Although the apostate convert feigned cooperation, ultimately he and his companions fell upon the unsuspecting Jesuits and killed them. Alonzo was spared on account of his youth.

Governor Menendez, having failed to capture Don Luis, decided to hold an inquisition using the Cuban boy as translator. Some of the Indians captured in College Creek were deemed innocent and released. The remainder were catechized, baptized and then hanged from the ship's yardarm. The Spaniards then weighed anchor, undoubtedly leaving in their wake a legacy of dread and suspicion The Jesuit mission site, meanwhile, faded into the forest (Lewis et al. 1953:38, 89-92, 107-109, 118-121, 133-137). Research suggests that the Spanish Jesuit mission site most likely was located between Queens and Indian Field Creeks in York County.

Colonization: Impact and Progression

The Impact of Climatic Conditions

The University of Arkansas's recent study of tree-ring data from a bald cypress near Jamestown Island indicates that the Jamestown colonists arrived during a period of severe drought that lasted from 1606 to 1612. It was the driest period in 770 years. Conditions were particularly severe in Tidewater Virginia near Jamestown. Drought conditions would have created a crisis for both Natives and colonists, for plant materials would not have been readily available for subsistence. Also, water quality would have been at its poorest. Regional drought would have increased the salinity of the lower James River, especially near Jamestown Island, which lies within the oligohaline zone, where the exchange between fresh and salt water in the river would have been minimal (Stahl et al. 1998:566). Thus, when the first Virginia colonists arrived, the Natives they encountered would have experienced a bad crop year.

Council President Edward Maria Wingfield (1607)

When the First European Colonists Arrived

In 1607, when the English established a permanent settlement on Jamestown Island, under the auspices of the Virginia Company of London, a joint stock company, the Native population of Tidewater Virginia was under the sway of Wahunsonacock or Powhatan, a paramount chief who governed his people in a manner Captain John Smith described as monarchical. Powhatan reigned over 32 districts that encompassed more than 150 villages of various sizes. Their inhabitants supported Powhatan in times of war and paid him tribute. Captain John Smith described Powhatan as a monarch to whom many lesser kings
(or werowances) were subservient. He reportedly was tall and well proportioned and had gray hair and a thin beard. Despite his age, Powhatan reportedly was strong and hardy (Smith 1910:49-51, 375; Tyler 1907:49-51; Wood et al. 1989:154).

Many scholars believe that the Powhatan Chiefdom took form during the 1570s, when Powhatan inherited the right to lead six or more petty chiefdoms within a vast territory that extended from the fall line of the James River, north-northeast to the York. By the close of 1608 Powhatan had expanded his territory and brought under his control almost all of the petty chiefdoms or districts located in Virginia's coastal plain. Within the Powhatan Chiefdom's hierarchy, werowances subordinate to Powhatan governed petty chiefdoms. If a petty chiefdom had more than one village, such subunits were headed by a lesser werowance. Thus, the people of the Powhatan Chiefdom were members of what could be termed a rank society. In 1607, when the first colonists arrived, Powhatan was trying to take control of the Chickahominy, a strong Native group governed by a council of eight elders instead of a werowance. He also was attempting to establish his supremacy over some of the petty chiefdoms between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers. Powhatan, who was a Pamunkey, lived at Werowocomoco, on the north side of the York River at Purton Bay. However, his people's stronghold was in the Pamunkey River and their most holy religious shrine was at Uttamussack, on the Pamunkey River. He died in 1617, a year after the death of his daughter, Pocahontas (Rountree 1990:10-11; Wood et al. 1989:152-154; Trigger 1978:255; Smith 1610; Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:73).

Captain John Smith observed that Indian men spent most of their time hunting, fishing and engaging in wars, while the women and children made mats, baskets, and pottery and raised the crops upon which their villages depended. He described the Powhatans as generally tall and straight, with black hair and dusky complexions, and noted that the men rarely had beards. He said that the Natives were exceptionally strong and agile and tolerated even the worst weather.

But there were many subtle and more important differences between the Indians and the Europeans. The Powhatans considered land merely a part of the earth, like the sky, water and the air, and therefore open to all for subsistence. Thus, the European concept of owning land was foreign to them. The two cultures also had vastly different views of religion. The Powhatans, while open to the idea of a Christian deity, were reluctant to renounce their own gods. Although both cultures viewed accumulated wealth as an emblem of social status, they had a much different concept of inheritance, for with the Powhatan, it passed through the female line rather than the male. For example, Powhatan's chiefdom could descend to his next oldest brother or the son of his eldest sister but not his own children (Egloff et al. 1992:41-43). In light of the vast differences between the two peoples and their mutual lack of understanding, they were destined to collide.

The Native Way of Life

Tidewater Virginia Indians, though more sedentary than their forebears, followed a seasonal pattern of hunting and gathering. They lived along the banks of tidal waterways during the warm months and in winter, when their gardens were dormant and fishing was less productive, they moved into the interior and relied upon stored food, as well as whatever game they could procure. Therefore it was a relatively mobile existence. Waterways were viewed as a source of food and a conduit of transportation and sometimes, if a stream were narrow, the Natives would build their towns on both sides. Many Native groups (for example, the Pamunkey and the Mattaponi) were in control of land on both sides of the rivers on which their villages were located. Their houses usually were located close to the shore and sometimes might extend along the waterfront for a considerable distance (Rountree 1990:6; Egloff et al. 1993:23-25).

First Encounters

When the first colonists arrived in Virginia on April 26, 1607, they touched land at what they called Cape Henry, at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Going ashore, they explored their immediate surroundings. At nightfall, some Natives approached cautiously, close to the ground, "their Bowes in their mouths," and then charged at the colonists, discharging their supply of arrows. Then they fled from the retaliatory gunfire. The next day, the newly arrived colonists continued their explorations (Smith 1910:lxii, 91).

On April 30th, the colonists made contact with the Natives at Kecoughtan, at the mouth of the broad river called the Powhatan, later the James. Shortly thereafter they sailed inland, exploring the countryside and going ashore from time to time. As they moved upstream, they encountered Indians whose bodies were ornamented with brightly colored furs and jewelry of bone, shell and copper and whose hair was adorned with feathers and animal horns. According to Captain John Smith, some of the Natives welcomed the newcomers hospitably, offering food and entertainment. Others discharged arrows and then fled from the colonists' gunfire (Quinn 1977:202; Smith 1910:lxi-lxii, xc, 49-51). On May 13, 1607, when the settlers landed upon the small peninsula that became known as Jamestown Island, they were within the territory of the Pasbehay (Paspahegh) Indians (Percy 1967:15-16).

Captain John Smith commented that President Edward Maria Wingfield "would admit no exercise at armes, or fortification but the boughs of trees cast together in the forme of a halfe moone." However, on May 26, 1607, the Natives attacked the insubstantial retreat built by the first settlers, who had a difficult time defending themselves. Afterward, Wingfield decided that a more substantial fort should be built, one that had palisades and mounted ordnance. George Percy said that "We had made our selves sufficiently strong for these savages." Another colonist noted that President Wingfield "had one [arrow] shott clean through his bearde yet [e]scaped." He said that after a fort had been built, the Indians came "lurking in the thicketes and long grasse" (Smith 1986:I:206; Barbour 1969:I:95-96; Percy 1967:22). Clearly, both Natives and colonists had reason to view each other warily, with a certain amount of suspicion and distrust.

Early Exploration

Subsequent to the establishment of a permanent settlement at Jamestown in 1607, English explorers under the direction of Captain Christopher Newport sailed up the York River, noting that the Pamunkey Indians' territory was in the neck of land delimited by the union of the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Rivers into the York. When early cartographers made maps of Tidewater Virginia, they generally agreed upon the locations at which Natives settlements were situated. Captain John Smith's geographically sensitive rendering provides the most detailed coverage of the Tidewater. He used a sketch of an Indian long house to identify the site of a "king's seat" (or chief's village) and a circle to symbolize less important towns. When the Native communities shown on the Smith map are compared with topographic quadrangle sheets, it is possible to discern their approximate locations (Smith 1910:49-51; Sams 1929:807-810; Quinn 1977:202; Smith 1610; Tindall 1608; Velasco 1610; Zuniga 1608; Tyler 1907:49-51).

Captain John Smith's first visit to the Rappahannock River region, which occurred in December 1607, was involuntary, for he was captured by the Indians of the Powhatan Chiefdom, transported overland to Native villages on the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Rivers, and then conducted to a river the Indians called the Tappahannock or Rappahannock. There, he learned that the local populace had suffered abuse at the hands of a ship-load of white men who had visited them the previous year (Smith 1910:395-398).

On June 2, 1608, Smith set out to explore the Chesapeake Bay. Crossing the bay, he reached Smith's Isles at the tip of the Eastern Shore and then progressed northward along the coast. He found some of the Natives hospitable and welcoming. Pressing on toward the head of the bay, he paused at several inlets. Having nearly reached his destination, Smith and his men turned downstream, this time moving close to the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The explorers entered the Potomac River and sailed to its head, then paused at the mouth of the Rappahannock before returning to Jamestown. On July 24, 1608, Smith again undertook an exploratory voyage of the Chesapeake Bay. This time, he skirted the western shore of the bay and went further north, entering the Susquehanna River and other steams at the top of the bay. Turning back downstream, the explorers entered the Rappahannock River and sailed to its head. Afterward, they paused at the mouth of the York River, and then continued on to Jamestown (Haile 1998:254-263, 264-278).

In September 1608, Captain John Smith was among those who explored the Nansemond River. Fighting broke out between the Nansemond Indians and the English intruders, who responded with gunfire. Afterward, they seized the Nansemond king's weapons, a chain of pearls, and 400 baskets of corn. In late fall, the colonists returned for more corn, which they obtained through the use of force. At the end of the year, when Smith and other adventurers set out to investigate the rivers to the north of the James, they sailed first into the Potomac River and then turned back toward the Rappahannock, where they encountered Natives who treated them with kindness. They also made exploratory visits to the York River. By 1610, the colonists, in desperate need of corn, began trading with the Natives of the Northern Neck, a practice that continued for many years (Smith 1910:431-432, 419). Captain John Smith, when depicting the Rappahannock River drainage on his well known map of Virginia, indicated that numerous Indian villages dotted its shore line (Smith 1610). His work is confirmed by the charts produced by Tindall (1608), Velasco (1610), and Zuniga (1608).

Differences in Perception

The first English colonists, transferring to the New World the Jacobean idea of property rights, were ill-prepared to understand Native concepts of landholding. Captain John Smith observed that within Virginia Indian towns, land was allocated to households by a local leader subservient to the paramount chief. While the Native mode of land distribution bore a remote resemblance to the English tradition that all realty was owned by the monarch, the Indians' seasonal pattern of subsistence and the subtle but purposeful shifting movement of their towns had no parallel in English culture. For nearly a half-century, English officials failed to realize that much Native land was foraging territory that was vital to subsistence. On the other hand, the Natives, unfamiliar with the legal requirements for patenting and seating land, probably wondered why the English expected to retain possession of their property in perpetuity, even though it appeared vacant. Moreover, they probably wondered why such "abandoned" acreage was not available to others (Rountree 1974:36; 1990:6; 1993a:173). First in 1640 and then in 1649, Virginia's governing officials formally recognized Native groups' need for land of their own. This marked the beginning of an important political policy within America's English colonies, the establishment of reservation lands, or preserves by the English. It was later adopted by the United States, continuing throughout the nineteenth century.

Understanding the Natives' Language

While some of the first colonists seem to have had a rudimentary knowledge of the Algonquin language, interpreters were needed to facilitate communication. Thomas Savage, who came to Virginia in 1608 as a young boy, was given to Powhatan, with whom he lived for portions of three years. He became a skillful interpreter and frequently went on trading voyages. Captain John Smith commented that Thomas Savage had served the public well. In 1621, he sent word to the Virginia Company that the French were enjoying a great fur trade with the Natives in the Chesapeake Bay region. In 1608, several days after Thomas Savage was given to Powhatan, Namontack, an Indian youth, was handed over to the English so that he could learn the language (Kingsbury 1906-1935:I:504; Ferrar MS 159; Smith 1910:24, 37, 102, 124-125, 128, 405, 437-438, 441, 517; 1989:I:216, 223; II:162, 248, 289-290; Haile 1998:830-831). Pocahontas and Chanco, Kempes, and others, who gained a working knowledge of the English language, would have also facilitated communication between the Indians and colonists.

Robert Poole, who also came to Virginia at an early date, reportedly became quite fluent in Algonquian and served as one of the colony's official interpreters. In November 1624 Poole, who was then residing in urban Jamestown, testified that he had lived with Opechancanough during Sir Thomas Dale's government (1611-1616) and that Captain John Smith had taught some Indians how to use firearms. Poole claimed to have had 10,000 to 20,000 beads for use in trading with the Indians for corn (Ferrar MS 113; Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:153, 249; IV:457).

Henry Spellman, who arrived in Virginia in August 1609, when he was age 15, was sold to the Little Powhatan Indians by Captain John Smith. Later, he went to live with the King of the Patomeck. Spellman wrote a narrative in which he described Virginia's Natives and the colony's flora and fauna. Although he left Virginia in 1611, he returned and in 1616 again was serving as an interpreter. During 1619 Spellman angered high ranking officials on account of some ill advised statements he made about them to Opechancanough. When the assembly convened during July and August, Spellman was censured for his comments and ordered to serve as a public interpreter for seven years. In 1623, while working in that capacity, Henry Spellman was killed by the Anacostan Indians (Kingsbury 1906-1935:I:309; III:153; IV:89; Meyer et al. 1987:33).

Peter Wynne (Winne), who came to Virginia in 1608, accompanied Captain Christopher Newport on a journey to the falls of the James River. He visited the country of the Monacan Indians, whose language was different than that of the Powhatans. In a November 26, 1608, letter Wynne sent to Sir John Egerton, he said that some of the men in Newport's group thought that the Monacans' pronunciation resembled the Welch language and asked him to accompany them as an interpreter (Haile 1998:203-204).

Effecting Conversion

The first English colonists were accompanied by the Rev. Robert Hunt, an Anglican clergyman. Although he was responsible for seeing that the colonists adhered to the practices of the Established Church, he and his immediate successors also had an interest in converting the Natives to Christianity. In fact Richard Hakluyt and other proponents of colonization fervently spoke of the opportunity to bring the Christian religion to Native peoples in the New World. The Virginia Company's first charter described as a noble work "propagating of the Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God." Letters written by some of the Anglican clergy who came to Virginia early on reveal that they were filled with a missionary zeal. Sir Thomas Dale and other military leaders spoke of bringing Christianity to the Natives but they also were preoccupied with establishing control and typically employed force to impose their will. What's more, they took the Natives' land whenever they wanted it and often seized their food supply. Although Virginia Company officials in 1618 made plans to establish a college and university in Henrico, where young Indians could be converted to Christianity, and the East India Company contributed funds toward building a school, the March 1622 Indian uprising put an end to whatever altruistic feelings the colonists had. In fact, after the Virginia Company was dissolved, interest in converting the Natives waned (Brydon 1947:51). However, the 1625 muster documents the fact that William Crashaw, an Indian in Captain William Tucker's household, had been baptized (Hotten 1980:44). It is probable that other Natives had been converted.

Council President John Ratcliffe Alias Sicklemore (1607-1608)

Early Encounters

Francis Perkins, who arrived in January 1608 in the First Supply of new settlers, wrote a March 28th letter in which he described the fire that destroyed the buildings in the Jamestown fort. He added "Thanks to God we are at peace with all the neighboring inhabitants of the country and trade with them in wheat and provisions. They attach very great value to copper which looks at all reddish" (Brown 1890:I:175).

Mathew Scrivenor, who also came to Virginia in 1608 in the First Supply, was named a councilor as soon as he arrived. In February 1608 he participated in an exploratory voyage up the York River to Werowocomoco. On another occasion he went to Nansemond. He also accompanied Captains Christopher Newport and John Smith and others on a voyage of discovery to Monacan. Scrivenor served as acting president of the colony from July to September 1608 (Smith 1986:II:154, 160, 184, 187, 191, 218; Haile 1998:196).

Council President John Smith (September 1608-September 1609)

Footholds Beyond Jamestown Island

aptain John Smith, who arrived in the colony in 1607, in September 1608 became president. A year later he was arrested and sent to England. Smith claims he was injured in a gun powder blast, and thus returned to England. From Smith, who drew heavily upon others' accounts, we can learn a great deal about Natives as they were perceived by European colonists. Captain John Smith's works, though filled with self-aggrandizing statements, shed a considerable amount of light on Virginia's indigenous population, much as do the works of John White and Thomas Hariot from the Roanoke voyages.

While Captain Smith was president, a glasshouse was built in the woods on the west side of the isthmus that connected Jamestown Island to the mainland (Smith 1910:434, 467). In 1608, swine taken from Jamestown were pastured at Hog Island. In 1609, he also had a blockhouse built at Hog Island, a low-lying marshy peninsula that protrudes from the lower side of the James River. In 1608-1609, during Captain John Smith's presidency, the colonists also constructed some earthen fortifications at the head of Gray's Creek, in what is now Surry County. Smith selected the site as a possible place of retreat in the event of a foreign invasion. Among those in Smith's group when "The New Fort" was built were the Natives Kemps and Tassore, whose hunting skills supplied the workers with an abundance of game (Smith 1910:66).

Powhatan's Coronation

During the autumn of 1608 Captain Christopher Newport, at the behest of Virginia Company officials, presented gifts from King James I of England to Powhatan as emperor of the Indians. Newport gave Powhatan a scarlet robe and a copper crown, though the paramount chief was reluctant to kneel for his coronation. Powhatan, who apparently thought that reciprocity was appropriate, "gave his old shoes and his mantle to Captain Newport." When Newport left for England in December 1608, he took along Powhatan's gifts for King James. Powhatan's mantle may well be the deerskin cloak embroidered with shell beads that is part of the Tradescant Collection at Oxford University (Wood et al. 1989:308).

A Search for the Roanoke Colonists

In January 1608 the King of the Pasbehay and two Englishmen ventured into the territory on the south side of the James River, to search for survivors from the colony Sir Walter Raleigh had attempted to plant on Roanoke Island in the 1580s. Captain John Smith also sent out a search party. He said that in December 1608 he had tested the loyalty of the King of the Warreskoyack Indians by asking him to provide two guides to accompany Michael Sicklemore on a journey southward to look for the Roanoke colonists. Smith reported that the river Sicklemore saw "was not great, the people few," and that nothing was learned about the lost colonists (Smith 1910:410, 449, 474; Strachey 1953:91).

However, in 1609 Virginia Company official instructed incoming Governor Thomas Gates to make another search, for they believed that four English colonists would be found who had "escaped from the slaughter of Powhatan of Roanocke, upon the first arrival of our Colonie and live under the proteccon of a wiroane [weorwance] called Gepanocon enemy to Powhatan" (Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:17). Samuel Purchas, whose four volumes entitled Purchas His Pilgrimes or Hakluytus Posthomous, were published in 1624, said that Nathaniel Powell and Anas Todkill, accompanied by Quiyoughquohanock guides, were sent southward to search for surviving colonists. He added that they returned with the report that Sir Walter Raleigh's people were all dead. In the margin of his text, Purchas, who indicated that he had use of Captain John Smith's written notes, said that "Powhatan confessed that hee had bin at the mirder of that colonie and shewed to Captain Smith a musket barrel and brasse mortar and certain peeces of Iron which had been theirs" (Purchas 1624:1691, 1728). The chart generally known as the Zuniga map (1608) contains several notations that relate to the whereabouts of the Roanoke colonists. One is the site where "the king of Paspahegh reported our men to be and went to se[e]."

Council President George Percy (1609-1610)

The Starving Time

George Percy, who was among the first colonists that came to Virginia, served as president from September 1609 to May 1610. Thus, he was in charge of the colony during the winter of 1609-1610, which tradition dubbed "The Starving Time." Percy divided the colonists into three groups and sent two of them abroad to forage for food. However, the Indians reportedly harassed them continuously and at the end of six weeks they were obliged to return to Jamestown (Raimo 1980:461-462; Tyler 1922:267-269).

These events occurred in the midst of a 6-year-long drought during which both Natives and colonists would have suffered terribly from food shortages.

Francis Maguel's Account

Francis Maguel, an Irishman loyal to Spain, lived in Virginia for eight months. In July 1610, after he had returned to Madrid, he recounted what he had seen. Maguel said that the Virginia colonists were on good terms with the Indians who "attend a market which the English hold at their fort daily," exchanging "the commodities of their land" for "trinkets the English give them, such as knives, articles made of glass, little bells, and so on" (Barbour 1969:I:153-154). Trade, a tangible but subtle form of cultural exchange, was mutually beneficial.

Lieutenant Governor Thomas Gates (1610)

Relationships with the Natives

The orders Sir Thomas Gates received in early July 1608 when he left England included seeing that towns were built and that the colony was adequately defended. He also was told to extract tribute from the Indians and was authorized to build a new capital city at an inland site that would be safe from foreign invasion (Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:12-24). Virginia Company officials warned Gates about Virginia's Natives. They said that they

. . . can no way hurte you but by fire or destroying yr cattle or hindering your work, by stealthe yr passages in small numbers, and in this sort of war there is most pill [peril] if you be not Carefull, for if they may destroy but one harves or burne your townes in the night they will leave you naked and exposed to famine and cold and convey themselves into the woods where revenge will be as difficult as unnecessary [Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:18].

It was recommended that Indian children be taken prisoner and detained so that they could be converted to Christianity. Sir Thomas Gates was told not to give the Indians weapons or teach them how to use them. They also were not to allow the Indians to learn certain types of potentially useful skills, such as carpentry and blacksmithing (Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:14-15, 20-21).

Employing reverse psychology, the colonists were supposed to pretend that they were being benevolent when they traded "leetle Iron tooles or copper" to the Natives, but they were supposed to devalue or "make little estimacon of trade with them" (Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:20). This strategy was supposed to make the Indians place a high value upon the trinkets they received through trade while sharing their goods abundantly with the colonists. As time would tell, the food the Indians supplied to the colonists was the real treasure exchanged.

Gates, having survived a hurricane and being shipwrecked in Bermuda, finally reached Virginia. When he arrived at Jamestown on May 23, 1610, six weeks ahead of Governor Thomas West, the third, Lord Delaware (de la War), he found the surviving colonists in dire straits. The fort was in disrepair and those who had managed to survive were suffering from starvation. Although the colonists stayed on, the Council in Virginia reported that the settlers were hesitant to venture outside the fort to gather firewood, as the Indians were "as fast killing without [the fort] as the famine and pestilence within." They added that only the blockhouse was safe and they were not sure how long those men could survive. They said that the Indians were watchful and were keenly aware of their weakness and had chosen to play a waiting game rather than "hazard themselves in a fruitless war on such whome they were assured in short time would of themselves perish" (Brown 1890:404-405).

Governor Thomas West, Lord Delaware (1610-1618)

Sir Thomas West, Lord Delaware, was designated the first Lord Governor and Captain General of Virginia He arrived in the colony on June 9, 1610, in a fleet of three ships, transporting 250 men. He ordered the colonists, who had just abandoned Jamestown, to return to their seat (Raimo 1980:463-64). According to William Strachey, Lord Delaware had the colonists build more weatherproof houses, using "A delicate wrought fine kinde of Mat the Indians make, with which (as they can be trucked for or snatched up) our people do dresse their chambers, and inward roomes, which make their houses so much more handsome" (Wright 1964:81-82). Thus, the colonists put to good use materials fabricated by the Native population.

On the other hand, Strachey said that Powhatan and his people worked constantly toward the colonists' undoing, sometimes resorting to violence when seizing the settlers' weapons and tools. He claimed that the Indians had taken more than 200 swords, axes, pole axes, chisels, and hoes, along with "an infinite treasure of copper" (Wright 1964:90). Finally, Lord Delaware sent two men to Powhatan, demanding the release of some colonists who were being held captive and also insisted upon the return of the items that had been taken. Powhatan, in turn, sent word that "either we should depart his country or confine ourselves to Jamestown only, without searching further up into his land or rivers, or otherwise he would give in command to his people to kill us and do unto us all the mischief which they at their pleasure could and we feared." He reportedly told Lord Delaware's messengers not to return "unless they brought him a coach and three horses . . . as such was the state of great werowances and lords in England." Strachey said that later on, Powhatan sent two or three Indians to the fort, to assess the colonists' strength and see how well the settlement was guarded. He said that the Indians also "would daily press into our blockhouse and come up to our palisade gates, supposing the government as well now as fantastical and negligent as in former times." He noted that "Some quarter of a mile short of the blockhouse, the greatest number of them would make assault and lie in ambush about our glasshouse," attacking anyone who ventured out to procure water or food (Wright 1964:90-91, 93).

In 1610 Captain Samuel Argall commenced trading with the werowance of the Patawomeke, the largest and most powerful of the Algonquian groups in what is now northern Virginia. Although the Jamestown colonists were having problems with the Natives in the lower Tidewater, who were directly under Powhatan's control, Argall procured large quantities of corn from the Patawomeke in exchange for copper, beads, hatchets, knives, bells, and scissors. With the help of Japazaw, a Patawomeke werowance, Argall succeeded in capturing Pocahontas. The colonists also traded with the Piscataway Indians until around 1614 (Wood et al. 1989:158-159).

Deputy Governor George Percy (March — May 1611)

Percy's A Trewe Relacyon

Lord Delaware left Virginia in March 1611, naming George Percy as deputy governor. He was replaced by Sir Thomas Dale who arrived only three months later. Percy, in his Trewe Relacyon, described conditions in the colony from 1609 to 1612, and indicated that in 1610 he had participated in a march against the Chickahominy and Pasbehay Indians. Percy, at Lord Delaware's behest, took 70 soldiers and a reluctant Indian guide, Kempes, to the village of Pasbehay. There, Percy and his men confronted only 40 warriors, putting 15 or 16 "to the Sworde" and shot 50 or 60 more people. Afterward, they set the Indian town ablaze and destroyed all of the corn they could find. They captured Wowinchopunck's wife, her children, and another Indian and took them aboard their boat. Shortly after the English got underway, they brutally killed the Indian youngsters by tossing them overboard and shooting them. The Pasbehay queen was taken to Jamestown, where she was executed at Lord Delaware's command. George Percy said that one Indian who was killed was brought to the fort and buried (Haile 1998: 499-519).

John Clarke's Observations

John Clarke, an English pilot who accompanied Sir Thomas Dale to Virginia in March 1611, was captured by the Spanish at Old Point Comfort and then taken to Cuba and Madrid. When he was interrogated about conditions in Virginia, he said that the Indians "are sometimes at peace and other times at war, and go cloathed in deer skins and with their bows and arrows, which are gusamar [gossamer], and that the produce they gather is maize and walnuts" (American Historical Review 1920:474). Diego de Molina, a Spanish spy who was taken prisoner at the same time John Clarke was seized, claimed that the fortifications at Jamestown were insubstantial and that "one night the Indians broke in and took the whole place without resistance being made, shooting arrows in at all the doors" (Brown 1890:649).

Deputy Governor Thomas Dale
(May 1611 — August 1611, March 1614 - May 1616)

Becoming Established

On May 25, 1611, Sir Thomas Dale, who had briefly served as deputy governor, sent a letter to Virginia Company officials in which he described his plans to strengthen the colony. He claimed that when undertaking construction projects at Jamestown, "All the Savages I set on work . . . duly ply their trade," an indication that Indians were among those involved in enhancing the capital city's improvements. He said that on May 21st he had gone to the Pasbehay Indians' old town (a village site on the east side of the mouth of the Chickahominy River) because he had been told that it was good ground upon which to plant corn, hemp and flax. He commented that "in surveighing it I found it too much rough now being greene and high [that it] would not be so readily cleansed this year for any service" (Brown 1890:489-490). Thus, the Pasbehay Indians apparently had abandoned their village a year or so before Dale paid a visit.

Alonso de Velasco in 1611 predicted the failure of English colonization in Virginia "unless they bring over so large a number of people that they can make themselves Lords of the Country as the Indians now are" (Brown 1890:456). Sir Thomas Dale tried to compensate for his lack of men by the use of force and superior weaponry. He knew that while the Indians could cure injuries inflicted by a sword or axe, they were at a loss to treat gunshot wounds "and therefore languish in the misery of the paine thereof" (Strachey 1953:110). [1] Dale made a journey to the Pamunkey River "to make there with the Salvages either a firme league of peace or a present warre: they perceiving his intent inclined rather for peace (more for feare than love)" (Ancient Planters 1871:76). However, Sir Thomas Dale himself argued that he needed more men. In mid-August 1611 he wrote a letter in which he talked about building five strongholds in the colony. He also asked for 2,000 men, which he was confident would enable him to make the colony secure from enemy invasion (Haile 1998:552-558).

1On the other hand, another man said that the Indians "have the best secrets of any Physician in Europe."

In another letter, Dale recommended to English officials that the colonists acquire

. . . all the tract of land which lieth between our River, which we call the King's [James] River and whereon Powhatan dwelleth, which may be in some places twenty miles over and from Point Comfort to the Falls . . . some 150 miles is all the command and containeth the principall seats of Powhatan, which I would secure unto use (and by having them of necessity be commanders of the South Shoare [Brown 1890:503].

Thus, Dale believed that it was appropriate to take over the James-York peninsula from Old Point Comfort to the falls of the James, securing it for the colonists' habitation. He returned to England without having had an opportunity to implement his plan. However, the extension of settlement inland and the steady flow of new colonists to Virginia exerted increasing pressure upon the Natives of the Tidewater.

In 1612 and 1613 Sir Thomas Dale established several settlements at the head of the James River. Three miles above the community he planted at Farrar Island, he seated a group of settlers at Arrahattock, the former site of an Indian village. In 1613 Dale drove the Appomattocks Indians from their habitation at the mouth of the Appomattox River (Hamor 1957:31-32; Rolfe 1971:7-11; Ferrar MS 40).

Although early writers, such as Captain John Smith and William Strachey, commented upon the Natives' mode of subsistence, which included hunting, fishing and gathering, and the cultivation of agricultural crops, little heed was paid to the fact that they depended upon an ample supply of land. It was not until the mid-seventeenth century that the colony's governing officials purposefully made provisions to preserve the habitat upon which the Natives depended (Trigger 1978:258-259, 262-263).

Pocahontas's Conversion, Marriage, and Death

Powhatan's favorite daughter, Pocahontas, who was captured by Deputy Governor Samuel Argall and detained, was converted to Christianity and adopted the English name, Rebecca. On April 1, 1614, she married John Rolfe. Their marriage, which Sir Thomas Dale reported from Jamestown on June 18, 1614, had a calming influence upon the relationships between the colonists and the Indians. The Rolfes and their infant son, Thomas, accompanied Sir Thomas Dale when he returned to England in May 1616. Also making the trip were a dozen or more Indians. Once in England, Pocahontas was introduced at court and treated as a Native princess. In March 1617, when the Rolfes and their infant son, Thomas, were in Gravesend, awaiting the ship that would take them home to Virginia, Pocahontas became mortally ill. She is believed to have contracted consumption (tuberculosis), a highly contagious bacterial disease. She was buried in the yard of St. Mary le Bow Church, in Gravesend. John Rolfe returned to Virginia, as planned, leaving his young son in the care of his brother. Pocahontas's death was followed closely by that of her father. With Powhatan's demise, tensions between the colonists and the Indians increased. During this period, John Rolfe, who served as secretary of state from 1614 to 1619, conducted the agricultural experiments that resulted in the development of a palatable and highly marketable strain of tobacco. It became the colonists' money crop, which fueled the spread of settlement and drove the Natives from their land. John and Pocahontas (Rebecca) Rolfe's son came to Virginia as a youth whose English identity had been honed abroad (Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:70; P. R. O. 14/87 ff 67, 146; Smith 1910:535; Haile 1998:845, 848, 888; Meyer et al 1987:508).

Hostilities on Jamestown Island

After Sir Thomas Dale returned to England, Sir Samuel Argall became deputy governor. He served until Governor George Yeardley's arrival in April 1619. It was during 1617, when Argall was in charge, that some Indians ventured onto Jamestown Island and attacked the homestead of William Fairfax. Fairfax, who lived in the eastern end of the island in an area designated Study Unit 2 Tract I during the Jamestown Archaeological Assessment, shared his home with his wife, three children, and one or more servants. One Sunday, while William Fairfax was at church, some Indians came to his house, where they killed three children and a youth. Mrs. Fairfax, who had left home and gone to meet her husband, was spared. Captain John Smith, who chronicled this event, indicated that the Fairfax dwelling was a mile from Jamestown. In December 1620 William Fairfax sold his 12 acre homestead on Jamestown Island to the Rev. Richard Buck, the James City Parish rector. William Fairfax was killed on March 22, 1622, during the full scale Indian attack, while visiting Ensign William Spence's home in Archer's Hope (Smith 1986:II:265; Nugent 1969-1979:I:109-110; Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:570).

Opechancanough, the Powhatan Chiefdom's Paramount Leader

Opechancanough ultimately succeeded his brother, Powhatan, as paramount chief although Opitchapam, a much less charismatic brother, was in power for a time. Early on, Opechancanough made several visits to Jamestown and in 1617 he received a present from Deputy Governor Samuel Argall. Opechancanough and his brother Opitchapam reportedly ruled the Natives on the Powhatan (James), Pamunkey (York), and Roanoke Rivers. Sometime prior to July 1619 Opechancanough appealed to Governor George Yeardley for justice because a colonist's men had seized his corn. He also agreed to seat some of his people near the settled territory so that they could learn about the colonists' religion. During 1621 Opechancanough met with George Thorpe of Berkeley Hundred, who was attempting to convert him to Christianity and had promised to have an English house built for him. Sometime prior to the Indian uprising that occurred on March 22, 1622, Opechancanough reportedly had a brass plate affixed to an oak tree as a symbol of peace with the colonists. Yet later he was credited with leading the 1622 and 1644 Native revolts in which hundreds of colonists were killed. By 1622 Opechancanough was living upon an island in the Pamunkey River (Kingsbury 1906-1935:I:128-129; III:73-74, 157, 229, 462, 549-550, 552, 707-710). It may have been the site at which George Thorpe had an English house built for him.

Governor George Yearley (April 1619 - November 1621)

The Headright System and the Spread of Settlement

Settlement spread rapidly during Sir George Yeardley's first term as governor. It was then that eighteen or nineteen plantations were established, most of which were thinly scattered along both sides of the James River, to the west of the Chickahominy River's mouth. Development was stimulated by the Virginia Company's so-called Great Charter, which lured prospective immigrants to Virginia with the prospect of possession their own land. Individuals who came to Virginia at their own expense and stayed in the colony for at least three years were entitled to 50 acres of land. Ancient Planters (people who immigrated prior to Sir Thomas Dale's May 1616 departure and lived in Virginia for at least three years) were entitled to 100 acres. People who paid for the cost of transporting others to the colony were entitled to patent 50 acres on each of those persons' behalf. Thus, successful planters, by importing hired workers for their plantations, could fulfill their need for labor while amassing additional land. Groups of investors could absorb the cost of outfitting and transporting new colonists and acquire land on their behalf. Thus, the headright policy, coupled with the discovery that tobacco was a highly marketable commodity, fueled the spread of settlement. In addition to the acreage that was allocated to individuals and groups who pooled their resources, several 3,000 acre tracts were laid out as public land. In November 1618 the Virginia Company gave Sir George Yeardley a 2,200 acre tract called Weyanoke (once the site of an Indian town) and an adjoining place called Konwan (Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:101, 120, 152, 249; Craven 1957:45; Robinson 1957:21-22; Tate et al. 1979:93). It is not surprising that as settlement spread, the Natives became increasingly uneasy about land loss and the growing number of Europeans in their midst.

Laws Regulating Interaction with the Native Population

During summer 1619, delegates from each of Virginia's plantations convened in the church at Jamestown in the New World's first legislative assembly. On August 4, 1619, the burgesses enacted several laws that governed the colonists' interaction with the Indians. It was then decided that "It shalbe [sic] free for every man to trade with the Indians, servants onely [sic] excepted," unless the servant's master paid a fee. The settlers were forbidden to "sell or give any of the greater howes [hoes] to the Indians, or any English dog of quality, as a mastive, greyhound, bloodhounde, lande or water spaniel, or any other dog or bitche whatsoever, of the English race." Moreover, no one was to "sell or give any Indians any piece [firearm], shott or poulder [powder], or any other armes, offensive or defensive." Any colonist who did so would be deemed a traitor and be "hanged as soon as the facte is proved." Trade with the Natives was tightly controlled and "no man shall purposely goe to any Indian townes, habitations or places or resortes without leave from the Governor or comaunder [sic] of that place wher [sic] he liveth, upon paine of paying 40 s to publique uses"(Tyler 1907:269-270).

The March 1620 Census

In March 1620 when demographic records were compiled on the colony's population, there were 892 Europeans living in Virginia. Of those people, males outnumbered females by nearly seven to one. Also present were 32 Africans (17 of whom were male) and four Indians, who like the Africans, were said to be "in ye service of severall planters" (Ferrar MS 138, 139). It is probable that the four Indian servants were Natives who had been converted to Christianity and were living in planter households.

A Peace Treaty During
Yeardley's Administration

Virginia Company records that date to April and May 1623 reveal that a formal treaty was concluded with the Natives, during Sir George Yeardley's first term as governor (April 1619 to November 1621) and Sir Thomas Smith was Virginia Company treasurer. A letter to Sir Francis Wyatt, dated September 4th and 8th 1623, specifically mentions the "public peace made by your predecessors with sundry nations, have been broken by some of our people," an admission of English culpability (Kingsbury 1906-1935:IV:451).

Governor Francis Wyatt

The Production of Trade Goods

In 1621, when incoming governor, Sir Francis Wyatt, arrived in Virginia, he was accompanied by treasurer George Sandys, who was responsible for overseeing some of the revenue-producing projects the Virginia Company's investors had underwritten. One was the glassworks to be built at what became known as Glasshouse Point, the site at which glass had been made during Captain John Smith's presidency. Among the marketable goods to be produced by the Italian artisans sent to make glass were beads that could be used in trading with the Indians. The glassworkers were to be compensated with a share of the wares they produced, but they were prohibited from selling any of it to the Indians, which would lessen its value as trade goods (Kingsbury 1906-1935:I:498-499). In January 1620, Japazaw, the King of the Patawomack's brother, reportedly came to Jamestown, where he invited the colonists to trade (Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:244).

The 1622 Indian Uprising

As the colony's population grew and Virginia's tobacco economy literally took root, colonists established numerous plantations along the banks of the James River, inland to the fall line and they crossed the Chesapeake Bay to settle on the Eastern Shore. Settlement continued to expand exponentially, intruding deeply into the Natives' territory. This encroachment, quite understandably, generated ill will. Meanwhile, after Powhatan's death in 1617-1618, a more militant attitude emerged on the part of the Natives, led by the charismatic war captain, Opechancanough, a forceful and dynamic leader (McCartney 1985:53-54).

The encroachment upon Native territory precipitated the March 22, 1622 Indian uprising which claimed the lives of an estimated one-third of the colony's population. It was then that the Indians of the Powhatan Chiefdom, led by Opechancanough, launched a carefully orchestrated attack upon the sparsely inhabited plantations along the James River, hoping to drive the colonists from their soil. In the long run, however, the Indian uprising did very little to stem the tide of expanding settlement. The timing of the uprising coincided with the taking up of Powhatan's bones (McCartney 1985:53-54; Kingsbury 1906-1935:IV:9). Anthropologists link the taking up of Powhatan's bones as a significant ceremony in the eyes of the Indians and linked to the uprising.

No lives apparently were lost on Jamestown Island, although the capital city may have had a narrow escape. Virginia Company records credit an Indian youth named Chanco, who had been converted to the Christian faith and lived with Richard Pace whose plantation lay across the James River from the western end of Jamestown Island. Chanco's brother reportedly had told him about the plan to attack the settlements and urged him to kill his master. But Chanco, whom Richard Pace had treated like a son, warned him about the impending attack. [2] Pace then "hastily rowed in a canoe across the river to Jamestown to notify the governor of the impending danger." Richard Pace's timely warning allowed the colonists to take some defensive precautions. One man said that when the attacking Indians arrived, we "opened firre upon them with our muskets," whereupon the Natives retreated. An account written by a man, who had been in Virginia at the time of the attack, states that "a party of Indians embarked in four boats for Jamestown and the surrounding country" (Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:554-557, 652-653; IV: 98-101, 221-223; Smith 1989:II:297-298; Tyler 1900-1901:212). Natives living in colonists' homes in Elizabeth City and Newport News also warned of the attack.

2Although relatively little is known about Chanco, Virginia Company records describe him as one of William Perry's servants (Kingsbury1906-1935:III:554). Pace and Perry were friends and business associates.

At the end of the day, an estimated 347 men, women and children lay dead: approximately a third of the colony's population. [3] Men, women, and children were slain in Henrico (at Falling Creek, the Sheffield Plantation, Henrico Island, the College, and Abraham Peiersy's plantation on the Appomattox River) and in Charles City (at Bermuda Hundred, Bermuda City, West and Shirley Hundred, Berkeley Hundred, Westover, Flowerdew Hundred, and at the plantations of Thomas Swinhowe, William Bicker, Captain Nathaniel Powell, Captain Thomas Spellman, and William Farrar). Within the corporation of James City, several colonists lost their lives at Southampton Hundred, a settlement located at Dancing Point, on the west side of the Chickahominy River's mouth. It is not known whether anyone perished on the tract of Company Land in James City, on the east side of the Chickahominy's entrance. However, the inclusion of Captain Jabez Whittaker's servant, Thomas Holland, in the list of those who were slain suggests that the Company Land may have been attacked. Ensign William Spence's plantation, in the neck of land behind Jamestown Island, was attacked and several people were killed. A large number of people (73) reportedly were killed at Martin's Hundred, where 19 women were taken prisoner and carried off to the Pamunkey Indians' stronghold. Downstream in Elizabeth City Thomas Pierce's and Edward Waters' plantations were attacked. Waters, his wife, and child were captured by the Nansemond Indians, who took them to their village across the James River. Later, the Waters' managed to escape from their captors. In Warresqueak, the death toll at Edward Bennett's plantation, Bennett's Welcome, was extremely high (Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:565-571).

3However, some people, at first presumed dead, were found to have been captured by the Indians.

The Rev. Joseph Mead, a Biblical scholar at Christ College in Cambridge University, wrote several letters in which he talked about the Indian uprising. In a July 13, 1622, letter he said that 329 colonists had been slain and that the Indians tried to entice the settlers away from their homes by inviting them to a feast. Another letter indicates that the attack occurred at 8 A. M. Mead, though not mentioning Chanco by name, spoke of his role in saving colonists' lives by warning his master. On February 28, 1622, Mead said that he had heard that Opechancanough had been driven afar and that many of his men had been slain. He also said that the colonists had taken a substantial quantity of corn from the Natives (Mead 1963:408-410).

Although some officials in England attributed the Indian uprising to divine punishment, others blamed it upon "the manie wild and vast projects set on foote all at one time with but a handful of men." Much was said about the plantations' being so widely scattered that people were unable to rush to each other's defense. The colonists were ordered to withdraw to several positions that were considered relatively safe: Jamestown with Pasbehay (the Governor's Land), Jordan's Point, Shirley Hundred, Kecoughtan, Southampton Hundred, Flowerdew Hundred, Newport News, and certain plantations across the river from Jamestown. But the Indians undertook sporadic raids upon some of those settlements and they returned to the homesteads that had been abandoned and put them to the torch. During 1623 between 20 and 30 men were killed at Newport News and upriver at Martin's Hundred the Indians returned from time to time to pick off anyone who ventured out unarmed. Sporadic attacks were still occurring in 1625. At Southampton Hundred the survivors were harassed to the point that ultimately they were forced to withdraw (Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:612, 652-653; IV:223; Ferrar MS 569; P.R.O. 30/15/2 f 347).

Recovery and Retribution

Governor Wyatt and his council resolved to use "their uttermost and Christian endeavors in prosequeting revenge upon the bloody Salvages . . . rootinge them out." This culminated in a series of retaliatory raids in which the settlers burned the Indians' villages and destroyed their food supplies. In September 1622 Sir George Yeardley led an expedition against the Indians who lived upon the Pamunkey River and in January 1623 he attacked several other Native groups. He also went on a voyage to procure corn through peaceful means or through force. Even so, some English critics considered him too lenient toward the Indians. He was strongly criticized for having previously consulted with Opechancanough about giving land to Thomas Rolfe, the son of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, for seeking the consent of a Native leader was tantamount to acknowledging that the land belonged to the indigenous people (Kingsbury 1906-1935: II:94-95, 115-116; III:678-679; IV:9, 89).

In June 1622 Sir George Yeardley set out to explore the Chesapeake Bay, in search of a site that would accommodate 300 to 400 colonists. However, it appears that very little serious thought was given to abandoning Jamestown and moving to the Eastern Shore. Yeardley informed Virginia Company officials that the Indian king of the Eastern Shore had tried to warn the colonists about the uprising that had been planned. It also was reported that Powhatan and Opechancanough had plotted to break up the alliance between the settlers and the Chickahominy Indians, who in 1614 had made a peace agreement with the colonists. The colonists then violated it in 1616, when they seized the Indians' corn. In October 1622 the King of the Potomac joined with the colonists in an offensive against Opechancanough. However, in April 1623 he and his son were captured, taken to Jamestown, and held for ransom (Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:556, 656-657; IV:9, 118).

Virginia Company officials, upon learning of the colonists' plight, arranged to send them military supplies. They obtained old obsolete arms from the Tower of London, "still of use against a Naked People," i.e., people not wearing armor, and had it sent to Virginia. Specifically, Company officials requested from the Crown 100 brigandines or plate coats; 40 jack coats; 40 jerkins or shirts of mail; 2,000 iron skulls or helmets; 1,000 halberts; and 50 "murdering peeces" or small ordnance, as well as 2,000 culvers; pistols and daggers; and 500 targets and bucklers. Pikes, it had been found, were particularly effective in hand-to-hand combat with the Indians (Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:446; B.P.R.O:C. O. 1/20 ff 80-81; 5/1354 ff 202-203).

But Virginia Company officials also looked out for their own business interests. Despite the danger, they urged the settlers to return to their plantations, which they considered a matter "of absolute necessitie." They recommended that private individuals be invited to settle upon the four corporations' tracts of Company Land and live there until they were ready to seat their own property. At that point, the Company's tenants would reimburse them for having cleared the ground, built houses and made other investments in the land. Were that proposition to prove unpopular, Company officials offered another incentive: that each family or household who would settle upon the Company's Land be given 10 acres in perpetuity, so long as "the land be not left uncultivated & the houses uninhabited." During spring 1623 a group of settlers set out to capture and seat the King of Appomattock's town. However, they became ill and had to abandon their plan (Kingsbury 1906-1935:II:93; III:670; IV:25).

Although the Natives did what they could to fight back, by early April 1623 they were suffering. It was then that Chanco and Comahum, as emissaries from Opechancanough, came to Martin's Hundred, where they made an overture for peace. Comahum (a great man, who had been involved in the attack upon Martin's Hundred) and Chanco were taken into custody and brought up to Jamestown. The Indians said that Opechancanough was offering to return the colonists he was detaining, in exchange for his people's being allowed to plant their crops in peace. Virginia officials noted that "many of his People were starved by our taking away their corne and burning their houses." In April 1623 Governor Wyatt echoed those words in a letter to his father, for he said that the Indians wanted peace and had offered to return 20 colonists that they had captured. They also offered to allow the colonists to plant their crops in peace, if they could do the same. The Virginia Council reported to Company officials that if the Indians "send home our people and grow secure upon the treatie, wee shall have the better Advantage both to surprise them and cutt down their corne, by knowing where they plant," for it was generally believed that the Indians' real purpose for coming to Martins Hundred was "only to spy and observe the weakness of our plantations" (Kingsbury 1906-1935:IV:6, 75, 98-99).

Dr. John Pott, the colony's Physician General, who came to Virginia in 1621 and was a skillful medical practitioner, in 1623 made a bargain with the Pamunkey Indians. He redeemed the widowed Mrs. Jane Dickinson of Martin's Hundred, taken captive in March 1622, in exchange for some glass beads. In March 1624 Mrs. Dickinson, then a servant in Dr. Pott's household, asked the governor to free her, claiming that he kept her in greater slavery than the Indians had (McIlwaine 1924:3-4; Kingsbury 1906-1935:451; IV:473).

William Capps of Elizabeth City said in April 1623 that

. . . the Indians are drawn of affare as a man can hurle a stone at twice . . . but when the leaves are greene, they will be somewhat nearer, and now forsooth they would faine have peace, Conditionall that they may have their corn at Kiskiack and at Pamunka, that is just at our back, and when their corne is readie, have at yr bucklers [Kingsbury 1906-1935:IV:37].

Around the same time, former governor George Yeardley, led 100 armed men in a march against the Chickahominy Indians, who allegedly had taken the lives of ten colonists. Also, he reportedly had been told by Opechancanough that the Chickahominy had killed some of the settlers' cattle (Kingsbury 1906-1935:IV:118).

Governor Wyatt, lamenting that "it was by my ill fortune to come when mischief was breeding, covered over with a treacherous peace," issued a proclamation cautioning settlers not to relax their vigilance against the Indians. He asserted that "they cannot hurt us through their strength but through our own carelessnesse being well assured that their perfidious craft is such more dangerous than open violence" (C. O. 1/20 f 145).

In reflecting back upon the events that led up to the Indian uprising, the colony's governing officials began cast blame upon their predecessors, especially those who had taught Natives how to use firearms. Sir Thomas Dale reportedly had shown an Indian named Kissacomas how to shoot and Chacrow (Shacrow), who lived with Lieutenant John Sharpe (Skarfe, Scarpe, Skarse, Skarfe) and Captains William Powell and William Pierce on Jamestown Island, also received training in how to use a gun. Chacrow had learned how to shoot in 1614 while Lieutenant Sharp was in command of Jamestown and an Indian named Nanticos learned to use a gun during the same period. Captain George Webb's servant, John Powell, also taught a Native named Coss how to shoot (McIlwaine 1924:28; Haile 1998:827).

The 1623 Treaty

By May 1623 a peace agreement had been concluded with the Indians. However, according to a letter written in December 1623, it was a dishonorable one. That document, which reached England, reveals that "ye English despite a treaty with ye Natives for peace and good quarter have poisoned a great many of them." It was a reference to a May 22, 1623, attempt to kill Opechancanough and other Indian leaders by toasting a spurious peace treaty with a cup of poisonous wine (C.O. 1/3 f 94). Later, the colony's Physician-General, Dr. John Pott of Jamestown, was implicated in that crime.

Despite the treaty, during the summer of 1623, carefully staged attacks were made upon the Indians and it became an accepted stratagem to go against them in March (prior to planting, when food stores were minimal), in July (while crops were growing), and in November (after harvest and when loss of shelter would be most critical) (Kingsbury 1906-1935:IV:451).

In the fall and winter of 1623, as the Virginia planters' fears subsided and their confidence began to return, they gradually commenced re-occupying the outlying landholdings they had abandoned. They fortified their homes by surrounding them with palisades and they undertook retaliatory raids against the Indians from time to time. One man declared that the colonists "may now by right of warre . . . invade the country and destroy them who sought to destroy us." He added that "Now their cleared ground in all their villages (which are situate in the fruitfullest places of the land) shall be inhabited by us." Another man proposed planting settlements throughout Opechancanough's territory and driving him from his island stronghold in the Pamunkey River. [4] He also recommended continuing to burn the Indians' villages and food crops. A third colonist declared that he had no doubts but "in time we shall clean drive them from these parts" (Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:707-710; IV:37-39, 221-223; Ancient Planters 1871:83).

4A ca. 1662 map identifies an island near Carter's Landing in King William County as Opechancanough's "ancient seat." It may have been there that an English house was built for him by the missionary George Thorpe.

In January 1624 Governor Wyatt and his council informed Virginia Company officials that "wee have to our uttermost abilities revenged ourselves upon the Salvages, having upon this river cutt down their corn in all places in great abundance upon hope of a fraudulent peace, with intent to provide themselves for a future war" (Kingsbury 1906-1936:IV:451). In March it was ordered that "every dwellinghouse shall be pallisaded in for defense against the Indians" and all trade with the Indians for corn, both public and private, was prohibited after June 1624. A short time later it was reported that "almost all our Houses are sufficiently fortified against the Indians with strong Palisadoes" (Hening 1809-1823:I:126-127; McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1619-1660:24).

During 1624 when the assembly met, the colony's burgesses agreed that "the best defense against the Indians . . . is the winninge of the forrest by running a pale from Martins Hundred to Chiskiacke wch is not above six miles." Lip-service also was given to colonizing Chiskiack. Upright logs were to be installed that had blockhouses every few hundred feet. Those who settled along the palisade were to be given a blockhouse and 50 acres of land. But the proposal received mere lip service. Twice yearly expeditions against the Indians became the norm as did repeated orders to palisade dwelling houses and maintain constant vigilance. Governor Wyatt said that "our first work is expulsion of the Salvages to gain the free range of the country for encreased cattle, swine &c. which will more than restore us, and it is infinitely better to have no heathen among us, who at best, were as thornes in our sides, than to be at peace and league with them: this is the worke of a continuall charge, and we are unable to bear it" (Wyatt 1626). In October 1626 the governor and his council issued orders that all dwellings in the colony were to be paled in by May 1, 1627. Those who lived within necks of land that could be spanned readily by a palisade line were to construct such barriers collectively. Because Abraham Peirsey of Flowerdew Hundred demonstrated that many of his houses already were paled in and that the whole neck of land was well railed, he was left to his discretion regarding the construction of additional palisades. Again, plans were made for "paling in the forest" or running a palisade across the James-York peninsula. (Hening 1809-1823: I:126-127; Kingsbury 1906-1935:IV:583; McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1619-1660:38; McIlwaine 1924:120).

Despite the tensions between the Native population and the settlers, a few Indians were living in their households in February 1624 when a census was taken of the colony's inhabitants. In the Elizabeth City household of Thomas Dunthorne, who lived near the mouth of the Hampton River, on the upper side, was an Indian boy named Thomas, who was listed among the servants. Thomas was still living with the Dunthornes in 1625. An Indian named Chouponke was residing in Elizabeth City in Captain William Tucker's household in February 1624, but he was not there the following year. Chouponke may have died or departed, for his name was omitted from the 1625 muster. The Tuckers, like the Dunthornes, lived on the upper side of the Hampton River. William Crashaw, who was identified as a baptized Indian, was living in Thomas Dunthorne's household in 1625 but his name was not included in the 1624 census. William Tucker and his wife may have tried to convert the non-Christians with whom they shared their household, for in 1625 the Africans named Anthony and Isabell were identified as having been baptized (Hotten 1980:185, 188, 244, 255). Two Indians, who apparently had been living at West and Shirley Hundred, were listed among those who died there between April 1623 and February 16, 1624 (Hotten 1980:190). It is likely that elsewhere within the colonized area were Natives who were living in planter households. In 1620 there were four Indians living with the colonists and the presence of Chanco and his brother Richard Pace's home in 1622 documents that the tradition was ongoing.

In 1624 the Virginia Company's third charter was revoked and the colony was placed under royal control. Efforts to revive the defunct joint stock company proved unsuccessful, for most Virginians believed that the colony would fare better under the Crown. By 1626, some of the land formerly owned by the Virginia Company had passed into private ownership and some of the Company's former servants had patented the land they previously occupied (Craven 1957:57; Kingsbury 1905-1935:IV:536-537). No records have come to light that reveal how soon after the Virginia Company's demise settlers began laying claim to acreage in the Company Land tract in James City, where the Pasbehay Indians' village had been located. However, the property had been seated by the early 1630s.

Although the governing officials issued orders in March 1624 that "every dwelling-house shall be palisaded in for defense against the Indians," a careful examination of the January 1625 muster suggests that the colonists paid little heed. If they did, their enclosures rarely were classified as "forts." Although five plantations in the upper reaches of the James River were equipped with heavy ordnance, including three that had served as strongholds immediately after the 1622 massacre, none of them reportedly had forts. Downstream, between Flowerdew Hundred and Bennett's Welcome on Warrisqueak (or Burwell's) Bay, were seven settlements that had heavy ordnance of various sorts and three plantations that had forts but lacked such weaponry. Meanwhile, on the upper side of the James, between Bennett's Welcome and Hampton Roads, were eight settlements that reportedly had heavy ordnance and 24 that contained structures classified as forts. Only five of these 24 forts were equipped with ordnance, whereas the remaining three settlements with ordnance lacked forts. In early 1625 no colonists were then living upon the lower side of the James to the east of Pagan Creek, where there was a strong Native presence. The preponderance of forts on the upper side of the James River's mouth, a region that was almost as densely settled as the corporation of James City, and the relative dearth of such protective structures further inland, suggests that the colonists who lived nearest to Hampton Roads were more concerned about being attacked by a foreign foe than a domestic one. In some instances, the structures the census-taker classified as "forts" contained one or two houses and a storehouse or tobacco house. It is perhaps significant that almost all of those credited with possession of heavy ordnance were men who had come to Virginia prior to the 1616 departure of Sir Thomas Dale (Hotten 1980: passim).

Natives of the Rappahannock River Drainage

The records of the Virginia Company contain very few references to the Indians of the Rappahannock River drainage. During the fall of 1622, while Captain Isaac Madison was living in the Indian village, Patawomeck, on the Potomac River, two of his men reportedly ran away to Nazatica. Madison sent in their pursuit

. . . Master John Upton and three more with an Indian guide to Nazatica, where they heard they were. At this place was a King beat out of his Country by the Necosts, enemies to the Patawomecks; this expulsed King though he professed much love to the Patawomecks, yet he loved not the King because he would not helpe him to revenge his enemies [Smith 1910:596].

This account is the earliest dated reference to Nazatica that has come to light. Although Feest (l978) and Barbour (l969) have assumed that Nazatica and Nantaughtacund were synonymous, Captain John Smith's omission of Nazatica in recounting his explorations and making his map suggests that it did not then exist. Moreover, the text in which he describes Isaac Madison's men's adventures implies that in 1622 the Nazatica community was of relatively recent origin (Smith 1910:596).

Captain John Martin, who in 1623 crafted a plan for taking over Opechancanough's territory, said that he lived upon an island in the Pamunkey River. He said that the paramount chief's influence extended northward to the southern shore of the Potomac River. However, the Patawomeck's willingness to assist the English against the Pamunkey suggests strongly that they were not closely allied. During the first quarter of the seventeenth century, the English made a number of expeditions into the northerly portion of the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck, in an attempt to procure corn and other food stuffs, but there appears to have been relatively little military or socio-political interaction (Kingsbury 1906-1935:III:708-710).

Governor George Yeardley (1626-1627)

Yeardley Faces New Problems

Despite the retaliatory expeditions and attempts to eradicate the Indians, they continued to make isolated forays upon outlying settlements, such as Warresqueak, and in the upper reaches of the James. Tensions were high and in April 1627 the governor issued a warning that the Indians were expected to attack at any time. The assembly responded by commanding all households to assemble for prayer at least once a day and every plantation had to have a special place for worship services. The colonists were forbidden to waste powder by firing weapons during times of celebration, such as weddings and funerals. The colonists were not allowed to venture out unarmed or alone. Local military leaders had to muster and drill their men on every holiday. The colony's governing officials reiterated their order that all houses were to be paled in. But surviving archival records reveal that many colonists simply ignored the law. In the spring of 1626 a Weyanoke Indian, whose name is unknown, came to Shirley Hundred, where he was captured. When he was transported to Jamestown and brought before the govenor's council, it was decided that he would be made to serve the governor. Afterward he was taken to the Eastern Shore by Captain William Eppes (Kingsbury 1906-935:III:60; IV:41-42, 58, 61, 104-105, 107, 236-237, 239; Hening 1809-1823:I:122-123, 126-127, 140; McIlwaine et al.: 1905-1915:1619-1660:38; McIlwaine 1924: 44, 116, 129, 136, 147, 153.189-190, 198).

Indians from the Caribbean

In 1627 a Captain Sampson brought a group of Carib Indians into the colony, seemingly for the purpose of selling them. General Court minutes suggest that the Caribs were unruly and strongly resistant to captivity, for Sampson told the justices that "he knoweth noe way or means to dispose of those Indians." As a result, he agreed to turn them over to the court "to dispose of them as we shall please." While the matter was under consideration, it was reported that the Caribs had "runn away & hid themselves in the woods attempting to goe to ye Indians of this Country as some of them have revealed and confessed." While the Carib Indians were at large, they were said to have "stolen away divers goods, & attempted to kill some of our people." Therefore, the justices of the General Court decided that the Caribs should be "presently taken and hanged till they be dead" (McIlwaine 1924:155). It is uncertain whether any of the Carib Indians were recaptured or whether they succeeded in reaching local Native groups.

Acting Governor Francis West (1627-1629)

The August 1628 Treaty

On April 24, 1628, while Francis West was acting governor, four Indians brought a message to the governor from several men being detained at Pamunkey. A decision was made to secure their release, simultaneously seizing the opportunity to learn where the Indians were planting their corn. This dishonorable peace treaty was made in August 1628. The minutes of the governor's council reveal that "a pease is to be made till they [the prisoners] are del'd up and ye English see a fit opportunity to break it" (McIlwaine 1924:172, 184-185, 484).

By late January 1629 the governor and his council had found the excuse they needed. Council minutes state that because

. . . the people of the colony have grown secure and utterly neglected to eyther stand upon their guard or to keep their Arms fitt . . . The condition of our people being soe wretchedly negligent in this kinde that neither proclamations or other strict orders have remedied the same . . . that all the former treaties of peace be utterly extinct.

It was thought "a safer course for the colony in general (to prevent a second Massacre) utterly to proclayme and maintayne enmity and warres with all the Indians of these partes." Thus, the peace treaty that had been made with the Indians in August 1628 was nullified, not on account of the Indians' treachery but because of the settlers' negligence in maintaining their own defense. There was a moratorium on shooting or killing Indians until February 20th, when they officially became "utter Enemies." In March 1629 the Council of State again discussed the deliberate dissolution of the treaty and reaffirmed its earlier decision. Contradicting their own testimony in the official records, Council members alleged that the Indians repeatedly had violated the treaty's first and principal article which stated that they must not come into the areas settled by the colonists. The Indians also were accused of killing the planters' hogs and cattle, stealing their hoes, and slaying men hunting in the woods (McIlwaine 1924:172, 184-185, 189-190, 198, 484).

A lone Native, who entered the colonized area before his people had been notified of the treaty's dissolution, was sent home with word that the agreement had been annulled because of the Indians' failure to abide by it. Henceforth, official Indian messengers were obliged to come in only "at the appointed place, at Pasbehay," west of Jamestown Island. This suggests that under the terms of the peace agreement the Indians had ceded to the English a portion of their land or had agreed to remain outside of the colonized area (McIlwaine 1924:198).

A Point of Entry West of Jamestown Island

Later in 1629 after Robert Poole and four other men were killed by the Indians, another message was sent to Opechancanough, again castigating his people for repeated violations of the treaty. Particular note was made of the Indians' failure to enter the settled area only at "the appointed place, at Pasbehay" (McIlwaine 1924:198). An intriguing reference to a "trucking" or trading point at "old Pasbehay," which occurs in an 1637 patent for acreage near Bush Neck, just above the mouth of the Chickahominy, raises the possibility that Natives intending to enter the area occupied by the colonists may have come in on the so-called Chickahominy Path, which right-of-way appears to have followed portions of the forerunners of Routes 5 and 614 and passed through what had been the Company Land in the corporation of James City. By 1630, a planter named Bridges Freeman and Francis Fowler (a former Virginia Company servant) had patented acreage on the east side of the Chickahominy River's mouth (McIlwaine 1924:44, 104, 116, 129, 136, 147, 151, 153, 155, 189-190, 198, 484; Hening 1809-1823:I:130, 156; Nugent 1969-1979:I:69, 299). A map prepared by Johannes Vingboons around 1630, which shows some of the settlements that were in existence in 1619, identifies the site of Swann's Point (opposite Jamestown, in what is now Surry County) as the "Trocking [Trucking] Point," most likely a site where trade frequently was conducted with the Indians (Vingboons [ca. 1630]). Later, a ferry ran from Swann's Point to Jamestown Island.

Plans to Colonize Chiskiack

In 1629-1630, when settlement along the James became sufficiently well established to permit expansion toward the York, plans were made to extend the young colony's frontier into the homeland of the Chiskiack Indians. Governor Francis Wyatt proposed cordoning off the lower part of the James-York peninsula by means of a palisade that would set that area apart for the use of the colonists and their livestock. However, three more years passed before this proposal became a reality (Hening 1809-1823:I:205, 208-209; Shea 1983:46-62; Smith 1610).

Contemporary Observations

In 1629 when Captain John Smith described conditions in Virginia, basing his comments upon the testimony of several colonists then visiting England, he said that upon the James River, "They seldom see any Salvages, but in the woods, many times their fires; yet some few there are, that upon their opportunitie have slaine some few straglers." Smith added that most of the plantations at the falls of the James were "so inclosed with Pallizadoes they regard not the Salvages" (Smith 1986:III:215-218).

Captain William Peirce, a council member and resident of urban Jamestown, said that, "For our defense against the Natives every plantation is armed with convenient number of musketeers, to the number of 2,000 shot and upwards." He added that:

As for the Natives, Sasapen [Opitchapam] [5] is the chief over all those people inhabiting upon the rivers next to us, who hath been the prime mover of them, that since the massacre have made war upon us. But now this last summer by his great importunity for himself and the neighboring Indians, he hath obtained a truce for the present from the governor and council of Virginia being forced to seek it by our continuall incursions upon him and them, by yearly cutting down and spoiling their corn [C.O. 1/5 ff 69-70].

5Peirce incorrectly identified Sasasawpen as the chief. He meant Opechancanough.

Peirce was making reference to the treaty that had been made in August 1628.

Governor John Harvey 1630-1634)

Interim Governor John West (1635-1636)

The October 1632 Treaty

Although the early 1630s were marked by sporadic Indian attacks and regular retaliatory expeditions, a great drought in the summer of 1632 shriveled the corn crop and forced the colonists to initiate trade with the Indians. A peace agreement was made with the Chickahominys and Pamunkeys in October, although they were still considered "Irreconcilable enemies" who were not to be trusted. The relentless spread of European settlement, which extended inland at a relatively rapid rate, undoubtedly increased tensions. Laws were made whereby no cloth, cotton, or other goods that had been brought into the colony could be traded with the Indians and nobody was to parley with any Natives except those of the Eastern Shore. If a colonist encountered an Indian, he/she was to be brought to the nearest commander (McIlwaine 1924:480, 484; Hening 1809-1823:I:140, 153, 167, 176, 192-193, 219).

The Middle Plantation Palisade

By February 1633 the Grand Assembly began implementing former Governor Francis Wyatt's proposal to construct a palisade across the James-York peninsula. By doing so, they cordoned off an area that was reserved for the colonists' occupation and as a range for their cattle. Fifty acres were offered to each man settling along the ridge between Queens and Archers Hope (College) Creeks, the corridor through which the palisade was to extend. Work on the palisade had commenced by March 1, 1633. The structure was rebuilt in 1646. Relatively little is known about the form of that palisade, although portions of its trajectory are shown on certain mid-17th century plats and sections of it have been identified archaeologically (Hening 1809-1823:I:208-209).

As soon as the palisade was built a small settlement known as the Middle Plantation sprang up midway between the heads of College and Queens Creeks. Settlers moved into the region in considerable numbers, establishing homesteads. The Chiskiack Indians, meanwhile, withdrew to the Middle Peninsula. Hardly had the colonists become firmly established at Chiskiack than they began aspiring to the fertile soils of the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck, hoping to seize the opportunity to reap profits from growing tobacco. This spurred expansion and before long, the colonists' hunger for more land precipitated the spread of settlement westward along the lower side of the York River, as far west as Ware Creek (now the eastern boundary of New Kent County) and across to the opposite shore in what became Gloucester and King and Queen Counties. Thus, the Virginia planters intruded deeply into the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Indians' homeland. It was during this period that the York River began to develop into a major conduit of shipping and trade. By the early 1630s, European colonists, who previously had not seated acreage east of Pagan Creek, ventured into the territory inhabited by the Nansemond Indians. Shortly thereafter, settlers began streaming into the Chickahominy River basin, homeland of the Chickahominy Indians, and in 1641 they seated acreage along the Piankatank. As those who seated land along the Piankatank were supposed to pay a barrel of corn a year to Opechancanough, the government was fully aware that they were encroaching upon territory the Natives considered theirs (Hening 19809-1823:I:140, 153, 205, 208-209, 227, 386, 410; McIlwaine 1924:477-478, 511; Nugent 1969-1979:I:17, 20, 23-24, 27, 33, 46, 55, 97, 131-132, 135) (see ahead).

Governor John Harvey (1637-1639)

Patenting Native Land

Although many of Virginia's early land patents have been lost or destroyed and the surviving early records are transcriptions that were made in 1683, there is ample evidence of settlers' intrusion into territory occupied by the Native population. The 1624 census makes reference to a colonized area in Elizabeth City that was known as the Indian Thicket. Many early patents make references to Indian town sites, springs, ferries, fields, snares, cabins, and paths, an indication that evidence of Native land usage was present at the time the claims were filed. During the mid-to-late 1630s tracts associated with one or more old Indian towns were patented in Warresqueak (Isle of Wight) County. One was near an old Indian field. A Charles River (later York) County patent made reference to an Indian cabin on Queens Creek. In Nansemond and James City Counties, Native settlements also were mentioned in patents. Throughout the 1640s, as settlement spread, the colonists continued to claim land that previously was in the hands of the Indians. This was especially evident as Native land was patented within the Chickahominy River basin, in Pamunkey Neck (the neck of land defined by the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers), and on the Nansemond, Appomattox and Blackwater Rivers (Nugent 1969-1979:I:27, 76-77, 106-108, 139, 153, 173, 179, 199, 229, 235, 241-244, 246). However, the Nansemond stubbornly resisted the colonists' intrusion into their homeland and seemingly slowed the spread of settlement in lower Hampton Roads. After the 1646 peace treaty was consummated, however, new territory was opened to settlement and the Native population was driven further inland (see ahead). The names of topographic features and streams, many of which still bear aboriginal names, attest to an earlier Native presence (Herrman 1673).

A Proprietary on the Lower Side
of the James

In January 1637, when reinstated Governor John Harvey arrived in Virginia, he awarded a patent to Henry Frederick Howard, Lord Maltravers, the Duke of Norfolk's son and a favorite of King Charles I. The land that Maltravers received included Nansemond and Norfolk Counties and parts of Isle of White and Carolina. Although Harvey merely was carrying out the instructions he had received from the king, doing so thoroughly alienated the members of his council (C.O. 5/1359 ff 383-388; Sainsbury et al. 1964:17:153). The patent issued to the Right Honorable Henry Lord Maltravers allocated to him and his heirs "a certain territory . . . on the south side of the James River in a branch of the said river called by the Indian name of Nansemond River hereafter to be called Maltravers River." It was to extend "one degree in longitude on either side of the river" and in latitude to run from the point where the Nansemond (Maltravers) River branches to the height of 35 degrees north latitude. Thus, Henry Lord Maltravers' patent was to extend for approximately 55 miles on each side of the Nansemond River, from its mouth to a point approximately 25 miles below New Bern, North Carolina. Maltravers' patent, like those issued to other would-be landowners, was conditional, for he had seven years to seat settlers upon his land at his own expense. He was to document the development of his property by sending a certificate to the governor for every person he transported to the colony. At the end of seven years' time Maltravers was to commence paying annual quitrent to the Crown (C.O. 5/1359 ff 383-388).

As soon as Maltravers' land along the Nansemond was sufficiently seated, he became eligible to patent another tract of vacant land of comparable size. Maltravers and his heirs, servants and tenants had the right to trade with the colony's Natives and to import and export goods, paying only a lump sum of 5 pounds a year in taxes. Those who lived within Lord Maltravers' proprietary did not have to pay taxes to the Virginia government or perform any civil or military service other than defending the colony from foreign invasion or putting down insurrections. Maltravers as proprietor had the right to make laws and ordinances pertaining to his territory and to appoint all officeholders (Sainsbury et al. 1964:17:233; Nugent 1969-1979:I:101-103).

Although it is uncertain whether Lord Maltravers ever attempted to develop the Virginia land he had been allocated, in 1640 his agent, William Hawley, presented the governor with a letter authorizing him to take people to Carolina. Maltravers' ephemeral association with the Nansemond River area is evidenced by several patents dating to February and March 1638, which identify it as the Maltravers River. The size and scope of Lord Maltravers' patent indicates that he had a proprietary interest in what became Nansemond and Norfolk Counties, as well as land in Isle of Wight County and the province of Carolina. Maltravers ultimately turned his attention to New England and his interest in Virginia and Carolina land appears to have waned, then disappeared.

The Northern Neck Proprietary

In 1639 officials of the Bermuda Company of London asked to be assigned "a large proportion of land between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, not yet granted or inhabited by his Majesty's subjects . . . in consolation for the great defect in the quantity of land in the Somers Islands" (Lefroy 1981:I:557-558). But so far as can be deduced from the documentary record, the Bermuda Company's request was denied. It should be noted, however, that in September 1649 the exiled King Charles II set aside for seven of his loyal supporters "all that entire Tract . . . bounded by and within the heads of the Rivers Tappahonocke als Rappahanock and Quirough or Patawomecke Rivers" (the Northern Neck) as a proprietary territory. King Charles upheld the grant in 1652, when the monarchy was restored, and in 1669 reaffirmed it by means of a 21-year lease (Joyner 1985:I:x; Gentry 1981:xvi-xvii). The proprietary status of the Northern Neck made some Virginia planters uneasy about the legality of the titles to their land there.

Trade and Cross-Cultural Interaction

During the late 1630s and early 1640s there was a considerable amount of interaction between the colonists and the Native population. Although trading firearms to the Indians was strictly forbidden, in 1637 sanctions against other types of trade were lifted. The records of Accomac County indicate that in 1637 one man had a substantial quantity of trading cloth in his possession. Another man had a large quantity of roanoke, peake, and green beads. A third individual made reference to a "book to speak Indian tongue." Court records reveal that there was considerable cultural contact between the Indians and the colonists during this period. Some Natives (both young and old) became servants in planters' homes. This generated a certain amount of ill feeling on the part of tribal leaders, who complained about a shortage of workers. Also, payment was made to settlers who would take young Indians into their homes and rear them in the Christian faith. The court records of York, Henrico, Accomac, and Northampton Counties demonstrate clearly that during the second half of the seventeenth century, many Indians were servants in Virginia planters' homes. In 1641 Walter Chiles I of urban Jamestown and three other men were granted the right to explore the territory beyond the head of the Appomattox River. They hoped to establish trade with the Indians and to discover potentially marketable commodities (Hening 1809-1823:I:227, 239, 386, 410; McIlwaine 1924:477-478, 511; Fleet 1988:I:36, 61, 75).

The First Tribal Preserve

By the late 1630s, settlement on the Eastern Shore settlement had become so diffuse that a 1,500 acre tract was assigned to the Accomac (Gingoskin) Indians in December 1640. This was Virginia's first officially sanctioned Indian preserve or reservation. Patent research reveals that the Gingoskin were given a land mass now known as Indiantown Neck. The Eastern Shore Indians already had sold their town called Mattoones, near Hungars Creek, in 1637, and in 1649 they disposed of some acreage along Occohannock and Craddock Creeks, a place they called Nondue (Nugent 1960-1979: I:77, 150, 183; II:211-212; McIlwaine 1924:478; Northampton County Deeds, Wills, Orders 2:281).

As the Natives of the Eastern Shore did not participate in the Indian uprising that occurred in 1644, Governor William Berkeley in 1650 issued orders that they were not to be harmed in any way. During the 1650s the Gingoskins continued to sell off their homeland, which they were legally able to do, if the majority of the Indians of their town consented to the sale, and it was approved by the governor and council (Hening 1809-1823:IL391, 470; Nugent 1969-1979:I:260). In 1656 Wackawamp and other Accomac Indians asked for legally protected land and in 1660 orders were given that a special tract be surveyed and laid out for them. This property was described in 1673 as 650 acres, the same land that had been awarded to them in December 1640 (Hening 1809-1823:II:13-15; Nugent 1969-1979:II:221-212; McIlwaine 1924:353; Northampton County Deeds and Wills 1711-1718:33-34).

The Spread of Settlement North and West

In 1641, when land on the upper side of the York River officially was opened to settlement, colonists were allowed to patent land as far north as the mouth of the Piankatank River and inland to its head, as long as they settled in groups of 100 or more. This policy of seating close enough to unite for mutual defense was in effect until the Indians of the coastal plain had dwindled in strength and the colonists' population had grown substantially. The Grand Assembly ordered Captain Henry Fleet to pay Opechancanough an annual rent of 50 barrels of corn, contributed by those who chose to seat within the newly opened territory. It was decided that during 1642 settlers could commence moving into the Rappahannock River drainage, "provided that the numbers that seat there be not under two hundred persons and not less than six tithable p'sons in every familye that there sitt down." Although it is doubtful whether planters paid any heed to the law requiring them to seat in groups of 100 to 200, Virginia Land Office records reveal that a number of tracts were claimed in the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck as soon as it became legally permissible (Stanard 1902:53-54).

In 1641, when land on the north side of the York River was officially opened to settlement, the territory affected specifically was

. . . from the deepe Creeke in Charles [York] River Downward to newe Poynt Comfort, to the mouth of the Piankatank River, and soe to the head thereof, and all the trackt [sic] of land within these bounds, Provided that they shall not goe under one hundred able men, whoe are to give upp their names unto the Court of Charles River [York County] [Stanard 1902:54].

In what appears to have been an effort to appease the Indians,

. . . an agreement [should] bee made by Captain Henry Fleete with Oppachankano for there [sic] peace by the paym't of Fiftie barrels of Corn this year, at or before the last day of Aprill and Fiftie barrels of Corne more next year. To which payment all men who clayme land within that Trackt are required to make p'porsionable satisfaction according to their sev'all quantities of land [Stanard 1902:54].

Despite this plan, the Grand Assembly stated:

If upon p'offer made upon this composition Apochankano shall refuse to accept thereof, then it may or shall be lawful to seat there with the aforesaid Strength not w'thstanding his refusall, but Apochankano's first refusal shall not hinder his after acceptance [Stanard 1902:54].

Simultaneously, the Grand Assembly authorized settlers to move into the Rappahannock River drainage the following year (1642),

. . . provided that the numbers that seat there bee not under twoe hundred persons and not less than six tithable p'sons in every familye that there sitt down. . . all claymes made to land heertofore in the s'd River bee voyde. . . ye parties yt there intend to seate are hereby commanded to compounde with the Native Indians there whereby they may live there more securely [Stanard 1902:53].

Virginia Land Office records reveal that a number of tracts were claimed in the territory immediately north of the York River, raising the possibility that some entry may have been made into the territory that lay still further north. By 1642 a considerable amount of acreage had been claimed in the Middle Peninsula (Nugent 1969-1979:I:131-132, 135, 239, 264, 278). In April 1642 the Grand Assembly reported "the settling of peace with friendship with the Indians by mutual capitulation and articles agreed and concluded on in writing" (Hening 1809-1823:I:237). Meanwhile, the settlement of Maryland and the north side of the Potomac River encouraged Virginia planters to move with relative confidence into land on the opposing shore, where patents were issued by 1643 (Nugent 1969-1979:I:149-159,153).

Opechancanough's Participation in the Legal System

Though violence occasionally occurred, sometimes Natives sought legal redress through the colony's judicial system. Curiously, in 1640 Opechancanough appeared in court as an amicus curiae or friend of the court when John Burton, who had shot and killed an innocent Indian in reprisal for a crime committed by another Native, was to be punished (McIlwaine 1924:483). A subtle April 1642 reference to a treaty, which mentions "The settling of peace with friendship with the Indians by mutual capitulation and articles agreed and concluded on in writing by many messages and interruptions lengthened," hints that relations between the colonists and the Indians improved for a time. However, it was illegal to trade firearms to the Natives (Hening 1809-1823:I:237, 255).

Opechchancough's Rule

Opechancanough's influence (if not necessarily his authority) reportedly extended north to the Potomac River and south to the lower side of the James, eastward to include Virginia's Eastern Shore, and westward to the falls of the colony's major rivers. According to at least one early explorer's account, certain tribes in the region considerably south of the James River also were under his sway. Thus, throughout the first half of the seventeenth century, first with Powhatan and then with Opechancanough, the Pamunkey Indians enjoyed a dominant role over the Native groups in eastern Virginia. The account of Abraham Wood, written in 1650, quotes a Nottoway Indian as referring to Opechancanough as his people's old emperor. He is mentioned similarly in connection with the Meherrin (Salley 1911:10-15). [6]

6The Nottoway, Iroquoian-speakers whose territory lay along the Nottoway River in the upper Chowan drainage, resided within the Virginia-North Carolina coastal plain. Like their neighbors, the Tuscarora and Meherrin, they were agriculturalists who relied heavily on hunting and gathering. The Nottoway's remoteness from the more thickly settled part of the Virginia colony spared them from European intrusion until the mid-seventeenth century. However, they were seated only 32 miles from Fort Henry, a trading post and military garrison built at the falls of the Appomattox River in 1646.

Governor William Berkeley (1642-1652)

The 1644 Indian Uprising

Although a new treaty was signed with the Indians in April 1642, steady growth in the colony's European population, accompanied by increased encroachment upon Native lands in the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck and along the James River, inevitably gave rise to conflict. The relentless influx of planters impelled some of the tribes of the Powhatan Chiefdom to unite in a concerted attempt to drive the European colonists from their soil. This Indian uprising, which occurred on April 18, 1644, was the Natives' second major attempt to drive the colonists from their territory. An estimated 400 to 500 settlers lost their lives. Especially hard hit were those who lived in the upper reaches of the York River and on the lower side of the James, near the Nansemond River. Opechancanough, who had led the 1622 uprising, was credited with leading the second one. He was said to be almost one hundred years old and was greatly revered (Stanard 1915:230-231; Beverley 1947:60-61; Force 1963:II:8:1).

In June 1644 the Grand Assembly resolved to "forever abandon all formes of peace and familiarity with the whole [Indian] nation and to the uttermost of our Power pursue and root out those which have in any way had their hand in the shedding of our blood and massacring of our People" (Stanard 1915:229). The colonists embarked upon retaliatory expeditions designed to extirpate the Indians, just as they had in 1622, and April 18th (like March 22nd) was designated a holy day in commemoration of the Native revolt. Marches were undertaken against all of the Indian groups implicated in the uprising and the inhabitants of relatively remote areas were ordered to withdraw to positions of greater safety. These were two of the same strategies adopted in the wake of the 1622 massacre (McIlwaine 1924:277, 296). Official records reveal, however, that Captain William Claiborne offered an opinion "different from the others in relation to the propriety of [undertaking] war upon the Indians between the Rappahannock and Potomac," a statement reflecting his belief that the Natives of that region had not participated in the April 18th uprising (McIlwaine 1924:501). This suggests that by 1644 the Northern Neck's Indians had distanced themselves somewhat from the Powhatan Chiefdom. Claiborne's contention that the Northern Neck's Indians were not implicated in the 1644 uprising apparently prevailed, for in February 1645 a commission was issued to him "to treat with the Rappahannocks or any other Indians not in amity with Opechancanough, concerning serving the country against the Pamunkeys" (McIlwaine 1924:563).

In July 1644 marches were undertaken against the Pamunkey, Weyanoke, Warresqueak and Nansemond Indians, along with two tribes that lived within what eventually became North Carolina: the Chowanoke (Chowan) and Seacock (likely the Secotan, allies of the Chowan). The Nansemond were attacked by the combined armies of Isle of Wight and Norfolk Counties. Commander-in-Chief William Claiborne led a large, well-equipped army against the Pamunkey Indians, destroying their villages and corn fields. But afterward, the Indians disappeared into the forest and then dropped out of sight (Hening 1809-1823:I:237, 287; Force 1963:II:7:6; II:8:1; Beverley 1947:60-61; Stanard 1915:229-231; McIlwaine 1924:277, 296, 501).

On February 27, 1645, Richard Kemp informed Governor William Berkeley, that:

Our war with ye Natives this summer had good success, for besides the burning of their townes, as in their king's own house, and their treasure house, And ye destroying of their Corne, we had ye execution of many of them and took some prisoners the best and many of the services being performed by ye horse[men] commanded by Capt. Ralph Wormeley, who did many gallant services and with his own hands killed two and he brought in one prisoner by ye necke to ye great joy of ye Army and was of great Consequence to them in guiding them to their townes and corn fields, we suffered none of them about us to rest until our powder failed, which without doubt they imagined by our lying still, And then they pressed hard upon ye frontiers, killing diverse of our men who traveled negligently as also many cattle and hoggs in so much that ye people cried out aloud for marches, which they should not have needed to do, had I not wanted ammunition, which was not by them considered [Kemp, February 27, 1645].

Kemp added that if the Indians had realized how little powder and shot they had, they would have been in great jeopardy. He said that Captain Leonard Calvert of Maryland had assisted the colonists by taking his ship into the Chickahominy River and attacking the Chickahominy in their homeland (Kemp, February 27, 1645).

Because of the critical shortage of arms and ammunition and the lack of funds to purchase more, the assembly fixed upon a strategy that required fewer armed men. They decided to build three small forts or surveillance posts at strategic locations on the colony's frontier. In February 1645 the Grand Assembly ordered the construction of forts at three remote locations that were considered critical to the colony's defense: Fort Charles at the falls of the James River, Fort James on the Chickahominy River at Moysenac, [7] and Fort Royall on the Pamunkey River near Manquin Creek. At Fort Royall, in the Pamunkeys' heartland, armed men were to maintain vigilance over the tribe that had played a major role in both uprisings. Carpenters and other workers were pressed into service as were the men needed to garrison each stronghold (Hening 1809-1823:I:293-294, 315, 327).

7It was located on the Chickahominy River, close to the colonized area; this suggests that in 1644 the Chickahominy Indians had been living close by.

All three forts, which were built by private citizens who received land in exchange for their services, were supposed to provide surveillance over the colony's frontier and offer a measure of protection to outlying settlers. Fort James, located on the upper side of Diascund Creek' mouth at Moysenac in what is now New Kent County, was built by Thomas Rolfe, the son of John Rolfe and Pocahontas, in exchange for the land upon which it stood. Captain Roger Marshall, who was to build Fort Royall ("alias Ricahack ffort") and maintain it for three years and keep it manned, was to receive 600 acres of adjoining land. Later, Marshall and Lieutenant Nicholas Stillwell were credited with displaying great valor during combat with the Indians. Captain William Byrd I was responsible for building Fort Charles at the falls of the James River. Efforts were to be made to hire Accomac or Rappahannock Indians to serve as guides "for the further discovery of the enemy" (Hening 1809-1823:I:293, 315, 327; Nugent 1969-1979:I:187, 234, 249, 255, 403, 411; II:222; Force 1963:II:7:6).

The English newspaper Mercurius Civicus reported on May 15, 1645, that news from Virginia indicated that:

Wee are now providing three forts in the middle of the Country being the King's territory, which is not far from us, so that wee may have a power amongst them able to destroy them and deprive them of their livelihood. . . . the most convenient [way] to extirpate and subdue this people that so much annoy us [Frank 1957:85].

According to E. D. Neill, a late nineteenth century scholar, Margaret Worleigh, who had been captured by the Indians in 1644 and detained by Opechancanough, sent a letter to governing officials in which "she mentioned that he desired a redemption of captives and a treaty of peace." Neill noted that:

It was agreed that there should be an armistice and that Margaret Worleigh should be informed that the governor would soon come to Rickahock, or Fort Royall, on the Pamunkey River, and would be pleased there to confer with 12 of the chief's principal men. Captain Henry Fleet was engaged as interpreter, to meet the governor at his estate, the Middle Plantation, not far from Jamestown [Neill 1996:188-189].

Neill concluded that the conference did not take place, for the construction of another fort (Fort Henry, on the Appomattox River) was authorized in March 1646 (Neill 1996:189). However, the possibility also exists that Opechancanough and Governor Berkeley conferred and that no agreement was reached.

During 1645 a search party was sent out to capture Opechancanough, whom the English called "that Bloody Monster." Governor William Berkeley, upon learning that the aged chief's people had been sighted, reportedly rallied a party of armed horsemen and captured him. Opechancanough was brought to Jamestown and jailed, but while he was imprisoned, a soldier shot him in the back. It was an inglorious end for a Native emperor whose people accorded him a godlike status. The death of Opechancanough heralded the Powhatan Chiefdom's demise. Afterward, Governor Berkeley was credited with subduing the Indians, a deed that reportedly made him "the darling of the people." The documentary record reveals that in August 1645, many of the Pamunkey warriors who had been taken prisoner when Governor Berkeley stormed Opechancanough's stronghold and took him captive, were transported by ship from the mainland to Western (now Tangier) Island in the Chesapeake Bay, where they were abandoned. Specifically, all of the Indian males age 11 or over were removed, isolated, and left to fend for themselves (Hening 1809-1823:I:237, 239, 277, 293, 296, 315, 318, 323-329, 386, 410; Beverley 1947:49-50, 60-61; McIlwaine 1924:564; Force 1963:II:8:1).

In March 1646 the burgesses decided to build a fourth fort on the colony's frontier, Fort Henry, which was situated at the falls of the Appomattox River. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Upper and Lower Norfolk Counties and Isle of Wight's Lower Parish were ordered to make war against the Nansemond Indians and they also were authorized to build a fort, if they so desired. By 1646 the colony's governing officials and the assembly realized that it was almost impossible to attack the Indians, who were hiding in the forest, "they being dispersed and driven from their towns and habitations, lurking up and downe the wood in small numbers." Therefore, they agreed that it was in the best interest of the colony to conclude a peace treaty (Hening 1809-1823:I:315, 318, 327).

Documentary evidence suggests that the effects of the colonists' reprisals against the Indians and the loss of Opechancanough, their principal leader, exacted a severe toll, precipitating the disintegration of the once-mighty Powhatan Chiefdom. One writer, describing the dissolution or scattering of the tribes that had previously been under common leadership, claimed that Virginia officials had made deliberate efforts to liberate the other Natives from the control of the "house of Pamunkey," employing the familiar "divide and conquer" approach in dealing with remnants of the Powhatan Chiefdom.

Reclaiming the Frontier

October 1644 brought the enactment of legislation that authorized all but those who lived "in places of danger" to return to their homes. Those whose return would place them at risk were allowed to reoccupy their patents as long as there were at least ten able men in the group equipped with arms and ammunition and the prior approval of the local military commander was obtained. Some colonists apparently were reluctant to go back to their plantations, for in February 1645 the governor and assembly declared that those who failed to reoccupy their patents would be presumed to have abandoned them. Moreover those purportedly deserting their property were prohibited from burning their buildings in order to recover the nails used in construction (Hening 1809-1823:I:285-286, 291-294). This policy most likely impelled some colonists to return to their homesteads despite the potential danger of being attacked by Indians. But when the October 1646 Indian treaty was signed, the Natives ceded to the English virtually all of the James-York peninsula east of the fall line and all of the land on the lower side of the James, as far south as the Blackwater River. This opened an enormous amount of new land to settlement (Hening 1809-1823:I:323-329).

The 1646 Treaty

In October 1646 Necotowance, called "Emperor of the Indians," concluded a treaty with the Virginia government. He was Opechancanough's immediate successor and the leader of several Native groups that formerly had been unified under the revered paramount chief. As a result of the treaty Necotowance signed, the Natives ceded much of their territory to the English and acknowledged that their right to the possession of the remaining land was derived from the English monarch. From that moment they formally became tributaries to the English government. The implementation, or imposition, of a tributary system, which can be likened to the manner in which Powhatan and Opechancanough ruled the tribes under their control, was in fact a tangible symbol of the Indians' political subservience to the English (Hening 1809-1823:I:323-329).

The Indians, in addition to paying an annual tribute to the Crown's representatives, also agree to let Virginia's governor appoint or confirm their leaders. This was an especially important concession, for it put in place a mechanism for change that hastened the disintegration of the Powhatan Chiefdom. Official policy adopted when the 1646 treaty was concluded was designed to scatter the Native groups formerly unified under a powerful paramount chief. As one government official put it, Governor Berkeley and his council thought that the most expedient way to keep other tribes from being united under the leadership of the Pamunkey was to keep them divided (Ludwell, June 28, 1678). This "divide and conquer" approach quickly evolved into the establishment of tribal lands or preserves, which dispersed the Natives into small, clustered groups. That in turn served to restrict them to certain areas and allowed European settlement to spread more freely.

Thanks to the 1646 treaty, the land of the James-York peninsula inland to the fall line and territory on the south side of the James River down to the Blackwater was relinquished to the Virginia government. All Natives entering the ceded territory could be lawfully slain unless they were garbed in "a coat of striped stuff," to be worn by official messengers as a badge of safe conduct. All Indian trade was to be conducted at Fort Henry on the Appomattox River and Fort Royall on the Pamunkey River's Moncuin (Manquin) Creek, the locations at which the special coats were to be kept when not in use. In return, the Virginia government agreed to protect the Tributary Indians from their enemies. In November 1647 two additional check-points were established for the use of Indians needing to enter the ceded territory on official business. One was Captain William Tayloe's house at Chiskiack (abutting Kings Creek) in York County and the other was at Captain Edward Hill's house at Westover in Charles City County. [8] By 1652 the Chickahominy Indians had withdrawn into the Pamunkeys' territory in Pamunkey Neck, where they stayed for several generations (Hening 1808-1823:I:323-329, 348, 354). [9]

8William Tayloe was married to Elizabeth, the daughter of ancient planter Richard Kingsmill of Jamestown Island.

9In his Notes on Virginia, published in 1787, Thomas Jefferson incorrectly stated that the Chickahominys moved to the Mattaponi River drainage in 1661 (Jefferson 1958:96).

The 1646 treaty specified that all of the land north of the York River was reserved to the use of the Natives. The English, in return, were to abandon their plantations on the north side of the York River, to the west of Poropotank Creek. Settlers already seated there were ordered to withdraw both their livestock and their possessions (Hening 1809-1823:I:323-329). Even so, in November 1647 Captain Edward Hill of Shirley Hundred received permission to seat at Nanzattico, in the upper reaches of the Rappahannock, where he and his associates were to be granted "a convenient portion of land" and the right to enjoy "the sole trade of the Bay of Chisopeake [sic] within the Lymitts of Virginia," with the exception of trading which might be done by certain residents of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Hill was obliged to keep 40 men upon his land at Nanzattico "with sufficient Armes and Ammunition and to bee ready with them at all tymes to serve the Countrey out of duty in case of enmity with the salvages;" to supply the colony with corn at the price of 100 pounds of tobacco per barrel; to return all runaway servants and fugitives; and to be prepared to evacuate the inhabitants of remote plantations, in the event of an emergency. He also was to insure that his men at Nanzattico "seate and inhabite in one intire fforte sufficient for defence and not otherwise, the said ffort not exceeding five Acres at most." In exchange for fulfilling these obligations, Hill was entitled to enjoy his trade monopoly for eleven years, with full authorization to seize the vessels and goods of other traders who were found bartering with the Natives (Stanard 1915:250-255). No documentary records as yet have come to light that disclose whether Hill established a fortified trading post at Nanzattico.

Seating Indian Land Despite the Official Ban

Despite the terms of the October 1646 treaty, on September 1, 1649, the official ban on seating land north of the York River had been lifted. Thus, the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck were thrown open to settlement and colonists quickly moved into the territory briefly reserved for the Natives. The policy change occurred in synch with the official abandonment of the military outposts established in 1645 and 1646. During the 1640s and 50s, seating requirements were extremely lax and under the law, only one acre of ground had to be cultivated and one house built to substantiate a new land claim (Hening 1809-1823:I:323-329, 354; II:244; Nugent 1969-1979:I:187; Billings 1975:65-73).

A Tradition of Annual Tribute

In accord with the terms of the 1646 teaty Necotowance and "five more petty kings attending him" came to Jamestown in March 1648 to present 20 beaver skins, his people's first annual tribute to Virginia's governor. That Necotowance had only five lesser leaders in his entourage reflects the extent to which the ancient Powhatan Chiefdom had disintegrated. Many Natives may not have understood the terms of the treaty or the necessity of wearing a striped coat when entering the ceded territory. A 1649 account quoted Necotowance as saying "My countrymen tell me I am a liar when I tell them the English will kill you if you goe into their bounds." The writer hastened to add that the "valiant Captain Freeman made him no liar when lately he killed three Indians without badge encroaching" (Force 1963:II:8:25). Thus, it is evident that thanks to Opechancanough's death and the 1646 treaty, the delicate balance of power between the Indians and the colonists had shifted in favor of the latter. However, it appears that there was distrust on the part of the colonists, for in October 1648 Governor Berkeley was authorized to have an armed guard of ten men because of his frequent dealings with the Indians and certain political opponents (Hening 1809-1823:I:354-355).

The First Tribal Preserves

In October 1649, a month after the countryside north of the York River (Native lands) were officially opened to settlement, the Virginia assembly passed an act whereby a 5,000 acre tract was to be allocated to each of the three Indian leaders whose territory was enveloped by colonized land. This decision came in response to the Natives' acknowledgement "that the Soverainitye of the land whereon they live doth belong to his most Excelent [sic] Majestye" and the Native leaders' request that "a convenient proportion of land may be granted unto them by Pattent, whereon they, and theire people may inhabit" (Billings 1975:229).

The newly enacted legislation stipulated that "There shall be laid out for Totopotomoy [the Pamunkey leader who succeeded Necotowance] 5,000 acres of land adjacent to the place where he now liveth and that after a surveig [survey] thereof a Patent be granted to him." A patent, however, apparently was not forthcoming, for in July 1653 Totopotomoy again petitioned the Assembly for legal entitlement to his people's land. This time, the Assembly agreed to give him a choice between the land he was already occupying and a tract called Ramomak (Romancoke). Two other Native leaders, Ascomowett, the king of the "South Indians" or Weyanoke and Ossakican, the king of the "North Indians" (the Chiskiack), also insisted upon having 5,000 acres of land. Ascomowett was given land on the south side of the James, beyond the bounds delimited by the 1646 treaty. Ossakican was assigned "the place whereon he now liveth," near the land of Hugh Gwyn, whose patented land was located upon the south side of the Piankatank River, near its mouth. These tracts were to be laid out and surveyed for the Indians and assigned to them by patents. Care was taken to see that the Indians were reimbursed for previously patented land that lay within the acreage the Natives had been assigned. This was particularly important within the area along the Piankatank, where English plantations had been established by 1642. One indication of the extent to which European settlement had spread north and west is that in 1653 Gloucester County was formed and in 1654 the northwesterly part of York County was split off to form New Kent County (Hening 1809-1823:I:293-295, 325, 354-355; Force 1963:I:8:13, 25; McIlwaine 1924:499; Virginia State Library 1965:24).

Totopotomoy, Necotowance's Successor

By 1649, Necotowance had been replaced by Totopotomoy, another Pamunkey male. The written record indicates that Totopotomoy, unlike his predecessors, represented only his own tribe when he interacted with English officials. It is probable that by March 1649 unified leadership of coastal Virginia's Indians had deteriorated completely, for it was then that equal amounts of land were allocated to three Native leaders, whose people formerly had been subordinate to Opechancanough as paramount chief. Thus, the Pamunkeys likely wielded little, if any, power over other tribal groups. Totopotomoy, unlike Necotowance, was called King of the Pamunkeys, not "Emperor of the Indians." A staunch ally of the English, Totopotomoy was killed in 1656 while fighting at their side against an outlying Indian group in a conflict later known as the Battle of Bloody Run. Afterward, his widow, Cockacoeske, became the leader or Queen of the Pamunkeys, a role she occupied until her death in the 1680s. She was described by one contemporary as a descendant of Opechancanough, Powhatan's brother. If Totopotomoy was also a descendant, she may have been his cousin, as well as his wife. During the nearly thirty years Cockacoeske ruled, her people remained tributaries of the colonial government and, to a considerable degree, attempted to act within the framework of its legal system (Force 1963:I:8:14-15; Hening 1809-1823:I:402-403).

Exploration at the Head of the Appomattox River

In 1650 when Abraham Wood and a party of explorers ventured into the territory beyond the head of the Appomattox River, Pyancha, an Appomattock, served as their guide. Twenty-one years later, Perecuta, the Appomattock king, led European explorers Nathaniell Batts and Robert Fallom on their westerly expedition from the same debarkation point. By 1665 the Appomattock reportedly were living within Charles City County, the same jurisdiction in which Fort Henry was located. It should be noted that at that point in time, the boundaries of Charles City County extended across the James River, taking in what became Prince George County. According to a 1669 census of the colony's Native inhabitants, the Appomattock then had 50 bowmen. In 1675 the Appomattocks, who were still living in Charles City, asked that their old town not be burned. Simultaneously, they asked the governor's council for permission to hunt and gather at the heads of the rivers (McIlwaine 1905-1915:1660-1693:64; Salley 1911:5-20).

The Creation of More Native Preserves or Reservations

By 1650 the frontier began extending both north and west, along the York, Rappahannock, and Potomac Rivers. Early on, planters had learned that the soil type most favorable for the production of sweet-scented tobacco (the most marketable and therefore the most valuable species of the plant) occurred along the banks of the colony's rivers. As this alluvial soil was of limited distribution, Virginia planters rushed to stake claims to land they knew would yield substantial crops. So great was the pressure upon Tidewater Virginia's Natives to relinquish their lands that in 1652 the Grand Assembly resolved to assign them tracts that were reserved exclusively to their occupancy. It also enacted a law whereby "all the Indians of the collonye shall hold and keep those seats of land that they now have and no person or persons whatsoever [shall] be suffered to Intrench or plant upon such places as the Indians claim or desire untill full leave from the Governor and Council or Commissioners of that place." The legislation was enacted because

. . . many Complaints have been brought to this Assemblye touching wrongs done to the Indians in takinge away their lands or fforcing them into such Narrow Streights, and places that they cannot Subsist, either planting or hunting . . . that thereby they may bee justly Driven to dispaire and to Attempt some Desperate course for themselves [Billings 1975:72].

Although Governor Berkeley declared in 1651 that "the Indians around us are subdued," raids sometimes occurred on the fringes of the frontier, near the fall line. Often, such attacks were followed by swift and forceful retaliation (Billings 1975:72-73; Hening 1809-1823:II:35, 161-162; McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1619-1660:75).

Just as specific tracts had been assigned to the Eastern Shore's Accomack Indians in 1640 and to the Pamunkey, Chiskiack, and Weyanoke in 1649, during the early 1650s acreage was assigned to the Rappahannock, Totusky, Moratticund, Mattaponi, Portobago, Chickahominy, Nanzattico, Nansemond, and upper Nansemond (Mangomixon), and perhaps others as well. Many of these Native preserves lay in the Middle Peninsula or Northern Neck. Though the destruction of the General Court's records for this period and extant county records' frustrating lack of detail leave the boundaries of most of these tracts open to conjecture, their general locations may be deduced from geographical references that are contained in patents and other court documents. Deeds and patents that make reference to the Native preserves' boundary lines indicate that some (if not all) of the tracts had been surveyed and physically demarcated (McIlwaine 1924:365, 478, 493, 499, 504, 508, 518; McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1660-1693:11; Hening 1809-1823:II:35, 161-162; Billings 1975:65-72; Lancaster Orders III:125-126; Nugent 1969-1979:III:19; Old Rappahannock County Deeds 1656-1664:II:250).

In November 1652 the legislation assigning specific tracts to the Indians (analogous to preserves or reservations) was upheld because officials had learned through experience that conflict over land was at the root of most of their disputes with the settlers. The assembly agreed that "all the Indians of the collonye shall hold and keep those seats of land that they now have." Settlers were forbidden to encroach upon the Natives' acreage, for the burgesses agreed that "wrongs done to the Indians in taking away their lands or fforcing them into such Narrow Streights and places that they cannot Subsist, either planting or hunting," often had driven them "to attempt some Desperate course." Moreover, "Noe Indians [were] to Sell theire lands but in quarter Courts, and that those English which are lately gone to Seate neere the pamunckyes, and the Chickahominyes on the north side of pamunickye River shall be Recalled." The Indians received authorization to hunt and gather outside the area ceded to the colonial government, with the exception of plantations the colonists had fenced. Also, the land that the Indians had been assigned lay beyond what was then the colony's frontier. As racial tensions eased, the settlers and their Indian neighbors again began to intermingle (Hening 1809-1823:I:239, 264, 278, 293-295, 325; Billings 1975:65-73).

However, as increasing numbers of planters moved into the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck and the territory beyond the fall line, many paid little heed to whether they were intruding upon the acreage assigned to the Indians and some blatantly established homesteads on the Indians' preserves. Others tried to trick them into selling part of their land. Meanwhile, the Native population dwindled and that of the colonists increased. These dynamics put pressure upon the Indians, whose hunting and foraging habitat gradually was reduced. Also, their specially assigned tracts eventually were surrounded by planter homesteads. Despite official policy, influential people sometimes tried to circumvent the law by claiming part of the Indians' acreage, perhaps in anticipation of their dying out or abandoning it. High-ranking officials seem to have had few inhibitions about claiming the acreage set aside for the Indians. One such individual was Sir Thomas Lunsford of Rich Neck, who secured a patent for 3,423 acres of land on the lower side of the Rappahannock River, within territory set aside for the Nanzattico and Portobago Indians. Another was Secretary of the Colony Ralph Wormeley, who claimed 10,000 acres on the Rappahannock River, a patent that reportedly encompassed the old and new Nimcock Indian towns. Wormeley also patented a massive tract in Pamunkey Neck that impinged upon the Natives' territory (McIlwaine 1924:41, 227, 365, 400, 493, 517; Nugent 1969-1979: I: 181, 200).

Practically speaking, very little progress was made in preserving and protecting Native lands. As the Pamunkey Neck (between the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Rivers) was one of the most sought-after areas, in July 1653 Totopotomoy again petitioned the assembly for a legal title to his people's land. This time, the burgesses ordered him to choose between the acreage he was then occupying and a tract called Ramomak (Romancoke), which historical maps suggest was just east of (or perhaps enveloped) Powhatan's religious center, Uttamussack (Hening 1809-1823:I:380; Fry and Jefferson 1755). A map prepared around 1662 (six years after Totopotomoy's death) which labels a site analogous to Romancoke as "Ramounca," corroborates that interpretation. It also reveals that Totopotomoy's village was several miles upstream at Pamamomeck, between Jack's Creek and the peninsula that comprises the Pamunkey Indian Reservation ([Langston ca. 1662]). Totopotomoy apparently decided to stay where he was, for on September 1, 1653, Colonel William Claiborne (a member of the governor's council) received a new patent for Romancoke. It was noted that Claiborne's riverfront acreage encompassed the point where "the sd. Col. Clayborne landed the Army under his command in 1644" (Nugent 1969-1979: I: 244-245, 358-359).

The Natives' Place in Virginia Society at Mid-Century

As Virginia's population grew, society became more stratified and class differences emerged. At the top of the heap were the governor and his councilors, who monopolized the colony's most important political positions, but shared some of their power with the burgesses. Below the burgesses were county justices and other local officials. At the bottom were the lesser planters and landless freemen who ranked just above ethnic minorities, which included Native Americans, Africans, and African Americans (Billings et al. 1986:66-68).

Local court records indicate that Indian servants and slaves were bought and sold. For example, in February 1646 the executors of Thomas Smallcomb of York County sold his Indian servants to various people. Two Natives were conveyed to Sir William Berkeley for 600 pounds of tobacco. As the late Thomas Smallcomb was one of the men stationed at Fort Royall in Pamunkey Neck, the Indian servants in his possession may have been prisoners-of-war he purchased from other Natives. On the other hand, in 1648 the justices of York County decided that "Formue a girl bought from the Indians and kept by Capt Willm Tayloe shall serve the sd Capt Willm Tayloe till she comes to the age of 18 yrs (York County Deeds, Orders, Wills 2:329). Tayloe had a plantation in Chiskiack, on the west side of King's Creek's mouth. In 1647 Tayloe's house was one of the check-points though which Indians needing to enter the James-York peninsula could gain egress (Hening 1809-1823:I:348). York County records indicate that African, Indian and European servants sometimes were posted as collateral when funds were borrowed (York County Deeds, Orders, Wills 2:308). Thus, they were treated as personal property.

Charles City County records reveal that Indian servants sometimes were involved in court cases. In January 1663 a mariner testified in court that he saw Elizabeth, an Indian woman who was Captain John Wall's servant, "strike at Mrs. Wall." Later in the year, Thomas, an Indian youth who had served Rice Hoe for three years, filed a complaint with the justices of Charles City County, asking for his freedom dues. His request was approved and he received a pair of canvas drawers and two canvas shirts (Fleet 1988: II: 271, 280).

In 1648 Arthur Price, who lived between Taskinask and Skimino Creeks, informed York County's justices that "some inhabitants on York River above Skiminoe due [do] dayly Entertain the Indians in their houses, night and day," contrary to law. The justices authorized him to arrest lawbreakers and kill any Indians he found associating with them. Curiously, Price himself had an Indian maid servant that he had purchased form the estate of a local man (York County Deeds, Orders, Wills 2:289, 328).

Governor Richard Bennett (1652-1655)

Local Treaties and Interaction

In 1652 the Grand Assembly passed a law authorizing Northampton, Northumberland and other frontier counties to make treaties with their Indian neighbors. Accordingly, in 1655 Pindavako, protector of the young king of the Chiskiack Indians, made a special treaty whereby he confirmed a gift of Gloucester land. In 1657 the king and greatmen of the Mattaponi concluded a treaty with the justices of Old Rappahannock County, agreeing not to trespass or to kill livestock. In return, the Indians would be eligible for English justice in the local court. This document reveals that the Mattaponi Indians were then living within the territory that in 1692 was subdivided to form Essex and Richmond Counties (Billings 1975:71; Hening 1809-1823: I: 396,476; Pindavako 1655; Stanard 1930:391).

In 1652 Michael Upchurch, who was living in Virginia, sent some gifts to some friends in England. They included Indian baskets, six Indian pipes, beads of all colors, and some muskrat skins. He said that the Natives made their bows of locust wood and their arrows of reeds tipped with turkey-cock spurs, the tips of deer antlers, or glass they obtained from the settlers. He said that the Indians cut it with an old knife or stone tool. Upchurch included a sketch of a glass arrow point (VCRP Survey Report 6644).

Francis Yeardley, one of the late Governor George Yeardley's sons, who lived upon the western branch of the Lynnhaven River, accompanied a young trader to Roanoke Island in 1653. There, he met the King of the Roanoke Indians, who returned with him to Virginia, accompanied by some other Natives. The Indians stayed in the Yeardley home for a week. When the Roanoke king saw Yeardley's children read and write, he asked if Yeardley would give instruction to his own son. He also expressed interest in learning about Yeardley's religion. When Francis Yeardley's wife, Sarah, took the King of the Roanoke to church, many parishioners were fearful and objected to his presence. Francis Yeardley sent some men to Roanoke Island to build an English house for the king from whom he purchased some land, taking possession on behalf of the Commonwealth of England. Later the King of the Roanoke had his child baptized and left him with the Yeardleys to bring up in the Christian faith (Salley 1911:22-27).

In October 1654 a English friend of Francis Yeardley's wife, Sarah, congratulated her for befriending the King of the Roanoke Indians and taking him to church. She praised Sarah Yeardley for her great courage in protecting the Roanoke king "against the more savage demeanor of some of our barbarous English the Stain of our Nation" (VCRP Survey Report 6695). Under Virginia law, colonists could take Indian children into their home as servants, if the children's parents consented in the presence of two justices of the peace. The host family was supposed to see that the children were educated and raised as Christians (Hening 1809-1823:410).

The Nanzattico Trading Post

In 1652 Colonel Edward Hill, who in 1647 had been authorized to set up a trading post at Nanzattico, patented 4,000 acres of land opposite Portobago, the Nanzattico tract that reportedly included the Asasaticon (Nanzattico) Town. Reference also was made to the Warisqucock Indian Town, which was located nearby (Nugent 1969-1979:I:324). Hill, who obtained his patent on the basis of headrights, was a member of the Council of State at the time he asserted his claim. In 1664 when Colonel Hill's son and heir, Captain Edward Hill, repatented his father's 4,000 acres at Nanzattico and "opposite to Poretobacco," the existence of the Ausaticon (Nanzattico) Town again was mentioned (Nugent 1969-1979:I:457). Despite Colonel Edward Hill's 1652 claim to 4,000 acres at Nanzattico, in December 1656 Sir Henry Chickley also patented 2,200 acres that lay "opposite to Port Tobacco" and abutted east on Poythress (Porteus, Jett) Creek (Nugent 1969-1979:I:334). Thus, the two men lodged conflicting claims. In 1674 Chickeley strengthened his entitlement to the "land called Nanzattico." He obtained an order from the colony's general court, having successfully argued that the land was deserted (McIlwaine 1924:365) Some of the confusion over the ownership of Nanzattico may have arisen from the fact that Colonel Hill obtained his patent in 1652, the same year that King Charles II confirmed the Northern Neck Proprietorship. Thus, Hill may have obtained his patent from officials at Jamestown when the status of the Northern Neck was unclear, whereas Chickeley may have acquired his from the Proprietors, whose authority eventually prevailed.

In 1653 one writer said that Governor Berkeley had placed the Nansemond and Warrisqueak Indians under the rule of the Weyanoke king. As the Nansemond and Warresqueak had refused to obey him, the Weyanoke had attacked their villages. Therefore, all three Native groups' leaders were to meet with the governor at Jamestown to negotiate peace (Ferrar MS 1216).

Governor Edward Digges (1655-1656)

The Battle of Bloody Run

During the early-to-mid 1650s the Tributary Indians began making increased use of the colony's legal system and occasionally they served as allies of the Virginia government. In March 1656 the Pamunkey and Chickahominy Indians helped the colonists drive off 600 to 700 Natives who were "drawne down from the mountaynes and lately sett down near the falls of the James River." This conflict, known as the Battle of Bloody Run, claimed the life of the Pamunkey Indian leader, Totopotomoy. Edward Hill I, a councilor, led an army of 50 militia men and Tributary Indian warriors in opposition to some hostile tribesmen, the Richahecrians, who lived near the head of the James River. During that conflict, many Tributary Indians were killed. Hill, who was held responsible for the slaughter of so many Native allies, was obliged to pay the cost of securing peace with the Richahecrians (Hening 1809-1823:I:402-403, 422-423; Force 1963:I:8:14-15).

Restrictions on Access

At the close of 1656 the assembly passed an act that required Indians, who wanted to enter fenced plantations to hunt or forage, to carry a ticket or pass from a designated official on the head of the nearest river. However, the law failed to specify what type of officials actually were supposed to dispense the admission passes. Settlers who killed Indians on their property had to produce at least one witness who testified that trespassing had occurred. The concern the burgesses voiced was that if too many Indians, "though never so innocent," were killed, "we may probably be involved in a war for us and our posterity." Free men were permitted to trade with the Indians at specifically designated trade marts. The burgesses voiced their official concern that the Indians failed to cooperate with the English "because of our extreme pressures on them," which left them "with nothing to lose but their lives." Therefore, to provide an incentive for gaining the Indians' cooperation, as well as a mean of solving a very real problem, a bounty was offered to Natives for killing wolves (Hening 1809-1823:I:393, 415, 456). County records reveal that the Indians received their bounty when they presented wolves' heads as proof that they had killed them.

Racial Distinctions

Legislation enacted in March 1656 made a clear distinction between the Native population and those of African descent. The new statute stated that whenever Indians brought their children to colonists as a sign of amity, those youngsters were not to be used "as slaves." Moreover, Indian parents had the right to choose the people with whom they left their children and those who became responsible for them were obliged to "do their best to bring them up in Christianity, civility and the knowledge of necessary trades." At the discretion of county commissioners, those who took young Indians into their homes and reared them as Christians could be compensated (Hening 1809-1823:I:396). It was an idea almost as old as the colony itself, as Virginia Company officials tried to encourage the colonists to convert young Indians to Christianity by offering a financial reward to those willing to do so. William Perry, a planter who lived on the lower side of the James River at Pace's Paines, took an Indian boy into his home and asked for funds that could be used in rearing him as a Christian. In 1641 Perry's son and executor, Henry, asked that his late father's estate be compensated for his bringing up a Tappahannah Indian boy as a Christian (McIlwaine 1924:477). It is likely that the child was treated like a servant. [10]

10Chanco, a Pamunkey youth, also had been Perry's servant.

Surry County court records, which date from 1652 on, reveal that quite a few planters had Indian servants whose time they bought and sold. For instance Henry Randolph and Thomas Woodhouse, both of whom owned property in urban Jamestown, each had young male Indian servants they sold to others. In December 1654 an Indian man named Humphreye agreed to serve Robert Warren, a planter, for three years. On the other hand another Surry planter purchased a Seacock Indian boy named Highamaccounte, whose English name was Robert, who was to serve for four years. Robert was to be provided with "meat, drink, apparel, washing and lodging and all other necessaries sufft for an Indian servt." Indian children who were made servants were supposed to be freed at age 25 (Surry County Court Records 1652-1662:35, 39, 47, 74; 1664-1671:432).

Legal Redress

According to governmental records for the 1650s and 1660s, there was considerable legal interaction between the English and the Tributary Indians, much of which involved conflict over land ownership. Sometimes, Indians sought justice through the court system on account of personal affronts. In 1655 Totopotomoy legally protested the killing of his brother by an Englishman, and in 1659 the King of Weyanoke petitioned for immunity from prosecution for bad debt "as a result of many disadvantageous bargains." The Nansemond sought military assistance against the Weyanoke, whose king they were accused of killing, and they had problems with the Pamunkey, whom they accused of killing two of their men. The Nansemond also feuded with the Tuscarora (McIlwaine 1924:503; McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1660-1693:4; Hening 1809-1823:I:547). Legal complains were promulgated by a group of Indians in Northumberland County, by the Pamunkeys, and others, an indication that the Tributary Indians were attempting to function within the parameters of colonial law and avail themselves of the rights to which they were entitled under the terms of the 1646 treaty.

Governor Samuel Mathews II (December 1656 — January 1660)

Tribal Preserves

In March 1658 the colony's assembly reaffirmed two laws that had been enacted in November 1652. Again, English settlers who were seated on land near the Pamunkeys or Chickahominys, on the north side of the Pamunkey River, were ordered to plant elsewhere. Also, each tribe was to be allocated 50 acres per bowman, with each group's land to be taken as an aggregate. There was a moratorium on the issuing of new patents until the Indians' land could be assigned (Hening 189-1823: I: 468). Specifically, no new patents were to be issued

. . . until the Indians be first served with the proportion of fiftie acres of land for each bowman and the proportion for each particular [sic] towne to be together and to be surveyed as well woodland as cleared ground . . . [with] privilege of all waste and unfenced grounds for hunting" [Hening 1809-1823:I:457-458].

This law was of major consequence to Tidewater Virginia's Tributary Indians.

Governor William Berkeley (1660-1661)

Defining Native Lands

By 1662, the concept of tribal preserves was generalized as a three-mile ring around Indian towns, a circle that would have encompassed 18,096 acres. The assembly noted that

. . . mutual discontents, complaints, jealousies, and ffears of the English and Indians proceed chiefly from the violent intrusions of diverse English . . . forcing the Indians by way of revenge to kill the cattle and hogs of the English . . . to the disturbance of the peace [Hening 1809-1823:I:468].

From the colonists' perspective, it would have been preferable for the neighboring Indians to be drawn closely together into preserves because it would have left open spaces into which settlement could expand in an almost uninhibited fashion.

Colonists already seated within three miles of an Indian town were ordered to leave unless they could authenticate their land titles. On the other hand, those legally seated within the three-mile ring were ordered to assist the Indian town's inhabitants in fencing a corn field of adequate size to meet the community's needs. This was a preventive measure intended to keep the settlers' livestock out of the Indians' gardens. Natives were authorized to hunt, fish, and gather within the territory settled by the English as long as they came unarmed. Those who traded with the Indians had to obtain licenses and the Natives themselves had to carry passes whenever they visited the settled area. Special commissioners were to be appointed, whose duty it was to visit each Indian town in order to "settle the bounds between us" (Hening 1809-1823:I:457, 468; II:139, 141-143). Although the quantity of land the Natives were allowed may have seemed adequate, even generous, by European standards, it was far less than what was needed for subsistence and restricted their ability to hunt and forage.

This issue was clouded by the numerous land transactions between the colonists and the Indians, for under the law the Natives were allowed to sell off portions of the property that had been assigned to them. For example, in 1661 the Chickahominy Indians requested acreage on the south side of the Mattaponi River that was said to extend from Philip Mallory's patent to the river's headwaters and reportedly ran inland to the landholdings of the Pamunkeys. The Chickahominys' land also abutted the two Herring Creeks. Immediately thereafter, the Chickahominys sold 743 acres of that land to Mallory, a local clergyman they held in high esteem. References to acreage called "the Munguy's Patent" in Henrico and Charles City Counties suggest that the Chickahominys may have moved from the upper part of the James-York peninsula to the Pamunkey Neck area early on, perhaps as a result of the 1646 treaty or the construction of Fort James (Hening 1809-1823:II:34, 39; McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1660-1693:111, 320, 343; McIlwaine 1924:361; Nugent 1969-1979:III:19, 27, 76; Palmer 1968:I:22).

Governor William Berkeley (1662 — 1677)

Protection vs. Abandonment

Although the March 1662 legislation stated that "Noe Indian king or other shall upon any pretense alien and sell, nor noe English for any cause or consideration whatsoever purchase or buy any tract or parcel of land now justly claymed or actually possesst by any Indian or Indians whatsoever," the Natives still experienced land loss through encroachment and sometimes they were victimized by illegal transactions. This occurred despite the fact that the law declared "All such bargains and sales [by the Indians] hereafter made or pretended to be made [were] hereby declared to be invalid, voyd and null, any acknowledgment, surrender, law or custome formerly used to the contrary." Although the colony's officials noted that land was the basis of most disputes between the planters and Indians, they acknowledged that the latter were dwindling steadily and anticipated that through attrition their territory eventually would be opened to settlement (Hening 1809-1823:II:139).

That the Indians' abandonment of their legally designated land threw it open to colonists' claims undoubtedly tempted some individuals to drive the Natives from their homes. In fact, patents sometimes were issued to settlers, predicated upon the Indians' eventual desertion of their land. For example, in March 1656 land was allocated to the Wicomico Indians. However by November of that year, the same property was granted to incumbent governor Samuel Mathews II, contingent upon the Indians' deserting it. In 1660 the guardians of Mathews' heirs were asked to make sure that the Wicomico Indians had been paid for the acreage (McIlwaine 1924:504, 506; McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1619-1660:117; 1660-1693:9). The land of Gloucester County's Chiskiack Indians, described in 1661 as "a small, inconsiderable nation," was to become parish glebe land as soon as it was abandoned by the Natives. In 1662 Mrs. Mary Ludlow of Gloucester was admonished for encroaching upon the Chiskiacks' land (McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1660-1693:13, 16; McIlwaine 1924:506). In 1661 Manwarring Hammond attempted to claim 2,000 acres of the Chickahominy Indians' land and in 1662 Edward Dennis tried to claim the land upon which they had built their town (Hening 1809-1823:II:35, 161-162).

In some instances, however, the Indians did divest themselves of large portions of their land. Competition for the lands of the Mattaponi, Chickahominy and Pamunkey Indians was particularly keen. In March 1662 it was reported that Edward Dennis "hath without title or claime, seated himselfe in the Indian towne of Chickahomini." The Mattaponi also had problems, for in March 1662 the King of the Mattaponi filed a legal complaint against a man who allegedly had set his English house ablaze in order to drive him from his land. atent research reveals that the Mattaponi were then living at the head of Piscataway Creek, at the headwaters of the Piankatank River, and that they subsequently moved to a new site on the Mattaponi River in the vicinity of Deep Run. The King of the Nanzattico sold some of his people's land, whereas the King of the Potomac sold some acreage in 1662 and two years later, gave away a tract (Hening 1809-1823:II:154-155; McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1660-1693:16; McIlwaine 1924:493, 508; Nugent 1969-1979:I:384, 404, 462, 490; II:19, 27, 87, 142, 358; III:97).

Controlling Native Access

In 1662 the boundary lines separating the Indians from the settlers were reaffirmed and Natives who had a reason to enter the ceded territory were obliged to carry copper or silver badges marked with the name of their town. Those lacking badges were subject to arrest. Although this policy was only a variation of the 1646 law requiring Indians to wear striped coats, significantly in 1662 Native trespassers were to be taken into custody, not automatically executed. In 1671 a law was repealed that allowed colonists to kill Natives who ventured into areas that had been seated or planted. However, anyone who allowed Indians to stay with them had to obtain a license from the governor (Hening 1809-1823:II:141-143, 289). William Sherwood of Jamestown, who for a time was sheriff of Surry County, recited a portion of the legislation when he filed charges against Joseph Rogers, a Surry tanner, who had "entertained, harbored or employed several Indians in his now dwelling house in the said county" contrary to law (Surry County Court Records 1664-1671:385).

In 1662 when the official boundary line established by virtue of the 1646 treaty was reaffirmed within the territory on the lower side of the James River, the westernmost portion of the boundary line was defined more explicitly. It was said to run from the head of the Blackwater River to the Appomattocks Indian town, then across to the Monacan town. Parties of armed horsemen began to procession the boundaries annually and later the lines were demarcated by surveyors (Hening 1809-1823:II:219-220, 393, 415-416; III:85; McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1619-1660:75, 94). Conspicuously absent were all references to the land north and west of the James-York peninsula, promised to the Indians in 1646 and thrown open to settlement in 1649: territory into which large numbers of settlers already had intruded.

Indians in Planter Households

Documentary sources that date from the late 1640s on make reference to Indians who lived in planter households, where they were identified as servants or slaves. Court records from Virginia's Eastern Shore and those of Henrico, Surry, Isle of Wight, and York Counties, which are relatively complete, contain numerous references to young Indians who were brought in so that their age could be adjudged. It appears that during the 1680s and 90s most (if not all) of the Indian children were considered servants, not slaves. However, like African servants and slaves, the time of Indians could be bought and sold and conveyed from hand to hand by bequest (Henrico County Deeds and Wills 1677-1692:134-135; Orders &c. 164-1701:40, 65, 68, 71, 80, 138-141, 229-230, 234-237, 239; Surry County Deeds, Orders, Wills 1652-1672:142-143; Orders 1671-1691:274, 444, 450, 489; Deeds and Wills 2:141). Court records reveal that many of these Indian children had been captured by Tributary Natives and sold to the colonists. Therefore, under the law, they were not accorded the same treatment as Tributaries.

In March 1662, while Governor William Berkeley was in office, the newly revised legal code specified that "what Englishman, trader or other shall bring in any Indians as servants and shall assign them over to any other, shall not sell them for slaves nor for any longer time than English of the like ages" (Hening 1809-1823:II:143). At the same assembly session, it was decided that Metappin, a Powhatan Indian whom the King of the Weyanoke had sold to a woman for life, should be freed, as the Weyanoke leader had "no power to sell him being of another nation." In noting that Metappin should be freed, the burgesses indicated that he spoke English well and wanted to be baptized (Hening 1809-1823:II:155). On another occasion, the King of the Weyanoke sold to a Surry County woman "a boy of my nation named Weetopin . . . until the full term of his life." In exchange, the woman gave the Weyanoke king a young horse. In 1664 an Indian man named John Philips was listed as a tithable servant at a Mr. Edwards' plantation. In 1671 an Indian, an African, and a mulatto were identified as runaway slaves who had been captured near the Blackwater River (Surry County Court Records 1652-1662:137; 1664-1671:347; 1671-1691:4).

The Loss of Rights and Control

Although legislation enacted in 1662 encouraged Natives to settle their conflicts within the context of the colony's judicial system, in 1665 they experienced significant erosion of their civil rights. It was then that a new law stipulated that "Indians shall not have power within themselves to elect or constitute their werowance or chief commander." Instead, such leaders were to be authorized by the governor, who had the right to choose a "person in whose fidelity they [the English] may finde greatest cause to repose a confidence" (Hening 1809-1823:II:219). This confirmed Article I of the 1646 treaty, whereby Necotowance, leader of the Pamunkey Indians, had agreed that his successors would be appointed or confirmed by the governor. Examples of Indians requesting approval for proposed leaders may be found in public documents during the years following the enactment of the 1662 law. For example, in March 1675 the Appomattocks petitioned the governor, asking that Peracuta be confirmed as their king. They also asked to be allowed to plant and clear acreage not being used by the settlers, and requested that their old town not be burned. Moreover, they asked to be allowed to gather rushes at the heads of the colony's rivers (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:79; McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1660-1693:64).

Accountability for Infractions
of the Law

Another law enacted in 1662 held Tributary Indians responsible for crimes committed near their home territory, regardless of whether a member of their group was involved. Thus, aggressive behavior on the part of individuals from a hostile tribe could result in punishment of the law-abiding Indians within whose territory the wrongful act had occurred. This convoluted form of justice was prosecuted several times during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries (Hening 1809-1823:II:19; McIlwaine 1918:1539).

Baptism: No Longer the Path to Freedom

In 1667 the colony's assembly eliminated baptism as a possible avenue to freedom. This was a departure from the previous consensus that non-Christians' conversion entitled them to release from slavery. The legislation stated that "diverse masters, freed from this doubt, may more carefully endeavor the propagation of Christianity by permitting children, though slaves, or those of greater growth, if capable to be admitted to that sacrament" (Hening 1809-1823:II:260). That is, masters were encouraged to offer religious instruction and could do so without fearing that baptism would make their slave or servant free. In 1670 a law was passed whereby "noe negroe or Indian though baptized and enjoyned their owne freedome shall be capable of any such purchase of Christians, but yet [are] not debarred from buying any of their owne nation" (Hening 1809-1823:II:280-281). In other words, free blacks and Indians could not purchase Christian servants but were not prohibited from purchasing people of their own ethnic group. All non-Christian servants imported into the colony were deemed slaves for life. Although this legislation purportedly was enacted because "some disputes have arisen whether Indians taken in war by any other nation, and by that nation that taketh them sold to the English, are servants for life or term of years," it assured Virginia planters who invested in Indian and African servants that they could keep them for life (Hening 1809-1823:II:283). Maryland's assembly enacted very similar legislation.

The 1669 Census

In October 1669, when a census was made of the colony's Indian population, eighteen Native groups were recognized whose 725 warriors were distributed throughout eight Tidewater counties. In Nansemond County there were an estimated 45 Nansemond warriors, whereas in Surry there were 30 Powchayicks and 15 Weyanokes. In Charles City (presumably on the south side of the river) were two towns of Nottoways that included 90 bowmen and the Appomattocks, who had 50 bowmen. Henrico County had a Native population of 30 Manachees and 10 Powhites. Five Native groups were living in New Kent County, which then encompassed land now within the boundaries of King and Queen and King William Counties. Of these bowmen (warriors were the only segment of the population included in the census) there were 20 Mattaponi, 60 Chickahominy, 50 Pamunkey, 30 Rappahannock, and 40 Totachus. With the exception of the use of the name "Mattaponi-alias-Chickahominy" in reference to an Indian town or path, this appears to be the latest dated reference to the Mattaponi as a distinct group until 1787, when Thomas Jefferson described their population as consisting of two or three old men. The absence of the Mattaponis' name from all public documents (including the 1677 treaty) for a hiatus of 120 years and the absence of land allocations to them by the government, suggests that during that period they may have been absorbed into another Native group, perhaps joining with the Pamunkeys or Chickahominys. Gloucester County was home to 15 Chiskiack warriors, whereas in Old Rappahannock County there were 60 Portobagoes and a total of 50 Nanzattico and Mattehatique. There were 70 Wicomico warriors in Northumberland County and 10 Appomattocks in Westmoreland (Hening 1809-1823:II:151-155, 161-162, 275; II:274-275; Jefferson 1787:96).

Planters' Quest for New Land

As time went on, pressure to extend settlement into Indian lands mounted considerably, for planters resented the allocation of large, desirable tracts to a population they saw dwindling. As a result, they employed both legal and illegal means to acquire Indian land. In 1667 the burgesses, when asking the governor to allow settlers to move into the territory set aside for the Natives, contended that the availability of good land in Virginia would encourage more people to immigrate, which would relieve the current population of "the tyranny exerted by the colony's Indians" (McIlwaine et al 1905-1915:1660-1693:53). One much sought-after area was the Pamunkey Neck peninsula. Most of the men who laid claim to literally thousands of acres of land were members of the planter elite, who not only were heavily involved in the colony's commerce and trade but also in its political affairs. These men's plantations were massive and according to contemporary accounts, were relatively self-sufficient. Intermingled with the major plantations were farms of small and middling size (Billings et al. 1986:55, 66-68, 122). Competition for land and conflicts over boundaries, livestock, hunting and gathering habitat, fishing rights, and trade continued to strain relations between the settlers and the Indians. Too often, resentment evolved into violence, which predictably led to reprisal.

Anthony Langston's map, prepared in ca. 1662, reveals that several sites in the eastern part of Pamunkey Neck continued to be associated with Native occupation. Shown prominently was "Menmend, an ancient seat of Opachancone [Opechancanough] ye late Emperour." It was located on a large island near Carter's Landing, east of Manquin Creek. Another important site shown on the Langston map was "Pamamomeck — Tatapootamoy ye Indian Kings Seat," the village of Totopotomoy, successor to Necotowance who signed the 1646 treaty. Langston also showed the site of Fort Royall, which he labeled as the "Indian Fort." Other aboriginal names were used to identify locations and waterways along the Pamunkey River ([Langston ca. 1662]). It is probable that during the second half of the seventeenth century, when settlers moved into the Pamunkey Neck in increasing numbers, the old path that extended the length of peninsula developed into a major thoroughfare. At the close of the seventeenth century the College of William and Mary was allocated 10,000 acres of land in Pamunkey Neck as charter lands, acreage that lay within the territory set aside for the Pamunkey Indians. The area was considered extremely desirable and under populated (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:94, 204, 304; Hartwell et al. 1964:71; DesCognets 1958:57-67). A map prepared by Augustine Herrman (1673) in 1670 indicates that plantations then lined the banks of the colony's four major rivers and their navigable tributaries. Natives and planters were living in relatively close proximity throughout eastern Virginia and on the Eastern Shore. Herrman sketched a cluster of Indian cabins that he labeled "Pamaomeck Indian" at a location similar to the site that Anthony Langston identified as Pamamomeck. Further inland, Herrman labeled a site as "Manskin Indian" that was close to the former site of Fort Royall and Captain John Smith in 1608 identified as the town of Cattachiptico (Smith 1610).

Although Governor William Berkeley in 1662 reported that the neighboring Indians were "in the King's power, whenever he shall command them to quit their insurpations or to acknowledge their subjection to him," in 1666 he told King Charles II that he feared the Indians would perceive that the colonists received arms and provisions only once a year and would attack while stores were depleted (Berkeley 1663:6; C. O. 1/20 f 11ro). Clearly, there was reason for concern.

Relations with the Natives of the Northern Neck

A rapid increase in the population of the Northern Neck led to its being subdivided into several new counties and parishes. With the influx of new settlers came an increase in the number of disputes with the Indians. In 1666 members of the Governor's Council resolved to declare war upon the Monzaticon (Nanzattico), Nansemond, Portobago, Doeg, and Potomac Indians, and vowed that they should be "prosecuted with war to their utter destruction, if possible," for the council sought to avenge the murders of several frontier settlers. Governor William Berkeley informed the officials of Old Rappahannock County that he felt the captives and booty seized from the Indians would more than pay for the cost of the war and that he presumed the young men of the county would be willing to fight in order to obtain a share of the spoils of war. Berkeley's proposition was endorsed cheerfully by county officials, several of whom were patentees of Indian lands (McIlwaine 1924:488; Old Rappahannock Deeds 1663-1668:23).

Early patents and deeds reveal that the Nanzattico Indians' preserve not only encompassed acreage on the upper side of the Rappahannock River, in the area traditionally known as Nanzattico, but also extended across the river into the territory between Portobago and Goldenvale Creeks. In 1669, the Nanzattico and Portobago collectively had 110 warriors, a figure that would have entitled them to an aggregate of 5,500 acres under the system of allocating 50 acres per bowman. To the west of the Nanzattico habitat, on the north side of the Rappahannock River were the Nansemond, whose town in 1667 encompassed an estimated 5,275 acres, an amount that suggests that they had 55 to 56 warriors. [11] Thus, in the Portobago Bay-Nanzattico Bay area, nearly 11,000 acres of land had been assigned to Native Americans as preserves (Hening 1809-1823:II:275).

11The connection between these Nansemond and those who lived on the south side of the James River is unclear.

Court documents that can be related to specific patents reveal that Native-owned lands were cleared and planted at a rapid rate and that tenants and/or slaves often were seated on outlying properties to substantiate their owners' claims. In 1670, Katherine Lunsford (daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Lunsford, who had patented land on Portobago Bay in 1650) received permission to seat her property, as long as she did not disturb the Indians living upon the tract, which was part of the Nanzattico Indians' preserve (McIlwaine 1934:227). One planter and his family reportedly took up residence near Portobago Creek and the Portobago/Nanzattico Indian preserve's boundary line in ca. 1672. By 1676 an estimated 71 plantations were situated in the upper part of Old Rappahannock County's Sittenborne Parish (Andrews 1967:160).

In 1666 John Washington was authorized to take possession of acreage that straddled the boundary line between Old Rappahannock and Westmoreland Counties, which lay just east of the land called Nanzattico. The property he acquired was described as part of the Nanzattico Indians' land; he was given permission to seat the tract as soon as the Indians deserted it (McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1660-1693:41). Research demonstrates that John Washington's acreage lay just east of Jetts (Porteus) Creek. In 1666 John Catlett, as guardian of an orphan named Francis Slaughter, also obtained a patent for land "included within the bounds allocated by the Grand Assembly to the Nanzattico Indians." Catlett, like Washington, was authorized to "have it upon the Indians deserting it" (McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1660-1693:41). The patent for the Catlett/Slaughter property reveals that it bordered Omen or Millbank Creek, to the west of Port Conway, and extended "through part of the Dogges cleare ground" (Old Rappahannock County Deeds and Wills 1663-1668:397). In 1669 the Nanzattico and Mattehatique Indians reportedly had 50 bowmen living in Old Rappahannock County, whereas the Portobago had 60 (Hening 1809-1823:II:274-275). Augustine Herrman's map (1673), drawn in l670, shows the habitation of the Dogue Indians just west of Omen Creek, and identifies the site of Mangomixon, which was to the west of Chinquatuck (Chingoteague or Gingoteague) Creek and just above Nanzattico. It also demonstrates that by 1670 plantations lined virtually all of Tidewater Virginia's navigable waterways.

Patents for land on the southern side of the Rappahannock River demonstrate that Nanzattico land ran west as far as Port Royal and east to Portobago Creek. Thomas Lucas, whose tract lay "on the south side of the Rappahannock River about two miles above the Portobago Town" included land "which is now within the bounds . . . allocated to the Nanzattico Indians." Lucas was authorized to take possession of his patent as soon as the Indians had deserted the land. The Lucas patent is critically important to determining the southern bounds of the Nanzattico Indians' land, for it lay directly behind the 1650 patent of Sir Thomas Lunsford, which included river frontage and extended one mile inland. Thus, the Nanzatticos' land on the south side of the Rappahannock River ran inland for at least two miles. In 1674, Thomas Prosser received permission to seat Nanzattico land which allegedly had been deserted by the Indians for two years. However, the Nanzatticos later claimed that he had driven them off and that Dr. Lomax (ie. Dr. John Lomax, great-grandson and heir of Sir Thomas Lunsford, patentee of 3,423 acres at Portobago) had taken the rest (McIlwaine 1924:359,400; McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1659/60-1693:41).

In 1674, Sir Henry Chickeley conveyed his land at Nanzattico to Ralph Wormeley of Rosegill, the husband of Katherine Lunsford, who had inherited her late father's land abutting Portobago Bay. Chickeley, in describing the Nanzattico land he was deeding to Wormeley, used as a northwesterly reference point the "Great Indian path to Nansemond Town," indicating that the village was then in existence. Chickeley, as grantor, also noted that the land being sold lay opposite the Portobago Indian Town (McIlwaine 1934:227; Old Rappahannock Deeds 1671-1676:331;1672-1675:490). In April 1680 Wormeley repatented his 2,000 acres, "formerly Indian inhabitation called Nanzattico," which lay between Porteus (Jetts) and Chingoteague (Gingoteague) Creeks (Nugent 1969-1979:II:208-209). Two years later, Wormeley acquired from Cuthbert Potter 2,000 acres (or approximately half) of the 5,275 acre Nansemond-Mangakemoxon Indian Town tract, which lay just upstream from his property at Nanzattico (Old Rappahannock Deeds 1682-1688:36-38; 1668-1672:65-66; Nugent 1934-1979:II:46). Thus, by 1682 Ralph Wormeley owned the 3,423 acre Lunsford tract on Portobago Bay, plus the 2,200 acres at Nanzattico that he had bought from Sir Henry Chickeley and the 2,000 acres he had obtained from Cuthbert Potter. By 1687 he also had acquired 1,500 acres on the south side of the Rappahannock, abutting Peumansend and Cedar Creeks (Nugent 1969-1979:II:313). Almost all of this acreage was land set aside for the Indians.

Mounting Tensions

The Nottoway Indians, who previously had been allocated land by the government and who in 1673 had asked the English for protection, by April 1674 complained that the settlers were planting within their bounds (McIlwaine 1924:365, 518). The Susquehannock Indians in October 1675 also asked the English for protection and were authorized to continue upon the land in their possession if they provided two of their greatmen's children as hostages (McIlwaine 1924:425, 518).

The latter part of the seventeenth century was punctuated by violent confrontations between settlers and Natives, disputes usually provoked by disagreements over land or trade. During the early 1670s, strong, warlike Indian peoples to the north and west of the colonized area began to prey upon the Tributary Indians and frontier settlers alike, particularly those who lived along the fall line. As a result, the Tributary Natives found themselves between the colonists (whose plantations were consuming their subsistence habitat at a rapid rate) and the hostile tribes to their west.

Fear and rumors swept through the colony to the point that one writer reported to British officials that the Indians came into the plantations in broad daylight to kill settlers and that the Natives were outfitted with French artillery (S. P. 29/385 f 11). Another man wrote that the Indians lurked in the forest behind trees and fell upon the planters at work, "destroying and taking them barbarously" (S. P. 29/383 f 16; 29/385 f 15).

Meanwhile, colonists inhabiting the sparsely settled frontier areas suffered greatly, for sporadic Indian raids terrified those who lived along the upper reaches of the Rappahannock River frontier. Whether the perpetrators were northerly tribes or rebellious neighboring Indians is uncertain. A significant number of settlers, especially those in the upper reaches of the Rappahannock River, abandoned their homesteads. One writer reported that whereas on January 24, 1675/76 there had been 71 plantations in the upper parts of Old Rappahannock County's Sittenbourne Parish (the westernmost part of the county), by February 10th (only 2 1/2 weeks later) only 11 plantations remained occupied. A party of Susquehannocks from Maryland, who had been attacked by a group of Virginia settlers, swept down upon the homesteads of colonists living at the heads of the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers, killing 36. During 1676 an estimated 300 colonists living in that vicinity reportedly died at the hands of the Indians (Andrews 1967:106-107; Hening 1809-1823:II:153, 155; C. O. 1/20 f 11ro; 1/36 ff 67-68; McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:53-54). During this time period King Phillip's War (1675-76) occured in southern New England with devastating consequences to Native and non-Native populations.

During the mid-1670s, rumors of Indian troubles in the New England colonies reached Virginia. The colonists became increasingly nervous as they waited for Governor William Berkeley, who was nearly 70-year-old and in declining health, to take action. When he was queried about the strength of the Natives, he responded that "the Indians, our neighbors, are absolutely subjected so that there is no fear of them." Many people disagreed. In March 1676 Virginia's governing officials declared war on all Natives implicated in the recent attacks on frontier families and ordered the construction of forts at nine sites near the heads of the colony's principal rivers. Two were located within Pamunkey Neck: one on the Pamunkey River near the mouth of Mehixen (Mahixon) Creek and the land of the Pamunkey's interpreter, Cornelius Dabney; one on the lower side of the Mattaponi River, between the Chickahominy Indian town landing and "Yerberyes house," the dwelling of the Chickahominy Indians' interpreter; one on the Potomac River in Stafford County. Forts also were to be built near the falls of the James, Appomattox and Rappahannock Rivers and on the Blackwater River in Surry County, at the head of the Nansemond River, and on the Pocamoke River in Accomac County. The fort near the falls of the Rappahannock was constructed under the direction of Lawrence Smith. Two of these forts were built where fortifications had been erected in 1645-1646: the sites of Fort Henry on the Appomattox and Fort Charles on the James. Each fortified outpost was provided with a surgeon, drums, and drummers, suggesting that they were a relatively elaborate undertaking (Andrews 1967:108; Hening 1809-1823:II:326-328, 448-453; Nugent 1969-1979:III:74, 77, 144, 364).

Men were pressed into service to garrison the forts and supplies and military equipment were procured through public levies. Many colonists complained about the cost of the forts, which they considered relatively useless against roving bands of hostile Natives. In fact, some resentful planters, whose taxes had paid for the forts, dubbed them expensive "mousetraps" that only could catch Indians who came to them (Samuel Wiseman's Book of Record, 1676-1677; McIlwaine 1924:390, 418, 423; Morgan 1975:250-292; Craven 1970:389; Hening 1809-1823:II:513; Washburn 1957:18-19, 32-33, 153-166). Francis Moryson, one of the king's Special Commissioners sent to Virginia in 1677 to investigate conditions in the colony, described the Indians' method of fighting as one of surprise and ambush. He said that the militia might "feel the Indians' attack once a week but we see them once a year . . . they might burn a house or two, and be forty miles away the next day." He recommended utilizing the military strategy of the 1640s: dispatching small parties of horsemen to the frontiers in July and August to burn Indian corn, while simultaneously requiring settlers to erect defenses around their homes (Samuel Wiseman's Book of Record, 1676-1677). On the eve of Bacon's Rebellion the Surry County militia decided to muster, in order to be prepared "to suppress all violent meetings and insurrections of Indians or other enemies." Nobody was to sell firearms to the Natives and if any Indians were seen with guns, powder or shot, it was to be taken away. Court records document the fact that when Indian goods were plundered, they were divided by the attackers as spoils of war (Surry County Record Book 1664-1671:411, 420; 1671-1691:249).

Bacon's Rebellion

Young Nathaniel Bacon, who arrived in Virginia in 1674, had a plantation called Curles, in Henrico County. When it was attacked by the Natives, two of Bacon's servants were killed. Young, hotheaded, and eager for revenge, Bacon, who was a member of the Council of State, agreed to lead a group of volunteers in an expedition against the Indians. Outlying settlers rallied behind young Nathaniel Bacon and marched upon the nearest Indians, rather than confronting the stronger inland tribes, such as the Susquehannocks and Senecas, who were blamed by some high officials for the incursions. In April 1676 Bacon and his men set out for the southern part of the colony. Although Governor Berkeley ordered him to cease his military operations and report to Jamestown, Bacon responded by demanding a commission to lead a march against the Indians, ignored the governor's orders, and continued on his way. This prompted Berkeley to declare Bacon a rebel and to mobilize his own forces in an attempt to intercept him before he reached the colony's frontier. Once Bacon reached his destination, the village of the Occaneechee Indians, who lived upon an island in the Roanoke River, he approached them as allies, then attacked in order to seize their store of beaver skins. With Nathaniel Bacon's refusal to yield to Governor Berkeley's orders, the popular uprising known as Bacon's Rebellion began. It quickly spread throughout Tidewater Virginia (Washburn 1957:18-19, 42-43, 46-47).

Nathaniel Bacon, upon returning from his march against the Occaneechee, set out for Jamestown with a group of armed men. However, he was captured and brought before Governor Berkeley. Upon presenting a written apology, Bacon was released and restored to his council seat. Berkeley also reportedly promised Bacon a commission to lead an expedition against the Indians (Washburn 1957:51; Neville 1976:71).

Governor Berkeley, who had been in office in 1646 when a treaty was signed with the Tributary Indians, realized how important it was to have allies among the Native population. He also was keenly aware of the resentment that had been generated by the construction of forts along the frontier. For that reason, he sought the assistance of Virginia's Tributary tribes in dealing with the more warlike, outlying Natives who lived above the heads of the colony's rivers. Berkeley summoned Cockacoeske, Queen of the Pamunkey, to Jamestown and asked her to provide guides and warriors to assist the colonists in an expedition against the Natives who were attacking frontier settlements (Force 1963:I:8:14).

Cockacoeske, who had donned the mantle of Powhatan's chiefdom in 1656, governed her people for some thirty years. British archival records suggest that she worked within the context of the Virginia colonial government in an attempt to recapture the power wielded by her people in the early seventeenth century, when Pamunkey leaders politically dominated the Indians of the Virginia coastal plain. Colonial documents contain more personal detail about Cockacoeske than is, perhaps, available on any other Native American woman of her day, and her attempts to reverse the long decline of the Powhatan chiefdom warrant recognition.

An able and politically astute leader, Cockacoeske attempted to assert her dominance while acting within the parameters of the colony's legal system, perhaps perceiving that her people's principal hope of survival lay in re-establishing the political unity of the Powhatan chiefdom. As will be seen, she was able to effectively turn the English political system to her own people's advantage, at least for a time. Evidence of Cockacoeske's considerable influence and her quasi-political alliances can be found in contemporary correspondence; in the provisions of the 1677 Treaty of Middle Plantation, a monumental document that governed relations between the colonists and Virginia Indians for nearly a hundred years; and in the fact that she was singled out for special recognition by King Charles II.

According to an eyewitness account, in June 1676 Cockacoeske, a descendant of Powhatan and Opechancanough and the widow of Totopotomoy, came to Jamestown and appeared before the assembly's Committee on Indian Affairs, which was meeting in the statehouse. She

. . . entered the chamber with a comportment gracefull to admiration, bringing on her right hand an Englishman interpreter, and on the left her son a stripling twenty years of age, she having round her head a plat of black and white wampum peague three inches broad in imitation of a crown, and was cloathed in a mantle of dress't deer skins with the hair outwards and the edge cut round 6 inches deep which made strings resembling twisted fringe from the shoulders to the feet; thus with grave courtlike gestures and a majestick air in her face, she walk'd up our long room to the lower end of the table, where after a few intreaties she sat down; th' interpreter [Cornelius Dabney]and her son standing by her on either side as they had walked up, our chairman asked her what men she would lend us for guides in the wilderness and to assist us against our enemy Indians, she spake to th' interpreter to inform her what the chairman said, (tho' we believed she understood him) he told us she bid him ask her son to whom the English tongue was familiar, and was reputedly the son of an English colonel, yet neither would he speak to or seem to understand the chairman but th' interpreter told us, he referred all to his mother, who being again urged she after a little musing with an earnest passionate countenance a if tears wer [sic] ready to gush out and a fervent sort of expression made a harangue about a quarter of an hour often interlacing (with a high shrill voice and vehement passion) these words "Tatapatamoi Chepiack," i.e., Tatapatamoi dead [Force 1963:I:8:14].

The chairman of the Committee for Indian affairs ignored Cockacoeske's emotional speech and again asked how many warriors she would furnish to assist the English. This time, she looked away and

. . . sate mute till the same question being press'd a third time, she not returning her face to the board, answered with a slighting voice in her own language "six," but being further importun'd she sitting a little while sullen, without uttering a word between said "twelve," tho' she then had a hundred and fifty Indian men in her town, and so rose up and gravely walked away, as [if] not pleased with her treatment [Force 1963:I:8:15].

On June 23, 1676, Nathaniel Bacon returned to Jamestown at the head of 500 to 600 supporters. They marched to the statehouse where Bacon demanded a commission, authorizing him to undertake a march against the Indians. Although Governor Berkeley at first declined, when Bacon's men threatened to kill members of the Council and assembly, they decided to cooperate. Shortly thereafter, Bacon prevailed upon the burgesses to include some of the legislation he had formulated. One of those laws offered land-greedy planters a legal means of acquiring Indian land as soon as it was deserted. Thus, if the Natives were driven from the land legally assigned to them it could be claimed by opportunistic planters. In fact, it gave planters an incentive to route the Natives from their land. Indians were permitted to hunt with bows and arrows, but not firearms. Colonists could purchase fish, canoes, bowls, mats and baskets from the Natives, paying them in corn. After the assembly adjourned, Bacon's men sought revenge against all Indians indiscriminately, especially those within convenient range, such as tribes that were tributaries to the Crown (Force 1963:I:18:12-21; Hening 1809-1823:II:350-351, 361-362). [12]

12In February 1677 the laws made while Bacon was in control of the assembly were repealed (Hening 1808-1823:II:380, 475).

After Nathaniel Bacon issued a "Declaration of the People," a treatise that leveled charges against Governor Berkeley, and a "Manifesto" that justified his own actions, he began to rally support for a march against the Natives who lived on the fringes of the colony's frontiers. However, when he met with little success, he reversed his course and vented his wrath upon the Pamunkey Indians, tributaries who in March 1676 had signed a peace agreement with the Berkeley government. Bacon and his men pursued the Pamunkeys into King and Queen County's Dragon Swamp, on the fringe of the English settlement, and then attacked. The Pamunkeys, in obedience to their queen's orders, failed to return the rebel army's gunfire. According to one record, an Indian interpreter named Wilford, who was executed by Governor Berkeley for his participation in the rebellion, had allegedly "frighted the Queen of Pamunkey from the land she had been granted by the Assembly a month after the peace was concluded with her" (McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1660-1693:89). Bacon's attack may have been inspired by the recently enacted legislation entitling settlers to claim property that had been abandoned by the Indians (Hening 1809-1823:II:251). Riding down upon the Indians' encampment at the edge of a swamp, Bacon's men were impeded by the mire and only succeeded in capturing a small child and killing an elderly woman. Cockacoeske, having ordered her people to refrain from firing upon the English, abandoned her encampment and all of her personal belongings. In their pursuit, Bacon's followers took prisoner an old Indian woman, Cockacoeske's nurse or attendant, ordering her to guide them to the Natives who fled. Later, when they discovered that she had deliberately misled them, they put her to death (Andrews 1915:125-127).

Bacon's men reportedly plundered the Indians' goods, took prisoners and killed men, women and children indiscriminately. As Bacon's attack upon the Pamunkeys drew to a close, he learned that the men he had sent to the Eastern Shore to confront Governor Berkeley had been captured and that those he had left at Jamestown had surrendered. Bacon offered liberty to any slaves or bound servants who would join his popular revolt. He then set out for Jamestown, displaying his Pamunkey captives along the way (Force 1963:I:9:8).

Bacon a short time later came upon the Pamunkeys at another encampment. During the attack that ensued, Cockacoeske escaped with her life, but 45 of her people were captured. Bacon's men reportedly took away three horse loads of plunder, including Indian mats, baskets, parcels of wampum peake, and pieces of linen, broadcloth and other English goods the Queen was said to value highly. According to a report filed by the King's Commissioners, Cockacoeske, though fleeing from Bacon's army, decided to come back

. . . with designe to throw herself upon the mercy of the English [but] she happened to meet with a dead Indian woman lying in the way (being one of her own nation) which struck such a terror in the Queene that fearing their cruelty by that ghastly example she went on her first intended way into the wild woods where she was lost and missing from her own People fourteen days

nearly starving (Andrews 1915:127-128). It is very likely that Bacon's men also drove the Chiskiack Indians from their village in what was then Gloucester County (McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1660-1693:70).

After Nathaniel Bacon and his men overwhelmed Governor Berkeley's loyalists and entered Jamestown, the capital city was put to the torch. Bacon then went to Green Spring, where he drafted a protest against Berkeley. However, many of his men were brimming with confidence and spoiling for a fight. They began plundering the estates of those who had remained loyal to Governor Berkeley. Although Nathaniel Bacon attempted to bring his followers under control, he met with little success for his men had turned into an angry mob that made little distinction between friend and foe. On October 26, 1676, the popular uprising was dealt a mortal blow when Bacon died of natural causes. Berkeley's men seized the opportunity to quell the uprising and in November and December 1676, many of the rebel leaders hunted down and captured. Later some of these people were brought before a military tribunal at Green Spring, convicted of treason, and hanged (Hening 1809-1823:II:547-548; III:569).

The Planters' Grievances

King Charles II, concerned about the unrest in the colony, dispatched three special commissioners (Sir John Berry, Colonel Francis Moryson, and Colonel Herbert Jeffreys) to learn what provoked it. Those representatives of the Crown, upon arriving in Virginia on January 3, 1677, addressed the assembly, admonishing the burgesses to act quickly in establishing peace with the colony's Natives. Speaking pragmatically, the commissioners reminded the assembly that the neighboring Indians provided the best guards on the frontier. They also pointed out that it was Governor William Berkeley who had first conquered the Indians and made peace with them, the breach of which was depriving the colony of the benefit of their trade and labors. Berkeley, in turn, reported to the commissioners that the Queen of the Pamunkey Indians, having been driven from her village by Nathaniel Bacon's followers, had returned home and that a good foundation for peace had been laid. The king's commissioners queried county officials about the issues that had fomented the discontent and asked local freeholders to prepare lists of grievances. The responses varied from county to county. However, it was generally agreed that the bloodshed caused by Indian raids never had been revenged and that the forts built by Sir William Berkeley in 1676 were costly and utterly useless. They also alleged that certain high-ranking government officials monopolized the Indian trade and by so doing, had betrayed the settlers. They contended that the Indians captured and enslaved by Bacon should be sold for the benefit of the public, not kept by the governing officials. Another important point made by the citizens of frontier counties was that many outlying settlers lived in fear of all Indians, for when the Natives were painted, friendly and hostile individuals were indistinguishable (C.O. 5/1371 ff 171-178).

The citizens of Old Rappahannock County and Sittenbourne Parish complained that they had sustained the brunt of the recent offensive against the Indians and that Rappahannock had been "a bulwarke and defense to other counties . . . and thereby [was] reduced to much poverty." They also said that people who lived upon the frontier were

lyable to much mischief by reason of the Indians incursions in which time of war are so frequent that they cannot at once tend their crops of corn and secure their own lives from suddain [sic] and surprise assaults." They claimed that the raid upon the Susquehannock Indians, which had been committed by George Mason and George Brent, had been "the original cause of the many murders committed in the county of Rappahannock [C. O. 5/1371 ff 151-152].

Lieutenant Governor Herbert Jeffreys (1677 - 1678)

The Queen of Pamunkey's Petition

On February 20, 1677, Cockacoeske petitioned the assembly for the restoration of her belongings and the land she had abandoned "through the feare of the Rebell Bacon and his accomplices." The Assembly, however, granted her scant satisfaction, agreeing only to restore those items that she could prove were hers and insisting that she return any horses or goods in her possession that belonged to the English. Cockacoeske asked permission for her people to gather bark from the settlers' land for use in building cabins. She indicated that the Pamunkeys would like to fish at Powhite (on the James) and hunt upon frontier land and the settlers' plantations (McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1660-1693:89). The burgesses were reluctant to comply.

In contrast to the assembly, the King's Commissioners were much more sympathetic to Cockacoeske's plea, for they reported that she had been "driven out into the wildwoods and there almost famished, plundered of all she had, her people taken prisoners and sold, the Queen robbed of her rich matchcoat [matchcoat] for which she had great value." Moreover, they added the Queen of Pamunkey's name to their list of those who had suffered during Bacon's Rebellion, calling her "a faithfull friend to and lover of the English," and they recommended that she be given a gift in recompense for her sufferings and the loss of her belongings (Andrews 1915:127).

The King's Commissioners reported to their superiors that despite the monarch's instructioning Governor Berkeley to establish immediate peace with the neighboring Indians, he had left the colony without attempting to do so. On the other hand, the Commissioners reminded the burgesses that it was not right to deprive the Indians of "a mere lech [lick] of luxury" and they admonished those demanding the Indians' utter extirpation to remember that the friendly Indians on the frontier were the best barrier against "the barbarous Savages of the continent" (Berry et al. 1677a, 1677b).

The 1677 Treaty of Middle Plantation

On March 27, 1677, the Commissioners wrote to Secretary of State Henry Coventry that the Kings and Queens of the Nottoways, Nansemonds, Appomattocks and Pamunkeys had met with them, signifying their willingness to conclude a treaty. By the end of April, Herbert Jeffreys, who was appointed to act as lieutenant governor during Governor Berkeley's recall to England, publicly expressed his firm belief that harmonious relations with the nearby Indians were essential to the colony's well-being (Samuel Wiseman's Book of Record; C.O. 5/1355 ff 145-149). Plans also were made for forts or garrisons to be built at the heads of the Potomac, Rappahannock, Mattaponi, and James Rivers so that horse soldiers could maintain surveillance over the Indians (Jeffreys, June 11, 1677; Anonymous [1680]; Hening 1809-1823:II:433-434; C.O. 1/44 f 425).

Soon after Berkeley's departure from Virginia on May 5th, Jeffreys set about concluding a formal peace treaty with several groups of neighboring Indians (Samuel Wiseman's Book of Record; C.O. 1/40 ff 186-187). The King's Commissioners' report states that they "sent to the Queene of Pamunkey who not only came in herself but brought in severall scattered nations of Indians, whome we afterwards reduc'd (as she desired) under her subjection, as anciently they had beene" (C.O. 5/1371 f 365).

As a consequence of the commissioners' efforts, on May 29, 1677, King Charles II's birthday and the anniversary of his restoration to the throne, a major peace agreement was concluded between colonial officials and certain tidewater Indian groups. This landmark document, commonly known as the Treaty of Middle Plantation, ushered in peaceful relations between the colonists and the Indians of Virginia's coastal plain, governing their official interactions for nearly a century. As will be seen, Cockacoeske, Queen of Pamunkey, exerted considerable influence over the treaty's architects, for some of the document's terms were greatly to her advantage.

Herbert Jeffreys, as a Special Commissioner, wrote to the king on June 11, 1677, describing the treaty ceremony and the protocol observed. The new guardhouse at Middle Plantation (later the site of Williamsburg) had been especially fitted out for the occasion. Jeffreys wrote that

silence being Proclaimed, the Articles were openly read before him and the severall Enterpreters sworn to expound each distinct paragraph to them which they openly read to their general satisfaction. Then the Queen of Pamunkey was invited within the Barr of the Court to sign this Treaty on behalf of herself and Severall Nations now reunited under her Subjection and Government as anciently, who (with the rest) subscribed and delivered up the same with the most humble Reverence (as to his Majestie) on her bended knees, all of them publically acknowledging to hold their Crowns and Lands of the Great King of England [C.O. 5/1371 f 365].

This latter sentence is especially significant, for it refers to Article XII of the treaty, which committed several smaller, unspecified Indian nations to Cockacoeske's rule, tangible evidence of her success in manipulating the treaty agreement to her own people's advantage.

Cockacoeske, the Queen of Pamunkey, her young son known as Captain John West (her child by the interim governor John West, deceased in 1659), and several other Native leaders (notably, the King of the Nottoway, the King of the Nansemond, and the Queen of the Weyanoke) came to Middle Plantation, where they "kissed the paper of peace" and endorsed it with their signature marks. Peracuta, the King of the Appomattock, also came to Middle Plantation, intending to sign. However he was turned away because some of his people were accused of murder. The leaders of the Mattaponi, Chickahominy, and Rappahannock did not sign, seemingly because they were among the "scattered nations" united under the Queen of Pamunkey, who signed the treaty on their behalf. Afterward, other Indian tribes, upon hearing about the treaty, reportedly wanted to participate (C.O. 5/1371 f 365).

Herbert Jeffreys concluded his description of the treaty ceremony by saying:

And myself having signed that part (in behalf of his Majestie) to them they all knelt donne and with low obeysance received it, as from his Majestie's Royall hands, at the same tyme (on their onne free accord) kissing the most acceptable paper of peace one after another. Thus being concluded with the day the Field Pieces were discharged several rounds, with volleys of small shot and Fireworks and Loud Acclamations of Joy all over the Camp and so having Quietly Entertained Our Indian ffriends that night, they departed the next day to their several homes, well satisfied with this treaty [C.O. 5/1371 f 365].

Nicholas Spencer, who later became Secretary of the Colony, reported that a few Nanzattico Indians had attended the treaty ceremony, but departed without signing (C.O. 1/40, ff 249-250). Whether or not they were invited to participate is unknown.

A month after Herbert Jeffreys wrote to England informed the king that the treaty had been executed, Sir John Berry and Colonel Francis Moryson, as commissioners, sent word to the Privy Council that "even the remote Indians when they heard of its [the treaty's] justice of their own accord came forward and asked to be included" (Samuel Wiseman's Book of Record). Thus, if the commissioners' report is to be believed, the Natives thought the treaty advantageous.

The Indians, by signing the Treaty of Middle Plantation, acknowledged their allegiance to the Crown and conceded that they derived entitlement to their land from the monarch. One important provision of the 1677 treaty was that "Noe English shall seate or plant nearer than three Miles of any Indian towne and whomever hath made an encroachment upon their Land shall be removed." Another was that signatory tribes were entitled to the protection of the colonial government. All Tributary Indians were to have equal power except the Queen of Pamunkey, who ruled "several scattered nations" (C. O. 1/40 ff 202-203).

Meanwhile, in response to the recommendation that Special Commissioners Berry and Moryson had made to the King when the first treaty was newly available, presents were commissioned for the Indians leaders who had signed the original document. As tangible signs of goodwill and symbols of their rank, crowns and royal robes were to be made for the Queens of the Pamunkeys and the Weyanokes and the Kings of the Nottoways and the Nansemonds, "the Indians accompting guifts a kind of sacred pledge of friendship." But Cockacoeske, the Queen of Pamunkey, "who was robbed of her rich matchcoat by the rebells," was singled out for special recognition (Lord Chamberlain's Accounts in Jewel House Warrant Books, Series I, 1677-1709, January 18, 1677/8; Lord Chamberlain's Papers 5/108, f.8; Lord Chamberlain's Department Wardrobe Accounts, Bill Books, Series I, 1675-1679, November 1679 entry; L.C. 9/275 ff 264vo-265vo).

It was recommended that Cockacoeske receive "a crown and robe, together with a stript [striped] Indian gown of gay colours and a Bracelet of falce stones." For her son, "a scarlett coate belayered with gold and silver lace, with breeches, shoes and stockings, hatt, sword and belt suitable, and a pair of good pistols" were deemed befitting. Bill books of the Lord Chamberlain's Department detail the nature of the gifts that were prepared for the Indian leaders. According to the bills, the tailors and clothmakers used scarlet cloth, lined with purple manto, for Cockacoeske's regal robe, and they also prepared for her a silver and gold brocade Indian gown, lined with cherry-colored sarcenet, a soft silk. They made a scarlet suit for her son, young John West, just as Berry and Moryson had recommended, plus stockings of scarlet worsted, the latter embroidered with black silk thread. A white beaver hat trimmed with a gold and silver band, a finely embroidered belt, and a sword and pistols decorated with gold and silver also were made for him. For the Queen of Pamunkey's interpreter, Cornelius Dabney, a suit of gray cloth was tailored, to be worn with scarlet stockings, and her chief counselor, Seosteyn, received a purple robe lined with scarlet shalloon, a twill-woven woolen. Similar purple robes were prepared for the Queen of the Weyanokes and the Kings of the Nottoways and the Nansemonds, demonstrating that their rank was perceived as equal to that of Cockacoeske's chief counselor but not that of Cockacoeske herself (Lord Chamberlain's Accounts in Jewel House Warrant Books, Series I, 1677-1709, January 18, 1677/8; Lord Chamberlain's Papers 5/108, f.8; Lord Chamberlain's Department Wardrobe Accounts, Bill Books, Series I, 1675-1679, November 1679 entry; L.C. 9/275 ff 264vo-265vo).

Lord Chamberlain's Accounts: Jewel House and Wardrobe).

A cap of crimson velvet trimmed with ermine fur was fashioned for each of the four Indian rulers. Royal Jewel House invoices disclose that English craftsmen made "small crowns or coronets of thinne silver plate, gilt and adorned with false stones of various colours, with the inscription 'A Carolo Secondo Magna Brittaniae Rege'" for the Indian leaders. For the Queen of Pamunkey, the Royal Jewel House also created a bracelet of false stones, just as Berry and Moryson had asked, as well as an undescribed necklace, probably the silver "frontlet" that still survives and traditionally is on display in Jamestown. Twenty small silver badges bearing the king's name and the title of each Tributary Indian leader were prepared (Lord Chamberlain's Accounts in Jewel House Warrant Books, Series I, 1677-1709, January 18, 1677/8; Lord Chamberlain's Papers 5/108, f.8; Lord Chamberlain's Department Wardrobe Accounts, Bill Books, Series I, 1675-1679, November 1679 entry; L.C. 9/275 ff 264vo-265vo).

In the more than three hundred years which have elapsed since King Charles II sent gifts to some of Virginia' Tributary Indian leaders, confusion has arisen over whether the silver ornament or "frontlet" that has been preserved and which is inscribed with the name of King Charles II and the crest of the British monarchy is Cockacoeske's crown or whether it is her necklace, for some nineteenth and early twentieth century writers have called it the Pamunkey crown. It should be remembered, however, that according to Royal Jewel House account books, the crowns prepared for the Queens of Pamunkey and Weyanoke and the Kings of Nottoway and Nansemond were, in fact, adorned with false stones, for their maker submitted a bill "for making new screws and fastening several stones in the crowns," evidence that the coronets were indeed jeweled. Moreover, those crowns were never delivered to the Indian kings and queens, but instead, were lost at sea. In 1689 King Charles II sent instructions to Governor Thomas Culpeper, ordering him "to deliver unto them [the Indian rulers] our Royal Presents." Culpeper later noted in the margin of those instructions that he did "exactly execute all but only the Coronets which by advice of Council there I did not deliver and which were cast away with my goods," a reference to the sinking of the ship transporting his baggage back to England. Thus, the silver frontlet that has survived more than three centuries is likely to be the necklace which Jewel House Warrant Books list as being among the items made for Cockacoeske in England (C.O. 5/1355 ff. 243-245).

In May 1677, when the Treaty of Middle Plantation was signed, a variety of restraints were imposed upon the Indians, measures ostensibly designed to lessen tensions even though frontier settlers continued to have problems with the warlike Indian nations above the fall line. In early August John Berry and Francis Moryson set sail for England, leaving Herbert Jeffreys behind as lieutenant governor. The commissioners brought to England not only the report of their investigation into Bacon's Rebellion but also the original treaty document, which they delivered to the Lords of Trade and Plantations at Whitehall. Lord Baltimore, who had just presented to that body a treaty the Maryland government had concluded with the northern Indians, took exception to the fact that Virginia's peace agreement did not extend its protection to his own colony, whereas Maryland's treaty applied to both Maryland and Virginia.

In October l677 the Lords of Trade and Plantations recommended to the king that Lieutenant Governor Jeffreys be ordered to expand the coverage of Virginia's treaty to include Maryland and his majesty's other colonies. The Privy Council, meanwhile, issued a directive for the document then in hand to be printed and distributed. On January 18, 1678, Secretary Henry Coventry was instructed to order Lieutenant Governor Herbert Jeffreys to expand the Treaty of Middle Plantation, a directive that was carried out sometime between April and June 1680 (C.O. 1/41 f. 222; 5/1355 ff 198-200, 243-245).

The Establishment of Trade Marts

In autumn 1677, the officials of Henrico and a few other counties were authorized to establish marts for trade with the Natives. They were to be in operation for 40 days at a time at specific time of the year and all trade with the Natives was to be conducted there. On February 12, 1678, Henrico County's justices of the peace "nominated the Manakin town (so called) on the south side of the James River to be the place for the faire or mart with the Indians." The Henrico County trade mart was discontinued in 1680 and the forts were abandoned in December 1682. In Isle of Wight County there was to be a trade mart at the county courthouse; it was the official one for the south side of the James River, near Hampton Roads. On the York River, the justices of the New Kent County court were authorized to decide where the trade mart should be. The justices of Lancaster County were to determine where the Rappahannock River trade mart should be and it was left to Stafford County's justices to fix the location of the mart for the Potomac River. On the Eastern Shore centers for trade were to be established in both Northampton and Accomac Counties. The governor had the right to appoint a clerk for each trade mart. [13] Meanwhile, the trajectory of what had become the traditional boundary line on the south side of the James River between the colonists and the Indians was reaffirmed Henrico County Wills, Deeds, Etc. 1677-1692: Book I; Hening 1809-1823:II:410, 432-440, 480).

13No records of the transactions that occurred at these trade marts seem to have been entered into local court records.

Expansion of the 1677 Treaty

By 1680 several more Native leaders had signed an expanded version of the original treaty. The second treaty agreement, also called the Treaty of Middle Plantation and dated May 29, 1677, contained 22 articles, not 21, its extra article extending treaty coverage to Maryland. The enlarged treaty was endorsed not only by the original signatories of the earlier document, but also by Mastegonoe, the King of the Saponi, and Tachapoake, their chief man; Shurenough, the King of the Manakin; Vnuntsquero, the chief man of the Meherrin, and Horehannah, their next chief man; Pattanochus, who signed as King of the Nanzattico, Nansemond [14] and Portobago; and Peracuta, the King of the Appomattock. It should be noted that although the Appomattock had not invited to sign the May 29, 1677, peace treaty because of some accusations against them, in 1680 when the treaty was expanded to include several more Native groups, the Appomattock king signed on his people's behalf (Anonymous 1680; C. O. 1/40 ff 202-203; Hening, Statutes, II, pp.275-277; McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:4.). Conspicuously absent were the Rappahannock, Chickahominy, Mattaponi, and Totachus, probably because they were among the groups then united under the Queen of Pamunkey.

14The Nansemond mentioned with the Nanzattico and Portobago were a Rappahannock River group and should not be confused with the Nansemond living on the south side of the James River.

In June 1680 Governor Thomas Culpeper arrived in Virginia, to succeed Herbert Jeffreys, deceased in December 1678. As noted above, among Culpeper's instructions were orders to deliver the king's gifts to the Indian rulers who had signed the Treaty of Middle Plantation. The Executive Council, however, persuaded him not to do so, particularly objecting to the crowns, for they felt that jealousy and discord would result if some Tributary Indian leaders were to receive gifts and others did not. This indicates that by the time the gifts had been brought to the colony, the treaty had been expanded, for when the original agreement was amended, to include Maryland within its protection; it was signed by twelve Indian leaders rather than five, who represented seven Indian groups, rather than four. Besides, the Council asserted, "such Marks of Dignity as Coronets...must not be prostituted to such meane [inconsequential] persons." As noted previously, Culpeper's ship carrying the crowns was lost at sea (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:4).

In May 1679 the king issued an order for the equipment of 200 dragoons or armed horsemen who were to be sent to Virginia to assist the governor in suppressing Indian hostilities. Then, in December 1679 the assembly decided to establish garrisons at the heads of each of the colony's four major rivers (Hening 1809-1823:II:433-434). Unlike the useless forts of 1676, these garrisons were to serve as bases from which armed horsemen could range through the countryside, maintaining a watch over the frontiers. They were supposed to prevent Indian incursions and to protect frontier settlers, for it was felt that the 1677 treaty was being violated frequently. Officials even suspected that some Tributary Indians were committing violent acts under the guise of "foreign Indians." Again, passage in and out of the colonized area was regulated, surveillance maintained, and admission denied to outlying, non-Tributary tribes. The northernmost of the 1679 forts was to be built on the Potomac River near Occoquan. The garrison on the Mattaponi River, known as Fort Mattaponi, was on the upper side of the river. It was across the river and downstream from the site at which a fort had been built in 1676. On the Rappahannock, the site upon which a fort had been built in 1676 was developed into the base of a garrison in 1679. The fourth fort was to be built on the south side of the James River, above Captain William Byrd's property at the falls. Each of the fortifications was to include a strongly built storehouse (22 feet by 60 feet) and a 10 foot square magazine. A detailed list of the tools and provisions to be furnished to each garrison was made by the assembly and each county was to supply men and horses. Four neighboring Indians were to be assigned to each garrison as guides. Tributary Indians encountering solders ranging in the woods were urged not to flee or make opposition, so that they would not be mistaken for adversaries. Residents of the south side of the James River and the Eastern Shore were given the right of erecting garrisons, if they felt it advisable. This final series of forts was abandoned in November 1682 (Hening 1809-1823:II:433-434, 439; II:449-453).

Governor Thomas Culpeper (1677 - 1683)

The Treaty Sparks Controversy

Despite the optimism sparked by the consummation of the Treaty of Middle Plantation, colonial officials quickly discovered that it was not the panacea for enduring peace and friendship that its proponents had purported it to be. In reality, the Treaty of Middle Plantation provided the Natives with very little protection from land-hungry settlers. Moreover, sporadic outbreaks of violence continued to plague the colony's frontiers. To make matters worse, some of the Tributary Indian groups were threatened by non-tributary tribes. A few Virginia officials claimed that the treaty was of little real value and that it had created more problems than it had solved.

Only a year after the first version of the May 1677 treaty was signed, the Pamunkey Indians' interpreter made a formal complaint about the Senecas, who posed a threat to the Pamunkeys. Also, the Iroquois, who were described as "a very powerful Northern Nation" living in the interior of the continent, had descended to the heads of the colony's rivers. To further complicate matters, the Tributary tribes often quarreled among themselves and took their disagreements to court, a privilege to which they were entitled under the 1677 treaty (C. O. 1/42 ff 177, 276-277; Ludwell, January 30, 1678).

Two of the treaty's articles proved to be particularly troublesome to Indians and colonists alike, at least one of which, Article XII, bore the mark of Cockacoeske's influence. Article XII specified that

each Indian King and Queen have equall power to govern their owne people and none to have greater power than other except the Queen of Pamunkey to whom several scattered Indian Nations doe now againe owne their antient subjection, and are agreed to come in and plant themselves under her power . . . and are to keep and observe the same towards the said Queen in all things as her Subjects, as well as toward the English.

Article XVIII, on the other hand, stated that "upon any discord or breach of peace happening to arise between any of the Indians in amity with the English . . . they shall repaire to his Majesties Governor by whose Justice and wisdome it is concluded such difference shall be made up and decided" (Anonymous 1680; Hening 1809-1823:II:275-277). Thus, several of the Tributary Indian groups were to be placed under the rule of the Pamunkeys and all of the tributaries were to resolve their differences through arbitration before the governor.

Correspondence between officials in Virginia and England discloses that Cockacoeske attempted to enforce the terms of Article XII by exacting tribute and servility from the tribes placed under her subjection, in sum, trying to reestablish the chiefly dominance enjoyed by the Pamunkey leaders prior to Opechancanough's death. Though the identity of the Indian groups placed under Cockacoeske's charge is not set forth in either version of the 1677 treaty, the omission of the names of certain prominent tidewater Virginia Indian groups from the list of treaty signatories provides a clue to their identity, especially when viewed in light of the relative propinquity of these groups to the Pamunkey homeland.

Tensions Among the Tributary Tribes

Contemporary correspondence identifies the Chickahominys and Rappahannocks as two of the groups subjugated to the Pamunkey leadership and mention is made of a third Indian nation, perhaps the Mattaponys or Totachus, both of whom, at the time of the 1669 census, were residing in New Kent County, where the Pamunkeys also lived. Another tribe, the Chiskiacks, who at the time of the census were few in number and said to be steadily dwindling, also may have been made subservient to Cockacoeske, though in 1677 they were living in Gloucester County, their home at least since 1629. [15] Some or all of these groups likely comprised the "several scattered nations" subjected to the Queen of Pamunkey's leadership.

15Documentary evidence reveals that the Chiskiack survived until at least August 1677, at which time they were granted the right to conduct trade in Gloucester County, where they lived (Hening 1809-1823:II:411).

Even before the second version of the 1677 treaty had been signed, Virginia officials realized that some of the Indians placed under Cockacoeske's rule, notably the Chickahominys and Rappahannocks, strongly resented the attempt to force their subservience and stubbornly refused to cooperate with her, claiming that they had not intended such subjection by subscribing to the peace treaty. In a list of grievances presented by the Queen of Pamunkey and her son, Captain John West, to the governor and his council on June 5, 1678, Cockacoeske alleged that the Chickahominys were unwilling to pay tribute, obey her orders, or to make her village their home. She said that at "ye Chickahomineys first coming in they desired . . . that they might have Liberty to plant Corne at their Olde Towne" but promised to build at her town. She also accused the Chickahominy of harboring her son's wife, who had run away. Great mutual enmity is apparent in the nine grievances, for the Chickahominys were accused of poisoning one of Cockacoeske's great men and plotting revenge upon eight more, whereas she herself was alleged by the Chickahominys to have "cutt off soe many Chickahominy heads." A prior tradition of close interaction between the two Indian groups is suggested by the fact that the absconded wife of Cockacoeske's son, Captain West, had been "bred and born at Chickahominy though her Parents were Pamunkeys" (C.O. 1/42 f 177).

At the end of June, Cockacoeske described the state of affairs to Francis Moryson in a letter that she dictated to her interpreter. In elegant and courtly language, Cockacoeske professed her loyalty to King Charles II but expressed her dissatisfaction with the Rappahannocks and Chickahominys, "who are very disobedient to my commands." In a politically savvy move, however, she qualified her complaint by assuring Moryson that it was "not that they grudge to be under my subjection" (C.O. 1/42 f 276).

The affection and esteem in which Cockacoeske held Colonel Moryson is evidenced by her addressing him twice as "Netop," an Algonquian word William Strachey's dictionary translates as meaning "my good friend." At the close of the letter, within the words "Cockacoeske Queen of Pamunkey," she affixed her mark, signifying the communication's authenticity, the same W-like symbol with which she had previously endorsed both versions of the 1677 treaty.

The Pamunkeys' interpreter, Cornelius Dabney, also dispatched a personal letter to Colonel Moryson on the same day, corroborating Cockacoeske's allegations against the Chickahominys. He alluded to his own misunderstandings with the current governor and other officials, blaming his problems on the malice of the Chickahominy Indians' interpreter, Richard Yarborough, who, Dabney claimed, was attempting to undermine peaceful relations with the Tributary Indians by his manipulation of various government officials. This allegation, if true, suggests that the Chickahominy (or at least their interpreter) undertook political maneuvering. Dabney declared his intention of resigning as interpreter, when the Virginia Assembly next met.

It should be recalled that prior to the signing of the treaty, commissioners Berry and Moryson wrote a letter stating that certain Indian tribes had been placed under the Queen of Pamunkey's aegis, "reduced (as she desired) under her Subjection, as anceintly they had beene," clearly revealing that Article XII was Cockacoeske's idea. She may also have had a hand in the formulation of Article XVIII, believing that colonial officials, with whom she was acquainted, might weigh justice in her favor. Moreover, the Virginia government's obligation to protect the Tributary Indians, as recipients of English justice, surely would have been perceived as an advantage, given the Natives' diminished strength.

Interestingly, the prose used by Cornelius Dabney when writing on Cockacoeske's behalf, contrasts markedly with the tone of the letter he sent personally. When acting as the Queen of Pamunkey's interpreter, he addressed Moryson as a friend and equal, whereas when writing on his own behalf, he expressed himself with humility and in far simpler language, displaying great deference to Moryson's superior social position. Dabney's letter acknowledges the plight of the Tributary Indians who were caught between the colonists' spreading settlement and hostile outlying tribes, for in response to Moryson's request for an elk, he replied that the "Senecas having put our Indians into a feare, dare not go so high to hunt" (C. O. 1/40 ff 277-278).

Official records reveal that the Tributaries called upon the Virginia government for protection several times during the late seventeenth century and also asked the government to arbitrate disputes. Article XVIII impaled them upon the horns of a dilemma, for in siding with one tribe they automatically alienated another. One man, who failed to sign the letter he wrote to an English official about Virginia's Indians, commented that warring among the Indians might "bring on great disorders if not another rebellion amongst us." Ludwell noted that not only was the Virginia government obliged to settle quarrels among the Tributary Indians, but to protect them against warring tribes, something he also found vexing. "Now," Ludwell argued, "we have a warr with those Irachors [Iroquois] but our Indians have not, because the treaty with them at Fort Albany was ordered before our peace was concluded there" (Ludwell, June 8, 1678; August 3, 1678).

There are several reasons why Cockacoeske would have been able to exert some influence on colonial officials and work within their political system. During the approximately thirty years she ruled as Queen of Pamunkey, she maintained close ties with the English government, representing her people in an official capacity. Cockacoeske's period of leadership, which began more than twenty years before Bacon's Rebellion, would have spanned Francis Moryson's term as deputy governor, March 1661 to December 1661, at which time Governor William Berkeley was in England. Thus, she would have had an opportunity to establish rapport with Moryson himself, a distinct advantage when he returned to Virginia as a Special Commissioner of the King. Moreover, Cockacoeske's romantic liaison with councilor and interim governor John West, a supporter of Governor Berkeley, may have furthered her insight into the machinations of colonial politics, and the presence of their son as a future go-between may have given her an added measure of influence. The account of Cockacoeske's June 1676 appearance before the Committee on Indian Affairs reveals that she was a person of imposing dignity and that she understood the English language. Cockacoeske's appreciation of European goods is evidenced by her possession of "pieces of Lynnen, Broad cloth, and divers sorts of English goods wch the Queene had much value for" when Nathaniel Bacon's men raided her encampment. But there are equally strong indications that Cockacoeske remained true to her Native cultural traditions.

The colony's secretary, Thomas Ludwell, in writing home to England before the second version of the treaty had been signed, claimed that the peace agreement, by reuniting several Indian groups under the Queen of Pamunkey's leadership, had created turmoil. He explained that because

. . . several Indian nations again are united under that family...though we are confident the Queen of Pamunkey not mistreats or harms, yet most of the young men of the several townes being dissatisfied, is contemptible at their new subjection to that Queen wch they say was consented to by . . . old men against their [the younger men's] wills.

He noted that these young warriors "doe lie off in hiding in the woods and will not come in. . . . To grant them their former liberty, the Queen will take it as a breach of the peace and we cannot force them to her obedience but by hazarding another warr wch would bring on great Disorders if not another Rebellion amongst us" (Ludwell, January 30, 1678).

Ludwell recalled that

upon Governor William Berkeley's conquest of Apechancanough it was by him and the government thought the safest way by setting all the lesser nations at Liberty from that obedience they paid to the house of Pamunkey to keep them divided and indeed the effect may be more advantageous to us for they like to warr with each other and destroy themselves more in a year than we can do it.

But, Ludwell said, "since this last war there are severall nations again united under that family which we since find to be troublesome and hazardous." In another letter he declared:

I could heartily wish those two Articles concerning that subjection and ye making us judges of their differences had been left out, for I never thought it in the interest of this Colony to hinder them from cutting each others throats so we had no hand in it and its plain that upon the conquest of Appechancaenoe and the setting all the tributary nations to that house at Liberty they have weakened themselves more by their Intestine Broyls than ever we could doe by all the Warrs wee have had with them [Ludwell, June 8, 1678].

The resentment generated by placing under the Queen of Pamunkey's dominance certain Indian nations that had been independent since the ca. 1646 death of Opechancanough was very much apparent during the summer of 1678. Thomas Ludwell wrote on June 8th that

. . . we had at last Court a great contest between the Queen of Pamunkey and a nation which lives neer her whom she takes amongst others to be subjected to her by the last articles of peace . . . upon whom she had imposed a great tax to be paid every Spring and Fall besides great servility in hunting and weeding of corn which they refused to perform.

He added that the group claimed "they had never paid it [tribute] since the death of Appechancano, which is about 33 years since and that they intended no such subjection by those articles" (Ludwell, June 8, 1678).

Similarly, Ludwell informed Secretary Coventry on June 28, 1678 that "the Queen [of Pamunkey] lays a great tax to be paid every spring and fall upon a nation who lives near her and are more powerful than she and they not only deny to pay that tax but any such Subjection to her." He added that the Queen "was fair to confess they had not paid such tax above these 30 years." In August 1678 Ludwell reiterated that point, stating that the Queen of Pamunkey was "imposing a tribute upon them such as they never paid these 33 years since the conquest of Appochankeno" (Ludwell, August 8, 1678). Thus, Article XII of the treaty, which bound the Indians subjected to the Queen of Pamunkey to pay her tribute comparable to what she herself paid to the colonial government, was an overt attempt by Cockacoeske to re-establish the Powhatans' old tributary system.

Though relatively little is known about the immediate fate of the Indian groups that Article XII of the treaty attempted to reunite under the Queen of Pamunkey, government records suggest that the Chickahominys and the Rappahannocks retained their independence, though they continued to uphold their groups' commitment to the treaty itself. The Chickahominys continued to reside in a village on the Mattaponi River until at least the first decade of the eighteenth century, an indication that they did not yield to the commands of Cockacoeske to seat at the Pamunkey town.

The allocation of separate tracts of land to the Pamunkeys and Chickahominys during this period further implies that they continued to remain separate entities. The Rappahannocks also appear to have retained their independence, for throughout the last quarter of the seventeenth century they are mentioned, separately, by name and are documented as residing in the York-Rappahannock peninsula, having removed themselves from the Pamunkeys' territory. Cockacoeske, meanwhile, continued to lead her own people while residing in Pamunkey Neck, the land mass lying between the Pamunkey and Mattaponi rivers that had been the traditional home of her people.

On July l, 1686, the Pamunkeys' interpreter, George Smith, informed the Governor that the Pamunkey Queen "was lately dead and that ye Pamunkey Indians did desire that ye late Queen's niece . . . upon [whom] ye right of Government of that Indian nation doe devolve, might succeed." Virginia's governor might have expected to see the succession pass to the Queen's own half-English son, but traditional ideas of inheritance still prevailed among the Pamunkeys. In 1702 the name of "Ms. Betty Queen ye Queen" of the Pamunkey Indians was mentioned in a land transaction and by 1708, that of Queen Ann began appearing in official documents. During the first quarter of the eighteenth century, Queen Ann of the Pamunkeys presented a number of petitions to the governor's council and the assembly, continuing Cockacoeske's policy of working within the framework of the colony's laws (Des Cognets 1958:57; Palmer 1968:I:184-185). But the Pamunkeys never again attempted to reestablish their dominance over the Indians of Virginia's coastal plain.

In 1688 the Rev. John Clayton, a naturalist and rector of the church at Jamestown, said that, "The Indians have not yet learnt to ride, only the King of Pomonkie had got three or four Horses for his own Saddle and an Attendant, which I think should in no wise be indulged, for I look on allowing them Horses much more dangerous than even Guns and Powder (Force 1963:III:12:35). Clayton may have been speaking of Cockacoeske's son and assumed that he had succeeded his mother. In other writings, the Rev. Clayton spoke of the Natives appreciatively and mentioned skill in making pots and pipes.

Non-Christian Servants Declared Slaves

In November 1682 the Virginia assembly enacted legislation specifying that

. . . all servants except Turks and Moores . . . whether Negroes, Moors, Mollattoes or Indians, who and whose parentage and Native country are not Christian at the time of their first purchase of such servant by some Christian, although afterwards, and before such their importation and bringing into this country they shall be converted to the Christian faith; and all Indians which shall hereafter be sold by our neighbouring Indians, or any other trafiqueing with us as for slaves are hereby adjudged, deemed and taken to be slaves to all intents and purposes, any law, usage or custom to the countrary [Hening 1809-1823:II:491-492]

Thus, all who were sold as slaves were considered slaves, whether or not they had been converted to Christianity. Moreover, Indians and other non-whites were considered slaves if they had been imported or sold as such. The new law also declared that Indian maid servants who were age 16 or older were considered tithables, i.e., they were considered taxable personal property.

Conditions on the Frontier

Government officials generally agreed that the forts on the heads of the colony's rivers in 1679 were useful. The burgesses informed incoming governor Thomas Lord Culpeper that "the Indians are still murdering the inhabitants, notwithstanding the treaty," and that new forts and garrisons had to be organized. Secretary of the Colony Nicholas Spencer sent word to England in July 1680 that the Indians were then peaceful, but he proffered that "our Garrisons at the heads of the Rivers conduce much being a continual check upon them," each fort having 20 horsemen in readiness at all times. In August 1680 he reported that the Indians were then at peace (McCartney 1985:72; C. O. 1/45 f 284).

However, within two years the governing officials changed their minds about the usefulness of the forts. In December 1682, the garrisons at the heads of the colony's four major rivers were discontinued, as the assembly felt that "the apprehensions of danger from the insurrections of certain Indian enemies . . . [had] for the most part removed by peace concluded with those Indians." Also, it was generally acknowledged that the cost of maintaining the forts was prohibitive. It was then decided that having horse soldiers range throughout the countryside was a practical and more cost effective way of maintaining peace. The burgesses agreed that the need for fortifications had been lessened somewhat on account of a recent treaty with some of the so-called "enemy" Indians, probably the peace agreement made by Sir Edmund Andros at Fort Albany in 1680 on behalf of Virginia and Maryland (Hening 1809-1823:II:498-499; McIlwaine 1918:111, 199, 202-204, 239).

As the seventeenth century drew to a close, the relationship between the Indians and the Virginia colonists continued to vacillate. Hostile Indians, particularly the Senecas, frequented the frontiers and in November 1683 reportedly attacked an Indian town on the Mattaponi River as well as the Rappahannock or Chickahominy Indian fort (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:53). As a consequence, in April and May 1684 payment was made for corn, beef and other provisions delivered for the relief of the Chickahominy and Rappahannock Indians (McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1660-1693:225, 256). Attacks upon Tributary Indians, committed by outlying tribes, let the governor's council to recommend to the Rappahannock and Nanzattico Indians that they unite for their mutual protection and proceed to the Nanzatticos' town or to the Rappahannocks' new fort. However, in 1685, a new treaty that succeeded in lessening tensions was concluded at Fort Albany between the Five Nations and Virginia Indians (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:53-54, 71; Palmer 1968:I:17; Stanard 1911).

During the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, competition over Indian land with Pamunkey Neck and on the lower side of the Blackwater River continued to cause problems, particularly during period that both areas were closed to patenting. Although government officials publicly supported the 1677 treaty and refused to issue patents within tracts allocated to the Indians, they openly declared that the Natives were "a people of no faith or credit who at their Pleasure may cut off a Family and pretend it was done by Strange Indians" (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:136).

Throughout this period, county militia and horse soldiers patrolled the forest as a means of keeping peace. Each foot soldier was equipped with a musket, bandoliers, and a belt, and each horseman was to have a breast plate, crupper, carbine, pistol and sword, as well as a horse complete with saddle and bridle. Parties of rangers were to be accompanied by one or more Tributary Indians, who were paid as guides. Compensation due an Indian guide for his services was considerably less than the amount paid for the rental of the horse he used, a telling social comment. Tributary Indians were encouraged to act as informants, though giving false information was punishable under the law. The practice of keeping rangers at the heads of the major rivers continued until around 1712-1714, when Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood proposed the construction of Forts Christanna and Germanna as a substitute and more economical means of protecting the frontiers (McIlwaine 1918:111, 199, 202-204, 239, 546, 565; Palmer 1968:I:32, 36, 92).

Meanwhile, the Pamunkeys and other Native groups sold portions of their tribal land to planters, which also confused the issue of property ownership. Some settlers wrongfully tried to take up acreage in Pamunkey Neck, with the result that the Pamunkeys (like the Chickahominys) were subjected to illegal attempts to patent or lease their land. The 1693 allocation of 10,000 acres of Pamunkey Neck land as an endowment for the College of William and Mary increased tensions to the point that when a surveyor tried to lay out the college tract, his markers were uprooted several times and his chain was broken. On the lower side of the James, 10,000 acres were to be laid out on the south side of the Blackwater Swamp. Significantly, the territory from which the college's charter lands were to be carved lay within an area reserved to the Natives occupation, property "not yet legally possessed by any of his Majesty's subjects" (McIlwaine 1905-1915:1660-1693:115; 1924:370; 1925-1945:I:204, 304; Palmer 1968:105; Nugent 1969-1979:III:36, 56-57, 63, 123; Hartwell et al. 1940:71).

The population of Virginia's Tributary Indians continued to dwindle during the 1680s. They not only suffered from loss of their subsistence habitat, they also had problems with the Senecas, Susquehannocks and Iroquois who reportedly made incursions into the colony. In March l682 Lord Baltimore informed Virginia officials that Northern Indians headed their way to fight with the Pamunkeys and the Nanzatticos of the Rappahannock River (Sainsbury et al. 1964:5:437). Only a year earlier, Baltimore had accused the Nanzattico of committing a murder in his colony, while there on a trading mission. But Thomas Ludwell, usually a harsh critic of Virginia's Indians, countered Baltimore's charge by insisting that the Nanzattico had been 70 miles from the scene of the crime and therefore could not have committed it (Sainsbury et al. 1964:5:184). In October, however, the governor of Maryland requested the extradition of Nehemin, a Nanzattico who stood accused of killing someone at Point Lookout. The Virginia Council responded by ordering the secretary of the colony, to investigate the crime and if he deemed it appropriate, to send Nehemin to Maryland (Sainsbury et al. 1964:5:93-94).

Governor Francis Howard (1683-1692)

Impact Upon Native Lands

By 1685 Virginia colonists' demands to enter and seat upon the land beyond the Blackwater River increased to the point that the House of Burgesses asserted that the boundaries established by treaty in 1646 really were only marching or processioning bounds, not a line defining the Indians' property. Ironically, only 30 years earlier, Natives crossing those so-called "marching bounds" could be lawfully executed (McIlwaine 1918:80-81; Hening 1809-1823:I:416).

During the winter of 1686, a Frenchman named Durand de Dauphine, who was visiting Ralph Wormeley, accompanied him on a trip to his Portobago and Nanzattico plantations. When Dauphine visited the Nanzattico area, he "counted 8 or 9 houses that Monsieur Wormeley had built on his estates or plantations. . . . I noticed also that about two-thirds of the lands were wooded, the other meadows which were . . . the plantations that belonged to the savages five or six years ago." Wormeley and his guest were greeted warmly by Indians, who presented them with gifts. Dauphine observed that the Natives' village could be seen on the opposite (i.e., south) side of the river, which site the two men visited the following day (Dauphine 1934:153). Thus, Ralph Wormeley's property at Nanzattico, on the opposite side of the Rappahannock, appears to have been vacated by the Indians in ca. 1680-1681, a few years after Wormeley acquired it. At Wormeley's death his landholdings were distributed among his legal heirs in a complex series of transactions.

On May 1, 1688, Virginia's governing officials asked the king for permission to issue patents for vacant Indian land in Pamunkey Neck and on the south side of the James River, at Blackwater Swamp. The councillors noted that in former times large quantities of land had been laid out for the benefit of the "very considerable nations of Indians, Consisting of great Numbers, but are now wasted and dwindled away, however doe [still] hold and possess [it] by which means those parts of the Countrey lyes open to the Foreign Indians." They claimed that the Tributary Indians had asked them to allow settlers to seat upon their land to prevent foreign Indians from invading. They also alleged that the Indians had found that "Such large Tracts of Land are of noe benefit nor use unto them" and had asked the governor to admit settlers to their property. In July 1690 the Council again asked the king for the right to permit patenting of vacant Indian lands. They repeated their request a few years later. Meanwhile, planters regularly asked the assembly for the right to patent land within the prohibited territory. However, surveyors were ordered not to lay out property within Pamunkey Neck and occasionally, the government evicted settlers from Native land. For example, in 1690 a man who had purchased 1,200 acres from the Pamunkey Indians and built a tobacco house upon it was ordered to burn the structure and surrender his patent. Simultaneously, some people who had seated themselves upon the Chickahominy Indians' land in Pamunkey Neck also were ordered to leave (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:71, 94, 130, 284; 1905-1915:1660-1693:125, 386, 431, 433).

In 1689 the chief rulers of "the distressed remnant of the Chickahominy Indians," whose town was near the head of the Mattaponi River, asked the government's permission to move to Richahock, a tract on the north side of the river and several miles downstream from where they were. The Indian leaders indicated that they had acquired Richahock from a colonist in exchange for their own acreage and said that problems with hostile Senecas had force them to take refuge with the Pamunkeys (Palmer 1968:I:22). Official consent apparently was forthcoming, for in October 1694 the Chickahominys, who were at Richahock, again asked permission to move. This time, they wanted to go to Quaynohomock, land that reportedly had belonged to them earlier on. They indicated that they were unable to subsist where they were. The Indians' request was referred to the justices of the county court (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:320; Nugent 1969-1979:I:298-299).

It appears that the Chickahominy never recovered Quaynohomock, for in 1697 they were living several miles upstream, near the Herring Creeks. They were still there in 1698 when Quaker missionary Thomas Story paid them a visit and attempted to discuss religion. Story said that their town was "on the side of the River Mattapony" and he indicated that "it consists of about eleven Wigwams, or Houses, made of the Bark of Trees, and contained so many Families." He indicated that he was "directed to their Sagamor, or Chief; and when we went to his Door, he came out with a Piece of Cloth about his Middle, but otherwise all naked." Thomas Story indicated that one of the Indians he met could speak some English (Story 1747:162).

Lieutenant Governor Francis Nicholson (1690-1692)

Affirmation of Boundary Lines

In 1691, as settlement became more dense on the south side of the James River, formal survey lines were run from the head of the southern branches of the Blackwater River to the upper part of the old Appomattox Town. The boundary line was clearly marked and the assembly enacted legislation that voided the patent of any planter who had attempted to settle beyond that line. Rangers were ordered to patrol the forest as a means of keeping peace. In 1693 the justices of Surry County's monthly court were ordered to assign special markings for the hogs of the Nottoway and Weyanoke Indians, an indication of the Natives' and colonists' propinquity. In 1694, the 1662 law requiring Indians to wear copper or silver badges was repealed. However, the restrictive policy was reinstated in 1711 (Hening 1808-1823:III:85, 109; Stanard 1902b). A copper badge labeled "King of Appomattock," which was recovered in Dinwiddie County during the early 20th century, may have been one of the insignia given to Virginia's tributary tribes. By 1705 the Appomattock reportedly were residing in Colonel William Byrd's pasture in Charles City County. Later, the tribe seemingly faded from view (Beverley 1947:232).

The Consequences of Propinquity

The documentary record indicates that conflict over trade flared frequently. In 1680 Secretary Nicholas Spencer blamed unscrupulous traders for much of the ill-feeling between Indians and colonists, a contention that was still being asserted 30 years later when Lieutenant Governor Spotswood argued for the establishment of the Virginia Indian Company at Fort Christanna (Spotswood 1882-1885:II:99). The employment of Indian servants in settlers' homes, a practice regulated by law, also generated some ill-feeling, for the loss of workers from the already dwindling Indian communities at times brought protests from the Natives (McCartney 1985:74; McIlwaine 1918:81, 287; Hening 1809-1823:II:143). In time, the Native population gradually was forced to yield its land to the burgeoning number of colonists. The records of Henrico County demonstrate clearly that during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, many settlers had Indian servants and that there was a considerable amount of trade with the Natives who lived beyond the official boundary line separating them from the colonists. But there also is evidence that the stronger, more warlike tribes who lived above the fall line continued to prey upon the frontier settlers and Tributary Indian tribes, which were relatively weak and unable to protect themselves (Henrico County Wills, Deeds, 1688-1697: Book V:171, 532-535).

In 1691 Daniel Pugh, a settler in Nansemond County (present-day city of Suffolk), abducted four Tuscarora Indians and sold them as slaves in the West Indies, action for which government officials attempted to prosecute him. Making use of the legal system, eight or ten Tuscarora great men and a Meherrin testified about the event and one witness said that the missing men had been transported to Barbados. However, in 1705 the Virginia government did the same thing in order to get rid of some people they considered troublemakers. They transported the males of the Nanzattico Indian tribe to Antigua in reprisal for a crime committed by seven men who already had been tried and executed (McIlwaine 1918:147, 425; 1925-1945:I:384) (see ahead). Sometimes, however, the Natives did the kidnapping. In July 1692 William Byrd II testified in court that an African woman and mulatto boy had been abducted from his plantation by "strange Indians" (usually a term applied to Natives who had not signed a peace treaty with the Virginia government). Byrd added that the people taken from him were sold in Philadelphia (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:262).

Governor Edmund Andros (1692 -1698)

The College Land: Vast Tracts of Native Territory

Restrictions upon patenting land in Pamunkey Neck and along the Blackwater River were supposed to be in effect through April 20, 1696, although the College had the right to survey and claim land there. The interpreters assigned to various Native groups were ordered to determine their population and how much land they had. On April 13, 1696, the governor learned that despite the prohibition on patenting land in Pamunkey Neck, "some persons have obtained patents for land in ye said places before the College land [was] laid out, to the prejudice of his Majesty's said grant." Therefore, several individuals' patents for large tracts, containing literally thousands of acres of land, were called in and "surrendered to King William." However, those patentees were given other land. The restrictions on patenting Pamunkey Neck and Blackwater land were continued through June 20, 1697, the date to which King William and Queen Mary wanted the moratorium extended (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:338, 351; Nugent 1969-1979:III:1, 11-12).

When the Council convened on November 1, 1697, it was learned that the College of William and Mary still had not laid out its charter land. Certain councillors, who also were trustees of the college, indicated that the Indian interpreters ordered to determine the size of the Native population and the extent of their land had failed to do so. In June 1699 the Queen of the Pamunkey Indians and several of the tribe's great men presented a petition to the Committee on Claims. They alleged that Ralph Wormeley (a councillor) and others had surveyed and laid off land within the area allocated exclusively to their use. They also said that some of the acreage Wormeley claimed lay within a mile of their town. The Pamunkeys claimed that the settlers' entry into their territory would force them to relocate and they reminded Committee members that the 1677 treaty specified that no English were supposed to seat themselves within three miles of their town. The Indians requested a patent for their land, a document that had been promised to them by the 1677 treaty, astutely pointing out that a clause in the treaty stated that "a Patent should be granted to them as is usually to his Maj'ties Subjects." They added that "which Patent tho' often desired by the said Indians was never yet obtained." The Claims Committee, while acknowledging that the 1677 treaty should be upheld, stated that they deemed it in the king's best interest to permit the patenting of vacant land in Pamunkey Neck. They endorsed the 99 year leases the Pamunkeys had given to 8 people and recommended that leases be given to 36 other individuals as soon as it became legally possible. Almost immediately, prospective patentees submitted requests for literally thousands of acres of land (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:41; II:94-95; Nugent 1969-1979:III:35-92; DesCognet 1958:57, 59-63).

In 1700 the Lords of Trade and Plantations informed Virginia's governing officials that the 1677 treaty was to be upheld. However, the Claims Committee was told that those holding legitimate patents could have "all the land they had actually planted." Some people settled within the Natives' territory, contrary to law, and were threatened with prosecution. In 1706, both Pamunkey Neck and the Blackwater River area were opened to patenting, at which time numerous claims were recorded (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:119; II:94-95).

Governor Francis Nicholson (1698 — 1705)

The Chickahominy Make a Claim

In June 1699 Drammaocho, a munguy or chief ruler of the Chickahominy Indians, asked that "severall lands in Pamunkey Neck should, by the Articles of Peace, May 1677, belong to them and that any sales or leases they had made of these lands should be confirmed. The assembly's Committee on Claims determined, however, that only land within three miles of the Chickahominy Indians' town was theirs and that any sales or leases they had made were null and void. Even so, the Chickahominys did have the right to all acreage they had acquired through outright purchases (DesCognets 1958:66). In September 1701 the Chickahominys were granted the land between the two Herring Creeks and fronting on the Mattaponi River. It was noted that the land had been assigned to them at the time of the 1677 treaty and that it included the property they had been occupying at the time the peace agreement was signed (McIlwaine 1905-1915:1695-1702).

Other Native Groups Express Their Concerns

In April 1699 the Occahannock, the Nansemond, and the Nottoway presented petitions to the governor, expressing their concern about settlers moving into the territory that had been reserved to the Indians' use. The Occahannock said that they had been ill treated and had been reduced to "very great poverty." The Nansemond indicated that they had learned that colonists intended to seat their old town, which was located between the Blackwater and Nottoway Rivers and feared that they would anger their English neighbors by hunting near their livestock. The Nottoway said that the Tuscarora Indians often entered the territory at the head of the Appomattox River. As they had been furnished with guns, powder and shot, they had depleted the Nottoway Indians' land of its game. The Nottoway also complained that the Tuscarora sometimes gambled with their trade goods and when they lost, claimed that the Nottoway had taken them by force (Palmer 1968:I:64).

Problems Among Neighbors

Surry County court records document the fact that Indians occasionally ran afoul of the law by killing settlers' hogs. It is not surprising that the Indians asserted that they were hunting and the colonists, that they were hog-stealing. In 1671, when the Cappahunek Indians killed two of Christopher Holiman's hogs, their great man, Captain Pipscoe, was obliged to pay Holiman a dozen well dressed deerskins. Some of the colonists who lived within the territory along the Blackwater River complained that the Warnoake (Weyanoke) Indians were killing and driving away their hogs. The Indians were ordered to kill or bring in their dogs, which were thought responsible for the problems that had occurred. Sometimes, one group of Natives blamed another. For example, the Weyanoke Indians and some colonists appeared before the justices of the Surry County court, where they testified that it was the Nottoway Indians who were killing hogs. On at least one occasion, the Nottoway Indians were accused of stealing cattle. Ultimately, specific groups of Indians were assigned marks that they could use to identify their own hogs. Sometimes, the leaders of Native groups were summoned to court, when someone filed a complaint against one of their tribesmen. As the seventeenth century drew to a close, young Indian servants and slaves were brought before county court justices so that their ages could be determined. This was done so that there would be a record of when they were old enough to be deemed tithables (i.e., those who possessed them were obliged to pay taxes upon all who were age 16 or older). On one occasion, an Indian man, who belonged to Roger Tilman of Charles City County but had fled to Isle of Wight, was captured by a Surry County man. In 1700 an Indian slave named Jamey, who belonged to Thomas Bage of Surry, was found guilty of killing his master. He was sentenced to hang and the murdered man's widow was compensated by the government for Jamey's value, in accord with a reimbursement policy that was in effect well into the nineteenth century (Surry County Court Records 1671-1691:2, 33, 489, 523, 528, 756; 1691-1700:75, 83, 255, 259, 263).

Tributary Indians at Jamestown

As noted above, the 1646 treaty and the 1677 and 1680 versions of the Treaty of Middle Plantation required Tributary Indians to pay annual tribute to the Virginia government's highest ranking official as the monarch's representative. These payments constituted a tangible reminder that the treaty was still in effect. Although little is known about the visits the Natives made to Jamestown, it is certain that in 1682 and 1684 they stayed with ordinary-keeper Henry Gawler, who then occupied a unit (Bay 2) in the three-bay rowhouse designated Structure 17. Gawler was still living in Jamestown during the early 1690s, at which time he was the James City County sheriff. The building he occupied belonged to his wife's late husband, George Marable I (McIlwaine 1905-1915:1660-1693:174, 256-257; 1918:88-89).

In 1691 several Surry County citizens requested compensation for transporting Indians to Jamestown and back, so that they could pay their tribute. Nicholas Witherington testified that on April 25th he had brought six Meherrin Indians to the capital city and two days later he had taken six Nansemonds there. In 1692 Captain Thomas Swann testified that his ferryman had transported nine Weyanoke Indians to and from Jamestown and had made round trips to the capital with ten Appomattocks and five Meherrin. In 1693, Swann requested compensation for his ferryman's taking 29 Indians to Jamestown and bring eight back across the James River. Then, in April 1697 Swann's ferryman transported 20 Indians to and from Jamestown, in February 1697 he carried five. In April 1698 he brought 13 Natives across the river and back. Then in 1700, Thomas Hart was paid for transporting 20 Indians to and from Jamestown (Surry County Court Records 1691-1700:33, 62, 86, 197, 263). These Surry County records suggest strongly that each year (usually in April) small groups of Tributary Indians made their way to Swann's Point, where they were ferried across the James River to Jamestown so that they could pay their annual tribute.

In 1699 the Pamunkeys asked for a reduction in the amount of their annual tribute; it was reduced from twenty beaver skins to ten. Then, in 1705, their tribute was reduced from ten beaver skins to only one. This is a reflection of the tribe's declining wellbeing (McIlwaine 1925-1945:III:81, 455).

In May 1700 the gentlemen of the Nottoway, Meherrin, Nansemond, Chickahominy, Rappahannock and Nanzattico Indians, tribes that were tributaries to the Crown, met with the governor and his council at Jamestown, where they were interrogated about a treaty they wanted to make with some "foreign" or non-Virginia Indians. The Tributaries agreed to deliver to the governor the wampum-peake (or shell) belts they expected to receive when the treaty was consummated. He, in turn, would retain the belts until the next time the Indians delivered their annual tribute. The wording of the dialogue between the governor and the Indians indicates that Jamestown was the site at which the Tributary tribes traditionally presented their annual tribute (Sainsbury et al. 1964:18:79).

An Indian Servant at Jamestown

On August 18, 1697, when William Sherwood made his will, he bequeathed to Dorothy Jubilee, whom he identified as his Indian servant, her freedom. Sherwood, whose plantation engulfed much of the western portion of Jamestown Island and part of the urbanized area, apparently died shortly after making his will, which was presented for probate in February 1698 (Ambler MS 65, 73; McGhan 1993:873). Nothing more is known about Jubilee.

Maryland Natives Move to Virginia

In July 1697 the Piscataway Indians of Maryland, who periodically had been accused of crossing the Potomac River to attack Virginia settlements, moved to Stafford County. George Mason reported that the Emperor of the Piscataway had brought with him a nation of Senecas and that they considered themselves one people and wanted to live in peace. Though the Piscataways were ordered to return to Maryland promptly, two years later they were still residing in Virginia. The settlers in Stafford County continued to be uneasy about the nearness of the Piscataway, for several colonists living in remote areas had been brutally slain. When Governor Francis Nicholson commanded the Emperor of the Piscataways to appear in Jamestown on April 17, 1699, he declined, indicating that he would meet with Nicholson and his emissaries if he (Nicholson) came to the Piscataway Fort and the appropriate diplomatic protocol were observed (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:206-207, 370; Palmer 1968:55, 62-64).

When Natives crossed from one colony into another to commit a crime, the two governments were supposed to cooperate in bringing the perpetrators to justice. In 1696 an Indian from Maryland was jailed at Jamestown until he could be sent north to stand trial (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:342).

The Native Population in 1702

In 1702, when a census was made of the colony's Tributary Indians, they were described according to the rivers they lived upon. On the James there were 10 Nansemond and Weyanoke Indians (grouped together), 60 Meherrins, and 80 Nottoways. There were 50 Pamunkey Indians and 30 Chickahominy then living within the York River drainage. There were only 30 bowmen ("the Portobago or Nanzattico") on the Rappahannock River; no longer in evidence were the Rappahannock, Moratticund, Doegg, Totusky or Nansemond Indians. On the southern part of the Potomac River were the Wicomico, although they were not innumerated. On the Eastern Shore were the Pungoteague, Matomkin, Gingoteague, Kiquotanke, Matchapungo, Occohannock, Chisonotax, and Gingoes, who collectively were described as "small nations." Conspicuously absent were all references to the Mattaponi (C.O. 5/1312 Part II:221-222).

Three years later, Robert Beverley II, a resident of Jamestown and government official, reported that in Prince George County, the Weyanoke Indians were "almost wasted" and had gone to live with other Natives. As noted above, the Appomattocks in 1705 were living in Charles City County, in Colonel William Byrd's pasture. He said that there were not more than seven families of Appomattocks. In Surry County were the Nottoway Indians, who had about 100 bowmen and were "of late a thriving and increasing People." Beverley said that the Nansemond Indians had about 30 bowmen and had increased in numbers lately. On the Nansemond River were the Meherrin, who had about 30 bowmen. In King William County there were around 40 Pamunkey warriors, whose ranks were decreasing, and the Chickahominy had approximately 16 bowmen, "lately increas'd." Essex County had only a few families of Rappahannock Indians who lived "scatter'd upon the English seats." He said that "in Richmond [County], Port-Tobago has [a]bout five Bow-men, but wasting" and "in Northumberland, [the] Wicomico has but three men living, which yet keep up their Kingdom and retain their Fashion." On the Eastern Shore was a substantial population: the Matomkin, the Gingoteague, the Kicquotank, the Matchopungo, the Occahannock, the Pungoteague, the Onancock, the Chiconessex, and the Nanduye (Beverley 1947:232-233). By the time Robert Beverley II compiled his observations, the Nanzattico had been permanently banished from their homeland on the Rappahannock River. Although relatively peaceful conditions prevailed in the upper reaches of the Rappahannock River during the early eighteenth century, rangers continued to patrol the frontiers of the colony and as late as 1711, Indians who ventured into settled areas were obliged to carry badges (McIlwaine 1925-1945:II:286).

Robert Beverley II rather sympathetically said that the Native population had "on several accounts reason to lament the arrival of the Europeans, by whose means they seem to have lost their Felicity as well as their Innocence." He said that the English had "taken away great part of their Country, and consequently made every thing less plenty amongst them." He added that they had introduced them to drunkenness and luxury, which "multiply'd their wants and put them on desiring a thousand things, they never dreamt of before" (Beverley 1947:233).

The Pamunkeys and the Chickahominys

In May 1702 a plat of the Pamunkey Indians' land was brought to a meeting of the House of Burgesses along with a petition by the Chickahominy Indians. Records of the House reveal that the Pamunkeys were to be given a patent, something they had been requesting for more than a half-century. The Chickahominys' land, which was in Pamunkey Neck and between the two Herring Creeks, was three miles wide at its maximum. It was reported that in 1677 the Chickahominy Indians were living in a row that was one mile long. In 1702 the burgesses decided that the plat of the land laid out for the Chickahominys encompassed too much acreage. Therefore, settlers were invited to appear before the assembly to document their land claims in that vicinity (McIlwaine et al. 1905-1915:1695-1702:283, 349).

The Plight of the Nanzattico

In September 1704 an event occurred in Richmond County that had tragic consequences for the Nanzattico Indians. A group of Nanzattico males allegedly murdered and mutilated several people who were at the home of John Rowley; one young girl survived to report what had transpired. The Nanzattico Indians, who were known to have had disputes with the Rowleys, were implicated in the crime. Orders were given for the accused Nanzatticoes to be captured and transported to Williamsburg to stand trial. But ultimately the decision was made to try the case at the Richmond County courthouse. Early in October all but one of the accused Nanzattico males were convicted of murder and sentenced to death. It was agreed that the remaining ca. 40 remaining members of the Nanzattico tribe should be tried on the basis of a 1663 law that made the residents of the nearest Indian town answerable for any local crime that Indians were accused of committing. The Nanzattico were rounded up and transported to Williamsburg, where they were incarcerated until May 1705. At that time government officials concluded that the Nanzattico were implicated in the Rowley murders on the basis of association and determined that all members of the tribe who were age 12 or older should be transported out of the colony and sold as servants. Children under 12 were to be bound out until the age of 24. Although members of the Governor's Council recommended that elderly Nanzatticoes be spared deportation and that women and girls be sold as servants on the Eastern Shore, the House of Burgesses remained adamant. Ultimately, Captain John Martin transported almost all of the Nanzattico to Antigua, where they were sold. Meanwhile, the tribe's 13 young children were distributed among the members of the Governor's Council. Thus, it was during 1705 that the Nanzattico, as a group, seemingly ceased to exist (Morgan 1984:168-173).

Indians From Other Colonies Traded as Slaves

During the first quarter of the eighteenth century quite a few Natives from the Carolinas arrived in slave ships, probably people captured while the colonists there were at war with the Indians supporting Spanish settlers. Minchinton et al. concluded that this practice led to the Tuscarora War (1711-1713) in North Carolina and the Yamasee War (1715-1718) in South Carolina (Minchinton et al. 1984:20-52); Nugent 1969-1979:III:7).

On April 15, 1699, Virginia's governing officials concluded that "His Majesty's Land in this colony ought not to be granted to any others then [sic] His Christian Subjects comeing to reside here" (McIlwaine 1925-1945:I:347). This change occurred in response to the opening up of the slave trade which had begun to include an occasional Native American and Indians from the Caribbean.

Updating the Legal Code

In 1705 Virginia's legal code was summarized and updated to address the colony's changing needs. This group of laws, which affected all non-whites, deprived Indians of the legal rights they formerly had enjoyed. They also conferred upon blacks the status of personal property and made them slaves for life. Ironically, this occurred at a time when Tributary Indians were making increased use of the colony's legal system instead of settling matters on their own. Under the 1705 legal code, Indians and other non-whites were forbidden to testify in court under any circumstances, a prohibition that prevented them from collecting just debts. Likewise, Indian servants no longer could sue for their freedom if their masters detained them after their contracts expired. Bans against interracial marriage made it illegal for ministers to unite whites and non-whites, thereby discouraging the Natives' assimilation into the white population through marriage. Those who wed despite the law were fined and subject to six months imprisonment. Non-whites were ineligible to hold any public office (whether civil, ecclesiastical, or military) and if they dared to forcibly oppose a white Christian, they could be flogged. Thus the 1705 legislation brought profound erosion of ethnic minorities' civil rights (McIlwaine 1925-1945:III:275, 286, 359, 365, 369, 371, 380).

The Shrinking Horizon of Native Lands

A piece of the legislation enacted in October 1705 cost Tributary Indian tribes a large percentage of their land, if the three-mile buffer zone around their towns protruded across a navigable river. As most Indian towns were on the waterfront, the new law had serious implications. Specifically, the burgesses decided that

. . . where an Indian town is seated, on or near a navigable river, and the English have already seated and planted within three miles of the said town, on the opposite side of the river, the said clause [of the 1677 treaty] shall not be construed, deemed, or taken, to give the Indian town any privilege on the said opposite side: But in such a case, the privilege of the said Indian town shall be limited by the river [Hening 1809-1823:III:466].

The burgesses called the new law an "explanation of a clause in the articles of peace." However, it clearly was not.

Grasping At Freedom

Local court records dating to the fourth quarter of the seventeenth century reveal that a significant number of planters in Surry, Isle of Wight, and York Counties, had both Indian and African servants and slaves. In Surry their names sometimes were included in lists of tithables. It is not surprising that propinquity sometimes led to cooperation.

In March 1710 a substantial number of enslaved blacks "and others" in James City, Isle of Wight, and Surry Counties planned to make a break for freedom on Easter Sunday and vowed to overcome all who opposed them. However, one of the slaves disclosed the plan and the escape attempt was thwarted. When the people implicated in the uprising were rounded up and brought before the governing officials, it was reported that "there hath been lately happily discovered a dangerous Conspiracy formed and carried on by great numbers of Negros, and other slaves for making their Escape by force from the Service of their Masters." The governor's council ordered the justices of Surry and Isle of Wight to interrogate those implicated in the plot. On March 24th, Surry's justices reported that they had examined "Sevell [sic] Negro and Indian slaves concerned in a Late Dangerous Conspiracy, formed and Carried on by greate numbers of ye said negroes and Indian slaves." They declared that they had determined that three individuals were the principal perpetrators. One was John Jackman's Indian slave, Salvadore. His Spanish name raises the possibility that he may have been from a Spanish or Portuguese colony. All three men were tried before the General Court and sentenced to death for treason. Salvadore was to be executed in Surry County, at the courthouse, on the first Tuesday in May. Afterward, his head and two of his quarters were to be delivered to James City County sheriff Edward Jaquelin. He was to put the head on display in Williamsburg and to "sett up" one of Salvadore's quarters "at the great guns" (gun platform) in Jamestown. There, the gruesome exhibit would have been close to Jamestown's public ferry-landings and the main road into Jamestown Island. The James City County sheriff was to see that the sheriff of New Kent County was furnished with one of Salvadore's quarters and the remaining quarter was to be displayed in Surry. Later, one official reported that the slaves were executed so that "their fate will strike such a terror" that others would not attempt an uprising (Palmer 1968:I:129; McIlwaine 1925-1945:III:234-236, 242-243; et al. 1964:25:83).

Further Reduction in Native Status

A 1711 law required both Tributary and non-Tributary Indians who ventured into colonized areas to wear badges and three year later, a law was passed prohibiting the use of the titles "king" and "queen" in reference to Indian leaders. These changes suggest that as Virginia's Natives became increasingly acculturated and assumed a more visible but less forceful role in society, and as they declined in population and strength, they became legally susceptible to the same types of discrimination to which blacks and other ethnic minorities were subjected. Legal prohibitions against intermarriage and suffrage attest to the erosion of Native rights (McIlwaine 1925-1945:III:275, 286, 359, 365, 369, 371, 380). The displacement of Native people and the discrimination they endured has left an indelible stain upon American history.


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Ancient Planters
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Billings, Warren M.
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1975 Some Acts Not in Hening's, April 1652, November 1652, and July 1653. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 83:65-72.

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Brown, Alexander
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Charles City County
1655-1846 Deeds, Wills, Order Books, Land Tax Lists. Charles City County Courthouse, Charles City, and Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Colonial Office (C.O.)
1607-1747 Colonial Office Papers, British Public Records Office, Kew, England. Survey Reports and Microfilms, Rockefeller Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Craven, Wesley Frank
1957 The Virginia Company of London, 1606-1624 University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.

1970 The Southern Colonies in the Seventeenth Century 1607-1689 Louisiana State University Press, n.p.

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Ferrar Papers
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Hamor, Ralph
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Hartwell, Henry et al.
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Hening, William W.,ed.
1809-1823 The Statutes At Large: Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia 13 vols. Samuel Pleasants, Richmond, Virginia. Reprinted 1967, 1969.

Henrico County
1677-1701 Deeds, Wills, Orders. Microfilms, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Herrman, Augustine
1673 Virginia and Maryland, 1670. Map, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Richmond, Virginia.

Hotten, John C.
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Isle of Wight County
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Jefferson, Thomas
1954 Notes on Virginia, William Peden, ed. W. W. Norton Co., New York, New York.

Jeffreys, Herbert
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Kingsbury, Susan M.
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[Langston, Anthony]
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Lancaster County
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1981 Memorials of the Discovery and Early Settlement of the Bermudas or Somer Islands, 1511-1687 Bermuda Historical Society, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada.

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Lord Chamberlain (L.C.)
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Northampton County
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Old Rappahannock County
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Robinson, W. Stitt, Jr.
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Rolfe, John
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Rollin, Mamie Bishop
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State Papers (S. P.)
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Story, Thomas
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Surry County
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Tyler, Lyon G.
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Tyler, Lyon G., ed.
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1922 "A Trewe Relacyon." Tyler's Historical Quarterly 3:259-282.

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Vingboons, Johannes
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Virginia Colonial Records Project (VCRP)
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Virginia State Library
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Washburn, Wilcomb E.
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Wiseman, Samuel
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Wright, Louis B., ed.
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Wyatt Register Book
1621-1626 British Library, London, England. Microfilms, Rockefeller Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, Virginia.

York County
1633-1699 Deeds, Wills, Inventories, Orders. York County Courthouse, Yorktown, and Library of Virginia, Richmond. Microfilms, Rockefeller Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Zuniga, Pedro de
1608 Chart of Virginia. Map, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Richmond, Virginia.

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