The Powhatan people (/ˌphəˈtæn, ˈhætən/;[1] also spelled Powatan) may refer to any of the indigenous Algonquian people that are traditionally from eastern Virginia.[2] All of the Powhatan groups descend from the Powhatan Confederacy. In some instances, The Powhatan may refer to one of the leaders of the people. This is most commonly the case in historical records from English colonial accounts.[3] The Powhatans have also been known as Virginia Algonquians, as the Powhatan language is an eastern-Algonquian language, also known as Virginia Algonquian. It is estimated that there were about 14,000–21,000 Powhatan people in eastern Virginia, when English colonists established Jamestown in 1607.[4]

Powhatan people
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Eastern Virginia, Barby
Historically Powhatan, in modern context, English
Native (indigenous), Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Pamlico, Nanticoke, Lenape, Massachusett, and other Algonquian peoples
Powhatan in a longhouse at Werowocomoco (detail of John Smith map, 1612)

In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, a mamanatowick (paramount chief) named Wahunsenacawh created an organization by affiliating 30 tributary peoples, whose territory was much of eastern Virginia. They called this area Tsenacommacah ("densely inhabited Land"). Wahunsenacawh came to be known by English colonists as "The Powhatan (Chief)".[5][6] Each of the tribes within this organization had its own weroance (leader, commander), but all paid tribute to The Powhatan (Chief).[3]

After Wahunsenacawh's death in 1618, hostilities with colonists escalated under the chiefdom of his brother, Opchanacanough, who sought in vain to expel encroaching English colonists. His large-scale attacks in 1622 and 1644 met strong reprisals by the colonists, resulting in the near elimination of the tribe. By 1646, what is called the Powhatan Paramount Chiefdom by modern historians had been decimated. More important than the ongoing conflicts with the English colonial settlements was the high rate of deaths the Powhatan suffered due to new infectious diseases carried to North America by Europeans, such as measles and smallpox. The Native Americans did not have any immunity to these, which had been endemic to Europe and Asia for centuries. The wholesale deaths greatly weakened and hollowed out the Native American societies.

By the mid-17th century, the leaders of the colony were desperate for labor to develop the land. Almost half of the European immigrants to Virginia arrived as indentured servants. As settlement continued, the colonists imported growing numbers of enslaved Africans for labor. By 1700, the colonies had about 6,000 black slaves, one-twelfth of the population. It was common for black slaves to escape and join the surrounding Powhatan; some white servants were also noted to have joined the Natives. Africans and Europeans worked and lived together; some natives also intermarried with them. After Bacon's Rebellion in 1676, the colony enslaved Indians for control. In 1691, the House of Burgesses abolished native slavery; however, many Powhatan were held in servitude well into the 18th century.[7]

In the 21st century, eight Native tribes are officially recognized by Virginia as having ancestral ties to the Powhatan confederation.[8] The Pamunkey and Mattaponi are the only two peoples who have retained reservation lands from the 17th century.[3] The competing cultures of the Powhatan and English settlers were united through unions and marriages of members, the most well known of which was that of Pocahontas and John Rolfe. Their son Thomas Rolfe was the ancestor of many Virginians; many of the First Families of Virginia have both English and Virginia Algonquian ancestry.[2]

Some survivors of the Powhatan confederacy have relocated elsewhere. Beginning in the late 19th century, individual people identifying collectively as the Powhatan Renape Nation settled a tiny subdivision known as Morrisville and Delair, in Pennsauken Township, New Jersey. Their ancestry is mostly from the Rappahannock tribe of Virginia and the related Nanticoke tribe of Delaware.[9] They have been recognized as a tribe by the state of New Jersey.[10]

Naming and terminologyEdit

The name "Powhatan" (also transcribed by Strachey as Paqwachowng) is the name of the native village or town of Wahunsenacawh. The title "Chief" or "King" Powhatan, used by English colonists, is believed to have been derived from the name of this site. Although the specific site of his home village is unknown, in modern times the Powhatan Hill neighborhood in the East End portion of the modern-day city of Richmond, Virginia is thought by many to be in the general vicinity of the original village. Tree Hill Farm, which is situated in nearby Henrico County a short distance to the east, is also considered as the possible site.

"Powhatan" was also the name used by the natives to refer to the river where the town sat at the head of navigation. The English colonists chose to name it for their own leader, King James I. The English colonists named many features in the early years of the Virginia Colony in honor of the king, as well as for his three children, Elizabeth, Henry, and Charles.

Although portions of Virginia's longest river upstream from Columbia were much later named for Queen Anne of Great Britain, in modern times, it is called the James River. It forms at the confluence of the Jackson and Cowpasture rivers near the present-day town of Clifton Forge, flowing east to Hampton Roads. (The Rivanna River, a tributary of the James River, and Fluvanna County, were named in reference to Queen Anne). The only water body in Virginia to retain a name related to the Powhatan peoples is Powhatan Creek, located in James City County near Williamsburg.

Powhatan County and its county seat at Powhatan, Virginia were honorific names established years later, in locations west of the area populated by the Powhatan peoples. The county was formed in March 1777.


Complex paramount chiefdomEdit

Various tribes each held some individual powers locally, and each had a chief known as a weroance (male) or, more rarely, a weroansqua (female), meaning "commander".[11]

As early as the era of John Smith, the individual tribes of this grouping were clearly recognized by English colonists as falling under the greater authority of the centralized power led by the chiefdom of Powhatan (c. June 17, 1545 – c. 1618), whose proper name was Wahunsenacawh or (in 17th century English spelling) Wahunsunacock.[2]

In 1607, when the first English colonial settlement in North America was founded at Jamestown, he ruled primarily from Werowocomoco, which was located on the northern shore of the York River. This site of Werowocomoco was rediscovered in the early 21st century; it was central to the tribes of the confederacy. The improvements discovered at the site during archaeological research have confirmed that Powhatan had a paramount chiefdom over the other tribes in the power hierarchy. Anthropologist Robert L. Carneiro in his The Chiefdom: Precursor of the State. The Transition to Statehood in the New World (1981), deeply explores the political structure of the chiefdom and confederacy.

Powhatan (and his several successors) ruled what is called a complex chiefdom, referred to by scholars as the Powhatan Paramount Chiefdom. Research work continues at Werowocomoco and elsewhere that deepens understanding of the Powhatan world.

Powhatan builds his chiefdomEdit

Wahunsenacawh had inherited control over six tribes, but dominated more than thirty by 1607, when the English settlers established their Virginia Colony at Jamestown. The original six tribes under Wahunsenacawh were: the Powhatan (proper), the Arrohateck, the Appamattuck, the Pamunkey, the Mattaponi, and the Chiskiack.

He added the Kecoughtan to his fold by 1598. Some other affiliated groups included the Rappahannocks, Moraughtacund, Weyanoak, Paspahegh, Quiyoughcohannock, Warraskoyack, and Nansemond. Another closely related tribe of the same language group was the Chickahominy, but they managed to preserve their autonomy from the Powhatan Paramount Chiefdom. The Accawmacke, located on the Eastern Shore across the Chesapeake Bay, were nominally tributary to the Powhatan Chiefdom, but enjoyed autonomy under their own Paramount Chief or "Emperor", Debedeavon (aka "The Laughing King"). There were half a million Native Americans living within the Allegheny Mountains around the year 1600. 30,000 of those 500,000 lived in the Chesapeake region under Powhatan’s rule, by 1677 only five percent of his population remained. The huge jump in deaths were caused by exposure and contact with Europeans.[12]

In his Notes on the State of Virginia (1781–82), Thomas Jefferson estimated that the Powhatan Confederacy occupied about 8,000 square miles (20,000 km2) of territory, with a population of about 8,000 people, of whom 2400 were warriors.[13] Later scholars estimated the total population of the paramountcy as 15,000.

English settlers in the land of the PowhatanEdit

'John Smith taking the King of Pamunkey prisoner', a fanciful image of Opechancanough from Smith's General History of Virginia (1624). The image of Opechancanough is based on a 1585 painting of another native warrior by John White[2]

The Powhatan Confederacy was where English colonists established their first permanent settlement in North America. Conflicts began immediately between the Powhatan people and English colonists; the colonists fired shots as soon as they arrived (due to a bad experience they had with the Spanish prior to their arrival). Within two weeks of the arrival of English colonists at Jamestown, deaths had occurred.

The settlers had hoped for friendly relations and had planned to trade with the Virginia Indians for food. Captain Christopher Newport led the first colonial exploration party up the James River in 1607, when he met Parahunt, weroance of the Powhatan proper. English colonists initially mistook him for the paramount Powhatan (mamanatowick), his father Wahunsenacawh, who ruled the confederacy. Settlers coming into the region needed to befriend as many Native Americans as possible due to the unfamiliarity with the land. Not too long after settling down, they had realized the huge potential for tobacco. In order to grow more and more tobacco, they had to impede on native territory. There were immediate issues result in 14 years of warfare.[14]

On a hunting and trade mission on the Chickahominy River in December 1607, Captain John Smith fought a small battle between the Opechancanough, and during this battle he tied his native guide to his body and used him as a human shield. Although Smith was wounded in the leg, and also had many arrows in his clothing he was not deathly injured, soon after he was captured by the Opechancanough. After Smith was captured the Natives had him ready for execution until he gave them a compass which they saw as a sign of friendliness so they did not kill him, instead took him to a more popular chief, followed by a ceremony. Smith first was introduced to Powhatan's brother, which was a chief under Powhatan to run a smaller portion of the tribe. Later Smith was introduced to Powhatan himself.[15] was captured by Opechancanough, the younger brother of Wahunsenacawh. Smith became the first English colonist to meet the paramount chief Powhatan. According to Smith's account, Pocahontas, Chief Powhatan's daughter, prevented her father from executing Smith.

Some researchers have asserted that a mock execution of Smith was a ritual intended to adopt Smith into the tribe, but other modern writers dispute this interpretation. They point out that nothing is known of 17th-century Powhatan adoption ceremonies. They note that an execution ritual is different from known rites of passage. Other historians, such as Helen Rountree, have questioned whether there was any risk of execution. They note that Smith failed to mention it in his 1608 and 1612 accounts, and only added it to his 1624 memoir, after Pocahontas had become famous.

The Coronation of Powhatan, oil on canvas, John Gadsby Chapman, 1835

In 1608, Captain Newport realized that Powhatan's friendship was crucial to the survival of the small Jamestown colony. In the summer of that year, he tried to "crown" the paramount Chief, with a ceremonial crown, to transform him into a "vassal".[16] They also gave Powhatan many European gifts, such as a pitcher, feather mattress, bed frame, and clothes. The coronation went badly because they asked Powhatan to kneel to receive the crown, which he refused to do. As a powerful leader, Powhatan followed two rules: "he who keeps his head higher than others ranks higher," and "he who puts other people in a vulnerable position, without altering his own stance, ranks higher." To finish the "coronation", several English colonists had to lean on Powhatan's shoulders to get him low enough to place the crown on his head, as he was a tall man. Afterwards, the English colonists might have thought that Powhatan had submitted to King James, whereas Powhatan likely thought nothing of the sort.[17]

After John Smith became president of the colony, he sent a force under Captain Martin to occupy an island in Nansemond territory and drive the inhabitants away. At the same time, he sent another force with Francis West to build a fort at the James River falls. He purchased the nearby fortified Powhatan village (present site of Richmond, Virginia) from Parahunt for some copper and an English colonist named Henry Spelman, who wrote a rare firsthand account of the Powhatan ways of life. Smith then renamed the village "Nonsuch", and tried to get West's men to live in it. Both these attempts at settling beyond Jamestown soon failed, due to Powhatan resistance. Smith left Virginia for England in October 1609, never to return, because of an injury sustained in a gunpowder accident. Soon afterward, English colonists established a second fort, Fort Algernon, in Kecoughtan territory.

Anglo-Powhatan Wars and treatiesEdit

Red line shows boundary between the Virginia Colony and Tributary Indian tribes, as established by the Treaty of 1646. Red dot on river shows Jamestown, capital of Virginia Colony.

In November 1609, Captain John Ratcliffe was invited to Orapakes, Powhatan's new capital. After he had sailed up the Pamunkey River to trade there, a fight broke out between the colonists and the Powhatan. All of the English colonists ashore were killed, including Ratcliffe, who was tortured by the women of the tribe. Those aboard the pinnace escaped and told the tale at Jamestown.

During that next year, the tribe attacked and killed many Jamestown residents. The residents fought back, but only killed twenty. However, arrival at Jamestown of a new Governor, Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, (Lord Delaware) in June 1610 signalled the beginning of the First Anglo-Powhatan War. A brief period of peace came only after the capture of Pocahontas, her baptism, and her marriage to tobacco planter John Rolfe in 1614. Within a few years both Powhatan and Pocahontas were dead. Powhatan died in Virginia, but Pocahontas died while in England. Meanwhile, the English settlers continued to encroach on Powhatan territory.

After Wahunsenacawh's death, his younger brother, Opitchapam, briefly became chief, followed by their younger brother Opechancanough. The Powhatans were frightened by the influx of immigrants, the expansion of new villages on traditional farming lands, the subsequent need to purchase food from the settlers, and the enforced placement of Indian youth in "colleges." In March 1622, they attacked the Jamestown plantations killing hundreds. The settlers quickly sought retaliation, killing hundreds of tribesmen and their families, burning fields, and spreading smallpox.[18] In 1644 the Powhatans again attacked English colonial settlements to force them from Powhatan territories, which was again met with strong reprisals from the colonists, ultimately resulting in the near destruction of the tribe. The Second Anglo–Powhatan War that followed the 1644 incident ended in 1646, after Royal Governor of Virginia William Berkeley's forces captured Opechancanough, thought to be between 90 and 100 years old. While a prisoner, Opechancanough was killed, shot in the back by a soldier assigned to guard him. He was succeeded as Weroance by Necotowance, and later by Totopotomoi and by his daughter Cockacoeske.

The Treaty of 1646 marked the effective dissolution of the united confederacy, as white colonists were granted an exclusive enclave between the York and Blackwater Rivers. This physically separated the Nansemonds, Weyanokes and Appomattox, who retreated southward, from the other Powhatan tribes then occupying the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. While the southern frontier demarcated in 1646 was respected for the remainder of the 17th century, the House of Burgesses lifted the northern one on September 1, 1649. Waves of new immigrants quickly flooded the peninsular region, then known as Chickacoan, and restricted the dwindling tribes to lesser tracts of land that became some of the earliest Indian reservations.

In 1665, the House of Burgesses passed stringent laws requiring the Powhatan to accept chiefs appointed by the governor. After the Treaty of Albany in 1684, the Powhatan Confederacy all but vanished.[citation needed]

Changing society and English expansionEdit

Educational programs established through the creation of the Indian School at the College of William and Mary in 1691 were a driving force behind cultural change. The College provided Powhatan boys with skills considered to be of little use by their people, however, literacy was generally viewed as a benefit of this Western education, and Powhatan boys who had received education at William and Mary sent their sons to the school. Increasing marriage of Powhatans to non-Indigenous people in the 17th century is also believed to have contributed to cultural change.

The Powhatans had begun gambling, smoking tobacco, and consuming alcohol recreationally by the end of the 17th century.[19]


Reconstructed Powhatan village at the Jamestown Settlement living-history museum.

The Powhatan lived east of the Fall Line in Tidewater Virginia. They built their houses, called yehakins, by bending saplings and placing woven mats or bark over top of the saplings. They supported themselves primarily by growing crops, especially maize, but they also fished and hunted in the great forest in their area. Villages consisted of a number of related families organized in tribes led by a chief (weroance/werowance or weroansqua if female). They paid tribute to the paramount chief (mamanatowick), Powhatan.[5]

The region occupied by the Powhatan was bounded approximately by the Potomac River to the north, the Fall Line to the west, the Virginia-North Carolina border to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Generally peaceful interactions with the Pamlicos and Chowanocs occurred along the southern boundary, while the western and northern boundaries were more contested. Conflicts occurred with Monacans and Mannahoacs along the western boundary and Massawomecks along the northern boundary.[19]

The Powhatan primarily used fires to heat their sleeping rooms. As a result, less bedding was needed, and bedding materials could be easily stored during daytime hours. Couples typically slept head to foot.[20]

According to research by the National Park Service, Powhatan "men were warriors and hunters, while women were gardeners and gatherers. English colonial accounts described the men, who ran and walked extensively through the woods in pursuit of enemies or game, as tall and lean and possessed of handsome physiques. The women were shorter, and were strong because of the hours they spent tending crops, pounding corn into meal, gathering nuts, and performing other domestic chores. When the men undertook extended hunts, the women went ahead of them to construct hunting camps. The Powhatan domestic economy depended on the labor of both sexes."[21] Powhatan women would form work parties in order to accomplish tasks more efficiently. Women were also believed to serve as barbers, decorate homes, and produce decorative clothing. Overall, Powhatan women maintained a significant measure of autonomy in both their work lives and sexual lives.[20] After a long day, the Powhatan people would celebrate and burn off any last energy they had by dancing and singing. This also allowed them to release any tensions they had from working with others.[22]

All of Virginia's natives practiced agriculture. They periodically moved their villages from site to site. Villagers cleared the fields by felling, girdling, or firing trees at the base and then using fire to reduce the slash and stumps. A village became unusable as soil productivity gradually declined and local fish and game were depleted. The inhabitants then moved on to allow the depleted area to revitalize, the soil to replenish, the foliage to grow and the number of fish and game to increase. With every change in location, the people used fire to clear new land. They left more cleared land behind. The natives also used fire to maintain extensive areas of open game habitat throughout the East, later called "barrens" by European colonists. The Powhatan also had rich fishing grounds. Bison had migrated to this area by the early 15th century.[23]

It is believed that Powhatans would make offerings and pray to the sun during sunrises.[20] Although, they also prayed and made offerings to specific Gods, who were believed to be in control of the harvest.[24] They used the land differently, and their religion was a native one. Significantly, one of the major duties of Powhatan priests was controlling the weather.[25]

Tribes of the paramount chiefdom and their territoriesEdit

The number of tribes listed and the number of warriors are based on estimates or reports which mostly go back to Captain John Smith (1580 - 1631) and William Strachey(1572 - 1621). Usually only the number of the warriors of the individual tribes is known, the stem number will therefore be determined with a ratio of 1: 3, 1: 3,3 or last 1: 4, the studies of Christian Feest are decisive.[26] The last-mentioned figures refer to the first mention as well as the last mention of the respective tribes - e.g. 1585/1627 for the Chesapeake (Source: Handbook of North American Indians).

Tribe from the Chesapeake Bay upriver the Powhatan (James) River and on the Virginia Peninsula[27]
Chesapeake / Chesepian / Cassapecock / Chesepiooc tribal name meaning is disputed: it may mean ″at a big river″, ″great water″ or it might have just referred to a village location at the bay's mouth. The Chesapeake lived in the region of the Hampton Roads along the Rivers Powhatan River (later: James River), Nansemond River and Elizabeth River to the Chesapeake Bay, their territory encompassed the cities Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. Their capital Skicoke may have been near the junction of the Eastern and Southern Branches of the Elizabeth River in downtown Norfolk. Other evidence suggests it was located in the Pine Beach area of Sewell's Point. The Chesapeake also had two other towns (or villages), Apasus and Chesepioc, both near the Chesapeake Bay in what is now the independent city of Virginia Beach. Of these, Chesepioc was known to have been located in the present Great Neck Point. West of them lived the Nansemond tribe; originally not a member of the Chiefdom, archaeological evidence suggests that the original the Chesapeake people belonged to another Algonquian group - the Carolina Algonquian or Pamlico. According to William Strachey they were destroyed as a nation before 1607 on the basis of a vision by the Powhatan, their villages were resettled, by members of other Powhatan tribes; their then installed chief was Keyghanghton, about 100 warriors (335 tribal members). (1585 / 1627) - now extinct as a tribe.
Nansemond they called their land along both sides of the Nansemond River Chuckatuck[28] and encompassed the areas of the cities of Suffolk and Chesapeake, four villages are known by name (the main village or capital Nansemond, then Mattanock, Teracosick and Mentoughquemec), on Dumpling Island were their temples and the seat of the Weroance, English colonists burned the sanctuary and the settlement in 1609; their leading chief was Weyhohomo, further leaders were Ampuetough, Weyingopo and Tirchtough; about 200 warriors (665 tribal members - according to Smith; Strachey) - according to their descendants they numbered about 300 warriors (or 1,200 tribal members). (1585 - today one of the state-recognized tribes of Virginia).[29]
Appomattoc / Appamatuck / Apamatic lived along the Lower Appomattox River in the area of Tri-Cities of Virginia with Petersburg as its head of navigation in adjoining counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, and Prince George in south-central Virginia; their leading chief (Werowance) was Coquonasum with his seat in the tribal town Wighwhippoc on the northside of Wighwhippoc Creek (now: Swift Creek), his sister Opossunoquonuske (Opussoquionuske) (referred to by English colonists as ″Queen of Appamattuck/Hattica″) was female chief (Weroansqua) of the maintown Mattica/Hattica near the mouth of the Appomattox River; 60 warriors (or 200 tribal members - according to Smith) or 20 warriors / 100 warriors (or 65 / 335 tribal members according to Strachey). (1607 / 1705) - now extinct as a tribe.
Arrohateck / Arrohattoc lived in six villages east of the Powhatan tribe on both sides of the James River in Henrico County, Virginia, their main village was at the James River in today's Henrico, Virginia; their chief was Ashuaquid;[30] about 100 warriors (or 200 tribal members - according to Smith and Strachey) - Feest estimated at least 300 tribal members. (1607 / 1611) - now extinct as a tribe.
Kecoughtan / Kikotan / Kiccowtan / Kikowtan lived in the Hampton Roads, they had only one settlement, its location is disputed - it is assumed at present day Kecoughtan, Virginia (later called: Elizabeth City) or downtown Hampton, Virginia or Newport News, Virginia, according to William Strachey, Chief Powhatan had slain the weroance at Kecoughtan in 1597, appointing his own young son Pochins as successor there, while resettling some of the tribe at the Piankatank River. Powhatan annihilated the inhabitants at Piankatank in 1608. (1607 / 1610) - now extinct as a tribe.
Paspahegh lived opposite the Quiyoughcohanock along the north bank oft the James River to the junction of the James and Chickahominy Rivers in today's Charles City and James City Counties, they maintained a number of settlements on both sides upriver the Chickahominy River - Namqosick and Cinquaoteck on the east bank of the Chickahominy as three villages not known by name - including their main village or capital - on the west bank, their villages were the closest to Jamestown, Virginia; their chief was Wowinchopunck (he could hold to his position even after submission of the tribe to Wahunsanocock/Powhatan); 40 warriors (or 135 tribal members - according to Smith und Strachey) - but Feest believes that these numbers are too low, quoting George Percy (1607: 139-140), who informed that the Paspahegh chieftain visited the British with "one hundred Sauages armed" and the next day "fortie of his men with a Deere." sent. (1607 / 1610) - now extinct as tribe.
Potchiack / Potchayick lived along the James River in the area of Surry County, were formed and emerged as a new tribal polity at the beginning of the 17th century from scattered groups of Nansemond, Warraskoyack and Quiyoughcohannock; in 1669 about 30 warriors (or 100 tribal members - according to Hening). (1661 /1669) - now extinct as tribe.
Powhatan / Powatan lived east of the Atlantic Seaboard fall line on both sides of the Powhatan (James) River and north of the Kingsland Creek, their capital Powhatan or Paqwachowng (literally ″village at the rapids″) was close to the waterfalls (called Paqwachowng) in the vicinity of Richmond, the capital of Virginia, besides, they inhabited at least three smaller, not known, villages (according to Smith), Archer (1607a: 86) adds another village on Mayo Island in James River opposite of their capital, which he called Pawatahs Towre (Powhatan Town); their chief was Parahunt, another son of Wahunsanocock (Powhatan); about 40 warriors (or 135 tribal members - according to Smith) or 50 warriors (and 165 tribal members - according to Strachey), according Feest up to 300 tribal members is likely due to the number of settlements. (1607 / 1670) - now extinct as tribe - Not the same as the Powhatan Renape Nation of New Jersey, a state-recognized tribe of New Jersey.
Quiyoughcohannock / Quiockohannock / Coiacohanauke lived east of the Weanock on both sides of the James River in several villages, their capital Quiyoughcohannock was the spiritual center of the Powhatan Chiefdom, three villages are known by name: Quiyoughcohannock, Nantapoyac (perhaps Zuñiga's Manattapoyek), and Chawopo, which was led by the former Quiyoughcohannock tribal chief Chopoke /Choapock, there were also two other not known villages along Chippoak Creek (in the area of today Chippokes Plantation State Park), they were often mistakenly referred to as the "Tappahannock" after the capital of the northern Rappahanock; their chief Pepiscumah (Pipisco) was appointed by Wahunsonacock (Powhatan) - further known leaders were the Weroansqua (female chief) Oholasc and the Weroance Tatahcoope; estimates range from 25 warriors (or 85 tribal members - according to Smith), 60 warriors (or 200 tribal members - according to Strachey) up to about 300 and even more tribal members (according to Feest), some banded together with splinter groups of Warraskoyack and Nansemond to form a new tribe - the short-lived Potchiack. (1607 / 1627) - now extinct as tribe.
Warraskoyack / Warrosquyoake / Warrascocke lived northwest of the Nansemond along the Pagan (Warraskoyak) River down to its mouth into the James River in Warrosquyoake Shire (today: Isle of Wight, Southampton, Greensville, and Brunswick Counties), the main Warraskoyak village was located in present-day Smithfield, Virginia, while a satellite village called Mokete was at Pagan Point, and another called Mathomank was on Burwell's Bay under a sub-weroance named Sasenticum. To the southwest and west the north bank of the Blackwater River was the boundary to the enemy Southern Iroquoian-speaking Nottoway (Cheroenhaka) people,[31] to the south along the Chowan River lived the rival Chowanoke (Chowanoc, Chawonoc) people with 19 villages the most numerous and powerful of the Carolina Algonquian-speaking tribes in North Carolina, the shore of the James River was the northern boundary of Warraskoyack territory; their chief (weroance) was Tackonekintaco; about 40 warriors (or 135 tribal members - according to Smith) or 60 warriors (and 200 tribal members - according to Strachey), some banded together with splinter groups of Quiyoughcohannock and Nansemond to form a new tribe - the short-lived Potchiack. (1585 / 1627) - now extinct as tribe.
Weanock / Weyanock / Weanoc / Weyanoke lived on both sides of James River on Weyanoke Peninsula or Weanoc Neck in Charles City County, Virginia upriver of the Quiyoughcohannock and Paspahegh and south of the Arrohateck and Appamatuck, to the north of their territory lived the Chickahominy people, while independent, the Chickahominy were at times allied to the Powhatan tribes; according to Smith their capital (Tindall's „Pomonke“) as well two not named villages on the north bank of the James River - Archer (1607a: 82) adds another village on the north bank -, south of the James River he tells of three more villages (the second of them is Tindall's „Wynough“, perhaps identical with Zuñiga's „Weanock“), Strachey (1953: 64) mentions an additional Weanock „province“ called Cecocomake near Powell's Creek in Prince George County. After 1623 the settlements Tanx (Little) Weanock north and Great Weanock south of the James River are mentioned and at least until 1627 there were still two Weanock villages; their chief was Kaquothocun; about 100 warriors (or 335 tribal members - according to Smith) or 150 warriors (or 500 tribal members - according to Strachey, which adds 50 warriors for Cecocomake, the Weanock-province). By the 18th century, they had fully integrated with the Nottoways, and were speaking their language, their former presence visible only in the surname "Wineoak". (1607 / 1707) - now extinct as tribe.
Tribe along the Pamunkey (York) River and its tributaries - Youghtanund (Pamunkey) River[32] and Mattaponi River - as well as the southern Middle Peninsula and the Pamunkey Neck[33]
Kiskiack / Chisiack / Chiskiack lived in several villages along the south bank of the York River in today's York County (formerly Charles River County) in the northern part of the Virginia Peninsula between the Paspehegh in the west and the Kecoughtan to the east, their capital also known as Kiskiack was about 15 miles (24 km) from Jamestown; their chief was Ottahotin; about 40-50 warriors (or 135-170 tribal members - according to Smith & Strachey). (1607 / 1677) - now extinct as tribe, remaining Kiskiack appear to have merged and intermarried with other groups, probably the Pamunkey, Chickahominy, or Rappahannock.
Cantauncack / Candaungack lived along the north bank of the York River, between Carter and Cedarbush Creeks; their chief was Ohonnamo; about 100 warriors (or 335 tribal members - according to Strachey). (1608 / 1629) - now extinct as tribe.
Werowocomoco / Werowacomoco were living along the York River upriver to the confluence of the Pamunkey and Mattaponi River - since the first capital of the Powhatan Confederation lay in their territory, this tribe was known by the same name as the capital - it was called Werowocomoco/Werowacomoco - the name ″Werowocomoco″ comes from the Powhatan werowans (weroance), meaning "leader" in English; and komakah (-comoco), "settlement" - literally: ″settlement of the leader or chief″, the capital of the Powhatan Chiefdom Werowocomoco itself lay on the north bank of the York River in Gloucester County near the city of Yorktown - here resided Wahunsonacock (Powhatan) until 1609 when he moved his capital to a new location named Orapaks/Orapax/Orapakes; about 40 warriors (or 135 tribal members - according to Smith & Strachey). (1607 / 1611) - now extinct as tribe.
Caposepock(e) / Kaposecocke / Kupkipcock lived along the north bank of the Pamunkey River; their chief was Weyamat - presumably Kaposecocke was, however, only one of the largest villages within the mighty Pamunkey tribe and therefore tributary to the leading chief (Werowance) of the Pamunkey; however Strachey gives them about 400 warriors and 1,300 tribal members. (1608 / 1611) - now extinct as tribe.
Orapaks / Orapax / Orapakes lived between the upper reaches of the Chickahominy River and the Pamunkey River in the north, on their western border lived the hostile Eastern Sioux tribes, south of them lived the real Powhatan tribe and north of them the Youghtanund, and directly downstream they had the powerful autonomous Chickahominy as neighbours, since 1609 the second capital of the Powhatan Confederation called "Orapaks/ Orapax/Orapakes" - Werowocomoco had been abandoned due to the colonists' pressure to settle - was located in their area, this was built for better defense in a swamp area in western New Kent County on the north bank of the Upper Chickahominy River, chief Wahunsonacock (Powhatan) resided here (about 1609 - 1611/1614); approx. 50 warriors or 165 tribal members (according to Strachey). (1607 / 1611)
Pamareke / Pamuncoroy / Pamakeroy lived along the south bank of the Pamunkey River - sometimes attributed to Pamunkey; their chief was Attasquintan; about 400 warriors or 1,300 tribal members (according to Strachey). (1608 / 1611).
Pamunkey lived on both sides of the Pamunkey River above its mouth into the York River in today's King William and New Kent Counties had several main villages, with about 300 warriors and 1000 tribal members the largest and most powerful tribe within the Confederacy (according to Smith & Strachey), Wahunsonacock (Powhatan) and his daughter Matoaka (Pocahontas) belonged to this tribe. (1607 – today one of the state-recognized tribes of Virginia and since 2015 also one of the federally-recognized tribes of the USA[34]).
Paraconosko / Paraconos along the Pamunkey River; their chief was Attossomunck (originally aleading chief (Werowance) of the Tauxenent/Doeg); about 10 warriors or 35 tribal members. (1608 / 1611).
Potaunk / Pataunck / Potawuncack lived along the southern banks of the Pamunkey River; their chief was Essenataught; about 100 warrior or 335 tribal members (according to Strachey). (1608 / 1611).
Shamapent / Shamapa lived south of the Pamunkey River; their chief was Nansuapunck; about 100 warriors or 335 tribal members (according to Strachey). (1608 / 1611).
Quackohamaock / Quackohowaon / Ochahannanke / Ochahannauke lived either on both sides of the Mattaponi River or along the north bank of the Pamunkey River; their chief was Vropaack; about 40 warriors or 135 tribal members (according to Strachey). (1608 / 1611).
Youghtanund / Youghtamund lived northwest of the Pamunkey, along the Pamunkey River to the confluence of the North Anna and South Anna Rivers, which form the Pamunkey River; their chief was Pomiscatuck; about 60 warriors or 200 tribal members (according to Smith) or 70 warriors or 235 tribal members (according to Strachey). (1607 / 1611).
Cattachiptico / Cattachipico / Cakkiptico / Chepecho / Chepeco the main village Cattachiptico was located on the site of today's Pampatike on the Pamunkey River[35] in what is now King William County, other smaller villages were along Totopotmoy Creek (Manskin Creek) and possibly along the Mattaponi River, presumably these villages all belonged to a subtribe of the Pamunkey – the Manaskint / Manskin, which also maintained close ties to the Youghtanand – during the Second Anglo-Powhatan War their main village Cattachiptico figured as the headquarters of Opechancanough then paramount chief; their chief was Opopohcumunck (possibly meaning Opechancanough); about 300 warriors or 1,000 tribal members (according to Strachey). (1608 / 1611).
Menapacunt / Mummapacune / Mummapacun lived between the north bank of the Pamunkey River to the Mattaponi River, their territory was most likely upstream (and thus northwest) of the mighty Mattaponi and Pamunkey tribes; their chief was Ottondeacommoc; about 100 warriors or 335 tribal members (according to Strachey). (1608 / 1611).
Mattaponi / Mattapanient lived along the central reaches of the Pamunkey and the Mattaponi River until their confluence with the York River in today King William and King and Queen Counties, their main village was named Mattapanient according to Smith, another village was Cinquoteck in the area of West Point (formerly Delaware) (at the confluence of Pamunkey and Mattaponi);[36] their chief was Werowough; approximately 30 warriors or 100 tribal members (according to Smith) or 140 warriors or 465 tribal members (according to Strachey)[37] (1607 – now as Mattaponi and Upper Mattaponi two of the state-recognized tribes of Virginia).[38][39]
Payankatank / Piankatank lived in several villages - Smith names three - along the Piankatank River in what is now Middlesex County, to the west their territory bordered the Opiscopank/Opiscatumek, to the south the Werowocomoco / Werowacomoco and to the north lived directly on the other side of the Rappahannock River the Lower Cuttatawomen, according to Strachey these were defeated by the Powhatan tribes in 1608, 24 warriors were killed and all women and children were taken captive, the area and the villages were then repopulated with former inhabitants of Kecoughtan; Smith gives two numbers: in 1608 about 40 warriors or 135 tribal members, and in 1624 about 50-60 warriors or 165-200 tribal members, according to Strachey about 40-50 warriors or 135-200 tribal members – according to Feest possibly up to 300 tribal members. (1608 / 1611).
Tribe lived along the Rappahannock River north toward the Patawomeck (Tidal Potomac) River and on the northern Middle Peninsula and the Northern Neck[40]
Rappahannock were the dominant tribe in the Rappahannock River Valley, settled in 13 villages on both sides of the river named after them, their main village was Topahanocke / Tappahannock and their main hunting grounds south of the river. Due to their military strength and geographical distance from the centre of the Powhatan Confederation, they were able to obtain partial autonomy; their chief was Taweeren;[41] ca. 100 Krieger bzw. 335 Stammesmitglieder (lt. Smith & Strachey). (1608 – heute einer der state-recognized tribes von Virginia).[42]
Opiscopank / Opiscatumek (1608 / 1611).
Lower Cuttatawomen / Corrotoman lived in Lancaster County as direct neighbor of the Moraughtachand/Moratico to the northwest and the Wicocomoco/Wighcocomoco to the north – their territory bordered the Rappahannock River to the south and the Chesapeake Bay to the east; 30 warriors or 100 tribal members (according to Smith & Strachey). (1608 / 1656).
Matchotic / Mattehatique sometimes referred to as Lower Matchotic, lived between the Rappahannock River and the Patawomeck (Potomac) River, north of them lived the Pissaseck and south of them lived the Chicacoan (Seccawoni) – further upstream another group called Upper Matchotic is identified; sometimes the tribal name Matchotic is used as Collective noun for the Tauxenent (Doeg), Patawomeck (Potomac), Cuttatawomen, Pissasec and Onawmanient in Northumberland, King George and Westmoreland Counties. (1608 / 1659 or 1669).
Moraughtachund / Moratico lived on the north bank of the Rappahannock River south of the mighty Rappahannock tribe and north of the Lower Cuttatawomen in what is now Lancaster and Richmond Counties; their chief was Ottondeacommoc; 80 warriors or 270 tribal members (according to Smith & Strachey). (1608 / 1669).
Pissaseck / Pissasec lived from the north bank of the Rappahannock River to the south bank of the Potomac River, between the Matchotic (Mattehatique) in the south and the Potomac (Patawomeck) in the north. (1608 / 1611).
Nantaughtacund /Nausatico / Nanzatico lived on both sides of the Rappahannock River in the Caroline, King George and Essex Counties above the mighty Rappahannock tribe and south of the Potomac (Patawomeck); since the middle of the 17th century scattered Nantaughtacund, Patawomeck, Matchotic/Mattehatique, Rappahannock, the Portobago/Portobacco from Maryland, and smaller groups such as the cities Nanzemond, Warisquock and Ausaticon are known under the anglized name Nanzatico for this period, in 1705 after a murder committed by tribal members the entire tribe (including some refugees of neighbouring tribes – with the exception of the Portobago/Portobacco and Rappahannock) were deported to Antigua of the Lesser Antilles and thus ceased to exist as an ethnic group; their chief was Vropaack, about 150 warriors or 500 tribal members (according to Smith and Strachey). (1608 / 1705).
Upper Cuttatawomen lived along the north bank of the Upper Rappahannock River in what is now King George County, to the north their territory bordered the Patawomeck/Potomac, and directly on the south side of the river lived the Nantaughtacund; about 20 warriors or 70 tribal members (according to Smith & Strachey). (1608 / 1611).
Wicocomoco / Wicocomico / Wighcocomoco / Wicomico lived at the southern tip of the Northern Neck along the south bank of the Potomac River and its estuary into the Chesapeake Bay; According to Stephen Potter, their main village was on the upper reaches and slightly north of the Little Wicomico River and another village called Cinquck near the mouth and south of the Little Wicomico in Northumberland County; their chief was Mosco; in 1655 the colonial rulers ordered the Chicacoan to join forces with the Wicocomoco (between 1656/1659 the Lower Cuttatawomen had also joined them) and as a common new tribe under the leadership of the English-appointed chief Machywap to settle in a reservation (approximately 18 km2) near Dividing Creek south of the Great Wicomico River; about 130 warriors or 435 tribal members (according to Smith and Strachey). (1608 / 1719).
Chicacoan / Sekakawon / Sekakawoni / Seccawoni / Cekakawwon lived along the Coan River, a tributary of the Potomac River, in what is now Northumberland County, about 30 warriors or 100 tribal members (according to Smith), other sources about 435 tribal members (according to Smith and Strachey). (1608 / 1660).
Onawmanient lived south of Upper Cuttatawomen in Nominy Bay in Westmoreland County; about 100 warriors or 335 tribal members (according to Smith).
Patawomeck / Potomac / Potomack lived in at least ten villages along the south bank of the Patawomeck (Potomac) River; approx. 160 warriors or 540 tribal members (1612) or about 200 warriors or 670 tribal members (1624 – both according to Smith), according to Strachey about 160 warriors or 540 tribal members. (1608 / 1668). In 1666, the Governor's Council of Virginia called for the "utter destruction" of the Patawomeck. After a devastating attack by the English, the surviving Patawomeck converted to Christianity and remained in the area of White Oak. Their descendants were recognized as a tribe by the state of Virginia in 2010.[43]
Tauxenent / Doeg / Taux / Tacci / Doag / Dogue/ Dogi lived in four villages north of the Patawomeck along the south bank of the Upper Patawomeck (Potomac) River above Aquia Creek in what is now Caroline, Prince William, Fairfax and King George Counties, their main village Tauxenent was located on Doggs Island or Miompse / May-Umps (now known as Mason Neck, south of Washington, D.C.), other villages were Pamacocack (later anglicized to Quantico along Quantico Creek, Yosococomico along Powells Creek near Montclair, Virginia, Niopsco along Neabsco Creek and Namassingakent on the north bank of the Dogue Creek, Assaomeck on the south bank of Hunting Creek and Namoraughquend near today's Roosevelt Island; about 40 warriors or 135 tribal members (according to Smith & Strachey), probably too low a population. (1607 / 1675).
Tribe lived on Southern Delmarva Peninsula were usually only nominally members of the Powhatan Confederation from the mainland, as they were geographically separated from it by Chesapeake Bay[44]
Accomac / Accomac / Accawmack / Accawmacke / Accowmack were organized into a confederation of about 2,000 tribal members under the leadership of Debedeavon ("the Laughing King", died 1657) when they first came into contact with English colonists in 1608, lived on the Southern Delmarva Peninsula on the Eastern Shore of Virginia; but only about 80 warriors or 270 tribal members (according to Smith) – more recent archaeological/historical studies and comparisons with other sources make a much larger population more likely; in the late 17th century were mostly referred to by the colonists as Gingaskins.
Accohannock / Accohanoc / Occohannock lived along Accohannock Creek in the counties of Accomack and Northampton north of Accomac Confederation in Virginia; were under the leadership of Kiptoteke, the brother of Debedeavon, and therefore probably politically subject to the Accomac Confederation; about 40 warriors or 135 tribal members.

The Powhatan people todayEdit

State and federal recognitionEdit

As of 2014, the state of Virginia has recognized eight Powhatan Indian-descended tribes in Virginia. Collectively, the tribes currently have 3,000–3,500 enrolled tribal members.[45] It is estimated, however, that 3 to 4 times that number are eligible for tribal membership.[16] Two of these tribes, the Mattaponi and Pamunkey, still retain their reservations from the 17th century and are located in King William County, Virginia.

Since the 1990s, the Powhatan Indian tribes which have state recognition, along with other Virginia Indian tribes which have state recognition, have been seeking federal recognition. That recognition process has proved difficult as it has been hampered by the lack of official records to verify heritage and by the historical misclassification of family members in the 1930s and 1940s, largely a result of Virginia's state policy of race classification on official documents.

After Virginia passed stringent segregation laws in the early 20th century and ultimately the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 which mandated every person who had any African heritage be deemed black, Walter Plecker, the head of Vital Statistics office, directed all state and local registration offices to use only the terms "white" or "colored" to denote race on official documents and thereby eliminated all traceable records of Virginia Indians. All state documents, including birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, tax forms and land deeds, thus bear no record of Virginia Indians. Plecker oversaw the Vital Statistics office in the state for more than 30 years, beginning in the early 20th century, and took a personal interest in eliminating traces of Virginia Indians. Plecker surmised that there were no true Virginia Indians remaining as years of intermarriage has diluted the race. Over his years of service, he conducted a campaign to reclassify all bi-racial and multi-racial individuals as black, believing such persons were fraudulently attempting to claim their race to be Indian or white. The effect of his reclassification has been described by tribal members as "paper genocide".[46]

After the United States entered WWII many Powhatans volunteered to serve in the military. Powhatan men fought to be regarded separately from the black community by the Selective Service. In 1954, Powhatans were given partial legal recognition by the General Assembly through a law stating that people with one-fourth or more Indian ancestry and one-sixteenth or less African ancestry were to be recognized as tribal Indians.[19]

Initially, the Virginia tribes' efforts to gain federal recognition encountered resistance due to federal legislators' concerns over whether gambling would be established on their lands if recognition were granted. Casinos are illegal in Virginia and concerns were expressed about tax effects. In March 2009, five of the state-recognized Powhatan Indian tribes and the other state-recognized Virginia Indian tribe introduced a bill to gain federal recognition through an act of Congress. The bill, "The Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act", included a section forbidding the tribes from opening casinos, even if casinos became legal in Virginia. The House Committee on Natural Resources recommended the bill be considered by the US House of Representatives at the end of April, and the House approved the bill on June 3, 2009. The bill was sent to the Senate's Committee on Indian Affairs, who recommended it be heard by the Senate as a whole in October. On December 23, 2009, the bill was placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar under general orders, which is where the bill is currently.[47][48] The bill had a hold on it placed for "jurisdictional concerns", as Senator Tom Coburn (R-Ok) believes requests for tribal recognition should be processed through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Virginia tribes say that the disrupted record keeping under the racially discriminatory practices of Walter Plecker destroyed their ability to demonstrate historical continuity of identity.[49] The bill died in the Senate.

In February 2011, the six Virginia tribes started the process again to try to gain federal recognition. They introduced a bill in the US House of Representatives and a companion bill in the Senate on the same day.[50] As of April 2011, the bills are in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the Subcommittee Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, respectively.[51][52]

Powhatan languagesEdit

The tribes of the Powhatan confederacy shared mutually intelligible Algonquian languages. The most common was likely Powhatan. Its use became dormant due to the widespread deaths and social disruption suffered by the peoples. Much of the vocabulary bank is forgotten. Attempts have been made to reconstruct the vocabulary of the language using sources such as word lists provided by Smith and by the 17th-century writer William Strachey.

Powhatan in filmEdit

The Powhatan people are featured in MGM's live action film Captain John Smith and Pocahontas (1953) and the Disney animated musical film Pocahontas (1995). They also appeared in the straight-to-video sequel Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998). Some of the current members of Powhatan-descended tribes complained about the Disney film. Roy Crazy Horse of the Powhatan Renape Nation said the Disney movie "distorts history beyond recognition".[53]

An attempt at a more historically accurate representation was the drama The New World (2005), directed by Terrence Malick, which had actors speaking a reconstructed Powhatan language devised by the linguist Blair Rudes. The Powhatan people generally criticize the film for continuing the myth of a romance between Pocahontas and John Smith. Her actual husband was John Rolfe, whom she married on April 5, 1614.

Notable descendantsEdit

The Powhatan tribe's notable descendants include Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, wife of Woodrow Wilson,[54] and Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton.[55]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Powhatan". Collins English Dictionary.
  2. ^ a b c "Writers' Guide" Archived 2012-02-24 at the Wayback Machine, Virginia Council on Indians, Commonwealth of Virginia, 2009
  3. ^ a b c Waugaman, Sandra F. and Danielle Moretti-Langholtz, Ph.D. We're Still Here: Contemporary Virginia Indians Tell Their Stories. Richmond: Palari Publishing, 2006 (revised edition).
  4. ^ Egloff, Keith and Deborah Woodward. First People: The Early Indians of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1992
  5. ^ a b Wood, Karenne. The Virginia Indian Heritage Trail, 2007.
  6. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Rountree 1990
  8. ^ "Matchut". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  9. ^ "Powhatan Renape Nation History - Rankokus American Indian Reservation". Archived from the original on March 27, 1997. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  10. ^ "". Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  11. ^ "Chronology of Powhatan Indian Activity", National Park Service
  12. ^ Rabow-Edling, Susanna (2018). "The civic concept of the nation". Liberalism in Pre-Revolutionary Russia. Routledge. pp. 18–37. doi:10.4324/9781315149509-2. ISBN 978-1-315-14950-9.
  13. ^ Notes on the State of Virginia, Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826Archived 2013-08-29 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Encyclopedia". JAMA. 279 (17): 1409. May 6, 1998. doi:10.1001/jama.279.17.1409-jbk0506-6-1. ISSN 0098-7484.
  15. ^ "Smith, Generall Historie of Virginia, 1624". Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  16. ^ a b Rountree, Helen C. and E. Randolph Turner III. Before and After Jamestown: Virginia's Powhatans and Their Predecessors. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002.
  17. ^ Rountree, Helen C. Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough: Three Indian Lives Changed by Jamestown. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005
  18. ^ Grizzard, Frank E. (2007). Jamestown Colony: A Political, Social, and Cultural History. Santa Barbara, CA: ABL-CLIO, Inc. pp. Introduction: l-li. ISBN 1-85109-637-X.
  19. ^ a b c Rountree, Helen C. (1996). Pocahontas's people : the Powhatan Indians of Virginia through four centuries. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-585-15425-2. OCLC 44957641.
  20. ^ a b c Rountree, Helen C. (1998). "Powhatan Indian Women: The People Captain John Smith Barely Saw". Ethnohistory. 45 (1): 1–29. doi:10.2307/483170. ISSN 0014-1801. JSTOR 483170.
  21. ^ ""The Chesapeake Bay Region and its People in 1607"" (PDF). Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  22. ^ Rountree, Helen C. (1998). "Powhatan Indian Women: The People Captain John Smith Barely Saw". Ethnohistory. 45 (1): 1–29. doi:10.2307/483170. JSTOR 483170.
  23. ^ Brown, Hutch (Summer 2000). "Wildland Burning by American Indians in Virginia". Fire Management Today. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 60 (3): 30–33.
  24. ^ "Gale General OneFile - Document - Pocahontas celebrates: a Powhatan harvest festival". Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  25. ^ Rountree, Helen C. (August 28, 1992). "Powhatan priests and English rectors: world views and congregations in conflict". The American Indian Quarterly. 16 (4): 485–. doi:10.2307/1185294. JSTOR 1185294. Retrieved August 28, 2020 – via Gale.
  26. ^ "Seventeenth Century Virginia Algonquian Population Estimates (1973)". Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  27. ^ "Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail - James River Basin - Indian Towns & Natural Resources They Relied On" (PDF). Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  28. ^ "WE HAVE A STORY TO TELL - Native Peoples of Chesapeake Region" (PDF). Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  29. ^ "VDOE :: Virginia's First People Past & Present - Nansemond". Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  30. ^ "Chesapeake Bay - Native Americans - The Mariners' Museum". Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  31. ^ The term Nottoway may derive from ″Nadawa″ or ″Nadowessioux″ (widely translated as "poisonous snake"), an Algonquian-language term which speakers used to refer to members of competing language families, specifically the Iroquoian- or Siouan-speaking tribes. Because the Algonquian occupied the coastal areas, they were the first tribes met by the English colonists, who often adopted use of such Algonquian ethnonyms, names for other tribes, not realizing at first that these differed from the tribes' autonyms or names for themselves. The Nottoway called themselves in their tongue Nottaway (Dar-sun-ke) Cheroenhaka - "People at the Fork of the Stream" (because they lived in the region of the Nottaway, Blackwater River, and Chowan River - all Blackwater rivers), but the meaning of the name Cheroenhaka is uncertain and still disputed.
  32. ^ "GNIS Detail - Pamunkey River". Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  33. ^ "Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail - York River Basin - Indian Towns & Natural Resources They Relied On" (PDF). Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  34. ^ "VDOE :: Virginia's First People Past & Present - Pamunkey". Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  35. ^ "Pampatike Farm - From Opechancanough to Col Thomas Carter". Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  36. ^ not to be confused with the small chieftain, also referred to as Mattapanient along the Patuxent River in northern Calvert and eastern Prince George's Counties of Maryland, which was under the Suzerainty of the Patuxent or the mighty Piscataway (Conoy)
  37. ^ The information on the number of warriors (and hereby the population) for the additional tribes listed by Strachey – the Cantauncack,'Menapacunt, Pataunck, Ochahannauke, Kaposecock(e), Pamareke, Shamapa, Orapaks, Chepeco and the Paraconos – far exceed the usual populations for the Powhatan tribes. According to Feest Strachey's population numbers for the York and Mattaponi Rivers are to prefer over those of Smith (especially with regard to the mighty Mattaponie) – but are probably too high for the tribes along the Pamunkey River (the given 400 warriors or 1,300 tribal members for the Pamareke and Kaposecock(s) are questionable – since both tribes are often regarded as subgroups of the mighty Pamunkey – which according to Smith & Strachey could raise itself about 300 warriors or 1,000 Tribal members counted).
  38. ^ "VDOE :: Virginia's First People Past & Present - Mattaponi". Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  39. ^ "VDOE :: Virginia's First People Past & Present - Upper Mattaponi". Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  40. ^ "Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail - Rappahannock River Basin - Indian Towns & Natural Resources They Relied On" (PDF). Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  41. ^ "Christopher Steadman: The Powhatan Chiefdom: 1606, Old Dominion University, Model United Nations Society, 2015" (PDF). Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  42. ^ "VDOE :: Virginia's First People Past & Present - Rappahannock". Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  43. ^ Wolfe, Brendan (February 17, 2021). "Patawomeck Tribe". Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  44. ^ "Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail – Lower Eastern Shore – Indian Towns & Natural Resources They Relied On" (PDF). Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  45. ^ Kimberlain, Joanne. "We're Still Here", The Virginian-Pilot, June 7–9, 2009.
  46. ^ Fiske, Warren. "The Black-and-White World of Walter Ashby Plecker", The Virginian-Pilot, August 18, 2004
  47. ^ "Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2009 (2009 - H.R. 1385)". Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  48. ^ "Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2009 (2009 - S. 1178)". Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  49. ^ "Baptist executives urge federal recognition of Virginia tribes". Archived from the original on August 20, 2010. Retrieved July 15, 2013., ABP News
  50. ^ Williams, Allison T. "Virginia tribes may get federal recognition". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  51. ^ James, Moran (February 25, 2011). "Actions – H.R.783 – 112th Congress (2011–2012): Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2011". Archived from the original on July 18, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  52. ^ Jim, Webb (August 2, 2012). "Actions – S.379 – 112th Congress (2011–2012): Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2011". Archived from the original on July 3, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  53. ^ The Pocahontas Myth Archived July 5, 2013, at the Wayback Machine by Roy Crazy Horse, Powhatan Renape Nation website, accessed November 28, 2009
  54. ^ Hatch, p. 42; Waldrup, p. 186; For a genealogy of Pocahontas' elite slave-holding settler descendants, see Wyndham Robertson, Pocahontas: Alias Matoaka, and Her Descendants through Her Marriage at Jamestown, Virginia, in April 1614, with John Rolph, Gentleman (J W Randolph & English, Richmond, VA, 1887).
  55. ^ "Powhatan People". Retrieved November 15, 2018.

Further readingEdit

  • Sakas, Karliana. "The indigenous authorship of the narratives of the Spanish Jesuit mission of Ajacan (1570-1572)." EHumanista, vol. 19, 2011, p. 511+. Gale Academic Onefile, Accessed 14 Nov. 2019.
  • Gleach, Frederic W. (1997) Powhatan's World and Colonial Virginia: A Conflict of Cultures. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
  • Gleach, Frederic W. (2006) "Pocahontas: An Exercise in Mythmaking and Marketing", In New Perspectives on Native North America: Cultures, Histories, and Representations, ed. by Sergei A. Kan and Pauline Turner Strong, pp. 433–455. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
  • Karen Kupperman, Settling With the Indians: The Meeting of English and Indian Cultures in America, 1580–1640, 1980
  • A. Bryant Nichols Jr., Captain Christopher Newport: Admiral of Virginia, Sea Venture, 2007
  • James Rice, Nature and History in the Potomac Country: From Hunter-Gatherers to the Age of Jefferson, 2009.
  • Helen C. Rountree, Pocahontas's People: The Powhatan Indians of Virginia Through Four Centuries, 1990

External linksEdit

  Media related to Powhatan at Wikimedia Commons