Powhatan's World and Colonial Virginia: A Conflict of Cultures

By Frederic W. Gleach | Go to book overview

3 Prolegomena

The Colonization of Virginia

Sir Walter Ralegh was responsible for the first attempts to plant Englishmen in "Virginia"
(modern North Carolina and Virginia). Ralegh saw these efforts as both an act of pa-
triotism and a stepping stone for his own ambition. A combination of great ambition,
misplaced idealism and greed meant that the colony established in 1584 struggled for a
few brief years and died. Further attempts involved a similar tragic waste of energy and
lives.

--seen in the "Bloody Tower" of HM Tower of London, where Raleigh was imprisoned
1603-16 ( Dec. 1990)

ENGLISHMEN HAD VISITED the New World at least as early as 1497, when John Cabot explored parts of the East Coast, including Newfoundland ( Quinn 1974:6), and it is possible that sailors from Bristol may have discovered what was then referred to as the "Isle of Brasil" prior to Columbus's famed voyage, perhaps as early as 1480 ( Quinn 1961, 1974:5-23). Cabot's grant to explore issued from King Henry VII, and from 1497 into the early sixteenth century a series of voyages were undertaken by a cooperative association of Bristol and Portuguese merchants and sailors. These seem to have been unprofitable, and for more than seventy years after 1505 the English did not challenge the efforts of other nations to seek fortune in North America. English fishermen continued to make annual trips to the Labrador and Newfoundland fishing grounds throughout the sixteenth century, but they engaged in little trade or exploration during that time.

The French, Portuguese, and Spanish continued to explore the New World through the sixteenth century, with the French more involved in the north and the Spanish and Portuguese most active from Florida south. The Spanish and Portuguese in particular were wide-ranging in their explora-

-88-

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Powhatan's World and Colonial Virginia: A Conflict of Cultures
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Methodology and Previous Research 1
  • 1 - The Native Context 22
  • 2 - The English Colonial Context 61
  • 3 - Prolegomena 88
  • 4 - The Birth of Virginia in Tsenacommacah 106
  • 5 - Virginia Before the 1622 Coup 123
  • The Great Massacre of 1622 148
  • 7 - Virginia Between the Coups 159
  • 8 - The Coup of 1644 and Its Aftermath 174
  • 9 - A Survey of Virginia Indian Relations After 1646 184
  • Conclusion 199
  • Introduction 207
  • References 213
  • Index 235
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