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

By Frederic W. Gleach | Go to book overview

4 The Birth of Virginia in Tsenacommacah

When the two races first met on the eastern coast of America, there was unlimited
potential for harmony. The newcomers could have adapted to the hosts' customs and
values or at least understood and respected them. The discovery could have been the
start of a new and better age. But this did not happen. The vast differences in basic beliefs
and values of the two groups continually proved that they could not live together in
peace.--George Horse Capture, "An American Indian Perspective"

THE NUMBER OF ENGLISH voyages to Virginia between 1590 and 1607 may never be known, and very few details have been found, but there is evidence for increased interest in the early years of the seventeenth century. Thomas Hariot seems to have been involved in a voyage of 1602 ( Quinn 1974-:407-13), and at least two Indians were present in London in 1603, where some demonstrations were performed ( Quinn 1974:419-31), although these may have been voyages to and Indians from further north, around present-day New York or Massachusetts ( Beverley 1947:23-24). The peace treaty signed between Spain and England in 1604. ( Quinn 1974:450) provided some measure of stability, but the Spanish were still concerned about any attempted English presence in the New World, as the English remained concerned about Spanish attacks at least into the 1620s. There was another voyage to the New York area in 1605, and the possibility of the survival of the Roanoke Island colony had gained sufficient public interest that it was mentioned that year in London in the play Eastward Hoe ( Chapman et al. 1926); this survival seems to have been one of the justifications for renewed English colonial efforts, for which a charter was granted in April 1606 ( Quinn 1974:452). Without further recorded exploratory visits (although Quinn [ 1974:452-53] suggests these may have taken place), an English colonial force was to sail for Virginia.

-106-

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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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