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

By Frederic W. Gleach | Go to book overview

7 Virginia between the Coups

Our hands, which before were tied with gentleness and fair usage, are now set at liberty by the treacherous violence of the savages, not untying the knot, but cutting it. So that we, who hitherto have had possession of no more ground than their waste, and our purchase, at a valuable consideration to their own contentment, gained, may now by right of war, and law of nations, invade the country, and destroy them who sought to destroy us: whereby we shall enjoy their cultivated places, turning the laborious mattock into the victorious sword (wherein there is more both ease, benefit, and glory) and possessing the fruits of others' labors. Now their cleared grounds in all their villages (which are situated in the most fruitful places of the land) shall be inhabited by us, whereas heretofore the grubbing of woods was the greatest labor. -- Waterhouse, "A Declaration of the State of the Colony"

AFTER THE COUP, the Powhatan warriors presumably returned to their homes, exulting in the glory of their successful attack. Having defeated the English settlers in almost every location attacked, the Powhatans would have expected the English to return to their settlements that had not been destroyed, to cease trying to buy or steal Powhatan children for their projects, and perhaps to plot or work towards someday being able to seek revenge. That "someday" came very soon, since the colonists were not appropriately humiliated, and the coup resulted in an immediate self-righteous offensive designed by the English to exterminate the Powhatans.

Not only were the Powhatans persecuted following the coup, but it seems that a small group of some of the more important colonists conspired to appropriate goods of value from some of the slain colonists--and particularly from the estate of George Thorpe, whose family was still in England. There seems to have been some enquiry about this: John Smyth of Nibley, one of the main supporters of Berkeley Hundred in England, had

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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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