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Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough: Three Indian Lives Changed by Jamestown
Pocahontas may be the most famous Native American who ever lived, but during the settlement of Jamestown, and for two centuries afterward, the great chiefs Powhatan and Opechancanough were the subjects of considerably more interest and historical documentation than the young woman. It was Opechancanough who captured the foreign captain "Chawnzmit"--John Smith. Smith gave O ...more
Paperback, 292 pages
Published July 5th 2006 by University of Virginia Press
(first published June 15th 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 81)
Roundtree's narrative does something truly remarkable; it uses her extensive understanding of the Powhatan culture of the 17th century to reconstruct their point of view. Always conscious of the limitations of such an act, she nonetheless succeeds brilliantly at her task. Her reconstruction is utterly faithful to everything I have ever read about Algonquian cultural practice. Moreover, she places the story of Pocahontas in context with the larger political struggles of the tribe, as represented ...more
This book is engaging, enjoyable, and scholarly without being pedantic. Rountree subverts the history of the settlement of Jamestown by writing about it from the perspective of indigenous Powhatan Indians. Most histories on the subject necessarily assume an English view point because English settlers left behind primary source documentation (John Smith, George Percy, and a few others) while the Powhatan language (a dialect of Algonquian) was not written. Settlers become "squatters," and no longe ...more
I enjoyed Rountree's attempt to make known a point of view usually looked over in the history books when reading about Jamestown. Instead of making the book a slough to read through, the book is enjoyable to those with even a slight interest in what the Native Americans may have thought at the time as well as an explanation for some of their actions. Some of the author's interjections may put readers off, thought I found them to be entertaining albeit not always as helpful as Rountree envisioned ...more
Retelling the Jamestown story from the point of view of the Powhatan Indians. Rountree takes this pretty far, to the point of referring to John Smith as his name was probably pronounced (Chawnzmit), and referring to the English as Tassantassas (Algonquian for "strangers"). Overall, I found the psychological reversal extremely effective and began to understand how shocking and disorienting the arrival of the English must have been; your mileage may vary. One weakness is that Rountree doesn't spen ...more
Rountree’s ethnohistoric history is a lively account of the impact of the English colony at Jamestown from the point of view of the Real People, the Powhatans who had inhabited the shore of what the unwashed new arrivals called Virginia for the previous fourteen centuries. Since they did not have a written language she constructs her account on the documents of the European squatters and her own anthropological knowledge of the native people. As the title indicates, the narrative revolves around ...more
Feb 07, 2011 Sandie rated it 4 of 5 stars
I liked it. Thought it read more like a text book but nonetheless, it definitely gave some real insight and explanation of the Powhatan tribe and what they went through during the European invasion. I completely sympathize with the Powhatan's and wish so badly that the Europeans never pushed their way onto territory that wasn't there's to begin with. they were brutal and insulting and had no right to claim land that never belonged to them. Granted, we wouldn't be here now had that no of occured, ...more
This books is an awesome rendering of the history of English and Powhatan peoples' interactions in colonial Jamestown told from Indian's point of view. I used this book for my colonial history class this semester and it was an amazing experience. The book made students think about the way language and myth affect our historical understanding.
Great book, I learned a lot! I've never read anything specifically about the Native Americans involved in Jamestown, and it was really interesting to learn about their culture (though also kinda sad since we know the eventual outcome). It's written in a very colloquial style, so it's easy to understand and keeps your interest.
This book was a great starting point for learning about the Powhatan Indians and their contact with the English. Powhatan, Pocahontas, and Opechancanough were very important names in the timeline. I found it dragged toward the end and was frustrated that even the massacre of 1622 didn't speed things up for me. I also feel that each chapter may have been written as its own paper and then compiled into this book; there was unnecessary repetition of facts and ideas.