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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is the thread to discuss the Anglo-Powhatan Wars.

The Anglo-Powhatan "Wars"

Powhatan had inherited control control over just four tribes, but dominated over thirty by the time the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery sailed into the Chesapeake Bay in 1607. Until the English arrived, he had been "on a roll..."

Powhatan's territory was called Tsenacommacah. It was roughly 80 miles long from Virginia Beach to Potomac Creek (in modern Stafford County), and extended 40 miles inland from the Eastern Shore to the Fall Line.

Powhatan's span of control, his "paramount chiefdom," was established by force as well as by diplomacy. He permitted some tribes to maintain a high level of independence, but he attacked and physically eliminated the Chesapeake tribe. He destroyed the independence of that tribe about the time the English arrived. This sealed his control over the Elizabeth River watershed, where Portsmouth/Norfolk/Virginia Beach are now located.

Powhatan may have attacked the Chesapeakes just to expand his area of control - or he may have been thinking ahead, and protecting the flank of his paramount chiefdom against a European threat. He would have known stories of the Spanish Jesuits arriving in 1570, and would have heard about of the Roanoke Colony on the Outer Banks 15 years later. In both cases, the Native Americans had destroyed the Europeans.

The Algonquian tribes lacked the military "over the horizon" sensor capability to know exactly when European ships were headed towards Virginia, but Powhatan must have considered the possibility that ships from Europe could arrive in his territory. He may have planned to keep the English at the periphery of his area of control, on the Atlantic Ocean shoreline.

Source: Wikipedia

message 2: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig The First Way of War, American War Making of the Frontier, 1607-1814

The First Way of War American War Making on the Frontier, 1607-1814 by John Grenier by John Grenier (no photo)


This book explores the evolution of Americans' first way of war, to show how war waged again Indian noncombatant population and agricultural resources became the method early Americans' employed and, ultimately, defined their military heritage.

message 3: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Pocahontas's People

Pocahontas’s People The Powhatan Indians of Virginia Through Four Centuries by Helen C. Roundtree by Helen C. Roundtree (no photo)


In this history, Helen C. Roundtree traces events that shaped the lives of the Powhatan Indians of Virginia, from their first encounter with English colonists, in 1607, to their present-day way of life and relationship to the state of Virginia and the federal government.

Roundtree’s examination of those four hundred years misses not a beat in the pulse of Powhatan life. Combining meticulous scholarship and sensitivity, the author explores the diversity always found among Powhatan people, and those people’s relationships with the English, the government of the fledgling United States, the Union and the Confederacy, the U.S. Census Bureau, white supremacists, the U.S. Selective Service, and the civil rights movement.

message 4: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
An upcoming book:
Release date: November 2, 2021

A Brave and Cunning Prince: The Great Chief Opechancanough and the War for America

A Brave and Cunning Prince The Great Chief Opechancanough and the War for America by James Horn by James Horn (no photo)


In the mid-sixteenth century, Spanish explorers in the Chesapeake Bay kidnapped an Indian child and took him back to Spain and subsequently to Mexico. The boy converted to Catholicism and after nearly a decade was able to return to his land with a group of Jesuits to establish a mission. Shortly after arriving, he organized a war party that killed them.

In the years that followed, Opechancanough (as the English called him), helped establish the most powerful chiefdom in the mid-Atlantic region. When English settlers founded Virginia in 1607, he fought tirelessly to drive them away, leading to a series of wars that spanned the next forty years the first Anglo-Indian wars in America and came close to destroying the colony.

A Brave and Cunning Prince is the first book to chronicle the life of this remarkable chief, exploring his early experiences of European society and his long struggle to save his people from conquest.

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