By Helen C. Rountree
During this historical past, Helen C. Roundtree lines occasions that formed the lives of the Powhatan Indians of Virginia, from their first come across with English colonists, in 1607, to their present-day lifestyle and dating to the country of Virginia and the federal government.Roundtree’s exam of these 400 years misses now not a beat within the pulse of Powhatan existence. Combining meticulous scholarship and sensitivity, the writer explores the variety consistently chanced on between Powhatan humans, and people people’s relationships with the English, the govt of the fledgling usa, the Union and the Confederacy, the U.S. Census Bureau, white supremacists, the U.S. Selective carrier, and the civil rights circulation.
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Additional info for Pocahontas's people: the Powhatan Indians of Virginia through four centuries
110 He either could not or did not control his subject tribes rigidly. Tribes occasionally fought among themselves, as did the Weyanocks and Paspaheghs on the James and the Rappahannocks and Moraughtacunds on the Rappahannock in 16071608 (see chapter 2). They also negotiated on their own with the English, until Powhatan decided that the newcomers were important enough to deal with himself, and even then the tribes were allowed great latitude in their behavior. 111 Peripheral peoples, such as the Accomacs and Occohannocks on the Eastern Shore and the Patawomecks and Onawmanients on the Potomac, paid him lip service as often as real obedience.
In the freshwater marshes there are plants such as arrow arum, with a root (tuckahoe) that human ingenuity can make edible, as well as reeds for mat making. Meadows, manmade or natural, provide a number of wild greens. 18 Given these conditions, Indians in Virginia after the end of the last Ice Age lived very well by hunting, gathering, and fishing, in spite of the extinctions that carried off the mammoths and mastodons. The Powhatans of the early seventeenth century kept up all these ancient skills.
The latter activity also proved a good way to kill time when the Indians weren't talking. Within two years I had enough data to undertake a doctoral dissertation on Virginia's land policy toward Indians, so I went back to school and acquired a doctorate in 1973 under Nancy Oestreich Lurie (the one anthropologist in the country at the time who welcomed a project that supposedly couldn't be done on historical coastal Algonquian Indians). After that, I went back to teaching in the winters and researching in the summers, making occasional daytime visits to modern Indian folk.