Anglo-Powhatan Wars

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Anglo-Powhatan Wars
Part of the American Indian Wars
1622 massacre jamestown de Bry.jpg
Matthaeus Merian's 1628 woodcut depicting the massacre of Jamestown and outlying Virginia settlements by the Powhatan Indians on March 22, 1622; based on Theodore de Bry's earlier depictions but with a large degree of conjecture
Date1609–1646
Location
Result Treaty of Middle Plantation
Belligerents
Virginia Colony Powhatan Confederacy

The Anglo–Powhatan Wars were three wars between the Powhatan People and English colonists of Virginia. The first war went from 1609 to 1614. The second war was from 1622 to 1626. The third war was from 1644 until 1646. The last war ended with the death of Opechancanough. The Powhatan eventually were defeated and lost a lot of land.[1]

Early Conflict[change | change source]

The English settled in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. The Chief Powhatan wanted the English colonists to leave the land. Captain John Smith was exploring the land. The Powhatan captured him, but he was eventually released. Smith wanted to build several forts close to the Powhatan people. Powhatan tribes attacked English forts in Jamestown, Virginia. Later Powhatans killed Captain John Ratcliffe and several colonists. The English responded with harsh conditions and more violence.[2]

First Anglo-Powhatan War[change | change source]

The first war was from 1609 to 1614. English attacked and mostly destroyed the town of Paspahegh. They killed the queen and several children. The English captured an island from the Arrohattocs. The Appomattoc attacked the English in 1610. In 1611, the English captured Appomattoc. In December 1612, the English attacked Patawomeck and captured Pocahontas. She was the daughter of Powhatan. The Powhatan stopped fighting to get her back. English colonists continued to expand into Weyanoke, Appomattoc, Arrohattoc, and Powhatan territory.[2]

The English found Powhatan and created a peace agreement. Pocahantas would marry John Rolfe. This peace lasted for several years.[3]

Second Anglo-Powhatan War[change | change source]

Opechancanough (the younger brother of Powhatan) and his warriors attacked Jamestown in 1622. They killed many colonists. This event was the Jamestown Massacre or Indian massacre of 1622.[4] The English had a quick and strong response. They were allies with the Accomac and Patawomeck. These tribes provided corn. The English attacked the Chickahominy, Appamattoc, Nansemond, Warraskoyack, Weyanoke, and Pamunkey. Opechancanough asked for peace. However, the English tricked and poisoned the Natives. The colonists had a shortage of gunfire from 1625-1626. The English attacked several tribes again in Summer 1627. There was a short time of peace in 1628. However, fighting continued until 1632. The English colonists expanded their land more. The English also created a fence barrier (palisade) to stop Native attacks.[5]

Third Anglo-Powhatan War[change | change source]

There were ten years of peace before the third war. Opechancanough led the fight this time in 1644. He and his men killed many colonists. Governor William Berkeley led an attack to capture Opechancanough. The English were successful.[6] Opechancanough was killed in captivity in October 1646. Necotowance had replaced him as chief of the Powhatan Confederacy.[7]

Treaty of 1646[change | change source]

The General Assembly of Virginia and Necotowance signed a peace treaty in October 1646. Natives had to give payments to the Virginia governor. The English created a frontier line. It racially separated Naives from English. The treaty also expanded English land.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Mark, Joshua J. "Anglo-Powhatan Wars". World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2022-08-12.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "First Anglo-Powhatan War (1609–1614) – Encyclopedia Virginia". Retrieved 2022-08-12.
  3. Yorktown, Mailing Address: P. O. Box 210; Us, VA 23690 Phone: 757-898-3400 Contact. "Chronology of Powhatan Indian Activity - Historic Jamestowne Part of Colonial National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 2022-08-12.
  4. The encyclopedia of North American Indian wars, 1607-1890 : a political, social, and military history. Spencer Tucker, James R. Arnold, Roberta Wiener. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. 2011. ISBN 978-1-85109-603-9. OCLC 755414410.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. "Anglo-Powhatan War, Second (1622–1632) – Encyclopedia Virginia". Retrieved 2022-08-12.
  6. "Colonial National Historical Park: A Study of Virginia Indians and Jamestown-The First Century". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 2022-08-12.
  7. "The Third Anglo-Powhatan War (1644-46)". www.virginiaplaces.org. Retrieved 2022-08-12.