The Powhatan Wars begin
In 1609 tensions between the Native Indians and colonists increased when livestock, owned by the colonists, were allowed to wander into the Indian cornfields. The tribe reduced trade attempting to starve the colonists out. The chief invited the English to his new place to trade but instead of trading his tribe attacked the English and many were killed. The chief commanded the federation to refuse any trading with the English and attack any English who left Jamestown. Attacks were made on the fort and the First Powhatan War (1609 - 1614) erupts. The period covering the next 2 years (1609-1610) would become known as the 'Starving Time'.
Powhatan - Pocahontas and John Rolfe
In 1613, Pocahontas was captured so the English settlers could increase their demands from Powhatan. Powhatan needed to secure the release of his daughter so he met with the English in the fort and brought with him the guns that they had taken from the other English settlers. Unfortunately, the chief and his tribe did not meet all the demands of the English so Pocahontas remained their captive. In April 1614 Pocahontas married English tobacco planter John Rolfe and peace returned to the warring factions. The first war (1609 - 1614) was over.
The Death of Powhatan
The union between Pocahontas and John Rolfe brought peace to both groups. It lasted for the rest of the Powhatan’s life. Pocahontas died in 1617 and the death of Chief Powhatan followed a year later in April 1618. His brother Opechancanough, succeeded his leadership to the Powhatan Federation of Indians. Another conflict had started under his leadership and the wars between the colonists and Native Indians started again.
Famous quotes by the famous chief include the following:
"Why should you take by force that from us that which you can have by Love? Why should you destroy us, who have provided you with food? What can you get by war?"
"I am not so simple as to not know it is better to eat good meat, lie well, and sleep quietly with my women and children; to laugh and be merry with the English; and being their friend, to have copper, hatchets, and whatever else I want, than to fly from all, to lie cold in the woods, and to be so hunted, that I cannot rest, eat, or sleep."
The Powhatan Wars (1609 - 1646) were a series of three wars between the English settlers of the Virginia Colony, and Native American Indians of the Powhatan Confederacy.
The First War was fought 1609 to 1614.
The Second War was fought 1622 to 1632.
The Third War was fought 1644–1646
The Powhatan Wars (1609 - 1646) ended in defeat for the Native Indian Confederacy
The Story of Powhatan
For additional facts and information refer to the legend and the Story of Captain John Smith and Powhatan