Matachanna Powhatan: Birth: ABT 1595.
Nanontack Powhatan: Birth: ABT 1601.
Mantequos Powhatan: Birth: ABT 1590.
Taux Powhatan: Birth: ABT 1592.
Parahunt Powhatan: Birth: ABT 1594.
Matoaka Pocahontas Powhatan: Birth: ABT 1596 in Werowocomoco, York River, Gloucester Co., Virginia. Death: 3 MAR 1616/17 in Gravesend, Kent Co., England
Pochins Powhatan: Birth: ABT 1598.
Title: Leona M. Simonini <[email protected]@frontiernet.net>, of Lake Almanor Peninsula, California
Title: For the spelling of Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh), I am using Lee Miller's from her work "Roanoke," 2001
Title: For my current version of spelling, see Helen Rountree's new work in 2005, op. cit., p 33
Title: Capt. John Smith reported that Powhatan was "in his sixtyes" by the Jamestown settlement
Title: I have seen his birth date spread from the early 1540s to as late as 1555; with 1542 I follow Smith's report in the previous note
Title: My estimate of a date and the place is from a Web site on this family
Title: He dies the same year Sir Walter Raleigh is executed by King James
Title: John Rolfe reported his death in June, 1618, according to Grace Steele Woodward in her "Pocahontas"
Title: Helen Rountree notes the Rolfe letter dated June 15, 1618 which reports Powhatan's death in April
Note: --These are my notes (or I credit others) which I have seen copied without reference to me; happy to have you use them, but please cite me-- The Powhatan Confederacy stretched from the Potomac river south along the Virginia coast into upper North Carolina, and west to the fall line of the rivers. The Powhatans were a part of the late Woodlands culture of the southeastern part of the United States. Their tongue was a derivative of Algonquian on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay and the Hudson and Delaware river basins. They were polytheistic in their faith, with the major deities being Okeus, responsible for the evil in the world, and Ahone, a god of good. In her wonderful work "Pocahontas," Grace Steele Woodward writes that Okeus was annually appeased from his evil with human sacrifice; "the priests would gather the entire Powhatan community in the woods, and after chanting their supplications... around a great fire, would present two or three of the Powhatan children to the god. Okeus would then mysteriously communicate to the priests the names of those to be sacrificed, and not even the son of a werowance was spared from death on the sacrificial altar if he was unfortunate enough to be selected." The beneficent god Ahone was praised by the Powhatans bathing in the rivers or streams each morning at sunrise and then standing arms raised inside a circle of dried tobacco to call their prayers. Grace Woodward tells us the colonists reported these chants as the men howling "like wolves" and foaming at the mouth. They also practiced a ritualistic torture, she notes, dismembering the living bodies of captives and tossing the pieces on a fire, or sometimes bashing the captive's head on a stone block with a mallet or club. "Scalps salvaged from the ceremony were hung on a line stretched between trees-- to be admired and appreciated." By the time of the arrival of the Europeans in the late 16th century, the Powhatan chief, Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh), was called by the tribe's name, Powhatan. He is described by Captain John Smith in his "General Historie...." in the early 1600s as "a tall well proportioned man with a sower look, his head somewhat gray, his beard so thin it seemeth none at all, his age near sixtye of a very capable and hardy body to endure any labor." Succession of the ruler passed from brother to brother and so on, then to sisters and their heirs. Woodward says the name of Pocahontas' mother was unknown to the colonists. Others have reported her to be Winganuske Matatiske. Much of the information in this section tracing the purported linkage between Abadiah Davis and Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh) (Powhatan) comes from the research of Leona M. Simonini <[email protected]@frontiernet.net>, of Lake Almanor Peninsula, California , who has graciously shared her work with me. I cite her as Leona throughout. Leona says: (quoting from NJ Floyd's work)(more in Notes elsewhere): "The writer, feeling confident that the original tradition was correct, made an exhaustive search for information on that any many similar matters, and finally found, in the old library of the Maryland Historical Society, an item of three lines in a fragment of Jamestown records covering eleven years-- 1630 to 1641--which furnished in a positive and indisputable form the proof sought. During the period, covered by the fragment, matters became so bad between the Whites and Indians, that Opechancanough was induced to agree upon a line being established which neither White nor Indian, excepting truce-bearers, should cross under penalty of being shot on sight. To insure strict obedience to the compact, a law was passed at Jamestown imposing a heavy penalty on any of the people crossing the line without a special permit from the Governor's Council and the General Court. This accounts for the item alluded to, which is given verbatim et literatim. In the Council record it reads: 'December 17th 1641,--Thomas Rolfe petitions Governor to let him go see Opechankeno to whom he is allied, and Cleopatra, his mother's sister.' The record of the General Court was evidently intended to be a verbatim copy, though they differ somewhat in phraseology and spelling:-- 'December 17th 1641--Thomas Rolph petitions Gov. to let him go to see Opechanko, to whom he is allied, and Cleopatre, his mother's sister.' " When I (the ed.) was in Oxford in 1999, I found in the Ashmolean the following curious display in the Tradescant Room, Room Number 27, upstairs. (The notes are paraphrased from Ashmolean Museum notes, unless they are quotes.) Probably the most important North American Indian relic to survive anywhere in the world is the "robe of the King of Virginia," or, as the 1656 Tradescant catalogue notes: "Pohatan, King of Virginia's habit all embroidered with shells, or Roanoke." How it was acquired is unclear, though the father and son, Tradescant, both had ties to Virginia. The wrap is of four full deerskins sewn together with sinews. It depicts, in shell decoration, a human figure flanked on each side by animals, possibly a deer and a large cat, all bounded by numerous spiral shell decorations. The current theories, says the Ashmolean guide, suggest it to be a hanging rather than a wrap. About the Tradescant Room of artifacts, the museum says: "The exhibits from the cabinet of curiosities established at Lambeth by John Tradescant the elder (died 1638) and maintained by his son of the same name (died 1662) were later inherited by Elias Ashmole: it was these items that formed the basis of Ashmole's benefaction to the University of Oxford and which led to the founding of the Ashmolean Museum in 1683. The mixture of natural and man-made rarities (of which only a fraction survives today) was typical of the age. The Tradescants were ahead of their time in opening their privately owned museum to the fee-paying public and this practice was continued at the Ashmolean - Britain's first public museum. In this gallery what has survived of their collection is exhibited along with other objects given to the University in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. " Truman Adkins <[email protected]@kimbanet.com> writes on 11 Dec 99 that " ...the Powhatan "Confederacy" was called by the people Tsenacomaco. It's Paramount Chief at the time of the settlement of Jamestown was Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh), whom the English chose to call Powhatan, as he had his "seat" among the Powhatan people, one of 33 tribes that made up the group. This tribe faded thru history, their descendants selling their remaining lands using the surname Powhite, as in the Powhite Parkway in Richmond, Virginia. "The following information was provided me (Truman Adkins) by Leona Simonini <[email protected]@frontiernet.net> in California who is a descendant of Cleopatra, the name given by the English to the sister of Pocahontas: Winganuske Matatiske b. 1571, their children: Mantequos (son) Taux (son) Parahunt (son) Pochins (son) Matoaka, Pocahontas, Rebecca, m. John Rolfe Nonoma, their children: Matachanna (daughter) m. Kwiokos Uttamatomakkin Tomocomo, he was Chief Powhatan's Priest Counselor. He and his wife accompanied Pocahontas and John Rolfe on their trip to England. Matachanna was married a total of 3 times, others unknown. Cleopatra m. Opechancanough who was her father's brother and her uncle. Nanontack (son) Ponnoiske, don't have any children for her. Amopotoiske, don't have any children for her. (ed.: the Amonsoquaths say she is Pocahontas' mother.) Regent Oholasc Quigoughcohtan, b. 1579, their children: Tahacoope Quiqoughcohannock (son) m. Ottopomtacks. "Today there are two reservations remaining in Virginia, both in King William County, the Pamunkey, where Powhatan is buried, and the Mattaponi (as well as the Cherokee). The Commonwealth recognizes eight tribes in addition to the above two-- there are the Upper Mattaponi, Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Nandsemond, Rappahannock, all of whom are Powhatan, and the Monacan to the west of the area of Tsenacomaco. An excellent book on the Powhatan's struggles thru the centuries is Helen Rountree's POCAHONTAS'S PEOPLE, published by the University of Oklahoma Press. Truman Adkins, Fieldale, Henry County, Virginia" Also I found in an unpublished script this listing of Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh)'s various wives in addition to Nonoma: Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh) and WINGANUSKE Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh) and ASHETOISKE Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh) and AMOPOTOISKE, see note above for the Amonsoquath belief Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh) and OTTOPOMTACKE Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh) and ATTOSSOCOMISKE Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh) and PONNOISKE Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh) and APPOMOSISCUT Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh) and APPIMMONOISKE Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh) and ORTOUGHNOISKE Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh) and OWEROUGHWOUGH Wahunsonacock (or Wahunsenacawh) and OTTERMISKE
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