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First Native Indian Wars

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Beginning in 1607, through the winter, more than colonists arrived and build St. George’s Fort, as well as Captain John Smith. He was captured by a Powhatan hunting party and taken before Chief Powhatan. The daughter of Chief Powhatan, Pocahontas (Indian name Matoaka) saves the life of John Smith and in January of 1608, Captain John Smith is released.

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In September, the coronation is received by Chief Powhatan. Then in May of 1609, Lord de la Warr is appointed as the first governor but does not arrive in Virginia until 1610, but tensions between the Indians and colonists rise when livestock, owned by the colonists, are allowed to wander into the Indian cornfields. A few years later, the Powhatan reduce trade attempting to starve the colonists out and attacks are made on the fort and the First Powhatan War erupts. The period covering the next 2 years (1609-1610) would become known as the 'Starving Time'.

Acting governor Sir Thomas Gates establishes martial law to maintain order, and Lord de la Warr, the first governor of Virginia arrives, and in the summer De la Warr sends Powhatan an ultimatum: peace or all out war. Powhatan does not respond an an impatient; De la Warr orders a force of 40 men, led by George Percy, to conduct an attack against the Paspahegh and Chickahominy ending the massacre of women and children by Powhatan.

The colonists had learned to cultivate tobacco, which was exported to Europe. This was extremely important as tobacco became the gold of Virginia - it built the economy of Virginia on a single item, tobacco. Pocahontas is captured by the English during the hostilities and marries tobacco planter John Rolfe. Peace returns to the warring factions. A Peace Treaty ends the First of the Powhatan Wars, yet begins the turbulent times of Native American and European Settlers.

This set the tone for a day of reckoning for all Americans. European Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans and Native Americans. Living in harmony in early America was turbulent.



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