The Virginia Company’s Fall – Part 2, Opechancanough’s 1622 Massacre

No one saw this coming. Not in England or in Virginia. The English and Powhatan Tribes had been living quite peacefully together for almost a decade by 1622, but after both Pocahontas and Powhatan’s deaths a few years prior, Opechancanough had nothing standing in his way to stop him from enacting his murderous plan.

Opechancanough was not yet completely in control of the Powhatan tribes, but his authority was second to none. Opitchapam might have been the supreme Werowance, but everyone, English and Indian alike, knew who was in charge.

Diplomatic ties all went through Opechancanough, and those actions seemed to ensure that all was well in Virginia, but all wasn’t well, and when one of the Powhatan’s most iconic warriors, Nemattanew, or Jack of the Feather, was killed in March 1622 the mood changed. But the English completely missed the warning, and for that, they would suffer.

Opechancanough
Opechancanough had tussled with the likes of John Smith, and now he surprised the English with a well-planned raid in 1622

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

The Virginia Company’s Fall – Part 2, Opechancanough’s 1622 Massacre on Libsyn

RSS Feed

VA History Podcast on iTunes

VA History Podcast on Podbay

VA History Podcast on Stitcher

VA History Podcast Store

 

SOURCES:

Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.

Craven, Wesley Frank. White, Red, and Black: The Seventeenth Century Virginian. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1977.

Craven, Wesley Frank. The Southern Colonies in the Seventeenth Century: 1607-1689. LSU Press, 1949

Craven, Wesley Frank. The Virginia Company of London: 1606-1624Williamsburg, VA: Jamestown 350th Anniversary, 1957.

Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.

Hatch, Charles. The First Seventeen Years: Virginia 1607-1624. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1991.

Horn, James. A Land as God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America. New York: Basic Books, 2005.

Hume, Ivor Noel. Here Lies Virginia. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1963.

Kelso, William M. Jamestown: The Buried Truth. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2006.

Kupperman, Karen Ordhal. The Jamestown Project. Cambridge, MA: The Belknapp Press of Harvard University Press, 2007.

Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.

Price, David A. Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of a New NationNew York: Vintage, 2003.

Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.

Smith, John. The Generall History of Virginia. 1624.

Strachey, William. Collected Works on the Internet Archive.

Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.

Wallenstein, Peter. Cradle of America: Four Centuries of Virginia History. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2007.

Williams, Tony. The Jamestown Experiment: The Remarkable Story of The Enterprising Colony and the Unexpected Results that Shaped America. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2011.

Wooley, Benjamin. Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America. New York: Harper and Collins, 2007.

 

Additional Links pertaining to the 1622 Massacre:

Wolstenholme Towne by Colonial Williamsburg

The Powhatan Attack by Virtual Virginia

 

wolsten3
Wolstenholme Town at Martin’s Hundred was among the hardest hit plantations on March 22, 1622

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author. The Featured Image is of the Matthias Merian 1628 woodcut which depicts the 1622 Raid. The Opechancanough/John Smith encounter is from Smith’s own 1624 General History of Virginia. The final picture illustrates the destruction at Wolstenholme Towne.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and “Trouble With Home” by Friendly Savages (ironically) also available on iTunes.

The Virginia Company’s Fall – Part 1

Edwin Sandys took over the Virginia Company 12 years after she began. During that period, Virginia struggled from one horror to another. Sandys’ election came at a time when Virginia seemed to finally be taking prosperous shape, but though Virginia was proving to be profitable, the Company was in serious debt.

Sandys oversaw the incredible plantation boom as well as all of the important 1619 Virginian firsts, but though things were improving in the colony, political situations in England threatened the colony’s parent company.

Sandys had many powerful enemies, none more powerful than King James, who turned against the Virginia Company leader after the European Thirty Years’ War erupted. Sandys, the Member of Parliament, crossed the King over budgetary issues surrounding James’ desire to play a part in Europe. King James was not amused. He jailed Sandys, and then began craftily moving to undo the Virginia Company.

In spite of the King’s attempts, the Company persevered, that is, it lasted until a horrific report arrived in July 1622. That report left the Company in tatters once and for all.

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

The Virginia Company’s Fall – Part 1

RSS Feed

VA History Podcast on iTunes

VA History Podcast on Podbay

VA History Podcast on Stitcher

VA History Podcast Store

 

Edwin_Sandys_(1561-1629)
Sir Edwin Sandys, Member of Parliament, and Treasurer of the Virginia Company

SOURCES:

Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.

Craven, Wesley Frank. White, Red, and Black: The Seventeenth Century Virginian. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1977.

Craven, Wesley Frank. The Southern Colonies in the Seventeenth Century: 1607-1689. LSU Press, 1949

Craven, Wesley Frank. The Virginia Company of London: 1606-1624. Williamsburg, VA: Jamestown 350th Anniversary, 1957.

Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.

Hatch, Charles. The First Seventeen Years: Virginia 1607-1624. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1991.

Horn, James. A Land as God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America. New York: Basic Books, 2005.

Hume, Ivor Noel. Here Lies Virginia. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1963.

Kelso, William M. Jamestown: The Buried Truth. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2006.

Kupperman, Karen Ordhal. The Jamestown Project. Cambridge, MA: The Belknapp Press of Harvard University Press, 2007.

Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.

Price, David A. Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of a New NationNew York: Vintage, 2003.

Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.

Smith, John. The Generall History of Virginia. 1624.

Strachey, William. Collected Works on the Internet Archive.

Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.

Wallenstein, Peter. Cradle of America: Four Centuries of Virginia History. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2007.

Williams, Tony. The Jamestown Experiment: The Remarkable Story of The Enterprising Colony and the Unexpected Results that Shaped America. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2011.

Wooley, Benjamin. Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America. New York: Harper and Collins, 2007.

 

800px-James_I_of_England_404446
King James I of Engalnd and VI of Scotland. Portrait by Paul van Somer, 1620. 

 

 

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author. The Featured Image is of the Virginia Company’s Seal available on Wikipedia. The other two images, Sir Edwin Sandys and King James I are also available on Wikipedia.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and “King and Lionheart” by Of Monsters and Men also available on iTunes.

James River Plantations Part 2

Though Thomas Dale did not return to Virginia after his 1616 departure, he, along with John Rolfe, worked hard to encourage growth along the newly establishing James River Plantations.

Their work was greatly aided by Edwin Sandys, a rival to Thomas Smythe, the Virginia Company treasurer. Sandys’ ideas were not accepted by Smythe and his inner circle, but after years of rapidly accumulating debt, many in the Company thought a change was necessary.

Those changes began when the initial seven-year dividend promise from 1609 came due. The Company could not repay anyone’s investment, and in fact wanted to request more money. That’s when men like Edwin Sandys seized an opportunity.

Sandys and his followers wanted to offer property, private property, and that offering got the attention of hundreds throughout England.

Soon, investors, as well as adventurers seeking for a new life, began lining up to sail across the Atlantic.

Between 1616 and 1622 more than 8,000 settlers would risk their lives for a shot at prosperity deemed unimaginable in the Old World.

Dale received his often requested settlers at last, but Dale would not be there to see new plantations founded along the James River. Instead, other company men – Samuel Argall and George Yeardley, governors between 1616 and 1621, as well as many new investors, oversaw the massive transformation that forever changed Virginia and her history.

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Today, Renwood Farms occupies Smythe’s Hundred, and is a vibrant part of Virginia’s agricultural establishment.

 

LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

James River Plantations Part 2 on Libsyn

RSS Feed

VA History Podcast on iTunes

VA History Podcast on Podbay

VA History Podcast on Stitcher

Sources:

Berhnard, Virginia. A Tale of Two Colonies: What Really Happened in Virginia and Bermuda? Columbia, MO: University of Missouri, 2011.

Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.

Craven, Wesley Frank. White, Red, and Black: The Seventeenth Century Virginian. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1977.

Craven, Wesley Frank. The Southern Colonies in the Seventeenth Century: 1607-1689. LSU Press, 1949

Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.

Deans, Bob. The River Where America Began: A Journey Along the James. Plymouth, UK: Rowan and Littlefield, 2009.

Doherty, Kieran. Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and the Salvation of Jamestown. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008.

Glover, Lorri and Smith, Daniel Blake. The Shipwreck that Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America.

Hatch, Charles. The First Seventeen Years: Virginia 1607-1624. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1991.

Horn, James. A Land as God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America. New York: Basic Books, 2005.

Hume, Ivor Noel. Here Lies Virginia. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1963.

Hume, Ivor Noel. The Virginia Adventure: Roanoke to James Towne – An Archaeological and Historical OdysseyNew York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.

Kelso, William M. Jamestown: The Buried Truth. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2006.

Kupperman, Karen Ordhal. The Jamestown Project. Cambridge, MA: The Belknapp Press of Harvard University Press, 2007.

Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.

Price, David A. Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of a New NationNew York: Vintage, 2003.

Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.

Rountree, Helen C. Powhatan Foreign Relations: 1500-1722.Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1993.

Rountree, Helen C. Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough: Three Indian Lives Changed by Jamestown. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2005.

Smith, John. The Generall History of Virginia. 1624.

Strachey, William. Collected Works on the Internet Archive.

Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.

Wallenstein, Peter. Cradle of America: Four Centuries of Virginia History. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2007.

Williams, Tony. The Jamestown Experiment: The Remarkable Story of The Enterprising Colony and the Unexpected Results that Shaped America. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2011.

Wooley, Benjamin. Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America. New York: Harper and Collins, 2007.

Historic Jamestowne

Virtual Jamestown

Virginia History Podcast Store

 

All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is the commemorative Flowerdew Hundred Windmill, which has since been dismantled and sent to Lubbock, Texas.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and “Simple Gifts” by Kiner Brothers Music, available on Soundcloud.