The Powhatan Indians

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Relationship between Jamestown and the Powhatan Tribes When Europeans first reached the North American continent, they found hundreds of tribes occupying a vast and rich country. With such a divers and vast number of Native American tribes in the Americas, contact with them was inevitable. Throughout American History numerous positive and negative relationships could be found between the Native Americans and the European settlers. In this essay the relationship between the Jamestown settlers and The Powhatan Indians is clarified. The Powhatan Indians is a Native American tribe led by a legendary leader called the Powhatan. These Powhatan Indians became the first Native American tribe to form a relationship with the English settlers. The English…show more content…
Many of the settlers who moved to Jamestown were gentlemen and sons from rich families; these people considered themselves too noble to carry out hard labor. Furthermore, many came to Jamestown in search of material goods instead of a permanent settlement. This was one of the main causes of The Starving Time. The swampy site of Jamestown meant poor drinking water and mosquitoes causing malaria and yellow fever. In addition, the initial colony consisted of 0 women. Without the any means of reproduction, the population in Jamestown declined drastically. However Powhatan saw the values of European technology and decided to help the European technology. As Charles A. Grymes stated: “Chief Powhatan starting to send gifts of food to help the English. If not for the Powhatan Indians help in the early years, the settlement would most likely have failed, as the English would have died from the various diseases or simply starved” (“The First Anglo-Powhatan War (1609-13)”). Powhatan believed European technology was extremely valuable for his tribe and continued to provide food for the English…show more content…
Although The Starving Time caused most of the settlers in Jamestown to perish, more settlers kept coming from overseas. Also under the leadership of John Smith Jamestown’s population grew gradually overtime. However, as the population grew People decided to continue expanding towards the west. Unfortunately, this was in direct opposition to Powhatan’s plan of restricting the Europeans from expanding and making allies with other Indian Tribes. If the English settlers were able to gain aid from other tribes, the dependence on Powhatan would be undermined. Without dependence on Powhatan, English settlers would no longer feel the need to trade weapons with Powhatan. As Charles A. Grymes has stated: “From Powhatan's point of view, the English were too hard to control. They kept trying to contact other tribes, evading Powhatan's schemes to steer all trade through him” (“The First Anglo-Powhatan War (1609-13)”). Powhatan saw this as an enormous threat and took great measures to stop them from expanding. As stated by Christian Feest in The Powhatan Tribes: “The Indians resented this expansion, and the number of murders committed by both the English and the Indians increased” (43). Further conflicts escalated as English Settlers continued to raid Native American supply routes, which eventually led to the first Anglo-Powhatan
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