Sovereign Amonsoquath Band of Cherokee


Genocide of the Powhatan and the Cherokee

The year is 1607 and the date is April 2 -- the event is the beginning of genocide in America,
as land is sighted by the English people of the Virginia Company in search of the New World.
The place was the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the James River. This was to be known as
Virginia and the location of the death of some of the Native American people who lived there.
The survivors were the ancestors of the Amonsoquath Tribe.

The newcomers were to sail up the James for a hundred and forty-five miles, noting that the ships could harbor in safety. It was on this excursion that the settlers were to pick a spot some forty miles up the James to build a settlement on a point of land just six miles downstream from where the Chickahominy River flows into the James. This strip of land was about one mile wide and two miles long connected to the mainland by a narrow harbor.

On May 14, 1607, the newcomers began unloading their ships at the James Fort (James Town).
This was to be the beginning of the end of the Powhatan Confederacy and also the end of the
Cherokee Nation in Virginia.

On April 30, 1607, Captain Newport at what the English called Point Comfort came into contact with the Kecoughtan and word went out to all the tribes up and down the coastline as well as far inland to the south to the Warrasqueocs and Nansemonds to the Kecoughtans and Chickiacks, and to the Accomacs on the Eastern Shore. Word was well on its way to the Supreme chieftain of the region's tribes, at his principal residence, far up the Pamunkey (Powhatan) at Werowocomoco.

The area over which Powhatan held control covered a radius of 75 to 100 miles from the falls
of the James River (Richmond). The Iroquoian tribes resided to the north of this area and the
Siouan tribe lived to the northwest. There was constant warfare between the Sioux and the
Powhatan. The Cherokee resided to the southeast. Powhatan was at peace with the Cherokee.

The nucleus of the Powhatan Confederacy consisted of the Powhatan, Arrohateck, Appomatoc, Youghtanund, Mattaponi, and Pamunkey tribes. These six tribes controlled the major rivers around the James, south to the Nottoway River. There were twenty-six tribes comprising one hundred and sixty villages, and all of the chiefs and subchiefs were under the control of Powhatan.

Powhatan's three brothers were in command of the largest, most heavily populated Pamunkey River region; two of Powhatan's sons were the tribal chieftains of the Powhatans (Parahunt) and the Kecoughtans (Chief Pochins). The strength of the Powhatan Confederacy was about 10,000 strong at the time that the English invaded the area.

Before the English came, Powhatan had already experienced the white man's methods, when the
Spanish built a mission on the York River in 1571. In 1572 the Spanish sent forces against
Powhatan which were defeated by Powhatan. In 1585, when Sir Richard Arenville burned a


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