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Potomac Tribe

A small group of families, whose names are mostly Newton and Green (figs. 40, 41), represent what may be the Indians who are recorded to Potomac creek, an affluent of about eight miles north of Fredericksburg in Stafford County, Virginia. We have not, however, clear proof that these descendants are actually of Potomac identity, although they now bear the name. They are not organized definitely, nor are their numbers known, except for a rough estimate which would put them at about 150. Like most of the tidewater bands, they are engaged chiefly in fishing. Hunting has been discontinued only within the last twenty-five years by some of them who followed it as a profession. At present the Potomac group still remains unstudied. As usual, considerable folklore and some ethnological survivals may be expected to reward the labor of the patient investigator. An interesting legend is related by the older people. A version from the lips of Luther Newton, one of the more prominent men of the band, is as follows: One of the sons of Sir Isaac Newton was disowned by his father for social misdeeds. In consequence of his disgrace the young man came to America to seek his fortune. While passing through the newly formed settlements in Virginia, one day he found himself obliged to seek shelter and food at the home of a planter on the edge of the forest. As he rode his horse to the plantation gate a pretty little Indian girl moved forward, opened the gate, and held it for him to pass by. Struck by her beauty, he leaned forward, took a...

Powhatan Tribe Divisions

Appomattoc. A tribe of the Powhatan confederacy formerly living on lower Appomattox River, Virginia. They had 60 warriors in 1608, and were of some importance as late as 1671, but were extinct by 1722. Their principal village, which bore the same name was on the site of Bermuda Hundred, Prince George County, was burned by the English in 1611.  Appomatox was also one of the terms applied to the Matchotic, a later combination of remnants of the same confederacy. Consult Further: Appomattoc Tribe Chickahominy (from K’chick-ahän-min’-nough, ‘course-pounded corn people.’ ‘hominy people’ Tooker; or from Tshi-kĕjämĕn, a place name meaning ‘swept,’ “cleared,’ and implying a clearing—Gerard). A tribe of the Powhatan confederacy, formerly living on Chickahominy River, Virginia. It was one of the most important tribes in Virginia, numbering 250 warriors, or perhaps 900 souls, in 1608, and was not so directly under the control of Powhatan as the other tribes over which he ruled. In 1613 they entered into an alliance with the English and assumed the name of Tassautessus (sic), or “Englishmen.” In 1669 they were still estimated at 60 warriors, possibly 220 souls, but in 1722 were reported to number only about 80. Their last public notice occurs in this same year, when, in connection with the Pamunkey, they were named in the Albany conference with the Iroquois as among the Virginia tribes not to be molested by the latter. A mixed-blood band numbering about 220 still keeps up the name, but without regular tribal organization, on both sides of Chickahominy River in New Kent and Charles City County, Virginia, with Wm. H. Adkins as chief in...

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