Sir William Berkeley and Native American Slavery

Flagmen of Lowestoft - Vice-Admiral Sir William Berkeley, 1639-66

Sir William Berkeley was a highly educated courtier in the regime of Charles I, then twice governor of Virginia.1 As governor, he stacked the Council and House of Burgesses with Royalist planters then institutionalized race-based slavery in 1661 and 1662.  Prior to that time in Virginia, Native American and Africans were theoretically forced laborers; legally



The Rickohockens

A New Description of Carolina

The word, “Rickohocken,” appeared suddenly in the discussions of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1644, and was frequently mentioned thereafter until 1684. No word similar to Rickohocken appeared on Virginia maps before 1644, while such southwestern Virginia tribes as the Tomahitan, Saponi and Occaneechi did. The Rickohockens were shown on British maps to control southwestern Virginia, southeastern Kentucky, northeastern Tennessee and northwestern North Carolina until the early 1700s.



Chronology of Early Virginia History 1607-1715

1607 – Jamestown colony founded. 1609 – Based on the voyage of Henry Hudson, the Netherlands claimed the region in what are now the Middle Atlantic States. Their claim extended from the Eastern Shore of Maryland to Massachusetts Bay.1 First Powhatan War (1610 to 1614) coincides with secret Dutch explorations. (See further: The Indian Wars



The Rickohockens’ Role in Native American Slavery

During the Third Powhatan War (1644-1646) warriors of the Rickohocken tribe, living near the headwaters of the James River, formed an alliance with Powhatan. They massacred all whites that they encountered as they marched down the James Valley. Over 500 white settlers were killed by the Native alliance. The Rickohockens probably would have destroyed the



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