My latest academic contribution will soon come to light thanks to Backintyme Publishing!
The Final Powhatan War and the Fall of an American Indian Empire
In the first ever book-length study of the Third Anglo-Powhatan War of 1644-46, more detail is brought in than ever before, connecting this war to the larger Atlantic World, particularly as the Powhatans took advantage of the English Civil War to hit Virginia while they were vulnerable. This war would have greater consequence than any of the Powhatan wars preceding it, and set the geopolitical stage for Indian and European people for generations to come.
Award Winning Historian
Lars C. Adams
“Whereas the Indians have justly made themselves our Irreconcileable enemyes by the late Bloody Massacre having most treacherously and cruelly slayne neare fower hundred of the Inhabitants of the Collony. Bee it therefore by this present Grand Assembly recorded to Posterity. That wee will for ever abandon all forms of peace and familiarity wth the whole Nation. And will to the uttmost of our power pursue and root out those wch have any way had their hands in the shedding of our blood and Massacring our People.”
- Virginia Assembly, June, 1644
Within this page I am creating a bibliography of sources that contain information about Chowanoke history, culture and genealogy. As much as possible, I will provide a link to where these books and articles may be found on the internet, though not in all cases may these be found, that I know of. As always, if someone knows of a source, either secondary or primary, that I do not have listed please let me know and I will post it ASAP. Likewise if I have a source listed without a link, and you know of a place on the net where it can be found, let me know, so I can provide the link. I want to make this site as useful as possible for the easy access of information for anyone with an inclination to know more of the Chowanoke people, so let me know what would be useful for you to know, and I can see what I can do to make this site work for everybody.
Books, primary sources from eyewitnesses:
Contains brief information on Coastal Algonquian people, and makes brief references to the Chowanoke. Time period: 1584
An excellent source on the culture of the Algonnquians, and of the history of the Roanoke voyages. Contains DeBry's engravings of John White's paintings. Time period: 1585.
An accounting of much interaction with the Chowanoke, namely on attacking the main town, Chowanoc, and capturing Skiko, the chief's son. Also gives information on the strength of the tribe and location of villages.Time Period: 1585.
Another Good source on the culture and language of the Algonquians, a history of early Jamestown, and an accounting of several expeditions in search of the Roanoke colony, which intersected with the Chowanoke. Several other mentions of the Chowanoke made.
Largely a forgery of John Smith's work, however there is some valuable cultural information nonetheless. The main value to this book is a very extensive Algonquian Dictionary.
Probably the single best collection of sources we have. We owe Saunders a huge debt of gratitude for these many volumes he preserved. Some records have since been destroyed since the publication of his transcriptions, so he saved them from being lost forever. Chowan references are sprinkled throughout, most of them in the first two volumes.
An outstanding source of cultural information on the Tuscarora, Algonquian and Souian tribed of NC, primarily south of Albemarle Sound. However, Lawson does give much information on the way the Indians at the time lived, and also gives an estimate of Chowan population in 1709.
Similar to Lawsons work on the culture of the Southern Algonquians living in Virginia. No references to the Chowans, but gives good cultural clues. Talks about the Nansemond, the Chowan's nearest northern Algonquian neighbors.
Many portions of this book are largly copies of Lawson's previous work, but I feel this is more valuable in many areas, because it further expands on previous information, and most importantly, gives detailed information on the Chowan people. This is the only time in my research I have come across a specific physical description of Chief Hoyter, and details of a festival, similar to a Powwow of today, where all the local nations came together to pay tribute and feast to the governor. It also gave details on how Chowan Town may have looked, as opposed to a more traditional town. The Chowans, Yeopim and Tuscaroras, are all carefully described, and are called "civilized indians", because of their adoption of certain English customs.
Primarily a study on the natural history, agricultural state, chief manufactures, etc, of Virginia, Jefferson does devote chapter XI to the Virginian Indians. There is valuable information regarding the then present state of Virginian tribes, but he also briefly mentions the Chowanoke and Meherrin in relation to the Tuscarora. Thank for Fletcher Freeman for this source!
William Powell, John Pory, 1572-1636: The Life and Letters of a Man of Many Parts, (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina) 1977
This book contains much biographical information on John Pory, who visited the Chowanoke in 1622, just prior to the Powhatan uprising. This might belong with the secondary histories below, but it is particularly valuable in that it publishes several letters detailing Pory's Chowanoke trip. Apparently, Pory wrote a narrative about it that was lost, but several others summarized his narrative whereby we can piece it together. Transcription of these letters found in archives section.
This is the most commonly quoted source for information on the Chowanoke War. Connor devotes two pages to this nation altering event, and unfortunetally, gets one or two things wrong. While a generally skillful historian, he was as racist as any other for the times, so bear it with a grain of salt. Otherwise it is a wonderfuly extensive volume on the Colony that the Chowans lived within and can provide great context for their living conditions and widespread events.
Books. Secondary; contemporary. mid 20th century to present.
I have recently read this book, thanks to Fletcher Freeman, and it contains a preponderance of evidence that John Freeman married Tabatha Hoyter, Chief Thomas Hoyter's daughter. Click this link to see publication information from Google, and use the find a copy link to see if there are any in a library near you.
Paul Heinegg, Free African American Families of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia from the Colonial Times to About 1820, (Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Company, 5 editions between 1992 and 2005)
Full text of book, digitized online. This is the author, Paul Heinegg's website and he gives the full content of his books. An amazing and detailed source of information on virtually every free person of color in North Carolina, as well as surrounding states. Chowanoke surnames appear here (Robbins, Bennet, Hoyter, etc)
Contributing Author is Chowanoke site member Marvin Jones, who contributed the chapter in this book entitled The Leading Edge of Edges: The Tri-Racial People of the Winton Triangle, containging much information on the Winton Triangle area from prehistory to present, including references to the Chowanoke and the Robbins family history. The rest of this book also has many interesting chapters devoted to the history of racial relationships on North Carolina.
An extensive research on the Indians surrounding the failed English colony of Roanoke. I recently purchased this book, and am very glad I did, it is outstanding, and the only book I can think of that tells of the English contact from the Algonquian perspective. Superb cultural, Archealogical and historical information on the Southern Algonquian people.
Not available for viewing online (unless you have access to paid databases), but affordable copies are available through the publisher, as they have availability, as well as other affordable historical publications. Very good, very detailed attention is paid to the Chowanoke regarding their many court battles, and there are several facsimilies of original Chowan suits. Outstanding. Thanks to Darryl Sauer for submitting this source.
OUTSTANDING new article showing the post-reservation Chowanoke dispersal and new community formation. This particular piece has been wanting in this research field for a long time and fill many holes, answering MANY questions.
Shannon Lee Dawdy, The Meherrin's Secret History of the Dividing Line, in The North Carolina Historical Review, October 1995, Volume LXXII, number 4.
Dawdy goes into excellent detail on the Meherrin people, giving a complete history of them into the late 1700s. Much is also said of the Chowanoke, who had a close relationship with the Meherrin.
I wrote this, so obviously it must be outstanding right? I kid. But I can truthfully say that this is the most in depth study of the Chowan River War (1676) ever done, which is critical in understanding the formation of the original reservation. It is also interesting to note the connections between this war and Bacon's Rebellion, as well as its contribution to Carolina's Culpeper's Rebellion.
I wrote this one also. This outlines how the war of 1644 spilled over into Carolina territory in 1645, chasing a Powhatan group known as the Weyanoke into Chowanoke territory. Often thought to be an expedition against the Carolina Algonquians, I believe (while documentation is extremely limited) that the Chowanoke and Yeopim actually cooperated with the Virginians against their true target, the Weyanoke. These expeditions would form pretenses for land claims for Virginians, essentially being the catalyst for a southern migration of Europeans to the Carolina territory for the first time.
National Geographic, May, 2007 - Containing several articles pertaining to the Jamestown colony, just a day or two's journey north of the Chowan territory. Contains many intertesting newly discovered facts and theories regarding an environmental change that would have affected the Chowans, as well as archealogical and historical information.