The Powhatans and the English in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake

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Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2019-07-15
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
List Price: $31.99

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Embracing an argument-based model for teaching history, the Debating American History series encourages students to participate in a contested, evidence-based discourse about the human past. Each book poses a question that historians debate--How democratic was the U.S. Constitution? or Why did civil war erupt in the United States in 1861?--and provides abundant primary sources so that students can make their own efforts at interpreting the evidence. They can then use that analysis to construct answers to the big question that frames the debate and argue in support of their position.

The Powhatans and the English in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake poses this big question: How were the English able to displace the thriving Powhatan people from their Chesapeake homelands in the seventeenth century?

Author Biography

David J. Voelker holds a PhD in US History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an Associate Professor of Humanities and History at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he teaches early American and environmental history. He serves as coeditor of the Debating American History series with Joel M. Sipress.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
About the Author
I. The Big Question
II. Timeline
III. Historians' Conversations
Position #1: The Overwhelming Advantages of the English
Position #2: Strategic Mistakes of the Powhatans
IV. Debating the Question
Note on Spelling in Primary Sources
A. Primary Sources
Richard Hakluyt (the Younger), "Discourse on Western Planting" (1584)
Artistic Depiction of a Native Village South of the Chesapeake Bay (1590)
Captain Christopher Newport's Description of Virginia (1607)
Powhatan's Mantle (c. 1600)
Speech of Powhatan (1608), as Reported by John Smith (1624)
English Accounts of Jamestown's "Starving Time" (1610)
Virginia Company Instructions to Governor Thomas Gates (1609)
Alexander Whitaker, Good News from Virginia (London, 1613)
Edward Waterhouse, A Declaration of the State of the Colonie and Affaires in Virginia (1622)
John Martin, "The Manner How to Bring the Indians into Subjection" (1622)
Virginia's Governor and Council Threaten Revenge against Powhatans (1629)
Treaty between Virginia Colony and the Powhatan Indians (1646)
Nathaniel Bacon's Declaration in the Name of the People (1676)
Treaty of Middle Plantation (1677)
Robert Beverly's Estimate of Virginia's Native Population (c. 1705)
Linwood "Little Bear" Custalow and Angela L. Daniel "Little Star," "The Colony Saved by the Powhatan" (2007)
B. Case Study 1: Did Pocahontas Rescue John Smith from Execution?
Accounts of John Smith's December 1607 Captivity (1607 & 1624)
John Smith's Alleged 1616 Letter to Queen Anne regarding Pocahontas (1624)
C. Case Study 2: What was the Strategy behind the 1622 Powhatan Surprise Attack?
J. Frederick Fausz, "Opechancanough: Indian Resistance Leader" (1981)
Frederic W. Gleach, "'The Great Massacre of 1622" (1997)
V. Additional Resources

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