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paint, bows and arrows, targets and clubs. Some of these things were reserved for the time of his burial, others were the resources of war. The house itself was more than one hundred feet in length one historian says fifty or sixty yards—and as it seems to have been frequented only by the Indian priests, probably a sacred character attached to it in the minds of the multitude, which was one of the means of its security. Four rudely-graven images of wood were stationed at the four corners, one representing a dragon, the second a bear, the third a panther, and the fourth a gigantic man,-all made evil-favoredly, as we are told, but according to the best workmanship of the natives.
The state which Powhatan adopted as emperor appears in some degree from the preceding details of his history. He is said to have kept about his person from forty to fifty of the tallest men in his dominions; which might be the case in war, and upon occasions of parade and ceremony, more regularly than in peaceable and ordinary times. Every night, four sentinels were stationed at the four corners of his dwelling; and at each half hour one of the body-guard made a signal to the four sentinels. Want of vigilance on their part was punished with the most exemplary strictness.
According to the universal custom of the North American natives, he kept as many wives as he thought proper; and is represented to have taken no little pleasure in their society. When the English saw him at home, reclining on his couch or platform, there was always one sitting at his head, and another at his feet; and when he sat, two of them seated themselves on either side of him. At his meals, one of them brought him water in a wooden platter to wash his hands, before and after eating; and another attended with a bunch of feathers for a towel. Some were the daughters, and had been the wives of distinguished rivals and enemies, conquered in battle. When he be. came weary of them, he transferred them as presents to his favorite warriors.
A general proof of the talents of Powhatan may be found in the station which he held, as well as the reputation he enjoyed far and wide among his countrymen. The Indian tribes are democracies. He who rules over them must acquire and sustain his influence by his absolute intellect and energy. Friends and family may assist, occasionally, in procuring rank; but they will not secure the permanent possession of it. Generally, therefore, the head sachem may be looked upon as comparatively a model of those qualities which his country. men estcem suitable to that dignity. He must not only be a warrior, brave, hardy, patient, and indefatigable; but he must show talents for controlling the fortunes and commanding the respect of the community which he
governs. But in this case there is better evidence; and especially in the ultimate extent of Powhatan's government as compared with his hereditary dominions. These included but six tribes of ye thirty which were finally subject to him, and all which must have become attached to his rule, in consequence of the character maintained and the
measures adopted by himself. Among others were the Chickahominies, a very warlike and proud people, numbering from two hundred to five hundred warriors, while the Powhatans proper, (the original nucleus, so to speak, of the emperor's dominion,) numbered less than a hundred. The fear which these savages entertained of him appears on many occasions, and particularly when they embraced an opportunity, in 1611, of exchanging his yoke for that of the English. They were so desirous of this change-or in other words, of procuring what they considered the protection of the new master against the power of the old—that they offered to adopt a national name indicating their subjection. A peace was accordingly concluded on condition
I. That they should be forever called Tassautessus (Englishmen,) and be true subjects to King James and his deputies.
II. They were neither to kill nor detain any of the colonists, or their cattle, but to return them on all occasions.
III. They should stand ready to furnish three hundred warriors for the colony's service, against the Spaniards or any other enemy.
IV. They were not to enter the English settlements, but send word they were new Englishmen, (an obscure provision, meant to prevent confounding them with hostile tribes.)
V. Every fighting man, at the beginning of harvest, was to pay two bushels of corn as a tribute, receiving in return the same number of hatchets.
VI. The eight chief men were to see all this performed, on forfeit of being punished themselves. Their salary was to be a red coat, a copper chain, the picture of King James, and the honor of being accounted his noblemen.
This treaty was concluded with a general assent, manitested by acclamation; and then one of the old men began a speech, addressing himself first to those of his own age, then to the young, and lastly to the women and children, a multitude of whom were present. He gave them to understand how strictly these conditions must be observed,
and how safe they should then be, on the other hand, “ from the furie of Powhatan or any enemie whatsoeuer,"* besides being furnished with arms to resist them. The name of the emperor, it will be observed, is not inserted in the articles of peace; there was supposed to be a hazard, probably, of its coming to his ears; and he had then himself just concluded an amicable treaty. “But all this,” adds our historian, “ was rather for feare Powhatan and we being so linked together, would bring them again to his subjection: the which to preuent, they did rather chuse to be protected by vs, than tormented by him, whom they held a tyrant."
We have seen that of the whole Indian population between the sea. coast and the Alleghany, from east to west, and between the borders of Carolina and the river Patuxent in Maryland, from south to north all who were not subject to Powhatan's dominions were leagued agains him. The former class comprised the lowland tribes, and the latter
* Authorities referred to in Smith's History, Vol. II.
the mountaineers. In the language of Stith, the Monacans and the Mannahoacks formed a confederacy against the power and tyranny of Powhatan. Another writer says, that he also fought against the famous Massawomekes; a powerful and populous nation, thought to be situated upon a great salt-water," which by all probability is either some part of Canada, some great lake, or some inlet of some sea that falleth into the South Sea.” This is not a very definite description, even for Smith to give; but the Massawomekes are generally understood to have been no other, we believe, than the celebrated Five Nations of New York. At all events, they were exceedingly troublesome to the northernmost tribes of Powhatan—which might be a principal reason why they submitted the more willingly to him. And thus, while the greater part of his own empire was a conquered one, he was environed by foreign enemies in every direction, including the civilised colony on the sea coast.
As to his particular system of war and conquest, we are not minutely informed. Like Indian warfare in other sections and times, it is said to have consisted, in a great degree, of stratagem and surprisal rather than force. In 1608, a rebellion, which arose among the Payuntatanks, was suppressed in the following manner. They being near neighbors, a number of his own tribe was sent into their villages, who under some disguise or false pretence obtained lodgings over night, The several houses were meanwhile beset with ambuscades; and at an appointed signal, the two parties, within and without, commenced an attack at the same moment. Twenty-four Payuntatanks were slain, and their scalps carried to Powhatan, who kept them some time suspended on a line between two trees, as a trophy. The women and children, as also the werowance or sachem, were made prisoners, and afterwards slaves or servants.
Powhatan's warriors were regularly and thoroughly disciplined. At one of his first interviews with the English, a martial parade formed part of the entertainment. Two or three hundred Indians having painted and disguised themselves in the fiercest manner possible, were divided into two companies, one of which was temporarily styled Powhatans, and the other Monacans. Each company had its captain. They stationed themselves at about musket-shot from each other, Fifteen men abreast formed the front line of both, and the remainder ranked themselves in the rear, with a distance of four or five yards from rank to rank; and not in file, but in the opening be. tween the files, so that the rear could shoot as conveniently as the front. A parley now took place, and a formal agreement was made that, whoever should conquer, such warriors as survived their defeat should have two days allowed them for their own submission, while their wives and children should at once become prize to the victor.
The parties advanced against each other, a sort of sergeant commanding each flank, and a lieutenant the rear; and the entire company came on leaping and singing to warlike music, but every man in his place. On the first flight of arrows, they raised upon both sides a terrific clamor of shouts and screeches. “When they had spent
their arrows, (writes the describer of this scene,) they joined together prettily, charging and retiring, every rank seconding the other. As they got advantage, they caught their enemies by the hair of the head, and down he came that was taken. His enemy with his wooden sword seemed to beat out his brains, and still they crept to the rear to maintain the skirmish.” The Monacan party at length decreasing, the Powhatans charged them in the form of a half moon. The former retreat, to avoid being enclosed, and draw their pursuers upon an ambuscade of fresh men. The Powhatans retire in their turn, and the Monacaps take this opportunity of resuming their first ground. 6 All their actions, voices and gestures, both in charging and retiring, were so strained to the height of their qualitie and nature, that the strangeness thereof made it seem very delightful.” The warlike music spoken of above was a large deep platter of wood, covered witha
skin drawn so tight as to answer the purpose of a drum. They also · used rattles made of small gourds or pompion-shells; and all these it may well be supposed-mingled with their voices, sometimes twenty or thirty together, “ made such a terrible noise, as would rather at fright than delight any man.
It was probably by no little drilling of this description that Powhatan made soldiers of his subjects; and it naturally enough mortified him, after taking so much trouble with so much success, to see them defeated so readily as they were by the English. The chief cause, too, of this superiority, was a matter of wonder. No Indian had ever before seen any thing which resembled, in form or effect, the fire-arms of their strange enemy. For some time, therefore, their fear was attended with a superstition, against which no courage could prevail. But Powhatan was not long in determining at all events to put him. self on equal terms with the colonists, whatever might be the hazard; and from that moment he spared no efforts to effect his purpose. On Newport's departure for England, he bargained away from him twenty swords for twenty turkeys. He attempted the same trade with Smith; and when the latter shrewdly declined it
, his eagerness ; became such, we are told, “ that at last by ambuscadoes at our very gates they (the Powhatans) would take them per force, surprise ys at worke, or any way.” Some of these troublesome fellows being seized and threatened, they confessed that the emperor had ordered them to get possession of the English arms, or at least some of them, eost what it might.
He availed himself, withino great ingenuity, of a disposition among some of the colonists to trade privately in these contraband articles; and in that way obtained large quantities of shot, powder and pikeheads. So, upon Smith's departure for the settlement, after his famous visit, in December, 1608, he artfully requested the captain “ to leaue him Edward Brynton to kille him foule, and the Dutchmen to finish his house.” This house, we have seen, was abandoned; and as for fowl, the idea of employing an Englishman to hunt for his Powhatans was absurd. He had no objection, however, to Brynton's gun or his martial services. The Germans he was probably sure of already. They proved traitors to the colony, and soon after we find
them diligently engaged in arming and instructing the savages. One of them subsequently stated, that the emperor kept them at work for him in duresse. He himself sent answer to Smith's demand for them, that they were at liberty to go if they chose—but as for carrying them fifty miles on his back, he was not able. The adroitness with which he obtained arms at Jamestown, during Smith's absence, has already been the subject of comment.
• The implicit obedience which he exacted of his own subjects, notwithstanding the apparently precarious tenure by which he held his command, is a striking indication of the extent of his mere personal influence. When he listeth,” says an old writer, his will is a law, and must be obeyed: not onely as a King, but as halfe a God, they esteeme him. What he commandeth they dare not disobey in the least thing. At his feete they present whatsoever he commandeth, and at the least froune of his browe, their greatest spirits will tremble with feare.” This subordination was sustained by measures which, for severity and courage, would do no discredit to the most absolute despot of the Eastern world. On one occasion, certain offenders were burned to death in the midst of an immense heap of glowing coals, collected from many fires made for the purpose. A more merciful punishment was by braining the criminal with a club, as Smith was to have been sacrificed. The most horrible was fastening the poor wretch to a tree, breaking his joints one by one, and then whittling down his body with reeds and shells. Thrashing with cudgels was no trifle. Smith says he saw a man subjected to this discipline under the hands of two of his practised countrymen, till he fell prostrate and senseless; but he uttered no cry or complaint.
The extraordinary native shrewdness of Powhatan was abundantly manifested in the amusing advantages he obtained over Newport; his long and artful conversations with Smith, some of them sustained under the most embarrassing circumstances, merely to procure time; the promptness with which he rejected and defeated the proposal to make common cause against the Monacans-a bait, as he expressed it, too foolish to be taken; and, in fine, upon every occasion when the English undertook to negotiate or to argue with him. He availed himself most essentially of the aid of the German deserters heretofore mentioned, but he had too much sagacity to trust them after they deserted himself; and so, when two of them fled to him a second time, with proposals for delivering his great rival, Captain Smith, into his hands, he only observed, that men who betrayed the captain would betray the emperor, and forthwith ordered the scoundrels to be brained on the spot.
Powhatan, like many others of his race, has been regarded with prejudice for the very reasons which entitle him to respect. He was a troublesome enemy to the colonists. His hostile influence extended for hundreds of miles around them; cutting off commerce with the natives in the first place, and making inveterate enemies of them in the next. Powhatan, we are told, “ still as he found means, cut off their boats, and denied them trade;" and again, “ as for corne, contribution