The Powhatan Confederacy

The following information on some of the tribes which formed the Powhatan Confederacy has been taken from C. W. Sams' book, The Conquest of Virginia.

Powhatans This was Powhatan's tribe. They lived on the north side of the James River in Henrico County. The tribe had about forty warriors.

Pamunkeys The Pamunkeys were a powerful tribe of almost 300 warriors. Their tribal lands were near West Point, Virginia. The Pamunkeys were the native Americans with whom Captain John Smith first had contact. They are an important part of colonial United States history.

Mattoponis This tribe lived on the banks of the Mattoponi River which is named for them. They still live in King William County. They had about 140 people of whom about 40 were warriors.

Arrohatecks The tribe also lived in Henrico County. They had about 30 warriors.

Appomatucks The tribe lived on the Appomattox River in Chesterfield County. The river was named for them. They had about sixty warriors.

Youghtamunds The tribe lived at the head of the Pamunkey River, probably in Hanover County. They probably had about 70 people.

This is a long list of tribes. You could locate these places on a Virginia map. Powhatan added several more small tribes to the Confederacy. These are some of the tribes in Chief Powhatan's confederation. Many of these tribes lived along the James River such as the:
Weanocks [Charles City, Prince George and Surrey Counties];
the Paspaheghs [James City and Charles City Counties];
the Orzinies [north bank of the Chicahominy River, James City County];
the Chickahominys, who later became independent and had their own government [Chicahominy River in New Kent County];
the Tappahannas [Surry and Prince George Counties];
the Warascoyacks [Isle of Wight];
the Nansemonds, a large and fairly independent tribe [Nansemond County which is now Nansemond City, Isle of Wight & Southampton Counties];
the Chesapeakes [Norfolk County which is now the City of Chesapeake and Prince Anne County which is now the City of Virginia Beach ];
the Kecougtans who were attacked by Capt. John Smith when they refused to trade for corn with him [Elizabeth City County which is now City of Hampton; chief town near Hampton];
the Werowocomocos [Gloucester County];
and the Kiskiacks [south side of the York River].

More tribes lived on the Rappanhannock River than any of the others. Among those tribes were the:
Rappahannocks who lived on the north side of the river;
the Tauxent [Dogue or Doegs] who in colonial history are known as a fierce Maryland tribe lived along the Potomac in Fairfax County and in Stafford County on the north side of the river.

Several tribes lived on the Potomac River

The Eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia also had tribes which were probably part of the Powhatan Confederacy. These tribes included:
the Nanticokes which had about 200 warriors;
the Accowmacks and Accohanocks [Northampton County].
the Pawtuxents and other tribes lived on the Patuxent River.

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