Library of Congress

Teachers

The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Presentations and Activities > Timeline
Timeline Home Page
home
Colonial Settlement, 1600s-1763
Virginia's Early Relations with Native Americans
A Proposal for Subjugating the Indians, December 15, 1622

Edward Waterhouse (see previous document) was certainly not the only colonist to see opportunity in the 1622 massacre. John Martin, author of the document below, was even more forthright than Waterhouse had been, for he suggested practical strategies for subjugating the Indians in the region. According to the excerpts below, what strategies does he suggest for dealing with the Indians? Given the fact that the Virginia colony was still having trouble feeding itself, how would these strategies have affected the colony itself? How would they have affected the Indians? What were the long-term consequences of the massacre?

View the original document from the Thomas Jefferson Papers. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.


The manner howe to bringe in the Indians into subiection wthout makinge an vtter exterpation of them together wth the reasons.

First By disablinge the mayne bodie of the Enemye from haueinge the Sinnewes of all expediccons. As namely Corne and all manner of victualls of anye worth.

This is to be acted two manner of wayes.

ffirst by keepeinge them from settinge Corne at home and fishinge.
Secondly by keepeinge them from their accustomed tradinge for Corne.

For The first it is pformed by haueinge some 200 Souldiers on foote, Contynuallie harrowinge and burneinge all their Townes in wynter, and spoileinge their weares. By this meanes or people seacurely may followe their worke. And yet not to be negligent in keepeinge watch.

For the seacond there must provided some 10 Shallopps, that in May, June, Julye and August may scoure the Baye and keepe the Rivers yt are belonginge to Opichankanoe.

By this ariseth two happie ends.

ffirst the assured takeinge of great purchases in skynnes and Prisoners.
Seacondly in keepinge them from tradinge for Corne on the Eastern shore and from ye Southward from whence they haue fiue tymes more then they sett them selues.

This Course being taken they haue noe meanes, but must yield to obedience, or flye to borderinge Neighbors who neither will receiue them Nor indeede are able, for they haue but grounds Cleared for their owne use.

The keeping of them from tradeinge wth the Easterne shore prduceth two worthie effects to or exceeding profitt

ffirst or assurance of Corne att all tymes.
Seacondly the ventinge [selling] of much Cloth.

ffor the Certentye of Corne it is best knowne to my selfe for yt by sendinge & discoueringe those places, ffirst I haue not onely reaped the benefitt, but all the whole Collonye since; whoe had perished had it not bene discouered before Sr George Yardley came in by my Aunchient Thomas Savage & servants, besides necessities hath made those Savages more industrious then any other Indians in or Baye, wch followeth to appeare in this seacond pfitt.

ffor the assured ventinge of Cloth it followeth Consequently two wayes.

ffirst by Varringe [barring?] them of trade for skinns they haueinge none them selues.
Seacondly by the necessite of haueinge clothinge wch by vs shall & may be tendered att all Convenyent tymes.

Reasons why it is not fittinge vtterly to make an exterpation of the Sauages yett. . . .

Holy writt sayeth . . . not to vtterly distroy the heathen, least [lest] the woods and wilde beasts should ouer runn them

My owne observaccon hath bene such as assureth me yt if the Indians inhabitt not amongst vs vnder obedience And as they haue ever kept downe ye woods and slayne the wolues, beares, and other beasts . . . we shalbe more opressed in short tyme by their absence, then in their liueing by vs both for or owne securitie as allso for or Cattle.

Seacondly when as by ye meanes before spoken of, they shalbe brought into subiection and shalbe made to deliuer hostriges for theire obedience, there is no doubt by gods grace but of the saueinge of many of their soules And then beinge natiues are apter for worke then yet or English are, knowinge howe to attayne greate quantitie of silke, hempe, and flax, and most exquisite in the dressinge thereof ffor or vses fitt for guides vppon discouerye into other Countries adiacent to ours, fitt to rowe in Gallies & friggetts and many other pregnant vses too tedious to sett downe.

Nowe for avoydinge future daynger in or Collonye that may growe Two especiall erevocable lawes are to be made vppon seaueare penallties.

ffirst yt none of what ranke soeuer doe euer trinke or trade wth in the late prcinct of Opichankanoe nor any borderinge neighbors that ayded him in this last disaster.
Seacondly for or owne people to sett & sowe a sufficient proporccon of corne for their owne vses, and yearely to lay vpp into a granary a pporccon for wch if they haue noe vse for them selues the next yeare then to be sould and euery man to haue his dewe payd him.

My reason for the first is yt by this meanes the Savages shalbe frustrated of all meanes of buyinge any manner of victualls, and clothinge, but what they shall haue from vs for their labor and industrie . . .

ffor the seacond howe benifitiall the settinge and sowinge of Corne and layinge vpp thereof for store, will luculently appeare by their nowe endureinge want being disturbed by theis Savages at this tyme, And likewise other vnexpected accedents may happen both by forrayne and domesticke enymies hereafter.


top of page

View the original document from the Thomas Jefferson Papers. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.