Friday, December 16, 2016

Patronio's Tale: King and Three Imposters, 13th century root of Emperor's New Clothes

Of That Which Happened to a King and Three Imposters,
[See further format of this Chapter VII, more legible]

The Invisible Cloth.
Original author, Don Juan Manuel 1282-1347 (see p. vi, Preface, above).
Here, an abbreviated retelling, with a few liberties.
A list, with itemized similar stories, see

I.  Background

The Invisible Cloth, from 13th Century Spain, lays out, as do other tales in the Emperor's New Clothes type, problems and politics as rulers try to find shortcuts to the business of a reign (who is worthy and who is not).  A root of that tale is the earlier from Count Lucanor, Fifty Stories of Patronio: Of that which happened to a King and Three Imposters, Ch.VII. Read it there in full,  summary here, instead of the usual Hans Christian Anderson Emperor's New Clothes, later, much altered for Scandinavia. The story line is relevant. All leaders have appointments to make, retinue to select. A recurrent scene in cultures around the world.

  • All this here, at this time, to mark a pending Trump milestone:  the Trump or not Electors. His problem is that of all the Emperors, Kings. Everybody knows. Everybody knows. Everybody knows. (Hush, child). It is humiliating when they realize not everyone or everything changes because words are said. How will he fare with the office's need for wise discernment. How will he deal with opinion of those who will not join a bandwagon; and will his advisors follow self-interest, as did those of the Emperors and Kings,  and report what is wanted, then duck out the door. Great story.  
Boxed in and mind bent by all the fakery around him, the Emperor tosses his senses and his royal robes to the winds, is humiliated, and instead of seeing his own error, tries to divert the people's attention by some violence, to take revenge, but the bad guys are long gone, and with the gold and silver. 

  • This story has more detail than the later Emperor's New Clothes, as in Hans Christian Anderson, so glean what you can from this one. The setting:  Count Lucanor is having trouble discerning who is legtimate in his kingdom, and who is not. He wants a shortcut to testing for that. He has a trusted friend and advisor, Patronio.  Count Lucanor asks for advice.  Patronio responds not directly, but with a story within a story, and a surprising moral at the end. 

Of all the flaws of the ruler, in relying on self-reporting of others without vetting, the moral at the end has nothing to do with that.  Instead, the moral has to do with the very beginning where there is confidentiality demanded by the weavers, absolute trust in what they are doing. Start a relationship with a demand for secrecy in vital matters that way, and the fool of a ruler will turn out badly. 

II.  The Tale, Patronio's Tale, a root of the Invisible Cloth. 
(summaries are no substitute for the original)
Count Lucanor is conversing with his advisor, Patronio, and says he was approached by a man with a fine secret to tell to Count Lucanor. That secret would profit him greatly, but no-one else must be told. The man must be trusted completely.  If word spread, Count Lucanor could lose his property and his life.

Despite the warning of confidentiality,  Count Lucanor consulted further with his adviser,  Patronio. [Ask: Was this in itself not a violation of the condition of confidentiality? Or is all a matter of interpretation, as the details of the secret apparently were not revealed.] Only you, said the King, have the skills to tell me if this stranger brings benefit or fraud. How should I act? 
Patronio replied that he could not be so direct, but he could relate the experience of another certain King when confronted with Three Imposters. These three Imposters made claims that the King, if he believed and followed them, could use to his advantage in his rule, but only if he did as he was told. Count Lucano was very interested. 
Patronio's Story
Once there were three men who came to the King and claimed to be weavers, with the ability to weave a cloth visible easily to a man who was the legitimate son of his father, a vital matter to the Moors who inherited only if they were legitimate. But the cloth would be invisible to a man who was illegitimate.  Even if such a one believed himself to be legitimate, the cloth would be invisible if he were somehow mistaken, unawares. But the King had to trust the weavers, and tell noone about the magical qualities of the cloth.
The King was pleased. He could increase his treasures with this knowledge, because in the custom of the day, only legitimate persons could hold positions of power.
But did he need it?  Perhaps. This would be simpler than the long tests I currently use, thought the King.   
So the King ordered that a palace be appropriated, and that the great cloth shall be woven and worked there. That was not a difficult decision. More difficult was trust: Should the King trust, or should he not? He was a cautious man. What if the weavers were deceiving him?
The Invisible Cloth.  The King wrestles with how to determine the legitimacy of his followers, appointees, supporters.

The Weavers' concession.  The weavers understood his dilemma, and even though the King was obligated to trust absolutely and tell no-one of the properties of the loyalty cloth, they offered a concession. The weavers agreed that the King could close them in the special palace, without possible escape, until the cloth-work was complete.  The King was satisfied. 
The King provided quantities of gold, silver, silk and other items that the weavers needed.  The weavers came into the special palace to begin. They were assured of their comforts while they were there. Doors locked behind them. 
Condition of confidentiality repeated.  Days passed. Then, one of the weavers approached the King when the work had indeed commenced, and reported that the cloth surely was most curious, and would the King want to inspect its design and construction. The King was to come alone.  
The King was delighted, but was still uneasy, and wanted another opinion on the matter' How to proceed to follow up his doubts despite his obligation to trust absolutely? Nonetheless, he sent a series of Checkers to check on the progress of the work 
1.  The Checkers.  First, the Lord Chamberlain, then a member of his retinue.  They all looked and looked, and each saw no cloth. None could admit to seeing no cloth, however, because by that time they knew that would mean they were illegitimate. So each returned to the King and said he had seen the cloth, indeed.  The King himself went, and struggled to see, but saw nothing.  All is fine! he said, and sent another emissary, of unspecified title, but from among the King's usual  supporters.  This one also went and viewed, and returned, and with the same report: Yes, I have seen it.
Finally, the King went himself. The King entered the palace and saw the three weavers at work who described the texture of the cloth, the origin of the loom, its design and colors.  All the while, they moved their hands and heads and bodies as though they were working busily.  In reality, however, they were doing nothing.  Hearing the weavers' words so minutely describing the character of the cloth, and seeing the great waving of arms and hands of the three men working about the looms, the King in his own mind was distressed that he himself saw nothing.  He believed to his dismay that those others he sent, had seen it all, and not him!  Was he himself illegitimate? Would he lose his kingdom?  With this in mind, the King began his own praise of the fabric, describing its uniqueness even in the words of the weavers.
And he sent more Checkers, The Justice Minister and the Councilor, who in turn saw nothing, but praised the fabric as though they could.
The dilemma of the King.  The King became even more unsettled, more dismayed at the reports of his Checkers. He knew not what to do with his own worrying mind and the fact that he himself could see none of any cloth. 

The feast Time passed and the time for a fine feast arrived.  The King's subjects clamored for him to wear some of this fine cloth, as they also had heard of its secret.  The weavers displayed the cloth to the King and he ordered the lengths he needed and specified the preparation.
Now the garments were finally made and the feast day came and the weavers brought to the King's chambers a final package. 
The Event.  The King went through the motions of being dressed in the new garment, then mounted his fine horse and rode proudly into the city. As the tale tells, he was lucky that it was summer, but still the people were much surprised at his appearance up and down, fore and aft.  The people by then knew, however, as the King or others had somehow let out, that those who could not see the fine cloth would be considered illegitimate. So they kept their astonishment to themselves in order to preserve their honor. 
The Man.  Not so, however, with a a man of modest means who happened to see the King thus appearing.  He, having nothing to lose, approached the King and said that it mattered not to him whether he is to be seen as legitimate or illegitimate, because he held hold no position of account. So I tell you that you are riding with no clothes.  Upon hearing this, the King began to beat the man who spoke plainly, accusing him, saying he was a bastard, lacking in righteousness, and it was for that reason -- that the man himself fell short --  that the man could not see the cloth.
In no time at all, however, after the poor man had so spoken, others began to rethink:  Is it true, that the King is indeed wearing no clothes? Dare we speak our minds?
The people began to look again, and then say the same as had the humble man; until, finally, even the King himself, and his company with him, also lost their fear of speaking the truth.  All saw through the trick that the weavers, the Imposters, had played upon all of them, rendering them all victims of fraud.
"Find them!" ordered the King to the people and his retinue. "Find the imposter weavers!"
But the weavers had fled by that time, and could not be found, and they cleverly had taken with them the silver, and the gold, and the riches to make the cloth, that they had received from the King to further their imposition. 
The King sought a shortcut to discernment in his reign. Who was legitimate, who was not? Who was trustworthy to help him out?
Back to the Count:

Now you, Count Lucanor, continued Patronius, at the conclusion of the story. As to that man who has presented himself to you and demanded full confidence, take care. You may be deceived, for he has more reason to work for his own advantage than to yours.  And he has no more reason to serve you than those already indebted to you and already in your service.
"Who counsels thee to secrecy with friends
Seeks to entrap thee for his own base ends."
 Patronio's Tale.  The fraudulent weavers put the gold and silver for making the magic cloth into their own pockets, and ran. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Pocahontas in Real life. Pocahontas distortions by Disney and politics. Pocahontas History Timeline.

I.   Overview:  A summary of Pocahontas' life and times.  A story from the records.
II.  The Disney Travesty:  Fiction passing as "fact." Marketing and profit interests supersede.
III.   Pocahontas History Timeline: filling in gaps, The Virginia Company, proprietary colonies, NPS and other research,

I.  Overview: The Real Pocahontas, or close to a historical story.

Relevance:  First, a historical record, then morphed into misleading entertainment, and now used as a pejorative in propaganda, in a war of words,

A.  A substantial and culturally advanced population. Significance of the Native Americans at Jamestown.

Pocahontas was a memorable, courageous, Native American figure born of the substantial Powhatan indigenous group, part of the larger Algonquians, in the Virginia coastal area in 1595-97, see  Her father was leader of the Powhatan subgroup, and was also named Wahunsonacock, a/k/a Powhatan to the whites, see Powhatan and Algonquian Native Americans are now vastly diminished in population and area,  having lived in the now-Virginia, now-Washington DC area for some 4000 years. They knew how to defend their areas, and their archers were formidable and feared even by whites with their loud muskets. An archer could loose many arrows to a musket's one firing.  They did not have the concept of ownership of land that the whites had long developed in Europe, however, leading to no meeting of minds as to the permanence of transactions, is that so?

Her real name was Matoaka.  The Pocahontas is a family affectionate diminutive,

B.  The whites are coming.  The Virginia Company.

Whites from England appeared by ship in about 1607, with a charter from 1606 to gain a foothold in this new world of North America for economic development for the Virginia Company, and permissions granted by the English king.  Their happy landing place was Jamestowne.
C.  Pocahontas' earlier life. Weigh the information.

Pocahontas had been married to one Kocoum,
nps [here, the National Park Service research sites], but the customs were different among the Powhatans, and perhaps wiser than ours. Marriages among Powhatans apparently included a one-year option, with right to renew; but if not renewed, it was extinguished, see at. 
Sounds eminently civilized fostering autonomy of both parties, and they were called heathen?  Where there was a child, the mother would care for the child for several years, before the child entered a form of group care, and the mother was not primarily responsible thereafter. Is that so?  This is my impression from the nps sites. A mother with a child in group responsibility care would be free to be part of whatever other history she chose. Childbirth did not trigger a lifetime of care.

Powhatan culture:   Men and women lived different occupational worlds, divisions of work, matrilineal, but male ledership in tribal matters, hierarchy and tribute keeping peace among Native Americans in area, it appears, but encroachments of enemies led to palisades around villages sometimes always?
  • Childrearing:  Standards. Attitudes. Behaviors. Code of respect, behavior in front of others fostered dignity. High value on self control. No separate "law enforcement" needed because of primacy of self control, devaluing open hostility; but chief could intervene. Nonetheless, overall rule fostered dignity as a public attitude:  no interference, no preaching, no insulting. This also shaped how Powhatans related to non-relatives or persons not trusted, not liked. Hold back if you can.
  • Misunderstandings with the English were not just linguistic. English observed polite listening and concluded the listener agreed with the speaker. Not so. Polite listening was normal behavior in front of others. Tolerance until further tolerance was virtually impossible.
Powhatan Indians: Positive relationship evidence. Extended aid at first to English, food, how to survive. This stopped when the English had overstayed, overreached, exploited, demanded food on and on.

D.  Pocahontas in the middle.

Pocahontas was part of the series of both benign and warlike interactions between the Native Americans and the white fortune-seekers in the area -- that Virginia Company.   She passed from time to time, from the white area to the Native American, with various ups and downs and kidnappings, negotiations, skirmishes, making nice and then more hostage-takings both sides, as the whites nearly starved that first year, except for help from Powhatan, and then distrust developed and so on.

Ultimately she married one John Rolfe, one of The Virginia Company arrivees who came on a later ship in 1610.  The Rolfes had a son, Thomas. 

When the Virginia Company neared bankruptcy, Pocahontas returned to London with John Rolfe and little Thomas Rolfe to promote the success of the venture, reassure investors (it is understood that converted to Christianity before her marriage to Rolfe?), was treated well as the equivalent of royalty, a princess, but then she died. We have no information on how she understood marriage in the white way, but there is not information either on any compulsion in her leaving. Is that so?  In other Native American groups, introduction to western disease resulted in many deaths, even decimation of whole tribes, but we know no specifics as to the immunity or lack of immunty of Pocahontas as part of her death.  She got sick and died in 1617, perhaps of smallpox. She is buried at Gravesend, England, at St George's Church. Where there?  Unknown.  She was so unimportant, is that it? just another curiosity, that her grave either was never re-marked once old markings were lost (the old church burned, apparently), and no one knows where on the grounds she lies now. 

The descendants of the son of the Rolfes succeeded in forging an exception to the miscegenation laws of Virginia in later centuries: thanks to their self-interest, one could be a certain portion (is it 1/32?) descended from the non-white Pocahontas and still count as white. 

II.    The Disney travesty. Pocahontas as entertainment over education, fact.
A family tree, distorted, out of context, twisted.

  • Issue:  Responsibility for what is transmitted to children in order to make money, to persuade those without access to vetting tools that a fiction is "history." Is there an obligation to be fair to them, and nd others affected by beliefs they are lured to adopt, disclosures. Should there not be a requirement, like a disclaimer, that the name of historic person is used in the medium presented, but any likeness thereafter to the real life of the person may not be present at all.  The Fakery Medallion.
Compare history with Disney.  A summary of the Disney fantasy follows, as impressions, fair use of partial phrases, run-on sentences.  See references here to the little children's book, The Pocahontas Story, at  Note the complete absence of John Rolfe, the white man who married Pocahontas, and only John Smith is presented as an actor on this little made-up stage.  Our story begins: all paragraphing artificial --
1. Pocahontas is adventurous, running free in the land she "called" home, in awe of "untouched beauty" of the land, leaps from tall waterfalls, consults in a glade with mystical tree known as Grandmother Willow, Pocahontas was raised to believe spirits all around her would guide her
2. Pocahontas saw sails and thought they were clouds (how do we know that??) , saw men "settlers" on board coming ashore, the men believed they could claim the land for themselves, she saw John Smith among them and he was kind and gentle so she followed him and he saw her, she stepped up even though he was a stranger, a magical breeze blew and they could understand each other, although different they became friends and explored together
3. Pocahontas explained to John Smith about Grandmother Willow and that all things are one (did she now?), introduced John Smith to Grandmother Willow, the great spirit (is this still Grandmother Willow?) affirmed he was a good man and she could trust him,
4. Now enter tensions between her tribe and John Smith group "settlers", there was no mutual trust, she tried to get her father the chief to talk to John Smith but the chief would not listen, then John Smith met Pocahontas in the glade and wanted to protect her and her people, they kissed and had fallen in love, they embraced, her tribesmen found them and captured John Smith, and she visited him secretly, John Smith vows no matter what happens I am with you always, tribe prepares for war, 
5. Pocahontas tells her father she loves John Smith and to hurt him would mean more war, so her father frees John Smith, John was injured and had to go home, Pocahontas wanted to go, too, but knew her tribe needed her, she kisses him goodbye and says she will be with him always  THE END.  
Good.  The End.   Wait a minute.  Where is John Rolfe? Thomas? London?

III.  The Pocahontas Timeline.

Additional information, resources, for historical context, further research. This kind of project has to end as incomplete because the information seems endless. The timeline organization is intended here as a springboard for others' interests, perhaps.

  • Purpose:  Pocahontas has not only been used to make money for Disney, but also as a weapon in politics, see Pocahontas misused in petty wars of words, those puffing displays between rivals to win over the undecided, to persuade, nuggetize an opponent in a pejorative way. Explore instead facts of the era and life Pocahontas, the name of that historical figure now being bandied as a joke -- someone who embraces family stories of a Cherokee forbear, now called by a Powhatan name?  Propaganda may be countered, perhaps, with luck and perseverance and at least some openness, by information. 


1580 - Sir Walter Raleigh attempts to found a colony in Virginia; that settlement disappears, however, and became known as The Lost Colony, see NPS The Virginia Company of London.
Was this under the same kind of economic charter as the later Jamestown? 

1587 - Baby Virginia Dare is born at another English colony at Roanoke, then Virginia; now North Carolina, Outer Banks islands.  Question:  Women were arrivals at the Outer Banks. Was their charter, then, to settle permanently, or was this still another economic venture by the Virginia Company? 

1591 - Roanoke Colony had disappeared, however, by the time Sir Walter Raleigh got back to it.  Note the fertile ground for conjecture:  a centuries-later 1937 hoax news suggested that Virginia Dare and her father died in 1591, in an Indian attack and Mother Elizabeth Dare married an Indian, etc, see


1595-97 - Pocahontas born, Algonquian tribal group, Powhatans.  Father is leader see  Native Americans: Powhatan tribe (also name of the leader, Powhatan as called by the whites), see a scope and history of the Powhatans in Virginia and area, laid out at

______ year unknown:  Pocahontas apparently married to one Kocoum, (researching marriage, if contract, etc)  Note that marriage appears to be a one-year renewable relationship, extinguished if not renewed, see nps at.


1606 -- King James I of England grants a charter to The Virginia Company to settle and derive profit for them from Virginia.  Already off and running elsewhere were The Moscovy Company; and The East India Company,. Shares were sold at 12lbs 10 shillings each,  see NPS Virginia Company. 
See Charter at

1607 - (or was it still 1606?) Three ships of the Virginia Company of English -- all men and boys as employees of the Company, under leaders appointed by the Company, to get their own land in 7 years and in the meantime get weapons, clothes and food from the company store, see NPS Virginia Company.  They arrive, construct settlement Jamestown, now Virginia. The leaders, who were gentlemen and not mere laborers, provided their own "armor and weapons," and were paid in shares, more land, dividends, etc.  Their hope was for a successful cash enterprise that  could fund that settlement and even others, see; and, when gold was not found on the beaches, in time settlers tried glassmaking, tar-pitch production, wine, beer, but had to spend too much time surviving. NPS Virginia Company
  • Leadership problems:  President and appointed council of 7, many disagreements with laborers, and issues of evolving difficulties with area tribe, Powhatans, need for food, bad water, class strife within the group, see NPS Virginia Company.
Third President: Captain John Smith.  Descriptions:  adventurer.
Relations with Powhatans improved.  NPS Virginia.
Note that John Rolfe did not arrive until 1610. See

May:  Circumstances upon landing:
Cultural backgrounds of the men on board, and the indigenous: To be researched further.
Response initially to each other?
Later attack? so say settlers
Instigation?  What was demanded by each side of the other?

December  -- early: John Smith captured
Later -- John Smith brought to Powhatan

Did Pocahontas act to save John Smith in any way? Need details. Contemporary reports?
Descriptions:  heroism; what records are there? With only men on board the ships, how would Pocahontas be treated?

Scholars find a rescue to be unlikely -- see .  Early journals of John Smith to not mention any such rescue, later ones do. See smithtrail-native-americans.

Pocahontas and the English:  see another smithtrail, at


1607 -- The Cherokee, a member of the Iroquoian language group of Native Americans,  lived in lands including southern Virginia, Appalachian Plateau region, see

The Powhatan, a member of the Algonquian language group of Native Americans, lived at coastal-eastern Virginia, see

Native American tribes in the differing linguistic groups had different customs, traditions, beliefs, see centricity site.


1607 --Second charter granted in England by The Virginia Company, NPS Virginia Co.

Soft school site. Did Pocahontas spend days at the settlement, playing with children, making friends?? More Disney-type fiction. At least identify it as conjecture.

1608-09 -- With second charter, some 600 more settlers sail from England NPS Virgina Co.  Virginia Deputy Governor Thomas Gates gets deflected en route, ends in Bermuda, delays.

 John Smith writes a book about his captivity entitled _____

1609 - 1610 -- Starvation period at Jamestown NPS Virginia Co.  What fraction of settlers survived? Small. How small? Financial trauma for company, how to pay for debts, incurred more when sent more settlers.

John Rolfe arrived in 1610. Get site.

Was John Smith hurt in an explosion, leave for England?
Was it for treatment, or other reasons?


Did people tell Pocahontas he was dead? 
Did she stop coming to the settlement?
Was the "death" of John Smith the reason for her absence?  Is this part of chick-flicking history, or did they love each other and how to know?

Conflict between Native Americans and English.
What about?
Was there a small war in 1609 called the Anglo-Powhatan Wars? Saw that specific reference at 

1610 -- Sir Thomas Gates, Deputy Governor for Virginia, arrives.  NPS Virginia Co. By this time, court cases in England against company, big advertising campaigns painted rosy picture, lures for investment, little basis in practicality, appeals to English nationalism, heathens would be converted, the European unemployed would find employment in the New World, and just watch the standard of living for everybody rise and rise.  NPS Virginia Co.

1612 -- Virginia Company debts increased, despite the patriotic influx of ideas, some money.  Journals of John Smith published, see
These journals promoted colonization, and settlers increased, but problems were not solved.

John Smith, Pocahontas,  Powhatan:  See

POCAHONTAS AGAIN FEATURED -- Section to be laid out, reworked in better detail

1613 -- Pocahontas is captured by ____ and brought to Jamestown, when she was visiting friends, see    Kocoum, her husband, is not mentioned. 
Was she tricked? Found that at

Had English and their weaponry been captured by the Native Americans?
Did the English capture Pocahontas to hold her for ransom, to get back the Englishmen and weapons? See Softschools.
Who demanded what? See Softschools.

Pocahontas stays with the English. Voluntarily? Was it because Powhatan refused the demands? See Softschools.

1614 -- big year.  March 1614. Pocahontas, in captivity a year, and upset with her father for not obtaining her release (would not "make the necessary trades")

Virginia governor takes her to her father's territory, to compel him to agree, and meanwhile , decides to stay with the English, see Softschools, and what is the chronology here: .

Pocahontas meets and fell for John Rolfe.

What is the role of negotiation in each culture.  Did the

English sources say they fell in love, see   Need a cultural comparison here, what is what.

April -- Pocahontas converts to Church of England) but only after the English had agreed to peace terms with Powhatan, see nps;

Renamed Rebecca?  See nps.

Pocahontas marries John Rolfe.  Did she understand this as a permanent idea, or just the Powhatan better one of 1-year increments, and if not renewed, it went away, see nps, which also says.
 Powhatan had approved, see approval was tacit, as part of the formal approval for her to remain as child of the governor, see

 _______? Year?  Third Charter for the Virginia Company

Did her relationship with John Rolfe mend relationship between Powhatans and English? npr Probably helped, see


16__ -- Pocahontas and John Rolfe -- have son, Thomas. No contemporary writings about date, see  Rolfe barely mentions her in his writings, see  Was this a duly performed English marriage??

1616 -- Pocahontas and John Rolfe and Thomas sail for England.  Or did John Rolfe not go?  Some inconsistency in emphasis, then it looks like he did go, See

Why?  Go to NPS Virginia Co.  More company woes, gimmicks to recruit despite financial matters nearing disaster, people in England and the settlement were owed land and money, indentured servitude initiated ultimately in order to get labor, investors got land in exchange for financing passage of new settlers, conflict between those wanting trade and profit as focus, and those seeking use of colony to relieve population overcongestion in England -- a "headright" system, that ultimately prevailed over the sheer trade and profit idea. But nobody took advice to diversify, staying with limited crops, and when they failed, trouble again.

Tobacco, however, was doing ok.

The trip was paid for by the Virginia Company who wanted the Rolfes to foster interest in the settlement in Virginia, see

John Smith: Did he write to Queen Elizabeth I asking her to host the Rolfes?

Pocahontas becomes known as Lady Rebecca and sweeps media-people of England

1617 -- Pocahontas, Lady Rebecca, dies of unknown illness in London, see 


Child Thomas (sickly at the time?) is raised in England as a Rolfe, joins his father in about 1637. See

Descendants of John Rolfe and Pocahontas obtained special concession in Virginia's later Racial Integrity Act defining whiteness as to Indians as having less than 1/16 or less of the blood of the American Indian,  This small amount allowed those descendants to claim whiteness.

Meanwhile also 1617:

More on Charters:
This one does refer to religion.  Earlier Charters apparently did not.
"Every Person should go to church, Sundays and Holidays, or lye Neck and Heels that Night, and be a Slave to the Colony the following Week; for the second Offence, he should be a Slave for a Month; and for the third, a Year and a Day." Governor Argall's Decree
1617 --Note change to include religious observance and slavery, with the new charter.

1618 -- Powhatan died, see

When did John Rolfe to back to Virginia.  Did he? Apparently so. See

John Rolfe's cash crop tobacco experiments began to bring results, for the Virginia Company, but to glorify his status as a tobacco farmer at that stage is premature.

1619 - More financial trouble for the company, and the populating idea for the colony led to even more arrivals. See NPS Virginia Co.

Tobacco -- had become the cash crop for the colony, got protected status back in England (tax advantage? what else?) NPS Virginia Co.

More settlements, English, tobacco, and pushing of Powhatans from their lands,

Powhatan boy warns English, Jamestown not what attacked, destroyed? What does "spared" mean?

1621 -- Company still in trouble. Had tried lotteries, but dividends remained unpaid 

1622 - Company abandons the settlement, cannot support it any longer.

At about same time, but not coordinated or with knowledge of the company's problems, and were the settlers also aware? Powhatans attack English, some 1200 settlers of which 350-400 English killed. many Powhatans?

Note breathless (without the figures) statement that the uprising "wiped out a quarter of the English population of Virginia"

1624 -- Fourth charter denied; the Virginia Company had failed as a stockholding enterprise. Virginia to be Royal Colony administered by English Governor, King James I to appoint.

John Smith writes a second book, see

1627-1776 -- Virginia, now governed as a colony, and not just with an economic charter as a proprietary colony, could and did increase its territory and use of resources, and English influence, and challenge Spain as it did.  NSP Virginia Co.

1629 - compare Massachusetts Bay
charter at

Other Proprietary Colonies:  Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania  see The Crown granted land to the proprietors to repay the debts they incurred, see site


1646 -- Chief of Powhatans, then the youngest brother of Powhatan himself, was captured by the English at age nearly100, taken as captive to Jamestown, and there was shot in the back by an Englishman (no orders to do so) ,

Powhatans, prestige and power vastly diminished (tribe held only "tributary" status by then, not primary) and they began to sign treaties with the English, dividing English lands from Powhatan lands, Powhatans could not come on English lands without permission and had to wear a special striped coat (like later jailbirds? in time, badges sufficed) if they did, and then could only do so for some official purpose.

1658 -- Legislature of Virginia establishes a reservation, reservations?  see Virginia Indians: Meet the Tribes  Some 11 tribes are still recognized. 

1677 -- Bacon's Rebellion

And second treaty between Powhatans, other Virginia tribes and English,  setting up a reservation for them, and the requirement of annual tribute to be paid in game and fish to the English for the privilege of living on the little reservations, fully subject to the English More settlements,

1683 -- Same era nearby: Tamanend, Leni Lenape tribe, Pennsylvania area to the north, friend of William Penn, known as affable and honorable, similar cultural orientation to tolerance, self-control,  see 1938 history, The Tammany Legend, Tamanend/ and at

Unlike English in Virginia, William Penn was respectful, began to learn the language, fostered coexistence, keeping of agreements, worked with Tamamend to foster coexistence, see;

Tamanend today (the 2014 version):  Routinely seasonally humiliated at Annapolis Naval Academy


1700 -- Rappahannock tribe loses its reservation. nps.

1718 -- Chickahominy tribe loses its reservation. nps.

1722 -- English reported that many tribes were extinct [source?] nps

Powhatan tribes retaining their reservations, keeping tribal structurre, treaties with Commonwealth of Virginia:  nps
Pamunky (also to today)
Mattaponi (also to today)

Many conversions to Christianity, languages began to disappear, npa.


"That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other."

Virginia Declaration of Rights



"Section I. The opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own...

Section II. We the General Assembly of Virginia do enact that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom
Jan. 16, 1786


19th Century:  impoverished tribes, pressured by English, began to sell their reservations, English and other whites sought termination of their legal status on reservations  nps. 

1792 -- The Nansemond sell their reservation, to whom?  nps.  Track recurrent destruction of records, difficulty in tracing lineage, Native American groups, see, e.g.,

1830 - Virginia Constitution, see

"No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested or burthened, in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief: but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.

And the legislature shall not prescribe any religious test whatsoever; nor confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any one sect or denomination; nor pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this commonwealth to levy on themselves or others any tax for the erection or repair of any house for public worship or for the support of any church or ministry, but it shall be left free to every person to select his religious instructor, and make for his support such private contract as he shall please."

See also


1885 -- A son of one Sarah O. C. Smith, Cherokee, applied for a marriage license.  Family story, rest of family whites, say that the couple eloped because of opposition to a mixed race marriage in the white family, see

1900 Census --

Further Sources:

1. Brief overview --

2. Soft history for children, full of conclusions, opinion,  rosy glasses, but useful for possible detail to be vetted further, see 

3. Relationship of Pocahontas and John Rolfe.  According to English accounts, the two fell in love and wanted to get married. Powhatan gave his approval and, after she was converted and renamed Rebecca, peace was solidified by the marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe in April 1614. Within a year the couple had a son, Thomas. In 1616, the Virginia Company paid to send the Rolfe family to England to gain more English interest in Jamestown.

National Park Service site:   The Virginia Company of London