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Pocahontas's People: The Powhatan Indians of Virginia Through Four Centuries (The Civilization of the American Indian Series) [Paperback]

Helen C. Roundtree
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 15, 1996 0806128496 978-0806128498

In this history, Helen C. Roundtree traces events that shaped the lives of the Powhatan Indians of Virginia, from their first encounter with English colonists, in 1607, to their present-day way of life and relationship to the state of Virginia and the federal government.

Roundtree’s examination of those four hundred years misses not a beat in the pulse of Powhatan life. Combining meticulous scholarship and sensitivity, the author explores the diversity always found among Powhatan people, and those people’s relationships with the English, the government of the fledgling United States, the Union and the Confederacy, the U.S. Census Bureau, white supremacists, the U.S. Selective Service, and the civil rights movement.


Frequently Bought Together

Pocahontas's People: The Powhatan Indians of Virginia Through Four Centuries (The Civilization of the American Indian Series) + The Powhatan Indians of Virginia: Their Traditional Culture (The Civilization of the American Indian Series) + Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough: Three Indian Lives Changed by Jamestown
Price for all three: $57.76

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This meticulously documented volume by an ethnohistorian and anthropologist soundly demonstrates that "the 'vanishing Indian' is indeed a myth." The author traces the story of the Native Americans in Powhatan's dominion from their first contact with the English at Jamestown in 1607 through their tribal activities in the late 20th century. Refusing to vanish, Virginia groups retained a definably Indian character despite intense efforts by whites to deny them their heritage. There is increasing interest in surviving Eastern Indian groups; this study, complemented by the author's The Powhatan Indians of Virginia: Their Traditional Culture (Oklahoma, 1989), should serve as a model for those to follow.
- Mary B. Davis, Huntington Free Lib., Bronx, New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Helen C. Roundtree is an ethno-historian with degrees from the College of William and Mary, the University of Utah, and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Her research and fieldwork for two decades have been among North American Indians in both Virginia and Nevada; she has worked both with historical documents and with living Indians and has written numerous journal articles. She is associate professor of anthropology in Old Dominion University.


Product Details

  • Series: The Civilization of the American Indian Series (Book 196)
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press (January 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806128496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806128498
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #745,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
As the previous reviewer said, this book does a wonderful job examing the history of the Powhatana Confederation of Virgina through the past four centuries. Often forgotten about by the American public at large the Powhatans (actually several different Algonquian speaking Nations joined together into a single Confederacy) played a major role in US history almost from the beginning. Indeed, as the title suggests, Pocahontas herself was one of their most well known members.
Starting with an examination of pre-contact Powhatan life and culture, Rountree goes on to examine the first meetings between the Chickahominies and the Spanish conquistadors, early encounters with the British settlers, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and Indian removal. Especially interesting are the last couple chapters which focus on Indian rights activism in the last century. The Powhatan (like any of the other First Nations) never went away and have had to struggle to gain their own reservation, and even federal recognition. The book ends with a wonderfully long and detailed bibliography.
This book really tells of their struggles and triumphs, and more than anything else I would say that this book gives a wonderful background for understanding where the peoples of the Powhatan Confederation have come from. Anyone with an interest in Native American studies should definately check out this book and the others in the Civilization of the American Indians series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing spectacular but most informative May 16, 2006
This little book provides the reader with a basic history of the Powatan starting with a bit prior to first contact with europeans (ironicly the Spanish) to Jamestown (proving ample insights into the minds of the cultures involved) to the modern age, including their experiences of the racial Jim Crow nonsence of the South. Nothing spectacular just the bare and basic facts. I did find the comparison of how the Powatans fared in comparison to the Tribes of New England most impressive.

Most informative and filling for the mind.

A good book to have for those interested in the region, or just the story of Jamestown and the beginning of America.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rountree's books May 18, 2013
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Helen Rountree has written a few books.

These two are my favorites: "Pocahontas's People"
and
"Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough - Three Indian Lives Changed by Jamestown" which I own.

I would recommend either and/or both.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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ANYTHING on my hero Pocahontas!....really. This material added to my growing understanding of our first real heroine in America.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review March 5, 2014
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Still reading--- grandchildren are descendants of the tribe and Jamestown folk. Will pass along after I read it. That's all.
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