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Virginia Indian Research References


Searching through print sources and electronic sources requires different keywords. In print, the Library of Congress subject headings Indians of North America - Virginia, Powhatan Indians and the United States - history - colonial period are useful. With electronic sources, the broader terms Eastern Woodlands Culture, Colonial America and Indian can be used, but will result in either scattered or an overwhelming amount of information. Also, the individual tribes, such as Nansemond, do not have much information. The broad term Indians of North America is more useful. The more narrow terms Powhatan, Virginia Indians, Pocahontas, and John Smith will also result in a much more defined and successful search.

Library of Congress

Begin first by checking at the reference desk of your library for the Library of Congress Subject Headings and corresponding numbers or Dewey Decimal Numbers.

Subject Headings and their Dewey Decimal Call Numbers

Indians of North America - [E77-E99] 970.004
-Powhatan, Monacan, Pamunkey, Rappahannock

United States - [E178] 973.2
-Colonial Period, 1600-1775
-Politics and Government
-Wars, Indians of North America

Powhatan Indians - [E99.P85]

Internet Sources
Aggregate Information Providers
  • Infotrac OCLC First Search
  • Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe SilverPlatter OLIN Historical Abstracts
  • General Reference Center (Magazine Index) Dissertation Abstracts ODL WebSPIRS
  • Statewide Catalog: Impact Online WorldCAT
Reference Sources
Print Encyclopedias
  • Handbook of North American Indians. Sturtevant, William C., Editor. Washington, Smithsonian Institution. Vol.4, History of Indian-White Relations, Vol. 15, Northeast. E77 .H25
  • Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature Edition 1. Harper Collins Publishers, 1991. PN41 .B45 1991.
  • The Reader's Companion to American History. Houghton Muffin Co., 1991. E174 .R43 1991
  • Waldman, Carl. Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. New York, NY, 1988. E76.2 W35 1988
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. Detroit, MI, 1998. E 77 .G35 1998, Vol. 1, 4.
  • The Native Tribes of North America: a concise encyclopedia. London, 1993. Z918 Z373
Online Encyclopedias
  • Johansen, Bruce and Grinde, Donald. The Encyclopedia of Native American Biography: Six Hundred Life Stories of Important People. From Powhatan to Wilma Mankiller. Da Capo Press, Henry Holt and Co., New York, NY, 1998. Life stories of prominent and lesser-known Indian chiefs, explorers, artists, writers, athletes, and scientists are told. E89 J69 1997
  • Waldman, Carl. Who Was Who in Native American History: Indians and non-Indians from Early Contacts through 1900. New York: Facts on file, 1990. E89 W35 1990
  • Indians in American History: An Introduction. Edited by Frederick Hoxie, 2nd Ed., Wheeling, IL, Harlan Davidson, 1998. E 76.2 .E53 1996
Online Maps and Atlases
Jamestown Rediscovery:
  • Maps of excavations of original Jamestown site, with information concerning both settlers and Powhatan people.
  • Native American Tribes, Culture Areas, and Linguistic Stocks (maps of the United States with tribe locations and linguistic areas).
Print Articles
  • Anderson, Marilyn. "The Best of Both Worlds: the Pocahontas Legend as Treated in Early America Drama." Indian Historian, 12, no. 2, 979, p. 54-59. E 75.W37
  • Barbour, Philip. "The Earliest Reconnaissance of the Chesapeake Bay Area: Captain John Smith's Map and Indian Vocabulary." Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 79, 1971, p. 280-302.
  • Coates, James. "Native Indians of the Old Dominion State." American Indian, 2, no. 4, 1945. p. 22-24. E 77 .A495
  • Fausz, John F. "Fighting 'Fire' with Firearms: the Anglo-Powhatan Arms Race in Early Virginia." American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 3, no. 4, 1979, p. 33-50. E 75 .A5124
  • Garrow, Patrick. "An Ethnohistorical Study of Early English Indian Policy." Working Papers in Sociology and Anthropology, 2, no.1, 1968, p. 35-45.
  • Gilliam, C.E. "Powhatan Sun Worship." Archaeological Society of Virginia, Quarterly Bulletin, 12, no.1, 1957, p. 1-4.
  • "John Clayton's 1687 Account of the Medicinal Practices of the Virginia Indians." Edited by Hoffman, Bernard. Ethnohistory, 11, 964. p. 1-40. E 51 .E8
  • Nash, Gary. "Notes on the History of Seventeenth-Century Missionization in Colonial America." American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 2, no. 2, 1977, p. 3-8. E 75 .A5124
  • Puglisi, Michael. "Capt. John Smith, Pocahontas, and a clash of cultures: a case for the ethnohistorical perspective." History Teacher, Vol. 25, no. 1, 1991, p.97-103. Dl .H8177
  • Rountree, Helen. "Powhatan priests and English rectors: world views and congregations in conflict." American Indian Quarterly, Vol. 16, no. 4, 1992, p. 485-500. E 75 .A42
  • Rountree, Helen. "Change Came Slowly: the case of the Powhatan Indians of Virginia." The Journal of Ethnic Studies, vol. 3, no. 3, 1975, p. 1-19.
  • Vaughan, Alden. "Expulsion of the Savages: English Policy and the Virginia Massacre of 1622." William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 35, no. 1, 1978, p. 57-84. E.184 .Al J68
  • Haranicky, William. "The Virginia Algonquian Language." Chesopean, 20, nos. 3-4, 1982, p.19-29.
  • Turner, Edwin. "A Re-examination of Powhatan Territorial boundaries and Ponulation ca. A. D. 1607." Archeological Society of Virginia Quarterly Bulletin, 37, no. 2, 1982, p. 45-64.
  • Williamson, Margaret H. "Powhatan Hair." Man, New Series, 14, 1979, p.392-413.
Suggested Books
  • Axtell, James. The Rise and Fall of the Powhatan Empire: Indians in Seventeenth-Century Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, VA, 1995. E45 .A95 1995
  • Axtell, James.  The Indians' New South; Cultural Change in the Colonial Southeast, LSU Press, Baton Rouge and London, 1997
  • Cook, Samuel R. Monacans and Miners: Native American and Coal Mining Communities in Appalachia. University of Nebraska Press, 2000.
  • Custer, Jay. Late Woodland Cultures of the Middle Atlantic Region. University of Delaware Press, Newark, NJ, 1986. E 78.M63 L37 1986
  • Dufrene, Phoebe. Contemporary Powhatan Art and Culture: Its Link with Tradition and Implications for the Future. Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, 1991.
  • Feest, Christian. The Powhatan Tribes. New York: Chelsea House, 1990.
  • Fritz, Jean. The Double Life of Pocahontas. Puffin Books, NY, 1987. E99 .P85 P573 1983
  • Gleach, Frederic. Powhatan's World and Colonial Virginia: A Conflict of Cultures. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NB, 1997. E99 .P85 G54 1997
  • Gridley, Marion. American Indian Women. Hawthorne Books, Inc., New York, 1974. E 98. W8 G74
  • Houck, Peter W. Indian Island in Amherst County. Lynchburg Historical Co. Lynchburg, VA, 1984. E 78. V7. H68 Written about the Monacan Indian Nation, a Siouan group recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia and currently living in the western part of the state.
  • Lemay, J. A. Did Pocahontas Save Captain John Smith? University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA, 1992. F229 .57L47 1992
  • Mossiker, Frances. Pocahontas: The Life and the Legend. New York: Da Capo Press, 1976. E 99 .P85 P575 1976
  • Porter, Frank. Strategies for Survival: American Indians in the Eastern United States. Greenwood Press, NY, 1986. E 78 .E2S77
  • Rountree, Helen. Pocahontas's People: The Powhatan Indians of Virginia Through Four Centuries. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 1990. E 99 .P85 R67 1990
  • Reinhart, Theodore R. and Hodges, Mary, eds. Late Archaic and Early Woodland Research in Virginia. Virginia Foundation for Humanities and Public Policy, 1991.
  • Rountree, Helen. The Powhatan Indians of Virginia: Their Traditional Culture. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 1988. E99 .P85 68 1998
  • Rountree, Helen. Powhatan Foreign Relations 1500-1722. University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville, 1993. E99 .P85 P683 1993
  • Rountree, Helen. Eastern Shore Indians of Virginia and Maryland. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997. E 78 .V7 R68 1997 LCCN 97-2651
  • Rountree, Helen. Young Pocahontas in the Indian World. Yorktown, VA: J&R Graphic Services, Inc., 1995.
  • Sams, Conway Whittle. The Conquest of Virginia, The Forest Primeval. G. P. Putnam, 1916. Call# 975.5 Sa49c
  • Sheehan, Bernard. Savagism and Civility: Indians and Englishmen in Colonial Virginia. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, GB, 1980. E78.V7 S53
  • Works. 1608-1631. By John Smith, edited by Edward Arger. AMS Press, NY, 1967.
  • Smith, John. Captain John Smith's History of Virginia: a Selection. Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis, IN, 1971.
  • Stewart, Dale. Archeological Exploration of Patawomeke: The Indian Town Site (44St2) Ancestral to the One Visited by Captain John Smith. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1992. SI .33:36
  • Vaughan, Alden. American Genesis: Cavtain John Smith and the Founding of Virginia. Little, Brown, Boston, MA, 1975. F229 .S7495
  • Waugaman, Sandra F. and Danielle Moretti-Langholtz. We're Still Here: Contemporary Virginia Indians Tell Their Stories. Palari Press: Richmond. 2000
  • Early Accounts of Life in Colonial Virginia. 1609-1613. Delmar, N.Y.: Scholar's Facsimiles and Reprints, 1976. F229.e18 1976.
Newspaper Articles
  • Cox, Beverly and Kidwell, Clara Sue. "The Time of Food: A Native American Thanksgiving." Los Angeles Times, The Times Mirror Co., November 24, 1991. Tradition of Thanksgiving in Native American perspective.
  • Dentry, Ed. "American fowl call featured at show." Denver Rocky Mountain News, Denver Publishing Co., January 15, 1997. Wild turkey calls first developed by Powhatan Indians of Virginia.
  • Fiaola, Anthony. "Little dove vs. Pocahontas: To Virginia Tribe's Keeper of History, Disney Got It Wrong." The Washington Post, May 25, 1995. Discussion of Disney's movie, inaccurate depiction of Pocahontas, traditional stories handed down by elders.
  • Gillespie-Lewis, Anne. "Pocahontas in England: Truth Stranger than Legend." Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN. June 11, 1995. Discussion of Pocahontas' visit to England, descendents.
  • Hyslop, Stephen. "Life in America 400 Years Ago: When Algonquin Culture Ruled Our Region." The Washington Post, June 14, 1995. Nice summary of history of the region, Powhatan lifestyle.
  • Nakashima, Ellen. "Reservoir Threatens to Drown Indian Traditions." Guardian Newspapers, Ltd., London, April 29, 1997. Reservoir proposed by Newport News threatens traditional lands of Powhatan people.
  • "Pocahontas Legend Compelling: Special to the Star." The Toronto Star, Toronto Star Newspapers, Ltd. July 8m 1995. Exhibit at Jamestown celebrates the life of Pocahontas and dispels many myths.
  • Thomas, Linda. "Revisit the Fatal Clash of English and Powhatan Societies in 1622." The Washington Post, June 14, 1995. Revisit the massacre of Martin's Hundred plantation, original accounts by settlers.
  • Struck, Myron. "U.S. Acknowledgement Office for Indians: Seeking the Recognition They Feel Is Due." The Washington Post, December 21, 1981. Federal Recognition of many tribes comes too little, too late. Often requires documentation that does not exist.
Government Relations

Since the tribes of Virginia are not federally recognized, a search of government agencies, such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the Department of the Interior, and government documents does not reveal any current material.

  • An Act to ratify a settlement agreement in a land dispute between the Pamunkey Indian Tribe and the Southern Railway Co. and for other purposes. United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1980.
  • Documents of United States Indian Policy. Edited by Francis Paul Prucha. Univ. of Nebraska Press, Lincoln NB, 1990. E94 P78 1990
  • Native American Testimony: a Chronicle of Indian-White Relations from Prophecy to the Present. 1492-1992 Edited by Peter Nabokov. Viking, New York, NY, 1991. E93 N3 1991
  • Cultures in Contact: the Impact of European Contacts on Native American Cultural Institutions. A.D. 1000-1800. Edited - with commentary by William W. Fitzhugh. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, 1985. E98 C89 F5 1985.
Archival Materials
  • Bacon, Nathaniel. Strange news from Virginia being a full and true account of the life and death of Nathaniel Bacon, Esquire, who was the only cause and original of all the late troubles in that country; with a full relation of all the accidents which have happened in the late war there between the Christians and Indians. London, printed for William Harris, 1677. Microfilm 164, reel 802:23
  • Beverley, Robert. The History and Present State of Virginia. Ed. by Louis B. Wright. Chapel Hill, Pub for the Institute of Early American History and Culture at Williamsburg, VA, by Univ. of N. Carolina Press, 1947. A reprint of work first published in 1705, London, containing first-hand information on Virginia Indians. F229.B593 1947, 1971.
  • Drake, Samuel G. Indian Biography, containing the lives of more than two hundred Indian chiefs, also such others of that race as have rendered their names conspicuous in the history of North America. Giving their most celebrated speeches, memorable sayings, numerous anecdotes and a history of their wars. Much of which is taken from manuscripts never before published. By Samuel G. Drake 1798-1875. Printed in Boston, by J. Drake, 1832. CRL Monographs, Call # MF-187, Microfilm, Ann Arbor, MI, University Microfilms (American Culture Series, Reel 85.8) Call# 970.1 D79in 1832
  • Hamor, Ralph. A true discourse of the present estate of Virginia, and the successe of the affaires there till the 18 of June, 1614 together with a relation of the seuerall English townes and forts, the assured hopes of the countrie and the peace concluded with the Indians, the christening of Powhatans daughter and her mariage with an English-man/written by Ralph Hamor the younger, late secretarie in that colony. Printed by John Beale for W. Welby, 1615. Only 200 copies privately printed. CRL Monographs, Master held by Lost Cause Press, Louisville, KY., Series: Travels in the South. This contains discourse from John Rolfe after marriage to Pocahontas. F229. V5 OCLC#13262319.
  • Hariot, Thomas. A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia: of the commodities there found and to be raysed, as well merchantable, as others for victuall, building and other necessarie uses for those that are and shalbe the planters there; and of the nature and manners of the naturall inhabitants; discouered by the English colony there seated bv Sir Richard Greinuile knight in the yeere 1585... directed to the aduenturers, fauourers, and welwillers of the action, for the inhabiting and planting there: by Thomas Hariot. 1560-1621 CRL Monographs, Call# MF-187, Microfilm, Ann Arbor, MI, University Microfilms 1 reel, 35 mm (American Culture series, Reel 2.15) This contains the writings of Thomas Hariot, with maps and drawings of the indigenous people. From these drawings the famous de Bry engravings were made.
  • Hariot, Thomas. A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia. The Complete 1590 Theodor De Bry edition. Re-publication of DeBry's 1590 edition of Hariot's 16th century description of the Virginia Indians. Includes reprints of DeBry engravings. Dover, 1972. F229. H27 1590c
  • Gorges, Ferdinando, 1629-1718. America painted to the life the true history of the Spaniards proceedings in the conquests of the Indians, and of their civil wars among themselves, from Columbus his first discovery to these later times; as also of the original undertakings of the advancement of plantations into those parts, with a perfect relation of our English discoveries, shewing their beginning, progress, and continuance, from the year 1628 to 1658.. more especially, an absolute narrative of the north parts of America, and of the discoveries and plantations of our English in Virginia, New- England, and Berbadoes. Publisht by Ferdinando Gorges, Esq. Printed in London for Nathanial Borrk, 1658-1659. Microfilm 164, reel 146:2. Jefferson, Thomas. Notes on the State of Virginia. Philadelphia, PA, 1787. Call# 975.5 J35no, also F 230J5102
  • Jones, Hugh. The present state of Virginia. Giving a particular and short account of the Indian, English, and Negroe inhabitants of that colony. Shewing their religion, manners, government, trade, way of living. &c.. with a description of the country. From whence is inferred a short view of Maryland and North Carolina... By Hugh Jones. 1669-1760. Master microform held by Lost Cause Press, Louisville, KY. Also Microfiche, Chicago: Library Resources, Inc., 1970. 1 microfiche, Microbook Library of American Civilization: 16197.) OCLC#13262974. Call# 917 .55 J717p
  • Penhallow, Samuel. The history of the wars of New-England, with the eastern Indians. Or, A narrative of their continued perfidy and cruelty, from the 10th of August, 1703, to the peace renewed 13th of Julv, 1713. And from the 25th of July, 1722, To their submission 15th December, 1725, Which was ratified August 5th 1726. by Samuel Penhallow, esqr. Boston, Printed by T. Fleet, for S. Gerish, 1726. CRL Monographs, University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, MI. Call# MF-187. OCLC# 6743139. Call# 970.4 P37i
  • Smith, John. A True Relation of Virginia. Boston, MA, 1866. OCLC# 13262628 Center for Research Libraries, CRL Monographs, CRL Call #MC 187, Ann Arbor MI, University Microfilms.Call# 975.5 S652t 973.21 S652t
  • Smith, John. The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles; with the names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from their first beginning, 1584 to this present 1624. With the Procedings of those Severall colonies and the Accidents that befell them in all their journyes and Discoveries, Also the Maps and Descriptions of all those Countryes, their Commodities, people, Government, Customes, and Religion yet knowne, Divided into sixe Bookes, By Captaine John Smith sometymes Governour in those Countryes & Admirall of New England. First published in 1624. CRL Monographs, Call # MF-187, Microfilm, Ann Arbor, MI, University Microfilms, 1 reel. 35 mm, (American Culture Series, Reel 4.26) LCCN 66-26303 Call# 975.5 Sm61G
  • Strachey, William. The Historie of Travaile into Virginia Britannia: expressing the cosmographie and comodies of the country, together with the manners and customes of the people/ gathered and observed as well by those who went first thither as collected by William Strachey, 1609. Center for Research Libraries, CRL Monographs, Call# MC187, OCLC# 16582952. LCCN 54-1475 910.8 H156w, ser.2, no.103 This appears to be a first edition from the original manuscript, also has a facsimile reproduction of Capt. John Smith's map. Wharton, Samuel. Plain facts; being an examination into the rights of the Indian nations of America, to their respective countries; and a vindication of the grant, from the Six united nations of Indians, to the proprietors of Indiana, against the decision of the legislature of Virginia, together with authentic documents proving that the territory westward of the Allehany mountain never belonged to Virginia. Samuel Wharton 1732- 1800. Printed and sold by R. Aitken, 1781. CRL Monographs, Call # MF-187, Microfilm, Ann Arbor, MI, University Microfilms. (American Culture Series, Reel 422.6)
  • Wyth, John. Portraits to the life and Manners of the Inhabitants of that Province in America called Virginia. New York, 1841.
Audiovisual Material
  • In Their Own Words: Voices of Virginia Indians. An American Indian Resource Center Production. Two Rivers Video, Williamsburg, Virginia. 37 min. An overview of the history of Virginia Indians from pre-contact to the present, featuring interviews with the chiefs of all eight state-recognized tribes.
  • Pocahontas: Eyewitness to the Planting of the Colonies. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley, Publisher, 1998. Videocassette, 15 min. Combines still images with video footage. VHS. Accession #40245854.
  • The Great Encounter. PBS Video index version, Alexandria, VA, 1991. Videocassette (VHS) 57 Min., color, Series PBS Video Reference Library. Accession # 42058911 Contrasts Pilgrim settlement with needs of Powhatan people.
  • Roanoak. PBS Videos, 1989. 2 videocassettes (1 hr each), 970.01 ROA 1989
Audiocassette Material
  • Great American Indian Speeches. Vol. 1. Caedmon, Publisher, 1976. 2 sound cassettes. The texts for many of the speeches on these records can be found in the Congressional Record of the period. Speech by Powhatan is included; read by Arthur Junaluska.
Online Teaching Materials
  • Virginia Indians. Past and Present. There are a number of sites under this address that include Government, Warfare, Religion, Fishing, Hunting, Farming and Gathering, Homes, Villages, and Household Arts, Family Life and Customs, and The People. Hundreds of links to associated items. Each subheading has its own address, but you can link from this site. Each section has enough in formation to assign for reading or to teach the topic. There are maps and drawings also.
  • Jamestown Rediscovery Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA). These sites detail the archaeological project of unearthing Jamestown, plus give a good history of the original settlement. Lots of photos, drawings, maps and links to other sites. Even a timeline from 1558 to 1616 and a list of every man there. Great for all ages.
  • Frazier, Patrick. Portrait Index of North American Indians. Library of Congress, Washington, 1992. E 89 .F725 1991
  • Jackson, William Henry. 1843-1942. Descriptive Catalogue of Photographs of North American Indians. R.M. Weatherford Books, Columbus, OH, 1978. Reprint of the 1877 ed. Published by Govt. Printing Office, Washington. E77 J23 1978
  • McKenney, Thomas Loraine, 1785-1859. History of the Indian Tribes of North America: with Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of the Principal Chiefs: embellished with One Hundred and Twenty Portraits from the Indian Gallery in The Department of War, at Washington by Thomas L. McKenne and James Hall. P. Rice & A.N. Hart, Philadelphia,1858. This contains colored plates taken from original oil paintings. Call# 921 M199h 1858
  • The New World : the first pictures of America made by John White and Jacques Le Moyne and engraved by Theodore de Bry, with contemporary narratives of the French settlements in Florida. 1562-1565 and the English colonies in Virginia. 1585- 1590. Edited and annotated by Stefan Lorant. Duell, Sloan and Pearce, NY, 1965. The engravings include drawings of Powhatan, the chief and other Powhatan people, color illustrations, maps, portraits. E141 .L88 1965
Associations & Cultural Centers
Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA)
2204 W. Franklin St.
Richmond, VA 23220


Virginia Council on Indians
A good source of information about the tribes and gives e-mail addresses of the Council members.

Other Web Page Resources
  • Werowocomoco Research Group - Information about excavations and research at Powhatan's 'chief towne' of Werowocomoco.
  • NITI: National Indian Telecommunications Institute - Dynamic, Native-founded and run organization employing advanced technology to serve American Indians, Native Hawaiians, and Alaska Natives in the areas of education, economic development, language and cultural preservation, tribal policy issues and self-determination. Headquarters in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • WWW Virtual Library - American Indians - This site is a link to some education resources. Zuni Pueblo listed here, only Indian public school in New Mexico. It serves as possible model for other Indian tribes.
  • - Listings for library sites, educator sites, archival sites, Native American women, and more.