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    1613-14 PANEL

Peace, brought about by Pocahontas’ marriage to John Rolfe, brings real dividends for the colonists. There are exchanges of prisoners and Powhatan’s ban on trade with the English is lifted. Dale also notches up more calming victories among the Chickahominies and other tribes  in the Powhatan Confederacy when he conducts separate peace treaties with them. Bringing with him a portrait of the King (Scene two) he promises each of eight Chickahominy chiefs a red coat or livery from King James’ ‘and a picture of his majesty on copper to hang around your neck.’ Dressed in this fashion the chiefs are to be known as the ‘noblemen of King James 1’. They fall for it and sign up as the subjects of the ‘paramount white chief beyond the seas.’

Powhatan, too, is flattered about the union of his daughter with an Englishman, so much so that when the couple go to live in a house on the shore of the James River between Henrico and the new Bermuda Hundred settlement, his wedding gift to them is the land on which it is built. Oddly, they call their new home ‘Varina’ after a variety of tobacco that Rolfe has imported from Spain.

Settlements in Virginia are called ‘Hundreds’ after the old administrative division of counties back in England, supposed to have originally contained one hundred families or freemen. The Virginia Company have agreed to give backers large grants of land in exchange for an investment of men and materials. For the first time individuals are given considerable freedom to manage their investment  and the sole right to whatever profit they produce. West and Shirley; Upper; Rochdale; Bermuda and Bermuda City are all Hundreds that are settled in 1613 with the Eastern Shore starting in 1614.

Harvesting the Rolfe’s tobacco crop is shown here (the butterfly near the wagon is the Painted Lady – Cynthia cardu). Firstly the plant is cut and allowed to wither in the sun. It is then carted to the barn. There it is hung on rails to dry slowly in the shade and eventually it turns light brown. Finally this year, the tobacco will be packed in barrels that are locally made, shipped to England, sold at auction and, because of its smooth taste, be an instant success and make Rolfe rich indeed.



TORMENTIL Tormentilla. ‘ The root beaten into powder, tempered or kneaded with the white of an egge and eaten, staith the desire to vomite.’ Gerard

MARSHMALLOW Althaea officinalis.  The roots ‘thicke, tough, white within’ (Gerard) were used to make jelly-type sweets.

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