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.