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How It All Began

Before "First Contact" there was the Mattaponi People. First noted on John Smith's map as the Mattapanient Creek and a major Native Village. This location is only a few miles upriver on the King and Queen side, from the present day Mattaponi Reservation. Archeology sites now being discovered, document Native occupation for at least 11,000 years in the Counties and Rivers surrounding our present day Reservation in King William County.

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In retaliation to "Indian" uprising and attacks on "Planter's", this Village was desecrated by the Colonial Militia. The People were forced to run and hide for centuries. There has been numerous Treaties between the Jamestown Colony [Virginia] and the various Powhatan "Tribes". Not only the noted Treaties we have today with Virginia, the Colonial Government was continuously changing or adapting legislation to maintain control over the Native Tribes and People's under their growing occupation of the Eastern Woodland Tribes, their Lands and their control over the People that have occupied this Riverland for thousands of years.

In Mattaponi Town in 1668, Virginia legislation established a land base or Reservation for the Mattaponi People who had survived fugitive status for many years. For several years following, tensions were mounting in the Colony among Planters. In 1676, this came to a boil under an attempt by Nathaniel Bacon to overthrow Governor Berkley at Middle Plantation [Williamsburg]. This became known as "Bacon's Rebellion" which in turn had a great effect upon the Mattponi. The Mattaponi People were still struggling to survive and again were forced to move around, along with the Chicahomany, Nansemond and Rappahannock Tribes having similar fate. The Pamunkey Tribe had chosen to side with Bacon and the outside Native Tribes, Bacon had hired or forced to fight for his position. This unrest spread to the Eastern Shore and the Maryland Colony where other dissenting Colonists were also being escorted out of the Virginia Colony if allegence was not given to his Majesty's representatives in the Colony.

Among them were early Quaker families with names Jordan, Pleasents, Storey and others. Virginia had passed laws against those who sheltered them. Some of the fugitive Tribal People also migrated to locations on the Eastern Shore. There was a movement begun by the Tribal Matriarchs to intermarry with the Colonist in order to ensure their bloodeline to continue. The fear of total genocide was still fresh in the minds of those who, for years, hid among the swamps and creeks of the York, Rappahannock and Patomac River basins.  "The 1677 Middle Plantation Treaty '' marked the end of this period, it did not end the struggles for Native People then, nor has it ended similar problems facing Native Americans today!

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