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Powhatans vs. Englishmen: A Clash of Cultures and Arms at Jamestown
Synopses & Reviews
On May 13, 1607, 104 Englishmen landed at Jamestown to colonize the New World. In the area around Jamestown, the English encountered 30 native tribes, boasting roughly 15,000 soldiers.
In this message, historian William Potter explains how the competing worldviews of these two groups led not only to a clash of cultures, but to a clash of arms. He contrasts Thomas Dale and Opechancanough and tells of the warfare between their respective peoples and also discusses John Smith's critical role with the Powhatans early on in the settlement.
The English, Potter notes, were from a Reformation Heritage. They worshipped the God of the Bible and were the inheritors of Western European traditions and civilization. The Powhatans, by contrast, worshipped many gods, chief among whom were Okeua and Ahone. Potter establishes a clear frame of reference for the warfare and combat between the two groups, noting the providence of God during this difficult and bloody period of Jamestown's history.
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