Person:Opechancanough Unknown (1)

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Chief Opechancanough Mangopeesomon of the Powhatan, Confederacy
d.1646
m. 1547
  1. Chief Opechancanough Mangopeesomon of the Powhatan, Confederacy1545 - 1646
  • HChief Opechancanough Mangopeesomon of the Powhatan, Confederacy1545 - 1646
m. abt 1600
  1. Weroance Nectowance "King of the Indians" Powhatanbefore 1600 - after 1645
  • HChief Opechancanough Mangopeesomon of the Powhatan, Confederacy1545 - 1646
  • WNonoma "Cleopatra"1600 - 1680
m. 1618
  1. Princess Nicketti1624 -
  2. Hokolesqua1630 - 1681
Facts and Events
Name Chief Opechancanough Mangopeesomon of the Powhatan, Confederacy
Baptismal Name Don Luis de Valasco
Alt Name Opechankeno
Alt Name Opechanko
Alt Name[9] Opechancanough means "at the waterfall" in English
Alt Name Opchanacanough
Alt Name[6] Opekankanough
Gender Male
Birth? 1545 Cinquoateck, Virginia, USA
Marriage abt 1600 to
Marriage 1618 Jamestown, Virginia, USA (near Jamestown)
to Nonoma "Cleopatra"
Death[1] 1646 While a prisoner, Opechancanough was killed by a soldier, who shot him in the back while assigned to guard him.
Residence[8] Youghtanund, Virginia, USAhis seat of power


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Opechancanough or Opchanacanough (1554-1646) was a tribal chief of the Powhatan Confederacy of what is now Virginia in the United States, and its leader from sometime after 1618 until his death in 1646. His name meant "He whose Soul is White" in the Algonquian Powhatan language. He was the famous Chief Powhatan's younger brother (or possibly half-brother). At the time of the English settlement at Jamestown which was established in May of 1607, Opechancanough was a much-feared warrior and a charismatic leader of the Powhatans. As Chief Powhatan's younger brother (or possibly half-brother), he headed a tribe situated along the Pamunkey River near the present-day town of West Point. Known to be strongly opposed to the European settlers, he captured John Smith of Jamestown along the Chickahominy River and brought him before Chief Powhatan at Werowocomoco, one the two capital villages of the Powhatans. Located along the northern shore of the present-day York River, Werowocomoco is the site where the famous incident with Powhatan's young daughter Pocahontas intervening on Smith's behalf during a ceremony is thought to have occurred, based upon Smith's account.

Massacres

Openchancanough was responsible for both the massacre of 1622 and the massacre of 1644.

The natives and the colonists came into increasingly irreconcilable conflicts as the land-hungry export crop, tobacco (which had been first developed by Rolfe), became the cash crop of the colony. The relationship became even more strained as ever-increasing numbers of Europeans arrived and began establishing "hundreds" and plantations along the navigable rivers.

Beginning with the Indian massacre of 1622, Chief Opechancanough abandoned diplomacy with the English settlers of the Virginia Colony as a means of settling conflicts and tried to force them to abandon the region. On the morning of Friday, March 22, 1622, approximately a third of the settlers in Virginia were killed during a series of coordinated attacks along both shores of the James River, extending from Newport News Point, near the mouth of the river, all the way to Falling Creek, near the fall line at the head of navigation. The colony eventually rebounded, however, and later hundreds of natives were killed in retaliation, many poisoned by Dr. John Potts at Jamestown. See Wikipedia article Indian Massacre of 1622

Chief Opechancanough launched one more major effort to get rid of the colonists on April 18, 1644. In 1646, forces under Royal Governor William Berkeley captured Opechancanough, at the time believed to be between 90 or 100 years old. While a prisoner, Opechancanough was killed by a soldier, who shot him in the back while assigned to guard him. He was succeeded as Weroance first by Nectowance, then by Totopotomoi, and later by his daughter, Cockacoeske, Totopotomoi's wife. Cockacoeske had a concubine relationship with Colonel John West, who was the son of the Governor of Virginia.

Death

Chief Opechancanough launched one more major effort to get rid of the colonists on April 18, 1644. In 1646, forces under Royal Governor William Berkeley captured Opechancanough, at the time believed to be between 90 or 100 years old. While a prisoner, Opechancanough was killed by a soldier, who shot him in the back while assigned to guard him. He was succeeded as Weroance first by Nectowance, then by Totopotomoi, and later by his daughter, Cockacoeske, Totopotomoi's wife. Cockacoeske had a concubine relationship with Colonel John West, who was the son of the Governor of Virginia.

Historical marker

V-12 37.335854,-77.051374 Upper Weyanoke V-12 In 1617, Opechancanough, Chief Powhatan's younger brother, gave land to the south to future governor Capt. George Yeardley. Yeardley patented it and a portion became Upper Weyanoke, a James River plantation. Archaeological investigations there revealed an almost unbroken succession of settlements from the late 17th century to the late 19th century. On the grounds is a Greek Revival dwelling completed by 1859 for Robert Douthat. During the Civil War, about 14 June 1864 a pontoon bridge was constructed at Weyanoke Point across the James River for portions of Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's army. Upper Weyanoke was added to the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Charles City

References
  1. Opchanacanough, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. (Online: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.).
  2.   Jefferson, Thomas, and William Peden. Notes on the state of Virginia. (Chapel Hill, Virginia: University of North Carolina Press, 1955).

    "In 1622, when Raleigh Crashaw was with Japazaw, the Sachem or chief of the Patomacs, Opechancanough, who had great power and influence, being the second man in the nation, and next in succession to Opichapan, and who was a bitter but secret enemy to the English, and wanted to engage his nation in a war with, sent two baskets of beads to the Patomac chief, and desired him to kill the Englishman who was with him. Japazaw replied that the English were his friends, and Opichapan his brother, and that therefore there should be no blood shed between them by his means."

  3.   Wood, Norman Barton. Lives of famous Indian chiefs, from Cofachiqui, the Indian princess, and Powhatan, down to and including Chief Joseph and Geronimo: also to answer, from the latest research, of the query, Whence came the Indian?, together with a number of thrilling interesting Indian stories and anecdotes from history. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1985), 46.

    It was Ope-chan-ca-nough, then sachem of the Pamwnkies, who captured the indomitable Captain Smith while the later was engaged in exploring the Chickahominy river.

  4.   Floyd, N. J. Biographical genealogies of the Virginia-Kentucky Floyd families: with notes of some collateral branches. (Williams & Wilkins Co.: Baltimore , 1912).

    The writer, feeling confident that the original tradition was
    correct, made an exhaustive search for information on that and
    many similar matters, and finally found, in the old library of the
    Maryland Historical Society, an item of three lines in a fragment of
    Jamestown records covering eleven years — 1630 to 1641 — which
    furnished in a positive and indisputable form the proof sought.
    During the period, covered by the fragment, matters became so
    bad between the Whites and Indians, that Opechancanough
    was induced to agree upon a line being established which neither
    White nor Indian, excepting truce-bearers, should cross under
    penalty of being shot on sight. To insure strict obedience to
    the compact a law was passed at Jamestown imposing a heavy
    penalty on any of the people crossing the line without a special
    permit from the Governor's Council and the General Court, ^his
    accounts for the item alluded to, which is given verbatim et liter-
    atim. In the Council record it reads:

    "Dec. 17th, 1641. — Thomas Rolfe petitions Governor to let
    him go see Opechankeno to whom he is allied, and Cleopatra, his
    mother's sister."

    The record of the General Court was evidently intended to be a
    verbatim copy, though they differ somewhat in phraseology and
    spelling: —

    "Dec. 17th, 1641. — Thomas Rolph petitions Gov. to let him
    go to see Opechanko, to whom he is allied, and Cleopatre, his
    mother's sister."

  5.   Willis, Carrie Hunter. Legends of the Skyline Drive and the Great Valley of Virginia. (Richmond: Dietz Press, 1979), 1937.

    Excerpt: "Early historians give us some accounts of the various Indians in
    Virginia. Opechancanough, a warrior chief from the East, went to war
    with Sherando, a member of the Iroquois tribe. Opechancanough in
    crossing the mountains on a foraging expedition was once attacked by
    Sherando who felt his tribe should not have to share its hunting grounds
    with anyone else and resented the invasion. A fierce battle took place,
    with no one victor.

    Opechancanough liked the country, so when he returned to his town below
    Williamsburg on the Chickahominy, he left his son and a few warriors to
    watch the hunting grounds which he had found so rich in game. This son,
    Shee-wa-a-nee, with his band soon had to fight the main body of the
    Iroquois and Sherando drove the Chief east of the mountains.

    Opechancanough left the lowlands as soon as the news was brought to him
    by runners. He gathered his warriors and set off with a large force. He
    fell upon Sherando and in the fierce battles which followed, he slowly
    drove him from his grounds, and he never returned from his home near the
    Great Lakes.

    Sheewa-a-nee was left again in charge of the Hunting Grounds and from
    that day the Shawnees held the lovely Valley until the coming of the
    white settlers.

    The settlers kept many of the Indian names for both mountains and
    streams. Opechancanough river was so called for the Great Chief. Legend
    and history tell us that in his later years he became blind and could no
    longer hunt in the lovely Shenandoah Valley.

    There were many tribes of Indians in the country and though they did not
    all speak the same language, they did have a common tongue and could
    understand each other.

    After 1710 all the lands west of the Blue Ridge Mountains were spoken of
    as Indian Country. The different tribes evidently had understanding
    among themselves about certain boundary lines as individual tribes had
    certain domains. When one violated these rights, there was a war in
    which whole tribes sometimes would be completely wiped out."

  6. Frost's pictorial history of Indian wars and captivities, 1872.
  7.   Ancient history, or, Annals of Kentucky, 1824.

    "1590. Wahun-Sanacoc, King of the Powhatans in Virginia, conquers many tribes, and becomes formidable to all his neighbours, even the Massawomees and Erigas of Kentucky. He adopts Opechan, a wise Shawanee, for his brother, and makes him king of Pamunkey."

    Note: this excerpt from a book written in 1824 seems to imply that 1) Opechancanough was Shawnee and 2) he was adopted by Powhatan and not a natural born relative. This passage has been discussed by scholars but I am not aware of any conclusions. cthrnvl

  8. Orapakes at VirginiaPlaces.org
  9. Geni.com
  10.   Our Family Tree