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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Three Worlds Meet (to 1620) (x)

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A Colonial Governor Reports to Sir Walter Raleigh on the Natives of Virginia

In 1584, Queen Elizabeth I granted the rights to settle the Roanoke colony to Sir Walter Raleigh. Raleigh sent a fleet to investigate the area called Virginia that year. A group of colonists, led by Sir Richard Grenville, established a settlement in [...]

Item Type: Diary/Letter
An English Explorer Describes the Riches of the Roanoke Colony

This account of the interactions between English explorers and Native Americans was written by Ralph Lane, one of the leaders of Sir Walter Raleigh's early colonizing expedition on what is now Roanoke Island, North Carolina. Despite being a prisoner [...]

Item Type: Diary/Letter
English Captains Describe Sir Walter Raleigh

In 1584, Queen Elizabeth I granted the rights to settle the Roanoke colony to Sir Walter Raleigh. Raleigh sent a fleet to investigate the area called Virginia that year. The excerpts below come from a longer account of the first voyage of [...]

Item Type: Diary/Letter
Powhatan Asks "Why should you destroy us, who have provided you with food?"

Powhatan (c. 1547-1618) was the head of a confederacy that spanned hundreds of miles and thirty-two tribes. (He is well known today because of his favorite daughter, Pocahontas, who rescued the English captain John Smith from execution in 1608.) In [...]

Item Type: Diary/Letter
A Young Jamestown Settler Becomes Powhatan's Interpreter

As a young boy, Henry Spelman was part of the early Jamestown settlement, under the leadership of John Smith. In 1608, Smith arranged an exchange with the Indian leader Powhatan that included beads, provisions, and "sons," who were to act as [...]

Item Type: Diary/Letter
An aged manne in his winter garment

Contrary to many later European depictions of Native Americans, the engravings of Thomas De Bry, based on earlier watercolors by John White, show that the Algonquian peoples the English encountered in Virginia had developed a complex and diversified [...]

Item Type: Poster/Print
Indians Fishing

This watercolor by English artist, cartographer, and expeditionary John White gives a sense not only of the diversity of marine wildlife in coastal Virginia and the Carolinas at the time of the Europeans' arrival, but also of the sophisticated means [...]

Item Type: Poster/Print
The Towne of Pomeiooc

This engraving of the Indian village of Pomeiooc was based on a 1585 watercolor drawing by John White, who spent a little over a year on Roanoke Island as part of an expedition led by Sir Walter Raleigh to settle the Virginia colony. The [...]

Item Type: Poster/Print
Towne of Secota

This engraving by Theodor de Bry, based on an earlier watercolor by explorer John White, shows the sophistication of the Algonquian civilization the English encountered in the New World. Although White and de Bry's illustrations cannot be assumed to [...]

Item Type: Poster/Print
Indian Man and Woman Eating; Their sitting at meate

John White, a painter who traveled with several English exploration companies in North America, made many illustrations of the people, plants and animals that inhabited the area around the Jamestown colony. Theodor de Bry later made engravings based [...]

Item Type: Poster/Print

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