Saturday, January 24, 2015

More revenge--and a beheading.

In August 1610, when Powatan (Pocahontas’s father) sent back “prowde and Distainefull answers” to the English at Jamestown, Captain George Percy and seventy men were dispatched to teach the Indians some manners. Percy’s “True Relation” tells the story, as he was sent to

. . .  take Revendge upon the Paspaheans and Chiconamians and so shippeinge my selfe and my Sowldiers in towe boates I departed from James Towne the 9th of August 1610 and the same nighte Landed within thre myles of paspahas towne. Then draweinge my sowldiers into Battalio placeinge a Capteyne or Leftenante att every fyle, we marched towards the Towne haveinge an Indyan guyde with me named Kempes whome the provoste marshall ledd in a hande locke This Subtill salvage was Leadinge us outt of the Way the which I misdowteinge Bastinaded him with my Truncheon and threatened to Cutt of his heade whereupon the slave alltered his Cowrse and browghte us the righte way neare unto the towne. . . . And then we fell in upon them putt some fiftene or sixtene to the Sworde and almoste all the reste to flyghte. Whereupon I cawsed my drume to beate and drewe all my sowldiers to the Cullers, my Lieftenantt bringeinge with him the Quene and her Children and one Indyann prisoner for the which I taxed him becawse he had Spared them. his answer was, thatt haveinge them now in my Custodie I mighte doe with them whatt I pleased. Upon the same I cawsed the Indians heade to be Cutt off . . . .

         Terror and beheadings: what century are we in?

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