Native Americans of Chesapeake Bay

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The Native American group in the Chesapeake Bay region was known collectively as the Powhatan Federation of Indians. Powhatan also refers to the Algonquin Indian chief that lived and ruled in the region around the early 17th century. The Algonquians were a deeply religious group of people subsisted primarily through agriculture. The natives referred to the area as Tsenacommacah. Powhatan was the weroance, or chief ruler of Tsenacommacah and 25 other Algonquin villages. Powhatan would play a significant role with the 104 men from the Virginia company that made up the settlement of Jamestown. Powhatan agreed to an alliance with the settlers, Powhatan would provide the colonists with foodstuffs in exchange for guns, hatchets, and swords. Powhatan hoped this alliance would make him technologically superior over his people’s enemies. The following is a quote from Powhatan recorded by John smith in 1609; “I am not so simple as not to know it is better to eat good meat, sleep comfortably, live quietly with my women and children, laugh and be merry with the English, and being their friend, trade for their copper and hatchets, than to run away from them.” (Smithsonian source, 2012) Joint stock companies were business corporations that amassed capital through sales of stock to investors. Joint stock companies were the forerunners for modern day corporations. The Virginia Company was a joint stock venture that funded the settlement at Jamestown. Colonies required ongoing capital investments and the lack of immediate returns created tensions between stockholders and the colonists. Although investors were expecting great returns, there was great risk and start up costs, and could take years to recoup their money. With an excess landless population to serve as workers, and motivated, adventurous, or devout investors, the joint-stock company became the vehicle by which England finally settled the Western Hemisphere. The first joint stock company to launch its venture in the...
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