Cultural and Natural Areas of Native North America (University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol. 38, Berkeley, 1939), ch. 11, “Population,” pp, 131–181. See also Kroeber's briefer Native American Population (American Anthropologist, Vol. 36, 1934), pp. 1–25.
THE ABORIGINAL POPULATION OF TIDEWATER VIRGINIA
Article first published online: 28 OCT 2009
1944 American Anthropological Association
Volume 46, Issue 2, pages 193–208, April-June 1944
How to Cite
MOOK, M. A. (1944), THE ABORIGINAL POPULATION OF TIDEWATER VIRGINIA. American Anthropologist, 46: 193–208. doi: 10.1525/aa.1944.46.2.02a00040
- Issue published online: 28 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 28 OCT 2009
1939, p. 166.
Smith's True Relation, 1608, contains no population data. Though not published until 1612, his Map and Description was based upon explorations among and visits to native tribes in 1607, 1608, and 1609. Smith's Generall Historie of Virginia, 1625, contains an ethnographic section which is largely a repetition of his Map and Description. The standard edition of Smith's writings is by Arber (The English Scholar's Library, no. 16, Birmingham, 1884). Strachey's Historie was written c. 1616, and describes conditions of c. 1610–1612. It lay in manuscript in the British Museum, until published by The Hakluyt Society in 1849.
Smith's Works, Arber ed., pp. 51–52, 347–348; Strachey's Historie, pp. 36–38, 56–62.
The names of the tribes vary somewhat in the early historical accounts. The spellings here used are modernized according to HAI and Swem's Virginia Historical Index.
N. and s. refer to the north and south banks of the tidal rivers of Virginia. Lower, middle, and upper divide the rivers from Chesapeake Bay to the fall line.
Smith's figures are from his Map and Description (1612), rather than from his Generall Historie (1625). The earlier work is more strictly contemporary and generally less exaggerated.
In the Strachey column those figures marked with an asterisk are given in passages of his work which are obviously copied from Smith.
Mooney's figures are round-number estimates, generally preceded by “about,” “perhaps,” “approximately,” etc. Blanks indicate no published tribal estimate by Mooney.
Strachey claimed that Powhatan conquered the Chesapeake, exterminating the entire population, with the result that “all the Chesiopeians at this daye (are) extinct” (Historie, pp. 101, 105). The Chesapeake were incorporated into the Powhatan confederacy by conquest, but it is improbable that the entire tribal population was exterminated. Powhatan's policy was to execute tribal leaders, but the bulk of conquered populations were transported to other parts of Powhatan's territory.
In his Generall Historie Smith increased his estimate to “neere 250.”
Smith's map shows and his text claims that there were two Cuttatawomen tribes on the north bank of the Rappahannock river in 1607, one near its mouth, another “far above,” below the falls at present Fredericksburg.
Strachey's text as printed gives 30 warriors for the Moraughtacund. This is in a context which is practically a verbatim repetition of Smith, and the editor of the Strachey manuscript apparently incorrectly read Strachey's 80 as 30.
Smith's Generall Historie has “about 50 or 60.”
Smith's Generali Historie has “more than 200.”
Smith's Generali Historie omits an estimate for this tribe. The fact that Mooney says Smith “omits from (his) count the people of Warraskoyac” indicates that he based his computations upon Smith's work of 1625, rather than upon the more accurate account of 1612. Mooney's estimates for the Chickahominy, Piankatank, and Potomac tribes also suggest that he used Smith's Historie rather than Map and Description.
The Quioucohanock and Rappahannock articles were by W. R. Gerard.
The Aboriginal Population of America North of Mexico (Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 80, No. 7, 1928, edited by J. R. Swanton). The monograph gives merely a total estimate of 9000 for the Powhatan confederacy; this was based, however, upon unpublished estimates of the population for each tribal member of the confederacy.
HAI, I, p. 956; II, p. 209; II, p. 302.
Again according to Mooney, ibid., II, pp. 199, 1041.
Smith's Works, Arber ed., p. 65. Swanton has used a similar multiplication ratio in computing total populations for the Southeast; “A close examination of the more reliable (Southeastern data) has led the writer to conclude that on an average two and a half warriors should be allowed to a cabin and one warrior to every three and a half of the population.” Indian Tribes of the Lower Mississippi Valley (B.A.E. Bulletin 43, 1911), p. 43; cf. also Swanton's “Population of the Southeastern Tribes,” Early History of the Creek Indians, 1922, pp. 421–456, in which a ratio of 1 to 3 1/2 is consistently applied).
Spellman's Relation of Virginia, c. 1611 (Arber, pp. ci-cxiv) contains no population information, but it is the most genuinely ethnological of all of the minor histories of the Jamestown settlement.
The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, edited by P. L. Ford, New York, 1904, Vol. 3. Jefferson's Notes contained a map of Virginia which is a valuable supplement to Smith's map in the location of the Powhatan tribes.
Op. cit., p. 196. This is probably the earliest application of the term “Powhatan confederacy” to the tidewater tribes.
The area of tidewater Virginia is 8011.14 square miles. I have discussed the boundaries of the Virginia Algonquin and shown that the distribution of the tribes of the confederacy was coterminous with the tidewater area in The Anthropological Position of the Indian Tribes of Tidewater Virginia (William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 1. 1943), pp. 27–40.
Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century (New York, 1895), Vol. I, pp. 140–144.
1939, p. 180.
Table I plus Strachey's additional “tribes” (no data for Pissasec; Chesapeake extinct according to Strachey; Accohannoc listed in both series).
Mooney, The Powhatan Confederacy, Past and Present (American Anthropologist, Vol. 9, 1907), p. 130; HAI, II, 1910, p. 302; Aboriginal Population, 1928, p. 6; Kroeber, 1939, pp. 131–132.
1907, p. 134; HAI, II, p. 302. Speck's list of 26 tribes in the “Powhatan Group” of the Southeastern Algonkian omits the Accohanoc, Chiskiac, Paspahegh, and Weanoc; these four occur, however, on his map of the area (The Ethnic Position of the Southeastern Algonkian, American Anthropologist, Vol. 26, No. 2, 1924, pp. 187, 189).
Works, Arber, pp. 79, 375.
Ibid., pp. 51–52, 347–348.
Historie, p. 49. In another context Strachey adds Chiskiac, Werowocomoco, and Orapaks to the original tribes (pp. 35–36). Orapaks was a favorite residence of Powhatan, but it was not a separate tribal capital.
Virginia Assembly Census of “Indian Tributaries,” in W. W. Hening, The Statutes at Large … of All the Laws of Virginia, Vol. 2, pp. 274–275. Also Mooney, 1907, pp. 147–148; HAI, II, pp. 197–199; Speck, Chapters on the Ethnology of the Powhatan Tribes of Virginia (Indian Notes and Monographs, Vol. 1, No. 5, 1928), pp. 237–253, 286, 301–312.
Smith published his map in 1612 and again in 1625. It has been reproduced frequently (e.g., by Arber, 1884, facing p. 384). Tindall's manuscript map was not published until 1925 (reduced facsimile in Proceedings, Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. 58, opp. p. 244). I have reproduced Tindall's map and discussed the ethnological significance of Tindall's and Smith's maps in the William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 4, 1943, pp. 371–408.
For topographers' evaluations of the accuracy of Smith's map, see E. B. Mathews, The Maps and Map Makers of Maryland (Baltimore, 1908); R. R. Lukens, Captain John Smith's Map (The Military Engineer, Vol. 23, No. 131, 1931), pp. 435–438; K. W. Trimble, ibid., p. 439.
1939, p. 176.
The Southeastern Indians of History (Conference on Southern Prehistory, 1932), p. 14.
Notes on the Cultural Province of the Southeast (American Anthropologist, Vol. 37, No. 3, 1935), p. 376.
1932, Appendix, Fig. 2.
1935, pp. 375–378.
Strachey, Historie, pp. 60–61.
Ibid., pp. 49, 62.
Calendar of Virginia State Papers (Vol. 1, 1652–1781), p. 65; Hening's Statutes, Vol. 5, pp. 270–273; Depositions of Ludwell and Harrison, Virginia-Carolina Boundary Line Commissioners, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (Vol. 4, No. 1, 1896), pp. 36–49; (Vol. 5, No. 1, 1897), pp. 47–50; (Vol. 7, No. 4, 1900), pp. 342, 349–352.
D. I. Bushneil, Jr., The Five Monacan Towns in Virginia, 1607 (Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 82, No. 12, Washington, 1930), and The Manahoac Tribes in Virginia, 1608 (ibid., Vol. 94, No. 8, 1935); J. Mooney, Siouan Tribes of the East (Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 22, Washington, 1894).
Archer's Relatyon of the Discovery of our River from James Forte into the Maine (in Smith's Works, Arber ed., 1884), p. xlvi.
Indian Sites Below the Falls of the Rappahannock, Virginia (Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 96, No. 4, Washington, 1937), pp. 1, 16; maps, pp. 3, 17.
Kroeber, 1939, pp. 183, 201.
Speck, The Ethnic Position of the Southeastern Algonkian (American Anthropologist, Vol. 26, No. 2, 1924), pp. 184–200; Swanton, Aboriginal Culture of the Southeast (Forty-second Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Washington, 1928), pp. 713–714, 718.
Op. cit., pp. 92–94. In his text Kroeber treats the South Atlantic Lowland and the South Atlantic Piedmont as a single section. His intended tribal allocations by sub-areas can be determined by superimposing his Map IB upon Map 6.
Mooney, 1928, pp. 4–6; Kroeber, 1939, 140–141.
100 km2 = 38.51 square miles. Kroeber's areas are in 100 square kilometer units because calculated by the use of a planimeter and checked by counting the squares on transparent metrically ruled paper which was superimposed upon a base map of tribal territories. Mathematical refinements do not, of course, correct original misdeterminations of tribal territorial extent; Kroeber, therefore, presents his data as approximations subject to the correction of local specialists.
Not corrected to 8000 on the assumption that Mooney's other estimates are incorrect to the same extent and in the same direction as his Powhatan figure.
Probably too large. Kroeber includes the territory of the Moheton or Moneton, for whom no population data are available (Mooney, HAI, I, p. 927; Swanton, in Mooney, 1928, p. 6 n.; Swanton, 1932, Map 2).
Mooney's estimate of 5000 for the Iroquoian Tuscarora seems too high; he gives the five tribes of the classic Iroquois confederacy but 5500. Lawson assigned the Tuscarora 15 towns and 1200 warriors in 1708 (History of Carolina, 1714; Richmond reprint, 1937, p. 255), i.e., a total population of c. 4000–4200. Kroeber's estimate of the territory of the Tuscarora is probably too small (compare his Map IB with Swanton, 1932, Appendix, Map 1). Both corrections in the table would decrease the population density of the Southern Iroquoian group.
P. A. Bruce described native Virginian economy in Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century (Macmillan, 1895, 2 vols.), Vol. 1, ch. 3. The chapter is a discerning discussion, based upon a judicious use of contemporary materials.
1939, pp. 222 ff.; Map 28, opp. p. 222.
Swanton ranked the physical divisions of the Southeast in the following order with respect to the size of tribes: the southern Appalachians (Cherokee), the inland section of the coastal plain, the coast itself, and the Piedmont plateau (1932, p. 14; Appendix, Map 2). His analysis was in terms of total tribal populations rather than density of distribution. Ranking in terms of density would place the Cherokee down in the list; Kroeber computes their density as 16.30 per 100 km2 (1939, p. 141).