The Mattaponi in Virginia

Powhatan inherited control over the Mattaponi tribe as well as the Pamunkey and four others, long before John Smith arrived in 1607.

The Mattaponi lived along the river bearing their name, near the boundary of fresh and brackish water.

The location of the Native American towns were not selected at random. All lived on floodplain soils that were excellent for growing corn, near freshwater marshes that provided tuckahoe and other food that could be gathered throughout the year, and near uplands that were rich in deer and other game animals.

during the Civil War, Union cartographers showed where the Mattaponi were living
during the Civil War, Union cartographers showed where the Mattaponi were living
Source: US War Department, Atlas to accompany the official records of the Union and Confederate armies, Southeastern Virginia and Fort Monroe Showing the Approaches to Richmond and Petersburg (1862)

Mattaponi Reservation on the Middle Peninsula

Native American Tribes in Virginia Since Contact

Pamunkey Reservation on the Middle Peninsula

Mattaponi girls in the 1920's
Mattaponi girls in the 1920's
Source: Museum of the American Indian, Chapters on the ethnology of the Powhatan tribes of Virginia (p.263)

Mattaponi boys in the 1920's
Mattaponi boys in the 1920's
Source: Museum of the American Indian, Chapters on the ethnology of the Powhatan tribes of Virginia (p.264)

the Spirit Crow Group elected new leadership on March 26, 2022, but the existing tribal government claimed the election was unauthorized
the Spirit Crow Group elected new leadership on March 26, 2022, but the existing tribal government claimed the election was unauthorized
Source: MattaponiTribe.org, Tribal Government

the incumbent tribal government denied the legitimacy of the March 26, 2022 election
the incumbent tribal government denied the legitimacy of the March 26, 2022 election
Source: Mattaponi Tribe, Statement from Mattaponi Tribal Council

Links


"Indians" of Virginia - the Real First Families of Virginia
Exploring Land, Settling Frontiers
Virginia Places