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
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 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
Source: Museum of the American Indian, Chapters on the ethnology of the Powhatan tribes of Virginia (p.264)