|Born||[ citation needed ]January 30, 1615|
|Died||1680 (aged 64–65)|
|Children||Jane Rolfe (1650–1676)|
|Parent(s)|| John Rolfe |
Thomas Rolfe (January 30, 1615 – c. 1680) was the only child of Pocahontas and her English husband, John Rolfe. His maternal grandfather was Chief Wahunsenacah, the leader of the Powhatan tribe in Virginia.
Thomas Rolfe was born in Virginia to John Rolfe and his wife, Pocahontas, in January of 1615.Rolfe's birth was recorded as the first time a child was born to a Virginian Native American woman and an English man in Virginia's history. Governor Sir Thomas Dale was accompanied by Thomas Rolfe and his parents on their trip to England aboard the Treasurer in 1616. Thomas Rolfe was less than two years of age during this voyage.
In March 1617, the Rolfe family were preparing to re-embark on the George ship commanded by Samuel Argall when Rebecca (Pocahontas) was taken ill and died, at Gravesend in Kent. Thomas was not well enough to survive the long voyage back to Jamestown and Thomas was left in Plymouth, England, with Sir Lewis Stukley and later transferred into the care of his uncle, Henry Rolfe.His father, however, sailed to Virginia without him after being persuaded by Admiral Argall and other members of the journey that Thomas was too sick to continue the voyage; this was the last time the two ever saw each other.
Thomas remained in his uncle's care until he reached roughly 21 years of age, by which time his father had already died.As Henry raised Thomas, he felt he deserved compensation from his brother's estate and, therefore, petitioned the Virginia Council in October 1622, claiming entitlement to a portion of John Rolfe's land. It is assumed that Thomas returned to Virginia in 1635, and there is no further mention of his whereabouts or doings until 1641.
Once established in Virginia again, Thomas Rolfe fostered both his reputation as a plantation owner and member of his mother's lineage.
As Rolfe was a child of an Englishman and a Native American woman, some aspects of his life were particularly controversial. He expressed interest in rekindling relations with his Native American relatives, despite societal ridicule and laws that forbade such contact. In 1641, Rolfe petitioned the governor for permission to visit his "aunt, Cleopatra, and his kinsman Opecanaugh".
Rolfe married Jane Poythress, the daughter of Captain Francis Poythress, a prosperous landowner in Virginia.Their daughter, Jane Rolfe, was born at Varina plantation, Henrico County, Virginia on October 10, 1650.
According to his father's will, both Thomas and Elizabeth, his half-sister, received named land. There is no extant proof that some land came from the Native Americans. However Native Americans did not 'hold' land in the English way. There is no mention of former Native American land in John Rolfe's will, however, John Rolfe names Thomas as the rightful heir of all his land, profits and any royalties pertaining to such land.There were rumors in 1618 that when Thomas came of age, he would inherit a sizable portion of Powhatan territory; this information was transmitted through Argall to London, stating, "'Opechanano and the Natives have given their Country to Rolfe's Child and that they will reserve it from all others till he comes of yeares...." (Mossiker). There is no extant documentation that when Thomas arrived in Virginia in 1640, the land was recorded as "Varina," his patrimonial property sixteen miles below Richmond.
Thomas's step-grandfather, named Captain William Peirce, received a grant of 2000 acres of land on June 22, 1635, for the "transportation of 40 persons among whom was Thomas Rolfe".He then listed Thomas as heir to his father's land. Prior to March 1640, Thomas took possession of this land which was located on the lower side of the James River.
Thomas also inherited a tract of some 150 acres on June 10, 1654, in Surry County, across from Jamestown; the land was described in a later deed as "Smith's Fort old field and the Devil's Woodyard swamp being due unto the said Rolfe by Gift from the Indian King".
The year after the 1644 Native American attack on the colony, four forts were established to defend the frontier: Fort Henry, Fort Royal, Fort James, and Fort Charles. Fort James was to be under the command of Thomas Rolfe as lieutenant as of October 5, 1646. He was given six men, and was instructed to fight against the Native Americans—his own people;
And it is further enacted and granted, That left.[Lieutenant] Thomas Rolfe shall have and enjoy for himselfe and his heires for ever fort James alias Chickahominy fort with fowre hundred acres of land adjoyning to the same, with all houses and edifices belonging to the said forte and all boats and ammunition at present belonging to the said fort; Provided that he the said Leift. Rolfe doe keepe and maintaine sixe men vpon the place duringe the terme and time of three yeares, for which tyme he the said Leift. Rolfe for himselfe and the said sixe men are exempted from publique taxes.
Then, on October 6, 1646, Thomas was put in charge of building a fort at Moysonec, for which he received 400 acres (160 ha) of land. This fort was located on the west side of Diascund Creek.
Several years later, Rolfe patented 525 acres on August 8, 1653, "...lying upon the North side of Chickahominy river commonly called and known by the name of James fort...", apparently including the 400 acres he had received in 1646.This James Fort land was re patented by William Browne on April 23, 1681. The tract was described in the patent as "formerly belonging to Mr Thomas Rolfe, dec'd", thus establishing that Rolfe had died before that date.
The last recorded mention of Thomas Rolfe exists in a land patent from September 16, 1658.While some sources claim that Thomas died in 1680, others claim that the exact year is unknown. Some evidence purports that Thomas Rolfe died in James City County, Virginia, however the records of the county were destroyed in 1685 during a fire.
Rolfe's daughter, Jane Rolfe, married Robert Bolling of Prince George County, Virginia; the couple's son, John Bolling, was born on January 27, 1676. Jane Rolfe is said to have died shortly after giving birth.John Bolling married Mary Kennon, daughter of Richard Kennon and Elizabeth Worsham of Conjurer's Neck. John and Mary Bolling had six surviving children, each of whom married and had surviving children.
The Sedgeford Hall Portrait, once believed to represent Pocahontas and her son Thomas Rolfe, has been re-identified as being Pe-o-ka, wife of the Seminole leader Osceola, and their son.
The birth of Thomas Rolfe, as he was both of European and Native American descent, reinstated peace between the Powhatans and the European settlements. Early in his career as deputy governor, Argall reported in a letter published within the Virginia Company Records that Powhatan "goes from place to place visiting his country taking his pleasure in good friendship with us laments his daughter's death but glad her child is living so doth opachank".
Pocahontas was a Native American woman notable for her association with the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. She was the daughter of Powhatan, the paramount chief of a network of tributary tribes in the Tsenacommacah, encompassing the Tidewater region of Virginia.
John Rolfe (1585–1622) was one of the early English settlers of North America. He is credited with the first successful cultivation of tobacco as an export crop in the Colony of Virginia.
The Powhatan people; also spelled Powatan) may refer to any of the indigenous Algonquian people that are traditionally from eastern Virginia. All of the Powhatan groups descend from the Powhatan Confederacy. In some instances, The Powhatan may refer to one of the leaders of the people. This is most commonly the case in historical writings by the English. The Powhatans have also been known as Virginia Algonquians, as the Powhatan language is an eastern-Algonquian language, also known as Virginia Algonquian. It is estimated that there were about 14,000–21,000 Powhatan people in eastern Virginia, when the English colonized Jamestown in 1607.
Opechancanough or Opchanacanough (1554–1646) was a tribal chief within the Powhatan Confederacy of present-day Virginia in the United States, and its paramount chief from sometime after 1618 until his death in 1646. His name meant "He whose Soul is White" in the Algonquian Powhatan language. He was the younger brother of Chief Powhatan, who had organized and dominated the Powhatan Confederacy.
Sir Samuel Argall was an English adventurer and naval officer.
Jane Rolfe was the granddaughter of Pocahontas and English colonist John Rolfe, . Her husband was Colonel Robert Bolling, who lived from 1646 to 1709. Robert and Jane had one son, John Bolling (1676–1729).
Colonel Robert Bolling, sometimes called Robert Bolling, Sr., after he gave a son his own name, was a wealthy early American settler planter and merchant.
Powhatan, whose proper name was Wahunsenacawh, was the leader of the Powhatan, an alliance of Algonquian-speaking people living in Tsenacommacah, in the Tidewater region of Virginia at the time English settlers landed at Jamestown in 1607.
First Families of Virginia (FFV) were those families in Colonial Virginia who were socially prominent and wealthy, but not necessarily the earliest settlers. They descended from English colonists who primarily settled at Jamestown, Williamsburg, The Northern Neck and along the James River and other navigable waters in Virginia during the 17th century. These elite families generally married within their social class for many generations and, as a result, most surnames of First Families date to the colonial period.
The "Citie of Henricus"—also known as Henricopolis, Henrico Town or Henrico—was a settlement in Virginia founded by Sir Thomas Dale in 1611 as an alternative to the swampy and dangerous area around the original English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. It was named for Prince Henry, the eldest son of King James I.
The Indian massacre of 1622, popularly known as the Jamestown massacre, took place in the English Colony of Virginia, in what is now the United States, on 22 March 1622. John Smith, though he had not been in Virginia since 1609 and was not an eyewitness, related in his History of Virginia that warriors of the Powhatan "came unarmed into our houses with deer, turkeys, fish, fruits, and other provisions to sell us". The Powhatan then grabbed any tools or weapons available and killed all the English settlers they found, including men, women, and children of all ages. Chief Opechancanough led the Powhatan Confederacy in a coordinated series of surprise attacks; they killed a total of 347 people, a quarter of the population of the Virginia colony.
Varina Farms, also known as Varina Plantation or Varina Farms Plantation or Varina on the James, is a plantation established in the 17th century on the James River about 10 miles (16 km) south of Richmond, Virginia. As "Varina Plantation", an 820-acre (330 ha) property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. At that time it included two contributing buildings and one other contributing sites.
Uttamatomakkin, known as Tomocomo for short, was a Powhatan holy man who accompanied Pocahontas when he was taken to London in 1616.
The Anglo–Powhatan Wars were three wars fought between settlers of the Virginia Colony and Algonquin Indians of the Powhatan Confederacy in the early seventeenth century. The first war started in 1610 and ended in a peace settlement in 1614. The second war lasted from 1622 to 1626. The third war lasted from 1644 until 1646 and ended when Opechancanough was captured and killed. That war resulted in a defined boundary between the Indians and colonial lands that could only be crossed for official business with a special pass. This situation lasted until 1677 and the Treaty of Middle Plantation which established Indian reservations following Bacon's Rebellion.
Starving Time at Jamestown in the Colony of Virginia was a period of starvation during the winter of 1609–1610. There were about 500 Jamestown residents at the beginning of the winter. However, there were only 60 people still alive when the spring arrived.
Patawomeck is a Native American tribe based in Stafford County, Virginia, along the Potomac River. It is one of Virginia's eleven recognized Native American tribes. It is not federally recognized. It achieved state recognition in February 2010. In the 17th century, at the time of early English colonization, the Patawomeck tribe was a "fringe" component of the Powhatan Confederacy. At times it was allied with others in the confederacy, and at others, the Patawomeck allied with the English colonists.
Henry Spelman (1595–1623) was an English adventurer, soldier, and author, the son of Erasmus Spelman and nephew to Sir Henry Spelman of Congham (1562–1641). The younger Henry Spelman was born in 1595 and left his home in Norfolk, England at age 14 to sail to Virginia Colony aboard the ship Unity, as a part of the Third Supply to the Jamestown Colony in 1609. He is remembered for being an early interpreter for the people of Jamestown as well as writing the Relation of Virginia, documenting the first permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown, Virginia, and particularly the lifestyles of the Native Americans of the Powhatan Confederacy led by Chief Powhatan.
Jamestown was the first settlement of the Virginia Colony, founded in 1607, and served as the capital of Virginia until 1699, when the seat of government was moved to Williamsburg. This article covers the history of the fort and town at Jamestown proper, as well as colony-wide trends resulting from and affecting the town during the time period in which it was the colonial capital of Virginia.
The "Sedgeford Hall Portrait", is an oil on canvas portrait in the American School by an unknown artist circa 1830. It depicts Pe-o-ka, wife of the Seminole chief, Osceola, and their son. It was once mistakenly believed by many to be a portrait painted from life of Pocahontas and her son, Thomas Rolfe.
The True Story of Pocahontas: The Other Side of History is a 2007 book written by Dr. Linwood "Little Bear" Custalow and Angela L. Daniel "Silver Star" who claim they are revealing for the first time the oral history of the Mattaponi tribe and its contents regarding the story of Pocahontas and John Smith. The authors claim the book is a collection of four hundred years of Mattaponi oral tradition passed down through the tribe's quiakros.