Bacon's Rebellion

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1676]                  THOMAS MATHEW’S NARRATIVE                   25

able to the Sense of the house as we could, and report ’em,
whereby they woud more clearly See, on what points to Give
the Governour and Councill that trouble if perhaps it might
bee needfull.”

   These few words rais’d an Uproar; One party Urging hard
“It had been Customary and ought not to be omitted;”
Whereto Mr. Presley1 my Neighbour an old Assembly Man,
sitting next me, rose up, and (in a blundering manner replied)
“tis true, it has been Customary, but if we have any bad
Customes amongst us, We are come here to mend ’em,” which
Set the house in a Laughter.

    This was huddl’d off without coming to a Vote, and so the
Committee must Submit to be overaw’d, and have every Carpt
at Expression Carried streight to the Governr.

    Our Committee being sat, the Queen of Pamunky2 (De-
scended from Oppechankenough a former Emperor of Virginia)
was Introduced, who entred the Chamber with a Comport-
ment Gracefull to Admiration, bringing on her right hand an
Englishman Interpreter, and on the left her Son a Stripling
Twenty Years of Age, She having round her head a Plat of
Black and White Wampum peague Three Inches broad in
imitation of a Crown, and was Cloathed in a Mantle of dress’t
Deerskins with the hair outwards and the Edge cut round 6

   1 William Pressly sat in the Long Assembly, 1662 – 1676, in the Reforming
Assembly, June, 1676, and in the royalist assembly that gathered February 20,
1677, after the rebellion was over.

   2“Pamunkey” seems to have designated the triangular section of country
formed by the two main branches of the York River, with West Point at the apex.
The Pamunkey tribes, however, occupied parts of New Kent County also. The
queen represented the chiefs of the Powhatan group of Indians, her husband
Tottopottomoy (Tatapamoi) having been killed in 1656. She had a son, John
West, from whom came the name of the locality West Point. She was a faithful
friend to the English, but sufFered greatly by Bacon’s rebellion, “being driven
out into the wild woods and there almost famished. Plundered of all she had,
her people taken prisoners and sold, she was also robbed of her rich match-coat
for which she had great value and offered to redeem at any price.” Among the
presents sent to various chiefs from EngIand was a red velvet cap to the Queen
of Pamunkey, to which was attached a silver frontlet by chains of the same
metal. This frontlet, which is now the property of the Association for the Pres-
ervation of Virginia Antiquities, is the only one of these “crowns” known to
exist. Whether others were sent is uncertain, as the Virginia Assembly pro-
tested against making such regal presents to the Indians.

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