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Richard of Jamestown by  James Otis


 

 

THE CROWNING OF POWHATAN

VERY nearly the first thing which my master did after having been made President of the Council, was to obey the orders of the London Company, by going with Captain Newport to Powhatan's village in order to crown him like a king.

This was not at all to the pleasure of the savage, who failed of understanding what my master and Captain [133] Newport meant, when they wanted him to kneel down so they might put the crown upon his head. If all the stories which I have heard regarding the matter are true, they must have had quite a scrimmage before succeeding in getting him into what they believed was a proper position to receive the gifts of the London Company.

Our people, so Master Hunt told me, were obliged to take him by the shoulders and force him to his knees, after which they clapped the crown on his head, and threw the red robe around his shoulders in a mighty hurry lest he show fight and overcome them.


[Illustration]

It was some time before Captain Smith could make him understand that it was a great honor which was being done him, but when he did get it through his [134] head, he took off his old moccasins and brought from the hut his raccoon skin coat, with orders that my master and Captain Newport send them all to King James in London, as a present from the great Powhatan of Virginia.

After this had been done, Captain Newport sailed up the James River in search of the passage to the South Sea, and my master set about putting Jamestown into proper order.


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