Wowinchapuncke was the chief of the Paspahegh Indians when the English established Jamestown in the tribe’s territory in 1607. He consistently resisted the English intrusion, earning both respect and hostility from Jamestown leaders. Captured and imprisoned at Jamestown, he escaped, and the English retaliated by killing several Paspahegh men. After the English destroyed a Paspahegh town in August 1610 and executed Wowinchapuncke’s wife and children, he continued to harass the English until he was killed in a skirmish near Jamestown in February 1611. In 1991, the archaeological remains of a large Paspahegh community near here were excavated.
Since the English colonists first landed in Jamestown in 1607, Chief Wowinchapuncke and his tribe of Paspahegh natives were not on friendly or cordial terms with the new arrivals. The Paspahegh natives attacked the English within the first few days of arriving and these acts of unfriendliness and violence continued until the fall of their Chief, Wowinchapuncke in 1611. Chief Wowinchapuncke never intended to have diplomatic relations with the newly arriving colonists.
Bridenbaugh, Carl. Jamestown: 1544-1699. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.
Feest, Christian F. Indians of North America: The Powhatan Tribes. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1990.
Grizzard, Jr. Frank E. and D. Boyd Smith. Jamestown Colony: A Political, Social, and Cultural History. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2007.
Rubertone, Patricia E. Archaeologies of Placemaking: Monuments, Memories and Engagement in Native North America. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press, 2008.
Historical Marker “Wowinchapuncke V-52,” courtesy of Lindsey Smith, 2012.
“Paspahegh Native with a Colonist,” Charles City County: State Historical Markers, www.charlescity.org (accessed April 29, 2012).
Department of Historic Resources link not available