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Jamestown Settlement Panel Discussion on March 22 Examines the 400-Year Anniversary of 1622 Turning Point in Powhatan-English Relations

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., March 17, 2022 – Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia history and culture, will present “Strategy & Strength: Commemorating the 1622 Powhatan Offensive” with a free panel discussion at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22 that explores the 400th anniversary of pivotal 1622 events that led to a turning point in Powhatan and English relations.

Chickahominy Indian Chief Stephen R. Adkins and member of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Board of Trustees will moderate the one-hour public panel discussion featuring scholars and members of Virginia’s tribal communities to explore the events of 1622.

Panelists will include:
– Martha W. McCartney, noted historian, author and researcher for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
– Dr. Helen Rountree, cultural anthropologist and Old Dominion University professor emerita
– Martin Saniga, supervisor of the American Indian Initiative at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and citizen of the Sappony Tribe (Halifax County, Virginia and Person County, North Carolina)

On March 22 in 1622, Powhatan warriors under the leadership of Opechancanough and Opitchapam organized a widespread coordinated military attack on expanding English settlements and encroachment on Powhatan land, sparking the second Anglo-Powhatan War that persisted throughout the next decade. These events set forth a defining moment in Powhatan-English relations.

Scholars will examine the 1622 events, including written descriptions by English colonists, which some historians regard as propaganda and rationale for further settlement and warfare in Virginia. Adkins hopes the panel discussion will offer a new perspective on the historical account through the lens of Indigenous peoples.

“For four centuries, the history of Virginia’s Indigenous peoples has been held hostage,” said Adkins, who noted that the traditional accounts of March 22, 1622, are told from an English viewpoint. “The panel discussion will examine facts that precipitated the 1622 attack and, perhaps, mitigate the guilt and shame that students like me felt when we were exposed to the subject in elementary school.”

The panel discussion, followed by an audience Q&A session, will begin at 5 p.m. on March 22 in the Robins Foundation Theater and will be available for audiences to view both in-person and virtually. Space is limited for this free community program, and advance online registration is required at jyfmuseums.org/1622panel.

To learn more about these historic events, read “The Tragedy of 1622” blog by Jamestown Settlement Historian Nancy Egloff and visit Jamestown Settlement to view a new 1622 exhibit debuting this week in the museum’s permanent exhibition galleries, open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The 1622 panel discussion, a project of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Indigenous Peoples Initiative, is supported by private funds from the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc.

About Jamestown Settlement

Jamestown Settlement, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and located on Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg, explores the world of America’s first permanent English colony and the Powhatan Indian, English and West Central African cultures that converged in the 17th century through immersive indoor exhibits and outdoor living-history experiences. The museum is administered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an educational agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

For more information, visit jyfmuseums.org or call (757) 253-4838. Follow us on social media @jyfmuseums.