Maps and Visuals

Seeing the Past

The history of Algonquian Indians from their perspectives requires new techniques and analytical approaches. Using visual images to discover new knowledge and knowledge in new ways is the subject of my essay: “Seeing the Past: Digital History as New Model Scholarship, ” JOLT – Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (, Vol. 3, No.1, March 2007. Examine these images, not merely as colonial illustrations, which they are, but what they reveal about the indigenous population at the moment of English settlement. See additional John White watercolors here.

Roanoke Colony, North Carolina: Location of Various Indian Kingdoms
English Arrive at Roanoke Island

Capital Town of Chief Wahunsenacah (Powhatan)

Site of Jamestown Settlement (James Fort)

Indian Towns as Reported by John Smith

Indian Towns as Located By Captain John Smith on Two Voyages

Indian Groups at Time of English Settlement

Aerial View Locating Indian Town of Paspahegh (now covered by a golf course)

Paspahegh Indian Town from Archaeolgical Excavation

James Fort and Paspahegh on the Chickahominy River Shown in Proximity

Recreation of an Imaginary Indian Town (Most were located near rivers)

Collage of Indian Town, Life, and Customs

John White Watercolors

In the 1580s, John White sailed with an English group to establish a colony in North America. They landed off the coast of North Carolina. The Roanoke colony came to be called “the Lost Colony.” White was an artist and cartographer. He created a beautiful set of watercolors that remain the most rare and valuable images of the Algonquian Indians available. Nineteen of these original watercolors, together with detailed descriptions of professional historians Paul Hulton and David Beers may be found on Virtual Jamestown. They show men women, and children as chiefs, priests, mothers, and conjurors in activities such as fishing, cooking, celebrating, eating, and dancing. The three images below are examples. (Courtesy of the British Museum, the University of North Carolina Press, the Mariners Museum, and Virtual Jamestown.

Algonquian Village Economy (Secota)
Pomeiooc Town
Algonquians Dancing