Publisher: University of Virginia Special Collections
Virginia Indian Settlement
A detailed engraving of an Indian settlement is included in Robert Beverley Jr.'s The History and Present State of Virginia (1705). A wealthy landowner and burgess from Jamestown, Beverley divided the book into four sections, one of which was devoted to the "Native Indians." He detailed the Virginia Indians' manner of living, and described the style of their houses which were made of bent saplings covered with bark. "The smallest sort of these cabins are conical like a beehive; but the larger are built in an oblong form," Beverley wrote. The illustration indicates that part of the town was enclosed in a palisade, Beverley noting that these fortifications generally encompassed "only their king's houses, and as many others as they judge sufficient to harbor all their people when an enemy comes against them." Religious relics were kept within the enclosure, as well as "a supply of water, and … a place for a fire, which they frequently dance round with great solemnity."