Ashuaquid, also known by the name of his tribe, was one of the firstleaders with whom the colonists had important dealings. On May 21, 1607, Christopher Newport set out from Jamestown with a small company of men to explore the upper reaches of the James River. Two days later they arrived at Arrohateck. Ashuaquid gave them a lavish entertainment, complete with ceremonious hospitality. When the expedition resumed its westward journey, five members of the tribe accompanied it as guides. The expedition stopped at the next village upriver, where Parahunt, one of Powhatan’s sons, was the king. There the explorers were again treated with great hospitality. When the expedition returned to Ashuaquid’s village on May 25, yet another feast took place.
When the English departed Arrohateck town the second time, Navirans, Ashuaquid’s young brother-in-law, accompanied them as a guide. Newport’s party reached Jamestown on May 27 and found that more than 200 members of the Paspahegh tribe had attacked it the previous day, killing one man and wounding twelve others, one of them fatally. During the next few days the Indians made several small assaults on the colonists. Told of this attack by Navirans, Ashuaquid sent messengers to inform the Englishmen who their enemies were and to advise them to cut down the high weeds around the fort so that the attackers could be seen more easily. In the early months of the English colonizing effort Ashuaquid thus proved a firm, though perhaps not very important, friend.
By the autumn of 1609, perhaps due to attempts to establish a fort upriver, the Arrohatecks had become less friendly toward the English and were no longer willing to trade with them. Crowded by new English settlements and perhaps already weakened by exposure to European diseases, the Arrohateck population began to dwindle. The tribe is last mentioned in William Strachey’s record of his visit to Virginia in 1610. By September 1611, whenundertook to found the town of Henricus near the falls of the James, the Arrohateck town site had been deserted. The surviving Arrohatecks were probably assimilated into another tribe, perhaps that was headed by Parahunt closer to the fall line. The personal fate of Ashuaquid is unknown. He may have fallen victim to a disease caught from, or died in a skirmish with, the Englishmen he had once welcomed to his town.