Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Counter Petition, 1843


The chief men of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe presented this counter petition, dated November 26, 1842, to the Virginia General Assembly on January 21, 1843. It was a response to a petition by white King William County residents arguing for the sale of the tribe’s reservation.


Novr 26 1842

Having been informed from various and certain sources that there would be a petition presented to the next General Assembly of Virginia; for the sale of the land owned and occupied by us the Pamunkey Tribe of Indians; which said petition we the said Tribe do hereby solemnly and positively object to in as much as we have not been consulted. Ne[i]ther is it the will or wish of any of the said Tribe to be disturbed by our small and humble fire sides. Neither have we given any cause wherein we are aware of, for any person or persons to wish to molest us the said Tribe of Indians; there is none of our Tribe has been convicted for dishonesty, or sent to the penitentiary for stealing, or hostility with our white neighbours, or one another, since our Tribe has become civilized. And we hope that gentlemen will look into this matter, and feel for us on this occasion. We have been informed that we are called lazy, there is not more than five families in this place as bad a crop year as we have had in here this year but what has made corn enough to serve them plentifully. And in good crop years, we make more corn than will serve us by two hundred Barrels. And we have been informed by some that the fourth of the Indian blood has expired in this place. But if anything can be proved, there are many here that are more than half-blooded Indian, tho we regret to say that there are some here that are not of our Tribe, and we earnestly hope that no Gentlemen who can feel for human woe, would try to expunge us the said Tribe from this little surrounded spot of land, which were granted to us by your fathers the son of liberty. And we would wish for our last Remains to be deposited here with our ancestors. Gentlemen it would be heart rending for us to be parted like as one family from our brothers, and sisters, fathers and mothers into different climes, and no not where to go. Now if we had committed any Transgression against our county, or state, we could bear it paciently, but nothing. Now if our friends are sick, we are near them to relieve them of there many woes and administer to them many necessities without any expence to the country, if our old men, or young men, become Crippled and can but paddle there canoes, they can get there living by fishing, and hunting, if our old women become infirm they can make there wares to support them without any expense to the country. And we hope that the gentlemen will take this thing in consideration, as it is against the will and wish of each one of our Tribe to depart from there native land. Given under our hand and seal this day and date first above written.

Chief Men of the Tribe

Tazewell H. Langston (seal)
James Langston (seal)
Joseph Arnold (seal)

APA Citation:
Langston, Tazewell H., Langston, James & Arnold, Joseph. Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Counter Petition, 1843. (2024, July 05). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Langston, Tazewell H., James Langston, and Joseph Arnold. "Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Counter Petition, 1843" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (05 Jul. 2024). Web. 11 Jul. 2024
Last updated: 2024, July 05
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