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Guest Michael Auld

DC's Indians

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Guest Michael Auld

Your website mistakenly posted the misleading information on who were Washington, DC's indigenous populations. There is no historical record that supports your statement that the Piscattaway, a Southern Maryland tribe, were ever located within the boundaries of the Nation's Capital. According to Captain John Smith who sailed up the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, the Nacotchtank or "Anacostan" Indians occupied the eastern side of the Anacostia River in 1608, in DC's South East. This is why the river was named for them. The Tauxenent or Doguse had part of their territory on Roosevelt Island in the NW side of the city of Washington, DC just across from the Kennedy Center.

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Guest DCpages Staff

Thanks Michael. I will let our editor know about your post. From what I am reading.

 

The Piscataway tribe ruled over an estimated confederacy of 30 area villages (The Pasatoe, Nacotchtanks, Yaocomoco, Patuxent, Matpenient, Mattawoman, Pamunkeys, Nanjemoys, and Potapacos). Each village had it’s own chief or “Tayac” and they were ruled by the “High Chief” who lived in the Piscataway village.

 

Humphrey, Robert L., Mary Elizabeth Chambers (1977). Ancient Washington: American Indian Cultures of the Potomac Valley. George Washington University.

 

http://books.google.com/books?id=WFW1gSS0MhAC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

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Guest Michael Auld

It is interesting that you included the Pamunkey as "under" a Piscataway "confederacy". My wife's mother is Pamunkey from the reservation in King William County, Virginia where they have many cousins. The treaty of 1677 was signed by Cockacoeske, queen of Pamunkey. Maryland tribes signed under her. The Pamunkey were the leading tribe in the vast Powhatan Confederacy whose territory under Wahunsenacock (Powhatan II) included most of Virginia, parts of North Carolina, Maryland and Washington, D C. It is erroneous to state that they came under the much smaller Piscataway "petty chiefdom", as Roundtree stated in her book, "Powhatan Foreign Relations: 1500 - 1722".

 

Washington, D C did not have the Piscataway tribe within its borders since they were located many miles south of the Nation's Capital in Southern Maryland. The two major tribes within both the historic and contemporary boundaries of DC, were the ones recorded by Captain John Smith in 1608. Those tribes were the Nacotchtank in SE, DC (specifically on the east bank of the Anacostia River) and the Tauxenent or "Dogue" in NW, DC (specifically on Roosevelt Island). My wife's father was Tauxenent. Visit Riverbend Park in Fairfax County to see an acclaimed exhibition on the Tauxenent. The Tauxenent were part of the Powhatan Confederacy and Pamunkeys from the reservation continued to intermarry with them. There are also many Tauxenent/Pamunkey descendants today in the Metropolitan DC area.

 

Today, no one has shown evidence of Nacotchtank ancestry. However, there are many Tauxenent descendants from DC and Fairfax County, VA. Technically, calling the Nacotchtank by the name Piscataway is similar to calling the Scots and Irish, English or British. You may go on www.powhatanmuseum.com to see a Washington Post map of the boundaries of Powhatan II's domain. The territory was larger than some states and the District of Columbia.

 

Historian, Dr. Helen C. Roundtree's books detail the history of the area. Her PhD is in history and she is an acclaimed expert on the topic in question. For her work, she was made an honorary member of the traditional Powhatan Confederacy affiliated Nansemond Tribe of Virginia.

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Guest Larry L

I find this discussion facinating. I was never taught about the Piscataway Conoy or Nacotchtanks. Is it possible that villages switched sides. I wonder if they were so formal about alliances like the Europeans.

 

http://youtu.be/cUY2XKfVUFk

 

In January, Governor Martin O’Malley signed two historic Executive Orders recognizing Maryland Indian status of two groups indigenous to the State of Maryland. With the signing of the Executive Orders, Governor O’Malley officially made the Piscataway Indian Nation and the Piscataway Conoy Tribe the first state recognized tribes in Maryland history. The Piscataway Conoy petition for recognition includes the Piscataway Conoy Confederacy and subtribes, and the Cedarville Band of Piscataway.

 

http://www.governor.maryland.gov/executiveorders/01.01.2012.01.pdf

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Guest Hardy Spoehr

So..given all this, if you were to have a ceremony with represetnatives from the Indigenous People of what is now Washington DC (particularly the areas along the Potomac in what is now Georgetown), who would you invite?...thanks, hardy

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