1677 Treaty Between Virginia and the Indians (Treaty of Middle Plantation).
Treaty Between Virginia And The Indians 1677
VIRGINIA COLONIAL RECORDS. Govern’r & the Councill of our Colony and Plantacon of Virginia in The West Indys.
Articles of Peace between the most Mighty Prince & our Dread Soveraigne Lord Charles the II by the Grace of God King of greate Brittaine, France, and Ireland. Defender of the ffaith &c: And the severall Indian Kins and Queens &c Assentors and Subscribers hereunto made and Concluded at the Camp of Middle plantacon, the 29th day of May: 1677; being the day of the most happy birth & Restauration of our s’d Soveraigne Lord, and in the XXIX yeare of his said Ma’ties Reigne.
By the Right Honourable Herbert Jeffreys Esq’r Governour and Cap’t Generall of his Majesties Colony of Virginia: Present the Hon’ble S’r John Berry Kn’t & Francis Morrison Esq’r his most Sacred Ma’ties Commiconers appointed under the great Seale of England for the Virginia affairs, And the Hon’ble Councill of State of the said Colony.
Whereas his most Sacred Ma’tie hath of his owne Royall grace and meer motion intrusted to my care and endeavours the Renewing management and concluding a good peace with the Neighbour Indians in order whereunto with the advice and Assistance of the hon’ble S’r John Berry Kn’t and Francis Morrison Esq’r I have here caused to be drawne up these ensueing Articles and Overtures for the firme grounding and sure establishment of a good and just Peace with the said Indians, and that it may be a Secure and lasting one founded upon the strong Pillars of Reciprocall Justice by confirming to them their just Rights, and by Redress of their wrongs and injuries that soe the great God who is god of peace and Lover of Justice may uphold and prosper this our mutuall League & Amity. It is hereby Concluded, consented to & mutually agreed as followeth:
I. That the Respective Indian Kings and Queens doe from henceforth acknowledge to have their imediate dependancy on, and Own all Subjection to the great King of England Our now dread Soveraigne his heires and Successors, when they pay their Tribute to the Right hon’ble his Ma’ties Govern’r for the time being.
II. That thereupon the said Indian Kings & Queens and their Subjects shall hold their lands, and have the same confirmed to them and their posterity by Patent under the Seale of this his Magesties Colony, without any fee gratuity or Reward for ye same, in such sort, and in as free and firme manner as others his Magesties Liege Subjects, have and enjoye their Lands, and possessions, paying onely yearly for, and in Liew of a Quitrent or acknowledgement for the same three Indian Arrowes.
III. That all Indians who are in amity with us, & have not land siffitient to plant up, be upon information forthwith provided for, and land laid out, and confirmed to them as affores’d never to be disturbed therein, or taken from them, soe long as they owne keep and maintaine the due obedience & Subjection to his Majestie his Govern’r and Government; & amity & friendship towards the English.
IV. Whereas by the mutaull discontents, Complaints, jealousies, and feares of English and Indians occasioned by the violent intrusions of divers English into their lands, forceing the Indians by way of Revenge, to kill the Cattle & hoggs of the English, whereby offence, and injuries being given, and done on boeth sides, the peace of this his Majesties Colony hath bin much disturbed, and the late unhappy Rebellion by this means in a great measure begunne & fomented which hath involved this Country into soe much Ruine, & misery, for prevention of which injuries and evill consequences as much as possible we may for time to come it is hereby concluded and enacted that noe English, shall seate or plant nearer then three miles of any Indian towne, and whosoever hath made or shall make any encroachment upon their Lands shall be removed from thence and proceeded against as by the former peace made when the Honourable Francis Morrison was Govern’r and the act of Assembly grounded thereupon is provided & enacted.
V. That the said Indians be well Secured & defended in theire persons goods and properties against all hurts and injuries of the English, and that upon any breach or violation thereof, that the aggrieved Indians doe in the first place repaire and adress themselves to the Govern’r Acquainting him therew’th without rashly and suddainly
betakeing themselves to any hostile course for Satisfaction who will inflict such punishment on the wilfull infringers hereof, as the Lawes of England or this Country permitt, and as if such hurt or injury had bin done to any Englishman, which is but just and Reasonable they owneing themselves to be under the Allegiance of his most Sacred Majestie.
VI. That noe Indian King or Queen be imprisoned without a Special Warrant from his Ma’ties Govern’r & two of ye Councill, and that noe other Indian be imprisoned without a warrant from a Justice of peace, upon Suffitient cause of Committment.
VII. That the said Indians have and enjoy theire wonted conveniences of Oystering, fishing, and gathering Tuccahoe, Curtenemmons, wild oats, rushes, Puckoone, or any thing else for their natural Support not usefull to the English, upon the English Devidends, Alwayes provided they first repaire to some publique Magestrate of good Repute & informe him of their number and business, whoe shall not refuse them a certificate upon this, any other Lawfull occasion, soe that they make due returne thereof when they come back and goe directly home about their business without wearing or carrying any manner of weapon, or lodging under any Englishman’s dwelling house on night.
VIII. That noe fforreigne Indian be suffered to come to any Englishman’s plantacon without a friendly Neighbour Indian in his Company with such Certificate as aforesaid, And noe Indian King to refuse to send a safe Conduct with the fforraigner upon any Lawfull occasion of his Comeing in And that noe Indian doe paint or disguise themselves when they come in.
IX. That all Indian Kings, and Queens tributary to the English haveing notice of any march of strange Indians neer the English quarters or plantacons doe forthwith repaire to some of the next officers of the militia, and acquaint him of their nation number and designe, and which way they bend their Course.
X. That if necessary a convenient party be presently sent out by the next Collo. of the Militia to aide strengthen and joyne, with our Friendly Indians, against any fforreigne Attempt, incursion, or depredacon upon the Indian townes.
XI. That every Indian fitt to beare armes of the neighbouring Nations in peace with us, have such quantity of powder and shott allotted him as the R’t Hon’le the Govern’r shall think fitt on any occasion, and that such members of them be ready to goe out with our forces upon any march against the enemy and to Receive such pay for their good services, as shall be thought fitt.
XII. That each Indian King, and Queen have equall power to govern their owne people and none to have greater power then other, except the Queen of Pomunky to whom severall scattered Indians doe now againe owne their antient Subjection, and are agreed to come in and plant themselves under power and government, whoe with her are alsoe hereby included into this present League and treatie of peace, & are to keep, and observe the same towards the said Queen in all things as her Subjects, as well as towards the English.
XIII. That noe persons whatsoever shall entertaine or keep any Neighbor Indian as Servant or otherwise, but by licence of ye Govern’r and to be upon obligation answerable for all Injuries and damages by him of them happening to be done upon any English.
XIV. That noe English harbour or entertaine any vagrant or Runnaway Indian, but convey him home by way of pass from Justice to Justice to his owne towne under penalty of paying soe much per day for harbouring him as by the Lawe for entertaining Runnaways is Recoverable.
XV. That noe Indian of those in Amity with us shall serve for any longer time then English of the like Ages should serve by act of Assembly, and shall not be sold as Slaves.
XVI. That every Indian King and Queen in the month of March every yeare with some of theire great men tender their obedience to the R’t Honourable his Majesties Govern’r at the place of his residence, wherever it shall be, and then and there pay the accustomed rent of twentie beaver skinns, to the Govern’r and alsoe their quit rent aforesaid, in acknowledgment that they hold their Crownes, and Lands of the great King of England.
XVII. That due care be had and taken that those Indian Kings and Queens their great men and Attendance that come on any public business to the R’t hono’ble the Governo’r Councill of Assembly may be accommodated with provisions, and housroome at the publique charge. And that noe English Subject shall abuse revile, hurt or wrong them at any time in word or deed.
XVIII. That upon discord or breach of Peace happening to arise between any of the Indians in amity with the English upon the first appearance and beginning thereof, and before they enter into any open Acts of hostility or warr one against another they shall repaire to his Majesties Governo’r by whose Justice & wisdome, it is concluded such difference shall be made up and decided, and to whose finall determination the said Indians shall Submitt and conforme themselves.
XIX. That for preventing the frequent mischeifes and mistakes occasioned by unfaithfull, & corrupt interpreters, & for the more Safetie satisfaciton, and adgvantage both of the Indians, and English, that there be one of each nation of our neighbouring Indians, that already can or may become capable of speaking of English, admitted together with those of y’e English to be their owne interpreters.
XX. That the severall Indians concluded in this peace forthwith restore to the Respective English parents & owners, all such children servants, and horses, which they have at any time taken from them, and now remaining with them ye said Indians, or which they can make discovery of.
XXI. That the trade with the said Indians be continued, Limited, restrained, or laid open, as shall make best for ye peace and quiett of the Country, upon which affaire the Govern’r will consult with the Counsell and Assembly, and conclude thereon at their next meeting.
XXII. That it is further agreed that all Indians and English in the Province of Maryland are inclined in these Articles of peace. And that neither partie shall offend the other without breach of his Majesties peace.
Sign and Tribe of the Indian representatives who witnessed the signing of the treaty.
Signed on May 29, 1677.
The Indians swore loyalty to the British sovereign in return for being officially granted access to civil courts, as well as hunting rights and permanent ownership of land within a three-mile radius of their towns.
Original Author: John Bill, Christopher Barker, Thomas Newcomb, and Henry Hills.
Note: After this treaty was confirmed presents were sent to the various Chiefs from England, together with various badges of authority.