Jefferson was America’s first , but not its last. George Bush the First quite possibly , and the onus may have been on George Bush the Second to collect some bones. The theft of ’s remains would not take much daring, as he already sat in an American prison. I wonder if Osama bin Laden’s or Saddam Hussein’s skulls are in the Skull and Bones collection in 2014. As with and , Osama bin Laden was largely a creation of American foreign policy.
Power corrupts, and as the USA became the world’s most powerful nation during the 20th century, and was an unprecedented watershed event, its corruption grew along with its wealth and power. The interests who had JFK murdered are probably the same ones that have been covertly manipulating the American government ever since, and for a generation.
Jamestown's relationship between natives and invaders was largely hostile from the beginning. Powhatan was the Pamunkey chief and his warriors attacked before the fort was finished. The English strategy was intimidating the natives with their weaponry, which included a cannon. Largely for self-serving reasons, Powhatan initially fed the starving invaders, and both sides played diplomatic games. Powhatan’s younger brother, Opechancanough, captured John Smith, the most capable Jamestown leader, when Smith tried forming an alliance with a tribe independent of Powhatan. Powhatan studied Smith and adopted him. Powhatan probably thought that he was installing his adopted relative as the chief of his new, dependent, white-skinned tribe. The English tried reversing the political situation by crowning Powhatan the next year, and make him a subject of King James by doing so. Neither side probably fully appreciated what the other tried accomplishing with its political gestures.
England's first permanent settlement in the New World was at Jamestown, founded in 1607. By that time, Europeans had established their murderous intentions in that region, and Jamestown was a military outpost from the beginning, and no women accompanied the first landing. As usual, the invaders sought gold, and their first task was building a fort in Pamunkey lands before the natives realized what was happening. Due to European-introduced disease, those lands already had a small fraction of the human population that it possessed a century earlier. It may have been no exaggeration when an elderly native told the English invaders in 1608 that he was the only surviving member of his family, going down his family tree for three generations.
Jamestown was about to be abandoned in 1610 when ships arrived with veterans of the bloody Irish wars. “Going native” was a capital crime to the English overlords, and in 1610 Jamestown governor Thomas West, known as Lord De La Warr (the state of Delaware is named after him), demanded that Powhatan hand over those English runaways. When Powhatan refused the demand, the English launched several exterminatory raids that wiped out entire villages, and concluded one particularly savage day by executing the children of the village’s chief.
Raleigh followed up the Roanoke failure with a fruitless quest for El Dorado in South America, in 1595. He also sought to establish a beachhead to attack and seize Spain’s South American mines. Raleigh spent 13 years in the Tower of London for alleged treason against James I, and was finally released to seek El Dorado again. James I forbade Raleigh to harass the Spanish, who were at peace with England at that time, but Raleigh’s expedition attacked a Spanish outpost, his son died in the process, and Raleigh lost his head in 1618 to satisfy the Spanish Crown.
In 1585, Raleigh tried establishing a colony at Roanoke. Although the natives of the North American east coast, particularly the southerly shores, had already suffered from numerous Spanish depredations and European-introduced epidemics, the natives welcomed and fed the Roanoke pirate-colonists, who arrived via the Caribbean, where they plundered and traded with Spanish colonists. The English pirate-colonists originally hunted for gold, and quickly wore out their native welcome, as they destroyed a town and burned its cornfields when a silver cup went missing. The colony failed, with the survivors probably adopted into the native tribes.
The first Jamestown war ended in 1614, when Powhatan refused to pay the astronomical ransom that the English were demanding for his captured daughter, Pocahontas. He instead accepted her marriage to an English settler who was experimenting with raising tobacco for export. Pocahontas’s forced marriage was one of only three recorded Anglo-Pamunkey marriages during the 17th century. The Smith-Pocahontas love story was originally a fabrication by Smith, and today’s tale is a retread of a probably true story of a native woman sparing a member of the ill-fated , in Florida, nearly a century earlier.
Humphrey Gilbert eventually became the English governor in Ireland. Gilbert had a practice of lining the path to his tent with severed Irish heads, which was designed to induce a psychological effect when Irishmen led to his tent recognized their relatives among the heads. After an unsuccessful attempt at finding the Northwest Passage in 1578, Gilbert was lost at sea near the Azores in 1583 after a failed attempt at colonizing today’s Newfoundland (some colonists mutinied). Gilbert’s explorations inspired his half-brother, Walter Raleigh.
Powhatan died in 1618, and his successor Opechancanough was under increasing pressure from the heavily armed and increasingly well provisioned invaders. The invaders regularly entered into peace treaties that they fully intended to violate, and killing women, children, and the elderly was a standard English tactic.
The Portuguese, Dutch, and Spanish were able retain fragments of their empires, but the English and French dominated the scene after 1700, and the other powers were reduced to gnawing on the bones of their former glory. The imperial jockeying during the 1600s, with constantly shifting alliances and endless wars, can make a reader dizzy, and this essay's point is charting the American Empire's development, so it will begin focusing on the imperial powers and North America, and especially the USA's parent, England.
By 1622, the land-hungry English had seized all the good land around Jamestown, and European disease and warfare further thinned the Pamunkey’s ranks. Opechancanough demonstrated his misunderstanding of the English mind by planning what he thought would convince the invaders to quit Virginia. A surprise attack killed 347 of the 1,240 English settlers, including the few women and children that lived there. Opechancanough, thinking like a native, thought that such a devastating blow would convince the English to leave. He reckoned incorrectly. The English retreated to their forts and began mounting attacks on the neighboring villages, which evolved to attacking and securing the fields, which led to hungry Pamunkey people. As the English destroyed or raided native fields, the natives had to make new ones, which the English then sought. During those attacks, the English mistakenly killed 30 native allies from the Patawomec tribe, who were helping the English find those new fields. Killing “friendly” natives was something that the English and Americans did throughout their conquest of North America, and many times killing friendly natives was not all that accidental, with the discovery of their “mistake” accompanied by a wink.