Those who doubt history should read articles, Web site

Published 8:31 am Saturday, March 28, 2009

On behalf the 250 members of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe of Southampton County and the Board of Directors of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribal Heritage Foundation Inc., the 501 (c) 3 nonprofit arm of the tribe, we would like to commend Charlie Passut and The Tidewater News for the superlative job he did in covering and documenting such a historical moment in the history of our tribe.

The article he wrote was on point and captured the “documented” recorded history of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe here in Southampton County — 1580 to 2009.

For my colleagues who chose to post negative comments to the article by way of the web site, please be informed that I have directed our tribal members and our foundation Board of Directors not to respond to such unlearned comments germane to our history here in Southampton County.

However, for those who wish expand their intellect and are willing to spend the time and do the reading, I offer the following references: Excerpts from the Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia — 6 Volumes, 1680-1775; An Ethno History of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway), Meherrin and Weanock Indians of Southeastern Virginia by Lewis R. Binford; 1808 Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Special Census, Southampton County Virginia; Court Case : Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe VS Jeremiah Cobb 1849-1851; Excerpts from the Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1659-1772; Beyond the Blackwater, compiled by Jane Douglas Summers Brown, 1963-1993; Letter(s) that Thomas Jefferson sent to Peter S. Duponceau and John Wood germane to the recording of our tribal language here in Southampton County in 1820; Quote from Thomas Jefferson that appeared in a Petersburg Newspaper on March 17, 1820 stating that the only remains in the state of Virginia, of the formidable tribes are the Pamukeys and Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) with a few Mattoponies; the writings of George Washington referencing the French and Indian Wars with the participation of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway), 1748-1757; the writings of William Byrd about his visit to our tribal reservation in 1728 in what is now Southampton County; John Simmons petition to Governor Alexander Spotswood to permit him to build a “mill” for the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indians southwest of what is now Sebrell near where the stream called Buckhorne Swamp flows into the Nottoway River from the South, 1710; The Hand Site Report – 44SN22; the writings of Floyd Painter and Thomas Parramore; Our Tribal Journals, The Waskehee, Issue I – V, all of which have been archived into the collections of the Library of Virginia and copywriter with the Library of Congress; the Web site of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe:

Enjoy your reading, and should you need more references documenting our history here in Southampton County you may call me at 562-7760.

We trust that the community at–large will take on a proactive motivated role in sharing in the vision that our tribe and our Heritage Foundation has for the land — Tribal Education Center and Museum; an Interactive “Palisade” Native American “Village (Cattashowrock Town); Our own powwow grounds where we can display for the general public our traditions and culture and a Worship Center. For those of us in the community and the community at-large who choose to continue to remain biased, I leave you with these words as paraphrased from Frederick Douglas:

We as native people and as a tribe know that the journey at times can become difficult and exhausting, however, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lighting. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.” This struggle we have as the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, Southampton County, “may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.”

We do hope to see you, your family and friends at the Southampton County Fairgrounds for our Annual Powwow, A Celebration of the Green Corn, July 25 and 26. This is our 11th powwow and the 8th powwow here in Southampton County.

Again, we thank The Tidewater News and its staff for sharing our history with the general masses.