Life On The Borderlands Of The Colonial Potomac: Exploring Chicacoan

Author(s): Barbara Heath

Year: 2017


During the earliest decades of English colonization of the Chesapeake, the Potomac River Valley was a politically complex borderland between the colonies of Virginia and Maryland and Native American tribal groups. Here I trace the origins and development of the historic community of Chicacoan that emerged around 1640, and explore the domestic landscape of its leader, John Mottrom.  Mottrom settled a tract of land on the Coan River, south of the Potomac, which he acquired from the Chicacoan werowance Machywap.This property became home to a multi-ethnic, multi-racial household, the headquarters of the first English settlement on Virginia’s Northern Neck, a place from which Ingle’s Rebellion was plotted; and the seat of local religious practice and government. In this paper I explore the ways in which life on the borderlands shaped the development of Mottrom’s holdings at Coan Hall and the broader historic Chicacoan community.

Cite this Record

Life On The Borderlands Of The Colonial Potomac: Exploring Chicacoan. Barbara Heath. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435127)


Temporal Keywords
17th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 451