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Fasces wrote:Similar to Moehanga Day in New Zealand, the American government should recognize Columbus Day but also add Wanchese Day in late September - a holiday commemorating the Discover of Great Britain by the Great Chief Wanchese. Doing so would be an acceptable compromise to both recognize the founding of the modern era in the Americas while also recognizing the absurdity of "discovering" a land full of inhabitants, and be the first holiday specifically commemorating an American Indian of note. Also, a federal holiday in late September would be nice.
Wingina was looking for new allies with unique montoac (power), and the English seemed like good candidates. Their ships were useless, but the cannons and guns were a form of montoac that could defeat the Pomeioocs. When Barlowe decided to leave, Wingina sent two of his allies back to England with him, men named Wanchese (of Roanoke) and Manteo (of Croatoan). Neither men were “chiefs,” as the story has been told; instead, Manteo’s mother was the principal leader of Croatoan, and Wanchese was a warrior from Roanoke. Wingina counted both men, and their villages, as kin. Their assignment was to cross over into English culture and bring back as much intelligence as possible about these strangers who might become useful allies.5
The two men stayed at Sir Walter Raleigh’s mansion in London, learning English and teaching Algonquian to a scientist named Thomas Hariot. In six months they had learned enough to interpret both languages. They created an orthography of their Algonquian language and translated it into English, a document that became the foundation of a written form of an American Indian language. The bottom of this document bore a phrase written in the signs of Algonquian: “King Manteo did this.” Undoubtedly Manteo and Wanchese saw savagery in English culture: filth, disease, and noise; men who hoarded wealth; women whose husbands completely controlled them. One woman defied that cultural norm in England: Queen Elizabeth. Manteo would have seen his own mother treated with the same deference that Raleigh gave Elizabeth.6
Manteo and Wanchese returned home in 1585, accompanied by a force of 600 Englishmen — half of them soldiers — and their weapons. This time, Raleigh was not just exploring; he was creating an “outpost of empire.” He intended to establish and fortify a site in Virginia to prevent the Spanish from gaining any ground there. He thought he had secured Wingina’s friendship and Manteo’s and Wanchese’s loyalty. He did not think to ask their permission.7
After they landed, the commander of the 1585 expedition, Ralph Lane, began to believe that Wingina was going to betray the English’s weak colony to Indians farther west. Lane’s men ambushed and destroyed Manteo’s village of Croatoan, killing Wingina and impaling his head on a stake. Then, in the midst of a hurricane (probably something that he had never experienced), Lane fled the Carolina coast with the pirate Sir Francis Drake, who picked him up after pillaging Spanish settlements in Florida.
Drake had captured several hundred Africans and Indians in his raids, and it is possible he left them on the Outer Banks when he picked up Lane’s men. One scholar calls these people the “first and almost entirely forgotten ‘Lost Colony.’”8 A few weeks later, another small group of soldiers landed as reinforcements; they did not get the message that Lane had fled in despair. Wanchese destroyed that group in short order, not only exercising political vengeance but enhancing his own montoac; he showed his allies and his enemies that he was more powerful than Wingina and could do what Wingina would not. https://ncseagrant.ncsu.edu/coastwatch/previous-issues/2019-2/spring-2019/wingina-wanchese-and-manteo-a-lumbee-perspective-on-the-lost-colony/
@Stormsmith Why not hold God accountable, too? […]
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