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Native ClaimsIndigenous Law against Empire, 1500–1920$
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Saliha Belmessous

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199794850

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794850.001.0001

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Powhatan Legal Claims

Powhatan Legal Claims

(p.85) 4 Powhatan Legal Claims
Native Claims

Andrew Fitzmaurice

Oxford University Press

This essay concerns the legal claims made by the Powhatan peoples of the Chesapeake against the intrusion of the English at Jamestown in the years from 1606-9. The claims made by the Powhatans constitute one of the earliest, if not the earliest, sets of legal arguments made against English colonisation in North America. It was these claims which forced the English reversal regarding the need to justify the colony and launched the counter-legal claim for English title to North America.

Keywords:   Powhatan, law of nations, England, colonisation, seventeenth century

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