Jamestown, VA

The Jamestown Virginia Good Friday massacre on March 22, 1622

Cheryl E Preston

Jamestown Good Friday MassacrePhoto byNative American History Youtube screenshot

Jamestown settlers were murdered on Good Friday

The Resurrection of Christ is observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox on March 21- therefore Easter Sunday can come anywhere from late March until mid-April. Good Friday is the date many Christians believe Christ was crucified although not everyone agrees. On Good Friday, March 22, 1622, more than likely as some in the Virginia colony of Jamestown were preparing to celebrate Easter they instead witnessed a massacre where several hundred died.

Today we say Native American but history records the Good Friday killings as the Indian Massacre of 1622. There were 1250 English colonists and 347 of them were massacred before noon on March 22 and others died later from their injuries. The attack was planned so well that no one received advance warning except the settlers in Jamestown.

Jamestown settlers and Powhtan NativesPhoto byNative American history

Good Friday was marred by the massacre

There had been peace between the colonists and the Natives but around 1610 but the settlers slowly began taking more lands from the Powhatan Confederacy, abusing the Natives, stealing their food, and allowing livestock to destroy crops and desecrate the sacred sites for native rituals. The Powhatan leader Opchanacanough’s attack had three goals and only two of them were achieved. He wanted to demonstrate the military power of his confederacy, demoralize the colonists and encourage them to go back to England.

Anthony Johnson a Black indentured servant who later became a slave owner almost lost his life in the Good Friday Massacre. He was working on the Bennet tobacco farm when fighting broke out and 52 of 57 men on the property were killed. The Jamestown settlers did not return to the UK but fought back and during a second war with the Powhatan regime ( 1622-1626) the English colonists won.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA

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