When did conflict begin between the English and Powhatan?

Samuel Argall and the Chickahominy

Samuel Argall and the Chickahominy

From the beginning of English settlement the Powhatan Indians and the English were in contact. Sometimes the contact was for trade and diplomacy. At other times conflict resulted. Indians attacked the colonists several times within the first year. After the English demanded food in 1609, war broke out and the Indians laid siege to James Fort. With the development of new settlements between 1611 and 1613, the English pushed the Powhatan people off their best riverfront land. Both groups raided each other, kidnapped each other and tortured each other. A tenuous peace did not come until 1614.

As both sides struggled for dominance, relations between the two groups deteriorated. Because the Indians had not developed the land or exploited its natural resources for profit, the English continued to claim it as their own. They established more plantations along the James River after 1616. The Powhatan Indians resented the intrusion of English settlements on Indian lands and attempts to change their culture and convert them to Christianity.