The Rappahannock Indians

The Rappahannock Indians are one of the eleven state-recognized Native American tribes in Virginia. They are made up of descendants of several small Algonquian-speaking tribes who merged in the 17th century. In 1607, the Rappahannock were the dominant tribe of the Rappahannock River valley, maintaining thirteen villages along the north and south banks of the river named after them. Their capital town was Topahanocke (or Tappahannock). Disputes between the newly arrived English settlers and the Rappahannock began almost immediately and continued until 1684 when the tribe, now totalling only 70 people, merged with another tribe, the Portobacco Indians. The merger of tribes continued and today's Rappahannock Tribe consists of a few hundred descendants of the allied Algonquian Rappahannock, Morattico (Maraughtacund), Portobacco, and Doeg tribes. Most live in Essex, Caroline and King and Queen counties.