Prior to European contact, the indigenous inhabitants of this area were the Accomack Indians, who reportedly paid tribute to the paramount chief, Powhatan. Their chief, Esmy Shichans, refused to participate in the 1622 attacks against the English organized by Powhatan's war chief, Opechancanough. Despite the tribe's neutrality, it lost its lands and many tribe members were enslaved. In 1640, a reservation was established for the Accomack in Northampton County, after which the tribe was called the Gingaskin. A Gingaskin reservation existed until 1813, when the Virginia General Assembly dissolved it. Today Gingaskin descendants still live in Accomack and Northampton counties and in Maryland.
Original Sponsor: Department of Historic Resources
Geographic Location: Northampton County
Physical Description of Location: Proposed Location - Northampton
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