The Mattaponi tribe is one of only two Virginia Indian tribes in the Commonwealth of Virginia that owns reservation land. The larger Mattaponi Indian Tribe lives in King William County on reservation lands that stretch along the borders of the Mattaponi River, near West Point, Virginia. The Mattaponi were one of six tribes inherited by Chief Powhatan in the late 16th century. The tribe spoke an Algonquian language, like other members of the Powhatan Chiefdom. The paramount chiefdom of the Powhatan numbered more than 30 tribes by the time the English arrived and settled Jamestown in 1607. A band had long been settled outside the reservation at an unincorporated hamlet called Adamstown on the upper reaches of the Mattaponi River. It has been identified as Indian land in records dating to the 17th century. In 1921, the Upper Mattaponi Tribe of Adamstown organized as an official group.
Contributions by Sarah1607, Parkwells, and Spinach Monster.