Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MA in Women's History


Women’s History Graduate Program


This thesis focuses on Cockacoeske, a female leader who led the Pamunkey between the years of 1656 and 1686. It describes the changing world Cockacoeske was born into. Pamunkey women’s traditional role as farmers gave them high status in this changing world. Retelling the years of 1676 -1677 from Cockacoeske’s perspective, a time period now called Bacon’s Rebellion, the thesis argues that Cockacoeske knew her purpose was to make sure the Pamunkey survived. Her persistence in protecting and safeguarding Pamunkey rights and the land they lived on reflects her community spirit. The thesis also addresses how the Pamunkey of today, who continue to live in the place they did during the seventeenth century, remember Cockacoeske and her actions favorably, showing the continuity Cockacoeske made possible.