Art by Andy Purviance (tumblr)
For thirty years, Cockacoeskie led the Pamunkey people and headed the Powhatan Confederacy. She was the first signer of the Treaty of 1766. Under this treaty, the Natives of Virginia maintained their territories and their rights to hunt and fish in exchange for an oath of loyalty to the British Crown. They gave up their claim to additional ancestral lands and agreed to an early form of reservations. The British committed to protect the signatory tribes from other hostile tribes. The tribes retained the right to bear arms and received ammunition. The tribes also agreed to give a yearly tribute in lieu of taxes. Originally this tribute was otter skins. Today the Pamunkey and Mattaponi tribes give the Governor of Virginia deer and turkey before Thanksgiving.
Above, Cockacoeskie is depicted with a traditional turkey feather headdress. In the center is her signature from the Treaty of 1766. To the right is a representative of the frontlet given to her by King Charles II as part of the Treaty and a Pamunkey pot with pictograph of the treaty across it.