When news reached London that the Powhatan Confederacy had mounted an assault on the Virginia colony in March 1622, the loss of colonists, infrastructure, and goods came to the Virginia Company of London as crisis among crises. Colonists were resisting efforts to diversify the colony's commodities and shareholders were growing impatient with the lack of dividends. The Virginia Company responded to news of the attack by embarking on a print publication campaign to depict the violence not as a mere incursion but as a "massacre." This article examines this publication campaign to argue that the Virginia Company leveraged its corporate rhetoric to convert the violence of the so-called massacre into a dividend for shareholders and a vindication of the company's economic program. Ultimately, the article argues that we must read the Virginia Company's publications through the lens of corporate strategy—not as reportage but as active efforts to generate capital.


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pp. 419-456
Launched on MUSE
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