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Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1671-1681
Volume 15, Preface 9   View pdf image (33K)
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Notes. xiii

Kittomaquund, the Tayac, died in or before 1643, leaving no male
issue, and only this daughter. But she was not a " young empress,"
nor anything like it. For the Pascattoways went even beyond the
Salian Franks in their low opinion of the female sex; and taking the
ground that they could always know who was the mother of the child,
but rarely who was the father, had enacted a law that the succession to
the kingship should always depend on motherhood, not fatherhood.
On the death of a king the succession went, not to a son or daughter,
but to a brother; failing brothers, to a sister's son, and failing these,
to the nearest of kin who traced his descent in the female line, from the
royal stock.

It may be that Kittomaquund considered that his acceptance of
Christianity and a new name released him from the obligation of
heathenish laws. At all events, on his death he left the succession to
his daughter, known to the English as Mary Brent Kittomaquund.
But his subjects held fast to their ancient law, rejected the daughter,
and fixed their choice on Waghucasso, a distant kinsman of royal blood
through the female line, thus breaking the direct line of descent (to
brother or to nephew) for the first time in thirteen generations, accord-
ing to their account. To the English, whose confirmation of a new
emperor they always sought, they explained that there were recognized
among them two royal lines descending from the founder of the
dynasty. That the line to which Wannas had belonged having termi-
nated (so far as male representatives were concerned) by the death of
Kittomaquund without brother or sister's son, they had turned to the
other line represented by Waghucasso, and the English confirmed the
choice. On the death of Waghucasso in 1663, they elected Natto-
wasso, his son, apparently not in the right of his father, but of his
mother; and they explain that there is an eligible young female of
the line of Wannas to whom they intend to marry him, thus securing
the legitimate succession against all contingencies. This step also the
Council confirmed, warning them at the same time that if there should
be any cutting-short of his days, " by poysoning or otherwise," they
would be surely held to a reckoning for it; which suggests a surmise
that poison had been used to get rid of Wannas.

By this time Mary's chances of succession would seem to have fallen
to zero. But there was one Englishman at least who appears to have
thought otherwise. He was named Fitzherbert, and was a brother of
Major Fitzherbert of the Council. Whether he thought Mary's title
good to the sovereignty of her father, or only to lands, does not appear ;

 

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Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1671-1681
Volume 15, Preface 9   View pdf image (33K)
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