The captured Indian youth was initially taken to Mexico, where he was baptized and educated by the
Dominicans. He was later taken to Spain. During his two years in Spain, he met King Phillip II. While he
was in Spain, he was generally assumed to be "the son of a petty Chief". He eventually left Spain for
Havana, Cuba, in the company of Dominican missionaries. Don Luis carried on the Powhatan tradition
of being a great speaker, and seems to have mastered the art of persuasion. He convinced the
Dominicans to return with him to his homeland, under the pretense of helping them in their quest to
"Christianize" his fellow tribesmen. Phillip II wanted to establish a missionary settlement in the Tidewater
region of Virginia (then known as "Ajacan"). Some historians believe that Opechancanough was that
unnamed captive, and his experiences among the Spanish may have influenced his deep distrust of
European settlers in the "New World". He must have known that their plans for colonization would result
in the cultural annihilation and displacement of his people by the Europeans.

Another theory about Opechancanough's distrust of Europeans can be found in the writing of John
Smith. Smith boasted of having shamed the well-respected leader  by holding a pistol to his breast
while marching him in front of his assembled tribesmen. The Pamunkey warriors laid aside their
weapons in an attempt to save the life of Opechancanough, not out of cowardice, but in solidarity of
their love for him. Opechancanough was shown an egregious lack of respect by John Smith.
Opechancanough was a  
younger brother of  
paramount chief  
(Powhatan). He was  
primarily known as the  
nationalist war chief who  
masterminded the  intertribal
Indian rebellion  of 1622, and
later 1644,  until he was
assassinated  while held in
captivity by  the English
colonists in  Virginia in 1646.  
There are many theories  
about the true identity of  
Opechancanough as well  as
his rationale for  instigating
the ingeniously  coordinated
Virginia  Indian rebellions.  
Whatever reasons he may
have had for his actions,  the
stories that have been told
about him are  fascinating...  
In 1560, the son of a   major  
Powhatan chief  was seized
by the Spanish  when they
entered the  Chesapeake
Bay (which  they called the
"Bahia de  Santa Maria").
The youth  was christened
Don Luis.
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