John Simons of the County of Surry was accused by the Virginia Colonial Government of sedition for assisting the Nottoway Tribe in getting their Petition sent to England, without prior knowledge of the Colonial Government. The "Great Men" of the Nottoway were cajoled to appear in Williamsburg before the Colonial Governor and Council then jailed until they agreed to do the Council’s bidding and also renounce their complaints.
Below is an unedited excerpt from the Virginia Colonial records concerning this episode in Virginia & Nottoway History ( Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia, May 1,1705-Oct. 23,1721, Vol. III, p.407, Library of Virginia , 1928):
August the 10th 1715
Present The Governor
James Blair, Philip Ludwell, John Smith, John Lewis, William Cocke, Nathaniel Harrison, Mann Page & Robert Porteus, Esq.
The Nottoway Indians appearing this day before the Governor in Council were asked whether they would comply with their Treaty by sending twelve of their boys to be educated at the School at Christianna and removing themselves to the Land assigned to them at Tommahitions & they obstinately refusing to do either…It is the Opinion of the Council & accordingly ordered that the great men of said Nation who are now in Town be forthwith put in irons during the Governors pleasure; and until this Board shall consider of further measures for obliging the said Indians to perform their Treaties, and
Whereas the said Indians have upon their examination declared that John Simons of the County of Surry was the person who advised & persuaded them to Petition the House of Burgesses & brought the Petition to them to Sign…It is ordered that the said Simons be sent for to attend this Board to answer his offence of seditiously stirring up the said Indians against the established Laws of this Colony .
The Great Men of the Nottoway Indians being again called before the Board & asked if they received any injury from any person in this
Government made answer that they had no Complaint to make against any person whatsoever. "
Interestingly, thirteen years later ( 1728 ) a John Simmons ( Simons?) of the County of Surry sought and was granted a patent for Raccoon Island where the Nottoway Tribe had a Quiocosine house or place of burial.
"At a Council held at the Capital the 13th of June 1728
The Honorable The Governor
James Blair, William Byrd, Mann Page, Cole Digges,Peter Beverly, John Robinson, John Carter, Richard Fitzwilliam, John Grymes, William Dandridge & John Custis, Esq.
…John Simmons of the County of
Surry Gent praying leave to survey and patent a certain tract of land commonly called Raccoon Island lying on the south side of the Nottoway River in the County of Isle of Wight, formerly assigned to the Nottoway Indians for their Quiocosine house or place of burial, and by them deserted, It is Ordered that leave be granted to the petition to take up said land he producing authentic testimonials of the said Indians relinquishing their pretensions thereto in his favor’