- Joyce E. Chaplin
Woodward, Henry (1646?–1686?), medical doctor and Indian agent, was perhaps from England or from Barbados, the origin of many Carolina settlers. His forbears and social background are unknown. The quality of his writing and the fact that he was addressed as “doctor” indicate a fair degree of education. Woodward was a young man when he went to Carolina. He had a talent for manipulating the tricky and multilingual relations that characterized this volatile region. His talent included the capacity to charm others and to deceive them. He became the deputy of the Carolina lords proprietors who, in their royal charter of 1663, held title to territory that overlapped Florida land claimed by the Spanish and inhabited by native groups wary of both sets of Europeans. Woodward accompanied Captain Robert Sandford on a 1666 expedition to explore the proprietors’ new province and to find natives who would ally with them against the Spanish. Woodward stayed with the Guale people in Santa Elena (near Port Royal) in exchange for the cacique’s nephew, whom Sandford took as an envoy to the English. The exchange of men in 1666 involved a formal ceremony of adoption for Woodward, who was given a field of corn as well as the cacique’s niece to attend him. This arrangement was almost certainly a form of marriage, though it is not known if the couple had any children. Woodward was also delegated by Sandford to act as the sole “tenant-at-will” of the Carolina proprietors—the lone English possessor of the province....