A popular religious leader with both settlers and natives, he was responsible for the baptism and conversion of Pocahontas. His relative tolerance for the Native American population that the English colonists encountered can be found in his sermons, some of which were sent back to England to help win support for the new colonies in North America. The most famous of these sermons is Good Newes from Virginia (1613), in which he describes the native population as "servants of sinne and slaves of the divill," but also recognizes them as "sons of Adam," who are "a very understanding generation, quicke of apprehension, suddaine in their despatches, subtile in their dealings, exquisite in their inventions, and industrious in their labour."
It was a marked change from the other reports, such as those by Cotton Mather, which described the native population as little more than beasts, deserving of extermination.
A memorial tablet to William Whitaker was installed in the center of the anteroom of the New Chapel.
Whitaker in the Master's quarters at St. John's, one in the master's office, one in the guest bedroom.
William A. Whitaker married twice: first to _______ Culverwell, who was apparently mother of at least the oldest child, and second to Joan (Taylor) Fenner, widow of Dudley Fenner, mother to at least the youngest.
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