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Pocahontas Essay

987 words - 4 pages

Pocahontas was a Powhatan Native American, born circa 1595; she was made famous for her involvement with the English Colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia ( Pocahontas saved Englishman John Smith. Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan the leader of the Algonquian groups and chiefdoms in Tidewater Virginia. Her mother’s identity is unknown. Pocahontas probably had several names, early in life she was known as Matoaka, but later she was called Amonute. Pocahontas was probably used in casual or family context.
Primarily Pocahontas was related to the colonists through Captain John Smith, who arrived in Virginia with numerous settlers in April 1607. Having numerous interactions with the Tsenocammacah Indians, John Smith while exploring The Chickahominy River in December that year, was captured by Powhatan’s close relatives hunting party. With being captured and all Smiths writing got slightly inconsistent. Smith was brought to Werowocomoco, home of Powhatan, but he did not meet Pocahontas until months later. In 1616, Smith documents Pocahontas’s selfless act which would soon become legendary. “At the minute of my execution, She (Pocahontas) hazarded the beating out of her own brains to save mine: and not only that, but so prevailed with her father, that I was safely conducted to Jamestown.” Wrote Smith. (
Historians have expressed many doubts that the story of Pocahontas saving John Smith is true. People believe Smith enhanced the story to gain more fame. Earlier histories say that Pocahontas befriended Smith and assisted the Colony. During the colonies hard times, Pocahontas brought food every once in four or five days. She saved many lives that would have ended from hunger. Other than that, there are few historical records suggesting romantic links between Smith and Pocahontas.
In late 1609, John Smith went back to England for medical care. The English told the Indians that Smith was dead. Colonist William Strachey recorded the event that Pocahontas married an Indian warrior Kocoum, sometime before 1612. Although nothing more is known about this marriage, historians believe the marriage dissolved when Pocahontas was captured by the English that next year.
During the First Anglo-Powhatan war Pocahontas was captured. Captain Samuel Argall gained alliance with the Patawomenck’s, a northern group of dubious loyalty to Powhatan. Little is known about Pocahontas’s year with the English. March 1614, violence broke out between English and Powhatan men. They gave Pocahontas permission to speak to her father as a diplomatic maneuver. Once the dispute was over Pocahontas still remained with the English, telling her family she did not want to come home.
During her year of captivity, Rolfe sent a letter to the governor asking to wed Pocahontas; He expressed both love and his belief in converting her into Christianity. Studies never show Pocahontas’ feelings about Rolfe and their marriage. April 5, 1614 Rolfe and...

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