Pocahontas, Not Just A Disney Princess

Who was Pocahontas, I mean most of us know the Disney cartoon, if we have kids, but many don’t know she was an actual person. The reason she became well-known was not the fact that she was in part responsible for building houses, farming, cooking, collecting water, and firewood along with making mats, baskets, pots, wooden spoons and platters, these were all normal for any woman in Powhatan society. No, according to the NPS.gov website, she was well known for, “the famous recuse of John Smith by Pocahontas. As Smith tells it, he was brought in front of Chief Powhatan, two large stones were placed on the ground, Smith’s head was forces on them and a warrior raised a club to smash in his brains. Before this could happen, Pocahontas rushed in and placed her head upon his, which stopped the execution.”  She would become instrumental in the trade with the English from that moment forward, being recognized as a sign of peace. The years went on between the English and Powhatan’s tribe, peacefully, until somewhere around 1608-1609. It was during that time that Pocahontas warned John Smith once again of her father’s intentions to kill him, but it was the last time she would see Smith.

The website continues with the story of Pocahontas’s life. 1613 was the next big chapter in her life; it was at this time that she was captured by Captain Samuel Argall, and held for ransom. She was, “put under the charge of Reverend Alexander Whitaker, who lived at Henrico. She learned English, and about the religions and customs of the people of Jamestown”. And it was during this time, she would meet widower John Rolfe, and the two would fall in love. “In 1614, Pocahontas converted to Christianity and was baptized ‘Rebecca’. In April 1614, she and John Rolfe married. The marriage that led to the ‘Peace of Pocahontas;’ a lull in the inevitable conflicts between the English and Powhatan Indians.” She was by all accounts, a remarkable woman, one that should be honored for seemingly being able to stay true to herself, despite the many hardships of her life.

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