A Brief History of Pocahontas


Today we want to provide a brief history of Pocahontas. A lot has been written and spoken about Amonute Matoaka over the last few hundred years. You may know Matoaka by her more commonly used name of Pocahontas. Through the years, some of what has been written about Pocahontas is factually made up. However, quite a few elements have been patched together and possibly even fabricated. Perhaps because they made events sound a little better, or maybe because they made the story of Pocahontas more appealing to the masses.

Royal Beginnings

Pocahontas was born circa 1596 to a woman who bore the same name as her. Unfortunately, she died shortly after birth, which meant that Pocahontas was left in the sole care and supervision of her father, Chief Powhatan Wahunsenaca, and the Powhatan people. As she grew up, Pocahontas became acquainted with the English colonists who had settled in the Chesapeake Bay area in 1607. When she was frequenting the colonists’ camp, she began to pick up the beautiful language that is English. She would later use her language skills to mediate between the colonists and the Powhatan people. Pocahontas was a frequent visitor to the colonists’ site and was perhaps used for talk therapy for some of the colonists who were struggling to establish a stable base due to lack of food and supplies

Captain John Smith 

Captain John Smith was born circa 1580 in Lincolnshire, England, and he was an explorer. He had gained quite a reputation and name throughout his career and had a colorful start to his adult life at the tender age of 16. This included being a serving crew member on a pirate ship, Holy Roman Empire fighting against the Ottoman Turks, and even fighting in Transylvania. It was around this time that he was also captured and then subsequently sold into slavery. Captain John Smith then managed to escape by killing his owner, thereby freeing himself from the shackles of slavery. He then fled back to England, and a short while later, he embarked on a four-month-long sea journey to colonize new locations on behalf of the Virginia Company. 

Pocahontas the Savior

When the colonists had set up camp, they quickly realized that the land was not as fertile as they had thought or hoped. Supplies were a long way off, and with ships taking over four months to reach them, they had to turn to the tribes and indigenous people for their help and assistance. The colonists knew about the tribes, and both parties often kept their distances. However, the colonists desperately needed supplies, and in desperation, Captain John Smith captured and kidnapped Pocahontas after she befriended the tribe. She was released after a few weeks of captivity, and Captain John Smith was then attacked as a result of this kidnapping and was at risk of being clubbed to death by the Powhatan people. At this stage, Pocahontas is said to have stepped in and protected Captain John Smith, acting as his savior, or so was written by Captain John Smith himself. This started a friendship and acquaintance between the pair.

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