30 Facts About Pocahontas


Pocahontas was a Native American woman belonging to the Powhatan people, notable for her association with the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia.


Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan, the paramount chief of a network of tributary tribes in the Tsenacommacah, encompassing the Tidewater region of what is today the US state Virginia.


Pocahontas was captured and held for ransom by English colonists during hostilities in 1613.


In 1616, the Rolfes travelled to London, where Pocahontas was presented to English society as an example of the "civilized savage" in hopes of stimulating investment in Jamestown.


In 1617, the Rolfes set sail for Virginia; Pocahontas died at Gravesend, Kent, England, of unknown causes, aged 20 or 21.


Pocahontas was buried in St George's Church, Gravesend; her grave's exact location is unknown because the church was rebuilt after being destroyed by a fire.


Pocahontas's story has been romanticized over the years, many aspects of which are fictional.


Pocahontas was the daughter of Chief Powhatan, paramount chief of Tsenacommacah, an alliance of about thirty Algonquian-speaking groups and petty chiefdoms in the Tidewater region of the present-day US state of Virginia.


The Mattaponi Reservation people are descendants of the Powhatans, and their oral tradition claims that Pocahontas's mother was the first wife of Powhatan and that Pocahontas was named after her.


Pocahontas is frequently viewed as a princess in popular culture.


In 1616, Smith wrote a letter to Queen Anne of Denmark, the wife of King James, in anticipation of Pocahontas' visit to England.


Pocahontas argues that its later revision and publication was Smith's attempt to raise his own stock and reputation, as he had fallen from favor with the London Company which had funded the Jamestown enterprise.


Early histories did establish that Pocahontas befriended Smith and the colonists.


Pocahontas often went to the settlement and played games with the boys there.


Pocahontas believed that account and stopped visiting Jamestown but learned that Smith was living in England when she traveled there with her husband John Rolfe.


Pocahontas' capture occurred in the context of the First Anglo-Powhatan War, a conflict between the Jamestown settlers and the Natives which began late in the summer of 1609.


Kocoum's identity, location, and very existence have been widely debated among scholars for centuries; the only mention of a "Kocoum" in any English document is a brief statement written about 1616 by William Strachey that Pocahontas had been living married to a "private captaine called Kocoum" for two years.


Pocahontas married John Rolfe in 1614, and no other records even hint at any previous husband, so some have suggested that Strachey was mistakenly referring to Rolfe himself, with the reference being later misunderstood as one of Powhatan's officers.


Pocahontas established the Virginia plantation Varina Farms, where he cultivated a new strain of tobacco.


Rolfe was a pious man and agonized over the potential moral repercussions of marrying a heathen, though in fact Pocahontas had accepted the Christian faith and taken the baptismal name Rebecca.


John Smith was living in London at the time while Pocahontas was in Plymouth, and she learned that he was still alive.


Pocahontas was not a princess in Powhatan culture, but the London Company presented her as one to the English public because she was the daughter of an important chief.


Helen C Rountree claims that there is no contemporaneous evidence to suggest that Pocahontas was regarded in England "as anything like royalty," despite the writings of John Smith.


In early 1617, Smith met the couple at a social gathering and wrote that, when Pocahontas saw him, "without any words, she turned about, obscured her face, as not seeming well contented," and was left alone for two or three hours.


Pocahontas's grave is thought to be underneath the church's chancel, though that church was destroyed in a fire in 1727 and its exact site is unknown.


In 1907, Pocahontas was the first Native American to be honored on a US stamp.


Pocahontas was a member of the inaugural class of Virginia Women in History in 2000.


In July 2015, the Pamunkey Native tribe became the first federally recognized tribe in the state of Virginia; they are descendants of the Powhatan chiefdom of which Pocahontas was a member.


Pocahontas is the twelfth great-grandmother of the American actor Edward Norton.


Also, Green touches on how Native women had to either "keep their exotic distance or die," which is associated with the widespread image of Pocahontas trying to sacrifice her life for John Smith.