IntroductionPocahontas was a Native American Indian who was the daughter of the well-respected Algonquin Indian Chief Powhatan. She was born in Virginia around 1595 during a time when it was common for tribe members to have several names. She was also known as Matoax ("Little Snow Feather") and later on as Amonute. It is not known who her mother was or what happened to her, although some historians believed she died in childbirth. Pocahontas is famous for her heroic acts in aiding the colonists at Jamestown. She eventually went on to marry colonist, John Rolfe. She went on an extended trip to England with her husband where she later died at the young age of 22. The information provided below highlights some interesting facts about the life of this famous Native American Indian.
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- Pocahontas had 26 brothers and sisters but was her fathers favorite child.
- Pocahontas was known for being a tomboy who enjoyed playing with the boys and spent her free time doing as they did.
- English colonists settled in Jamestown in 1607, when Pocahontas was believed to be eleven years old.
- Known for being peace-making and kind, she befriended many of the Jamestown colonists. Realizing that many were becoming very ill due to lack of food, she brought them food that they did not have the knowledge to find on their own. In exchange, they presented the Indians with copper, beads and mirrors but guns were what the Indians wanted in return.
- Pocahontas was kidnapped and held for ransom at the age of seventeen by a successful English warrior and adventurer named Sir Samuel Argall. He wanted to use her as leverage in hopes of bribing Powhatan, her father, into returning several English captives as well as some possessions.
- Because of Pocahontas’s friendship and goodwill with the English, she was always treated with kindness while in the captivity of the English.
- Pocahontas was returned in 1613 after the English received just part of the ransom money they demanded.
Facts about Pocahontas and John Smith
- Of all of the colonists, she took a particular liking to John Smith, saying he looked like a friend.
- There is some debate to whether she truly saved his life or if the events that happened were part of an Indian ritual. Many accounts suggest she did in fact save him from getting beaten to death by Indian warriors by placing her head on his and stopping his beating.
- Pocahontas father is said to have declared John Smith a son and even gave him an Indian name, Nantaquoud.
- After the initial encounter between Pocahontas and John Smith, they went on to become good friends.
Facts about Pocahontas and John Rolfe
- Following her time in captivity, Pocahontas met and fell in love with Englishman, John Rolfe, a successful tobacco farmer.
- John Rolfe believed strongly in the Christian faith and felt that Pocahontas would have to become a Christian before he could marry her. She was baptized as a Christian and her name was changed to the Christian name, Rebecca.
- Their marriage was the first interracial marriage in America.
- John Rolfe and Pocahontas had a son they named Thomas. He would follow in his father's footsteps farming tobacco and go on to become the wealthiest tobacco farmer in the state of Virginia.
- Pocahontas was one of the very first Native Americans to travel to England when she and her son accompanied her husband on a business trip. There she met the British Monarchy which included Queen Ann and King James. She told of life in the states and became very well liked and famous in England.
- After seven months overseas, John Rolfe decided it was time to return home permanently, only Pocahontas would never make it. She died of either tuberculosis or pneumonia at the age of just 22. She was buried in a cemetery in Gravesend, England.