I know what you are thinking, isn't this a blog about England? It is and during my current class about Colonial America, I found out very interesting information about Pocahontas that I wanted to share.
         Pocahontas, whose real name was Matoaka, was born in 1596 and belonged to the Algonquian Indians. Pocahontas was a nickname that meant "playful" or "mischievous one" which not an exact description of her when reflecting on what she contributed to the beginning of the settlement in Jamestown.[1] The story of Pocahontas was made into a movie, Pocahontas, by Roy Disney in 1995 which made her into someone that little girls all over the world came to know. Pocahontas is much more that the main character portrayed in a Disney film. She deserves her placement along with other important figures in American Colonial history.
            Pocahontas was first acknowledged by the Europeans when she saved Captain John Smith from a mock execution by her father, Powhatan, who was the chief of her tribe. This mock execution was meant to welcome Smith and make his settlement subservient to her father's jurisdiction.[2] Smith was caught by a hunting party. The relations between the Powhatan Confederacy and the Jamestown colonists was not ideal and when Captain Smith was released he continued to harass the Powhatans but still tried to procure corn from them.[3]
            Pocahontas was captured by the colonists in 1613 during the First Anglo-Powhatan War.  This was in hopes of improving the relations between the English and the Native Americans.[4] While she was held at Jamestown, she was treated very well. Pocahontas was introduced to the Christian faith by Alexander Whitaker, who was a Calvinist minister. Pocahontas converted to Christianity and took the name Rebecca. [5]
            Pocahontas met John Rolfe, who purchased tobacco seed in the West Indies and brought it to the Virginian colony. This became the main crop produced in Jamestown and made many of the colonists wealthy. Pocahontas and Rolfe fell in love and Rolfe asked Powhatan for permission to marry his daughter. Powhatan agreed and two of Pocahontas' brothers were witnesses at the wedding. The marriage between Rolfe and Pocahontas was beneficial because the fighting between the colonists and the Native Americans decreased. She made them work together to so that the colonists could get the supplies that they needed and this also saved the lives of the Powhatan.[6] Pocahontas also had a son, Thomas, with Rolfe and he went on to have many children himself.
            The Virginia Company that was in charge of the ownership of the Jamestown colony, used Pocahontas' story to show that the Native Americans could be converted and marketed her as a princess. The Virginia Company brought Pocahontas to England.[7] Pocahontas was one of the first Native Americans to go to England. She dressed in the style of clothing of the English of the time. The English were very curious about her and the other Native Americans that accompanied her. She met King James I during her visit here. Sadly, Pocahontas fell ill while she was in England. It is assumed that she caught tuberculosis or pneumonia. She died and was buried in St George's Church in Gravesend, England in 1617.
            If Pocahontas was not the one to stop Captain Smith's execution and to be later captured by the English, the story of Jamestown would have been different. It is not likely if it had been anyone else that they would have converted Christianity like she did as they did not have much luck. Also the situation for the Powhatan Confederacy could have also been worse since the fighting was reduced. Also she preached for peace and understanding between the cultures rather than the anticipated wars that the colonists and the other members of her tribe would have been involved in.

[1] America's Library " Pocahontas," accessed July 4, 2013, http://www.americaslibrary.gov/aa/pocahonta/aa_pocahonta_subj.html
[2] Alan Taylor, American Colonies: The Settling of North America, (New York, Penguin: 2001), 132.
[3] Alan Taylor, American Colonies: The Settling of North America, (New York, Penguin: 2001), 132.
[4] Biography.com, "Pocahontas," accessed July 4, 2013, http://www.biography.com/people/pocahontas-9443116?page=2
[5] [5] Biography.com, "Pocahontas," accessed July 4, 2013, http://www.biography.com/people/pocahontas-9443116?page=2
[6] Susan-Mary Grant, A Concise History of the United States of America, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 30-31.
[7] [7] Alan Taylor, American Colonies: The Settling of North America, (New York, Penguin: 2001), 132.

All the Best!

American to Britain