American Women!
A Celebration of Our History
April 22 -- October 29, 2000


POCAHONTAS
Native American Princess

1596-1617

"[She] was the first Christian of that [Indian] nation and the first Virginian who ever spake English."

Pocahontas was a lively young girl in 1607 when the first English colonists settled nearby her father's tribe at Jamestown, in Virginia Colony. The daughter of an Indian chief, she later became an effective emissary between her native people and the colonists.

Pocahontas visited Jamestown regularly and came to know and like Captain John Smith, the leader of the settlement. She served as a mediator between Smith and her father and provided the colonists with vital food supplies. Smith also would claim that Pocahontas saved him from certain death, but historians now dispute the claim.

The colonists took Pocahontas captive in 1613 and during that captivity, she converted to Christianity and married a colonist named John Rolfe. They had one son who was named Thomas. In 1616 the Rolfe family sailed for England, but the harsh climate and pollution took its toll on Pocahontas. She died at the age of 22, before she was able to return to her beloved homeland.

Historic Artifacts:

PAINTED PORTRAIT of Pocahontas, copies after the only known likeness.
SCULPTURE of Pocahontas, a copy of the one at Jamestown Settlement.
--On loan from Woodrow Wilson House, Washington D.C.

PHOTOS of Pocahontas
-- Originals in the collection of the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond VA

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