Pocahontas Biography

A short biography of the Pocahontas, the Indian princess of Jamestown fame.

Pocahontas was an Indian princess. She was the daughter of the chief Powhatan and was born about 1595 near Jamestown, Virginia. She died in Gravesend, England in March 1617.

Pocahontas is well known for her courage and compassion showed in her friendship toward the English colonists of Jamestown.

According to legend, Captain John Smith was taken prisoner, and it was decided to put him to death. His head was laid upon a stone, and the Indians were brandishing

their clubs preparing to beat him to death, when Pocahontas, a mere 12 years of age, threw herself upon the captive's body, and pleaded with her father to spare his life. Powhatan relented and Smith's life was spared.

When Smith returned to Jamestown, he sent presents to Pocahontas and her father; and after this she is said to have visited the colony freely.

Because of her friendship toward the colonists and Captain Smith, Pocahontas once again showed great courage for in 1609 Pocahontas passed through the wood in the

night to inform Smith of a plot formed by her father to destroy him. Because of this warning, Smith was able to prepare and protect himself from harm.

In 1612 Governor Thomas Dale ordered that she be kidnapped, held for ransom, to be paid in corn by Chief Powhatan. During this time, Pocahontas became a Christian and was baptized, being given the Christian name of Rebecca. It was also during this imprisonment that Pocahontas became acquainted with John Rolfe, who sought her hand in marriage. Consent was given by Sir Thomas Dale and Chief Powhatan and they were married at Jamestown in April, 1613. This union brought a peace of many years duration between the English and the Indians.

In 1616 she accompanied Governor Dale to England, where she was an object of great interest to all classes of people, and was presented at court. As Pocahontas and John Rolfe were preparing to leave England, she suddenly became ill and died of pneumonia, leaving behind her husband and one son, Thomas Rolfe.

Pocahontas was a woman of courage and compassion. Largely due to her intervention, the colony of Jamestown was able to thrive and succeed in the New World.

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