Pocahontas

Pocahontas (pōkəhŏn´təs), c.1595–1617, Native North American woman, daughter of Chief Powhatan. Pocahontas, meaning "playful one" (her real name was said to be Matoaka), used to visit the English in Virginia at Jamestown. According to the famous story, she saved the life of the captured Capt. John Smith just as he was about to have his head smashed at the direction of Powhatan. In 1613, Pocahontas was captured by Capt. Samuel Argall, taken to Jamestown, and held as a hostage for English prisoners then in the hands of her father. At Jamestown she was converted to Christianity and baptized as Rebecca. John Rolfe, a settler, gained the permission of Powhatan and the governor, Sir Thomas Dale, and married her in Apr., 1614. The union brought peace with the Native Americans for eight years. With her husband and several other Native Americans, Pocahontas went to England in 1616. There she was received as a princess and presented to the king and queen. She started back to America in 1617 but was taken ill and died at Gravesend, where she was buried. Pocahontas bore one son, Thomas Rolfe, who was educated in England, went (1640) to Virginia, and gained considerable wealth.

See P. L. Barbour, Pocahontas and Her World (1969); G. S. Woodward, Pocahontas (1969).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Pocahontas: Selected full-text books and articles

Reflecting on Pocahontas (1) By Tremblay, Gail Frontiers - A Journal of Women's Studies, Vol. 23, No. 2, June 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Pocahontas: Forest of Myths Hides Real Indian Princess By Patricia Chargot Knight-Ridder Newspapers St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), June 23, 1995
"Love You Not Me?" Pocahontas and the Virginia Masque: A Jacobean Drama in the Glade By Vest, Jay Hansford C Journal of Intercultural Disciplines, Vol. 10, Spring 2012
"Strange Wives": Pocahontas in Early Modern Colonial Advertisement By Stymeist, David Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 35, No. 3, September 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Encounters in the New World: A History in Documents By Jill Lepore Oxford University Press, 2002
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
The Ritual World of Pocahontas By Gleach, Frederic W Natural History, Vol. 115, No. 9, November 2006
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