Pocahontas Is A Famous Historical Figure Known For Forging Relationships With English Settlers, But Her Story Has Been Shrouded In Myths In Pop Culture

likoper - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

A fascinating historical figure was Pocahontas, the indigenous woman famous for her relationships and interactions with English settlers in the 1600s.

However, her story has often been clouded by myths, and unless you learn about her actual life story in school, you may have only learned about her through false tales or the Disney movie.

So, here is what researchers believe Pocahontas’ story was.

Pocahontas was born around 1596 and was the daughter of Wahunsenaca, who was also known as Powhatan. He was the chief of the Powhatans, a Native American tribe who lived in the Chesapeake Bay area.

Pocahontas first became known among English settlers when they arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, in the early 1600s. Captain John Smith, one of the English settlers, met Pocahontas when she was much younger than she is often portrayed in the media. Researchers believe Pocahontas was only around 11 or 12 when the Powhatan ‘captured’ John.

According to letters written by John, he was about to be executed when Pocahontas intervened by laying her head next to his, subsequently saving his life. However, researchers now believe those actions may have been part of a Powhatan ritual and that they weren’t actually trying to execute John Smith but instead were considering him a member of their tribe.

Regardless, Pocahontas’ actions led to her developing a friendly relationship with John and eventually the other settlers. She delivered messages back and forth between them and the Powhatans to help her people. She would guide the Powhatans to provide food to the settlers, who were often hungry.

But then, this relationship suddenly turned ugly when a food shortage hit around 1608, and the settlers began demanding food from the Powhatans. They began to burn down their village and threatened to hurt them for food, leading Pocahontas to stop her visits.

After getting married to Kocoum, a member of the Patawomecks, in 1610, Pocahontas was taken captive three years later by Captain Samuel Argall and transported back to Jamestown. She was used as ransom, as the settlers demanded food and other items from the Powhatan.

likoper – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

1 of 2