Pocahontas; c 1596–1617; Native Indian princess

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Pocahontas; c 1596–1617; Native Indian princess

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  • Born Matoaka, also known as Amonute; married name Rebecca Rolfe

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c 1596–1617


Algonquian Indian princess, daughter of Chief Powhatan (d. 1618). According to Captain John Smith, she saved his life after he was captured by the Powhatans in 1607. Held hostage at Jamestown in 1613, Pocahontas converted to Christianity, taking the name Rebecca at her baptism. In 1614, she married John Rolfe (1585-1622), colonist and tobacco planter, son of John Rolfe of Heacham, Norfolk. The following year she gave birth to a son, Thomas. In 1616, the Rolfes travelled to London, where Pocahontas was presented to English society as an example of a ‘civilised savage’ in the hope of stimulating investment in the Jamestown settlement. However, Pocahontas's health soon deteriorated. She died, probably from tuberculosis or pneumonia, at Gravesend, Kent, where she was buried on 21 March 1617.


Virginia, USA.

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Created 1 Jun 2020 (JW).




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