However, this depiction is a far departure from the actual events that occurred, and from the real life of Pocahontas. Disney produced a romanticized and inaccurate portrayal of the life of Pocahontas. It is believed that Pocahontas was born around to a Powhatan chief. Her given name at birth was Matoaka, although she was sometimes called Amonute. In , John Smith, an Admiral of New England and an English soldier and explorer, arrived in Virginia by ship, with a group of about other settlers. He was brought to Powhatan's home at Werowocomoco. The accounts of what happened next vary from source to source.
In a letter written to Queen Anne, John Smith told the story of Matoaka throwing herself across his body to protect him from execution at the hands of Powhatan. It is believed that John Smith was a pretentious man who told this lie to gain notoriety. Matoaka often visited the settlement at Jamestown to help the settlers during times when food was in short supply.
On 13 th April, AD, during one of these visits, Samuel Argall captured Matoaka to ransom her for some English prisoners held by her father. She was held hostage at Jamestown for over a year. She kneels, surrounded by family members and colonists. Her brother Nantequaus turns away from the ceremony. The scene symbolizes the belief at the time that Native Americans should accept Christianity and other European ways.
Fact or Fiction: Did Pocahontas Save Captain John Smith's Life?
Marriage of Matoaka to John Rolfe. Their union is said to be the first recorded marriage between a European and a Native American. Two years later, John Rolfe took Matoaka to England to use her in a propaganda campaign to support the colony of Virginia, propping her up as the symbol of hope for peace and good relations between the English and the Native Americans.
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While in England, Matoaka ran into John Smith. She refused to speak with him, turning her head and fleeing from his presence — a far cry from the undying love between the two as portrayed in the Disney movie. In , the Rolfe family boarded a ship to return to Virginia. However, Matoaka would not complete this journey home. She became gravely ill — theories range from smallpox, pneumonia, or tuberculosis, to her having been poisoned — and she was taken off the ship at Gravesend where she died on March 21, It is believed she was 21 years old when she died.
Sadly, there were no fairy tale endings for Matoaka. But does the commemorative statue honor her real life? Pocahontas — Biography. The Pocahontas Myth — Powhatan. Pocahontas — Wikipedia. M R Reese is a writer and researcher with a passion for unlocking the mysteries of ancient civilizations. She believes that only by understanding where we come from, can we truly understand our life path and purpose.
She has earned Read More. This to me is a very sad story. Both the fiction created by Disney and supposedly the true story. What is sad is that how colonial whites created stories often pure lies to define and emphasise their superiority. It must have been very sad for this young lady to die in a foreign land. I can imoagine Gravesend in the 16 century, it must have been a dreary place to die, it is not Much better now!
It's a famous story from American history—but did it really happen?
I do think the true story is very interesting however trying to say Disney is painting it in a bad light is wrong. They wanted to tell the story of a girl who tried making peace between the settling whites and the Indians. Like all their movies they are targeted as children and to fit with the princess films had a romantic story line. No one really believes that cinderella is true, they also made a second where she travels to England with John Rolfe, this obviously changes facts also as it is made for childs entertainment but it shows how she was paraded about and how horrid and ignorant the king and other English people were to her customs.
I think the Disney version is a lovely fairy tale but it is just that, a story made lighter hearted and happier than the real events. Her playful nature made her a favourite, and her interest in the English proved valuable to them. She sometimes brought gifts of food from her father to relieve the hard-pressed settlers.
She also saved the lives of Smith and other colonists in a trading party in January by warning them of an ambush.
The True Story of Pocahontas: The Other Side of History by Linwood Custalow
The English informed Pocahontas that Smith had died. She did not return to the colony for the next four years. In the spring of , however, Sir Samuel Argall took her prisoner, hoping to use her to secure the return of some English prisoners and stolen English weapons and tools.
Argall did so by conspiring with Japazeus , the chief of the Patawomeck tribe, who lived along the Potomac River and whom Pocahontas was visiting. Although her father released seven English prisoners, an impasse resulted when he did not return the weapons and tools and refused to negotiate further. Pocahontas was taken from Jamestown to a secondary English settlement known as Henricus.
Treated with courtesy during her captivity, Pocahontas was converted to Christianity and was baptized Rebecca. She accepted a proposal of marriage from John Rolfe , a distinguished settler; both the Virginia governor, Sir Thomas Dale , and Chief Powhatan agreed to the marriage, which took place in April According to Powhatan tradition and the account of one colonist, Pocahontas had previously been married to a Powhatan man named Kocoum.
In the spring of Pocahontas, her husband, their one-year-old son, Thomas, and a group of other Native Americans, men and women, sailed with Governor Dale to England. There she was entertained at royal festivities. The Virginia Company apparently saw her visit as a device to publicize the colony and to win support from King James I and investors.
While preparing to return to America, Pocahontas fell ill, probably with lung disease. Her illness took a turn for the worse and interrupted her return voyage before her ship left the River Thames.
She died in the town of Gravesend at about age 21 and was buried there on March 21, Afterward her husband immediately returned to Virginia; her son remained in England until , when he went to Virginia and became a successful tobacco planter. Capitol in —40, the benefits of the coupling of Rolfe and Pocahontas had become more contingent , predicated on her assimilationist acceptance of Christianity. Tilton, abolitionists claimed Pocahontas as a symbol of the possibility of racial harmony, while Southerners pointed to her and Rolfe as progenitors of Southern aristocracy who offered an alternative national foundation myth to the Northern version centred on the Pilgrims.
Pocahontas even found her way into rock music.
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