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Pocahontas

Pocahontas (about 1595-1617) was the childhood nickname of Matoaka, daughter of Powhatan[?].

She saved the colony of Jamestown from extinction by supplying it with food, and is said to have prevented her father from executing colonist John Smith. (Smith's account of this episode is generally not thought to be accurate.) In 1612 she was captured and held hostage at Jamestown. Her marriage to one of the colonists, John Rolfe[?], in 1613 created a climate of peace between the Jamestown colonists and Powhatan's tribes for several years. Prior to her marriage, she was baptised and was known by her Christian name thereafter, Rebecca Rolfe.

She created a sensation in England when she toured there as an "Indian princess" in 1616, but she died in Gravesend[?] of smallpox. Her only child Thomas Rolfe, through whom she has living descendants, remained in England.



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