The Story of Pocahontas

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TheStory of Pocahontas

Thestory of Pocahontas is about an American princess who had an affairwith an Englishman, John Smith. It was the time when the war betweenthe Native Americans and the English colonialist was great.Pocahontas was born in 1595 by a Powhatan chief and was named asMatoaka or Amonute. Pocahontas was a nickname given to Matoaka whichmeant mischievous or tainted child. Matoaka’s tribe was among thethirty Algonquian-speaking tribes found in Tidewater, Virginia. Atthe time of Pocahontas birth, the colonialist had already arrived inAmerica which resulted in a conflict between them and the NativeAmericans.

JohnSmith, an explorer, soldier and other 100 settlers came to Virginiain 1607 by ship. John Smith was apprehended by one of the huntingteam of Powhatan chiefs while they were exploring river Chickahominyand was taken to the chief’s home at Werocomoco. They talked withthe Powhatan chief and had a great meal together as told by Smith.According to the letter written to Queen Anne, the Powhatan wanted tokill John Smith, but Matoaka safeguarded him. At this period, Matoakawas very young about ten years when she saved Smith and therefore thestory of the romance between them was highly doubtful. Peoplebelieved that John Smith was an ostentatious man who gave a lie togain a bad reputation.

Duringthe drought period, Matoaka was a frequent visitor at Jamestown andassisted the colonialists by supplying food to them. During one ofher visits, she was captured by Samuel Argali on 13th April 1613 bythe English settlers after realized she was the daughter of the chiefwho detained them. Matoaka stayed under captive for more than a year.It was at this time of her hostage that a tobacco planter John Ralfebecame attracted to her. After interacting for a period, Matoakaagreed to marry him, and John Ralfe ordered her release. Matoaka wasconverted to Christianity and was baptized Rebecca where she latergot married to John Ralfe in 1614. Their marriage was the first to bedocumented between a Native American and a European.

Aftertwo years, Matoaka was taken to England by John Ralfe where he usedher in advertising and campaigning support to Virginia colony. Ralfebuttressed Matoaka as a symbol of harmony and good relation betweenthe American and the English settlers. John Ralfe was praised for hisachievement of bringing Christianity to them. Matoaka later ran intoJohn smith while still in England, and upon seeing him, she refusedto talk to him. She turned her head aside and flew from his presencewhich symbolized the undying love between them. Rolfe family startedtheir journey back to Virginia in 1617, but Matoaka fell sick and didnot arrive at her home. Her illness was not well known and was fullof many theories of smallpox, tuberculosis, and pneumonia or beingpoisoned. Matoaka later died on March 21, 1617, in Gravesend andburied there. Matoaka died at the age of 21 years.

Thedeath of Pocahontas brought peace between the Native American and thecolonialists. However, there is controversy on whether or not Matoakasaved John Smith. Smith’s first writing about his experience withthe Powhatan people, described them as friendly people but did notcomment anywhere about Matoaka saving him. In another book about theaccounts of Virginia, Smith talked of Matoaka saving him from beingkilled by Powhatan people. Some research shows that smith’s latertestimony was untruthful and was somehow based on politicalmotivations.

Accordingto other Native Americans tribes, the endeavored execution was acustom of permitting outside members into their society. Otheraccounts suggest that there was no particular link between John Smithand Matoaka because upon seeing him she refused to talk to him andcalled him a liar. Conclusively, the debate on whether Smith wassaved by Matoaka continued, but her life was not what Disneyportrayed in his movie. The real story of Matoaka would make a bettermovie than the one Disney produced. Matoaka’s lived a short lifewhich ended in tragedy.

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