Pocahontas: The Myth and Reality of a Young American Woman

America, History193 Views

APRIMITIVEPLACE – Pocahontas is one of the most famous figures in American history. She is often portrayed as a beautiful and kind-hearted young woman who saved the life of John Smith, an English settler. However, this myth about Pocahontas is actually not entirely accurate.

The myth of Pocahontas and John Smith

One of the most famous myths about Pocahontas is the story of her saving the life of John Smith. According to this myth, Pocahontas threw herself in front of Smith when he was about to be executed by her father, Powhatan, the chief of the Powhatan tribe.

However, recent research has shown that this myth is likely not true. There is no historical evidence to support this story. In fact, some historians believe that this story may have been made up by John Smith himself to increase his popularity.

Smith himself told this story in his book, “The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles,” which was published in 1624. However, Smith did not provide any details about this story, and he did not mention who told him the story.

This story was first doubted by American historian Henry Adams in 1885. Adams argued that this story is not plausible, because Powhatan would not likely have killed Smith without reason.

Other historians have supported Adams’s argument. They argue that this story may have been made up by Smith himself to increase his popularity. Smith was a famous explorer, and he may have wanted to make himself look more courageous and heroic by telling a story about how he was saved by a beautiful Indian woman.

The myth of Pocahontas and English colonialism

Another myth about Pocahontas is that she was a woman who admired English culture and wanted to make peace with English colonialism. This myth is often used to justify English colonialism in America.

However, recent research has shown that this myth is also not entirely accurate. Pocahontas was actually a strong leader who opposed English colonialism. She even helped her husband, John Rolfe, in the tobacco trade, which was an important source of income for the English colony.

Pocahontas was born in 1595 in the Powhatan tribe, which lived in the area that is now Virginia. She was the daughter of Powhatan, the chief of the Powhatan tribe.

In 1607, English settlers arrived in Jamestown, Virginia. Pocahontas met John Smith, one of the English settlers, in 1608.

According to the myth, Pocahontas fell in love with Smith and saved his life from her father. However, recent research has shown that this story is not possible.

Pocahontas was captured by the English in 1613 and taken to England. There, she was forced to adapt to English culture and become Christian. She then married John Rolfe, an English settler, in 1614.

This marriage was intended to show that Native Americans could live in peace with English colonialism. However, Pocahontas was actually not happy with this marriage. She missed her family and culture.

Pocahontas died in 1617, at the age of 21. She was buried in England.

The myths about Pocahontas have been used to create a positive image of English colonialism in America. However, recent research has shown that these myths are actually not entirely accurate. Pocahontas was a complex and strong woman who played an important role in American history.

The myths about Pocahontas are an example of how history can be manipulated for a particular purpose. These myths have been used to justify English colonialism and to create a positive image of white people. However, it is important to be aware that these myths are not always accurate.