Pocahontas True Story: Used, Abused, Then Most Likely Murdered
Matoaka often visited the settlement at Jamestown to help the settlers during times when food was in short supply. On 13th April, 1613 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. During her captivity, tobacco planter John Rolfe took a ‘special interest’ in the attractive young prisoner, and he eventually conditioned her release upon her agreeing to marry him. Matoaka was baptized ‘Rebecca’ and in 1614, she was married John Rolfe – the first recorded marriage between a European and a Native American.
The Baptism of Pocahontas by John Gadsby Chapman (Wikimedia). Chapman depicts Pocahontas wearing white, being baptized Rebecca by Anglican minister Alexander Whiteaker in Jamestown, Virginia. 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.
Marriage of Matoaka to John Rolfe. From ‘Pocahontas: Her Life and Legend’ by William M. S. Rasmussen. (Wikimedia). 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. ‘Rebecca’ was seen an example of a civilized ‘savage’ and Rolfe was praised for his accomplishment in bringing Christianity to the ‘heathen tribes’.
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 1617, 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, 1617. It is believed she was 21 years old when she died. Sadly, there were no fairy tale endings for Matoaka.
Matoaka is Pocahantas real name; even her name is a lie. Since she was only about 10 years old when she met the colonists I have put this under the tag of pedophilia as well-she was a child-bride in a forced marriage. Who is the savage here?