Pocahuntus (c.1596 – c.1617)

An engraving of Pocahontas made while she was in London in 1616. She is shown as both the daughter of the Powhatan chief and as Rebecca Rolfe, the Christian wife of a respectable English colonist.
  • As the ‘age of Discovery’ developed – England began to expand in the world and colonise places.
  • In the 1600s, religious English people (known as Puritans) arrived in America and began to take over the land (colonise) from ‘Native Americans’ who lived there. They called it Virginia.
  • The impact of European invasion of the Americas was terrible for the Native Americans and some estimates say that over 90% of them died.
  • In one of the wars fought between the English ‘settlers’ and the Native Americans – in 1614 –peace was eventually agreed between the Powhatans (a Native American nation) and the English colonists.
  • As a symbol of this peace, colonist John Rolfe married the daughter of the Powhatan chief, Pocahontas, who had been kidnapped (stolen and imprisoned) by the English settlers for this purpose.
  • Pocahontas was forced to convert to Christianity and even travelled to England where she met the Bishop of London and possibly even King James I.
  • John Chamberlain, one of King James I’s courtiers (advisers), saw the engraving of her and wrote that it was ‘a fine picture but of no fair lady’.