Definitions for pocahontasˌpoʊ kəˈhɒn təs
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Pocahontas, Matoaka, Rebecca Rolfe(noun)
a Powhatan woman (the daughter of Powhatan) who befriended the English at Jamestown and is said to have saved Captain John Smith's life (1595-1617)
A Native American woman.
Origin: After Pocahontas, a famous young Native American woman
Pocahontas was a Virginia Indian notable for her association with the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan, the paramount chief of a network of tributary tribal nations in the Tidewater region of Virginia. In a well-known historical anecdote, she is said to have saved the life of an Indian captive, Englishman John Smith, in 1607 by placing her head upon his own when her father raised his war club to execute him. Pocahontas was captured by the English during Anglo-Indian hostilities in 1613, and held for ransom. During her captivity, she converted to Christianity and took the name Rebecca. When the opportunity arose for her to return to her people, she chose to remain with the English. In April 1614, she married tobacco planter John Rolfe, and in January 1615, bore him a son, Thomas Rolfe. Pocahontas's marriage to Rolfe was the first recorded interracial marriage in American history. In 1616, the Rolfes traveled to London. Pocahontas was presented to English society as an example of the civilized "savage" in hopes of stimulating investment in the Jamestown settlement. She became something of a celebrity, was elegantly fêted, and attended a masque at Whitehall Palace. In 1617, the Rolfes set sail for home, but Pocahontas died at Gravesend of unknown causes. She was buried in a church in Gravesend, but the exact location of her grave is unknown.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
the daughter of an Indian chief in Virginia, who favoured the English settlers there, saving the life of Captain Smith the coloniser, and afterwards married John Rolfe, one of the settlers; came to England, and was presented at Court; several Virginian families trace their descent to her.
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