The Indian princess, known as Pocahontas was able to establish a remarkable and considerable relationship with early English setters of Virginia. This connection helped shape the course of American history. Pocahontas brought collaboration between the Native American Indians and the English, which allowed the successful founding of the Virginia Colony. If a student were to research Pocahontas they would not only find that a famous Walt Disney film portrayed some of her life, but she is also listed as one of the top ten American women in history. Pocahontas laid a foundation in the Virginia colony, and without her help the colonists may have not survived.
Pocahontas was the daughter of the powerful chief, Powhatan, of the Algonquian Indians. Her true name was Matoaka, but she became known as Pocahontas, “which means ‘Little Wanton’, a playful, frolicsome little girl” (Morenus 1). On April 26, 1607, the original colonists arrived in Virginia, and on May 13, 1607 the colonists settled in Jamestown (Lemay, XIV). Pocahontas soon developed affection for the settlers and brought them food often. In early December of 1607, Captain John Smith and seven other colonists decided to venture into the Chickahoming River country to obtain corn for the inhabitants (Woodward, 64). Native Americans captured the men and murdered all of the Englishmen, except for John Smith. They held him captive, and if not for the sacrifice of Pocahontas he would have suffered the same fate as his men. “Suddly a little Indian girl rushed in and took Smith’s head in her arms and laid her owne upon his to save him from death [sic]”(Mays).
Powhatan responded to the spontaneous action of his favorite daughter and ordered Smith spared, he then adopted him into the Powhatan tribe. Many people suggest that Powhatan ordered a mock execution for Smith as a way of making him an honorary member of the tribe to keep peace between the English settlers and Indians. On January 1, 1607 Powhatan...
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