Pocahontas and john smith relationship

The True Story of Pocahontas | History | Smithsonian

pocahontas and john smith relationship

Pocahontas wasn't even a teenager when John Smith claims she saved This goes back to John Smith who marketed their relationship as a. Pocahontas was a Native American woman notable for her association with . He does not mention Pocahontas in relation to his capture, and claims that they first met some months later. Huber understands the. This quickly made me question Pocahontas and John Smith's relationship. We all have seen the Disney movie Pocahontas and remember her.

Years later—after no one was able to dispute the facts—John Smith wrote about how she, the beautiful daughter of a powerful native leader, rescued him, an English adventurer, from being executed by her father. This narrative of Pocahontas turning her back on her own people and allying with the English, thereby finding common ground between the two cultures, has endured for centuries.

Did Pocahontas Love John Smith And Save His Life?

Now, years after her death, the story of the real Pocahontas is finally being accurately explored. Beyond the Mythpremiering on March 27, authors, historians, curators and representatives from the Pamunkey tribe of Virginia, the descendants of Pocahontas, offer expert testimony to paint a picture of a spunky, cartwheeling Pocahontas who grew up to be a clever and brave young woman, serving as a translator, ambassador and leader in her own right in the face of European power.

Camilla Townsend, author of the authoritative Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma and a history professor at Rutgers University, who is featured in Beyond the Myth, talks to Smithsonian. How did you become a scholar of Pocahontas? I was a professor of Native American history for many years. I was working on a project comparing early relations between colonizers and Indians in Spanish America and English America when they arrived.

There are truly hundreds of books over the many years that have been written about her. But when I tried to look into it, I found that most of them were full of hogwash. Many of them had been written by people who weren't historians. When I went back and looked at the actual surviving documents from that period, I learned that much of what had been repeated about her wasn't true at all.


This goes back to John Smith who marketed their relationship as a love story. What class and cultural factors have allowed that myth to persist? That story that Pocahontas was head over heels in love with John Smith has lasted for many generations. He mentioned it himself in the Colonial period as you say.

Then it died, but was born again after the revolution in the early s when we were really looking for nationalist stories.

Ever since then it's lived in one form or another, right up to the Disney movie and even today.

pocahontas and john smith relationship

I think the reason it's been so popular—not among Native Americans, but among people of the dominant culture—is that it's very flattering to us. That whole idea makes people in white American culture feel good about our history. Before she could return to Virginia, she fell ill. She died in England, possibly of pneumonia or tuberculosis, and was buried at St.

pocahontas and john smith relationship

George's Church on March 21, He was brought to Powhatan's home at Werowocomoco. The accounts of what happened next vary from source to source. In a letter written to Queen Anne, John Smith told the story of Matoaka throwing herself across his body to protect him from execution at the hands of Powhatan.

The True Story of Pocahontas

It is believed that John Smith was a pretentious man who told this lie to gain notoriety. Wikimedia Matoaka often visited the settlement at Jamestown to help the settlers during times when food was in short supply.

On 13 th April, 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. She kneels, surrounded by family members and colonists.

Did John Smith and Pocahontas have a legitimate relationship? | marsenaedwards's Blog

Her brother Nantequaus turns away from the ceremony. Smith also was not as hot as he seemed in the movie with his blonde hair, fit body, chiseled facial structure, and amazing colonial adventure gear.

Around this age it was normal for girls in her tribe to start puberty, so it is understandable that Disney wanted to portray Pocahontas as a grown woman. She had to carry herself in a manner of a young adult by learning the ways of an older tribal woman. This may also be the reason why John Smith never mentioned Pocahontas as being a little girl because she was very mature for her age. Many historians had disbeliefs on if this actually happened.

Considering that John Smith was a settler, he did not fully understand the customs of the Natives. It was a part of their culture.