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Who really was Pocahontas? Was she like the Indian girl in the Disney movie, who saved her reservation? Yes and no. She was an Indian of the Algonquian Indians. Her father was Powhatan, the chief. Her original name, however was in fact, Matoaka. But Pocahontas mean “playful, frolicsome little girl” and so they nicknamed her that. The meeting and capturing of her acquaintance, and possible first love, John Smith, was in fact true. But, the saving of him may be as made up and make believe as the movie. Many people speculate the authenticity of the “execution and salvation” story, told by Smith. Supposedly, Smith’s Englishmen team landed in Jamestown, 12 miles from the Indian reservation. John Smith was captured and forced to stretch on two flat stones, then out of nowhere, and little Indian girl cam up and put herself on his body as to say, “Kill me instead”. Weather this is true or not, it doesn’t change the rest of her story. After the “saved’ him, Smith and the Indians became friendly for the following year. Smith stayed in Jamestown, and Pocahontas visited him frequently. She carried messages from her father, and other Indians carried food, fur, and then traded hatchets and trinkets.
After a while, Smith’s relationship with the Powhatas worsened. Pocahontas’s visits started to lessen, and in 1806, Smith was injured, and had to go back to England.
Pocahontas went on with her life though, she married an Indian “Pryvate Captyne” named Kocoum in 1610. Although in 1614, she fell in love with an Englishman, John Rolfe. They married and she got baptized. They went to London with a man named Sir Thomas Dale, and a dozen other Indians. She was presented to King James I, and all of the royal family. John Smith, the man who she had not seen in eight years, was also in London at the time. They met, and talked about the past, but at first she couldn’t speak, she was overcome with emotion. This was their last meeting.
After 6 months, Ralf and his family wanted to go back to Virginia, but unfortunately, Pocahontas didn’t make it. She was ill from pneumonia.
Pocahontas affected society, she was a compassionate girl, and saw to it that the colonists got food. She was also known to have saved lives of certain colonists. John Smith wrote that Pocohontas was “ the instrument to pursurve this colony from death, famine and utter confusion.”
I would consider her to be a hero to the lives she saved, and a role model for someone who helps out someone without asking for anything back. She doesn’t really affect us today, unless you know about her, and when you do, your outlook and accomplishments with life seems so little compared to her great achievements.
I have learned a lot from reading about her, and her life. I have learned that she was a REAL person, and not some little Indian girl in love with a strong, Englishman, like the movie. She is said to be an enthusiastic young girl, a lot like me, and she is respected for that. I respect her for her compassion and heart, and I think everyone should, because behind that love story, there is a honest, innocent, loving woman.