Pocahontas

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Pocahontas was the daughter of an Indian chief, Powhatan, and one of the most famous characters in Native American history.

When white men landed at Jamestown in 1607 John Smith was the leader of the colonists . In December of that year Smith was taken prisoner by some Indians. When they wanted to kill him with a club , a 12-year old Indian girl, Pocahontas, rushed to Smith and put her head upon his. She begged her father to spare the man’s life. It is not known if this story is really true or not, but Smith and Pocahontas soon became friends.

 

At first the white settlers had a friendly relationship with the Indians. Pocahontas often visited Jamestown and brought goods which she traded with the white people. When she was 14, Pocahontas married a chief from her tribe and wasn’t seen in Jamestown for about 3 years.

Pocahontas saves the life of Captain John Smith

Pocahontas saves the life of Captain John Smith

 

 

As time went on Powhatan’s Indians saw the white settlers more and more as enemies and fighting broke out between them. Pocahontas was kidnapped by the settlers and held prisoner on board an English ship . The English would free her only if they got back the goods that the Indians had stolen from them. Later on, Pocahontas was moved to another town where she was treated well. During this time she fell in love with the Englishman John Rolfe. She became a Christian, was baptised and named Rebecca. Pocahontas married John Rolfe in 1614.

In 1616 Pocahontas sailed back to London with her husband to help get money for the colonists in Virginia. She made a visit to King James I and the English thought of her as an Indian princess.

When they sailed back to Virginia Pocahontas became very ill. The ship returned to England where she died shortly afterwards. Pocahontas had a son Thomas who went to school in England. Later, he went to America and became an important settler in Virginia.

Pocahontas played an important role in American history. She helped the colonists get food and survive the harsh winters. She was also an important link between the Native Americans and the Englishmen in Virginia.

 

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Words

  • baptise =accept someone as a member of the Christian church
  • character = an interesting person
  • club = a bat
  • colonist = a person who settles in a new colony
  • enemy = a person you fight against
  • free = to set free
  • goods =products
  • harsh = cruel, severe
  • link = a connection between
  • prisoner = a person who is taken somewhere where he or she cannot get away
  • relationship =the way two people or groups feel towards each other
  • rush to = run very fast
  • settler = someone who goes to live in a place where not many people have lived before
  • spare = save
  • survive =to live on after a dangerous situation
  • trade = to buy and sell things
  • treat =act towards someone
  • tribe = a group of people who have the same way of life and the same language. They are ruled by a leader