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Representation of Pocahontas. Source: likoper / Adobe Stock.

The Heartbreaking True Story of Pocahontas (Video)


The true story of Pocahontas is far from the fairy tale depicted in the Disney movie. Pocahontas, whose real name was Matoaka, was the daughter of Powhatan, the powerful chief of the Powhatan Confederacy. When English settlers arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, Pocahontas was around 11 or 12 years old. She played a role in the relationship between the settlers and her father by acting as a liaison and interpreter. However, her relationship with the English would ultimately lead to her downfall.

Pocahontas was kidnapped by the English in 1613 and held for ransom. During her captivity, she was converted to Christianity and given the name Rebecca. She eventually married John Rolfe, an English settler, in 1614, but their relationship was far from a romantic fairy tale. Pocahontas was taken to England as a symbol of the success of the English colonization, but she became ill and died at the age of 21. The true story of Pocahontas is a tragic one of exploitation, cultural clashes, and ultimately, the loss of a young woman's life.

Top image: Representation of Pocahontas. Source: likoper / Adobe Stock.

By Joanna Gillan

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Joanna Gillan is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. 

Joanna completed a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) degree in Australia and published research in the field of Educational Psychology. She has a rich and varied career, ranging from teaching... Read More

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