Profiles of Famous Women was written by
Michael Cawthra, teacher at Kyffin Elementary School, Golden (CO) and former
Teachers Network web mentor.
March is Women's History Month!
Read about the accomplishments of these famous women.
If you only know her from the movie, then you really don't know her at all. The real Pocahontas, whose name in Algonquin is Matoka, was the daughter of the chief, Pocahontas. She was responsible for the success of the Jamestown colony, but the only time she had anything to do with John Smith was when she saved his life. Pocahontas was only 12 years old when she saved Smith from being clubbed to death. But even this story is not a verified fact.
In 1612, she was taken prisoner by Captain Samuel Argall and was released for English prisoners and materials. At this time, she learned English and was baptized, taking the name Rebecca. She met and married John Rolfe in 1614. In 1616, she went to England and met King James I, and was paraded around as proof that the "wild savages" of the new world could be "civilized". Before she returned to Virginia, she contracted smallpox and died in 1617. She is buried in Gravesend, England.