Do you know the true story of Pocahontas (Rebecca Rolfe)?

Photo by Kenney Studios. Used by permission. © Teresa Kenney.
The body of Pocahontas is laid to rest under this statue of her at Saint George’s church, Gravesend, Kent, England.

Many people have seen the popular Disney movie, Pocahontas. But, here is the true story of an Indian princess and the English settlers at Jamestown.

In 1607 the English established a colony at Jamestown, Virginia. But the harsh winters were more difficult than the settlers had planned and they soon found that their supplies were becoming dangerously low.

One day, during 1608, Captain John Smith and some of his men were captured by Native Americans while they were out searching for food. Captain Smith's men were all killed and he was taken to Chief Powhatan. The mighty Indian Chief ordered that Smith be killed. At the last moment, the Chief's daughter, 13 year old Pocahontas, pleaded with her father and saved Captain Smith's life.

Pocahontas

A few years later, Pocahontas would once again save the lives of many in Jamestown by warning the settlers of an Indian attack. She made friends with the settlers and was soon trusted by them.

In 1613, when she was 18 years old, Pocahontas accepted Jesus into her life and was baptized. She also took the “Christian” name of Rebecca to mark the beginning of her new life.

Pocahontas (1595?-1617)

Soon after her baptism, Pocahontas fell in love and married a Jamestown settler named John Rolfe. They had a child named Thomas (1615). In 1616, John, Rebecca and their son all traveled to England where they were given an audience from the royal court. As they prepared to return home to Virginia in 1617, Pocahontas became ill and died. She was buried in England.

Pocahontas will always be remembered as the Indian princess who risked her own life to save Captain John Smith and the settlers of Jamestown. But the really notable aspect of her short life is that she was the first Native American in the new world to be converted and accept Jesus Christ.

Author: Mark Van Bebber of Films for Christ

Copyright © 1995, 2003, Films for Christ, All Rights Reserved

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