Who Killed Pocahontas?

I loved this little bit from History Confidential by Bacall. Do enjoy!

We all have heard or seen a movie about the notorious love affair between Pocahontas and John Smith. Well the story didn’t quite happen the way we’ve heard or seen in movies. Legend has it that Pocahontas saved John Smith from native warriors who were about to club him to death. The story goes that Pocahontas ran to John Smith, cradled his head in her arms, and the warriors let him live. This is questioned by historians as this story is nowhere to found in John Smith’s journals. As far as them having a love affair shortly after this incident may not be true, as Pocahontas is believed to have been just twelve at the time (1607) and John Smith was twenty nine. What apparently happened though was that Pocahontas developed a girl crush on the dashing John Smith. It is known that Pocahontas did visit the Jamestown settlement frequently. Evidently she had a crush on him as she stopped visiting the settlement when John Smith went back to England in 1609.


In 1612 Pocahontas was taken captive by the Englishmen. She asked about John Smith and was told he had died. She was told this lie by John Rolfe who unbeknownst to her wanted her for himself. And in 1614 John Rolfe married her, she learned English, and was given the Christian name of Rebecca. In 1616 she accompanied her husband to England and it is here she finds out that John Smith is in fact alive, is married and has several children. Her husband John lied to her.  John Smith went to see Rebecca and according to a note in his journal, it was a quick visit, and Rebecca was not well. He said: “After a modest salutation, without any word, she turned about, obscured her face as not seeming well contented and in that humor…we all left her…”

The day she, her son and husband were going to return to America, at the age of 21, Rebecca lapsed into a coma and died. But what killed her? Was it a broken heart? Did her husband speak the truth when he said Rebecca developed a fever the same day of her departure? Or was she murdered by a husband who became consumed with jealously? We will never know. The answer lies in an unmarked grave in St. George Church cemetery, located some twenty miles east of London.

Published in: on August 6, 2009 at 10:04 am  Comments (1)  
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