November 15, 2001

A Child of Peace

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Because she was the daughter of a powerful chief, Pocahontas was an ideal person to help reduce tensions between the Native Americans and the English colonists in Virginia. 

Her own people loved and respected her, and she made many friends among the newcomers.

After John Smith, the Virginia governor, returned to Jamestown in 1608 following his exploration of the Chesapeake Bay, Pocahontas acted as a “go-between,” or intermediary. 

For instance, Pocahontas often brought food and gifts to the colonists. She played an even more important role in relations between the Indians and the colonists. Do you know what else she did?

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In 1608, Pocahontas helped negotiate the return of Powhatan prisoners held by the colonists.

 Pocahontas was only about 12 years old when she did this! 

During the next two years, she continued to come between her father, Chief Powhatan, and members of her tribe in protecting the colonists. 

Despite her best efforts, tensions between the Powhatans and the English grew, as Powhatan’s warriors grew furious over the English taking their land. 

Finally, war broke out among the two peoples, in a conflict that would last for five years.

RELATED STORIES


Pocahontas Profile -“Pocahontas Accomplished a Lot in her Short Life” 
The Princess Prisoner – “Living in a New World”
The Real Pocahontas – “Pocahontas Meets the English” 

Source:Library of Congress

Native American Women
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