Pocahontas was a member of the Algonquian group of Native Americans.One day the Pamunkey tribe brought a white man named John Smith to Powhatan's village. Chief Powhatan felt that danger might come from the white men living on his land. The white men carried fire-sticks. Pocahontas thought the Indians should not be afraid of John Smith. She thought he looked like a friend.
Powhatan said that the Indians must enjoy a feast before talking. After the feast John Smith tried to tell the Chief that his people had come in peace and that there was much land to share. Powhatan said Smith must die. As one of the warriors raised a stone club to kill Smith, Pocahontas asked her father to give Smith to her. In Pocahontas's tribe women could save a prisoner by asking for the prisoner to be given to them. Powhatan let Pocahontas have Smith because he thought the white men might attack if they killed him.
Powhatan's tribe adopted Captain Smith and gave him an Indian name Nantaquoud. They listened to him talk about his King and homeland.
After many days Powhatan picked twelve braves to take Captain Smith to his people in Jamestown. The people of Jamestown were growing sick because they had little to eat. They did not know how to find food. Pocahontas helped John Smith's people by bringing food. The settlers sent bells, mirrors, bright copper, and beads for the food. Powhatan was not pleased with these gifts because he wanted guns.
The English King wanted to make friends with Powhatan. He sent gifts of a huge bed, a red silk cape, and a copper crown. When Powhatan refused to give the settlers at Jamestown any more food Captain Smith and his men lifted their muskets. The Chief was angry. He gave the settlers food, but he said he would not forget this.
Pocahontas heard her father say they would attack the white men after dark. Pocahontas ran through the woods to warn Captain Smith of her father's plan. As time went by the setters in Jamestown learned how to hunt and plant the fields from the friendly Indians, but Powhatan had forbidden Pocahontas to visit Jamestown.
Captain Smith returned to England when he was badly wounded from a gunpowder explosion. The Indians moved deeper into the woods that winter so they would be away from the white man. The people of Jamestown had a hard winter. They went from 500 to 600 people to only 60 by the end of the winter.
Two small boats came in May to Jamestown. After seeing the empty houses they had decided to abandon Jamestown. The people changed their minds on June 7 when a large ship came with food, supplies, and new settlers.
In the next few years more and more settlers came to Jamestown. The settlers brought supplies and craftsmen to help them in the new land. Pocahontas went up the Potomac River to another Indian village. Captain Samuel Argall was the new leader at Jamestown.
In December 1613 Captain Argall sailed up the Potomac River to a far Indian village to trade with the Indians. Pocahontas. He traded a copper kettle for Pocahontas. The colonists hoped that Powhatan would trade the Indian prisoners and the guns he had taken for Pocahontas. Powhatan sent back many prisoners and promised friendship and corn, but he did not send back the guns. Captain Argall did not send Pocahontas back to her father because of this.
Even though she was held hostage, Pocahontas was free to go from house to house. She was given a warm room, pretty clothes, and food to eat. Pocahontas fell in love with John Rolfe. In April they were married.
For the next eight years the white men and the Indians were at peace. Pocahontas and John were very happy. They had a baby and named him Thomas. Rolfe invented new ways of planting and curing tobacco. He planned to send the tobacco to the Old World. In 1616 John and Pocahontas sailed to England to talk to King James about the sale of tobacco in England.
The people in England loved Pocahontas and followed her everywhere. Pocahontas ran into John Smith while in England. She was so upset she could not talk for hours. She thought Smith had been dead. Pocahontas missed her home. England had so much fog and sickness. Rolfe decided it was time to take Pocahontas home. On her way home Pocahontas died at the age of only 22. John and Thomas returned to the New World to live.