Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pocahontas again: “If we would live she wished us to be gone....”

Whatever happened between John Smith and Pocahontas, and what happened to her when her father found out, are unanswered questions, but Indian/English relations since the “love dance” had deteriorated. In the winter of 1608, Pocahontas heard that her father secretly planned to kill Smith when the English captain and his men ventured into Indian lands to trade for food. While the English waited for Powhatan’s arrival, Pocahontas slipped out on a cold winter night to warn Smith. As he wrote later:

For Pocahontas his [Powhatan’s] dearest jewel and daughter, in that darke night came through the irksome woods and told our Captaine [Smith] great cheer [food and drink] should be sent us by and by; but Powhatan and all the power he could make, would after come kill us all, if they that brought it could not kill us with our own weapons when we were at supper. Therefore if we would live she wished us to be gone. Such things as she delighted in he [Smith] would have given her; but with the tears running down her cheeks she said she durst not be seen to have any: for if Powhatan should know it, she were but dead, and so she ran away by her self as she came.
Thanks to Pocahontas, Smith and his men escaped.
Eight years would pass before John Smith and Pocahontas saw each other again.

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