Saturday, February 6, 2016

Pocahontas's Descendants

This statue of Pocahontas is at Jamestown, and a replica of it is in England at St. George’s, where she died.

More on Pocahontas from JAMESTOWN: THE NOVEL:

         “And Thomas?” Temperance said after a pause. “Where is he?”
         “I left him in England,” Rolfe said sadly. “At the time, I thought Virginia would be no place for a two-year-old with no mother, so I sent Matachanna and Tomocomo to take him to my cousin in London.” He sighed. “I also thought that if I brought him back here, Powhatan might want him raised as an Indian, and there might be trouble. So I left him, but I already wish I had kept him with me,” he said ruefully.

Pocahontas’s only child, Thomas Rolfe, did come back to Virginia. He married, and had one child, a daughter, who, in her turn, married, and had one child, a son. . . . So there is a line of descendants from Pocahontas, and many more who claim to be related to her.

Without Pocahontas and her charming ways, Indian-English relations in early Virginia might have been disastrous. Her marriage to the Virginia colonist John Rolfe (along with her conversion to Christianity) was a cultural triumph. She was not a princess, but when she visited London, she fascinated the English, who treated her like a celebrity.
If Pocahontas/Mistress Rebecca Rolfe had not died while still in her twenties, what Thomas Jefferson told a group of Indians many years later might have come to pass: “You will mix with us by marriage,” he said, “your blood will run in our veins, and will spread with us over this great island.”

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