Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review: Pocahontas: A Life in Two Worlds

Pocahontas: A Life in Two Worlds by Victoria Garret Jones, Sterling Publishing, New York, 2010.
This is a fascinating book telling the life of Pocahontas, but also the history of Jamestown, Captain John Smith and well as her father Powhatan and his people.  The relationship between the Native Americans and the people at Jamestown varies from year to year.  It is very likely the settlement would not have taken hold without the help of the Native Americans.  However there were times when they were at open war. 
Pocahontas befriended John Smith and the people at Jamestown.  She intervened on several occasions in their behalf, saving John Smith’s life at least a couple of times.  She once saved his head from being bashed in, and another time warned him and his men of Powhatan’s intent to kill them so they could escape.  Even so, John Smith was made an adoptive son, and adoptive brother of Pocahontas.  However, he returned to England after being badly burned by gun powder.  For her part, Pocahontas thought he had been killed.
Pocahontas was tricked and taken hostage.  This was to manipulate her father into trading with the Jamestown settlers, as they relied on food from the American Indians.  During this time, Pocahontas converted to Christianity.  However, if she had her gull choice, one has to wonder if she would have converted.  She married John Rolfe.  With him she traveled to England, and was honored as a princess. 
However, the moist weather wasn’t good for her health.  They decided to return, but her health failed her.  They began their journey, but took to land in Gravesend because of the health of Pocahontas.  Here she would pass away.  Her son Thomas was also ill, but he would survive.  He would become a tobacco farmer like his father, using lands inherited form his grandfather Powhatan.

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