Monday, April 3, 2017

Chapter Review: Did Pocahontas Save John Smith?

Unsolved Mysteries of American History by Paul Aron, Barnes and Noble Books, New York, 1997.
About the only source that Pocahontas saved John Smith from her father, Powhatan, comes from John Smith himself.  There are no other first party corroborating statements.  The statement wasn't released until some years after the events.  there was a great age difference between Smith and Pocahontas.  However Smith never claimed the relationship was romantic.  It seems Pocahontas helped many with her influence and generosity.  However parts the the story don't make sense.  The author draws the conclusion that to Smith, maybe things appeared like Pocahontas saved him, while instead it may have been part of an adoption into the tribe ritual.  That Smith needed a sponsor.  This would have been a traditional death and rebirth ritual.  Smith would have felt intimidated by Powhatan, and grateful to Pocahontas.  
As for me, I accept the story as written by Smith, because I like the story, and I don't want to take away from the bravery of Pocahontas. 

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