13.04.

1613: Young Indian Princess Pocahontas Captured

1613: Young Indian Princess Pocahontas Captured
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ The Baptism of Pocahontas

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 13 April 1613
  • She was the daughter of the great Indian Chief Powhatan, who was the head of the most powerful alliance of Native American tribes in the area where the English colonists disembarked in North America.

On this day in 1613, the English colonists captured the famous Indian princess Pocahontas. 

She was the daughter of the great Indian Chief Powhatan, who was the head of the most powerful alliance of Native American tribes in the area where the English colonists disembarked in North America. This was the coastal area of the ​​present-day U.S. state of Virginia. The father of Pocahontas reigned over the alliance of about 10 to 15 thousand Indians.

The Englishmen captured Princess Pocahontas for ransom. She was young, around the age of 18. They captured her using a trick; they won over one of the lower-ranking local Indian chiefs, whom Pocahontas was visiting, and persuaded him to betray her. Indeed, using the chief and his wife, they were able to lure Pocahontas to board the English ship, and then took her prisoner.

The_Abduction_of_Pocahontas
The Abduction of Pocahontas, engraving by Johann Theodore de Bry (1618)

 

Pocahontas was held captive by the Englishmen for over a year. They demanded from her father to return the English prisoners and western weapons and tools that he previously captured. Her father indeed returned the prisoners, but failed to fulfill the expectations of the English in terms of weapons and tools, so Pocahontas remained in captivity for a long time.

During her captivity she was taught the Christian faith and, it seems, the English language. They baptized her, where she took the Christian name Rebecca. There are some speculations that the young Pocahontas was raped while kept captive, but that is probably not true, because that would have been against the long-term interests of the English.

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