It should come as no surprise to the reader that the true story of Pocahontas bears little resemblance to the Disney retelling.  The fictional Disney version revolves around a romance with Englishman John Smith that never happened.  Let’s examine the real story of this Native American Princess.

Birth and Patriarchal Upbringing

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Like, so boring and stuff

Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan, an Algonquian chief in Virginia around 1596 when she was born.  She grew up under a strong patriarchy, and her father had many wives who gave the chief one child each.  Under the guidance of her tribe, she was educated in the female activities of gathering firewood, foraging for food, farming, constructing shelters, cooking, collecting water, making mats, baskets, silverware, and platters.  Women were taught the importance of bearing and rearing children.

Arrival of the English

In 1607, when Pocahontas was around the age of 9 to 11, English settlers landed at Jamestown, Virginia.  Captain John Smith, one of the leaders, began exploring the Chesapeake Bay and mapping the surrounding lands.  Smith is credited with saving the colony through his strong leadership, and he is credited with training the colonists in useful tasks such as farming, construction, and basic labor, and instituting rules such as “he that will not work shall not eat.”

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Was Smith the first US case of friendzoning?

Smith had an impressive background, including sailing away from home at age 16 after the death of his father, serving as a mercenary in the army of Henry IV of France, engaging in piracy in the Mediterranean, knighted by the Prince of Transylvania for beheading 3 Turks in single combat duels, and being sold into slavery, before escaping through northern Africa to return to England before sailing for the New World.

Smith apparently mutineed en route to the Americas, and was scheduled for execution until the company landed, and unsealed orders from the Virginia Company designated him one of the leaders.

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Completely fictional scene from “The New World”

Smith was captured by the Powhatan, and there is some controversy over a supposed sparing of his life by Pocahontas.  Smith claims his head was forced between two stones, when Pocahontas rushed over and placed her body over Smith’s, saving his life.  Some claim this never happened.  Some claim this was merely a ceremonial ritual and Smith’s life was never in danger.  And some claim that Smith fabricated the story in order to white knight for Pocahontas and make her appear virtuous to the English.

Today, many historians doubt the incident ever happened, despite it being the central plot to the Disney film, but regardless, Smith was released.

Attention Whoring Child

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Virginia statue depicting Pocahontas

Pocahontas was actually her nickname, which meant “naughty one” or “spoiled child” and indeed she was.  Pocahontas (at this time no older than 12) would frequently visit the English, bringing food, and cartwheeling around in front of the English men wearing little to no clothing.

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This, only younger and with less clothing

Food grew scarce, and more English arrived by boat.  Chief Powhatan grew suspicious and worried of the demands of the English and stopped providing food to them.

The English, desperate for food, arranged a trade of weapons for food; the negotiations went poorly, and Chief Powhatan decided to kill Smith, but Pocahontas escaped and warned him, foiling the plan and dooming her people.

War soon broke out, and in 1613, around the age 15-17, Pocahontas was captured easily, when the English lured her onto a boat to look at fancy trinkets, and it sailed away with her on board.

In captivity, she quickly adopted the ways of the English, taking the name Rebecca and being baptized as a Christian.

She was treated generously, much like a present day Instagram celebrity would be, by the English, who knew her well, and she soon rejected the ways of her people.  During a confrontation between English and Powhatan in 1614, Pocahontas was permitted to speak to her people, and told them she preferred living with the English.

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I’m such a special princess!

That same year, the first American interracial marriage occurred when Pocahontas wed Englishman John Rolfe (again the John Smith fantasy never happened).  The following January, Pocahontas gave birth to a son.

The Powhatan were raided and attacked by the English, who killed their Queen and drowned their children in the river.  The tribes closest to the English fort were wiped out and never recovered.

When Pocahontas married Rolfe, the two nations ended their warring, giving the English time to build up their forces and eventually destroy the Powhatan.  Pocahontas’s father died, and her uncle who took over, was later murdered by the English.

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Tell me about these port-o-potties you have in England

But none of this bothered Pocahontas much, as she was far away in the Dubai of the 1600s, London.  She left for England in 1616, where she was treated like a celebrity.  Now known as Lady Rebecca Rolfe, she was sent around the country on tours, and attended parties with King James I and Queen Anne.

While technology prevented her from distributing an internet sex tape, the “naughty one / spoiled child” with a penchant for frolicking around in the nude likely had other ways of retelling her story.  She died the following year at age 21 from unknown causes; likely a disease to which her body had no auto-immune defense.

Fictional Version

Just for fun, we’ll briefly examine the Disney version, as there are lessons to be learned here also.  In the 1995 Disney film, English Captain John Smith arrives in Virginia just in time to save the Powhatan princess from being wed to a brave warrior from her tribe.

Pocahontas rebels because she is a free spirit, too independent to be tied down by marrying a masculine warrior.  Pocahontas elopes with her girlfriends into the wilderness, where they become so ecstatic from the concentrated estrogen that they hallucinate and visit a talking tree and woodland critters who tell her to seek out adventure, and tell her that fresh foreign cock will soon by arriving by sea.

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Brave, masculine, strong, respected, but still not good enough for our special snowflake

Smith arrives, builds a settlement, and comes across Pocahontas in the forest.  They meet and flirt.  The Powhatan come across the English and engage them in a skirmish.  Chief Powhatan warns his daughter Pocahontas of the invading English and forbids her to go near them.  She immediately rebels and makes out with Smith in the forest, with her jaded warrior lover Kocoum looking on from a distance.  He attacks Smith, but is killed by an English crewmate.

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I caused the death of my last lover before he tried the goods; want to be next?

Smith is captured by the Powhatan and before he is executed, Pocahontas intervenes and begs her father to save his life and reconcile with the English.  The chief agrees, but the English governor tries to kill the Chief, wounding John Smith in the process.  The wounded Smith returns home for medical treatment.  He begs Pocahontas to join him, but she isn’t interested in a relationship; just destroying the lives of two men who risked their lives for her, so she sends John Smith back to England alone.

Nothing New Under The Sun

Ancient societies, both Native American and European, knew the dangers of letting women freely explore their dreams.  In the case of Pocahontas, she first disrupted her family by leaving her father, shunning the male warriors who would have courted her, and caused the destruction of her entire tribe because she wanted to be free and explore her feelings.  In the end, she died at the age of 21 because her body was not well adjusted to European diseases.

While today, modern medicine, the social welfare state, and government laws protect women who rebel against traditional ideas, supporting single moms and their myriad children with a variety of special services provided by the taxes of hard working men, women are largely free from the personal repercussions of their behavior.

But do not mistake the end result of unfettered attention whoring, unlimited freedom, and shunning of traditional roles and values.  The story ends the same way–with the end of that civilization.  Modern feminism is toying with an experiment that has always ended with disastrous results.  May we be wise enough to stop it before our culture is wiped out.

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