Ania Johnson Professor Plata History 1218-03 February 23

Ania Johnson
Professor Plata
History 1218-03
February 23, 2018

The book: Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma represents a difficult piece of history that informs the readers about Pocahontas lifestyle and states the fact that Pocahontas’s life was only symbolized by other historians in the past. Pocahontas could not state her point of view on her lifestyle, which puts her in a position to have her life based on different publications which means that most people do not know what to believe. I think the author’s thesis of the book for the Pocahontas was her attachment with the English and her development of life. From a different perspective, another thesis can be that the English were involved with the Powhatan and their plan to use the culture and then dispose of it when done.

Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma is a simple review of history. The beginning of the book talks about the arrival of English, and culture of the Powhatan and how they operate. Pocahontas was only nine years old with only one parent. Her mother was out of the picture, but her father was the chief of inhabitant residents and villages. The book mentions the arrival of the English in 1603, and it also talks about the arrival of Don Luis and the Spanish, but the book does not describe as much about Don Luis and the Spanish. Afterwards, the readers were told from the book that the name “Pocahontas” means “little playful one” or “mischief”.

As the chapters get into more detail, we as readers are told that the natives were different, but not totally different from the Europeans. The author also tells us that the Europeans felt that the women of the tribes need to be saved due to their work in the fields within the village. In 1606, captain John Smith came to the village when the English prepared for the Virginia campaign. The way the book talks about John Smith, the idea that I get from the book states that John Smith has multiple stories to tell about how he was captured more than once and being saved more than once by a women who he falls for. The reason for the English and the John Smith appearance was to improve the use of land properly, bring the English greater knowledge, improve the native culture, and get there before the Spanish.

Later in the chapter, John Smith is held captive by the Powhatan and persuade them to to kill Smith by trading. With this idea, Smith promises them weapons and could give them a stable cannon. The English cannot survive without food and the natives want weapons so it seemed like a fair deal. Over time, the English were sent to live with the natives to learn about their culture. Pocahontas was sent with the English to learn their lifestyle and language.

Pocahontas was later mentioned being kidnapped by the first Marshall of Virginia, Sir Thomas Dale. Shen then married an English man named John Rolfe. In 1616, Pocahontas declared herself a Christian before starting her life with John. They had two kids and the family would travel to London and experience the truth of English culture. Before returning to Virginia, Pocahontas became seriously sick and died on March 21, 1617 in the Rolfe inn.