Friday, October 24, 2014

The Double Life of Pocahontas Alyssa Buren
By Jean Fritz            Composition 3
General Publishing Co. 1983
49 pages
“Yah ha ha Tewittaw Tewiitaw.” This means “Each Death, another gun!” The Native Americans called this out every time they saw an Englishmen after they attacked Jamestown when John Smith had returned to England for a short while. They had killed many English during this time. By the Spring of 1610, a population of 500 was down to sixty from sickness, Native American killings, and hungar.
In 1610, Pocahontas was fourteen and she was old enough to be married. She married Captain Kocoum, which is all that is known about him. On May 23rd, 1610, 150 more people came to Jamestown that were suppose to already had made it, but their ship was blown off track. The settlers tried to leave Jamestown, but when sailing away, met with other English ships coming to help and return to the colony. Sir Thomas Dale came in 1611 to be the governor and he ruled by terror and always attacked the Native Americans.
Two fellow Native Americans helped Captain Argall in a sneaky plot to get Pocahontas on his boat. They got Pocahontas on their and took her captive to Jamestown. The settlers tried turning her into a Christian. Powhatan finally sent some broken guns and seven captives hoping to get Pocahontas back, but they knew he had more guns. John Rolfe had begun helping the priest with Pocahontas, and started falling in love. Pocahontas was converted Christian and given the name Rebecca. John Rolfe finally decided they could get married and on April 5th, 1614, they were married. Pocahontas gave birth to her son, Thomas, a year later.
In, 1616, Pocahontas in her family set sail for England. Pocahontas found out John Smith was alive, but he never came and found her. Pocahontas was attending all sorts of English festivals and parties. Her happiest times were when she has alone with Thomas and Metachanna, her sister. John Smith finally came and visited during winter and she was shocked and angered at first. When she composed herself, she couldn’t quit talking. Pocahontas and her family was setting sail for America, but she was very ill.  Pocahontas died at the age of twenty-one in England. Thomas grew up in England and didn’t go to America until he was twenty.  John Rolfe died in America of natural causes. John Smith died in England at the age of fifty-one and never did return to America.
What would it have been like to be a Native American or Pocahontas during this time? This question always comes to mind when I think about Jamestown and the settlers. The Native American’s whole life changed when the English mistakenly landed in America. The Native American’s land was taken, friends and family were killed, and they fought a never ending battle with the settlers. Pocahontas was thrown in the middle of the mess, because she wanted peace. The settlers took advantage of her when they captured her, knowing her importance to Powhatan. When they took her captive, her whole world changed just, because the settlers thought they would get what they wanted. When Pocahontas was captured, the settlers changed her into a whole different person. They made her a Christian and took her out of what would be her normal clothes and dressed her as a English person. The settlers thought since one person changed they would be able to change all of them into Christians.
The settlers just thought they were all powerful and could do whatever they wanted when they came to America. The landed the Native Americans had lived on for decades, the settlers just thought they had a right to take. If I were a Native American in this time, it would have been very hard to deal with these new people. The new people brought all sorts of weapons and diseases the Native Americans never had dealt with before. The Native Americans were at a disadvantage in their own land. Trying to fight off the settlers with bow and arrows compared to their guns was not a fair fight. The diseases the English brought over were diseases Native Americans never had. Trying to live in your people’s land just got 100 times hard because of the foreigners.
I would recommend this book if you are interested in American History of Jamestown. It gives a different point of view on what went on in Pocahontas’s life through the view of different settlers. The author tells all of these events through the English point of view even though it is about Pocahontas giving it a different twist on the history.

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