la vera storia di Pocahontas – Pocahontas and Captain John Smith

Pocahontas is the nickname of   Matoaka,  the beautiful and lively daughter of Powhatan, chief of that part of America the English then called Virginia. The meaning of Pocahontas is  little wanton (= scatenata) as she was  hard to control. When she was born, her mother went  to her own village  to raise Pocahontas as it was the custom of the tribe. Then Pocahontas left her mother to go to school  in her father’s capital, with her older brothers and sisters. Pocahontas was her father’s favourite, the apple of his eye.

Pocahontas is famous because she saved the life of Captain John Smith.  He had arrived in Virginia with about a hundred other settlers in April 1607. They had built a fort near the James River and  had numerous encounters with the American Indians . In 1607 Smith was captured by a hunting party (= gruppo di cacciatori)  led by Powhatan’s younger brother and was going to be executed when – as Captain Smith himself wrote to Queen Anne –   “… at the minute of my execution she [Pocahontas] hazarded (= rischiò) the beating out of her own brains (= Che le fosse schiacciata la testa da un masso)  to save mine; and not only that, but so prevailed with her father, that I was safely conducted to Jamestown”
Pocahontas really established a close (= strata) friendship with  Smith and the Jamestown colonists. She also saved them during a period of famine (= carestia) bringing them food . Unfortunately, as the colonists expanded their settlement, conflicts arose (= sorsero) between them and the Indians. In late 1609, Captain Smith was injured (= ferito) by a gunpowder explosion and went back to England to be cured. The English told the American Indians that Smith was dead. Pocahontas believed and only knew the truth several years later, during a journey to England as wife of John Rolfe, a settler she had met when captured by English people. She had fallen  in love with him  and they had  got married. Her new name was Lady Rebecca Rolfe. She gave birth to a son, Thomas. This marriage  brought six years of peace between the Jamestown colonists and Powhatan’s tribes,  the Peace of Pocahontas. Her tour of England was triumphant (1616), she was welcomed as a visiting princess and met  King James and Queen Anne. Her portrait was made and published.  But only a year after she died for an English disease (=malattia)  and was buried in the church at Gravesend, England. She was about  21.