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Fabled Pocahontas buried far from home 400 years ago

March 21, 2017 - UNITED KINGDOM

Pocahontas died 400 years ago in England, an ocean away from her home in North America. Gravesend, the town where the fabled Powhatan Native American woman was buried on Mar 21, 1617, plans a number of commemorative events. The anniversary promises to spawn a new generation of Pocahontas dolls and tales.

Disney makes a popular Pocahontas doll, and the company produced an animated feature length movie about her in 1995, with a sequel five years later. Pocahontas is also a prominent figure in the acclaimed 2005 movie, The New World, about the British colonists in North America.

Gravesend is working on a talking statue project, so that visitors to the Pocahontas statue in the town can use smartphone technology to hear her tell her own story. A new drama about Pocahontas, called Gravesend, is also being created.

Born around 1595, a favorite daughter of the most powerful Native American in Virginia, Pocahontas took a keen interest in the British colonists. In the most popular stories about her, she is a peacemaker between the colonists and the Powhatan Indians of the area, who alternated between friendly trade of food and open warfare.

Pocahontas married English tobacco grower John Rolfe, changing her name to Rebecca Rolfe, and traveled with him to England to promote the colony to investors. Rebecca was celebrated in the highest London society.

She took ill and died as the Rolfes began their return to Virginia.

Pocahontas: her life and legend (National Park Service)

Pocahontas (Biography.com)

Events planned to mark Pocahontas' 400th anniversary (Gravesend Reporter 21 Jun 2016)

Infographic: Pocahontas buried in England 400 years ago (Graphic News)

Date written/update: 2017-01-04