While Captain John Smith was a prisoner among the Indians of Powhatan's tribe, he made the acquaintance of that chief's daughter, Pocahontas [po-ka-hon'-tas], a little girl of ten or twelve years of age, with whom he was very much pleased.
Years afterwards, he said that Powhatan had at one time determined to put him to death; but when Captain Smith's head was laid upon some stones, and Indians stood ready to beat out his brains, Pocahontas laid her head on his, so that they could not kill Captain Smith without striking her; seeing which, Powhatan let him live.
Captain Smith said nothing about this occurrence in the first accounts of his captivity, and many people think that it never happened.
But it is certain that, whether Pocahontas saved his
life at this time or not, he
was much attached to her
, and she
became very fond of going to Jamestown, where she
played with the boys in the street.
When the settlers were in danger of starving, she
brought them food.
When a messenger was sent from Jamestown to carry an important message to Captain Smith, then in Powhatan's country, she hid the man, and got him through in spite of Powhatan's desire to kill him.
When the Indians intended to kill Captain Smith, she went to his tent at night and gave him warning.
Captain Smith offered her trinkets as a reward, but she refused them, with tears in her eyes, saying that Powhatan would kill her if he knew of her coming there.
These are the stories told of her
in Captain Smith's
And when a number of white men then in the Indian country were put to death, she
saved the life of a white boy named Henry Spelman by sending him away.
When Captain Smith had been in the colony two years, ships came from London with many hundreds of people.
The ships that brought this company to Jamestown in 1609 were under the command of men that were enemies of Captain Smith, who had come to be governor of the colony.
These men resolved to depose John Smith
, so as to get the government of Jamestown into their own hands.
, having been injured by an explosion of gunpowder, consented to go back to England.
enemies sent charges against him.
One of these charges was that he
wished to marry Pocahontas, who was now growing up, and thus to get possession of the colony
by claiming it for the daughter of Powhatan, whom the English regarded as a kind of king.
The colony had every reason to be sorry that Captain Smith was sent away.
The men left in charge managed badly, Powhatan ceased to be friendly, and his
little daughter did not come to see the English people any more.
The people at Jamestown had told Pocahontas that John Smith
saw him alive in England, she
was very much offended.
fell into such a pout that for some time she
would not speak to anybody.
intention of calling Captain Smith her
father, after the Indian plan of adoption.
was greatly petted by the king and queen and all the great people.
The change from a smoky bark hut to high life in England must have been very great, but she
surprised everybody by the quickness with which she
learned to behave rightly in any company.
was much pleased with England, and was sorry to go back.
was ready to sail, she
was attacked by tuberculosis, and died.