Local Legends

Did you know that we have a true celebrity buried here, in my hometown?

Disney's Pocahontas

Disney’s Pocahontas

Yup, that there lady you see in the picture? The star of Disney’s Pocahontas?  She was no fictitious character but she was a native American girl, caught up in the Anglo-Native American hostilities in the early 1600’s. While captive, she converted to Christianity and became known as Rebecca, and when the chance came to go back home, she decided to stay with the English. She married John Rolfe, who was a tobacco planter, and they moved to England.

When she came over here, she was almost promoted as a ‘Civilised Savage’, by those hoping to get some more investment for their hometown, the Jamestown settlement.  She became quite a celebrity, and was even invited to Whitehall Palace for a function!

Rebecca a.k.a. Pocahontas

Rebecca a.k.a. Pocahontas

It appears that they were aboard a ship, bound for Virginia, when she fell ill, and they docked in Gravesend, Kent, where she died, of unknown causes.

wpid-20150812_133621.jpgwpid-20150812_133626.jpg

She was buried here under the local church’s chancel in 1617.  We don’t know the exact whereabouts of her grave, as the original church burned down in 1727.  Since then a new church was build in the same spot, St George’s church, and there is a bronze statue to commemorate her life.

St George's Church

St George’s Church

I was unable to go inside the church, as it was closed, but there is an amazing quilted tapestry inside, which shows the story of her life!

Pocahontas 1595 – March 1617

Pocahontas 1595 – March 1617

And what of John Smith?? You know, the blondie in the Disney film?

John Smith and Pocahontas in the Disney film

John Smith and Pocahontas in the Disney film

Well, yes he was real. And there was a connection between him and Pocahontas.  But it appears that the romantic relation that has been conjured up in the Disney film, and others made in the past, was a fantasy of the writers! Firstly, there was no relationship, bar friendship.  She wold come to visit their Jamestown settlement regularly, and brought provisions and helped them, and secondly, if you look at the dates, it would be unlikely that she would have been old enough for any kind of affair with him!

54 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. fancypaperblog
    Mar 22, 2018 @ 17:46:30

    I love that story! A town hear us was the homeplace of the Bronte sisters for a year as their father was reverend in Ireland for a bit. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Gloria
    Mar 22, 2018 @ 15:01:25

    That’s very interesting Ritu!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Losing the Plot
    Mar 22, 2018 @ 13:29:32

    She (and he) turn up in the Lyrics of Fever too,

    Captain Smith and Pocahontas,
    Certainly had a mad affair
    When her Daddy tried to kill him
    She said “Daddy! Don’t you dare – he gives me
    fever”

    Always loved her story

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Shailaja V
    Mar 22, 2018 @ 12:35:43

    I love Pocahontas! How fascinating that she was a real person 🙂 And I love peeking into museums these days. Sign of my growing old, I think 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. angelanoelauthor
    Mar 22, 2018 @ 12:12:05

    I wish i knew more of what brought Pocahontas to want to be “civilized.” Unfortunately, I wonder if her “conversion” was the very thing everyone looked to and said, “see, even she knew we have a better way.” Not that I blame Pocahontas, she could have just been in love and all that. But it does make me curious.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. fattymccupcakes
    Mar 18, 2018 @ 15:59:14

    So interesting, Ritu!! Thanks for sharing your link to this!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. mewhoami
    Aug 21, 2015 @ 21:45:38

    Who would have thought they were real? This is great! Love the history.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. Trackback: My Picks Of The Week #34 | A Momma's View
  9. edwinasepisodes
    Aug 19, 2015 @ 12:48:11

    That is a lovely post Ritu, I enjoyed learning a little more about ‘Pocohantas’.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. amaya911
    Aug 18, 2015 @ 05:23:14

    Reblogged this on Life of an El Paso Woman and commented:

    A very good and interesting post!

    Like

    Reply

  11. amommasview
    Aug 18, 2015 @ 01:17:28

    That’s such an interesting post! Thanks for sharing all of that. I never thought she would be real…

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  12. dray0308
    Aug 18, 2015 @ 00:10:01

    Fantastic history lesson! I was unaware of most of the facts you posted.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. Thumbup
    Aug 17, 2015 @ 22:37:11

    “Pocahontas” was a nickname, meaning “the naughty one” or “spoiled child”. Her real name was Matoaka. The legend is that she saved a heroic John Smith from being clubbed to death by her father in 1607 – she would have been about 10 or 11 at the time.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  14. Thumbup
    Aug 17, 2015 @ 22:35:41

    In March of 1617, the Rolfes boarded a ship to return to Virginia. The ship had only gone as far as Gravesend when Pocahontas fell ill. She was taken ashore, where she died, possibly of pneumonia or tuberculosis. Her funeral took place on March 21, 1617, in the parish of St. George’s.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  15. Thumbup
    Aug 17, 2015 @ 22:30:35

    Reply

  16. Thumbup
    Aug 17, 2015 @ 22:26:35

    Reply

  17. The V-Pub
    Aug 17, 2015 @ 20:48:09

    I believe that Smith was shot and returned to England for treatment. Pocahontas was told he was dead. She later found that not to be true when she traveled to England as the wife of John Rolfe. Just an amazing story and one that should be retold over and over. Thanks for posting this, Ritu!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  18. Erika Kind
    Aug 17, 2015 @ 20:12:02

    Reblogged this on Author Erika Kind and commented:

    For some reason I feel a deep connection to the Native American’s spirit. Ritu just posted a story about Pocahontas who was buried close to where Ritu lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  19. Harmonie
    Aug 17, 2015 @ 20:12:00

    A very interesting post, written in such easy flowing style I was almost disappointed when it ended! I wish more information were available, she seems interesting. And yes, I appreciate the thought you’ve put into writing this! 👏
    Take care ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  20. Erika Kind
    Aug 17, 2015 @ 20:10:12

    You did it! Yes, thank you, Ritu! I will reblog it. I was shocked to see that Pocahontas died so very young. I did not know about that. That is sad. Again thanks for this post, sis!!! 😘😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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