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Pocahontas (The Civilization of the American Indian Series) Paperback – February 15, 1980

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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About the Author

Grace Steel Woodward (1899–1987) was the author of numerous books, including The Cherokees and Pocahontas.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Civilization of the American Indian Series (Book 93)
  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press (February 15, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806116420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806116426
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,723,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This is a captivating tale of the Powhatans and their Pocahontas, or Matoaka as she was known. Born the daughter of the powerful Powhatan, it's almost as though she were placed by providence at the juncture of the English and the eastern woodlands Indians.
Just ten when the Jamestown settlers arrived in 1607, she became early known for her cheer and joy in seeking friends amongst the colonists. But clashes came, and her aging father sought to expel the settlers, and almost succeeded, with the help the colonists' starvation and disease. Three years after their arrival, the colony was abandoned, the departing ships at the mouth of the James waiting for the morning tide to carry them to England.
The relief ships pulled into view at that instant, a miraculous event, and Jamestown survived, and in time established a firm foothold in Virginia. Clashes with the Powhatans continued, however, and the colonists captured Pocahontas as a hostage against the relief of the Indian-held English captives. In her captivity, which seems to have been a friendly one, she was converted to Christianity-- the stories of her memorizing the various church liturgies are dear-- and married the young colonist John Rolfe. Her father agreed to abandon his war against the settlers, and indeed touchingly sent a string of fresh water pearls for her wedding and deeded land to Rolfe. There were to be eight years of peace following their union.
The Virginia Company saw advantage to her traveling to London with her new husband, and by then young Thomas Rolfe, their child. They arrived in England in 1616, and she was received as royalty by King James and Queen Ann, and met many of the English notables of the day.
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Format: Paperback
This book might have been titled The Plight of the Virginia Colony, or Powhatan, King of Early Eastern America. It’s as much about those things as it is about the Indian girl. That’s not the author’s fault and pointing it out is not intended as a knock against the book. If you’re interested in a solid history of the beginning of the Virginia colony, this book is for you. But to get back to Pocahontas, if it’s her biography, where is she? The truth is, of course, our information regarding her is sporadic. She disappears for months, even years at a time, and for long stretches of the book, too. The more pertinent question may be, what did she accomplish?

Strip away the legends and the romance, and what do we have? A precocious princess, the daughter of a very powerful king, a strong-willed girl who was born into royalty and who, for better or worse, played a very important role in the earliest history of the settling of the North American continent.

How big of a role did she play, and did she alter the course of American history?

Oftentimes, we view history as following an inevitable course. Historical figures don’t bend history to their will. They only appear to bend it and are seen afterward, to have been carried along by the tide of historical forces. They may move it but only in the direction it would have gone anyway.

So the Virginia Colony wouldn’t have failed without the intervention of Pocahontas, and even if it had failed, North America would still be what it is today.

Or not.

Maybe some country besides England, (Spain, perhaps,) would have settled North America. Implausible? Hard to image? Maybe, but we’ll never know.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book after viewing the movie "The New World" as the movie had spurred my interest in
Pocahontas. She was truly a extraordinary and unique women for her time and the book gave me clear
information the movie did not. I recommend this book, if you have daughters, this is a must read for them!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The best hard bound book on the subject. Easy to read and factual, but without all the erroneous romantisism about John Smith and Pocahontas that typically accompany most writings and movies on the indian princess..
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