Pocahontas After the Movie Ends

The end of Disney’s Pocahontas leaves us with John Smith sailing off into the sunset with Pocahontas looking after him, but then what happens? You could watch Pocahontas II, but that’s about as historically accurate as the first movie, and the songs aren’t nearly as memorable.

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Unfortunately, there is even less directly sourced information on the end of Pocahontas’s life than the beginning and much of what is reported to have happened is estimation. This leaves room for multiple versions of the story of what ultimately happens to the woman.  Unlike the Disney version, Pocahontas converts to Christianity (whether willingly or not is debatable) while captive in Jamestown and marries a windower, John Rolfe. Here she takes the name Rebecca Rolfe. Within a few years of marriage, Pocahontas has a son named Thomas.

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Pocahontas and her family traveled to England where she mingled in London Society, even reported to have met King James I himself. After months in England, Pocahontas and John Smith finally reunite in what is described by Smith to be an awkward and cold meeting to say the least. Before leaving England though, she had a portrait engraving done by Simon van de Passe.
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On their return trip to Virginia, Pocahontas died at Gravesend. Her son Thomas was left behind in England. There is very little written by witnesses of her death beyond that she died,but disease is one of the suspected culprits, namely the “bloody flux.” She was buried at Gravesend and believed to have been later moved to a mass grave. However, archaeologists have failed so far to find what are believed to be her remains. While her bones may be lost forever, her legacy (accurate or not) is all but lost.

Source: Roundtree, Helen C., Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough, Charlottesville: University of Oklahoma Press, 2005.

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