Powhatan's Daughter


Chief Powhatan (d. 1618) was so called because he lead the Powhatan tribe of Virginia; his actual name was Wahunsunacock. His tribe were the first Native Americans encountered by the British settlers of Jamestown.

"Powhatan" is stressed on the last syllable and does not rhyme with "Manhattan," although a rhyming pronunciation is given as a second choice.

Pocahontas was the nickname of Powhatan's daughter. It meant "wanton one" according to William Strachey, who wrote a contemporaneous work (in about 1612 according to Wikipedia, or 1615 according to Nilsen) called The Historie of Travaile into Virginia Brittania. (Strachey's book was reprinted in 2001, and is the source of this section's epigraph).

She supposedly saved Captain John Smith from being murdered by the Powhatans, although it is apparently only a myth that she and he were lovers. She later married John Rolfe, a colonist, and died in London in 1617.

epigraph: make them / wheele, falling on their hands, / turning their heels upwards : describes a cartwheel.

epigraph: naked as she was : does this refer to genuine, total nakedness, or just a state of indecent under-dress by the standards of the colonists?



This page has been edited 3 times. The last modification was made by - MisterMartin MisterMartin on Mar 10, 2008 7:51 am