And consequently pregnant before her marriage: "Mattaponi oral history is adamant that Thomas was born out of wedlock," likely fathered by and named after said Dale And though it is hard to say whether Pocahontas really loved Rolfe or not, "it is doubtful" Conversely, "it is equally problematic to discern whether Rolfe loved Pocahontas" He had "much prestige to gain" from marrying a princess, as well as much greed to satisfy from the Powhatan secrets for growing tobacco And soon "tobacco became like gold," insuring that "the English colonists took more and more Powhatan land by force, killing and enslaving larger numbers of Powhatan people" There's no whisper in our storybooks of such dire fruits of the Rebecca and John romance.
It is there, too, that she unexpectedly meets Smith again, having been previously told of his death, with such agitation that our stories are fueled by speculation that, as Custalow says, she was a "slighted lover" angry that he left without a good-bye But in England according to Mattaponi sacred oral history Pocahontas "saw through their lies" Her "fury" and "rage" at Smith stems from the "revelation" that "Smith had betrayed her father's trust, and her people were going to suffer terribly because of it" This revelation turned Pocahontas into a loose cannon, so to speak, and the Virginia leaders feared a Pocahontas returning to the New World would be a danger to the future success of the colony because she had "new insights" into their "political strategy" to subjugate the Powhatan.
And "so they plotted to murder her" The coup de gras of the Mattaponi sacred oral history. But murder. So Pocahontas died, not of tuberculosis as our stories speculate, which would have been evident for days-weeks-months, but, after a dinner in Captain Argall's cabin at Gravesend on the return voyage, of poison -- a likelihood that Pocahontas confided to her sister in her death convulsions One wonders if this is another example of white establishment erasure of Native American perspectives. But the book has had its beating. In a review of books marking the Jamestown Quadricentennial, J.
Frederick Fausz finds it "flawed," unable to provide such facts as "the identity of Pocahontas's rapist, or the name of her first son," characterized by the "holier-than-thou bias of victimization" exemplified in such passages as "the Powhatan people lived the principles of Christianity more than those who professed faith in it," prompted and thus tainted, I suppose, by the current controversy over the King William Reservoir dam along the Mattaponi River which is ironic in that it charges the Mattaponi with using the Pocahontas story to carry out a personal agenda, much like the other white representations of the tale have done , and seemingly lumped with those books by "opportunistic popular writers" who take advantage of the cultural moment and blur fact and fiction.
It is important to look at different perspectives on Pocahontas's story, but it is also important to recognize that most likely no one side is totally accurate. What matters is that the Native American voice is heard and is a part of the mix when examining the story of Pocahontas. Some reviewers chose to focus on this aspect of the tale's contribution to the narrative rather than share in Fausz's skepticism.
In the American Indian Culture and Research Journal , for instance, Lisa Heuvel identifies with Custalow's efforts to "[take] back history" in rewriting the Pocahontas tale through a Native American lens: "there are many sides to history, and some contest much of the colonial Virginia saga schoolchildren have grown up with. This narrative exemplifies how specific alternative histories reside in different cultures and can produce much different portraits of historical figures.
Pocahontas is a symbol of peace, but she also exposes the treachery committed by the English against the Native American people. Custalow's True Story is hardly the happy fairy tale Pocahontas has come to be synonymous with in America today. True Story is not meant to entertain but to serve as a record of the atrocities the Native Americans suffered as a people.
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Whatever else Custalow hoped to accomplish in publishing this book, above all True Story serves to pass on this vital history. Curtis Tayloe, Press's first love, has carried a torch for her, but their lives took different paths.
Press must work through her revived feelings for Curtis and her tribe's distrust of her presence on the reservation. When she is threatened, then forced to run for her life, she knows there is more trouble on the reservation than a bombing. Tribal traditions, the ancient gods, and the most sacred of all places demand that she think, for the first time in too many years, like a Mattaponi if she is to unmask Danny's killer and save her own life. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. By Phoebe Farris. Henry Brueckner, The Marriage of Pocahontas , , oil on canvas, 50" x 70".
Bruecknerm whose dates are unknown, is remarkably obscure for a 19th century artist whose main work, above, was vigorously marketed. A pamphlet to sell this print depicts the marriage in romantic, flowery terms.
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The presiding minister is described as Alexander Whitaker, and behind him to the left sits the acting governor Sir Thomas Dale. Keller invented the scenes, drawing on the written narrative. In foreground left, Iopassus and his wife trick Pocahontas center into visiting Captain Samuel Argall's ship, center right. The Indian village in the background was burned in during negotiations for Pocahontas' return.
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Image Courtesy of Virginia Historical Society. Courtesy William and Mary Digital Archives.
Meet the State-Recognized Virginia Indian Tribes
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