Pioneering Women and Early Government Leaders

Pocahontas

a blue 5-cent stamp with a drawing of Pocahontas in European clothing, notably a top hat and ruffled collar, in the center.
The Pocahontas stamp was issued in 1907.

The story of Pocahontas (c. 1595-1617) remains one of the most popular legends in American history. The daughter of a Powhatan chieftain, Pocahontas was friendly with the nearby English settlers in Jamestown. She frequently delivered food to the English and worked as an emissary between the groups. She is most famously known for the legendary tale in which she saved John Smith’s life after his capture by members of her tribe, protecting him with her body and begging for his life to be spared. In reality, Pocahontas was abducted by colonists in 1613, and her later marriage to tobacco planter John Rolfe provided numerous years of peace between the settlers and natives. She and Rolfe later moved to England, where she lived until 1617 when she died at the age of twenty-one.1

1) See Sarah J. Stebbins, “Pocahontas: Her Life and Legend,” accessed April 21, 2022, https://www.nps.gov/jame/learn/historyculture/pocahontas-her-life-and-legend.htm.