National Society Colonial Dames of the XVII Century

California State Society

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POCAHONTAS CHAPTER

The Pocahontas Chapter was organized September 26, 1964 and chartered September 23, 1967. The chapter holds its meetings on the 3rd Saturday in January, March, May, September and November.

The chapter is named for Pocahontas who was a Native American woman notable for her association with the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan, the paramount chief of a network of tributary tribal nations in the Tsenacommacah, encompassing the Tidewater region of Virginia. In a well-known historical anecdote, she is said to have saved the life of a captive of the Native Americans, the Englishman John Smith, in 1607 by placing her head upon his own when her father raised his war club to execute him. Some historians have suggested that this story, as told by Smith, is untrue.

Pocahontas was captured by the English during Anglo-Indian hostilities in 1613, and held for ransom. During her captivity, she converted to Christianity and took the name Rebecca. When the opportunity arose for her to return to her people, she chose to remain with the English. In April 1614, she married tobacco planter John Rolfe, and in January 1615, bore their son, Thomas Rolfe.

In 1616, the Rolfes traveled to London. Pocahontas was presented to English society as an example of the "civilized savage" in hopes of stimulating investment in the Jamestown settlement. She became something of a celebrity, was elegantly fêted, and attended a masque at Whitehall Palace. In 1617, the Rolfes set sail for Virginia, but Pocahontas died at Gravesend of unknown causes. She was buried in St George's Church, Gravesend in England, but the exact location of her grave is unknown, as the church has been rebuilt.

If you are interested in Membership in the chapter which meets in the Fresno area, provide your name and email address with your potential ancestor to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century
1300 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036-1595
Phone: (202) 293-1700
Web Site: www.colonialdames17c.org