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February 28, 2014

The World of Pocahontas highlights the 400th anniversary year of the marriage of Pocahontas to John Rolfe

Historic Jamestowne and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation present The World of Pocahontas Initiative, a series of public programs, lectures and an exhibit highlighting the 400th anniversary of the marriage of Pocahontas to Englishman John Rolfe.

The World of Pocahontas Initiative focuses on the events surrounding Pocahontas’ capture, marriage, and voyage to England and provides a special opportunity to explore the cultural interactions between colonists and Native peoples in the emerging Atlantic World of the early 17th century.

Historic Jamestowne guests will have a unique opportunity April 5 to experience a re-enactment of Pocahontas’ marriage to Englishman John Rolfe at the site where the original wedding took place. Archaeologists discovered in 2010 the location of the 1608 church in James Fort, the site of the 1614 marriage.

In addition to the April 5 wedding re-enactments, World of Pocahontas programs at Historic Jamestowne scheduled in March and April include:

* “For the good of the Plantation”— Capt. Samuel Argall relates the current state of affairs of the Virginia colony in 1614. An experienced sea captain, Argall lured Pocahontas onto his ship and brought her to Jamestown. He had hoped to ransom her but the negotiations failed. Pocahontas has since adopted many of the ways of the English and speculation is rampant that she is interested in the widower John Rolfe. Presented at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday, March 1.

* “A firme peace forever”— Edward Brewster, the captain of the guard at James Fort, meets with two of Pocahontas’ “brothers,” Aquinton and Keyghaughton, to discuss the pending marriage of Pocahontas to John Rolfe. Perhaps these emissaries of Chief Powhatan can agree to terms of peace during the wedding. Presented at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday, March 15.

* “A gentleman of approved behavior”— Martha Sizemore, housekeeper to Rev. Alexander Whitaker, shares the recent occurrences in her master's household. It has been a year since Capt. Argall brought Pocahontas to Jamestown. Rev. Whitaker took an interest in Pocahontas' spirituality, ministering to and eventually baptizing her. Martha has watched as Pocahontas has grown more accepting of English ways, even taking the English name “Rebecca.” Presented at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday, March 29.

* “a thing acceptable to Powhatan”— Two days before the wedding, Edward Brewster, the captain of the guard at James Fort, meets with Aquinton and Keyghaughton, two emissaries of Chief Powhatan. The two emissaries are convinced that Pocahontas is “very well and kindly treated,” and have promised to persuade Powhatan to “conclude a firm peace forever.” Presented at 1 and 3 p.m. Thursday, April 3.

* “to give her in the church”— Rev. Alexander Whitaker discusses tomorrow’s wedding of John Rolfe to Pocahontas with Aquinton and Keyghaughton, emissaries of Chief Powhatan. Whitaker is interested in Pocahontas’ spirituality and well-being, and has tried to spread Christianity to the Native population. He hopes that the conversion and marriage of Pocahontas will bring peace and good fortune to Jamestown. Presented at 1 and 3 p.m. Friday, April 4.

* “done about the fifth of April”— Rev. Whitaker’s housekeeper, Martha Sizemore, shares her thoughts on the recent marriage of John Rolfe to Pocahontas. Martha relates many of the conversations she has overheard. Presented at 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 6 and 10:30 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Friday, April 18.

* “no reason why the Collonie should not thrive”— The marriage of Pocahontas to John Rolfe was to establish a lasting peace between the Native peoples of Virginia and the colonists. Edward Brewster, James Fort captain of the guard, meets with two emissaries of Chief Powhatan, to discuss what must be done to maintain the current peace. Presented at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 12.

* “our established friendship with the Naturals”— The April 5 marriage of Pocahontas to John Rolfe established a peace between the Native peoples of Virginia and the colonists. Meet Captain Argall as he relates his role in the events that brought about this peace. Argall is an experienced sea captain who in 1613 lured Pocahontas onto his ship and brought her to Jamestown. Argall had hoped to ransom Pocahontas but the negotiations failed, and Pocahontas adopted many of the ways of the English, falling in love with John Rolfe and marrying him. Presented at 10:30 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Thursday, April 17.

Historic Jamestowne's World of Pocahontas lectures during March and April are:

* “From the Hill of Priestly Divination to the Place of the Antler Wearers: An Archaeological History of the Algonquian Chesapeake”— Anthropologist and author Martin Gallivan offers an alternative perspective on the history and culture of the Powhatan and other Native societies in the Chesapeake. Beginning with the 1607 Jamestown's settlement, the history and culture of the Native societies in the Chesapeake had been framed largely by colonists' documents produced for European audiences, but Gallivan offers an alternative perspective on this history that draws from recent archaeological discoveries and from collaborative research with contemporary Native communities. Gallivan is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the College of William and Mary. Presented at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 13.

* “Pocahontas and Rolfe: Old Worlds and New Worlds”— Historian and author Daniel Richter as he offers a perspective on our definitions of “old” and “new” worlds. The marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe united people from the Old World and the New. For Pocahontas, America was the old world and England was the new one. For both Pocahontas and Rolfe, rapid social changes were reshaping familiar ways of life in ways, making each of their old worlds new. Daniel K. Richter is the Richard S. Dunn Director of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies and Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History at the University of Pennsylvania. Presented at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3.

Both lectures are held in the Hennage Auditorium of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.

Admission to each lecture is $6 for adults. Students are admitted free, subject to space availability. For tickets, telephone (855) 296-6627.
The World of Pocahontas Initiative is presented by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Preservation Virginia at Historic Jamestowne , in collaboration with the Pamunkey Indian Museum and Cultural Center and the Patawomeck Heritage Foundation. The World of Pocahontas Initiative receives generous support from James City County.

Adult admission to Historic Jamestowne is $14, and includes Yorktown Battlefield,. National Parks passes and Preservation Virginia memberships are accepted, but a $5 fee may apply for entrance to Historic Jamestowne. Youngsters under age 16 receive free admission to Historic Jamestowne. For more information, telephone (757) 229-4497 or visit www.historicjamestowne.org.

Media Contact:
Jim Bradley
757-220-7281



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