Write an essay on the Pocahontas story discussed here. 300 words or more.
Controversy – a discussion on a history that has two sides. However, only one side made it into the history textbooks. Should the other side be told?
Pocahontas’s story – if you questioned a Mattaponi tribal member about the story it would sound more like a murder mystery than a rescue love story.
For your follow up essay, please examine an history written by the Mattaponi Indian tribe concerning the life and death of Pocahontas.
Please read the The Pocahontas Archives.
Remember, daughters of chiefs were sought by the English to guarantee land and protection. Some historians claim that Pocahontas was a needed insurance policy for plantation farmers like Rolfe. Her death was a necessary evil to protect the assets of the English Tobacco industry.
The Mattaponi tribe claims in their new book that Pocahontas was captured, raped and impregnated before her marriage to John Rolfe. To cover up this English abuse, John Rolfe agreed to marry Pocahontas in order to prevent war over her treatment and to protect his tobacco crop. The tribe also claimed that Pocahontas was already married to a Mattaponi man named Kocoum and had a son, but the Colonial government viewed the marriage null and void since it did not occur in a Christian Church. She was forced to travel to England in order to help Rolfe save his people and keep hers from annihilation.
Summarize what you learned from the Mattaponi tribe and include in your analysis the debate between historians of European descent and those that are Native American about how to write the history of Indian peoples. Make sure you discuss whether you agree or disagree, explaining why or why not, with the Mattaponi version of the Pocahontas story?
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