Pocahontas Image Gallery

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Pocahontas / Rebecca Rolfe, 1616

Pocahontas
Painted from Life Pocahontas - Rebecca Rolfe - 1616. Getty Images / Archive Photos

Images of "Indian Princess" Pocahontas in the Public Imagination

Pocahontas was credited by the early English colonists to the Tidewater region of Virginia with helping them survive in the critical early years. Her image as an "Indian Princess" who saved Captain John Smith has captured the imagination of many generations of Americans. Only one image of Pocahontas was created during her lifetime; the rest reflect the public image of Pocahontas rather than an accurate representation.

The real Pocahontas? The Native American daughter of Powhatan, Mataola or Pocahontas, is here shown after she converted to Christianity, married settler John Rolfe, and went to visit England.

The portrait was done in 1616, the year before Pocahontas died. It is the only known image of Pocahontas painted from life rather than someone's imagination of what she might have looked like.

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Image of Pocahontas

Engraving representing Pocahontas
Engraving representing Pocahontas Engraving based on the only known image of Pocahontas that was created during her lifetime. Adapted from a public domain image

This image is from an engraving, itself based on a painting which is the only known representation of Pocahontas created during her lifetime.

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Image of Pocahontas Saving Captain John Smith

Colorful image representing the famous rescue by Pocahontas
Colorful image representing the famous rescue by Pocahontas An image reflecting the story told by Captain John Smith of being saved from Powhatan's death sentence by Powhatan's daughter Pocahontas. Adapted from an image courtesy of US Library of Congress.

Captain John Smith told a story of his rescue by an Indian princess, Pocahontas. This image represents a more recent artist's conception of that encounter.

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Pocahontas Saves Captain John Smith

Pocahontas Saves Captain John Smith
Artist's Depiction of John Smith's Story Pocahontas Saves Captain John Smith. Public domain image, from Ten Girls from History, 1917

In this image, from an early 20th-century book of American heroines, we see an artist's conception of the rescue of Captain John Smith by Pocahontas, as told by Smith in his writings.

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Captain Smith Saved by Pocahontas

Captain Smith Saved by Pocahontas - 1894 Image
1894 Image Captain Smith saved by Pocahontas, from Great Men and Famous Women Vol. V, 1894. Public domain image.

From the 19th century series, Great Men and Famous Women, an artist's conception of the saving of Captain John Smith by Pocahontas.

A quote from that text, quoting an unnamed "contemporary":

"Having feasted him after their best barbarous manner they could, a long consultation was held; but the conclusion was, two great stones were brought before Powhatan, then, as many as could lay hands on him, dragged him to them, and thereon laid his head, and being ready with their clubs to beate out his brains, Pocahontas, the king's dearest daughter, when no entreaty could prevaile, got his head in her armes, and laid her owne upon his to save him from death; whereat the emperor was contented he should live to make him hatchets, and her bells, beads, and copper."
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Image of Pocahontas at the Court of King James I

Pocahontas presented to King James on her visit to England
Pocahontas presented to King James on her visit to England An image of Pocahontas being presented to King James I. Adapted from an image courtesy of US Library of Congress.

Pocahontas, who accompanied her husband and others to England, is shown here in an artist's conception of her presentation at the court of King James I.

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Pocahontas Image on a Tobacco Label, 1867

Image of Pocahontas in the popular culture
Image of Pocahontas in the Popular Culture Pocahontas Image on a Tobacco Label, 1867. Courtesy US Library of Congress

This 1867 tobacco label pictures Pocahontas, showing her image in popular culture in the 19th century.

It's perhaps especially appropriate to have the image of Pocahontas on a tobacco label, since her husband and, later, son were tobacco farmers in Virginia.

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Pocahontas Image - Late 19th Century

A romanticized, European-ized version of Pocahontas, from the late 19th century.
An artist's conception of Pocahontas, showing a romanticized, Europeanized image A romanticized, European-ized version of Pocahontas, from the late 19th century. Public domain image, from World Noted Women, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1883.

By the late 19th century, images of Pocahontas such as this which romanticized the "Indian princess" were more common.