Pocahontas (her true name being Matoaka, and Pocahontas being nearly a childhood nickname meaning "little wanton") is one of the most famous American Indians. The story is told of how John Smith went to her village and at first was treated very well, to a friendly if not royal status. Soon thereafter he was brought to meet the chieftain Powhaton, the father of Pocahontas, who at some point ordered him to be beaten to death. He was then brought out and held down across two large flat table like stones and surrounded by Indians with raised clubs ready to kill when ordered. The tale then goes on to state that Pocahontas saved his life by laying her head or body between him and the poised Indians. She then helped him up and the rest becomes history. Many historians and even the tribe she belonged to state that the story is a false one told by Smith himself on a few different occasions and told differently each time. The first time being at least sixteen years after the incident supposedly happened.
With that story being false it doesn't in anyway discredit Pocahontas from being a strong and brave woman in her own right. Pocahontas was very eager to meet the English settlers as they began to move into their land. She was reported to be very friendly and courteous as opposed to many of her tribe, these comments coming from the settlers themselves. Throughout her short life she worked hard to promote peace between the settlers and her tribe, and regularly visited their settlement to see her friend John Smith.
Upon one visit Smith wasn't to be found and she was told he had died and her visits stopped shortly thereafter. In time the settlers found out that she was visiting with another tribe and went forth and kidnapped her hoping to trade her back to her father for provisions. During her captivity she fell in love with one of her captors (John Rolfe) and him with her. In time they were wed and together had a son. The wedding created what they called the "Peace of Pocahontas" which lasted six years until she died in England; she traveled and met many royal members while in England and on her return trip died of English diseases.