Born: 1596 (exact date uncertain) Died: March (exact date uncertain) 1617
Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan, an important chief of the Algonquian Indians (the Powhatans) who lived in the Virginia region. Her real name was "Matoaka." "Pocahontas" was a nickname meaning "playful" or "mischievous one." Pocahontas is most famous for reportedly saving the life of English Captain John Smith. Throughout her short life (she died at the age of 22), however, she was important in other ways as well. Pocahontas tried to promote peace between the Powhatans and the English colonists. She even converted to Christianity and married John Rolfe, a Jamestown colonist, a union which helped bring the two groups together. Her untimely death in England hurt the chance for continued peace in Virginia between the Algonquians and the colonists.