Episode #36 – Did Pocahontas Really Save John Smith? (Part II)

In the early 1600’s most English people assumed that Captain John Smith was a liar. His memoirs were peppered with romantic stories of shipwrecks, duels to the death, and exotic lovers. His contemporaries were pretty sure he had made it all up. This included his most famous exploit— when he was saved from execution by Pocahontas. Over the years this tale has been scrutinized by countless historians. Despite the fact that it seems completely made up, there are many who believe that there is more truth to Captain Smith’s story than one might assume. Tune in and find out how defiant epitaphs, fairytale inventions, and running into your ex-girlfriend at the movies plays a role in the story.

Works Cited

Gleach, Frederic W. Powhatan’s World and Colonial Virginia. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997.

Lang, Andrew. Custom and Myth. New York: AMS, 1968. Print.

Lemay, J.A. Leo. Did Pocahontas Save Captain John Smith? Athens, Georgia: The University of Georgia Press, 1992. Print.

Mossiker, Frances. Pocahontas: The Life and the Legend. New York: Knopf, 1976. Print.

Price, David A. Love and Hate in Jamestown. New York: Vintage, 2003.

Shapiro, Laurie Gwen. “The True Story of Pocahontas—At Least, Today’s True Story.” Slate Magazine. N.p., 22 June 2014. Web. 29 Jan. 2017.

Smith, John, and Philip L. Barbour. The Complete Works of Captain John Smith (1580-1631). Chapel Hill: Published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Va. by the U of North Carolina, 1986. Print