The Native American princess Pocahontas was born near the end of the 16th century as the daughter of Powhatan, chief of the Powhatan confederacy. It was Pocahontas, known as Matoaka by her clan, who interceded on behalf of John Smith in 1608 and then persuaded her father to bring food to the starving colonists at Jamestown.
In 1614, after learning the ways of the English and converting to Christianity, she married John Rolfe, a successful planter. Later, she traveled to England and ingratiated herself into London society. Her help was regarded as indispensable to the survival of the Jamestown colony, which later became the state of Virginia.