November 18, 2006

The first Indian princess?

A similar tale predates PocahontasPocahontas might be the most famous Indian princess to marry a European in Virginia, but she wasn't the first.

The first was from Saltville, in Southwest Virginia.

Around 1568--nearly 40 years before the founding of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America an American Indian woman from what is now Saltville married a Spanish soldier.
Actually, another Indian princess predates the Saltville Pocahontas. She even saved a white man's life:

Did Smith plagiarize Pocahontas tale?When the Indian chief ordered the execution of a European captive, the chief's daughter persuaded him to spare the white man's life.

Does that sound like the story of Captain John Smith, the Jamestown colonist, now being retold in the popular Walt Disney movie "Pocahontas"?

Actually, it happened in Florida nearly 80 years before Smith set foot in Virginia. The European was Spaniard Juan Ortiz and the Indian maiden was known as Ulele.

Many historians doubt that young Pocahontas ever saved Smith's life and some contend the Englishman probably made up the story after reading previously published accounts of Ortiz's ordeal.
Below:  The white man's concept of a beautiful and virtuous Indian maiden (not Pocahontas or Ulele).


Anonymous said...

This is a tinsy bit inappropiet

Rob said...

What is...the picture? No, it's appropriate because it illustrates (literally) how the white man has created and used the concept of the Indian princess.