Family: John Rolfe, The Immigrant / Pocahontas (F14694)

m. 5 Apr 1614


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  • John Rolfe, The ImmigrantFather | Male
    John Rolfe, The Immigrant

    Born  6 May 1685  Heacham, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location
    Died  1621-1622  Jamestown, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location
    Buried     
    Married  5 Apr 1614  [1, 2]  Jamestown, Virginia  [1, 2] Find all individuals with events at this location
    Father  John Eustace Rolfe, Sr. | F14697 Group Sheet 
    Mother  Dorothea Mason | F14697 Group Sheet 

    PocahontasMother | Female
    Pocahontas

    Born  1595  Werowocomoco, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location
    Died  21 Mar 1616  Gravesend, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location
    Buried    Gravesend, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location
    Father  Powhatan | F14699 Group Sheet 
    Mother  Unnamed Native American | F14699 Group Sheet 

    Child 1 | Male
    Thomas Pepsironemeh Rolfe

    Born  30 Jan 1615  Jamestown, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location
    Died  0___ 1680  Hopewell, Hopewell City, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location
    Buried    Hopewell, Hopewell City, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location
    Spouse  Jane Poythress | F14695 
    Married  1640-1644  Hopewell, Hopewell City, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location

  • Photos
    Pocahontas with her son, Thomas Rolfe
    Pocahontas with her son, Thomas Rolfe

    The "Sedgeford Portrait", said to represent Pocahontas and her son, although its authenticity is debated.
    John Rolfe & Pocahontas
    John Rolfe & Pocahontas

    An 1850s painting of John Rolfe and Pocahontas
    Pocahontas (1595-1616)
    Pocahontas (1595-1616)

    John Rolfe (1685-1622) (right, standing behind Pocahontas) as portrayed in The Baptism of Pocahontas, 1840, by John Gadsby Chapman

  • Notes  Married:
    • During her stay in Henricus, Pocahontas met John Rolfe. Rolfe's English-born wife, Sarah Hacker, and child, Bermuda Rolfe, died prior to his journey to Virginia. He had successfully cultivated a new strain of tobacco there and spent much of his time there tending to his crop. He was a pious man who agonized over the potential moral repercussions of marrying a heathen. In a long letter to the governor requesting permission to wed her, he expressed both his love for her and his belief he would be saving her soul claiming he was: motivated not by the unbridled desire of carnal affection, but for the good of this plantation, for the honor of our country, for the Glory of God, for my own salvation... namely Pocahontas, to whom my hearty and best thoughts are, and have been a long time so entangled, and enthralled in so intricate a labyrinth that I was even a-wearied to unwind myself thereout[46]

      Pocahontas' feelings about Rolfe are unknown. She married him on April 5, 1614. Though frequently the wedding is placed at Jamestown, there is in fact no surviving record indicating where the ceremony took place. Possible sites include Henricus, Bermuda City, and Jamestown. Richard Buck presided. They lived for two years on Rolfe's plantation, Varina Farms, which was located across the James River from the new community of Henricus. Their son, Thomas was born on January 30, 1615.

      Their marriage was not successful in winning the English captives back, but it did create a climate of peace between the Jamestown colonists and Powhatan's tribes for 8 years; in 1615, Ralph Hamor wrote:

      Since the wedding we have had friendly commerce and trade not only with Powhatan but also with his subjects round about us...

      Rolfe's longtime friend, Reverend Richard Buck presided the wedding.

      Pocahontas's marriage to Rolfe was the first recorded interracial marriage in North American history.[

  • Sources 
    1. [S4037] http://www.smokykin.com/tng/getperson.php?personID=I43252&tree=Smokykin.

    2. [S4039] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocahontas.