Captain Argall Holds Pocahontas For Ransom

Knowing Pocahontas to be a princess, Captain Samuel Argall asks for ransom. He asks for the release of English prisoners held by paramount Chief Powhatan, Pocahontas’ father, and return of all English weapons that were acquired by the Indians over the years. Chief Japazaw sends messengers to Chief Powhatan. Two days later the messengers return and report that Chief Powhatan accepts the ransom terms and asks Captain Argall to sail his ship up the Pamunkey River to the village of Matchut to receive the ransom.

Captain Argall Goes to the Potowomac Indian Village and Discovers That Pocahontas Lives There

In early April 1613, Captain Samuel Argall goes on a trading mission to the Potowomac village. Unknown to him, this is the village where Princess Pocahontas, her husband Kocoum, and their child Little Kocoum, live. It has been at least four years since Princess Pocahontas has had any interaction with the English settlers. She is 15 years old, having been born September 17, 1597.

Chief Japazaw of the Potowomac village is Kocoum’s older brother. By chance, Captain Argall learns that Pocahontas lives in the village. He threatens Chief Japazaw and his wife and gets them to bring Pocahontas to lunch on his ship.

The First Marriage of Pocahontas

Pocahontas Statue at Jamestown, Virginia

In 1610, Princess Pocahontas, daughter of Wahunsenaca, Chief Powhatan, marries a warrior named Kocoum, the younger brother of Chief Japazaw of the Potowomac tribe on the Potomac River. Princess Pocahontas and Kocoum live in the Potowomac village.

Pocahontas was born on September 17, 1597, so she was 12 or 13 when she married Kocoum.