Powhatan Dilemma


The book “Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma: The American Portraits Series” is an outstanding historical literature work Camilla Townsend (Townsend, 2013). It is a piece of historical resemblance biography that outdoes most of the recent historical concepts. From point of view, the author reflects on a series of biographies affiliated with Pocahontas, who is a renowned Indian featuring in the history of colonization by the British. The author comes up with an entirely different yet reflective biography and tries to outline a more decisive historical approach compared to the recent works by her amongst other historians.

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The principal argument of the historian, Camilla Townsend, in this book overlies on the biography of Pocahontas with respect to capturing the seventeenth century Native American’s demeanor. The historian’s major argument focuses on the way the Native Americans understood, saw and even struggled to control their world to themselves, as well as the invading English. She tries to strengthen her idea of struggle by using Pocahontas’s story and life to reflect on the sophistication, violence and diplomacy revealed by the Native Americans in their episode of struggle to recapture their lives (Townsend, 2013). The author’s approach to the historical events that took place in the seventeenth century is essential to the future of history. The same idea features in the mind of the historian as she uses Pocahontas to reflect the tribulations faced by the Native Americans.

The historian uses very supportive symbolism to show that the ideas brought about in the book. For instance, the history of Pocahontas dates back from the time the English captured her and even changed her name. The book aims at recapturing the humanity of the myth of Pocahontas stole from the Amonute (Townsend, 2013). The historian, Townsend, mainly come up with a new thesis. Instead, the author tries to argue about the well-established fact where about the truth obscured over the course of the four centuries.

The historian’s main argument concerning the struggle to establish sobriety in the context of the Native American’s is very vivid in the book. The book is strong in the manner it addresses and provides the rationale for each inference or argument made. For instance, the epicenter of the book is the immense struggle that the Native Americans went through when trying to establish self. The historian gives first gives an appropriate credence to the choices of Pocahontas with regards to her life (Townsend, 2013). The historiography of the colonial Virginia (Pocahontas) yells out for the comprehensive treatment of most players. The applicability of live historical events in the books makes the book and the inferences made to look real. However, the book fails to show the extent in which the idea may have been vague and that the Virginia’s story is independent of some perspectives.

The book utilizes myriad sources from the Virginia history resources. Most of these resources date back the Indian history especially with regards to the Indian encounter with the British. The sources provide a platform for the comparative scenario that occurs between the Native American’s experience and the experience by Pocahontas (Townsend, 2013). The historian makes ample use of the historical evidence to show that the argument is appropriate and outstanding. The use of historical flashback especially with respect to the supporting literature is the most important role that the sources are playing to support the book’s arguments.


Townsend, C. (2013). Pocahontas and the powhatan dilemma the american portraits series. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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