Smithsonian

Pocahontas Engraving

This engraved portrait of Pocahontas, created from life during her time in England, is the oldest work in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection. Pocahontas, who took the Christian name Rebecca, sailed to England with husband John Rolfe in 1616. “The sponsors of the Jamestown colony saw marketing possibilities in this regal, converted, English-speaking princess,” wrote John F. Ross in Smithsonian magazine. “Luring new colonists to Jamestown and finding investors for the venture was a hard sell. What better ‘poster girl’ than Pocahontas?”

Credits: Simon Van De Passe, 1616, Pocahontas, National Portrait Gallery (Accession Number: NPG.77.43).