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Epithets Bestowed on Pocahontas

Pocahontas -- which may have been a nickname, and whose real Indian name may have been Matoa (Matoaca/Matoax, etc.) or Amonute, but whose real Christian name was definitely Rebecca -- has been called a lot of things, colorful things, laudatory things in the long history of her representation in American culture. What we attempt to do here is catalog many of the most memorable of those labels, nicknames, descriptors, and titles that "name" Pocahontas in the American imagination.

nonpareil: John Smith (1608)

little-wanton: William Strachey (1612)

angel of peace: Marquis de Chastellux (1786)

amiable: Marquis de Chastellux (1786)

protectress of the English: Marquis de Chastellux (1786)

the patron deity of the enterprise: William Wirt (1803)

the ministering angel at the throne of grace: John Davis (1803)

sweet Seraph: John Davis (1803)

Dido: Monthly Anthology (1804)

Hortensia: Monthly Anthology (1804)

with the colour and the charms of Eve, at the age of fifteen: Monthly Anthology (1804)

the Goddess of Plenty with her cornucopiae: Monthly Anthology (1804)

if not so beautiful as Venus, she was more simple than her doves: John Davis (1805)

Medea: Joel Barlow (1807)

a national benefactress: Mary Hays (1807)

benignant spirit: Report of the Jubilee (1807)

guardian genius of our fathers: Report of the Jubilee (1807)

angel sex: James Nelson Barker (1808)

Pity's herald: James Nelson Barker (1808)

Heav'n's own angel advocate of mercy: James Nelson Barker (1808)

guardian angel: James Nelson Barker (1808)

enchanting simplicity: James Nelson Barker (1808)

Angel of purity: James Nelson Barker (1808)

foster-mother: James Nelson Barker (1808)

lovely creature: James Nelson Barker (1808)

dove of mercy: Port-Folio (1812)

angel of the wild: John Davis (1814)

mercy's meekest child: John Davis (1814)

a tutelary saint: Port-Folio (1814)

another fabulous Ceres: George Tucker (1816)

tutelary angel: James Kirke Paulding (1817)

our ark of safety on the troubled waters: St. Leger Landon Carter (1821)

Thou Dian of the western shade: St. Leger Landon Carter (1821)

the boasted beauty of the wilderness: St. Leger Landon Carter (1821)

our maid of the wild: St. Leger Landon Carter (1821)

guardian sylph of the western shore: St. Leger Landon Carter (1821)

sylvan queen: St. Leger Landon Carter (1821)

Virginia's jewel: John Davis (1822)

the sun's new Priestess: Bernard Carter (1824)

dark Indian maid: Hiram Haines (1825)

fawn-like child of green Savannas and the leafy wild: Felicia Hemans (1826)

tutelary friend: Abiel Holmes (1829)

flower of Virginia: George Washington Custis (1830)

a mountain goddess: Charles L. S. Jones (1834)

angel of the woodland shade: James Kirke Paulding (1836)

Sister of charity and love: James Kirke Paulding (1836)

goddess of the sylvan grove: James Kirke Paulding (1836)

flower of the forest: James Kirke Paulding (1836)

frail blossom: Mary Mosby Webster (1840)

a prodigy of goodness: Mary Mosby Webster (1840)

forest flower: Mary Mosby Webster (1840)

youthful huntress of the wild: Mary Mosby Webster (1840)

maiden of Virginia's soil: Mary Mosby Webster (1840)

Snow Feather: Mary Mosby Webster (1840)

child of mystery: Mary Mosby Webster (1840)

daughter of the wood: Mary Mosby Webster (1840)

forest maiden: Mary Mosby Webster (1840)

a young Naiad: Mary Mosby Webster (1840)

tutelary genius: John Gadsby Chapman (1840)

spotless virgin: John Gadsby Chapman (1840)

great benefactress: John Gadsby Chapman (1840)

flower of the desert: John Gadsby Chapman (1840)

simple Indian maid: John Gadsby Chapman (1840)

heroic maid: George Morris (1840)

gem of the wild: Lydia Sigourney (1841)

pure, lonely star: Lydia Sigourney (1841)

princess of the infant West: Lydia Sigourney

noble daughter of the forest: Samuel Knapp (1842)

interposing angel: William Gilmore Simms (1842)

Nature's child: Lydia Maria Francis Child (1843)

fawn of the desert: Judge Conrad (1843)

a tawny Shepherdess to a distant and silvery flock: T. B. Balch (1844)

the presiding genius of Richmond: T. B. Balch (1844)

this Indian Ceres: Charlotte Mary Sanford Barnes (1844)

the animated type of mercy and peace: Charlotte Mary Sanford Barnes (1844)

Virginia's Princess: Charlotte Mary Sanford Barnes (1844)

star of Virginia: Christian Advocate and Journal (1845)

first convert of the West: Christian Advocate and Journal (1845)

sweet forest damsel: William Gilmore Simms (1846)

Wild Flower of the Forest: Juvenille (1847)

forest blossom: Sarah T. Bolton (1849)

warden-angel: Robert W. Landis (1849)

blossom of the desert: L. Virginia Smith (1849)

lily of the stream: L. Virginia Smith (1849)

gentle forest flower: L. Virginia Smith (1849)

wild rose of the wilderness: L. Virginia Smith (1849)

the western princess: L. Virginia Smith (1849)

lovely blossom of the West: L. Virginia Smith (1849)

wild-dove of the mountain: L. Virginia Smith (1849)

bright creature of a wild humanity: William Gilmore Simms (1854)

dusky Dryad:  James Avis Bartley (1855)

angel of deliverance: Benson John Lossing (1855)

The forest Queen of AmericaCelebration of the Two Hundred and Fiftieth (1857)

timid flower of Virginia woods:  John Esten Cooke (1858)

carrier dove: Mary Clarke (1858)

gentle guardian-angel: Mary Clarke (1858)

simple child of nature: Mary Clarke (1858)

a fawn of the forest: John Esten Cooke (1861)

The Virgin Queen of the West: John Esten Cooke (1861)

tender Indian Maid: John Esten Cooke (1861)

Our Lady of the James: Marion Harland (1894)

the dove: James Barron Hope (1895)

Saint of the Wilderness: James Barron Hope (1895)

Our Mother Pocahontas: Vachel Lindsay (1917)

lovely as a poplar: Carl Sandburg (1918)

sweet as a red haw in November or a pawpaw in May: Carl Sandburg (1918)

Hertha: Hart Crane (1927)

O Princess whose brown lap was virgin May: Hart Crane (1927, 1930)

dusky bride: Albert Keiser (1933)

Powhatan's tomboy: Virgil Geddes (1933)

The red-winged blackbird of Virginia's woods: Stephen Vincent Benet (1943)

The young, wild child: Stephen Vincent Benet (1943)

most voluptuous of newts: Randall Jarrell (1957)

red witch: Randall Jarrell (1957)

red wraith: Randall Jarrell (1957)

fertility goddess: Philip Young (1962)

American Ceres: Philip Young (1962)

American Demeter: Philip Young (1962)

American Gaea: Philip Young (1962)

dusky woodland Diana: Leslie Fiedler (1968)

Uncle Tom: Leslie Fiedler (1968)

woodland Ceres or Aphrodite: Leslie Fiedler (1968)

campy Earth Goddess: Leslie Fiedler (1968)

the first lady of America: Charles Larson (1978)

daughter of Eve: Charles Larson (1978)

child of the forest: Charles Larson (1978)

a madonna figure: Charles Larson (1978)

the mother of two nations: Charles Larson (1978)

the great Earth Mother of the Americas: Charles Larson (1978)

sister of mercy: Charles Larson (1978)

our patron saint: Charles Larson (1978)

Good Samaritan: Charles Larson (1978)

the archetypal Noble Savage: Charles Larson (1978)

our first assimilated Indian: Charles Larson (1978)

a white dream: Charles Larson (1978)

Ariadne: Peter Hulme (1986)

first ambassador to the British: Beth Brant (1994)

an "incidental" Indian: Beth Brant (1994)

the white man's Indian: Cornel Pewewardy (1995)

Joan of Arc: Ann Uhry Abrams (1999)

American Medea: Rebecca Blevins Faery (1999)

a buckskin Barbie: Susan Deer Cloud (2002):

medicine woman: Paula Gunn Allen (2003)

spy: Paula Gunn Allen (2003)

entrepreneur: Paula Gunn Allen (2003)

diplomat: Paula Gunn Allen (2003)