Images of a Legend

back | 10 of 12 | next


1852, Thomas Sully

This regal portrait, painted by the renowned artist Thomas Sully, seemed a fitting treatment of the woman who had come to be called the "mother" of the nation by the 1850s. Southerners in particular claimed Pocahontas as a progenitor; indeed, her descendants through her son Thomas Rolfe were among the most prominent families in the South. In Sully's portrait, Pocahontas's features are more Mediterranean than Powhatan, but this image of her became one of the best known and most copied. It was even adapted for the banner of a Confederate militia unit that called itself the "Guard of the Daughters of Powhatan."

Pocahontas Revealed homepage | NOVA homepage