In April 1613, Captain Samuel Argall planned and carried out the abduction of Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan. During her captivity Pocahontas was instructed in Christianity and baptized with the English name Rebecca. It was also during this time she met and married Englishman John Rolfe. As this union provided a temporary peace with the Virginia Indians, Virginia’s economy was sharply transformed by the introduction in 1612 of new strains of mild tobacco cultivated by Rolfe.
In order to gain financial support for the colony, the Rolfe family traveled to England in 1616. Their son Thomas was born sometime around 1616, just prior to his mother’s death at the age of 21. In March 1617, as the family was departing for Virginia, Pocahontas fell ill and was taken ashore at Gravesend, England. She died and was interred in the chancel of St. George’s Church, a burial custom reserved for members of the aristocracy.