Thomas Rolfe, the son of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, found himself caught between the Native American and English worlds. Born in 1615 in Virginia, he spent most of his youth in England. After returning to America as an adult, he sought to reconnect with his Powhatan heritage, but ultimately identified more with his English lineage. Rolfe even served as a lieutenant in the English military against the Native Americans.
- Thomas Rolfe was the product of the union between Pocahontas, the daughter of a Powhatan chief, and Englishman John Rolfe. Their marriage momentarily bridged the divide between English settlers and the Powhatan people.
- Some sources suggest Thomas may not be John Rolfe’s biological son, as Pocahontas might have been pregnant due to violence by English settlers before her marriage to John.
- After Pocahontas died in England in 1617, Thomas was left in England under the care of his uncle. He returned to Virginia as an adult, inheriting land from both his father and grandfather.
- Thomas tried to rekindle relationships with his Powhatan family, but historical records indicate he ultimately embraced his English heritage.
- The details of Rolfe’s later life are scarce, but he served in the English military and became a wealthy landowner. He reportedly died in 1680.