Negotiating Peace with the Indians
Original Author: Theodor de Bry; Matthäus Merian, engraver
Created: 1634
Medium: Engraving
Publisher: Virginia Historical Society

Negotiating Peace with the Indians

English interpreter Thomas Savage, gesturing at center, negotiates with two of Pocahontas's brothers (at right) in this engraving from Theodor de Bry's Americae (1634). Pocahontas, a daughter of the paramount chief Powhatan, was captured by the English in 1613, and is shown here surrounded by English guards as the interpreter converses with the Indigenous people. In A True Relation of such occurrences and accidents of noate (1608), John Smith recounted how an English delegation presented Powhatan with "a Boy of thirteen yeares old, called Thomas Salvage," who was described to the Indigenous chief as being the son of Captain Christopher Newport. Savage learned the Native language while staying with Powhatan, and his skills were critical in negotiating an end to the First Anglo-Powhatan War.