March 22nd, 2014


Pocahontas Statue, Gravesend

No-one knows what killed Pocanhontas, but she must have been wide open to any infection that was going the rounds. She was taken ill shortly after boarding a ship bound for Virginia and died in the arms of her husband, John Rolfe. She was buried in the chancel of St George's Church at Gravesend- a place of honour befitting her status as a daughter of "King" Powhatan. She was in her early 20s.

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Gravesend is on the river, it's full of young people, marginal people, poor people, recent immigrants- and for all these reasons it has energy. Pocahontas, aka Matoaka, aka Rebecca Rolfe- first footer from the New World, mother of the first English-American child, person of multiple identities, crosser of boundaries, adventurer- is its genius loci. Her statue faces the river on which she died- arms widespread in greeting- Come all the world, whoever you are,  come death.....

Oh and the river is that river. The river. You know which river I mean...

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