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(died April 1618, Virginia) American Indian leader, father of Pocahontas. At the peak of his power, he ruled the 13,000 to 34,000 people of the Powhatan empire. He initially acted ambivalently toward the English settlement at Jamestown, Va., and sometimes permitted attacks against the colonists. After Pocahontas married an English settler in 1614, however, Powhatan maintained peaceful relations with the colonists until the end of his life.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Powhatan, visit Britannica.com.