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Who is Pocahontas? Seven things to know about the woman President Trump keeps referencing

Published: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 @ 12:55 PM

President Donald Trump, right, meets with Navajo Code Talkers Peter MacDonald, center, and Thomas Begay, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
President Donald Trump, right, meets with Navajo Code Talkers Peter MacDonald, center, and Thomas Begay, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

During a ceremony honoring Native American code-talkers on Monday, President Donald Trump referred to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas,” a reference to a Native American woman born in Virginia in the late 1500s.

"We have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her 'Pocahontas.' But you know what, I like you, because you are special. You are special people. You are really incredible people," Trump said to World War II veterans attending the ceremony.

The president has often used the name when referring to Warren. In the past, Warren has said she is part Native American, including listing herself as such in an Association of American Law Schools directory. She has never presented any documentation to prove a connection to Native American ancestors.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) (The Associated Press)

"It is deeply unfortunate that the president of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur. Donald Trump does this over and over thinking somehow he is going to shut me up with it. It hasn't worked out in the past, it isn't going to work out in the future," Warren told MSNBC after Trump's remark Monday. Trump did not call Warren by name.

Who is Trump talking about when he uses the name Pocahontas? Who was the real Pocahontas and what is true about the legend that has grown up around her? 

Here are a few things to know about the Native American “princess.” 

1.  Her given name wasn’t Pocahontas.  

The woman who would become famous as Pocahontas was born in 1596 in the Tidewater region of Virginia in an area called Werowocomoco. She was given the name Matoaka, which means "bright stream between the hills.” She was also known as Amonute. The name that stuck, however, was Pocahontas. It was likely a childhood nickname. It means, “playful one.”

Her father was Powhatan, the leader of an alliance of about 30 Algonquian-speaking groups known as Tsenacommacah. History doesn’t record her mother’s name. When she was a teenager, she would convert to Christianity and take yet another name, Rebecca.

2. She saved John Smith. Maybe.

As with much of the story of Pocahontas’ early life, there is some doubt as to what is true. The most famous story of Pocahontas centers on her efforts to save Captain John Smith, an English explorer. Smith arrived in Virginia in 1607 along with more than 100 settlers to the New World. In the months after his arrival, Smith was captured by a hunting party of Tsenacommacah Indians. The man who captured him was Opechancanough, a relative of Powhatan.

Smith wrote of the capture later, describing the story that has become Pocahontas’ legend. According to Smith, "... at the minute of my execution she [Pocahontas] hazarded the beating out of her own brains to save mine; and not only that, but so prevailed with her father, that I was safely conducted to Jamestown." Historians also have doubts about Smith’s account. Some believe that instead of being on the verge of execution, he may have been part of a ritual intended to symbolize his death and rebirth as a member of the Tsenacommacah tribe.   

3. She was captured by the English and held captive

In 1613, Samuel Argall, an English captain in the First Anglo-Powhatan War, was trying to form an alliance with a group of Native Americans called the Patawomencks, a branch of Pocahontas’ tribe. Argall lured Pocahontas on board his ship where he held her for ransom, demanding that Powhatan release captive Englishmen and supplies. Powhatan refused, and Pocahontas remained captive for the next year.

During that time, Pocahontas was baptized by a minister, Alexander Whitaker. She took the name of Rebecca after she was baptized.

4. A first marriage?

One version of Pocahontas’ early years claims she was married to a man -- Kocoum -- and had a daughter, Ka-Okee. Kocoum, the story goes, was killed by the English after Pocahontas was captured.

5. She was taken to England

In 1614, Pocahontas is said to have told her father that she wished to remain with the English and not come back to her tribe. She had met tobacco farmer John Rolfe during her captivity, and on April 5, 1614 she and Rolfe married. The couple had a son on Jan. 30, 1615. During the two years the couple spent in Virginia, there was a period of peace between the settlers and the natives.

In 1616, Pocahontas and her family were taken to England by the Virginia Company – a trading company formed to establish settlements in the New World. The company, wanting to show how the “taming” of the Native Americans made the English colonies safe, ordered Pocahontas and Rolfe back to England. They arrived there in June, 1616.

It is reported that Pocahontas was treated kindly while there. The Virginia Company presented Pocahontas as a princess to the English.

6. She never returned home

After nearly a year in England, Pocahontas, Rolfe and their son boarded a ship to return to Virginia. The ship had not gone far when Pocahontas and Rolfe fell ill. They were taken ashore. Pocahontas, thought to be 21 at the time, died on March 21, 1617, and was buried in Gravesend, England. Her husband survived, and would return to Virginia with their son. 

7. Some famous descendants

While Warren does not claim she is a descendant of Pocahontas, several famous people do have a genealogical connection to her. Here are a few:

 Edith Bolling Galt Wilson (Woodrow Wilson's wife)

American actor Glenn Strange

Astronomer and mathematician Percival Lowell 

Members of the first families of Virginia, including George Wythe Randolph, Admiral Richard E. Byrd, and Virginia Gov. Harry F. Byrd.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)  

Sources:; Wikipedia


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Without a voice, DC reporter Jamie Dupree's work still resonates across the US

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:23 AM

Jamie Dupree. (Photo credit: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jamie Dupree. (Photo credit: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

A familiar Cox Radio voice is determined to be heard again.

>> On Cox DC bureau reporter loses voice in medical mystery

Cox Media Group Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree has spent more than three decades covering Capitol Hill, but nearly two years ago, his method of communication had to change.

>> The radio silence of Jamie Dupree

Doctors say a rare neurological condition is making it difficult for his brain to tell his tongue what to do while speaking. Placing a pen in his mouth helps him speak.

“It’s hard, but I am working to come back hard,” Dupree tells WSB Radio.

>> Read Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider blog here

Doctors say a rare neurological condition is making it difficult for Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree's brain to tell his tongue what to do while speaking. Placing a pen in his mouth helps him speak. (Photo via

He is now hoping a meeting with specialists at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta will help him figure out why he lost his voice. 

And the reporter in him has not quit.

“He still does interviews; he feeds us audio,” WSB Radio News Director Chris Camp says. Dupree also covers Congress via Facebook, Twitter and Cox Media Group websites. 

>> DC reporter Jamie Dupree honored on House floor

“He may not be able to talk, but boy you can hear him awful loud,” Camp adds.

Dupree is thankful to all who have wished him well. While the condition has obviously affected his job, that is not what he says hurts him the most.

“Think about not being able to talk to your kids, or your wife or your father or your friends. While my work is hard and different, life is about a lot more than that.”

>> WATCH: WSB-TVs Berndt Petersen speaks with Jamie about his struggle over the past couple years

Dupree says Emory researchers are trying a new treatment that will slow down the movement of his tongue to make it easier for him to speak. In the meantime, Jamie wants everyone to know his overall health is good.

“Even though he can't speak, Jamie is still the most trusted voice in Washington DC,” WSB Radio’s Bill Caiaccio says of his colleague and friend. “He was already the hardest working reporter in our nation’s capital, and now he works even harder to get the job done.”

WSB Radio anchor Chris Chandler echoes those sentiments, saying, "I've always said Jamie is the most valuable on-air presence on our stations, and he still is.

“There's not a word of news from Washington that he hasn't reported and broken down for us.”

Mark Arum, WSB Radio traffic anchor and talk show host, adds that Dupree is an invaluable resource: “He might have lost his voice, but he still has the drive to get the story and get it right.”

>> Read more trending news 

Sabrina Cupit, who anchors midday for WSB Radio, says Dupree is so much more than his voice: “His knowledge of Washington, his connections, his balanced reporting; they are all still a major part of what we do on air every day here at WSB.

“Personally, I have never met a kinder, more honest or just downright great human being in my life. I am praying for the return of his voice. I do miss hearing it.”

Get Dupree's take on what's happening in Washington delivered to your inbox every weekday by clicking here.

Jamie Dupree is a reporter for the Cox Media Group Washington News Bureau. 

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Brawl breaks out at IHOP after manager confronts unruly party

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 11:25 AM

File photo.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Owners of the Midtown IHOP are working to add more security at the restaurant after an early-morning attack.

>> Read more trending news

During the early-morning hours on Friday, March 16, the restaurant's manager, Mohammad Al Hourani, confronted an unruly party of five. 

Tuesday, police arrested Malachi Okelley.

“They started getting louder and louder. The customers inside started getting annoyed,” said Al Hourani.

The manager said Okelley was one of several customers who became loud and aggressive before he asked them to leave.

Shortly after, he found himself in a fight with the five customers, who began throwing objects at him as he fought off others. 

“My face was covered with blood. I couldn’t even open my eyes,” he said. 

Al Hourani is back at work, now with 16 stitches on his face and four staples in the back of his head. 

He said he is planning to have more security inside his restaurant.

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Austin bomb victim's father thanks authorities in letter, questions son's death

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 3:02 PM

Austin Package Explosions: Suspect Dead

The father of the first Austin bombing victim, 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House, thanked local and federal law enforcement officers for their handling of the investigation in a letter released Thursday that also questioned the meaning behind the attacks.

>> Read more trending news

“I wish to express my deepest appreciation for the exhaustive efforts and work of the Austin Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agency, and other agencies that participated in this investigation of the series of explosive devices,” Elliot House, Anthony House’s father, wrote in a letter first reported by CBS News.

>> Related: Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House

“Hopefully, the death of the bomb maker suspect ends the ring of fear and terror in the Austin area, although it leaves a few questions, shared with both the family of my son, Anthony House, and 17-year-old Draylen Mason, both being black and the only deaths in the series of bombings,” House continued. “We are plagued with how they were selected and why.”

Austin police have identified the people killed in two separate package explosions as Draylen Mason, left, and Anthony House. Mason died in a bombing Monday morning. House died after an explosion March 2. Photos: Courtesy of Kylie Phillips and Norrell Waynewood.(American-Statesman Staff)

Anthony House was the father of an 8-year-old girl and a Texas State University graduate.

Elliot House said he also appreciated the “personal condolence” from Christopher Combs, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the San Antonio Field Division, and Mayor Steve Adler. House noted that he especially appreciated that Adler “apologized for the initial investigation of the bombing involving my son by APD.”

>> Related: Austin bombings: How to help the victims

Many in the community have criticized the Austin Police Department for its handling and characterization of the first bombing. Several people in an East Austin town hall last week questioned whether Austin police would have more readily sounded the alarm and warned the community about the package bombs sooner had the first bombing killed a white person in a neighborhood west of Interstate 35.

>> Related: 55 hours of terror, and a final blast in Austin serial bombings

Elliot House expressed his grief, saying that the death of his son in the bombing left him childless, as his other son, Corey Alan House, was killed in 1994 at age 17.

“I have no more sons. I continue to mourn my losses,” House wrote in the letter to authorities. “But continue the good work.”


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CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Woman steals waiter's tip at Memphis restaurant

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 2:39 PM

FILE PHOTO (Craig Toocheck, license:
Craig Toocheck,
FILE PHOTO (Craig Toocheck, license: Toocheck,

A Facebook post is going viral in Memphis, but the people featured in it likely wish it wasn’t.

The post, which has been shared more than 339,000 times, reads as follows:

It features two videos.

In the first video, you see two women getting ready to leave Casa Mexicana on Hacks Cross. One of them places money on the table – a tip for the waiter – and they walk away.

>> Read more trending news 

Once they leave, a woman in the neighboring booth points to the table with the money. She looks over her shoulder and around the restaurant and talks to the man she’s sitting with.

Eventually, she gets up and takes the money off the table. After hurrying back to her booth, the woman stuffs the money in her shirt and the couple continues looking around.

In the second video, the couple looks around a little more and keeps talking before finally leaving the restaurant.

A waiter quickly walks into frame and goes to the table where the money was left. He lifts up the chip basket and a plate, but the money is nowhere to be found. 

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