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Preservation Virginia > Jamestown Rediscovery > Exhibit > Jamestown Fort: Rediscovered > The People > John Rolfe - Tobacco Farmer

John Rolfe - Tobacco Farmer

John Rolfe John Rolfe was a farmer in the Jamestown settlement whose crops of tobacco became the economic basis for the colony. Known as an "ardent smoker," Rolfe was probably instrumental in importing tobacco seed from Trinidad between 1610 and 1611. He crossed the imported breed with the indigenous tobacco to produce a plant well adapted to the local soil and reportedly of pleasant taste. When the English cargo vessel Elizabeth sailed from Virginia on June 28, 1613, it presumably carried Rolfe's first crop for export. In April of the following year, John Rolfe married Pocahontas in Jamestown's church. He died early in 1622 and was survived by his and Pocahontas's son, Thomas Rolfe.

















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