John Rolfe

(1585—1622) colonist and entrepreneur

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English–born colonist, came to Virginia (1609), where he was a leading cultivator of tobacco, and instrumental in making it Virginia's staple commodity. He fell in love with Pocahontas, daughter of a leading Indian chief, and his marriage to her (1614) ensured peace with the Indians for several years. While on a voyage to England his wife died (1617), and he returned to become a colonial official. In 1622 the Indians destroyed his home, and he seems to have died at their hands. He wrote a description of Virginia for the king, first printed in the Southern Literary Messenger (June 1839), and is a figure in J. E. Cooke's novel My Lady Pokahontas (1885) and other fiction about his wife.

Subjects: Literature.

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