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John Rolfe in Jamestown

John Rolfe (1585-1622) introduced tobacco to Jamestown and married Pocahontas, the daughter of the Algonquin chief, Powhatan. He was born in England and migrated to the Virginia colony in 1610. His infant daughter died en route, and his wife died soon after reaching Jamestown.

In 1612, Rolfe began experimenting with West Indian tobacco in an attempt to find a profitable export for the struggling colony. The first shipment was sent to England in 1617.

In 1614, Rolfe married Pocahontas, who was being held captive in the English colony. Their marriage initiated several years of peace between the English settlement and the Algonquians. After the death of Pocahontas in 1617, Rolfe remarried and held several positions within Virginia's colonial government. He died in 1622, possibly in the major Indian attack of that year.

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