Rolfe, John

Rolfe, John

(rŏlf), 1585–1622, English colonist in Virginia. He reached the colony in May, 1610, and introduced (1612) the regular cultivation of tobacco, which became Virginia's staple. A widower, he fell in love with and married (1614) PocahontasPocahontas
, c.1595–1617, Native North American woman, daughter of Chief Powhatan. Pocahontas, meaning "playful one" (her real name was said to be Matoaka), used to visit the English in Virginia at Jamestown.
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, daughter of the Native American chief PowhatanPowhatan
, d. 1618, Native North American chief of the Powhatan tribe in Virginia, whose personal name was Wahunsonacock. He greatly extended the dominion of the Powhatan Confederacy and after the marriage (1614) of his daughter Pocahontas to John Rolfe kept peace with the
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. They went to England in 1616, and there she died (1617). He returned to Virginia, remarried, and held several offices. He was probably killed in the Native American massacre of 1622.

Rolfe, John

(1585–1622) colonist; born in Norfolk, England. His successful cultivation of tobacco led to its becoming the staple crop of Virginia. He married Pocahontas (1614); the union maintained peace with the Indians that lasted until 1622.
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