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John Rolfe

Rolfe, John (rŏlf) [key], 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) Pocahontas, daughter of the Native American chief Powhatan. 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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