John Rolfe, the Pioneer Tobacco Planter
John Rolfe is credited with making the first trail of growing tobacco in the year of 1612. The first general planting occurred in 1616 (when the colony only numbered 51 persons) at West and Shirley Hundred along the North side of the river where Captain Maddeson had employed twenty-five persons, solely to plant and cure the crop. The Indians had freely sold six precincts, viz: Henrico, Bermuda Nether Hundred, West and Shirley Hundred, James Towne, Kequoughtan and Dales-Gift. The main body of the planters consisted of officers, laborers and farmers. The officers had charge over the laborers and farmers and were required to maintain themselves and families with food and raiment. Those employed in the general operation of things were smiths, carpenters, shoemakers, tailors, tanners, etc.
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