In 1611 John Rolfe became the first Englishman to cultivate tobacco nearby at Varina Farm, on the James River. Rolfe planted seeds bred in Varinas, Spain, and experimented with curing methods to produce a tobacco milder than the native variety. The success of tobacco as a cash crop encouraged the Virginia Company of London and renewed the spirit of confidence among the colonists. It supported a wealthy planter class and enriched shippers and merchants. Tobacco thereby contributed to the economic security and survival of the Virginia colony, and thus the nation.
Geographic Location: Henrico County
Physical Description of Location: Henrico, VA 23231. Located on New Market Road (Rt. 5), 2.25 miles northwest of the intersection of New Market Road (Rt. 5) and I-295. Marker is on the left when traveling northwest on New Market Road (Rt. 5).
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