SUCCESS SECRETS – A humble and astute English farmer has a vision of entrepreneurial success across the ocean in Virginia, embarks on an epic adventure, tastes entrepreneurial success, saves Virginia financially, marries a Princess, saves Virginia politically, and changes the world in seven years.
Marriage of John Rolfe and Pocahontas on April 5, 1614, the First Interracial Church Marriage in America
The marriage of John Rolfe and Pocahontas was the first interracial church marriage in America.
John Rolfe and Pocahontas were married 398 years ago today in the Jamestown Church in Jamestown, Virginia, by Reverend Richard Bucke, the Anglican minister.
The scene of the marriage, the Jamestown Church, was a wooden church built in 1608 (the second church, as the first one built in 1607 burned down on January 1, 1608). Archaeologists found part of the foundation in the summer of 2010, and excavated the entire foundation footprint in the summer of 2011. The church was large, 24′ by 64′, larger than the 20′ by 50′ brick church which eventually replaced it.
John Rolfe and Pocahontas were in love. Rolfe secured permission for his interracial marriage from Governor Thomas Dale and then from Chief Powhatan, Pocahontas’ father. Chief Powhatan not only assented to the marriage but offered peace to the English settlers. The ensuing Peace of Pocahontas, which lasted eight years, allowed the English to grow and prosper and get enough settlers into Virginia that the Indians couldn’t later kick them out.
John Rolfe’s two important contributions, the financial success and the period of peace for the first permanent English colony in the Americas, led to the establishment of the English common law and the English cultural heritage of representative government and religious freedom on which the United States of America was founded. If John Rolfe hadn’t created a financially successful industry and fallen in love with Pocahontas, we could have a French, Spanish, or even Dutch heritage.
Second, John Rolfe fell in love with Princess Pocahontas. He asked for and received permission from the Governor of Virginia to marry Pocahontas, recognizing that interracial marriage was at least discouraged if not prohibited. No white man had ever married a Native American. He also asked for and received permission from Pocahontas’ father, Chief Powhatan, the paramount chief of 31 Algonquin tribes. John Rolfe and Princess Pocahontas were married on April 5, 1614.
John Rolfe’s first accomplishment was his sole responsibility for the economic success of the Virginia colony. For years the colony could find no gold, silver, pearls, or cash crop. John Rolfe developed the first and only cash crop, which assured the success of the colony and made it not only viable but wildly successful financially. The History Channel’s 2010 production America: The Story of Us called Jamestown after the success of John Rolfe’s tobacco America’s first boomtown. Without the entrepreneurship of John Rolfe, Jamestown would have been a ghost town.
Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas, thirteen years before the Virginia Company of London granted a land patent to colonists on the Mayflower allowing them to settle at the mouth of the Hudson River in 1620. However, they sailed to the north and settled in what is now New England.
The Virginia colony was in serious trouble financially and the colonists were constantly dwindling in number and strength because of disease, starvation, and Indian attacks, and likely wouldn’t survive. Two accomplishments by John Rolfe turned things around for Jamestown, for Virginia, and ultimately for the future United States.
Because of my name, I’ve heard about John Rolfe and Pocahontas my entire life. I didn’t appreciate his critical role in the success of England colonizing America until a visit to Jamestown, Virginia, set me on a path of serious research into the life of John Rolfe. I spent four years researching this book. By a happy coincidence, I was already researching entrepreneurship. I discovered that John Rolfe was America’s first entrepreneur and he set the tone for the unique American spirit of entrepreneurship.
As you will see, without John Rolfe’s two major contributions, the Virginia colony would have failed and the French, Spanish, and Dutch, rather than the English, would have colonized not only New Mexico, California, Florida, Canada, Delaware, and New York, but most of what is now the United States. In a very real sense, John Rolfe is responsible for the United States being an English speaking nation.
I’m sure you’ve already read all the dire statistics about how the odds are stacked against you in starting a business and how few new businesses succeed. Yet you are right to have confidence that your business will beat the odds and succeed. Without that belief you and your business will fail.
This book will help you avoid the mistakes that may not be obvious to many of the entrepreneurs who start businesses. I certainly hope your challenges won’t be nearly as tough as those actually faced and overcome by America’s first entrepreneur. But the dramatic events of his life graphically illustrate the kinds of challenges every entrepreneur faces. And it’s a great story even if you’re not an entrepreneur.
In each chapter you will find the inspiring true and epic story of the challenges faced by America’s first entrepreneur. As you enjoy the historical narrative, think about your own entrepreneurial venture and consider whether you have met your similar business challenges. It was an amazing time in history, and the end of each chapter highlights some key events going on elsewhere in the world at the same time.
Once you have absorbed the wisdom presented by the story of America’s first entrepreneur, you can be sure your belief that your business is going to succeed is rooted in sound entrepreneurial principles, not in la-la land like your relatives probably think and say.
What is being an entrepreneur all about? The dictionary defines an entrepreneur as “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.”
Who becomes an entrepreneur, and why would you want to be an entrepreneur? Here it is in four words.
Creation. Freedom. Money. Legacy.
Being an entrepreneur is all about creating a venture that you have some control over, achieving the freedom to live life as you wish – doing what you want, when you want, where you want, and how you want – acquiring the money or wealth to do so, and leaving a business or financial legacy. And, oh, enjoying the game along the way.
Why do you need this book? This book will give you time-tested principles of entrepreneurship which will help you succeed in reaching your goals. America’s first entrepreneur illustrates all the important principles of entrepreneurship. America’s first entrepreneur was wildly successful within seven years using these principles after a series of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. His epic story is very inspiring. The industry America’s first entrepreneur created is not only still successful in America after 400 years, but has multi-billion dollar sales year in and year out.