Tobacco was colonial Virginia's most
successful cash crop. The tobacco that the first English settlers encountered in
Virginia—the Virginia Indians' Nicotiana rustica—tasted dark
and bitter to the English palate; it was John Rolfe who in 1612 obtained Spanish seeds, or Nicotiana
tabacum, from the Orinoco River valley—seeds that, when
planted in the relatively rich bottomland of the James River, produced a milder, yet still dark leaf
that soon became the Eu. . .
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