I gave hundreds of speeches about living trusts and other estate planning topics to the public and to professional colleagues. When I started giving speeches, I was nervous. I got better and more comfortable speaking until I really loved it. Then I retired from the practice of law and stopped my public speaking. I didn’t know I had anything to speak about, but I missed speaking.
Several years later, I started studying my namesake and was astounded by what I learned. Of course I had known all my life that John Rolfe was the first to successfully cultivate a marketable tobacco in America and that John Rolfe married the Indian Princess Pocahontas. After my research, I was astounded by three revelations I had about John Rolfe’s already impressive accomplishments.
My first revelation was that England’s first permanent colony in America, Jamestown, Virginia, established in 1607 long before the 1620 Massachusetts colony, was failing financially and would shortly be abandoned, and that John Rolfe’s tobacco was the cash crop that literally saved England’s colony financially and made Jamestown a boomtown!
My second revelation was that John Rolfe’s deep love for Pocahontas, which he expressed in a letter in 1614 to Governor Thomas Dale seeking permission for what would be the first interracial church marriage in America, led to the Peace of Pocahontas, a period of peace with the Indians that saved England’s colony politically and allowed it to grow and prosper without its people being killed off by the Indians.
My third revelation was that John Rolfe had set out for Virginia planning to grow tobacco for the English market, that in successfully doing so 400 years ago John Rolfe exhibited the character traits we now call the American entrepreneurial spirit, and that John Rolfe pioneered the steps that all successful entrepreneurs in America would subsequently take to achieve their dreams. That’s when I realized that John Rolfe was America’s first entrepreneur. This revelation led me to write AMERICA’S FIRST ENTREPRENEUR.
With my book and my speaking, my mission is to reignite the American entrepreneurial spirit and promote American free enterprise by revealing the origin of our unique American character and the inspiring odyssey of America’s first entrepreneur.