Tobacco's popularity created a large demand for pipes that were typically made in London using white clay from Dorset, along England's southern coast. Interested in the lucrative new industry, investors in the Virginia Company sought to add pipemaking to its trades and sought out adequate clay from the surrounding area.
Settlers, Kelso said, were under "tremendous pressure" to give investors the instant gratification they needed because "they put so much money into it," and didn't want to lose their lifeline to England. Colonists tried different trades such as silk making, glassmaking, lumber, sassafras and tar, with no financial success.
"The whole idea was to make money for investors and they enlisted all these specialists that would search Virginia for profitable resources that they could exploit," Straube said. "Tobacco was the quickest and easiest and most successful."
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