1619 entrepreneurialism / Virginia Company of London
With good reason, Virginia officials boast of the state’s entrepreneurial spirit. The colony began under the Virginia Company of London. Reforms under the “Great Charter” and instructions approved by the first General Assembly in 1619 helped improve land settlement and economic diversification. Ironmasters Benjamin Bluett and John Berkeley attempted to build America’s first blast furnace, but it was destroyed during the Second Anglo-Powhatan War. Despite this and other failed ventures, leaving tobacco as the colony’s chief export, Virginia’s entrepreneurial drive remains to this day.
Image: From UVA EV’s image of Virginia Company’s Merchants of Virginia, UVA Special Collections