loud speaker

Teachers and Parents: Use the coupon code "Snow Day" on or before January 31 to receive 50% off your subscription to MrN 365! The code is valid for all subscription types.

arrow up
Home > History > Tobacco In the Southern Colonies

Tobacco In the Southern Colonies

This articles discusses the roles that tobacco played in the southern economy and culture.

Colonial tobacco advertisement

Colonial Tobacco Advertisement

Tobacco was one of the most important crops in colonial America; it was the main reason that Jamestown and North Carolina remained viable in the 1600s and 1700s.

The American tobacco industry was started by John Rolfe, the eventual husband of Pocahontas. Rolfe brought tobacco seeds to Jamestown from the Caribbean island of Trinidad. In 1612, he harvested his first tobacco crop, which was well-received in England, and which, became the colony's cash crop! Rolfe's tobacco was said to taste milder and less bitter than previous tobaccos. As Jamestown tobacco became more popular in England, more tobacco plantations were planted in Jamestown and surrounding areas. Tobacco became so important, that it was used as currency, to pay taxes, and even to purchase slaves and indentured servants. Because of its burgeoning tobacco industry, African slaves were brought to Jamestown in 1619 to work the plantations. Others worked as indentured servants. Indentured servants came to America to work for seven years. After seven years, they were free to pursue their own interests and were sometimes given parcels of land. Soon, tobacco crops covered most of southeastern Virginia and eastern North Carolina. This led to competition, falling prices, and harsher treatment of slaves and servants.

Those who planted tobacco considered it a form of art and a distinct culture tobacco formed. Planters took great pride in the quality of their tobacco and even developed their own unique seals and signatures to identify their brands. The reputation of each planter was tied to the quality of his product, and those who produced what was considered high-quality tobacco were held in high esteem by those in the community, and often gained political authority and social esteem. Successful planters would often flaunt their prosperity by importing expensive clothing and furniture from England.

 
 
 

UPGRADE TO MRN365.COM

Upgrade to MrN 365 to access our entire library of incredible educational resources and teacher tools in an ad-free environment. If you like MrNussbaum.com, you will LOVE MrN 365!

Learn More