Monday, June 26, 2017

Conditions in the Virginia Colony Under King James I #virginiapioneersnet #genealogy

The Conditions in the Colony Under King James I

growing tobacco in the streetsIn History of Virginia by Arthur and Carpenter, the need to plant tobacco was discussed. "The first articles of commerce to the production of which the early settlers almost exclusively devoted themselves, were potash, soap, glass and tar." After the costly experiments in the cultivation of the vine, the growing demand for tobacco enabled planters to turn their labor into a profit. Meanwhile, "The houses were neglected, the palisades suffered to rot down, the fields, gardens and public squares, even the very streets of Jamestown were planted with tobacco. The townspeople, more greedy of gain than mindful of their own security, scattered abroad into the wilderness, where they broke up small pieces of rich ground and made their crop regardless of their proximity to the Indians, in whose good faith so little reliance could be placed." In 1626, Charles I had established himself as a tobacco merchant and monopolist, issued a proclamation renewing his strong monopoly and appointing certain officers in London to seize all foreign tobacco not grown in Virginia or in the Bermudas, for his own benefit and also to purchase all of the tobacco coming from said plantations for resell. Profits were going so well for His Majesty, that in 1630 and 1634 he issued proclamations prohibiting the landing of tobacco anywhere except at the quay near the Custom House of London. The laws surrounding his monopoly ultimately diminished trade and ruined the Virginia Company altogether. 
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