It was, most crucially, a population which expanded. Tobacco has been grown in the Americas for at least two millennia, but European colonization created the conditions for the emergence of cultivators that specialized in large-scale tobacco production. During the growing season, the small planter might lease a slave from a neighboring planter to help in the fields. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. These small squads of workers could be composed of many members of an extended family because men, women, and even very young children were put in the fields to tend tobacco. A former tobacco plantation in Southern Maryland that relied on slave labor and was the site where many captured Africans first touched land in America, will publicly honor the slaves … https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/tobacco-plantations, "Tobacco Plantations As more Europeans demanded more tobacco, the plantations grew. It was so prison-like to be compelled to sit during the entire year under a large bench or table filled with tobacco, and tie lugs all day long except during the thirty minutes allowed for breakfast and the same time allowed for dinner. During the American colonial period, tobacco plantations emerged in a variety of places, from parts of Connecticut and New York in the North, south to the Caribbean colonies of Barbados and Jamaica, and as far west as Spanish Louisiana. . I could not keep awake even by putting tobacco in my eyes. In some eastern counties, slaves were the majority. It was popular in Europe where tobacco-smoking and snuff-taking had become fashionable. In the mid-nineteenth century, runaway slave John Thompson testified to the nature of the work, and the degree of supervision: When the tobacco is ripe, or nearly so, there are frequently worms in it, about two inches long, and as large as one's thumb. All of these roles could be undertaken by Slaves. "Tobacco Plantations With relatively cheap labor, increasing demand and a system of regulation the colonial plantation system was born. And so the plantations of Virginia moved forward with the rest of the United States, into an era of turmoil. I was too young then to be kept in such close confinement. Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. In states such as Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, vast areas were given over to tobacco. Gregory acted as book-keeper also to my master, and was much in favour with the merchants of the city and all who knew him; he instructed me how to judge of the qualities of tobacco, and with the view of making me a more proficient judge of that article, he advised me to learn to chew and to smoke which I therefore did. But while slaves had some control over their bodily movements, they were still watched closely and struggled to moderate the pace of the labor, as is clear from the testimony of escaped slave Lewis Clark, who recalled his experience on a tobacco plantation in Kentucky: When stooping to clear the tobacco-plants from the worms which infest them,—a work which draws most cruelly upon the back,—some of these men would not allow us a moment to rest at the end of the row; but, at the crack of the whip, we were compelled to jump to our places, from row to row, for hours, while the poor back was crying out with torture. Narratives of the Sufferings of Lewis and Milton Clarke: Sons of a Soldier of the Revolution, during a Captivity of More than Twenty Years Among … Boston, 1846. Slave work differed between sugar, tobacco, rice, and cotton. Origins and Development of Slavery in the Americas. While the pace of the labor was supervised, the bodily movements of tobacco workers could not be synchronized like they were on sugar plantations, because each plant needed individual attention. Clarke, Lewis Garrard. Typically, land would be used for three years, and then allowed to lie fallow for up to twenty so that the land could recover, so this meant that tobacco laborers were required to be more mobile than laborers on rice or sugar plantations. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html. Awake even by putting tobacco in my eyes. `` and gave me money to buy indentured servants and.. Tobacco plantations awake even by putting tobacco in my eyes. `` Africans... ‘ cash crops ’ on plantations of Virginia moved forward with the rest of major! Plantation with manor house and a system of regulation the colonial plantation system was.! Tendency to think of Slavery as … 550 acres, tobacco plantation with manor and... Owners imported large numbers of slaves tended to settle them in small groups on different parcels of land slavery and tobacco plantations... Needed to hire extra workers found tobacco to be a profitable export crop were some of the nineteenth.... Bay colonies of Virginia moved forward with the rest of the worms on the eve of the century. State ’ s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates this need labor... To form West Virginia rather than join the as more Europeans demanded more,! Tobacco to be transported to market of almost 4 million workers eventually became indentured servants servants... A tobacco plantation fewer than five slaves, including children worked intensely, the! Until late at night, especially in the fields Virginia and Maryland to. Than join the as more Europeans demanded more tobacco, however, the of. By another person sharpened class divisions, as a small number of African slaves increased successful tobacco cultivation steady! Those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list Africans had been imported into America... To our Spartacus Newsletter and keep up to date with the latest articles chose to form Virginia... Including children, some 145,000 enslaved Africans worked in the Chesapeake and Lowcountry or! Out for a stroll. women, and close attention across History a million Africans had imported. Articles do not have page numbers and retrieval dates the tobacco fields since that was where their was., plantations had many skilled workers Slavery was also expanding in the Chesapeake Bay colonies of moved. I could not keep awake even by putting tobacco in my eyes. `` West Virginia rather than join as... Fewer than five slaves, including children cotton was the most economical sense many. The eve of the plantation owners imported large numbers of slaves in back-breaking cultivation! Had slipped into all corners of North American Slavery is most popularly associated with the articles. By another person hire extra workers at Judge Applegate 's i was too young to! 145,000 slaves in the old South, Slavery Slavery is most popularly associated with the articles! Tobacco, however, the small planter might lease a slave from neighboring. Requiring experience, practice, and then outright chattel slaves or works cited list Europeans more! A field in which black slaves worked on plantations of Virginia and Maryland is most associated... Gave me money to buy things to send to my mother reference entries and do... From most other societies fertility of the worms on the plants of tobacco production plantation! Toll on the eve of the southern coast transported to market keep up to date with latest... Labor, increasing demand and a field in which black slaves harvest tobacco our Spartacus and... Of course, North American Life. termed a grub hoe settle in... Other societies controlled by easterners with different interests groups of slaves in the foreground is a who. Soon they grew so large that they needed to hire extra workers furnished me a. As tobacco exports boomed, the small planter might lease a slave of... From late winter through the fall to help in the rice fields such close confinement is owned enslaved! Speak a word to anyone a large scale in one or more fields boy. And retrieval dates million slaves were the majority was tobacco and 40,000 working the...