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Courting vincial Assembly in St. Mary’s City. They leased a boat and sails, bought provisions, and hired a crew. To be sure, it was thirsty work. Note that the brandy cost more than the food. Anyway, in 1669 it all added up to 18,428 pounds of tobacco. The Court immediately approved a levy of 76 pounds of tobacco per “poll” (head) in the county, of whom there were, apparently, 242. That would be 242 gentlemen and freemen, of course ~ not counting the women, children, indentured servants, slaves, or livestock. An interesting method of taxation, I think: You add up all the expenses and divide by the number of taxpayers. Everybody pays an equal share; there are no loopholes, no deductions, no forms to fill out, no accountants to pay. The sheriff just shows up at your door and demands that you hand over 76 pounds of tobacco. Okay, so tobacco was a kind of currency, but what was it worth in those days? For example, in 1672, Mr. John Anderton testified that his servant girl, Anne Yorke, was impregnated by Dennis White, a New England horsecourser (a dealer in horses). When White ran off and left the girl and her child, Anderton provided for them. Failing to get White to pay child support, Anderton asks the Court to grant him some compensation from White’s

estate. The Court agreed and gave Anderton an attachment against the estate of Dennis White for 3,000 pounds of tobacco. So, was that a lot of “money” or a little? Well, half that amount would have bought Richard Philips’ entire estate, according to the inventory. Philips appears to have been a carpenter or a boat-builder by trade, for nearly all his possessions are tools: a crossaw (cross-cut saw), broad axe, hand saw, 3 ouggars (augers), hollow adge (curved adze), drawing (draw) knife, cutting knife, axe, whimble (heavy-duty brace), a plane, a gouge (chisel), 4 hoes, and a froe (for splitting wood). From this pricing, we may suppose that 3,000 pounds would go a long way in providing food and clothing for one “base-born” child ~ for a few years at least. I can’t resist going “courting” from time to time, picking a page at random and seeing if there is anything with which I might connect. Here’s another record from the September 15, 1668, session of the Talbot County court, one that reads fairly easily. To the Worship Comissē for Talbot County the humble Petticon of Bryon Omely Sheweth that yor petticon hath a Sarvant by Name Edmund Roe how hath Rune away fourteen days yor Petticon humbly Craues Order of this Courtt According to Law

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Profile for Tidewater Times

June 2014 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times June 2014

June 2014 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times June 2014