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Accomack County (Va.) Census of Tobacco Plants, 1725, 1728-1729. Local government records collection, Accomack County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia 23219.Acquisition Information
These items came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of court papers from Accomack County.Descriptive Summary
Accomack County (Va.) Census of Tobacco Plants, 1725, 1728-1729, are three lists of tobacco plants. The 1725 list records the names of tithable persons, half shares, and the number of tobacco plants grown. The precinct is not given although the counters state that this list was drawn up at the order of the vestry at the Middle Church. The 1728 list records the names of all tithable persons and how many plants they were growing along with the number of plots or plantations in which the crop was being grown. Slave names are given along with their owners. A total of the number of plants in the county is given at the end of the list. The 1729 list is for the second precinct and records the same information as the 1728 list although without the land information.Historical Information
Accomack County was named for the Accomac Indians, who lived on the Eastern Shore at the time of the first English settlement in Virginia. One of the original eight shires established in 1634, Accomac County (spelled without a k) became Northampton County in 1643. The present county was formed from Northampton about 1663. In 1940 the General Assembly adopted the county's present spelling.
Virginia's General Assembly passed Tobacco Acts in 1723 and 1729 that attempted to control the quantity and quality of tobacco grown in the colony. The 1723 act established limits on the number of plants that certain classes of persons could grow with slaveowners being allowed less plants. Each vestry of every parish had to appoint two people every year to count the number of plants being grown and report the numbers to the clerk of court by the month of August. Any number of plants over the allowed number were to be destroyed by the planter or, if the planter would not, by the counters. The act of 1729 provided various adjustments to and elaborations on the 1723 act. For full text of the acts which were not published in Hening's Statues, see The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (Vol. 20, pp.158-178.)Index Terms