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petition of some freeholder or freeholders of the country where the said house is, or land lies, it shall be lawful for such County Court, and they are hereby required to order and appoint three or more good and lawful men of their county, upon their oaths, to value and appraise the said house so appointed, together with half an acre of the land next adjoining thereto; or to value and appraise half an acre of the land so appointed for a place whereon to build a rolling house. Which value of the house and half acre, or of the half acre of land appointed for a place whereon to build a rolling house being paid, or lawfully tendered to the owner or owners thereof, and return of the said order and appraisement to the county court made, the freeholder or freeholders petitioning as aforesaid shall be are hereby declared to be vested in the house and half acre of land, as in the half acre of land appointed for a place whereon to build a rolling house, to him and them, his or their heirs forever, upon condition that he and they, his and their heirs and assigns, keep and maintain upon the said half acre of land, such a convenient rolling house, as the said County Court shall from time to time direct and appoint; or otherwise, the said half acre of land to revert to the former proprietor thereof, his heirs and assigns, or to such other person as will build and maintain a sufficient rolling house thereon.

owner be under age or out of the country, the guardian or known attorney as the case is, to appear and shew cause why a public rolling house should not be erected on the said land or a public landing set out and appointed; and, if upon examination, they shall find that the rolling house petitioned for is convenient and necessary to order and appoint a house to be built thereon for a public rolling house by the owner, guardian or attorney as aforesaid, so as such rolling houses built or to be built be not distant from a convenient landing place above the space of a half a mile; and also to direct and appoint such place or places, convenient for boats, sloops and other vessels to come to, in order to land or take on board such tobacco or other goods as shall or may be brought thereunto to the public landing.

V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any owner or owners of any house now built or used for a public rolling house, or the owner or owners of any land appointed by any of the said county courts for a place whereon to build a public rolling house, his, her, or their guardian or guardians, attorney or attorneys, shall refuse to suffer or let such house be made use of for the purpose aforesaid, or to build a good and convenient rolling house on the place appointed by such county court for the same to be built on, within one year after the time of such appointment made; that then, and in such case, upon the

VI. Provided always, That the house so to be appointed from time to time by such County Court, be not a dwelling house, or any out house, edifice, or building or dwelling place contiguous and belonging or appertaining; and that the half acre of land so to be appointed by such County Court, for a place whereon to build a rolling house, be not at the time of such appointments the garden, orchard, or court yard to any dwelling house belonging or appertaining.

VII. Provided also, That the proprietor of such half acre appointed for building a rolling house, having no land adjacent, shall keep no hogs, nor other stock, upon the said half acre, on penalty of paying five shillings, current money, for every head of horses, mares, meat cattle, sheep, goats, hogs, shoats, or pigs, that shall at any time be found at large upon any of the adjacent lands; to be paid to the owner of such land, and cognizable by a justice of the peace of the county where the trespass shall be committed.

VII. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That there shall be paid and satisfied to the owner or owners of such tobacco, or other goods, or merchandizes, which shall be lodged and kept therein for storage for the same, the rates and prices following, viz: For every cask containing sixty gallons or upwards, and every bale or parcel of the like or greater bulk, twelve pence for the first day or for

the first three months, and six pence for every month afterward; and for every cask under sixty gallons and every bale or parcel of a less bulk than a sixty gallon cask, six pence and three pence respectively for every month, as aforesaid; and for all grain not packed in casks, which shall be brought to and lodged in said rolling house, the price of storage shall be brought to and lodged in said rolling house, the price of storage shall be after the rate of twelve pence for sixteen bushels, and so proportionately for a lesser or a greater quantity, for the first day, or for the first three months and six pence for every month afterwards: Which several rates and prices shall be paid and satisfied before such tobacco, goods or merchandize so lodged in the said rolling house shall be taken out or moved therefrom.

IX. And be it also further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That if any person, who shall be owner or keeper of such public rolling house, shall refuse to take in and keep in such rolling house, any tobacco, goods, or merchandizes, which shall be rolled or brought to such house; every person so refusing, shall be liable to satisfy, make good, and pay to the owner or owners of such tobacco, goods and merchandize, all such damages as he or they shall sustain, by reason of the said tobacco, goods or merchandizes, not being received and kept in such rolling house; And the owner or keeper of such rolling

house shall be liable to an action at common law, for any tobacco, goods, or merchandizes, which shall be lost out of such rolling house, and for any damages which shall or may happen to such goods, merchandizes, or tobacco during the time they shall be in the custody or under the care of such owner or keeper of such rolling house, for want of due care, or by the neglect of the owner or keeper of such rolling house, his servant o servants, to the owner or owners of such tobacco, goods, or merchanmerchandizes.

X. Provided always, That if any person or persons shall think him or themselves aggrieved by any judgment or order which shall be given by any County Court, for any matter or thing done in the execution of this act, it shall and may be lawful to and for such person and persons to appeal from such judgment or order to the general court.



As time passed it was found that tobacco could not be used to purchase and satisfy all of the wants of life, and taxes became burdensome. Discontent grew into desperation, and tobacco became ruinously low, and many planters left their crops to rot in the ground.

and organized companies resolved to cut down the stuff, root and branch. This was among the very first "strikes" that ever took place in this country, and laws were finally passed restraining the "plant-cutters" which made. it high treason and death. Bryant, in his history of the United States, says that "It was in the midst of these troubles that Culpepper re turned from England and his method of dealing with them was characteristic of the colonial rule of that period. His first measure of conciliation was to hang the 'plant cutters' whose grievance was the common one; however little sympathy the planters may have had with the violent conduct of those misguided men, and his first measure of relief was to inflate the currency by permission of the king, declaring silver coins, crowns, six dollars; and pieces of eight of the current value of five shillings, should be legal tender for six shillings, the fractional coins to be rated in like proportion. But the burden of the change was to fall upon the people alone; the five shillings. which were to pass for six in transactions among themselves were still to be reckoned at five shillings only in the payment of the governor's salary, in payment of the heavy tax on tobacco and all other taxes, and in payment of bills of exchange. The indignant burgesses remonstrated. They demanded that there should be equalization in the value of money; not one value for the debtor and another for the creditor.

Agreements were entered into between Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina to limit the planting and production of the weed.

Tobacco became hated by many,

They were not unreasonable in asking that the six shillings they were compelled to accept as legal tender in the sale of their tobacco should be six shillings still and not five only when they paid their taxes; nor were they irrational in complaining that they got only five shillings' worth of English merchandise for six shillings, while the price was enhanced by the increase in the rate of exchange. The governor answered by driving the assemblymen out of their chamber.

The infatuation of the people of England in regard to tobacco, seems to have amounted at one time to a perfect mania. And when Rev. James. Blair, the commissary of the Bishop of London, applied to Seymour, the attorney-general of England, to draw up the charter for William and Mary College, in 1692, he declared that it was useless, and protested against the royal endowment as extravagant. Blair begged the attorney-general to remember that the people of Virginia, quite as much as the people of other parts of the world, had souls to be saved. "Souls," was the answer. "Damn your souls, make tobacco!"


But the most extraordinary statute which was ever passed upon this subject, we think, was passed April, 1684, 36 Charles II, entitled: “An act for the better preservation of the peace of Virginia and preventing unlawful and treasonable associations," in and by which it was provided as follows: Whereas many evil and ill-disposed

persons, inhabitants of this colony and dominion of Virginia,contrary to their duty and allegiance, have at times tumultuously and mutinously assembled to cut and destroy tobacco plants, and to perpetrate the same in a traitorous and rebellious manner, with force and arms entered the plantations of many of his majestie's good subjects, of this, his colony, resolving by open force, a general and total destruction of all tobacco plants within his majestie's dominion, to the hazarding the subversion of the whole government, and ruin and destruction of his majestie's good subjects, if by God's assistance, and the prudent care and conduct of the then lieutenant governor and council, the mutineers had not been timely prevented, for which treasons and rebellions against his majesty and this, his government, some notorious actors have been indicted, convicted and some of them executed, and suffered such pains and punishments as by their treasons and rebellions they justly deserved. Now to the end and purpose, that none of his majestie's subjects may be at any time hereafter reduced to the specious pretenses of any persons, that such tumultuous and mutinous assemblies, to cut up or destroy tobacco plants or any other the crop or labors of the inhabitants of the said colony, are but riots and trespasses, and to the end, his majestie's subjects of this, his dominion, may be better secured in their estates and possessions.

Vol. 3 of Hening's Statutes at Large, p. II.

The burgesses of this present general assembly pray that it may be enacted, And be it enacted by the governor, council and burgessess of this assembly, That if any person or persons whatsoever, to the number of eight or above, being assembled together, shall at any time after the first day of June now next ensuing, intent, go about, practice or put in use with force, unlawfully to cut, pull up or destroy any tobacco plants, either in beds or hills, growing within the said colony, or to destroy the same, either curing or cured, either before the same is in hogsheads or afterward, or to pull down, burn or destroy the houses or other places where any such tobacco shall be, or to pull down the fences or enclosures of any tobacco plants, with intent to cut up or destroy the same, shall continue together for the space of four hours after order to disperse, at or nigh the place where such persons shall be assembled; that then every person so willingly assembled in forcible manner, to do any of the acts before mentioned, and so continuing together aforesaid, and being thereof lawfully convicted, shall be deemed, declared and adjudged, to be traitors, and shall suffer pains of death, and also shall lose and forfeit as in cases of high treason, Provided always, that no person or persons whatsoever shall incur the pains and penalties hereby inflicted thereupon, within twelve months after the offense committed, anything herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.


A writer in the Virginia Law Journal, Vol. 4, p. 453, in speaking upon the subject of the uses of tobacco as currency, among other things says: But the principal currency of the colony was tobacco notes and bills of exchange upon England. The first circulated at a value fixed by the common consent of the inhabitants of the colony, as the colony, as one-third less than sterling money, though known by the same nomenclature; the second being credits in England, circulated, it may be supposed, as very nearly so much. sterling money. But the tobacco notes were the principal currency among the people. To understand this matter properly, it is necessary to make a thorough examination of the part which tobacco bore in the history of currency.

At the beginning, there being little, if any, coin, tobacco was the only medium of exchange. We find in the first volume Hening's Statutes at Large, page 216, an act passed in 1633, which reads as follows: "Whereas it hath been the usual custom of merchants and others dealing intermutually in this colony to make all bargains, contracts, and to keep all accounts in tobacco and not in money, contrary to the former custom of this plantation and manner of England, and other places within the king's dominions, which thing hath bread many inconveniences in the trade, and

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