St. Johns Episcopal Church near Suffolk, Virginia
It was said by a Quaker witness in Northampton County that "the ministers who came into this country were raveninge wolves and hungry dogges and would preach no longer than they were fed." Rev. Robert Powes of Lower Norfolk County in 1652 owned 64 volumes of books. For four years Powes performed all of the ministerial duties of Lower Norfolk County and received no compensation. In 1648 the vestry paid him one years full tithe in tobacco and corn. An inventory taken in 1652 disclosed that he was the owner of no inconsiderable aount of property, however, his personalty was valued at nearly 12,000 pds of tobacco and included a large quantity of household furniture and utensils, 18 head of cattle and seven head of swine. He also possessed a boat. He instructed in his will that the cattle should pass to his daughter who was living in the Mother Country (England). To his only son, Robert, he devised the remainder of his estate.
Hence, the life of clergymen in the Virginia Colony was a sparse existence at most, depending upon the parishers for support, even food. The churches were comprised of a vestry, who created boundaries, measured roads, visited parishioners, and a number of charitable duties. Attendance to the Anglican Church was required, as well as tithing which was usually done in the form of tobacco. Tobacco was widely traded for goods in the Colony and exported to England. But Virginians were adventurers who invested more in farm lands and out buildings than they did their own homes. The temperament of Virginians was not particularly religious in nature. By the time of the Declaration of Independence, Virginians had created an economy of thriving plantations which produced independent wealth in rice and cotton crops. After the war, as loyalists were declared traiters and their estates confiscated, an old colonial churchyard, St. John's Episcopal Church near Suffolk, County, suffered damage to its cemetery when patriots torn down Loyalist tombstones.
Sources: Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. vi, p. 191 and Last Will and Testament, Norfolk County; Lower Norfolk Antiquity, vol. ii, pp. 124, 126; Northampton Records, 1657-64, p. 27.
Westover Plantation, Charles City CountyCrop
Homes of the Colonists
The floor was frequently protected by carpets, some of which were of stout leather, some of stuffs highly figured and colored. However, the term "carpet" in the old documents sometimes applied to table coverings. Tablecloths were manufactured of cotton, oznaburg, dowlas, holland and damask. The furniture in the dining-room of Robert Beverley, Sr. of Middlesex County, one of the wealthiest men in the Colony, consisted of an oval and a folding table, a small table and leather couch, two chests, a chest of drawers and fifteen Russian leather chairs. The hall or dining room was sometimes called the "great room" and was furnished with several varieties of tables, the most common of which were the short and long framed, with benches. In addition there were the folding, the falling, the Spanish, the Dutch oval and the sideboard table. Some pieces were made with black walnut and cedar. The inventory of the average planter in Virginia during the 17th century revealed a variety of household articles among the different apartments of a dwelling. The home of Thomas Osborne of Henrico County left a personalty calculated to be worth 125 pounds sterling. There was furniture, tableware, bed and table linen and the utensils in the kitchen and dairy. The room designed as the best
contained a feather-bed, bolster, pair of pillows, curtains and valance, a blanket and a worsted rug. There were also two chests with locks and keys, a framed table, one small sideboard table, one chest of drawers, six high and six low leather chairs, a small old-fashioned looking glass, pair of andirons with brass bosses, pair of bellows and a small leather trunk. A very important commodity in the Virginia Colony was the use of plank board. Some plantations were in possession of a great abundance of plank. John Smyth of York lft 1500 feet; John Andrews of Accomac, 1800 feet. Henry Jenkins, of Elizabeth City was indebted to Pascho Curle for 4,029 feet of plank. Sources: Records of York County, vol. 1694-1697, p. 410, Records of Accomac County, vol. 1666-1670, p. 23; Records of Henrico County, Vol. 1688-97, page 350; Records of York County, vol. 1675-1685, page 146; Records of York County, vol. 1694-1697, p. 410, Records of Accomac County, vol. 1666-1670, p. 23.
Loading hogsheads of tobacco
The Magazine Ship
The affairs of the Magazine were administered by a director (of the London Company) who was assisted by a committee of five councillors and the accounts thereof were required to be passed upon by auditors specially nominagted at a Quarter Court. This means that the adventurers held separate meetiings when all routine business was transacted. At this time, no outside trader could send supplies into the Colony. The first ships had carried supplies to the Colony as well as a large number of persons who proposed to reside in Virginia. After the year of 1619, the vessel which conveyed articles and supplies into the Jamestown settlement were called a magazine ship. The articles purchased by the adventurers who entered into a joint stock (known as the magazine) were conveyed by the magazine ship and its loading was confined to goods and a few men who were appointed to take charge of them both before and after their arrival at Jamestown. The first magazine ship was the Susan, a small vessel whose cargo was restricted to clothing (of which the Colony stood in great need). The goods of the Susan were placed in the care of Abraham Piersey as Cape Merchant, both during the voyage and after Virginia was reached. The only commodities produced in the Colony assuring a profit when sold in England were tobacco and sassafras, which was exchanged for the contents of the magazine vessel.