Skip to main content

Chesapeake Colonies

CHESAPEAKE COLONIES

CHESAPEAKE COLONIES, Maryland and Virginia, grew slowly from 1607 to 1630 due to the low-lying tidewater's highly malignant disease environment. Stagnant water, human waste, mosquitoes, and salt poisoning produced a mortality rate of 28 percent. Within three years of coming to the colony, 40 to 50 percent of the indentured servants, who made up the majority of the population, died from malaria, typhus, and dysentery before finishing their contracts. By 1700, settlement patterns tended toward the healthier Piedmont area, and the importation of slaves directly from Africa boosted the population.

As the tobacco colonies' populations increased, so did their production of tobacco, their principal source of revenue and currency. Plantations were set out in three-to-ten-acre plots for tobacco along the waterways of Maryland and Virginia, extending almost 200 miles in length and varying from 3 to 72 miles in width, which gave oceangoing ships access to almost 2,000 miles of waterways for transporting hogsheads of tobacco. Ship captains searched throughout Chesapeake Bay for the larger planters' wharves with storehouses, called factories, to buy tobacco for merchants. Small planters also housed their crops at these large wharves. Planters turned to corn and wheat production in the eighteenth century.

The county seat remained the central aspect of local government, yet it generally held only a courthouse, an Anglican church, a tavern, a country store, and a sparse number of homes. A sense of noblesse oblige was conserved within the church government and the militia. Books and pamphlets imported from London retained the English culture and a sense of civic responsibility.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Finlayson, Ann. Colonial Maryland. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1974.

Kulikoff, Allan. Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680–1800. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986.

Meyer, Eugene L. Chesapeake Country. New York: Abbeville, 1990.

Morgan, Phillip D. Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Low country. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

Michelle M.Mormul

See alsoMaryland ; Virginia ; Virginia Company of London ; andvol. 9:An Act Concerning Religion ; Speech of Powhatan to John Smith ; Starving in Virginia, 1607–1610 .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Chesapeake Colonies." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Chesapeake Colonies." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chesapeake-colonies

"Chesapeake Colonies." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chesapeake-colonies

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

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. 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:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.