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The Planters of Colonial Virginia


By: Thomas J. Wertenbaker, Pub. 1922, reprinted 2022, 260 pages, Index, ISBN #0-89308-054-1. This book tries to explain to the reader how the headright system, tobacco cultivation and the importation of slave labor transformed the colony of Virginia from a society of small farmers to the aristocracy of large plantation life. At the turn of the eighteenth century most Virginia landowners were still self-sufficient small farmers holding a few hundred acres of land. The appendix in this book is the closest thing to a census for the years 1704-1705. The appendix is made up of over 7,000 Rent Rolls of individual landholders, listing them by county with the numbers of acres they had.