I was under the impression that tobacco was the principal money producer for Virginia in the 16-1700s… note this letter of 1708:
October 19, 1708
Volume 01, Pages 690-691
The Councill this day having taken into consideration the severall Inquirys sent from the Right Honlle the Lords Commrs for Trade which were communicated to them by Mr President agreed to the following answers. Vizt
As to that part of the said Inquirys which concerns the removal of the Inhabitants of this Colony into our neighbouring Plantations & the way to prevent the same.
The Councill are humbly of opinion that the chief cause of this Removal is the want of Land to plant and cultivate the most convenient Land yet unpatented being in pamunky neek & on the South side of Blackwater Swamp, and that shutt up by the orders of the Government this has occasioned many families of old Inhabitants whose former plantations are worn out as well as great number of young people & servants just free to seek for settlements in the province of North Carolina where Land is to be had on much easier Termes than here, & not a few have
——————– page 691 ——————– obtained grants from that Government of the very same land which they would have taken up from this, if liberty had been given for it. For preventing whereof it is humbly proposed that the bounds between Virginia & Carolina be settled as soon as may be, and that free liberty be given to all persons to take up Land anywhere within the bounds of Virginia on the Terms mentioned in the Charter granted by his Majesty King Charles the second and according to the constant Custom of granting Land in this Country from the first settlement thereof.
Another cause of the Removal of our Inhabitants is the exemption granted in most of the proprietary Governments for being sued for debts contracted in other places, this encourages a great many people of uneasy circumstances or dishonest inclinations to run thither to avoid their creditors & secure themselves a safe retreat, & even in the Province of North Carolina where Virginia debts are pleadable there are such difficulties in the prosecution thereof, partly by the distractions of that Country which has no settled Government & partly by the protection those debtors find among persons of the like circumstances & principles that it is but lost labour to sue for them.
* * * *
As to the Inquiry how & in what particulars the trade of this country is increased or decayed & the reason of such increase or decay.
It is answered that there can’t be an exact estimate made how much Tobacco is exported from hence, that being best known to the Honble Commissioners of the Customs but it is very plain the production of that manufacture has been increasing for sevll years, as on the other hand the value thereof hath proportionally decreased, which we conceive is occasioned by the great number of negros imported and the increase of the Inhabitants, who being only imployed in that manufacture, there is much more made than can be possibly vended to any advantage. Another branch of the Trade of the Country is the Indian Trade for skins & furrs in which great quantitys of Course Cloths from England, powder, shott, gunns, hatchetts etc have been vended annually, but that Trade is now like to be totally wrested out of our Hands by the Government of South Carolina who under pretence that the Indian Nations with whom we Trade live within their Government take upon them to seize the effects of our Traders & to impose high dutys equall to a prohibition on all Commoditys carried thither from hence, and the like on the skins brought back this is a new & strange pretence that Virginia who traded with those Indians before the name of Carolina was known should be now abridged especially since most of the Indians with whom we Trade live some hundreds of miles from any of the Inhabitants of Carolina.
“Journal, June 1737: Volume 46,” Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 7: January
1735 – December 1741 (1930), 188-204, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/
June 6, 1737
That in the year 1707 the people of [South] Carolina, not willing that any other
colony should share the Indian trade with them, had passed an Act, laying so high
a duty upon all goods proper for the said Indian trade imported in that Province,
that it amounted to a prohibition; That the Virginia traders complained of this Act,
as it entirely interrupted their trade with the said Indians, and that the said Act had
been repealed, as prejudicial to the right of the subject, notwithstanding it had
been confirmed by the then Lords Proprietors of Carolina. After this, another law
was passed in Carolina, by which it was made penal to trade with the said Indians
without a licence from the people of Carolina for that purpose; That the people of
Virginia again complained of this law as an infringement upon their trade, and the
law was accordingly repealed. After this, they never made any other attempt to
exclude others of his Majesty’s subjects from trading with their Indians, but made
several good regulations for carrying on the said trade, binding to none but to the
people of their own Province.
Acts of the Albemarle County General Assembly
Carolina. Albemarle County. General Assembly
January 20, 1670
Volume 01, Pages 183-187
AN ACT PROHIBITING STRANGERS TRADING WITH THE INDIANS.
For as much as there is often recourse of Strangers from other parts into this County to truck and trade with the Indians which is conceived may prove very prejudiciall Wherefore be it enacted by the Pallatine and Lords Proprietors by and with the advice and consent of the Grand Assembly and the authority thereof that if any person or persons of what quallity or Condition soever they be shall presume to come into this County to truck or trade with any of our neighbouring Indians belonging to the County or that shall be found to have any Indian trade purchased from them or being found or appearing that they come to trade with any Indians as aforesaid Whether in their Townes or elsewhere within the County which is hereby left for the Magistrate to judge it shall bee lawfull for any person or persons to apprehend any such persons or Forreigners that shall be found amongst the Indians or elsewhere within the limitts of the County and him or them bring before the Governor or any one of the Councell who shall hereby have power to comitt them to prison there to abide till they have paid tenn thousand pounds of tobacco and caske otherwise to stand to the censure of the Vice Pallatine and Councell And it is further declared that whatsoever Trade is found with the person apprehended One halfe thereof and one halfe of the fine shall belong to the Apprehendor and the other halfe to the Lords Proprietors.
The fore going Acts weare past againe the 15th of October and sent per Mr Nixon.
Acts of the North Carolina General Assembly, 1715 – 1716
North Carolina. General Assembly
November 17, 1715 – January 19, 1716
Volume 23, Pages 1-96
An Act prohibiting Strangers Trading with the Indians.
I. Forasmuch as there is often recourse of strangers from other parts into this Country to truck & trade with the Indians which is conceived may prove prejudicial, wherefore,
II. Be it Enacted by the Palatin & Lords Proprietors by & with the advice & consent of the present Grand Assembly & the Authority thereof, that if any person or persons of what Quality or Condition soever they be, shall presume to come into this Country to Truck & Trade with any of our Neighbour Indians belonging to the Country, or shall be found to have any Indian Trade purchased from them, or being found or appearing that they come to trade with any Indians as aforesaid whether in their Town or Elsewhere within the Country, which is hereby left for the Majistrate to judge, It shall be lawful for any person or persons to apprehend any such person or Foreigner that shall be found amongst the Indians or elsewhere within the limits of the Country and him or them bring before the Governor or any one of the Council, who shall hereby have power to commit them to prison there to abide until they have paid Ten thousand pounds of Tobacco & Cask; otherwise to stand to the censure of the Governor.
III. And it is further declared that whatsoever Trade is found with the person apprehended one half thereof & one half of the Fine shall belong to the Apprehender & the other half to the Lords Proprietors.
Acts of the North Carolina General Assembly, 1715 – 1716
North Carolina. General Assembly
November 17, 1715 – January 19, 1716
Volume 23, Pages 1-96
Staple Commodities Rated.
II. And It Is Hereby Enacted that for establishing a Certainty in Trade & in the payment of Publick Leyys all Debts due or which hereafter may become due on acct. of the Publick or to any Inhabitant or foreignor trading amongst us or in our private dealing amongst ourselves or otherwise howsoever the Debt being contracted or due in Money not expressing Sterling such person or persons to whom such money shall be due shall take & receive of the same any Specie hereafter expressed & all the Rates hereby appointed or Publick Bills of Credit any thing in this Act contained to the Contrary Notwithstanding.
|Tobacco per Cwt||0||10||0|
|Indyan Corn per Bush.||1||8|
|Wheat Corn “ “||3||6|
|Tallow Tryed, per lb.||5|
|Leather Tanned & Uncured, per lb.||8|
|Beaver & other Skins per lb.||2||6|
|Wild Cat Skins per piece||1||0|
|Butter per lb.||6|
|Cheese per lb.||4|
|Buck & Doe Skins (raw) per lb.||9|
|do do (drest) “||2||6|
|Feathers per lb.||1||4|
|Pitch (Full Gauged) per Barl.||1||0||0|
|Whale Oil “ “||1||10||0|
|Porke “ “||2||5||0|
|Beef “ “||1||10||0|
III. And Be It Further Enacted by the Authority afors’d none of the aforementioned Comodities shall be forced upon any Creditor or Publick Receiver or other at the Rates & Prices aforementioned unless they be good in their kind & Merchantable & approved by Two substantial Freeholders Indifferently chosen & sworn before some Magistrate justly & impartially to give their opinion thereon.
IV. And Be It Further Enacted that in all Contracts made or hereafter to be made for Drest Buck skins at Two shillings per skin & Drest Doe Skins at One Shilling & six pence per skin the same shall be adjudged equal to Sterling money of the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Most of these traders are from Virginia but they traded with the NC “Tuscaruros” and with the SC Cherokees and Chickasaws among others.
I culled these notes are from “Executive journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia”
Henry Briggs interpeter
M” Benjamin Harrison jun
Capt Tho: Harrison
Capt Nathaniel Harrison
Coll° Benj * Harrison
“be Impowered and desired to call before him such persons as can give Testimony of the designs of the said Indians and take their examinations upon oath and in case he find cause to send for the said Indians, and examine them touching ye said design, and if they either refuse to come or that the design appear probable to raise such forces as he shall think necessary to take and secure ye said Indians and either send them forthwith to Wm’burgh if he finds it necessary or send account to the Governor to the end further directions may be given as that case shall require.”
Henry Briggs be commissioned Interpreter to the Nottoway Maherlne and Nansemond Indians in the roome of Thomas Wynne
Capt Joshua Wynne
“Whereas information is given to this Board that the Surveyor of North Carolina doth not only lay out & survey Diverse tracts of land within the bounds of the Colony but also that he is now about running the dividing lines between this Governm’ & North Carolina begining at the mouth of Nottoway river far within the known bounds of this Colony without any notice given to this Governm* of his proceedings, and that Cap* Joshua Wynne of Prince Georges County & sevl other Inhabitants of this Colony have gone out as is Supposed on pretence of taking up land with the said Surveyor, It is ordered that Coll° Benjn Harrison do as soon as may be give directions to such persons as he shall think fitt to go out & stop the said Surveyor from proceeding any further in removing the said Bounds or Surveying any lands on this Side of Weyanock Creek the reputed bounds of this CoUony, and for the better discovery of the place where the said Surveyor is at present employed. It is further ordered that the sd Capt Joshua Wynne or such other persons as the sd Coll° Harrison shall Discover to have been last out with the said Surveyor be Summoned & required to attend the Gent to be appointed for stopping the sd Surveyor & to Conduct them to the place where he is”
“Whereas Major Nathaniel Harrison hath this day offered his Service to go to the Nottoway Indian Town in search of the Tuscaruro Indians who committed the murder on y^ body of Jeremiah Pate of New Kent County ”
“Maj’ Joshua Wynne of Prince George’s County is well acquainted wth ye sd Tuscaruro Indians This Board do desire him to accompany Maj’ Harrison to ye sd Nottoway Town for the better Discovery of such of the Tuscaruro’s who have been concerned in the aforesd murder. ”
Benjm Harrison Esq’ Speaker of the House of Burgesses
Henry Briggs Interpreter go to the King or Chiefe of the Tuscaruro Indians
“Coll° Harrison acquainted the Board that the Messengers sent to the Tuscoruros returned last night, and brought word that some of the Great men would be In within two days and would bring In one of the murderers with them the other three not being in their Towns ”
“Ordered that such Tuscoruro Indians as shal be made use of as Evidences be after the tryal safely conducted to Coll” Harrison and permitted to depart to their own nation without further trouble ”
“In pursuance of an order of Council dated the 18**^ of March last to make inquiry into the truth of what was alledged by Jack Mason a Tuscaruro Indian on his tryal that he was at Coll” Hills quarter all that day and night on which Jeremiah Pate was killed.” [“quarter” = trading post] see below “Hill”
“Robert Hix, David Crawley and other Indian Traders ”
“Arthur Cavenner [Kavanaugh]an Inhabitant of Surry County but pretending himself of North Carolina hath used diverse ill practices with the Saponie Indians on purpose to create misunderstanding and Jealousy between the sd Indians and her Majtys Subjects of this Colony ”
“Joshua Wynne Jn° Evans and Jn° Davis for their Service in going by order of this Board to the Tuscaruro Indians”
“George Fountain a free Negro hath traded with the Tuscaruros ”
“Henry Briggs Ordered that he be paid seven pounds out of her Majestys Revenue of two Shillings per hogshead for his Services in going to the Tuscaruro and other Indians”
“M’ Peter Poythres be forthwith dispatched to such of the Tuscaruro Towns as refused to join with the rest of their nation in the late Massacre”
“Ordered that Major Nathaniel Harrison make enquiry whether any of the Tributary Indians have corresponded with the Tuscaruros”
” Nathaniel Mallone of Surry County, William Parham and James Grasham of Prince George’s County be taken into the Custody of the Sherif of the said Countys, and brought before the Governor in Council to answer their Contempt of the Orders of the Government in trading with the Tuscaruro Indians and Ordered that M” James Wynne be summoned to attend at the same time to testify his knowledge in relation to the Fact abovementioned.”
“William Parham an Indian Trader of Prince George’s County being brought before this Board and examined touching his trading with the Tuscaruro Indians, and it appearing that he purchased a considerable quantity of powder, of the Sale of which he hath given no satisfactory account. It is Ordered that (for the better discovery of the truth of what the said Parham hath alledged) M” Randle Piatt Sherif of Prince George’s County make enquiry by the best ways and means he can, what powder the said Parham had in his house at the time of his being brought before the Council, and also to examine upon Oath William Batts William Woodward, Samuel Tutum senior and Thomas Addison how much powder they had of the said Parham at any time last Winter, and that he report his proceedings therein to the Governor.
Ordered that Nathaniel Malone of Surry County, William Parham and James Grecian of Prince George’s County before they be discharged out of Custody of the respective Sherifs enter into bond to our Sovereign Lady the Queen each of them in the Sum of twenty five pounds Sterling for their good behaviour, and particularly not to trade with the Tuscaruro Indians untill Liberty shall be given by the Government, and also that they shall appear before the Governor and Council whenever they shall be required to answer what shall be further laid to their charge. And Ordered that the Sherifs return the said bonds to the Governor. ”
“The petition of Charles Kimball for allowance as Interpreter to the Saponie Indians is thought proper to be referred to the consideration of the General Assembly.”
“Gilbert Ivy and Adam Ivy being brought before this Board and examined on Suspition of trading with the Tuscaruro Indians contrary to the orders and proclamation prohibiting that Trade,”
“Capt Robert Hix Commander of the detachment sent out for discovery of the Indian Settlements on the Frontiers of this Collony…”
“Whereas Cap’ Robert Hix & Lieu* David Crawly who commanded the detachment of the Tributary Indians Sent out by the Governour to discover the settlements of the Tuscoruros have faithfully discharged the Trust reposed in them…”
“Whereas Robert Poythres of the County of Prince George being accused of Supplying the Tuscaruros with Ammunition during the prohibition of Trade with the sd Indians was this day brought before the Council, & there charged with the said Offence by the oath of Robert Lang…”
“one Henry Atherton lately a Prisoner among the Indians, wherein the sd Atherton deposeth that he was informed by a Negoe belonging to one of the Carolina Traders, & now joined with the Indians, that one Wilson & one Wilkinson, Virginia Indian Traders had stirred up the Catabaw Indians to make War upon the people of South Carolina, & that the sd Wilson & another white man were gone to Virginia with twenty horse load of Skins and thirty Indians to purchase Powder & Shott, & that the sd Council of Carolina desired the sd Skins might be stoped as belonging to Merchants in Charlestown, for whom the sd Wilson was Factor; The Governor thereupon acquainted the Council that since the Receipt of that letter, one Francis Wilson who seems to be the person meant in the Affidavit, together with one John Clayborne were come into this Colony, & had brought with them Six horse load of Skins, & four of the Sara Indians: & pursuant to his orders both the sd Whitemen & the Indians who came with them were sent from Christanna under a guard to Williamsburgh on Saturday last. That he had strictly examined both, & taken their examinations in writing which were now laid before the Board & read. Whereupon the Council taking the whole matter into consideration are unanimously of opinion that altho’ it appears by the Examinations of the sd Wilson & Clayborne that the Skins imported by them were given them by the Catabaw Indians in recompence for the Cloaths of which they had been Stripp’d at the time of their being made Prisoners by the Indians; Nevertheless that the sd Skins be secured untill notice be given to the Government of Carolina, & reasonable time allowed for making out their Claim to the same, & as to the other part of the Accusation of the said Wilson’s being concerned in stirring up the Catabaw Indians to cutt off the people of South Carolina, the proof thereof being only by heresay from a Renegado Negro, who is now actually engaged with the Indians against his Majesties Subjects. And that is appears by the Examinations both of the sd Wilson & Clayborne that neither of them were used so as if they had been in Confederacy with the Indians. The Council do not find any cause to committ or prosecute the sd Wilson upon that accusation.”
Aug 5, 1715 pg 407
“Whereas it appears to this Board that the Nottoway Indians instigated by some evil disposed persons, have sent a Petition to the House of Burgesses, highly reflecting upon the Justice & honour of this Government demanding the repealing of the Laws made for the better Rule of the Indians and preserving the Peace of the Colony, & to be freed from certain engagements to which they are bound by their Treaties for preventing the ill consequence which may be occasioned by suffering the Indians to be possessed with a Notion that there is a Power in this Dominion to which they may apply Superiour to that of the Governor & Council It is ordered that the Interpreter forth with bring before this Board the Teer-heer of the Nottoway Indians commonly called William Edmunds together with the Indians commonly known by the name of Coll° Hill, Frank, Robin; James, John, Tom, John and Frank jun’ to answer to such matters as shall be laid to their Charge in relation to the Subject matter of the sd Petition & the nonperformance of their Treaties. ”
“…& they obstinately refusing to do either It is the opinion of the Council & accordingly ordered that the great men of the sd Nation who are now in Town be forthwith put in Irons during the Governors pleasure; and untill this Board shall consider of further measures for obliging the sd Indians to perform their Treaties. And Whereas the sd Indians have upon their examination declared that John Simons of the County of Surry was the person who advised & persuaded them to Petition the House of Burgesses …”
“John Simons of the County of Surry appearing before this Board to answer the Charge against him for his Seditious practices with the Nottoway Indians, acknowledged that the Indians only desired him to draw a Petition for them to the Governor for having a School at their own Town & a Store of goods settled there for their conveniency, but that he afterwards drew up the heads of the Petition now presented to the House of Burgesses, & gave them to M”” Edward Goodrich who put them into forme & directed them to the House of Burgesses & having returned the same to the sd Simons he got it transcribed in another hand & the Indians signed at the Caire of Claims in that County Whereupon it is ordered that the sd Simons be dismissed his attendance for the present upon his promise to transmitt to the Governor the Original Petition drawn up by the sd Goodrich. ”
“…while the Senequas were at the Tuscoruro Town divers Inhabitants of this Colony particularly Jacob Coulson James Lundy, Jun’ William and Charles Kimball and Thomas Reevis were there trading with the Tuscoruros contrary to Law,…”
“… James Lundy, Charles Kimball W” Kimball Thomas Reeves and Jacob Colson to answer what Shall against them for their Illegal Trading with the Tuscoruros …”
“Whereas it appears to this Board by the Examination of Nath’ Mallone that Charles and W™ Kimball, James Lundy and Thomas Reaves were unlawfully trading with the Tuscoruros while those Senequas were there; who afterwards attacked the Cattabaw Indians at Christanna…”
“…The Governor this day acquainted the Council that in Pursuance of what was resolved the fourth of May last he had dispatched Capt” Chris”. Smith with a Letter to the Governor of New York and with proper Instructions for Negotiating by the Said Governors Interposition with ye Senequas and others of the five Nations for obtaining the Liberty of the Cattawba Prisoners taken by them at Christanna…” “…deny their being concerned in the Murder of Major Wynne, the plundering the Traders or yt the threatning to Cutt of ye English and Saponies at Christanna. “
“…William Kimball Interpreter to the Saponie Indians …”
“…On hearing this day in Council the Complaint of the Great Men of the Saponie Indians setting forth that one Nathaniel Malone of the County of Surry having purchased an Indian Woman of their Nation …”
“That Henry Briggs go to the Tuscoruro Indians and acquaint them that this Government having received information of divers Insults made by them on the Saponies”
[514. i. Philip Ludwell to the Lord High Treasurer. Nov. 26,
1713. Prays, on behalf of himself and Nathaniel
Harrison, Commissioners appointed for settling the
bounds betwixt Virginia and Carolina, and of Harry
Beverly, Jno. Allen and Henry Briggs, persons employed
in that service, payment for the same of 250 out of the
Revenue arising by the quit-rents, etc. Signed, Phil.
Ludwell. 4| pp. …Colonial and State Papers]
“The Governor acquainted the Board that in pursuance of the Resolutions of last Council he had writt to the Governor of North Carolina desiring him to use his Interest and authority to dispose the Great Men of the Tuscoruro Indians to come hither in order to the establishing a Peace between them and our Tributarys and at the same time desired that Charleton their Interpreter might be sent with them…”
“The Maherine Indians complaining that one John Chesshire hath Seated a Plantation within Two miles of their Town under a Grant from North Carolina and praying to be Redressed therein, the Governor was pleased to Say he would write to the Governor of North Carolina and endeavour to obtain their Redress.” ???trader
I ran across these notes from a 1998 Rootsweb post … http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/GUNTER/1998-06/0898873124
The following is information from Alan Vance Briceland’s Westward from
Virginia: The Exploration of the Virginia-Carolina Frontier 1650-1710.
Briceland’s thesis is that there was very little exploration beyond the
southeastern frontier of the Virginia colony (then the Blackwater River)
before 1650. After the Lederer expedition in 1670, Virginians began trading
with the Saponi and Occoneechee Indians. Trade was sporadic until about
1680. Then trade gradually expanded, reaching further and further into the
interior. By 1712, the traders’ destination was the Catawba, living on the
river of that name south of present-day Charlotte, N.C. Then trade went
even further, reaching the Creeks and Cherokee. The following are names of
traders and where they operated from Briceland’s book:
pp. 124-25: Thomas Batts, Robert Fallam, Thomas Wood, and Jack Weston make
an expedition to the west with assistance from the Saponi. A “Portyghee”
employee of Abraham Wood at Fort Henry (now Petersburg) is living at Sapon
(located in the hairpin bend of the Staunton River near Charlotte Court
p. 148: Joseph Hatcher, Henry Hatcher, Benjamin Bullington trading with the
p. 175: Robert Hicks, David Crawley, and 50 tributary Indians go to
trade with the Tuscarora 1713
John Stewart, a Virginian of Scottish descent trading among the Catawba
Massey, a Yorkshireman, trading with the Indians 1701.
Indian traders who gave bond to trade in Carolina 1711:
William Dettypoole, Thomas Edwards, and Henry Tally
David Crawley, John Evans, and Richard Jones
Richard and George Smith
Robert Hicks (from Woods’ Settlement, i.e., modern Petersburg)
p.176: Nathaniel Urvin (may hae been associated with Hicks)
George Fountain, a free black active in the Tuscarora trade
Large investors in the Indian trade (about 1704) were William Byrd II,
John and Robert Bolling, John Evans, Robert Mumford, and Peter,
Thomas,and Richard Jones. Most were residents of Prince George County, the
northen terminus of the Occaneechee (Trading) Path.
p. 177: residents of Surry charged with illegal trading with the
Tuscarora: James Lundy, Chalres Kimball, William Kimball, Thomas Reeves,
p. 180: John Lawson (1700-01) reports that Carolina traders are living
withthe Indian tribes 2-3 years at a time, taking Indian wives.
p. 182-83: Lawson’s is only contemporary personal account of life of the
traders, states that Indians supplies traders with “intimate female
p. 187: Virginia governor 1704 reports 56 are involved in Indian trade.
p. 188: John Fontaine, John Davis, and Hubert, a black, are trading with
p. 189: Tom Blunt, King of the Tuscarora
This only deals with the trade from Virginia. The Virginians’ commercial
rivals operated out of Charleston, South Carolina, but got involved in the
trade somewhat later than 1680. We can infer that there could have been a
substantial number of mixed offspring by 1715.