William Bobbet, The Immigrant, Land Sales

by

Marsha Berry

 

There are some circumstances that point to why William Bobbet may have had to sell 95 of his 96 acres of land on 12 May 1703, after owning the land for 30 years, from 27 Oct 1673 to 12 May 1703 near Hopewell, Virginia.
 
Planting tobacco year after year for 30 years on the same land can use the land up.
 
"An overdependence on the tobacco crop was felt as early as 1702 when war in Europe interrupted world markets, causing tobacco prices to drop." Seven River Commission History, Maryland and Virginia.
 
"Eighteenth Century Hurricanes The Early Eighteenth Century brought several major storms to the Middle Atlantic Coast-
the first severe hurricane hit Virginia in the late fall of 1703.  Ten tobacco curing barns belonging to one planter were destroyed and a great number of large trees were blown down."
From Electronic Journal Number 1 - Brinkley
 
If tobacco brought less than a quarter penny in 1703, a small tobacco farmer could not be successful.
 
And, after 9 years of a time gap from 1703 to 1712, when we so far do not read about William Bobbet and his family, they must have done some type of work to exist.
 
William Bobbitt and his sons may have been amongst those who developed and worked with others to hold on and to again build up the tobacco and other businesses from 1703 to 1712 in the Jones Hole Swamp area which is located 11 miles south of Petersburg to Templeton and south of Templeton a few miles, Prince George County, Virginia.
 
"In those days "swamp" meant an area around a slow-moving stream. It was a valuable piece of land."
Source: Cash/Malone/Wynne Genealogy
 
William Bobbit did have the funds to have a survey taken on 18 June 1712 for 90 acres of land south of the Jones Hole Swamp area.
 
Survey for William Bobbit 18 June 1712
Prince George County Virginia
90 acres on South Side of Jones Hole Swamp
Source: Prince George County Virginia Surveys, 1710-1724 Page 2
 
"The period was one of extreme inflation, at least in tobacco prices, and therefore highly favorable to a debtor.
 
In 1710 tobacco brought one penny per pound, up from a quarter penny in 1706.
 
In 1715, however, the average market price had jumped to two shillings per pound.  In 1716, tobacco jumped to eleven shillings."
 
Source: Sentell Family History, chapter 2
 
Marsha Berry