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Contents Of Dwellings Previous To 1650

We will now proceed to examine the contents of the dwellings previous to 1650.

In the latter year, E. Williams, in Virginia Truly Valued, gives a list of "Necessaries for planters." Here we find little more than the Company provided its servants with at the first settlement. There is a list of "Armes" and "Tooles" ; and then comes " Aparell," under which head we find " Canvase to make sheets, with Bed and Bolster to till {fill ?} in Virginia, I Rugge and Blankets." Last comes "Household stuffe," including "one great Iron Pot, large and small kettles, Skellets, Frying Pannes, Gridiron, Spit, Platters, Dishes, Spoons, Knives." Thus they took no furniture with them. The inventories, moreover, show that the dwellings were almost bare. Thus, in 1637, Adam Lindsay, of York, died possessed of only one flock bed and covering," valued at 80 pounds in a total of 2036 pounds tobacco. In the same year, Anthony Panton's estate was appraised at 1070 pounds tobacco, and here we find only " one bed-board, one brush, one chest." In 1638, "Edward Bateman, carpenter of St. Maries," possessed a boat, tools, two bands, a tinderbox, a brush, a rope, an old doublet, a bearskin and a chest. These were valued at 345 pounds tobacco. These instances are typical of servants who had served their indentures, and reveal an almost incredible lack of household furniture ; and yet the inventory of the estate of Justinian Snow, late of St. Mary's, planter," May 24, 1639, shows a most modest state of luxury, although he was one of the richest planters in Maryland. In addition to knives, nails, smoothing-irons, tools, spades, pins, line, thread, ribbon, stuff, friz," canvas, buttons, hooks and eyes, shot, nets and lines, boats, weapons, trunks, chests, wearing apparel in all stages of decay, pipes, beads, household linen, provisions, cooking utensils and live stock.

The total inventory amounted to 29,766 pounds tobacco, and tobacco was then L3 19S. 10d. per hundred pounds.

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