American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia

By Edmund S. Morgan | Go to book overview

APPENDIX

Population Growth
in Seventeenth-Century Virginia

IT is impossible to perform for seventeenth-century Virginia what historical demographers have been doing for contemporary England and France and even for New England. The necessary data, if ever recorded, have been lost or destroyed, and only sporadic and inconclusive vital statistics from a few isolated locations survive. The records of headrights, which have been preserved, have limitations which I have discussed elsewhere. 1 Nevertheless, records of other kinds survive, especially county court records from the second half of the century and reports from governors and other officers to their superiors in England. From a variety of sources, though we cannot reconstruct the population of seventeenth-century Virginia in detail, we can at least perceive some of the larger outlines and trends.

Much of the initial work was done forty years ago by Evarts Greene and Virginia Harrington in their monumental and indispensable collection of contemporary estimates and censuses for all the colonies. 2 Since they made no attempt to interpret or evaluate what

____________________
1
E. S. Morgan, "Headrights and Head Counts: A Review Article," VMHB, LXXX (1972), 361-71.
2
Evarts B. Greene and Virginia Harrington, American Population before the Federal Census of 1790 (New York, 1932), 134-55. Where not otherwise indicated, the lists of tithables and inhabitants in the whole colony have been taken from this volume. Lists of tithables for particular counties have been taken from the microfilms of county court records in the Virginia State Library at Richmond. In order to avoid excessive citations, I have not ordinarily cited the volume and page of county records, since the finding aids at the State Library make it possible to locate easily most of the lists of tithables. Though the lists were made in June of each year, they nor-

-395-

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American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • American Slavery American Freedom - The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Book I - The Promised Land *
  • 1 - Dreams of Liberation 3
  • 2 - The Lost Colony 25
  • 3 - Idle Indian and Lazy Englishman 44
  • 4 - The Jamestown Fiasco 71
  • 5 - The Persistent Vision 92
  • 6 - Boom 108
  • Book II - A New Deal *
  • 7 - Settling Down 133
  • 8 - Living with Death 158
  • 9 - The Trouble with Tobacco 180
  • 10 - A Golden Fleecing 196
  • Book III - The Volatile Society *
  • 11 - The Losers 215
  • 12 - Discontent 235
  • 13 - Rebellion 250
  • 14 - Status Quo 271
  • Book IV - Slavery and Freedom *
  • 15 - Toward Slavery 295
  • 16 - Toward Racism 316
  • 17 - Toward Populism 338
  • 18 - Toward the Republic 363
  • Footnote Abbreviations 389
  • Appendix - Population Growth in Seventeenth-Century Virginia 395
  • A Note on the Sources 433
  • Index 443
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