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View Diary: Bricks, or the Damnedest Clues in the Damnedest Places (152 comments)

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  •  It's possible. I do know that, after a (7+ / 0-)

    generation, the family would rent out their slaves during slack periods, sending them across the Valley or even (after the railroad was built) to Georgia, where they would have to keep working.

    The Valley escaped the monoculture mentality of the Tidewater and points further south.  The climate is wrong for tobacco, and the Shenandoah was famous for the kind of farming also found in Ohio and the midwest.

    There are very few properties that would qualify as plantations here.  The vast majority of farms were between 20 and 200 acres and depended on both family and slave labor.  So few houses from the period survive because most of them were built of wood.  A few stone houses built by German immigrants on the west side of the Valley.  Most of the brick structures date from between 1820 and 1850.

    "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

    by DrLori on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 02:32:40 PM PST

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    •  Oh, sorry, I missed the location (0+ / 0-)

      You're right, the Shenandoah Valley was known for stability and sustainable farming long before the Civil War.

      What about the climate didn't agree with tobacco farming?  I seem to recall that as a young child in western Massachusetts, older kids would get jobs picking tobacco in the fall.  I would have guessed that to be a much more harsh climate than down there.

      “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

      by markdd on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 01:11:47 PM PST

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