Colonial Currency

Paper money and coins were scarce at that time in the southern colonies. Land and goods, as well as slaves and indentured servants, were paid for in pounds of tobacco.  John’s mention of tobacco brides in A Willing Heart is also accurate.  The first shipload of English women was sold in Jamestown, Virginia in 1620, and the purchase price of 120 pounds of tobacco covered the cost of each woman’s transport.  Tobacco notes were used to represent a particular poundage of tobacco.  Thus, this would have been how John would have paid for Sarah's indenture contract in A Willing Heart, and also the method by which Susannah would have been paid for the sale of her husband's candle shop in A Trusting Heart

 The account in a Willing Heart of some settlers neglecting to grow much else besides tobacco, namely food for their families, is also true. A law was passed requiring them to plant two acres of corn for each person, ensuring that their greed would not cause them to starve.