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Nabb Research Center Tools - Currency Information

* Prices of Chesapeake and Maryland Tobacco: 1618-1775

Tobacco was used as a form of currency in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Chesapeake region. Probate inventories and economic records used "pounds tobacco" to determine the values of specific items and overall wealth of settlers in the region. As such, an understanding of annual tobacco prices is necessary to interpret probate inventories and many other documents dating to this early period.

Prices are in pence sterling per pound of tobacco.
Prices for 1618-1658 are for Chesapeake; 1658- are for Maryland.
--- Indicates that no prices are available for that year.



Year
1618
1619
1620
1621
1622
1623
1624
1625
1626
1627
1628
1629
1630
1631
1632
1633
1634
1635
1636
1637
1638
1639
1640
1641
1642
1643
1644
1645
1646
1647
1648
1649
1650
1651
1652
1653
1654
1655
1656
1657
1658
1659
1660
1661
1662
1663
1664
1665
1666
1667
1668
1669
1670

Price
27.00
27.00
12.00
20.00
18.00
16.00
13.00
---
---
---
---
---
---
4.00
3.40
5.00
---
5.00
5.35
3.00
3.00
3.00
2.50
---
4.20
1.80
2.55
1.50
2.20
2.00
1.50
3.00
---
---
---
2.60
2.80
2.00
2.25
2.00
2.10
1.65
1.50
1.50
1.60
1.55
1.65
1.10
0.90
1.10
1.25
1.15
1.15


Year
1671
1672
1673
1674
1675
1676
1677
1678
1679
1680
1681
1682
1683
1684
1685
1686
1687
1688
1689
1690
1691
1692
1693
1694
1695
1696
1697
1698
1699
1700
1701
1702
1703
1704
1705
1706
1707
1708
1709
1710
1711
1712
1713
1714
1715
1716
1717
1718
1719
1720
1721
1722
1723

Price
1.05
1.00
1.00
1.00
1.00
1.05
1.15
1.15
1.05
1.00
0.90
0.80
0.80
0.80
1.00
1.00
0.85
0.75
0.70
0.80
0.80
0.80
0.75
0.75
0.75
0.85
0.90
1.00
1.05
1.00
0.95
1.00
0.85
0.90
0.80
0.80
0.90
0.90
0.90
0.85
0.97
1.00
1.00
0.71
0.72
0.80
0.79
0.89
1.04
1.19
0.97
0.86
1.07


Year
1724
1725
1726
1727
1728
1729
1730
1731
1732
1733
1734
1735
1736
1737
1738
1739
1740
1741
1742
1743
1744
1745
1746
1747
1748
1749
1750
1751
1752
1753
1754
1755
1756
1757
1758
1759
1760
1761
1762
1763
1764
1765
1766
1767
1768
1769
1770
1771
1772
1773
1774
1775

Price
0.90
1.05
0.91
0.82
0.67
0.70
0.67
0.65
0.74
0.84
0.97
0.93
1.02
0.93
1.02
1.01
0.80
0.62
0.67
0.67
0.63
0.56
0.61
0.45
0.67
0.76
1.16
1.16
1.48
1.16
1.04
0.85
1.07
1.16
1.29
2.05
1.60
1.54
1.39
1.10
1.26
1.33
1.45
1.63
1.81
2.23
2.06
1.90
1.54
1.48
1.41
1.67

Prices are in pence sterling per pound of tobacco.
Prices for 1618-1658 are for Chesapeake; 1658- are for Maryland.
--- Indicates that no prices are available for that year.

U.S. Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United States to 1970,
Bicentennial ed., Pt. 1 (Washington, D.C.: 1975).





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