Tobacco and Mount Harmon
Colonial Tobacco Trade
Before you stands a crop of tobacco planted to reflect the historic tobacco trade that flourished at Mount Harmon in the colonial era. Tobacco was an important cash crop that helped build early American settlements, and by the mid-1600s had evolved into the main cash crop of the Tidewater region. Tobacco was even used as legal currency by planters to make purchases, pay fines, and taxes! By the mid-1700s, Mount Harmon was a bustling 1,200-acre tobacco plantation, trading with the British Empire via the Chesapeake Bay.
Seventeenth Century Farming
Tobacco plantations were very labor intensive. It took one person to cultivate 2-3 acres of tobacco. At first, indentured servants and other European immigrants did this hard work, but by the late 1600s slaves were imported from the Caribbean and Africa. Slave labor was used on Mount Harmon by tenant farmers until the Civil War, although Mount Harmon owners, Mary Louttit George and Ann Eliza George Fisher, freed their own slaves in 1808.
Twentieth Century Farming
Over time, tobacco was found to deplete the soil. As the soil grew poor and tobacco became less profitable, planters at Mount Harmon and other Cecil County farms switched over to wheat production and other crops. By the American Revolution, Tobacco was not a major crop at
(Inscription next to the image at the left bottom)
Ships full of tobacco sailed from the Mount Harmon wharf, down the Sassafras Rive, into the Chesapeake Bay, and across the Atlantic Ocean to England. The ships returned full with necessities and luxuries for the plantation and its inhabitants. Mount Harmon relied on tobacco for income, but also produced grain and livestock, and had skilled tradespeople including blacksmiths, coopers, carpenters and tobacco agent.
Location. 39° 22.882′ N, 75° 56.212′ W. Marker is in Earleville, Maryland, in Cecil County. Marker is on Mount Harmon Road. Touch for map. The marker is on the grounds of the Mount Harmon Plantation. Marker is in this post office area: Earleville MD 21919, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mount Harmon Plantation at World's End (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Mount Harmon Plantation at World’s End (within shouting distance of this marker); Plantation Life in the Colonial Era
Categories. • African Americans • Agriculture • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 17, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 127 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 17, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.