Have received email from HLP that my ILL order, A. Craven’s 1927 Soil Exhaustion as a Factor in the Agricultural History of Virginia and Maryland, 1606-1860, is ready! Am looking forward to reading it. Tobacco was hard on the soil in the colonial period and few farmers understood soil conservation techniques or methods such as crop rotation. (In fairness the science existed as evidenced by the numerous agriculture societies, but the ordinary, rural subsistence farmer couldn’t be bothered.) This explains why so many colonial farmer had to have so many acres of land, even when their family was small — when their tobacco crop exhausted the soil after 2-3 years, they had to move onto another field and plant it. Eventually, the family would exhaust all acres and move on.