83,000 hogsheads of tobacco, while the Lower James River district exported only about 10,000.
Just prior to the American Revolution the tobacco industry began to expand rapidly south of the James River, especially to the south and west of Petersburg. One observer declared in 1769 that the Petersburg warehouses contained more tobacco than all the rest of the warehouses on the James or the York River. It was estimated that 20,000 hogsheads were being produced annually in that region alone. A considerable amount of tobacco was also being grown in the lower region of the Valley of Virginia.
As the tobacco industry continued to expand into Piedmont Virginia, there was a gradual decline in the Tidewater area. The increase in population naturally caused a continual expansion of the tobacco industry from its meager beginnings at Jamestown, but this was not the major cause. The primary cause was the wasteful cultivation methods practiced by the planters. To obtain the greatest yield from his land the pla