Chapter

Seasons of Change: Community Life and Landscape at the Foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 1740–1860

Eric Proebsting

in Jefferson's Poplar Forest

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780813039886
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043807 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813039886.003.0003
Seasons of Change: Community Life and Landscape at the Foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 1740–1860

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This chapter uses documentary and archaeological data from excavations and environmental analysis to explore the processes of human-initiated landscape changes at Poplar Forest and in the surrounding region over the course of a century. The author traces aspects of colonial and antebellum agriculture including cycles of livestock rearing and tobacco cultivation, the detrimental effects of long-term monocrop cultivation, and efforts to ameliorate those effects through scientific farming, including agricultural diversification and the application of new methods of agriculture such as contour plowing, the application of fertilizers, and crop rotation. Today, local vegetation, place names, fauna, and topography continue to bear the marks of colonial expansion, agricultural practices, and the economic aspirations of planters engaged in large-scale tobacco production.

Keywords: agriculture; crop rotation; livestock; scientific farming; tobacco cultivation

Chapter.  9124 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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