Wheat and Tobacco

Wheat and Tobacco (HMX0I)

Location: Oxon Hill, MD 20745 Prince George's County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 48.128', W 77° 0.497'

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Oxon Hill Farm - Oxon Cove Park

In spring and summer, wheat and tobacco grow in this garden. These two plants alone tell an important part of the history of this farm.

Tobacco was the most valuable crop in the American colonies in the 1600s and 1700s. Planters such as John Addison, an early owner of the farm, made fortunes selling tobacco to the European market. Tobacco also exhausted the soil in just a few years and demanded months of hard painstaking labor from farm workers. To prosper as tobacco planters in Maryland, a family needed to amass large land holdings and exploit the labor of enslaved people.

In the 1800s, tobacco was on the decline in Maryland. Samuel DeButts and many other Maryland farmers had switched to mixed farming, which often included wheat. But wheat demanded less labor than tobacco, and reduced the need for slaves. Slaveholders often found that the best way to profit from their slaves was to sell them south. Some enslaved people who once tilled the soil here were likely separated from their families and sold south to pick cotton in the fields of Alabama or Mississippi.

[Five] wheat and tobacco photographs courtesy of Visual Language Library: Antique Botanical Illustrations: 1640-1900.
HM NumberHMX0I
Placed ByNational Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 9:36am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 325608 N 4296735
Decimal Degrees38.80213333, -77.00828333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 48.128', W 77° 0.497'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 48' 7.68" N, 77° 0' 29.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2500-2598 Oxon Hill Bike Trail, Oxon Hill MD 20745, US
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