Casefile Clues

04 February 2013

They Paid Taxes in Tobacco

Back in colonial Virginia, your ancestor might have very well paid his taxes in tobacco. Tobacco was used as currency in many of the colonies. 

Date: Thursday, November 8, 1787  


Paper: Virginia Gazette and Weekly Advertiser (Richmond, VA) --obtained on GenealogyBank.com.


I never really thought about what was done with the tobacco that was accepted in some states as payment for taxes. I realized that county officials didn't smoke it (at least I hope not), but had not really thought about how that tobacco was actually converted to cash.

This image comes from a 1787 Virginia newspaper which indicates that there will be a public tobacco auction to sell tobacco that has been received as tax payment.

Readers who are not familiar with hogsheads (not what looks like hogfheads in the article) can discover more on NCPedia.