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Tobacco - In the 1740s, Maryland had a plantation-based economy and its primary export was tobacco. In fact, tobacco represented 97% of Maryland’s exports, and England referred to Maryland and Virginia as its “tobacco colonies.” The colonial crops facilitated smoking on both sides of the ocean, so that pipe smoking and snuff usage became a normal part of everyday life. As Maryland exported thousands of pounds of tobacco each year, England sent manufactured goods back in return, including snuff boxes and thousands of clay smoking pipes. Although we have featured tobacco as something that soldiers might use at their leisure, they certainly were not the only ones who smoked. All sorts of people of every class, including women and children, used tobacco in colonial Maryland., Photo image of a tobacco box lid:Tobacco Box Lid, Date: ca. 1666-1690, Site Name: Mattapany, Site Number:18ST390/349 -  Tobacco boxes were used in the 17th and 18th centuries for holding snuff or loose-leaf tobacco for pipe smoking. This 
copper alloy box lid is small and could fit easily in a pocket or bag for travel. The lid was recovered by archaeologists at the Mattpany-Sewall  site (18ST390) and it dates to ca. 1666-1689. This date is based on historical records which tell us that Charles Calvert, Governor of Maryland and a Catholic, moved to the site around 1666 when his friend Henry Sewall died, and Calvert married Sewall’s widow, Jane. As Governor, Calvert kept one of the colony’s armories in case the militia had to be called to defend Maryland. Later, Calvert inherited the title of Lord Baltimore and returned to England, leaving relatives in charge of the colony. In 1689, a Protestant rebellion overthrew the Calvert government. The armory was raided by victorious Protestants who tore up the building in a quest for weapons and ammunition. This tobacco box lid was found near the armory, and it could have belonged to any of the individuals who built, guarded, visited, raided, or destroyed the site. Today the Mattapany-Sewall site is part of the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, which stores its archaeological materials at the MAC Lab.; photo image of a white clay tobacco pipe:Tobacco Pipe, Date: ca. 1720-1820, Site Name: Levering Coffee, Site Number:18BC51/LC257 - Clay tobacco pipes like the one shown here were imported to colonial Maryland by the thousands. There were also local pipe 
makers here, but white clay pipes are typically considered to be imports.  Colonial pipes are incredibly useful to 
archaeologists because they were used and broken so often that pipe fragments are found in high quantities on most colonial sites. Any time a particular artifact is found in quantity, there is good data to analyze. For example, clay pipes started out pretty small in the early 1600s, but over time 
bigger pipe bowls and extremely long stems gained popularity. The longer a 
tapered pipe stem is, the smaller the hole in the pipe has to be, so the bore hole in pipe stems steadily decreased in size over time. That helps archaeologists estimate a date for pipes, and by association, it helps date the site where the pipes are found.  This unmarked pipe was chosen for 
exhibit because it is so complete. It was recovered at the Levering Coffee site (18BC51), an 18th-century coffee house where people would have met to socialize with drinks, and apparently, tobacco.; Photo image of tobacco leaves:Tobacco Leaves, Date: ca. 1720-1750, Site Name: Oxon Hill Manor , Site Number:18PR175/2344 - Tobacco leaves do not generally survive underground for archaeologists to find, but sometimes special conditions allow for 
organic preservation. These leaves were recovered below the water table in an old well at Oxon Hill Manor (18PR175), where stagnant water lacked the oxygen that 
bacteria and other organisms need to 
survive. None of the critters that normally eat and break down organic materials could get to this leaf in that environment.  This tobacco was thrown down the well sometime between 1720 and 1750, when the inhabitants of Oxon Hill Manor stopped using it to get water and started using it for their trash instead. 
Archaeologists can date the layers of trash by looking at changes in styles of dishes and tobacco pipes. The artifacts in the well date between 1720 and 1750, so this leaf found in the same spot must also be close to 300 years old!, An artifact Q & A - Q:Why were clay pipe stems so long in the 1700s?, A:Long pipe stems were just more popular, though a number of people think that there had to be another reason. Some have suggested that longer stems helped protect hands from the heat of the bowl, but much shorter stems were used in the early 1600s and again in the 1800s for clay pipes, so that idea doesn’t hold up. A very popular theory states that people broke off sections of stem when sharing pipes so that the stem was clean for each smoker. That doesn’t fit with hygiene in the 1700s though; the people who smoked these pipes had never heard of germs, and did not worry about exchanging them through pipe sharing. If you’re an Outlander fan, then you probably already know this thanks to fun conversations between Jamie Fraser and his time-travelling wife Claire from the 1940s.