Date of Award

Spring 1984

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Peter C. Stewart

Committee Member

John Kuehl

Committee Member

James L. Bugg, Jr.


This is a study of material culture in Princess Anne County, Virginia, from 1691 to 1823, based on court records. These documents allow the historian to determine the economic worth of a group of individuals, analyze the types of people comprising this group, categorize the types and quantities of possessions owned, and differentiate between economic groups according to possessions and currency listed. Trends of ownership for the whole period, the determination of individual occupations, and the occupational content of the people of the county at large are also discussed. Other areas focused on included the level of literacy, the role of religion in the lives of county residents, and in what manner county residents spent their leisure time. The results demonstrate that Princess Anne County was a rural, agriculturally-oriented section of Virginia conprised of three economic groups. The conclusions suggest that Princess Anne County was similar to other areas in America of the same period.


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