Land transactions in Louisa County, Virginia, 1765-1812 : a quantitative analysis

True, Ransom Badger, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia
Peterson, Merrill D., Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia
Williams, D. Allan, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia

This dissertation is a study of the deeds, mortgages, land patents and land grants pertaining to Louisa County, Virginia, for the years 1765 to 1812. It describes the process of land transfer, analyzes the composition of and variation in the price of land, and explains the relationship of land prices and land values to the economic history and structure of the county.

The information was abstracted from the documents, coded, and processed through the computer using the program SPSS. The ma jor statistical procedures used were analysis of means, crosstabulation, Pearson product-moment correlation analysis and stepwise multiple linear regression analysis.

The dissertation has nine chapters, three appendices, three maps, sixty tables and a bibliography. Chapters one through three describe the county in the years from 1765 to 1812. Chapter one is a physical description of the county and shows how it was ideally suited to small, diversified agriculture. Chapter two is an historical overview of the county, describing the settleĀ¬ ment, formation, population growth, and religious, social and political character of the county. Chapter three is a study of the economic structure and history of the county. It describes the economic classes, activity, marketing arrangements and agriculture of the county, giving particular attention to the prices received by Louisa farmers and planters for tobacco, corn, wheat and other farm products, and the prices paid for purchased goods.

Chapters four through six describe the process of land transfer. Chapter four describes the procedure for obtaining land patents and grants and analyzes the land patenting process in the county. Chapter five analyzes and describes the contents of a deed and the process for proving deeds, paying particular attention to the requirements and procedures for women. Chapter six describes the development of a new form and procedure for mortgages, and explains how they functioned and their effect upon the land market.

Chapters seven and eight analyze and describe the price of land and land values and explain the relationship between land values and the economic structure and history of the county. Chapter seven dea Is with the land and the persons buying and selling it; chapter eight with the composition and description of the price of land and its relationships to other variables. Chapter nine is the conclusion.

The most important conclusion was that the changes in the prices of tobacco, corn, wheat, other farm products and purchased goods caused seventy percent of the change in the price of land. Other conclusions were: The procedure for transferring land was relatively simple and usually followed, but legal technicalities were not always observed; the role of the subsistence farmer in the Louisa economy was far greater than expected; and the Louisa economy was far more self-contained than expected.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Land grants -- Virginia -- Louisa County, Land titles -- Registration and transfer -- Virginia -- Louisa County

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2016-03-14 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:34:31.

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