Colonial-era workers, both male and female, harvest tobacco leaves from the field, as a large sailing vessel sits in a waterway in the distance
Original Author: Sydney E. King
Created: Twentieth century
Medium: Oil on canvas

Seventeenth-Century Harvesting Scene

Field workers in the colonial era harvest tobacco leaves and load them onto a cart, as a large sailing vessel awaits in the distance. Virginia planters relied on white indentured servants or enslaved laborers in the cultivation and production of tobacco for export. As depicted in this historic re-creation, both men and women worked in the field and wore different modes of dress that were in keeping with gender norms.