Where Did All the Flour Go?

Corn Meal Bag

By the early 19th century, the Mill was a major producer of ground corn and wheat in Northern Virginia.  Interestingly, it’s likely that some of the meal being produced at Chapman’s Mill found its way to the Caribbean and Europe.  Read more in this excerpt from Beverley (Chapman’s) Mill, Thoroughfare Gap, Virginia by Frances Lillian Jones.

Portugal was a large importer of Northern Virginia corn, wheat, and flour from 1801 to 1815. Spain also imported much wheat and corn during this period. England received substantial amounts of wheat from Alexandria, prior to the enactment of the Corn Laws. The West Indies, however, received the major portion of flour exported from Alexandria. Domestic trade with northern states along the east coast of the United States may have equaled or exceeded Alexandria’s foreign trade during Ante-bellum days. Grain and flour from Alexandria was traded at Washington, Richmond and Norfolk, and small amounts went to Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans.

The demand for grain and flour abroad reached an all-time high between 1800 and 1840. It is presumed that a portion of the flour that was shipped abroad, primarily to the West Indies, Spain and Portugal, was ground at the Chapman Mill.


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