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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Franklin in Williamson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Carter Farm

The Cotton Gin

 
 
The Carter Farm Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 16, 2019
1. The Carter Farm Marker
Inscription.  Southern farming was transformed as the 19th century dawned. Subsistence farming and plantations devoted to tobacco, rice, and sugar cane had long been dominant. Two events changed the agricultural formula.

First, Eli Whitney invented the improved cotton gin (short for “Engine”) in 1793, enabling the mass processing of a crop once deemed too labor-intensive to grow. The gin vastly shortened the time needed and made cotton extremely lucrative. Second, President Andrew Jackson’s forced removal of the Native populations from areas that would become the states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, as well as Tennessee, opened rich farmland to cotton production.

The gin consisted of a rotating drum with teeth, a screen, hooks, and a brush. Slaves placed cotton bools into the top of the gin and rotated the drum, and the teeth separated the cotton fibers. Hooks grabbed the fibers and pulled them through a screen that filtered out the seeds. Clean, seed-free fibers were than brushed away. One slave could process fifty pounds of cotton per day – more in purpose-built factories. Without the gin, one worker needed ten
The Carter Farm Marker locale image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 16, 2019
2. The Carter Farm Marker locale
The site of the gin house foundation; the marker is closest to the house in the background.
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hours to separate the seeds from the fibers of one pound of cotton.

Cotton quickly became “King” and the demand for slaves to grow the crop surged. There were 700,000 slaves in the United States in 1790, and in 1792, 139,000 pounds of cotton were exported. By 1860, there were 3.9 million slaves and a staggering 1.7 billion pounds of cotton exported.

Cotton solidified the South’s dependence on slave labor for economic prosperity.
 
Erected by Historic Franklin Parks.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansAgricultureIndustry & CommerceWar, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1793.
 
Location. 35° 54.95′ N, 86° 52.365′ W. Marker is in Franklin, Tennessee, in Williamson County. Marker is on Columbia Avenue near Cleburne Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Franklin TN 37064, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named The Carter Farm (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named The Carter Farm (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Carter Farm (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Carter Farm (within shouting distance of
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 16, 2019
3. Inset
Original patent, Whitney cotton gin
this marker); a different marker also named The Carter Farm (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Carter Farm (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Carter Farm (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Carter Farm (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Franklin.
 
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 16, 2019
4. Inset
African Americans picking cotton, ca. 1860s
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 16, 2019
5. Inset
Interior of cotton gin, ca. 1900
The Cotton Gin Site and Park image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 16, 2019
6. The Cotton Gin Site and Park
The marker is near the house in the distance.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 18, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 18, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 103 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 18, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 27, 2021