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Augusta in Richmond County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Cotton

 
 
Cotton Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 11, 2017
1. Cotton Marker
Inscription.
Although was cultivated an in small quantities in the South during the eighteenth century, it was not considered a profitable crop because of the difficulty of separating the seed from the fiber.

In 1793, Eli Whitney, a young man from Massachusetts, accepted a teaching position in Georgia, and while residing as a guest on a friend's plantation, invented a device that would mechanically separate cotton seed from the fibers. Whitney's cotton engine or "gin" transformed the economy of the South.

Cotton became the great crop of the region, and the nation's main export. With every decade, production doubled, and most Southerners agreed with South Carolina Senator James Hammond's exclamation, "Cotton is King!"

As the center of a vast cotton growing empire, Augusta prospered as the second largest inland cotton market in the world, a distinction that it claimed until the mid-twentieth century.

Reynolds Street with its warehouses along the river was known as "Cotton Row.” The stacked bales were so numerous during seasons of peak market activity, that a person could walk on top of the bales in every block "from Fifth Street to Thirteenth Street.”
 
Location. 33° 28.686′ N, 81° 57.837′ W. Marker is in
Marker detail: Cotton bales, c1920 image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 11, 2017
2. Marker detail: Cotton bales, c1920
Cotton bales are shown stacked along Eighth Street.
Photograph Courtesy of The Augusta-Richmond County Museum
Augusta, Georgia, in Richmond County. Marker can be reached from 8th Street north of Reynolds Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located on the Augusta Riverwalk at the 8th Street crossing. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 8th Street, Augusta GA 30901, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Floods (a few steps from this marker); Founding of Augusta (a few steps from this marker); Great Indian Warrior / Trading Path (within shouting distance of this marker); William Bartram Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); The Levee (within shouting distance of this marker); De Soto In Georgia (within shouting distance of this marker); Indians (within shouting distance of this marker); Industrial Heritage (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Augusta.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Augusta Cotton Industry
 
Also see . . .
1. Augusta Cotton Exchange Building. Located on the banks of the Savannah River, Augusta has long been associated with the cotton industry. At its height, Augusta was the second largest inland cotton market in the world. During that time, a group of prominent merchants organized the Augusta Cotton Exchange, and by 1878, its
Marker detail: The season's first bale, 1923 image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 11, 2017
3. Marker detail: The season's first bale, 1923
The season's first bale of cotton received at the Augusta Cotton Exchange.
Photograph Courtesy of The Augusta-Richmond County Museum
facilities received and processed 200,000 bales of cotton. In 1885, the city had eight cotton manufacturers. Eventually Augusta’s economic dependence on cotton began to decline due to the infestation of the boll weevil, and by 1964 the city no longer operated an exchange. (Submitted on February 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. History Of The Cotton Industry In Georgia. Since the success of a labor-intensive crop like cotton was directly tied to the ability of a landowner to procure workers, white Georgians bought slaves in record numbers. The promise of a bumper cotton crop not only changed the state’s agricultural history but also literally caused the enslavement of hundreds of thousands of men and women. Slaves planted, chopped, and picked cotton; they cleared and dug drainage ditches to create more cotton land. The international slave trade geared up to meet this new labor demand, and as a result, slavery and cotton tightened their grip on the state. From 1791 to 1801 Georgia’s cotton production increased by a factor of twenty. (Submitted on February 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. AgricultureIndustry & Commerce
 
Cotton Marker (<i>wide view; Savannah River in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 11, 2017
4. Cotton Marker (wide view; Savannah River in background)
Augusta Cotton Exchange image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 10, 2017
5. Augusta Cotton Exchange
Designed by Enoch William Brown, the Augusta Cotton Exchange Building was constructed in the mid-1880s at the height of both the production and trade of cotton in Augusta. The ornate cast-iron entrance elements underneath the projecting round corner turret complement the vigorous brick and stone details of this significant High Victorian building.
Augusta Cotton Exchange Detail image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 10, 2017
6. Augusta Cotton Exchange Detail
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 23, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 54 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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