Presentation Antebellum Athens Industrial History talk for Athens Historical Society

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Antebellum industrial history of Athens, Georgia. Talk given to Athens Historical Society in February 2013.


<ul><li> 1. Michael Gagnon Georgia Gwinnett College Athens Historical Society Presentation Georgia Museum of Art February 10, 2013 3:00 PM </li></ul> <p> 2. The Lackawanna Valley in Pennsylvania; Note similarities of presentation to View of Athens from Carrs Hill 3. Athens in the Middle 1840s University of Georgia Athens Factory Original Train Station Commercial Center 4. Gavin Wrights Big Questions About Early Southern Industrialization What delayed the start of Southern industry and what caused it to start? Why didnt the Southern mill building boom of the 1840s succeed? What delayed New South factory building for 15 years after the end of the Civil War? 5. Overview Augustin Clayton starts first Georgia Factory for political reasons Becomes a model for Southern Industry Three Factories by 1835, with $100k invested Starts with slave labor but finds white labor cheaper Develops mill villages to accommodate poor whites working in factories Other Factories develop surrounding Clarke Scull Shoals, Mars Hill, High Shoals 6. Georgias Antebellum Industrial Zone Athens 7. Athens Manufacturing Belt 8. Culture of Improvement Culture is how we make sense of our lives Class divisions/Geographic divisions Lots of Educational Opportunities Lots of Entertainment Growth of Religion/Reform 9. Generations of Industrialization 1820s - 1840s 1840s - 1860s 1860s - 1880s 10. Recurring for a brief moment to past associations and recollections connected with our late honored fellow- citizen, we call to mind his unceasing efforts to advance the interests of Athens, and set it forward on an active career of commercial prosperity, to increase its facilities for trade, to enhance the value of private property, and to render it permanent as a place of business. In calling up and passing in review before us the respected names of the generous foster-fathers of our present prosperity, we can bring to mind few . . . who draws more largely upon our gratitude for past exertions to serve us. Obituary of William Dearing Southern Banner, June 9, 1853 11. Major Industrialists Minor Industrialists Industrial Investors Clerks Superintendents Workers Different Categories Of People Involved in Industry 12. Industrialists 1830s-1840s Major: Augustin Clayton, William Dearing, James Camak, and William Williams Minor: Alexander B. Linton, John Nisbet, and Thomas W. Baxter 1840s-1860s Major: John White, Dr. John S. Linton, Albon Chase, Minor: Thomas N. Hamilton, William P. Talmage, and William S. Grady Beyond 1860s Robert L. Bloomfield, etc 13. 1st Generation Industrialists Risk Takers: James Camak wrote to his friend in Texas in 1844, You recollect my love of change. Tho things are going as well with me here I am getting tired of my situation; Suppose I come to Texas ? Prime of Life: started industrial pursuits between ages 39-54, median age: 47. Professions: Doctors, Lawyers, Merchants, Bankers Gentlemen, but not necessarily Planters Not originally from Athens; generally attached to it. 14. 2nd Generation Industrialists Leadership frequently inherited factories from 1st generation With general incorporation law in 1847, family groupings come to dominate stockholding in individual factories Families with factory stock tend to be connected to other families with factory stock Creates a maturing industrial class 15. Work Force Aspiring young men desiring to become merchants clerk in factories, sometimes becoming office professionals Superintendents rise out of working class by 1850s Work force matures in factory life, with most women seeing factory work as life-stage before child-bearing 16. Ancillary Industries Insurance Southern Mutual Bobbin Mill Paper Mill Gas Works Foundry Tend to be run by upwardly mobile entrepreneurs Athens Bobbin Mill 17. Civil War General Sherman targeted Southern industry Factories prospered during war Factories that survived were poised to take leading role when war ends 18. Shermans Handiwork at Sweetwater Creek Just West of Modern Atlanta 19. Conclusions Much of what we know about New South factory life was worked out in the Antebellum period The New Men of the New South had already become part of Athens industrial archetype by the 1850s There is no one right way to industrialize; each place works out the rules for its own day and place 20. Questions? </p>