New England Perpetuates Slavery
Had the cotton gin of Massachusetts inventor Eli Whitney not come on the scene in the late 1700’s, African slavery in this country was most likely doomed. The antislavery and emancipation feeling in the South was ascendant, but thwarted by profitable slave-trading and hungry cotton mills in New England which gave rise to more plantations in the South, and the perpetuation of slavery. And after years of treating the American South as an agricultural colony, New England set out in 1861 to strip it of political power.
Bernhard Thuersam, Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute
New England Perpetuates Slavery:
“Then came the invention of the cotton gin in 1793. The Upcountry was never to be the same thereafter. It has been said that no single invention so changed the lives of people or the course of a nation as did the cotton gin. It made the growing of cotton extremely profitable.
The hitherto small but industrious Scotch-Irish farmers began to buy up land and plant it in cotton at a dangerously fast pace in their efforts to amass cotton dollars. The Upcountry turned almost to a man to the cultivation of cotton using up a hundred acres a year and adding a hundred acres as the saying went. All other crops such as tobacco, fruits, and row crops dwindled rapidly. Cotton wagons returned from the market with food stuffs which could have been grown on the place but were not.”
(Plantation Heritage in Upcountry, South Carolina, Kenneth and Blanche Marsh, Biltmore Press, 1965, page 26)