Builders of a New South: Merchants, Capital, and the by Aaron D. Anderson

By Aaron D. Anderson

Builders of a brand new South describes how, among 1865 and 1914, ten Natchez mercantile households emerged as best purveyors within the wholesale plantation provide and cotton dealing with enterprise, and shortly grew to become a dominant strength within the social and fiscal Reconstruction of the Natchez District. They have been in a position to reap the benefits of postwar stipulations in Natchez to realize mercantile prominence by way of delivering planters and black sharecroppers within the plantation offer and cotton deciding to buy enterprise. They parlayed this preliminary good fortune into cotton plantation possession and have become very important neighborhood businessmen in Natchez, partaking in lots of civic advancements and politics that formed the district into the 20 th century.

This publication digs deep in numerous documents (including census, tax, estate, and probate, in addition to millions of chattel loan contracts) to discover how those investors functioned as marketers within the aftermath of the Civil warfare, reading heavily their position as furnishing retailers and land speculators, in addition to their relatives with the area's planters and freed black inhabitants. Their use of favorable legislation keeping them as collectors, besides a high-quality group base that used to be civic-minded and culturally intact, vastly assisted them of their luck. those households prospered partially as a result of their solid company practices, and partially simply because neighborhood whites and blacks embraced them as precious brokers within the rising new market. the location created through the aftermath of the battle and emancipation supplied an awesome situation for the service provider households, and after all, they performed a key position within the district's monetary survival and have been the best modernizers of Natchez.

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Extra resources for Builders of a New South: Merchants, Capital, and the Remaking of Natchez, 1865-1914

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Their bus. is immense. Of course, 250 NY will not cover thr capl. We put this amt. 13 Inasmuch as Stockman demonstrated the wherewithal to inspire the confidence of his new backers, he also had the characteristics that we will witness time and again as the absolute prerequisites for membership in the emerging bourgeois entrepreneurial elite: family, community, and business connections; access to capital and supply sources; knowledge of the business and shrewd ability to gauge risk; an opportunistic openness to the new emerging marketplace conditions; and the simple ability to be in the right place at the right time.

These conditions explain the large contingent of antebellum mansions and structures that survived the war but also provoked the ire of Confederate guerrillas operating out of the Louisiana swamps who terrorized 32 Old Ways and New Realities loyalists and killed their workforce. This is not to say that Natchez did not suffer during Union occupation, or that Natchez was a Union stronghold. The majority of its white residents supported the Confederacy, and once the war began even those who opposed secession joined the cause.

The grandees of inherited merchant capital were in many instances third or even fourth generation by 1870, and few, if any, enjoyed the former status of their nabob forbearers. A. J. Postlethwaite, the descendant of the wealthy early merchant Samuel Postlethwaite, started the postbellum period by selling out to a German Jewish newcomer from the North, Henry Frank. John W. Henderson, son of the first-tier merchant-planter Thomas Henderson, commenced business with a former clerk and war veteran, William Abbott, without marked benefit of his father’s previous firm.

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