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Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, General Research and Reference Division

Charles Morris, The Old South and the New (Philadelphia?: s.n., 1907)

The Cotton South

While other crops where economically significant, cotton was by far the South's and the country's most important staple crop. By 1860 cotton exports amounted to more than 50 percent annually of the dollar value of all United States imports. After the Civil War, the cotton-growing industry got on its feet again by development of a "cropping system." The planter gave each tenant a plot of land and a portion of the crop: half the crop, or less if the planter furnished the tools, seed, and mules. The tiny insect called a boll weevil invaded Texas in 1898 and ate its way across the South from west to east. Farmers turned to food products, which required thirty times fewer workers. These laborers found themselves out of a job.

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Image ID: 1169849
Title: A large cotton field.
Source: The old South and the new: a complete illustrated history of the Southern states, their resources, their people and their cities, and the inspiring story of their wonderful growth in industry and riches. The marvelous record of three hundred years.
Name: Morris, Charles (1833-1922) - Author
Published: 1907
Location: General Research and Reference Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Subjects: African American agricultural laborers
Cotton pickers
Cotton plantations -- Southern States
Southern States

Keywords: Child Labor - United States
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