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3 years ago #61
dylan
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Slavery was already a vital part of the national economy and in the decades after the Revolution, slavery's importance escalated, and the institution expanded to where, on the eve of the Civil War, there were nearly 4 million people living in ***** in America.

However, well before that time, slavery had become the foundation of a network of interdependent economic systems throughout the country that rested on the premise that it was acceptable to view black humans as property. The natural consequences of this deeply racist premise were resistance and violence.

But the North was in the perfect position to deal with this. The region's relationship with slavery, though extraordinarily profitable, was a distant one and that distance allowed the North to minimize and even deny its links with the institution that fueled its prosperity.

Have a look see:

Northern merchants, shippers, and financial institutions, many based in N.Y. City, were crucial players in every phase of the national and international cotton trade. Meanwhile, the rivers and streams of the North, particularly in New England, were crowded with hundreds of textile mills. Well before the Civil War, the economy of the entire North relied heavily on cotton grown by millions of slaves-in the South.

New England and the Mid-Atlantic began their economic ascent in the 18th century because the regions grew and shipped food to help feed millions of slaves - in the West Indies.

Even some smaller industries had these distant, but vital, links to slavery. Starting before the Civil War and lasting up to the edge of the 20th century, two Connecticut towns were an international center for ivory production, milling hundreds of thousands of tons of elephant tusks procured through the enslavement or death of as many as 2 million people - in Africa.

In the 1640s John Winthrop, governor of the Mass. Bay Colony got a letter from his brother-in-law Emmanuel Downing, who suggested that a "just war" against Indians could provide the colony with captives to exchange in the West Indies for badly needed "Moores".

So, from the start, the nation's experience with slavery was defined by commerce and violence, in the North as well as the South. We will open our thread in the time and place where the fruits of hundreds of years of slavce labor may have been the most dramatically realized: in New York, as the country tottered on the edge of war.

A. Lincoln had just been elected president, pushing the Southern states over the edge to secession. The disintegration of America inspired a most curious response on the part of New York's mayor: he publicly declared that his city should secede from the Union along with the Southern states, in large part because of New York's economic dependence on the cotton trade.

And even before the 1860 election, Boston-area manufacturers - though some held antislavery views - were desperately currying favor with the Southern politicians and planters whose millions of slaves delivered the product necessary to their wealth and financial survival. These businessmen were, after all, in textiles, and what would they do without cotton?

The North grew rich before the Civil War beyond measure bvy agreeing to live, however uneasily at times, with slavery. Perhaps as a consequence of striking that bargain, Northerners have pushed much of their early history into the deepest shadows of repression. Many of the facts are shocking:

In the first half of the eighteenth century, two major slave revolts occurred in New York City. During the second uprising, with haunting parallels to the hysteria surrounding the Salem witch trials 50 years earlier, 31 black people, all slaves, and 4 white people were either hanged or burned alive at the stake.

In the eighteenth century, even after America won its freedom from Great Britain, even after writing the Declaration of Independence, tens of thousands of black people, were living as slaves in the North. Earlier in that century, enslaved blacks made up nearly one-fifth of the population of New York City.

At the same time that the North was selling food and other supplies to the sugar plantations that blanketed the islands of the Caribbean, thousands of acres of Connecticut, N.Y. and tiny Rhode Island held plantations that used slave labor.

In the century before Congress finally banned the importation of slaves, Rhode Island was America's leader in the transatlantic trade, launching nearly 1,000 voyages to Africa and carrying at least 100,000 captives back across the Atlantic. The captains and crews of these ships were often the veteran seamen of America: New Englanders.

In the decades before the Civil War, New York City's bustling seaport became the hub of an enormously lucrative illegal slave trade. Manhattan shipyards built ships to carry captive Africans, the vessels often outfitted with crates of shackles and with the huge water tanks needed for their human cargo. A conservative estimate is that during the illegal trade's peak years, 1859 and 1860, at least two slave ships,each built to hold between 600 and 1,000 slaves - left lower Manhattan every month.

A Harvard University zoologist was a major figure in the now-discredited field of "race science". His mentor, one of the most eminent physicians in Philadelphia, had a world-famous collection of human skulls that the "ethnologists" said proved that blacks of African descent had the smallest "cranial capacity" among all human s and thus were doomed to inferiority. These influential scientists not only helped justify slavery, they helped solidify the myth of black inferiority. "Race science" could be the most lasting and devastating legacy of the North's involvement in slavery.

Slavery has long been identified in the national consciousness as a Southern institution. The time to bury that myth is overdue. Slavery is a story about America, all of America. The nation's wealth, from the very beginning, depended on the exploitation of black people on three continents. Together, over the lives of millions of enslaved men and women, Northerners and Southerners shook hands and made a country.

Now we'll take a look at what the North was shaking on.

"The ships would rot at her docks; grass would grow in Wall Street and Broadway, and the glory of New York, like that of Babylon and Rome, would be numbered with the things of the past."

The answer given by a prominent Southern editor
when asked by The Times (London),
"What would New York be without slavery?"

Dylan

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3 years ago #62
dylan
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From the very beginning there were differences of opinion about blacks and the “peculiar institution” that would lend credence to North's position on slavery later on if, in the early years they were joining hands with their black brethren in a show of equality. Of course that is a ludicrous pipedream because no one in those early years considered the blacks as equals.
There was a website that showed very different attitudes in this, “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. I refer to SlaveNorth.com, with annotated sources, if it still exists.

"When the Illinois state constitution was adopted in 1818, it limited the vote to "free white men" and excluded blacks from the militia."

"Indiana's anti-immigration rule was challenged in the case of a black man convicted for bringing a black woman into the state to marry her. The state Supreme Court upheld the conviction, noting that, "The policy of the state is ... clearly evolved. It is to exclude any further ingress of ****, and to remove those already among us as speedily as possible.""

These are just two examples of dozens of others the website provided about all of the northern States with their institutionalised anti-Black bias and segregation.

Michael F. Holt, Ph.D. states on another website, Getting The Message Out, "Several midwestern free states, including Illinois, even passed laws prohibiting free blacks from entering their borders..."

I'm sure most people here are familiar with Lerone Bennett, Jr., editor of Ebony magazine who wrote a book about Abraham Lincoln being a White supremacist. In it, he details the Black Code laws of Illinois, the absurdly proclaimed "Land of Lincoln". There, it was a crime for a Black to settle in Illinois unless they could prove their freedom and post a $1,000 bond, and if they could do that, they were under constant surveillance and could be arrested by any white. They could not vote, sue, or testify in court. These State laws were voted for by Abraham Lincoln while he was a State legislator in January of 1836, according to Mr. Bennett's book, Forced Into Glory. (Naturally here loud cries will be heard of "He changed his opinion later in life." I will even grant that this could be true, but it's also true that it's still on the books what was happening and how Mr. Lincoln voted before "this cruel war" began.)

Hindsight is always 20/20, but I am still looking at the years before the war and I see things a bit differently about the North than the nobility of those marching off "to die to make men free."

Before returning to my original premise of the North and the vast fortunes they were accumulating before the war, almost all having some form of association with the slavery in the South, let me add this:

Whether or not one agreed with human *****, it was protected in the US Constitution. Therefore, all States were legally obliged to honour those provisions that dealt with their sister States who held slaves. The northern States abolitionists were the ones who claimed the right to nullify the Constitution. Even though the northern States had no empathy for the Black race, slavery had been abolished there, further proof that a war was unnecessary for the eventual freedom of the Black race here in the States. For the States knew that slavery was a right reserved for the State to deal with. Or, a Constitutional Amendment could be propounded. But, such a one was not required for the northern States to abolish it within their borders, their lack of empathy for the Blacks notwithstanding.

The northern States would not abide with Article IV, Section 2, Paragraph 3, reflected not a sense of humanity, of moral revulsion to slavery, but instead a growing anti-South hatred & prejudice. Blacks did not matter to the north, but were pawns by which the north stuck it to the South. So, even when Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, the northern States, reflecting their ethnic-hatred for the South, refused to obey it, again not because of right and wrong, but because of hatred towards the South. Even that reflected their perceived States Right to nullify any federal law they wanted to.

These sites prove very insightful as to the attitude of the North before the war. http://www.slavenorth.com/denial.htm Here states are taken one by one so that you can see the attitudes that were held toward slavery and the South up to the point of war. (As I’ve said, I was anxious to get into this forum so shamefully, I have not checked to see if this site still exists.)

Now back to the North and their industries and their dependence on slavery at certain levels.

It's difficult to overstate the importance of molasses, or more, specifically, of rum, particularly to the New England states.

At different times, Massachusetts and Rhode Island together had nearly 70 distilleries for rum, and New York City had more than a dozen. The Africa trade, however, took only a fraction of the rivers of molasses and rum flowing into and out of the North.

In 1770, Massachusetts and Rhode Island together importated 3.5 million gallons of molasses, which their distilleries turned into 2.8 million gallons of rum. New Englanders drank up most of the rum themselves, but 1.3 million gallons was reexported up and down the Atlantic coast, from Newfoundland to the Deep South. New England distilled more rum than all the rest of North America. The volume drunk was astonishing- an average of 1.5 quarts a week for every adult male! So was the amount of molasses smuggled past customs agents --probably more than 1.5 million gallons in 1770. (On that one and a half quarts a week of rum I don't believe that qualifies for medicinal purposes....but that's just my opinion.)

The hogsheads of molasses and rum were transported by water like almost everything the North traded in, and the revenue from shipping rivaled the value of West Indian exports. Shipbuilding became a major industry both in New York City and in New England. John Winthrop himself financed the construction of the Massachusetts Bay Colony's first ship, The Blessing of the Bay, launched in 1631. By 1700, Boston and nearby towns were turning out 70 ships a year -- the most in number and tonnage in the Western Hemisphere.

This industry employed hundreds of shipwrights, carpenters, sailsmakers, and ironworkers, not to mention lumbermen. Two thousand trees, mainly oak and pine, were cut to build a single decent-sized ship. The ships were sold, often to West Indian buyers, or kept for Massachusetts's own fleet. In the early 1700's, Boston's adult male population had risen to only about 1800. Incredibly, though, nearly one-third of Boston's men owned shares in at least one oceangoing vessel.

Every voyage risked shipwreck or seizure, but it was a business venture and the trade--legal or illegal-- shifted with the tides of war and taxation.

Fortunes and families were bound together by trade. A social register of New England families and families from elsewhere in the North that derived wealth from the West Indies slave islands would include hundreds of thousands of names, depending on where the qualifying bar is set. In the 18th century, Boston merchant Peter Faneuil (endower of Faneuil Hall) had a plantation on French St. Domingue. Before its slaves rebelled, Sainte-Domingue (now Haiti) had supplanted Barbados and Jamaica as the world's richest colony.

The Winthrop family was not left out. John's youngest son, Samuel, eventually acquired a plantation on Antigua and became president of its ruling council. a Winthrop cousin named Turner owned a 400-acre plantation on Barbados.

Plantation slavery created tremendous wealth in the New World and the Old. It was the engine of the colonial Atlantic economy.

The evidence that New England, the cradle of American civilization, was rocked by this slave economy had been there from the start, provided by John Winthrop as early as 1648.

A single entry from the Puritan's journal revealed the origins of New England's wealth and that of much of the rest of the North. In between reporting interruptions to the beaver and fish trade and complaining about New England's reputation as a "poor, barren place," Winthrop gave the real news:

"It pleased the Lord to open us a trade to Barbados and other islands in the West Indies."

A picture (p.54 in Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery,by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank of The Hartford Courant, Ballantine Books, New York, 2006) states:

"This advertisment from the June 6, 1780, The Connecticut Courant and the Weekly Intelligencer (a predecessor of today's Hartford Courant shows the shape of colonial trade in a nutshell. New England imported molasses, and rum and sugar in lesser amounts, from the West Indies. The Lisbon wine often was exchanged for New Englandfish. The "**** wench" for sale may not have been bought in Africa with New England rum, but her ancestors likely were. In 1780, slavery had been practiced in Connecticut for more than a century and the state's slave population had grown to about 5,000. The Connecticut Courant and the Weekly Intelligencer."

I’m stopping for now. Unfortunately I have to WORK!

Dylan

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3 years ago #63
Ajhall
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Excellent post. I'll read and comment on each in the order you post them, starting with this first one (mind you, these comments are being posted before I've read any of the others).

Perhaps a moderator can move me to a different forum, if he feels the need.

This is the appropriate thread for this discussion, and the posts are coming out in the correct order.

As I have looked through the forums I have participated on I have watched helplessly as the slavery issue eventually becomes the only issue that divided the nation and forums bog down on this issue and never discuss any other aspects at all.

That's why I'm always to reluctant to revisit the subject. It's like sticking my hand in a fire hoping it won't burn this time. I don't think anyone here is so narrow-minded that they think slavery was the only divisive issue antebellum. I think the better question is "What WAS its role?"

I intend to show how the North profited from slavery, and promoted it; how they got every penny's worth they could extract before deciding that it should be done away with.

I'm really looking forward to your ideas on this subject. The hypocrisy of abolitionists, even if only nominal, making a fortune on the backs of slave labor really troubles me. It's hard for me to reconcile the old textile mills I can see from my window with the fact that they were built with money derived from slave labor. It's something I can't yet wrap my head around.
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3 years ago #64
Seamuson
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Dylan stated
These are the first items I’m using to join in this thread. I intend to show how the North profited from slavery, and promoted it; how they got every penny's worth they could extract before deciding that it should be done away with.

I’m delighted to be joining your forum but I will be listing my thoughts , which will include all the vast fortunes which were built from the ground up on the backs of slavery; I'm sure there will be plenty of room for disagreement but I do hope that I don't derail you too far from your original supposition.


I am familiar with slavenorth.com, and I have cited it a few times. It still exists. No doubt you may know of some of the principal slave-trading families, and you have mentioned John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony, who played a leading role in establishing the slave trade in North America, (also one of the principal ancestors of one Senator John Kerry). If I may ask if you know, I have uncovered a bit of history that intrigues me: Rhode Island Senator John DeWolfe, the largest single slave-trader of North America, who began channeling capital into industrialization, arguably one of the main reasons New England became part of the industrial revolution in this hemisphere, used the money he gained from the slave trade, then began to campaign against the expansion of slavery into the territories. Why he embarked on this apparent about-face I have yet to uncover.
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3 years ago #65
Ajhall
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began to campaign against the expansion of slavery into the territories. Why he embarked on this apparent about-face I have yet to uncover.

Could it be because he didn't stand to directly profit from it?
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3 years ago #66
fstroupe
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Ajhall wrote:


I hope this makes some degree of sense, but remember it's really just speculation.
Actually it does make a lot of sense. I'm glad you posted it as the little bit of research I did to refresh my memory of parts of it filled in some gaping holes that I had in my knowledge from point A to point Z.

As you know of the Unitarian church, it was generally considered as what today we would call a cult by pretty much all of the Calvinist, the Methodist, and Episcopal churches. It ended up splitting the Congregationalist churches in a few parts too. Though the Congregationalist movement actually did influence the Baptist church.


dylan wrote:

The time to bury that myth is overdue.
Of all of the positions of political correctness that have taken place over the last 175 or so years, making the actual story of slavery known to the general public will be the least likely to happen. The social engineers have gotten far too much mileage out of it to let it go.
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3 years ago #67
dylan
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3 years ago #68
Seamuson
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Don't let me interrupt your train of thought, so please continue. However, you stated:

Concern for the individual soul kept this force safely away from social reform until the 1830's, when hard times and a growing realization that revival methods hadn't brought the millenium turned disillusioned souls in a different direction. They chose an attack on specific evils and they turned reformers.


So Senator Webster was concerned for Senator Hayne's and South Carolina's soul in the debates of 1830? So that he would publicly insult a particular state and region so thoroughly, and locate the nation's ills so resolutely within the South and its plantation system with its large numbers of n e gro labourers, the South was in his words "negroized" and further the accusation came to be levied upon slave owners of sexual profligacy and the "danger" of "mullato" individuals coming forth of this union. The South is guilty of having slaves even as it is supplying the economic backbone of the nation in cotton. New England representatives would keep up the rhetorical assault upon the South and its institutions until Senator Charles Sumner would be assaulted by Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina.

There is more to this than meets the eye. It is hard to believe that New England's official representatives were trying to bring in the millenium by excoriating the South into giving up its plantation system, or were trying to get them to repent in order to purify their souls.

Webster's words served this primary purpose: it solidified the thinking that New England was superior to the South in every way, even as the New England economy depended on the cotton making its way northward from southern plantations. The South was polluted, not because it had slaves but because it had large numbers of n e gr oes, and these persons were causing a blight on the rest of the nation. These public excoriating words in 1830 served to galvanize the two sections against each other.
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3 years ago #69
Taylor
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Dylan:

Excellent, informative, and thought-provoking posts! I haven't had time to keep up with this thread, so I'm going to back track a bit with respect to abolitionism and religion as they were inextricably connected.

I think the arrogance and religious zeal of the time can be best summed up with these words from Albert T. Beveridge before the U.S. Senate:

"God has not been preparing the English-speaking and Tectonic peoples for a thousand years for nothing but vain and idle self-admiration. No! He has made us the master organizers of the world to establish systems where chaos reigns. He has made us adepts in government that we may administer government among savages and senile peoples."

The combination of religion and abolitionism made the tragedy of slavery both an issue of abstract morality and a practical political issue of the day. Instead of using more temperate words and actions, abolitionists thought and behaved like narrow-minded hellfire and brimstone preachers:

"Meanwhile, abolitionists reworked the definition of a Christian. Slaveholding became the cardinal sin in the antinomian theology, for men were judged solely according to their relationship to slavery, a radical departure in scriptural interpretation. Thereafter it was easy – all too easy – to distinguish the saints from the fallen. Non-slaveholding churchgoers could take refuge from their own spiritual vacuity by condemning others for what environment, circumstances, and inclination shielded them from ever doing…primitive woodcuts of lustful masters and abject slaves became the gargoyles and relics of a gothic revival. And there was even a kind of Protestant rite of indulgence performed in the purchase of a suitably decorated lamp-mat or a pamphlet from Knapp &amp; Garrison. They were false representations, crude compositions for a complex and highly personal set of relationships in the South."
[Wyatt-Brown, "Yankee Saints; Southern Sinners" pp.22-23.]

It was their religion, more than anything else, which blinded abolitionists to the fact that slaveholders were simply Americans, neither better nor worse than the average man, who found themselves in an undesirable position.

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3 years ago #70
dylan
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Not meaning to disturb anyone but I had a note from Worldwide Web Owner instructing me to go to a site and see more information on something I was writing about.

I tried 8 times to get in and was denied access, but I can get in here. (Also have had trouble getting into this site several times asking if I was using correct password.)

I'd really like to see what WorldWide wanted me to see but if I can't get in, that's a loss.

What am I doing wrong? If the site is restricted why would Worldwide suggest I go there?

Good morning, all.

Dylan

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3 years ago #71
Ajhall
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My guess is it's some kind of spam or phishing scam. The name sounds suspicious. If I were you, I'd ignore it. You can PM/e-mail me the URL to me and I'll try, but don't post it here in case it is spam.

BTW, your posts here on Northern duplicity in slavery are phenomenal. I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the lesson. Regarding the Boston Group of textile mill owners, in your research have you come across the name Benjamin Bates? If so, I'd love to hear what you've found. It's pertinent to a bit of local history I'm looking into.

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3 years ago #72
dylan
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This is for Andrew concerning Benjamin Bates:

Andrew, if I may call you that, the only info I ever found on Benjamin Bates came from sources directly online: http://www.megalink.net/~joel/lewiston/industry.html http://www.americancivilwarforum.com/maine-in-the- civil-war-textile-mills-of-lewiston-195.html (which I believe you’ve already used, so no help there.)
From http://learn.bowdoin.edu/apps/es/drupal/node/10 I managed only to find:
Industry began in Lewiston in 1834 with the creation of the Lewiston Falls Manufacturing Company. At this time, Lewiston was still a relatively small town. Following the construction of the Bates Mills by a group of wealthy Boston merchants in 1852, development took off. By 1854, Benjamin Bates began the Franklin Water Power Company to develop waterpower on the Little Androscoggin River. In pursuing this great task, Bates purchased all the effects of the Lewiston Water Power Company.[19] Now under Bates' supervision, this company had changed hands three times. It was originally the Great Androscoggin Falls, Dam, Locks, and Canal Company that had been incorporated by Edward Little and others.[20] Little's intent in creating the company was for "generation of water-power through the falls, and for general manufacturing purposes chiefly textile, cotton, and wool."[21] In the 1850s, Boston businessmen had similar intentions when they formed the Union Water Power Company. Providing money and a strong vision for the growth of Lewiston, this influential company added stone dams to Lewiston Falls and built canals to dispense the generated water power.[22] The growth provided by large industrial mills and the Union Water Power Company, along with continued agricultural production - once a staple of the region - contributed to the recognition of Lewiston as a city in the year 1861.
The Bates Mill offers an example of how industry molded the economy, social structure, and pride of Lewiston in the mid to late nineteenth century. With the construction of Bates Mill number One in 1852, the Bates Manufacturing Company was the first to capitalize on Union Water Power Company's harnessing of the falls. This first mill was four stories tall, with an area of 60 by 280 feet, a large endeavor by 19th century standards. [23] The Bates Manufacturing Company continued to grow, with a second building established in 1854 and a third in 1865. Additions and expansions were made to all three buildings in 1882. [24] The Bates Manufacturing Company quickly became a huge production center in Lewiston, utilizing 350,000 pounds of raw material annually for woolen products. In 1890, the mills supported 1865 employees, working at 58,392 spindles. For this rate of production, 5,000,000 pounds of cotton were utilized each year. The Bates Manufacturing Company continued to thrive through the end of World War One-mill production grew with 84,000 spindles and $1,200,000 of capital invested in the company.[25] A December 12, 1872 article from the Lewiston Weekly Journal echoed the sentiment over Lewiston's growing reputation as a major industrial center:
Lewiston was thriving on the success of her mills. Between 1854 and 1870 the
Bates Corporation alone extended nearly $9 million for the single item of cotton -
the entire valuation of Lewiston in 1870. This cotton made more than 60,000
bales, which if laid end to end, would reach more than 70 miles, and the goods
there from some 100,000,000 yards enough to wind around the circumference of
the earth 2 times. Disbursals including wages in Lewiston for the Bates
Company alone amounted to $60,000 a month, and employment was given to 1,300 persons.[26]

In a rapidly growing city, the Bates Manufacturing Company, in particular, was distinguishing itself both in terms of massive textile production and for its ability to provide work for thousands of individuals.
Along with the new mills and the rise of the textile industry came an influx of immigrants into Lewiston. Though pay was not significant and most immigrants were poor, Lewiston industry still provided jobs to numerous immigrants, namely those who were French-Canadian and Irish.[27] There were 4,550 French-Canadians in Lewiston by 1880; by 1900 this number rose to between 7,000 and 9,000.[28] In fact, at the turn of the century, twenty-three percent of voters in Lewiston were French-Canadian.[29] Comprising another substantial portion of Lewiston's population were Irish immigrants, who totaled twenty-two percent of Lewiston's population in 1870.[30] As the industrial landscape of Lewiston took form, social changes were plentiful as well.
Progress in Lewiston was not solely measured in terms of ethnic diversity, however. As the national textile industry began to decline in the mid 1920s, Lewiston continued to thrive, on innovation and adaptability.[31] Innovations in the 1870s continued to distinguish Lewiston's textile manufacturing throughout the next century. The June 29, 1871 issue of Lewiston Sun Times reported that the Bates Mills recently began manufacturing Marseilles quilts that were superior to any other style every produce in the United States or abroad.[32] Producing a variety of materials kept Lewiston's textile industry alive when it was faltering in other areas of the country. Moreover, the presence of a textile industry in Lewiston also created a niche for other industries, such as the Lewiston Bleachery and Dye Works that was incorporated in 1860.[33] The Bates Manufacturing Corporation and other textile giants of Lewiston continued to thrive well into the twentieth century, yet utilization of the Androscoggin River evolved, as public demand and private interest began to capitalize on the use of the river for hydroelectric power.
During the 20th century, hydroelectric power emerged as a new technology and a new way to harness and reshape the river. By the early 1900's, hydropower had come to be seen as a wondrous means to achieve improvement to the land along the Androscoggin. Dams were portrayed as both beautiful and useful by local newspapers, promoting the idea of the technological sublime and blurring the relationship between nature and technology during the industrial revolution. An article in the Lewiston Evening Journal from sometime in the mid-1920's discussed the role of the Androscoggin River and its newly emerging use for hydropower in spurring the growth of Lewiston. "The undeveloped water power constitutes a potential source of mechanical energy which, applied to the service of our people in this county, will provide a higher standard of living and produce work for an increasing number of people."[34] The Gulf Island Project, constructed on the Androscoggin just outside Lewiston during the 1920's, is an example of humans reshaping the river for hydroelectric power. The project was the biggest hydroelectric power project yet in Maine.[35] An unknown author writing for the Lewiston Evening Journal in the mid-1920's portrayed the faith Lewistonians had that hydroelectric power would bring growth and prosperity to Lewiston,
No place in Maine-in fact, few in the country can offer to industries the attraction of so much cheap, dependable hydroelectric power developed right at the threshold of the city. Few rivers are better controlled or developed for power purposes than the Androscoggin will be when this project is completed. With other opportunities equally attractive to offer industrials this vicinity is on the eve of a great industrial era.[36]

Dylan

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3 years ago #73
dylan
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Sometimes when you are looking for material it takes a very long time. I well remember another forum where we got off on the tangent of whether Lincoln belonged to the "Know Nothings" or not! LOL We spun that wheel for months!

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3 years ago #74
Ajhall
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First, you can absolutely call me Andrew.

Second, thanks for the info. Much of what you posted I already knew from previous research -- one of which I actually wrote as a blog here. However, my research has been done piecemeal, and this is the first time I've seen a lot of this material summarized in one spot. I also was not familiar with two of the on-line sources, so I'll check them out.

A lot of the places mentioned above are literally a stone's throw away from where I sit right now. Our backyard is made up of fill from the digging of the canals. When I was prepping my garden this year, I came across a lot of odds and ends from that time, none worth anything except as curiosities.

I'd think there would be more info on Bates floating around. After all, he founded Bates College, one of the Little Ivy League triad of Bates, Bowdoin and Colby. I'm going to interview for a volunteer position at the Maine Historical Society next week. If that pans out, it'll open a whole new world of research possibilities.

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3 years ago #75
dylan
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3 years ago #76
dylan
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3 years ago #77
Seamuson
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Keith Olbermann makes a big deal of the fact that he graduated from Brown U.

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3 years ago #78
Ajhall
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Ahhh, another example of hypocrisy of it all. But would anyone seriously expect that shining example of objective journalism to know anything about history? Point it out, and I'd be surprised if you weren't called a right wing nut job. It's always easier when anyone who doesn't see things your way can be labeled a radical racist and thus ignored.

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3 years ago #79
Taylor
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There is an interesting book on this subject (Inheriting the Trade: A Northern Family Confronts Its Legacy as the Largest Slave-Trading Dynasty in U.S. History) written by Thomas DeWolf, a direct relation to his infamous ancestor, U.S. Senator James DeWolf. Thomas DeWolf's cousin, Katrina Browne, upon learning about their family history, decided to confront it head on and Ms. Browne produced and directed a documentary feature film, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North. This film is an official selection of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Here is a brief synopsis of "Inheriting the Trade:"

In 2001, at forty-seven, Thomas DeWolf was astounded to discover that he was related to the most successful slave-trading family in American history, responsible for transporting at least 10,000 Africans to the Americas. His infamous ancestor, U.S. senator James DeWolf of Bristol, Rhode Island, curried favor with President Thomas Jefferson to continue in the trade after it was outlawed. When James DeWolf died in 1837, he was the second-richest man in America.

"Inheriting the Trade" is Tom DeWolf's powerful and disarmingly honest memoir of the journey in which ten family members retraced the steps of their ancestors and uncovered the hidden history of New England and the other northern states.

I hadn't thought of this book in some time but with Dylan's recent postings on the stark reality of the slave trade in the North during the 18th century, I was reminded again of the DeWolfe dynasty and how they attained their riches.

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3 years ago #80
Seamuson
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Dylan stated:

The DeWolf shipments, added in with those of other Bristol and Newport slave merchants, would haunt the North in the coming national fight over slavery.


I hope you expound on that statement a bit more. From what I know about this history, the North was not haunted at all about their own history in the slave trade, and Senator Daniel Webster in 1830 heaped all the blame on the South.
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3 years ago #81
dylan
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Seamuson,
I do apologize for not responding quickly. I opened up to the forum last night and then my nephew called on Skype and we started talking. Time just flew by. It wasn’t until near midnight that I realized I was still online with the forum and hadn’t post a single word! By then I was tired so I just shut down and went to bed.

I have some more on this, but you’re right, the North was NOT haunted as history bears out.
I’m sure I am not as knowledgeable as others on the subject of America’s greatest tragedy, the war, but I do study very hard and it took me a long time to piece together what I call the underbelly of the United States.

Let me look through my notes and see what I can post next. But I warn all of you. I started this when I knew absolutely nothing about attachments, keeping things in some semblance of order, etc. So if I seem to jump from one thought to another it’s because I was reading, usually, around 4 books at a time. Some subject would catch my attention and I would be off and running.

If all of you can bear with my rambling I have a lot of information but it’s not necessarily in any strict order
.
Dylan
“Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway.”

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3 years ago #82
fstroupe
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Seamuson wrote:
Keith Olbermann makes a big deal of the fact that he graduated from Brown U.


Personally I would be more embarrassed by that fact than by its association with John Brown, had I attended that university. I consider the former much, much more insane than the latter.

dylan wrote:
I have always thought that on every forum I have been on we are inundated with SLAVERY and how awful the South was to have it. But, nobody ever goes into HOW they got the slaves and what was the rest of the United States doing that eventually led to war. Now that is what I call biased and I have seen it repeatedly, with no objection from anyone about how unfair it might be, no facts coming forward to show that the slave trade was a big business and it wasn't all in the South. I'm also seeing the early leaders of this country in a different light.
turn a profit.)


NO ONE is allowed to look objectively at slavery, just as few people are open-minded enough to allow themselves to look at slavery from a historical standpoint, or from any other standpoint for that matter.

The most horrible slavery in history was the slavery that white American Southerners forced upon the people that THEY (white American Southerners) kidnapped from their (the slaves) homes in western Sub-Saharan Africa.

(how many inaccuracies can you find in this statement that probably 95% of the American population believes)

PC rules the conversation, forcing everyone to be closed-minded about the issue. To be honest it is shocking to me that in the conversations that have taken place here at this forum since I have been here that no one has freaked out, either a member or a guest surfing into a thread.

Again, the PC powers have gotten too much mileage from slavery to allow anyone to talk openly about it.
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3 years ago #83
dylan
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In my efforts to get as much information out about the DeWolfe family, I may become somewhat jumbled. But here goes anyway!


The slave trade, having been illegal for more than ten years, when, in 1820 Senator William Smith of South Carolina had the opportunity to poke at Senator James DeWolf. Missouri's admission to the Union was being debated when DeWolf was forced to listen to Senator Smith mock him in a speech attacking Northern hypocrisy. "The people of Rhode Island have lately shown bitterness against slaveholders, and especially against the admission of Missouri," said Sen. Smith. "This, however, cannot, I believe be the temper or opinion of the majority, from the late election of James DeWolf as a member of this house, as he has accumulated an immense fortune in the slave trade." (Senator William Smith, quoted in Howe, Mount Hope, p. 190.)

There seems to be an unspoken law against impugning a Senator by name and Smith was reprimanded for it; however this merely caused Sen. Smith to make a more thinly disguised accusation: [i]" I dare not ask whether citizens of Rhode Island have trafficked in slaves since such traffic became illegal---that were indeed out of order but would show the Senate that those people who most deprecate the evils of slavery and traffic in human flesh, when a profitable market can be found, can sell human flesh with as easy a conscience as they sell other articles."

Smith also introduced records he'd got from the Charleston customhouse for the years 1804-08; the "black catalog", as he called it showed of 12,000 slaves imported on U.S. ships, almost 8,000 were shipped on R.I. vessels. A secessionist theme would later follow DeWolf's themes involving New England, Great Britain and finally the South.


By far DeWolf's most important senatorial act was in amending a new treaty that allowed the British and U.S. navies to jointly patrol the African coast for illegal slave ships. His amendment denied British the right to board American vessels, but 1860 would prove a turning point. This vastly helped give New York City the freedom to become the criminal headquarters of a massive illegal slave trade to markets in Brazil and Cuba.

Dylan

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3 years ago #84
Seamuson
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This shows that even by 1820 and the debates concerning Missouri's statehood, the commitment to what later became known as "free soil, free labor" was already well thought out, and that the chess game had already ensued to limit the expansion of slave-holders with their property. This chess game was begun by those in New England who had amassed great fortunes in the slave trade, yet with that trade becoming "officially" illegal in 1808 DeWolf and obviously others began to invest in textile mills and expressed their desire to limit slavery to the South and not allow it in the territories. To me this is a great mystery.

We had just fought a war together, North and South, then another in 1812, then by the close of the latter war there exists a caball that has targeted the South for ridicule for having the slaves sold to them by those who made a profit off of the sale!

Gentlemen, Dixie had been delivered over unto Satan a long time ago.

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3 years ago #85
Taylor
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Some of what I am posting below will be a repetition of what Dylan has already added to this thread, but the words are that of two descendants of the DeWolf family:

*James DeWolf Perry and Katrina Browne work at the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery and appear in Browne's PBS documentary, "Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North." They are descendants of the DeWolf family of Rhode Island, which from 1769 to 1820 brought more enslaved Africans to the Americas than any other family.

"This week marks the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War, a war that redefined national and regional identities and became an enduring tale of noble resistance in the South and, for the rest of the country, a mighty moral struggle to erase the stain of slavery.

On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces opened fire on the beleaguered Union garrison at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. By April 14, the fort had fallen and the war had begun in earnest.

By the time Fort Sumter was again in Union hands, following the evacuation of Charleston in the closing days of the war in 1865, the war had become the bloodiest in the nation's history -- and has not been surpassed. Yet the relationship of the North to the South, and to slavery before and during the war is not at all what we remember today. The reality is that both North and South were profoundly complicit in slavery and deeply reluctant to abolish our nation's "peculiar institution."

To see this, start by considering the response of New York City to secession. On January 7, 1861, after the secession of South Carolina but before any other state joined in rebellion, Mayor Fernando Wood delivered his annual message to the New York City Council. Would the mayor of the largest and wealthiest northern city denounce the southern cause? Rally his fellow citizens around the Union and its president-elect, Abraham Lincoln? Perhaps lament the necessity of a bloody moral struggle to abolish slavery?

Wood did none of these things. Instead, he announced that New York offered "friendly relations and a common sympathy" with the "aggrieved brethren of the slave states." He then offered the bold proposal that New York City secede, as well, forming an independent city-state. This move, he argued, "would have the whole and united support of the southern states" and would allow the city to avoid breaking off its existing relationships with the slave states.

Of course, New York did not secede from the Union. But why did this northern mayor, along with many of his fellow citizens, so dramatically embrace the southern cause?

The first answer is cotton. Cotton -- southern, slave-picked cotton -- was the mainstay of New York City's antebellum economy, and indeed, of the North's. In 1860, the South produced 2.3 billion pounds of cotton, accounting for two-thirds of world production and more than half the value of all U.S. exports. Most of this wealth, however, flowed north and west, as these regions provided the financing, insurance, marketing, transportation, foodstuffs and manufactured goods for southern slave plantations. Even the growing industrialization of the North took the form of cotton textile mills, which were dependent on southern cotton production.

The critical linkage of northern industrialization and southern slavery, while generally ignored or downplayed in the past, has been drawing increasing attention from historians, as brought out at a conference on slavery and the U.S. economy this past week, organized by Seth Rockman of Brown University and Sven Beckert of Harvard University.

No one profited more handsomely from the cotton trade and the textile industry than New York's financial and maritime interests. Yet Wood was not in the pocket of big business; he was a populist supported by the city's working-class immigrants. New York's laborers, bolstered by waves of Irish and other immigrants, were just as dependent for their modest wages on King Cotton, and like other ordinary northerners, they knew it.

This leads us to the second answer: Racism. The North had seen slave-owning slowly fade away, and had grudgingly passed emancipation laws to gradually eliminate slavery over generations. Yet even as northern slavery was dying out -- indeed, precisely because it was -- free blacks in the North were increasingly ill-treated.

Draconian laws tightly controlled the lives and employment of free blacks, and black families were being driven out of northern towns by being deemed poor or disorderly or simply through armed attack. Finally, as the North began to erase responsibility for two centuries of slave-owning from its collective memory, an ideology of black racial inferiority arose to justify the impoverished conditions and harsh treatment of a free black population.

In the same vein, wealthy northern business interests had little regard for enslaved people in the South on whose labor their profits depended. And the working class viewed southern slaves not with sympathy, but as economic competition whose working conditions -- they mistakenly thought -- were no worse than those of northern "wage slaves." This is why New York City's working class, rioting against the Union draft in 1863, would turn to lynching free black men, women and children in the streets.

Abolition was a radical cause embraced by only a minority in the North. Northerners would march to war in vast numbers not to end slavery, but to preserve the Union.

The sesquicentennial of the Civil War -- 2011 to 2015 -- could easily become an occasion to rehash tired old myths: righteous northerners fighting to abolish slavery and proud southerners defending states' rights and the southern way of life. These beliefs provide each side with the smug view that history vindicates its actions and absolves it of responsibility for slavery.

Instead, let's use this anniversary to face and learn from our shared history in all its complexity. In this way, we can take a fresh look not only at the legacy of the Civil War for race in our society, but at lingering tensions between North and South, as well."


"Civil War's Dirty Secret About Slavery: CNN.Com *Editor's Notes

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3 years ago #86
Taylor
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"This chess game was begun by those in New England who had amassed great fortunes in the slave trade, yet with that trade becoming "officially" illegal in 1808 DeWolf and obviously others began to invest in textile mills and expressed their desire to limit slavery to the South and not allow it in the territories. To me this is a great mystery."

I believe that the controversy raised over slavery in the territories was all about political power on both sides, but in the case of James DeWolf and others, a classic case of respectability had set in, and they had long made their fortunes.

Both the North and the South were engaged in an entirely transparent wrangle over political power and neither viewpoint was morally superior to the other. But someone had to be the scapegoat and the South found themselves in the unenviable position of being judged and found wanting.
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3 years ago #87
Seamuson
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So for political power. Ok, makes sense. And DeWolf and others who had amassed fortune in the slave trade, and would make more in the illegal slave trade still, they have now, post 1808, adopted a "public posture" of righteousness vis-a-vis slavery and the South because they have publicly abandoned the trade while in fact they are continuing the slave trade.

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3 years ago #88
Ajhall
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Taylor wrote:

tired old myths: righteous northerners fighting to abolish slavery and proud southerners defending states' rights and the southern way of life. These beliefs provide each side with the smug view that history vindicates its actions and absolves it of responsibility for slavery.


Indeed, the self-righteous demagogues on both sides of the aisle yell the loudest and get the most attention. It seems the cancer of slavery could not be easily excised as long as powerful forces on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line had a vested interest in seeing it continue. And like cancer, excision infrequently equates to cure. The remnants continue to metastasize for many years after.
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3 years ago #89
dylan
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3 years ago #90
Ajhall
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Dylan wrote:

But my mind always drifts to the “what ifs”. How many Einsteins, Mozarts, Van Goghs were either killed or never born because of the war? It’s mind-boggling and immeasurably sad to me what we all lost. Perhaps we even lost a Winston Churchill or others who would see things differently in the future.


Not to get off topic, but Dylan's musing leads me to an even more disturbing though completely mundane "what if" related to the ripple effects the war has on the flow of history and its direct effect on people alive today.

We frequently read of a soldier who was hit by a minie ball in some part of his body that was partially shielded by a belt buckle, or a canteen, or a pocket testament or deck of cards. Or we read of the soldier who moved this way or that, only to find the fellow right behind him was struck and killed by a ball. Imagine the implications it holds if the soldier were three inches over so the ball didn't hit the belt buckle, but instead killed him; or if the man didn't turn away for whatever reason,taking the ball instead of the man behind him. Never mind the children who weren't born; imagine the implications on those who were born after a man escaped such a close call. He would not go home to marry his sweetheart, so the 5 children they had wouldn't be born, to in turn marry their own sweethearts and have their own children and so on. There have to be literally thousands of people alive today who wouldn't be if their ancestor had done the most miniscule of things differently. Suppose it had been Douglas MacArthur's father? I'm hardly a fan of the man, but he had a huge impact on the 20th Century, and his father certainly came close to death at least once in the ACW. The potential kind of humbles me.
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