Category: Economic History

  • Review: Southern Reconstruction by Philip Leigh

    Southern Reconstruction By Philip Leigh

  • Cotton Pickin’ and Black Geography

    Two recent articles are worth a look, one on the changing geography of Black America and another on how mechanization took over cotton farming. Mona Chalabi maps black populations in the US for the last 118 years, but unfortunately does not go back to the 1850s. However, the distribution in 1900 was probably not that […]

  • Runaways Returned to Plantations—By Yankees in 1864

    Wait, what? So says a letter from a Union surgeon, William C. Towle of the 12th Maine, written from Camp Parapet, near Carrolton, Louisiana, on April 4, 1864. The most of the Negroes who were carried up river from here to work on plantations have returned having runaway as soon as they were at liberty. […]

  • The Economics of Industry in the South

    Alan Guelzo, a professor at Gettysburg College and Director of Civil War Era Studies at Gettysburg College, has an article in USA Today speculating about what might have happened if the South had seceded. On some things I agree with him, that the secession of Dixie might have spurred further secessions (notably the Old Northwest, […]

  • Review: Trading With The Enemy: The Covert Economy During the Civil War

    Trading with the Enemy The Covert Economy During the American Civil War Philip Leigh Westholme Publishing 2014 248 pages 6 x 9 hardback 20 b/w illus., map $26.00 My post on “Bagdad, Back Door to the Confederacy” garnered a comment from author Philip Leigh about other trading arrangements, especially those between the United States and […]

  • Who’s a Cracker?

    There’s been a good deal of discussion lately about the origins and meaning of the word “cracker” because of its use in the high profile Zimmerman murder case in Florida. Just before being shot Trayvon Martin complained about a “creepy-ass cracker” following him, and considerable ink has been spilled about whether this was a racial […]

  • Abe’s Taxes

    Yes, tomorrow is that day again — Tax Day. You can blame it on Abe Lincoln. Back in 1861 when the war began, President Abraham Lincoln could foresee problems in raising money to finance the war effort; at that time the only Federal income was through customs duties.  It was then that Congress got into […]