The Clash between Teachers and Cotton Agents
Welcome to Katzenhaus Books, where we tell - the stories behind the history.
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Delivered by FeedBurner


Recent Posts

A Tour of Henrietta's Oxford
Launch Day Is Tuesday, September 19, 2017
What's New and What's Next?
Four Days and Counting
Decisions! Decisions!

Categories

A new contest
Abolition
absurdity
academic myopia
Almost Free
Amazon
ancestors
Announcement
apocalypse
Applications and software
Appomattox
Arnulf of Lisieux
art of speaking
attracting readers
audience
audio books
Author Central
Author Gifts
author's Plea
awards
baseball
basketball
Battle of Port Royal
Battles
biographical
blind artists
blockade
blog chain
Book Club Guides
Book Design
Book Launch
book stores
book trailer
bookstores
Boxed Set
bright ideas
Building a platform
business
Business plan
Busy-ness
butterflies
Career choices
cats
celebrations
cemetery research
Census
challenges
characterization
Characters
Charleston
children
children's books
choosing a publisher
Choosing a Title
Christmas Past
Civil War
commercials
Computer Hacks
Confederates
Conferences
Connections
constitutional amendments
construction
Contract labor
cotton
Countdown Sale
Countdown to Launch
Cover Designs
Cover images
cutting and pasting
Cyber Monday
daily drama
daily events
Dead Mules
decisions
depression
diversions
dogs
Do-Overs
DRM
earthquake
e-book pricing
e-books
editing
elevator speech
elmore leonard
Elves and Holidays
Emancipation
England
English class
evidence
Excerpt
exclusivity
Exercise
Expertise
Facebook
fact and fiction
failures
fame and fortune
family affairs
Favorites
Fear of Failure
Fish
flood waters
flowers
food delights
Formatting
Fort Pulaski
free chapter
Free Days
freebies
Friendship
Frogmore
garden
gardens
genealogy
Getting organized
ghost stories
Giveaway
Goals
good business
good news
grammar cops
gratitude
gray horses
gripes
grocery shopping
guest blogs
Gullah
handicaps
Harriet Tubman
Hiatus
Historical background
Historical Fiction
historical puzzlers
historical thinking
history lessons
Holidays
home office
hope and kindness
horse races
horses
hurricanes
identifying your audience
illustrations
imagination
indie authors
Inspiration
inspirations
internet
internet history
intruders
ISBN
Kalamazoo
karma
Kindle
Kindle links
Kindle rankings
Kindle Serials
kings
Klout
Ku Klux Klan
Lack of co-ordination
landmarks
language
Laughs
launch dates
Laura Towne
Layouts
legal matters
lending library
Lessons learned
lessons unlearned
libraries
literary genres
local news
love story
making choices
Marketing
Matchbooks
medicine
medieval-isms
Meet the Characters
Memorial Day
memories
Milestones
military matters
mind-mapping
Misfis
Monthly Musings
name recognition
NaNoWriMo
Nellie Chase
New Blog
New Book
New England
New Research
New Year
newsletters
nonfiction
non-profits
nostalgia
Nurses
oddities
odds and ends
olympics
omens
opening lines
outrage
Oxford
Papacy
parties
Penn Center
photographs
picture book
Pinterest
Pinterest and copyrights
Pirates
planning ahead
plot
point of view
polite society
politics
portraits
powerful women
Predictions
pre-orders
press release
previews
pricing
Principles
procrastination
productivity
Profiles
Progress Report
Promotions
proofs
pros and cons
publishing
publishing companies
publishing ploys
publishing rights
pure sentimentality
puzzlements
quiz
rain
random thoughts
RBOC
read an ebook
readership
recipes
Reconstruction
Relaxation
research
Resolutions
reviews
road trip
rough draft
Roundhead Reports
royalties
rules
SALE
Sales
scams
schedules
Scoop It
ScoopIt
seasons
Secessionville
second edition
Second Mouse
self-publishing
settings
Shiloh
Short Stories
Silliness
slander
Slavery
small world
Smile of the Day
snow, living in the south
social media
software
software disasters
South Carolina
Speechless!
sports
Spring
story arc
Substitutes
Success
summer
Synopsis
Taking a Break
Taxes
Thank You
the difficulties of blogging
The Gideonites
Theme
Tongue-in-cheek
Traditions
trailer
Travelog
trilogies
trolls
Tweet
Twitter
Upcoming Events
using commas
Vacation
vacation photos
Valentine
video
Visitor
vocabulary
Volunteering
voting
warnings
weather
weather trauma
website
word counts
Word-of-Mouth
Words
Words of Warning
Writer Beware!
Writer's Block
Writing Advice
Writing as Career
writing process

Archives

September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010

powered by

"Roundheads and Ramblings"

The Clash between Teachers and Cotton Agents

Yesterday's blog raised the question of conflict between those who saw abandoned South Carolina plantation slaves as free labor to provide cheap cotton for northern markets and those who saw the same plantations as fertile ground for proving that slaves could be educated to full citizenship. The question of which goal was more important fills the pages of The Road to Frogmore. Here's a preview of an early clash:

  The Gideonites did not take long to realize that the cotton agents were at the root of many of their troubles. At the Oaks Plantation, Reynolds had installed a Mr. Whiting to oversee the cotton operations on the 500-acre plantation. When Pierce chose to establish his headquarters there, he and Whiting split the house between them.  The Oaks, built in the late 1850s, featured a four-over-four floor plan, with the back rooms extending further to the sides, thus forming wings or a “T” shape house.  A central hall with a staircase on either side made it possible for two households to share the building.  And since the cookhouse and other out-buildings were separate from the main structure, each household could function independently with its own set of house servants.
    But there  the illusion of equality stopped.  Whiting had arrived first, and he  plundered the house of its best furniture and conveniences to make a comfortable residence for himself and his wife, leaving only the bare necessities for the Gideonites.  At intervals, he also commandeered the front portico as a company store, at which the slaves working his cotton fields could exchange the scrip with which he paid them for items of food and clothing. The Gideonites could  only watch in frustration as they saw the  fieldhands being charged exorbitant prices for items they could have furnished more cheaply.
. . . .

    Pierce blamed Colonel William Nobles, Reynolds’ assistant, for much of the massive corruption that accompanied the cotton-dealing policies. His evidence came from an informant, James Adrian Suydam, who ran one of the company stores. Pierce confronted  him one day, hoping to find an acceptable explanation for the activities that had aroused his suspicions.  Suydam proved anxious to talk, but his revelations were even more disturbing than Pierce had suspected.
    “The cotton agents are all going back on their promises to pay the fieldhands,” he admitted.  “There’s such a push to get that old cotton out and the fields replanted that drivers have been promising the ex-slaves almost anything to get them to work.  They’re told that once the work is done, they’ll be paid a real salary, based on how many acres they’ve worked or how many hours they’ve put in.  But when it comes time for payday, they don’t get  more than a quarter of that amount in real coins.”
. . . .

    Edward Pierce was now determined to take action and wrote a scathingly accusatory letter to General Hunter.  On May 7th, Pierce traveled down to Hilton Head to complain in person to the military officials since the government failed to act on the matter.  As he stepped onto the dock at Hilton Head, Nobles came rushing at him and began to punch him.  Pierce fell to the ground under the onslaught, as Nobles shouted that Pierce was trying to run him out of the country like a dog. Soldiers managed to break up the fight, but not before Pierce had received a severe beating.  The military police hustled Nobles onto the first ship headed north with orders from the commanding officer on Hilton Head that he not be allowed to return to the islands.
    That one firing, however, did not solve the conflict of interest. Pierce recovered from his injuries under the skillful hands of Laura Towne, who managed to treat his wounds and listen to his frustrations at the same time. She worried about the scars the beating would leave. Not physical scars — those would heal with time. Laura was more concerned with the mental ones.  She could sense that much of Pierce’s drive and enthusiasm had been dampened by the realization that the coetton agents were actively opposing the goals he had set for his teachers and managers.