Stinking Stones and Rocks of Gold: Phosphate, Fertilizer, by Shepherd W. McKinley

By Shepherd W. McKinley

“A finely layered and demanding research that fills in gaps within the commercial background of the recent South and particularly low-country South Carolina.”—Sidney Bland, writer of Preserving Charleston's earlier, Shaping Its destiny: The lifestyles and instances of Susan Pringle Frost

 

“Skillfully blurs the outdated, cozy line among previous and New South economies and paints a nuanced photo of the recent hard work kin within the post-slavery era.”—Charles Holden, writer of In the nice Maelstrom

 


In the 1st e-book ever written in regards to the influence of phosphate mining at the South Carolina plantation financial system, Shepherd McKinley explains how the convergence of the phosphate and fertilizer industries carried long term affects for the USA and the South.


Fueling the fast development of lowcountry fertilizer businesses, phosphate mining supplied elite plantation proprietors the way to stem losses from emancipation. whilst, mining created an self sustaining replacement to sharecropping, allowing freed humans to extract housing and hard work concessions.


Stinking Stones and Rocks of Gold
develops an overarching view of what may be one among many key elements within the start of southern undefined. This top-down, bottom-up background (business, exertions, social, and financial) analyzes another course for all peoples within the post-emancipation South.

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Extra resources for Stinking Stones and Rocks of Gold: Phosphate, Fertilizer, and Industrialization in Postbellum South Carolina

Example text

Nitre Works at Stony Landing. The three men formed the Southern Torpedo Company to fight the Union menace with new technology. Ebaugh, with help from Ravenel, built the world’s first “torpedoboat,” the CSS David, which attacked the USS New Ironsides in October 1863, disabling the vessel but failing to end the blockade.  Integral to the war effort, two high-profile Confederates and several cotton factors and shipping merchants turned blockade runners used similar talents as entrepreneurs in the postwar land-mining, river-mining, and fertilizer-manufacturing industries.

Ravenel’s father was John Ravenel, a prominent planter, leading cotton factor, and railroad entrepreneur. As Edmund Ravenel’s nephew, St. Julien Ravenel was also a member of the lowcountry’s scientific aristocracy. Educated in Charleston, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Paris, St. Julien Ravenel was, like Holmes, interested in natural history, a close friend of Louis Agassiz, an expert in drilling wells, and part of the Charleston scientific community. Ravenel performed countless soil experiments throughout his career, seeking to lower fertilizer costs while improving lowcountry crop yields and diversity.

Holmes was especially stung when Charlestonians questioned his sense of patriotism in exploiting the discovery. Edward Willis, in 1872, was not the first local businessman to claim that Pratt and Holmes stole northward and “disclosed” their “secret” and “plans” to northerners. For Willis and others, Ravenel’s Wando Company, started and maintained with local capital, provided the obvious contrast to Pratt and Holmes’ alleged disloyalty.  Nonetheless, the accusations haunted Holmes for the rest of his life.

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