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About The Oregon daily journal. (Portland, Or.) 1902-1972 | View This Issue
PORTLAND, OREGON, SUNDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 14, 1906
LX , , , ,
zoo Lb, of Cotton in aZHy
rHKO&GHOUT the fair and smil
ing Southland, where over 30,
000,000 acres hit fleecy banners
have been waving, stiow-wHtle, in i'Htc
balmy air, the King, enthroned, is now re
ceiving the homage of his millions of sub
jects. "Cotton is King," declared James
Henry Hammond on the floor of the
United Stales Senate as far back as 1858.
But even that optimistic statesman Hid not
foresee the time when, of the world's total
production for its annual output of $2,
000,000,000 worth of cotton goods, the
United States was to supply three-fourths.
, For- the year ending June 30, JO05,
America's cotton exports were valued at
$410,657,752, as against $410,205,653
for all other agricultural exports. In addi
tion, the prosperous planters sold more
than $200,000,000 worth to fee"d the 25,
000,000 spindles of this country.
And still the King-is increasing in
stature. During the fiscal year just ended
raw cotton and cotton goods to the value
of $453,000,000 were exported, while
American looms were busy with an in
creased quota. All the gold mined in the
world last year would have paid Southern
farmers for only half their crop.
" The story of cotton is the romance of
industry. Cold figures cannot chill its re
cital. It is picturesque in every chapter;
full of warmth, color and appealing tradi
tion. "From the instant it puts forth its
tiny shoot," said the late Henry W. Grady,
"the cotton plant is gold. Its fibre is cur
rent in every bank, and when, loosing its
fleeces to the sun, it floats a snowy banner
that glorifies the fields of the humble
farmer, that man is marshaled under a flag
thai will compel the allegiance of the world
and wring a subsidy from every nation on
Although I rM upon no wu( of snow.
To the remotest point o( sight.
The endleaa field If white. Zlmrod.
WHEN, in 1853, Senator Hammond so
enthusiastically accorded sovereign
rank to cotton, the total American
crop amounted to only 4,018,914 bales.
Of this production, 927,650 bales were used for
home consumption and 8,021,403 balea were ex
ported. His wildest prediction, doubtless, would
not have accorded the crop of 1904 such enor
mous figures as 18,665,885 balea, and yot those
figures were reached. Of that immense crop,
4,446,650 bales were used at home and 8.767,180
bales wen exported.
These, and most of the other figures quoted,
axe from an entertaining book, "Cotton," re
cently published by DouhTeday, Page & Co. Its
authors an Professor Charles W Burkett, of
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Sank ml Advance. A
xej from lS6.io 14a an
q5ucAjctIz 0 Cot tor
the North Carolina College of Agriculture, and
Clarence Hamilton Poe.
"We do not exaggerate," say the writers,
"when we state that no other plant in all, the
vegetable kingdom is of so muttini porta nee to
the human race.
"Destroy any fruit plant in the world,' and
men would grow other fruits, Let any lumber
tree become extinct, and 'other trees will. take
its ptaee and our building will go on as before.
"Even if corn or wheat or rice should per
W: ff Wymk of Cotton inaJty
ish from the earth, we could grow enough of the
other crops, supplemented by rice, oats, barley,
rye, peas, beans, and so forth, to feed both man
and beast with comfort.
"But then is no substitute for cotton that
can be cultivated oh a Urge scale; no substi
tute, animal or vegetable, product with which
civilization's present demand for clothing could
"Nor is-there any plant with a history more
marvelous or more romantic, more suggestive
of the legend and mythology of its Oriental
home where it first began to serve mankind."
That most of the human race depend upon
the snowy fleeoe of the cotton plant for cloth
ing is illustrated by the fact that throe times
as much cotton as wool is produced. Moreover,
the flocks of the shepherd are not meeting de
mnnds as fully as the acres of the Southern
In ten years from 1896 to 1906 the world's
production of Wool had fallen from 2,750.000
'tales to 1.750,000. On the other, hand, the cot
ton crop of the earth had increased from 10,
304,000 bales in 1896 to 17.789,000 bales in 1996.
"Cotton is king in the export trade of tb
United States for the fiscal year 'just ended,"
was -the statement' recently rsautd by the De
partment, of Commerce and Labor. For the
first time the value of -raw cotton sent abroad
crossed the $400,000,000 line, and exceeded by
far the value of any other article of merchan
dise sent out of the country.
Exports of breadatuffs of all kinds, for In
stance, totaled only $186,000,000; the aggregate
of provision shipments was $211,000,000, and
that of iron and steel manufactures $161,000,
000. The exportation of manufactured cotton
was also larger than for any previous year,
reaching a value of $5,000,000. In 1905 the ex
ports were $60,000,000. and in 1901 only $22,
500,000. Rapid growth in the export trade has been
witnessed during the last five years. It was not
until 1901 that the 1800,000.000 line was crossed,
with shipments of 6,715,793 bales. How insig
nificant appear the shipments of 1883, amount-'
ing to 867.000 bales t
In 1792, when Whitney invented the ootton
gin, Liverpool took 138,328 pounds not bales
of American cotton, and this was considered a
heavy export trade.
"Thirty years ago," say Messrs. Burke tt
and Poe, "the South grew only 4,000.000 bams
of cotton; twenty years ago, 6,000,000 bales; ten
years ago, 8.000,000 bales; the last thro,
have averaged more than 11,000,000 bales.
"For the last firs crops, for which figures
may be given, the South has received nearly
$1,000,000,000 mere than for the-preceding five
crops twice as much money as is invested iu
all our American cotton mills.
"For the crop of 1904 and 1905 she rec
tAatJiasJickod mi Lb.
'an in a.
$341,000,000 more thato for $0 crpp of 189$,
which sum, if equally divided, would give a sur
plus of $240 to each of the 1,418JOO farms gross
ing ootton; of $21 each to every one of the 16,
000,000 inhabitants of the cotton States."
Such, prosperity is bound to be reflected in
the increased material, welfare of people.
From 1900 to 1905, it is stated, savings and
bank deposits in the Southern States grew more
than 100 per cent., as against an increase of 60
per cent, for the remainder of the country.
Farm lands have increased in value, and
the planter has been surrounding himself with
greater comforts and has secured more modern
machinery. Even the negroes of the towns are
drifting back to the cotton fields to find steady
and remunerative employment.
In Simpson county, North Carolina a
specimen case cited land that sold for $67.60
n acre four years ago would bring $100 today.
Another farm sold' recently for $8000 cost then
$8000. Within a year land values in that ooun
tv increased one-third a total enhancement oi
$1,000,000 for this single county.
Two South Carolina cotton farms an also
mentioned. In three years ope of these bed
risen in selling price from $9000 to $8000, while
the other, valued then at $7000, recently brought
the owner $2O00.
Railroads are earning more than ever be
fore, and new trackage is being laid; new en
terprises, in addition to more ootton mills, are
springing up in every direction, and the white
bloom of the boll is, indeed, the banner of a
wonderful prosperity. "
PROSPERITY IS WIDESPREAD
But this prosperity is not confined to the
South; the great milling sections. of New Eng
land are feeling the' thrill of the advent.
"Quarterly dividends for the July quarter
of the Fall River, Mass., cotton mills," says a re
cent dispatch from that busy centre, "show the
largest amount distributed to . stockholders in
any quarter sinee July of 1900. The nulls hare
distributed $367,275 in dividends on a capital
of $23,125,000, and, in addition, one of them
paid a stock dividend of 60 per cent.
If one wishes, in a rough way, to outline
the cotton holt of the United States, be should
draw a line upon the map westward from Nor
folk, Va., to Memphis, Tenn.; then southwest
to Little Rock, Ark., and Dallas, Texas.
Only to a limited extent is the white
bloomed plant grown north of this general line.
The producing States are Alabama. Arkansas.
Florida. Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi. North
and South Carolina, Texas. Indian Territory
and parts of Tennessee and Virginia.
Virginia began the cultivation of cotton. ,
During the Revolution it could be found grow-
ing nit-Delaware farms. Even Pennsylvania
grew enough tt supply its own needs.
When the Civil War erected its bloody bas
rier between North mid South, cotton growing
was undertaken to some extent in Nevada and
"For fiftv years, however, stan Messrs.
Burkett and Poe, "the meridian point of pro
duction has been within a radius of
sevsnty-nve miles from .Isckson, Mis. In the
last twenty years this bsa been earned north
west bv-the increase of the Texss altos' and the
opening up of new lands in Oklahoma sod In
.linn Territory. .
"The cotton Action west of the Mississippi
grew 34 per ceii i of the crop in 187V, 38 per 1
(CONTINUED ON INSIOB 1'AOsU