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The Antebellum Kanawha salt business and western markets

Author: John E Stealey, III
Publisher: Morgantown [West Virginia] : West Virginia University Press, 2016.
Series: West Virginia and Appalachia.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In the early nineteenth century a ten-mile stretch along the Kanawha River in western Virginia became the largest salt-producing area in the antebellum United States. Production of this basic commodity stimulated settlement, the livestock industry, and the rise of agricultural processing, especially pork packing, in the American West. The Virginia saltmakers dominated their locality in capital access, labor supply,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
History
Material Type: Document
Document Type: Book, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: John E Stealey, III
ISBN: 1943665311 9781943665310
OCLC Number: 1058491738
Notes: "First edition published 1993 by University Press of Kentucky"--Title page verso.
Description: 1 online resource (288 pages) : illustrations, tables, charts.
Contents: 1. Kanawha salt's savor --
2. Early development and expansion --
3. Growth, chaos, and combination, 1811-1824 --
4. Kanawha salt's use and its pre-1850 markets --
5. The manufacturing process and technological progress --
6. Manufacturers and state intervention --
7. Merchant capitalists, independent manufacturers, and local economic developments, 1825-1835 --
8. Hewitt, Ruffner & Company and Depression, 1836-1846 --
9. The Kanawha producers and the salt tariff --
10. White labor, subsidiary industries, and furnace managers --
11. Slavery in the Kanawha salt industry --
12. The Kanawha Salt Association and Ruffner, Donnally & Company, 1847-1855 --
13. Ruffner, Donnally & Company and the external economy --
14. Kanawha salt loses its economic savor --
15. Perspectives.
Series Title: West Virginia and Appalachia.
Other Titles: WEST VIRGINIA and APPALACHIA Ser.
Antebellum Kanawha Salt Business and Western Markets
WEST VIRGINIA & APPALACHIA
Responsibility: John E. Stealey III.

Abstract:

In the early nineteenth century a ten-mile stretch along the Kanawha River in western Virginia became the largest salt-producing area in the antebellum United States. Production of this basic commodity stimulated settlement, the livestock industry, and the rise of agricultural processing, especially pork packing, in the American West. The Virginia saltmakers dominated their locality in capital access, labor supply, and manipulation of public policy. Salt extraction was then and is now a fundamental industry. In his illuminating study, John Stealey examines the legal basis of this industry, its labor practices, and its marketing and distribution patterns. To control output and markets, the saltmakers created legal combinations - output pools, lease/re-lease contracts, joint stock companies, and a proposed trust - that are the earliest such examples in the United States. These combinations drew national opposition from western consumers and a crusade to reduce the salt tariff that revealed the international aspects of salt commerce. By eliminating middlemen in distribution, the Virginia salt producers anticipated later nineteenth-century manufacturers who tried to control prices and marketing. Their struggle with rationalization of factory management and marketing operations marks them as premodern business pioneers. Through technological innovation, they harnessed coal and steam as well as men and animals, constructed a novel evaporative system, and invented drilling tools later employed in oil and natural gas exploration. Thus in many ways the salt industry was the precursor of the American extractive and chemical industries. Stealey's informative study is an important contribution to American economic, business, labor, and legal history.

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