August 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm
very nice work
See in context
April 10, 2013 at 8:57 pm
The railroad image to the left is an overview of the passenger and river terminals of the Wilmington Railroad.
April 10, 2013 at 3:39 pm
According to Nathaniel Bishop in his introduction to Voyage of the Paper Canoe, boating trips became an enjoyable hobby for canoeing enthusiasts around the same time he began this voyage from Quebec to the waters south of Florida on July 4th, 1874. In addition to satisfying his desire for adventure, Bishop also intended to use this trip as an example of how well one could navigate natural and artificial waterways with as few portages as possible. He found the most trouble and the largest amount of portages (carrying the canoe using another form of transportation) on the Southern east coast, largely over the period discussed in this chapter. In order to navigate areas he was unfamiliar with, he utilized United States Coast Survey Bureau charts, but as noted in this chapter, the South appears to have less mapping throughout the rural areas. Once Bishop finished the trip in the Gulf of Mexico, the maps created from his voyage were engraved by the Bureau and put on display for the public. Bishop proceeded to take two similar voyages, and met with only one accident in the sometimes dangerous waterways.
April 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm
Turpentine distilling became a profitable business after the Civil War, but exploded during Reconstruction. Located primarily in the Carolinas for decades following the war, turpentine distilleries employed a large number of African American men looking for work after being freed from slavery. Conditions were fairly good, offering competitive wages and better-than-most living conditions in a business that grew exponentially up until the turn of the century. However, the forests that housed the trees used for collection of sap became over-harvested and sap collection declined. The business had to move west and many black workers followed to live in camps or commuted as time permitted. As the trees died, so did the business, and companies had to find ways to salvage their remaining wealth and keep the best employees within their workforce. White owners and operators sent “trusted black employees…into competitors’ territory to persuade workers to leave with them, even though to be caught on such a mission was to risk one’s life” (Ayers 126). Though black workers were compensated well for their work (and the danger they were put in), the exploitation of the Southern workforce was still dominant.
April 8, 2013 at 9:09 pm
In 1984, David Smith establishes “racial discourse” as a term that has multiple layers: “When I speak of “racial discourse”, I mean more than simply attitudes about “race” or conventions of talking about “race”. Most importantly, I mean that “race” itself is a discursive formation, which delimits social relations on the basis of alleged physical differences. “Race” is a strategy for relegating a segment of the population to a permanent inferior status. Though scientifically specious, “race” has been powerfully effective as an ideology and as a form of social definition, which serves the interests of Euro-American hegemony. In America, race has been deployed against numerous groups, including Native Americans, Jews, Asians, and even-for brief periods- an assortment of European immigrants.” (Smith 4).
In this passage from Bishop, we see him representing through language and characterization a perspective on the inferiority of African American communities that would have been shared by many in the North and South at this time.
April 8, 2013 at 9:01 pm
Bishop is correct: the term cracker is a pejorative term that signifies a social class of white, Southern yeoman (i.e., “the ignorant whites,” and “de poor white trash”); the term carries positive, negative, and neutral connotations. Bishop’s definition, although somewhat accurate, fails to portray the demographic’s full social agency. Bishop is not alone, the etymology of the term Cracker is still debated.
Noted in Volume 22 Issue 3 of The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, the first recorded use of the term in South Carolina was in The South Carolina and American General Gazette on August 7, 1677. The record goes on to suggest that the term is borrowed from those in the colonial Georgia provinces. Bishop attaches the term to the diet of the lower yeoman class (“hog and homminy,” i.e., pork and corn). His understanding of the term comes from the act of cracking corn on which the lower yeomen subsisted. Although some accounts support this, others suggest the term originated from Floridian cattle drivers and their daily habit of cracking a bullwhip. These cattlemen eventually homesteaded in various parts of the South. Others have found the term in Middle English to describe someone of Celtic (be it Irish or Scottish) origin (St. Clare).
Although in some a cases, the term “Cracker” is celebrated (by those who hold the title, more specifically, by Floridian Crackers) it is a term that, at Bishop’s moment, undeniably equates to the lowest common denominator: a Cracker was not a bourgeois yeoman who may someday gain capital, acquire a stock of slaves, and rise in rank of social order: social mobility was not a foreseeable reality.
Though popular culture is quick to assert that the title stems from only one connotation, i.e., the use of a bull whip on African American slaves, in actuality, a substantial amount of Crackers did not actually work above or along African American slaves (especially in the position of overseer). Regardless, this origin cannot be overlooked because it is in fact how the African American slave community internalized the term, especially during Reconstruction. Making up the majority of white Southerners, Crackers were a socially ostracized group, standing outside of existing social classes more so than below them. Before and after Reconstruction they produced nothing in exchange with the market, and subsisted by whatever means possible: often in competition with slave labor.
Labor competition strained race relations between Crackers and slaves in the Antebellum period, which carried over into Reconstruction. In some cases, Crackers were reportedly treated worse than slaves by the Southern aristocracy and some Crackers even sat lower in social rank to a slave: despite the horrors of chattel slavery, a slave was provided with some essentials. A Cracker was left to his own devices. Crackers became an expendable workforce. Although a Cracker might have more in common with a slave, he often exhibited more aggression to his enslaved counterpart than to the land owning Southern aristocracy (Otoo).
April 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm
“The idea of preserving African American religions in North America proved to be very difficult. The tough circumstances under which most slaves lived: high death rates, the separation of families and tribal groups. White owners during this time period also tried to eliminate all forms of ‘heathen’ (or non-christian) behavior which weakened the preservation of African American religion. Isolated songs, rhythms, movements, belief in the power of roots and the efficacy of a world of spirits and ancestors survived well into the 19th century as well” (Kipp 1).
April 8, 2013 at 8:45 pm
The image to the left is a photograph of a South Carolina rice mill (Library of Congress).
April 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm
The image to the left is a photo of a typical Cracker cabin and smoke house (University of South Florida).
April 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm
The image to the left is a photograph of a coastal Carolina plantation house in ruin (Library of Congress).
This website is made available through Creative Commons. Nathaniel Bishop's Voyage of the Paper Canoe: the Carolinas Chapter is a digital project of English 312 at Coastal Carolina University.