228 History of Wake Forest College
tion of society was very different from what is now found in North
Carolina or anywhere in the world, they show how almost completely
our people were devoted to agriculture. In large sections of the State,
however, especially in the midland and mountain counties, agriculture
was pursued as a means of making a living for the family and with
little thought of marketing a portion of the crop. North Carolina was
not yet a great tobacco-producing State; in 1840 North Carolina,
which now rivals Kentucky in the amount of tobacco produced and
has for many years been first in value of crop, produced only
16,722,359 pounds, while Virginia was producing 75,347,349
pounds; in 1850 North Carolina's production had fallen to 11,984,786
pounds, but in five counties in the latter year the yield of tobacco was
considerable; these were Granville with 3,420,884 pounds, Warren
with 2,430,730 pounds, Caswell with 2,282,939 pounds, Person with
1,562,119 pounds, and Rockingham with 908,729 pounds; Stokes
raised 393,106 pounds and Franklin 300,268 pounds and Orange
194,275 pounds, no other county as much as 50,000 pounds. The
other important money crop was cotton; in 1840 the number of
pounds ginned was reported as 51,926,180. In bales of 400 pounds the
North Carolina production would have been about 125,000. In 1850
the number of bales averaging 400 pounds each was reported as
73,845, but with statistics for several cotton-producing counties
missing. The largest number of bales, 10,864, was reported for for
Anson County; Mecklenburg was second with 4,219 other counties
producing considerable amounts were Richmond, Edgecombe,
Robeson, Cabarrus, Union, Wake, Orange, Halifax, Bertie,
Montgomery, and Northampton. In recent years two of our counties
such as Cleveland and Johnston together produced annually
considerably more cotton than the entire State produced in 1850. Only
in products consumed at home, such as Indian corn, sweet potatoes
and pork, did North Carolina in the decade 1840-50 make a
respectable showing.
From the above account of the state of industry in North Carolina in
1840-50 one may easily deduce the truth that any appeal for large
contributions to benevolence would be hopeless in many
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