Financing The savings of new immigrants figured prominently in canal financing. The Bank for Savings in New York City served as a depository for the laboring classes. By December 1821, the Bank for Savings held nearly 30 percent of outstanding Canal stock. After the mid-section of the Canal was completed in 1819, wealthy Americans began to invest. By 1822, John Jacob Astor, for example, owned Canal stock worth $213,000.
New York and Canals • The Erie Canal ("Clinton's Big Ditch") opened on October 26, 1825, • 363 miles long, forty feet wide, four feet deep, 18 aqueducts and 83 locks, • shortened travel time form the east coast to the gateway to the west (the Great Lakes) by half and reduced shipping costs by 90%. • only trade route west of the Appalachians, • prompted the first great westward migration of American settlers, • turned Rochester into the nation's first boom town and made New York City the busiest port in the United States.
Ohio and Canals • By 1820 Ohio 580,000 residents. • 1817 when New York broke ground on a canal connecting Lake Erie with the Hudson River and New York City • 1822, the Ohio state legislature commissioned the first canal feasibility survey • On July 4, 1825, work began on the Ohio & Erie Canal from Portage Summit (Akron) to Cleveland. • On July 3, 1827, a canal boat in Akron and the next day arrived in Cleveland. • By 1832 the entire 308 mile route of the Ohio-Erie was open to traffic. http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/water/canals/canlhist.htm
Early Mills • Slater had worked his way up from apprentice to overseer in an English factory using the Arkwright system. • Drawn by American bounties for, he passed as a farmer and sailed for America with details of the Arkwright water frame committed to memory. • In December 1790, working for mill owner Moses Brown, he started up the first permanent American cotto • n spinning mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Employing a workforce of nine children between the ages of 7 and 12, Slater successfully mechanized the carding and spinning processes. http://www.nps.gov/lowe/loweweb/Lowell_History/earlyam.htm
Rhode Island System • the "Rhode Island System" of small, rural spinning mills • By 1800 the mill employed more than 100 workers. • A decade later 61 cotton mills turning more than 31,000 spindles were operating in the United States.
Lowell’s Loom • Francis Cabot Lowell to introduce a • workable power loom and • the integrated factory,. http://www.nps.gov/lowe/loweweb/Lowell_History/earlyam.htm Merrimack Company, c. 1850
Boston Associates • Capitalized at $400,000, the Waltham mill . • The "Waltham-Lowell system" succeeded beyond their expectations, giving the Boston Associates control of a fifth of America's cotton production by 1850.
economic, social, and political empire • Appletons, Cabots, Lowells, Lawrences, Jacksons - to build an. • Boston and Lowell Railroad and other railroad lines in New England. • the Boston Associates turned to -philanthropy-establishing hospitals and schools-and to politics, playing a prominent role in the Whig Party in Massachusetts. • Until the Civil War, the Boston Associates were New England's dominant capitalists.
Mill girls Lowell Weavers, c. 1850 • Lowell's mill workforce in the antebellum decades consisted largely of young single women from the farming communities of northern New England. • Most were between 15 and 25, signing on for short stints that rarely exceeded a year at a time. • Overall, they averaged about three years of employment before leaving the mills for marriage, migration to the west, other employment, or return to their hometowns. http://www.nps.gov/lowe/loweweb/Lowell_History/Millgirls.htm
Labor activism • In 1826, an anonymous Lowell Mill worker wrote • In vain do I try to soar in fancy and imagination above the dull reality around me but beyond the roof of the factory I cannot rise. • In the 1830s and 40s women operatives protested against mill conditions. • Writing in the Voice of Industry, Huldah J. Stone: • They do not regard this measure as an end, but only as one step toward the end to be attained. They deeply feel that their work will never be accomplished until slavery and oppression, mental, physical, and religious, shall have been done away with and Christianity in its original simplicity... shall be reestablished and practiced among men. "Drawing In," an illustration from A History of Wonderful Inventions (New York: Harper, n.d.) (Merrimack Valley Textile Museum)
Boarding houses • Dissatisfaction with the work environment was a major reason for leaving the mills. • The rows of long brick boardinghouses adjacent to Lowell's mills distinguished the city from earlier New England mill towns • Typically 30 to 40 young women lived together in a boardinghouse. • The first floor usually contained kitchen, dining room, and the keeper's quarters. • Upstairs bedrooms accommodated four to eight women, commonly sleeping two in a double bed. In these close quarters, experienced workers helped new hands adapt to their situation.
family fears • The factory owners and managers tried to allay of allowing daughters to live away from home. • The mills sponsored boarding houses and dormitories with strict rules, • and sponsored cultural activities including a magazine, Lowell Offering • http://womenshistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa010220b.htm
Lowell: Mills and Canals • By 1850 almost six miles of canals coursed through the city. • drove the waterwheels of 40 mill buildings, • powering 320,000 spindles and almost 10,000 looms • and giving employment to more than 10,000 workers.
Industry and agriculture • Mill owners prospered by regimenting that world. • imposed a regularity on the workday radically different from the normal routine. • Mills ran an average of 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, for more than 300 days a year. • Instead of relying on traditional family labor, the company recruited young single women from the surrounding countryside. http://www.nps.gov/lowe/loweweb/Lowell%20History/prologue.htm
Lowell and the South • The North's appetite for raw cotton spurred increased cotton production and the expansion of slavery. • Lowell not only bought Southern cotton, but it made"negro cloth" that was sold to plantations. For a few years, the machine shop produced cotton gins sold in the South. • Senator Charles Sumner: • " unholy union ... between the cotton planters and fleshmongers of Louisiana and Mississippi and the cotton spinners and traffickers of New England - between the lords of the lash and the lords of the loom.” • When an anti-slavery speaker came to Lowell in 1834, he drew an angry stone-throwing mob http://www.nps.gov/lowe/loweweb/Lowell_History/connect.htm
Sources http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/americanstudies/lavender/queslowe.html http://www.boondocksnet.com/labor/cl_811100_larcom.html http://www.boondocksnet.com/labor/cl_890000_larcom10.html http://web.bryant.edu/%7Ehistory/materials/links/links03.htm