The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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        In reply to the question "to what is the increase and growth of your business attributable?" Mr. Carr replied that they attributed their success to the superior quality of the tobacco grown in the adjacent country, to their careful selection of the best, to extensive advertising, and to the energy with which the business had been conducted.

        The peculiar fitness of Mr. Carr for the management of a great enterprise is best attested by the extraordinary success which has attended his labors. When he entered the firm of W. T. Blackwell & Co., the business was small, insignificant, indeed, if compared with what it soon became. The whole machinery of administration was to be organized, and adapted to the rapidly growing business, and it required an organizing and directing talent of a high order to meet the constantly recurring emergencies. The history of this country has shown that it requires no extraordinary amount of talent to fill the office of Secretary of the Treasury, for instance, with passable credit. The new appointee, selected from considerations of his political standing and services to the party; or with reference to the equitable distribution of honors among the States, steps into office, finding the machinery in motion, polished and oiled; and for months, his great duty is not to direct, but to learn from his subordinates. The experienced messenger who brings him a paper to sign, properly made out by an obscure clerk, recorded by another, docketed by half a dozen others, and certified by auditors, comptrollers, and other heads of bureaus, becomes the new Secretary's first instructor. What he fails to learn from the messenger, he ekes out day by day, and week by week, from the chiefs of the several branches of his department. If he is an apt scholar, he may, in the course of twelve months begin to understand the motive powers, and operations of the department of which he has been the nominal head, and which the country gives him the credit of being the controlling spirit. But persons who have had opportunities of seeing and knowing how public affairs are managed at the seat of Government, are well aware of the insignificant part played by new heads of departments. And such minute knowledge of affairs is necessary to a just appreciation of a genius like that of Alexander Hamilton, who at thirty-one years of age, organized and successfully administered the Treasury Department. His successors have only to learn their routine duties from their subordinates. He planned them, and adapted them to the situation of the country, under an entirely new form of Government. And akin to the great achievement of Hamilton has been the work of Mr. Carr. Beginning from next to nothing, he has developed a vast enterprise, involving the employment of many hundred thousand dollars, and nearly a thousand men, women and boys. He has wisely directed capital to the most useful applications; he has assigned to an army of laborers, their several places and spheres of duty, and by the judicious subordination of ranks and employments, which are various and unlike, he preserves order and co-operation, to the common end of producing the best results.

        Among the most gratifying incidents connected with this great and successful North Carolina manufacturing enterprise, is the fact that it originated with, and has been directed, in all its stages of development, by natives of the State. Taken in connection with many similar ventures in the manufacture of tobacco, cotton and other articles, within the last few years, there is left no ground for longer holding the idea that yankee, or northern genius alone, is equal to such achievements. It is circumstances that develope men. Slavery absorbed all the active capital of the south, and applied it almost exclusively to agriculture. Capital
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