The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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was thus applied for two reasons. In the first place, it required too great an out-lay of capital to engage in manufacturing with slave labor, in competition with the free labor of the North. To realize this fact, it is only necessary to imagine that the great firm of Blackwell's Durham Tobacco Company, in addition to their half a million of capital, invested in grounds, buildings, machinery, and raw material, were under the necessity of owning as slaves, eight hundred laborers, worth an average of one thousand dollars each.

        Here, then, was the great obstacle to Southern enterprise before the war. But the impediment being removed, we see in all directions the development of Southern genius for business enterprises of every kind--nowhere, however, with such astonishing results as at Durham, North Carolina, and by the renowned firm of Blackwell & Co., of which Mr. Carr has been to a great extent the organizing and directing spirit.

        The business of the company has grown steadily and rapidly from the time Mr. Carr became a partner and director of its affairs. We have seen that, prior to that time, Mr. Blackwell, by his sagacity and enterprise and with his very limited capital, had been able to turn out nearly ninety thousand pounds of the manufactured article in a year. The product of the establishment is now about four million of pounds, or nearly a fifty-fold increase in fourteen years. Mr. B. employed a dozen hands, all told; the company last year employed seven hundred and fifty; and still the work goes on increasing. Before the considerable reduction which was made in the tobacco taxes, in May, 1882, the company paid for stamps, in a single year, $645,691.33. And who must not be amazed at the statement in view of the fact that thirty-five years ago, and prior thereto, the whole revenue of the State Government was only about eighty thousand dollars! If any one had predicted at that time that the young men and women, and many who had reached middle life, would live to see the day when a manufacturing company on North Carolina soil, to be located at a place which then had no name, would pay taxes to the United States Government eight times greater than the State tax; he might have escaped arrest and confinement as a harmless lunatic, but on no other grounds.

        The flourishing town of Durham, now containing 4,000 industrious inhabitants, owes its existence to the Blackwell-Durham Tobacco Company. It is true that similar and dissimilar industries have grown up all around it, but they all owe their success to the world-wide renown achieved by this great establishment.*

        * Since the Author of these Reminiscences wrote his sketch of "Durham," the county of Durham has been erected by an act of the Legislature, dated February 28th, 1881. And one of the most prosperous counties of the State owes its name and sudden growth to the enterprise inaugurated by W. T. Blackwell and Company.

        Whether the County should be established or not was left to a vote of the people embraced in the territory. The election was held on the 2nd Thursday in April and the Justices of the Peace met on the 1st Monday in May. The act of the Legislature authorizing this action was ratified February 28th, 1881.

        In 1882 Mr. Blackwell sold his entire interest in the company; and in January, 1883, the purchasers obtained a charter under the laws of the State. The authorized capital is one million; and a half million was paid in at the time. Mr. Julian S. Carr became the President of the company, and a principal share-holder; Mr. M. E. McDowell, Vice-President, and Mr. Jno. A. McDowell, Secretary; Sam'l H. Austin, jr.,Treasurer.

        By genuine goodness of heart and affability of manners, by integrity and liberality Mr. Carr has endeared himself to all classes of the people; to rich and poor; to those to whom he employs, and to those with whom he deals, and has social intercourse. He takes an active part in the benevolent movements of the day, is a firm and efficient supporter of religion, and
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