29 December 1862: ” it has been deemed expedient to endeavor to bring about a convention of all the Iron Masters of the South…”

Item description: Circular published by J.R. Anderson & Co., dated 29 December 1862, calling on Southern industrialists to mobilize the region’s iron mills and blast furnaces.

[Transcription available below image. Image and transcription courtesy of DocSouth.]

Item citation: From the Duff Green Papers #993, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

DECEMBER 29th, 1862.

GENTLEMEN:

 

        Upon consultation of a number of proprietors of Rolling Mills and Blast Furnaces, it has been deemed expedient to endeavor to bring about a convention of all the Iron Masters of the South, with a view to take such measures as will tend to the introduction into this country of say two or three thousand operatives, such as Rollers, Heaters, Pudlers, Founders, Keepers, &c., &c. The necessity of these men it is not necessary here to urge upon you. The object of this circular is simply to bring about a concert of action among all interested, and by such action in convention, the views and counsel of all may be obtained, and such resolutions adopted as will insure a speedy result of the object desired; and when accomplished, that each may avail themselves of their particular quota of the men that may be introduced under the auspices of this convention, free from the interference of any other party whatsoever. It is evident that, should but two or three engage in this undertaking, the burden would be unsupportable; but should all interest themselves in it, it would be but comparatively light, as it is proposed that each company should contribute only in proportion to the number of men that they may require. It may be urged by some that they are not yet ready to employ any of these men in their business, and may not be under a year or eighteen months. It is proposed that such resolutions shall be adopted that whenever such parties go into operation, and their demand be made upon the proper officer appointed by the convention, it shall be the imperative duty of such officer to supply such party with their proportionable quota from those that have up to that time arrived.

        Much more might be added; but it is deemed inexpedient to forestall the ideas of any one in this matter, but rather that all should attend the convention prepared to give their own suggestions, and from which a series of resolutions may be adopted which will bring about the desired end.

        We are at liberty to say that the Government will sanction an enterprise of this kind, and assist us in it as far as is practicable. Please communicate your ideas upon this matter, and where you think a meeting had better take place–the object being to obtain the sense of all–also, the address of the Iron Masters within the circle of your acquaintance.

        It is thought best to confine the meeting exclusively to proprietors or agents of Rolling Mills and Blast Furnaces, and also to keep the subject as confidential as possible. All communications up to the time of meeting should be addressed to S.B. LOWE, Chattanooga, Tenn., who will, as soon as all are heard from, issue notices of the time and place of meeting.

 

(Signed,)

J. R. ANDERSON & CO.
Tredegar Works, Richmond, Va.

WM. S. TRIPLETT,
Pres’t Old Dominion Iron and Nail Works Co., Richmond, Va.

MARKHAM & SCOFIELD, 
Atlanta, Ga.

W. S. McELWAINE & CO.
Montevallo, Ala.

SHELBY COUNTY IRON MAN’G CO., 
Alabama.

VULCAN WORKS, 
Chattanooga, Tenn.

 

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