A Land of Opportunity

The beautiful cover of the above pamphlet, North Carolina: Conditions Conducive to Farming, Trucking, Fruit Growing, Stock Raising, etc., in the Old North State surfaced when I was searching for materials to use in the exhibit Cultivating “The Great Winter Garden”: Immigrant Colonies in Eastern North Carolina, 1866-1940. I didn’t include it in the exhibit, however tempting the artwork, because it didn’t address immigration even though it did touch on other related topics presented in the exhibit such as intensive farming.  In the pamphlet, the Department of Agriculture advocated intensive farming, but on a large scale, contrary to the smaller intensive farming promoted by the Ten Acres Enough perspective of Hugh MacRae, a key focal point of the exhibit.  With the first week of summer well underway, now seemed like a good time to bring it to the light of day.

The pamphlet does not have a publication date, but the state Department of Agriculture likely issued it in 1910 or 1911.  There is one sentence in the text that helps determine its probable date:

In 1910 North Carolina had 331 cotton mills, whereas in 1900 she had but 177.  This shows that there were over fifteen cotton mills built per annum during the last ten years.

If you do the math (331-177=154; 154/15=10.267; 1900+10ish=1910) we see that the writer drew upon recent data, providing us a likely year of publication.

An even bigger faux pas than omiting the publication date is not identifying the artist, whose work we must enjoy without attribution.