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Mobile as a Cotton City,

The following description, penned by British visitor Hiram Fuller in 1858, accurately depicts the integral part that the cotton trade played in the urban development of antebellum Mobile.

Mobile—a pleasant cotton city of some thirty

thousand inhabitants—where the people live in

cotton houses and ride in cotton carriages.

They buy cotton, sell cotton, think cotton, eat

cotton, and dream cotton. They marry cotton wives,

and unto them are born cotton children. In

enumerating the charms of a fair widow, they

begin by saying she makes so many bales of

cotton. It is the great staple—the sum and

substance of Alabama. It has made Mobile, and

all its citizens.

Source: Hiram Fuller, Belle Brittan on a Tour, at Newport, and Here and There (New York: Derby & Jackson, 1858), p.112.