|| Home | Contents |||| Mobile As a Cotton City, 1820-1860 ||
|Alabama Moments in American History|
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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.
Mobilea pleasant cotton city of some thirty
thousand inhabitantswhere 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 staplethe 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.