Between The Waters, Part 4 - Reconstruction And Early 20th Century

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The area of Georgetown went from one of the wealthiest districts prior to the Civil War, to one of the poorest. Lee Brockington, senior interpreter at Hobcaw Barony, discusses the impact of the ending of slavery, and how that affected plantation owners.

Reconstruction, the country coming to terms with the consequences of the Civil War, also meant the end of slavery. The end of the Civil War had a drastic impact on the economy of the low country. One of those problems was the transition from “slave labor” to “free labor.” African-Americans no longer wanted to work for Whites, and they wanted to own land, while Whites wanted to keep Blacks in a situation as close to slavery as possible. Reconstruction was the first time in American history where the country tried to unite Whites and African-Americans as political equals, and we are still facing some of these problems in present times. Historian Eric Foner joins to discuss the ramifications of the Reconstruction era in Hobcaw Barony.

The 1880s is seen as the last gasp of the “Rice Kingdom” in the Southeast United States. Some rice was grown after the Civil War, but it was nowhere near the cash crop that it used to be.  Mary E. Miller, Belle Baruch biographer, and historian Dale Rosengarten talk about the economic hardships rice farmers faced in the early 20th century, and the impacts on the rice industry by millionaire Bernard Baruch.