Cotton City by Harriet E. Amos(Doss)

By Harriet E. Amos(Doss)

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Enterprise indeed became the characteristic most admired by the populace. The ethnic makeup of Mobile's population changed considerably between 1813 and 1860. When Americans occupied the town during the War of 1812, they found immigrants from the British Isles, France, and American states as well as black Creoles. During the rapid expansion of the boom 1820s and 1830s, many northerners and Englishmen migrated to Mobile to launch commercial firms. In the 1840s and 1850s large numbers of Irishmen and Germans arrived in Mobile to seek their fortunes.

When he eventually concluded that the port of Mobile had only limited possibilities for business, he decided to establish his own seaport to produce greater financial returns for his investment. In 1813 Blakeley bought a site for his town on the Tensaw River on the east side of Mobile Bay, opposite the town of Mobile. He obtained permission the next year from the Mississippi Territorial Legislature to lay out a town on his land. Following the plan of New England townships transplanted to the Southwest, Blakeley reserved two parcels of land for public use, one for a park and one for public buildings.

These steamboats carried cotton downriver and imported goods upriver. 6 By 1850 most Alabama cotton reached Mobile by either the Alabama or the Tombigbee River. Of the 350,952 bales received in Mobile that year, 187,130 bales came down the Alabama and 101,208 came down the Tombigbee. Only 56,276 bales arrived in Mobile via the Warrior River. 7 Oceangoing commerce followed a triangular pattern evolved by shipping lines in New York that handled most of the trade. Elisha D. Hurlburt, a New Yorker, instituted a packet line between New York and Mobile in 1825, when he also opened a connection with Appalachicola, Florida.

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