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Sea Island Co. - Cotton History - Gorgeous 1860's circa South Carolina, Georgia, & Florida Stock Certificate - Great History!

Inv# GS1227   Stock
State(s): New York
Years: 186-
Color: Black on White Paper

Unissued Stock printed by Major & Knapp Eng., N.Y. Impressive eagle vignette in top center and cotton picker vignettes of blacks. Rare!!! Tremendous history!!! Sea island is a historical market class. It was actively marketed from 1790 to 1920. It was grown on the islands off the coast of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. It once was an important market class. In the markets of Europe, it suffered little competition from cottons with similar characteristics from its inception until the interruption of trade resulting from the U.S. Civil War.

The origins of sea island cotton has been the subject of considerable controversy. Nevertheless, developing the market class required developing cultivars that would be productive in the sea islands, and developing a product that was distinct from other kinds of cotton. It also required at least some producers and consumers to agree "sea island" was a useful category.
One of the challenges explaining the development of long fiber cotton that would thrive in the sea islands is the cotton in the sea islands came from the West Indies, an area where all the cultivated cotton was short fiber (by today's standards) and required a long growing season. A distinctive cotton could not be developed in the sea islands, at least not by the methods of hybridization or selection, because frost killed the plants before they had a chance to produce seed.

One possible explanation, the changes happened accidentally in a region with long growing season and then were introduced to the sea islands. In the 1960s and 1970s, S. G. Stephens performed an experiment where he hybridized a G. barbadense with short coarse fibers and long growing season with a wild form of G. hirsutum that had the same short fiber and long growing season, but the fibers were fine. It seemed reasonable the resulting plant produced fine fibers, but was surprised to find it also had long fiber and short growing season. He then demonstrated this could be rather easily back-hybridized (see introgression) to form a cotton that retained these desirable characteristics, yet was almost entirely G. barbadense. He argued that such an event could have happened accidentally in the 18th century, resulting in the long, fine fiber G. barbadense of today. However, since this event could not have happened in the sea islands, it is not sufficient to explain the sea island's distinctive product.

Unusual weather in 1785- 1786 helped develop a G. barbadense productive in the sea islands. According to historical records, planters in Georgia were trying to introduce G. barbadense, but the plants would die from frost before they could produce seed or fiber. However, the winter of 1785- 1786 was particularly mild, so a few plants did succeed in producing seed. The next generation of plants was able to produce seed and fiber before the winter.

Historical records credit Kinsey Burden of developing the particularly high-quality cotton that came to be associated with the sea islands. He accomplished this in the first decade of the 1800s via seed selection on Burden's Island and Johns Island in South Carolina. The sea island region parted ways with the rest of the southeastern United States, specializing in this high-quality G. barbadense. Meanwhile, the rest of the southeastern United States developed its own market class "upland".
By 1803, the Charleston SC market recognized class distinctions of sea island, South Carolina upland, West Indian, and Mississippi.

What was called Sea Island cotton was cultivated on the Sea Islands, along the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia, especially by the late 18th century. Sea Island cotton commanded the highest price of all the cottons because of its long staple (1.5 to 2.5 inches, 35 to 60 mm) and silky texture; it was used for the finest cotton counts and often mixed with silk.
Although planters tried to grow it on the uplands of Georgia, the quality was inferior, and it was too expensive to process. The invention of the cotton gin by the end of the 18th century utterly changed the production of cotton as a commodity crop. It made processing of short-staple cotton profitable. This cotton, known as upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), could be grown successfully in the interior uplands. Short-staple cotton became the prime commodity crop of the developing Deep South, and King Cotton was the basis of southern wealth in the antebellum years. This cotton in the early 21st century represents about 95% of U.S. production.

Among the earliest planters of Sea Island cotton in North America was an Englishman, Francis Levett. Other cotton planters came from Barbados. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Levett left his Georgia plantation and went to the Bahamas. He attempted to introduce cotton production, but failed. Sugar cane had been a more important commodity crop.
Sea island planters could buy seed to plant each year, or they could plant seed saved from the previous year. Named cultivars resulted when particular planters gained a reputation for selecting the best seed to replant. Examples include "Seabrook", named after plantation proprietor William Seabrook, and "Bleak Hall", named after the plantation John Townsend managed. An incident in the early 20th century illustrates the importance of seed selection. The best seed selectors, in order to stop planters in the West Indies from benefiting from their work, they quit selling seed, even to their neighbors. This resulted in a decline in quality across the sea island region.

Sea island never fully recovered from the disruptions of the U.S. Civil War. In the early 20th century, the boll weevil caused tremendous damage in the traditional cotton-growing regions of the United States. Sea island cultivars were particularly susceptible. Also, wet conditions on the islands moderated soil temperatures, further favoring the insect. Production of sea island on a commercial scale ended in 1920. Read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Island,_Georgia

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Condition: Excellent

A stock certificate is issued by businesses, usually companies. A stock is part of the permanent finance of a business. Normally, they are never repaid, and the investor can recover his/her money only by selling to another investor. Most stocks, or also called shares, earn dividends, at the business's discretion, depending on how well it has traded. A stockholder or shareholder is a part-owner of the business that issued the stock certificates.

Item ordered may not be exact piece shown. All original and authentic.
Price: $35.00