preview

Eli Whitney And Slavery

Good Essays
With the start of the Industrial Revolution taking shape in America, a plethora of inventors began to contribute, whether they knew how impactful it would be or not. Massachusetts born Eli Whitney was one such inventor. Eli Whitney was a young student who, after graduated from Yale College in 1793, took a ship to Savannah, Georgia in which he was to take up a tutoring position on a South Carolina plantation. He was to become a private tutor while he concurrently prepared to enter law. While on his journey to Georgia Eli met the widow of General Nathanel Greene, Katherine Greene, in which she invited Eli to visit Mulberry Grove, where she believed that he could be of use in aiding local planters with farming issues. These planters had been…show more content…
Cotton was not a commodity as it later became due to its difficulty as well as high cost in refining it. Typically in the South, crops, such as indigo, tobacco, and rice, were cultivated largely by hand by small groups of slaves. Slavery had already been quite popular among planters in the South due to its historical tendency for agriculture, but slavery had been on the decrease mostly due to the rising cost of maintaining slaves. Slavery had originally been on the decline and was planned to be abolished by many Southern legislative leaders ("Pre-Cotton Gin America." Web). Though little did they know, Eli Whitney’s cotton gin would answer their questions in regards to the struggle of cotton harvesting. Upon traveling to Mulberry Grove, Eli was informed by Katherine Greene about the local planter’s complaints about the difficulty of removing the seed from the cotton fiber. Eli decided that he would attempt to develop a machine that would make this laboring task must easier. Eli completed the first model of the cotton gin approximately ten days later. Eli’s final version was completed and patented in 1794, and in doing so set his invention to work where he charged the way local farmers had their cotton ginned. The cotton gin ended up being a simple machine composed of a roller equipped with wire teeth that was overall ran by a hand crank. The cotton gin’s purpose was to tear the fiber away from the seed as the spikes revolved between the slats of a hopper. It eventually was shown that the cotton gin was fifty times more effective than the hand picking process for cotton (Eaton, p 26, 27, 28; Kennedy, p
Get Access