Friday, October 26, 2007

he plotted his course

eastern end of the Woolen Mills village, Monticello in the background

Marchant's decision to rebuild the textile mill was undoubtedly influenced by the impressive prosperity of the Northern wool manufacture. Under the nourishment of war-induced demands Northern woolen factories were becoming lusty and aggressive. In 1859 there had been 1,260 mills in that region having an annual production of $61,800,000. By 1869, the number of establishments swelled to 2,891 with a yearly output worth more than twice the previous figure. Additional machinery was rushed into place and a longer working day appeared. In part this boom was due to the prospects for a new protective tariff. Basically the activity was unsound, and after 1867 a three-year depression crippled many a vigorous firm. But in 1865 expansion was the keynote which Marchant observed and under its influence he plotted his course.--Harry Poindexter

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