Lesson 1 (from Entry 1: June 14, 1830)
In Entry 1, we learn that Rutherford came to New Orleans from working in the cotton fields prior to gaining his freedom. Cotton was one of the primary cash crops of the antebellum South, and it is very likely that much of the money that financed the Republic's trip was cotton money. The purpose of this lesson is to help students understand the importance of cotton to the Southern economy and, therefore, infer its importance to the mission of the Republic.
1) In-class research: Divide the class into three groups.Have each group research the following:
a) Main cotton-producing areas of the South in the nineteenth century
b) Contribution of cotton to the South's economy in comparison to other economic drivers
c) The uses of cotton in nineteenth-century Southern life.
Have a spokesperson from each group give a five-minute presentation on the results of their research.
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