When Jim Crow cost him workers, Reynolds fought back « North Carolina Miscellany
From relatively modest beginnings, R. Reynolds Tobacco Company, which would eventually develop two hugely profitable products, Prince Albert pipe tobacco and Camel cigarettes. His marriage in to Katharine Smith, a dynamic woman thirty years his junior, marked the beginning of a unique partnership that went well beyond the family. As a couple, the Reynoldses conducted a far-ranging social life and, under Katharine's direction, built Reynolda House, a breathtaking estate and model farm.
Providing leadership to a series of progressive reform movements and business innovations, they helped drive one of the South's best examples of rapid urbanization and changing race relations in the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Together they became one of the New South's most influential elite couples. Upon R. Katharine and R.
Reynolds reveals the broad economic, social, cultural, and political changes that were the backdrop to the Reynoldses' lives. Portraying a New South shaped by tensions between rural poverty and industrial transformation, white working-class inferiority and deeply entrenched racism, and the solidification of a one-party political system, Gillespie offers a masterful life-and-times biography of these important North Carolinians. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book!
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Write a Review. Related Searches. African Americans in the South: Issues of Race,. This volume reflects a new commitment by American anthropologists to engage in what has been His commitment to expanding his business through good times and bad had discouraged him from settling down. In Victorian fashion, his role as favorite son and bachelor caretaker for his extended family had also contributed to his postponement of a family of his own.
But in , Nancy Susan Reynolds, his widowed mother, died at the age of Her death left him heartbroken, he explained in a letter to his young cousin Kate. He immediately began pursuing Katharine, who did not mind his attentions. Why was R. The most reductionist of interpretations would focus on their kinship.
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Marrying Kate Smith, the eldest daughter of his first cousin, meant he could keep his great wealth in the family, an age-old strategy for protecting fortunes. But if this had been his only criterion for choosing a bride, other cousins would have filled the bill much earlier. Kate Smith was more than kin. She was an exceptional young woman. Intelligent and determined, emboldened by familial affluence and the benefits of higher education, she used this set of attributes to secure considerable autonomy for herself, albeit through conventional means — first as an elite, single white woman in the early twentieth-century South, then as a married one.
Following their chaperoned trip to New York, R. Her willingness to take on this position hints at her commitment to a more complex self-determination. Winston was a big city compared to Mt. But it was also a world in which young women of her race and class had been confined to narrowed feminine roles to justify the exclusion of black men from the body politic.
On the national scene, women were just beginning to enter the professions, including teaching and nursing, but also as department store clerks and business secretaries. Though these new opportunities were increasingly available in the urbanizing South, they were not necessarily socially sanctioned ones for respectable young ladies. The prevailing racist ideology justified its public vilification of black men, and the removal of their civil rights as the best strategy for protecting vulnerable white womanhood.
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Still, as R. She discovered a youthful city in the throes of rapid demographic and economic growth, much of it due to the burgeoning R. Reynolds Tobacco Company. By , over 17, residents called Winston, and the Moravian enclave of Salem right next door, home. Nearly a third, mostly African American, were employed in the tobacco factories nine months out of the year.
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The city embraced the ambition generated by the industry. In one week alone, the local papers bragged, the city had shipped out , pounds of plug chewing tobacco on 29 rail cars, breaking all world records. Katharine also found a cultural milieu in the twin cities of Winston and Salem.