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The story of the mills, the men, and the methods that laid claim to one of Mississippi's major renewable resources In this classic work of Mississippi history, Nollie W. Hickman relates the felling of great forests of longleaf pine in a Southern state where lumbering became a mighty industry. Mississippi Harvest records the arduous transportation of logs to the mills, at first by oxcart and water and later by rail. It details how the naval stores trade flourished through the production of turpentine, pitch, and rosin; and through the expansion of exports, which furnished France with spars for sailing vessels.
Mississippi Harvest tracks the impact of the Civil War on Southern lumbering; the tragedy of denuded land; and, finally, the renewal of resources through reforestation. Born into a family of lumbermen, Hickman acquired firsthand knowledge of forest industries. Later, as a student of history, he devoted years of painstaking work to gathering materials on lumbering. His information comes from many sources including interviews with loggers, rafters, sawmill and turpentine workers, and company managers; and from company records, land records, diaries, old newspapers, lumber trade journals, and government documents.
While the author's purpose is to share the history of a natural resource, he also gives the reader a broad backdrop against the panorama of Mississippi. Mississippi Harvest interprets the state's people, agriculture, industry, government, politics, economy, and culture through the lens of one of the state's earliest and most lasting economic engines.
Nollie W. Hickman (1912-1987) taught at Perkinston Junior College (now Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College) and Northeast Louisiana State College (now University of Louisiana at Monroe).