Front Cover

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Title Page, Frontispiece, Dedication, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

Thomas Jefferson bears much responsibility for the longtime idealism about agrarian life in the United States, but he also revealed a deep faith in the power of industry and commerce. “All the world is becoming commercial,” he informed George Washington in March 1784. “Our citizens have had...

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Chapter 1: Industrial Inroads and Pragmatic Patriots

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pp. 13-43

The Blue Ridge chain provided both a natural and a political barrier for colonial Virginians, but entrepreneurs increasingly breached that wall in the mid-eighteenth century. At the end of the 1750s, leading Virginians saw the potential of the lead deposits on the New River, and they purposefully...

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Chapter 2: Turnpikes to Ore and More

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pp. 44-73

Prosperous northeastern cities and their fertile hinterlands led the young United States into a new industrial age in the first half of the nineteenth century, but the comparatively rural white people in the South continued to prosper in older ways. Because the lack of cities limited consumer markets...

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Chapter 3: Wheels and Rails in the New America

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pp. 74-102

The entrepreneurs of the Blue Ridge trod a rugged business terrain. Like their counterparts in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, they contributed to the dizzying growth of American industry. Yet they also lived in and supported a society that countenanced slavery, and they defended it with hands-on...

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Chapter 4: Corporate Peaks in the Valley

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pp. 103-129

In the twentieth century, on a scale larger than ever before, the Appalachian rocks yielded to the urge for profit, and new entrepreneurs started money flowing in new ways: hydroelectric power, sulfuric acid, and carbide. During the so-called American century, capitalism on New River rose and fell...

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Chapter 5: Left Behind

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pp. 130-158

For the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the lives of workers in the New River valley show through to us only in flashes, secondhand snippets here and there. During the twentieth century, however, workers witnessed major changes in industrial life, and better corporate record keeping, the onset of...

Images

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 159-160

Appendixes on Technology

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pp. 161-182

Notes

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pp. 183-272

Index

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pp. 273-288

Series Page

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