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Historical Document
Letter describing new cotton lands

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In the early 19th century, white settlers began pushing into the fertile lands of the southeast, some to farm, others to establish plantations using slave labor. The Native American people living in this region were gradually forced out, particularly following the passage of the Indian Removal Act. White speculators moved in to take advantage of the newly available lands.

This letter, from Frederick Norcom to James C. Johnston, describes the bounties of the new cotton lands. Norcom had migrated from North Carolina to Mississippi. He writes to Johnston, a North Carolina plantation owner, telling him of the wealth to be made by speculating in land newly acquired from the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian nations. "It is in truth the only country I ever read or heard of, where a poor man could in 2 or 3 years without any aid, become wealthy...."

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Related Entries:
Indian removal

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