By Barbara Rasmussen
Absentee landowning has lengthy been tied to monetary misery in Appalachia. during this vital revisionist research, Barbara Rasmussen examines the character of landownership in 5 counties of West Virginia and its results upon the counties' monetary and social development.
Rasmussen untangles an internet of out of doors domination of the area that began earlier than the yank Revolution, making a legacy of problem that keeps to plague Appalachia this day. The proprietors and exploiters of the zone have incorporated Lord Fairfax, George Washington, and, so much lately, the U.S. wooded area Service.
The overarching predicament of those absentee landowners has been to manage the land, the politics, the govt, and the assets of the fabulously wealthy Appalachian Mountains. Their early and constant domination of politics guaranteed a land tax procedure that also favors absentee landholders and at the same time impoverishes the state.
Class modifications, a capitalistic outlook, and an ethic of development and improvement pervaded western Virginia from earliest cost. citizens, although, have been speedy outspent via wealthier, extra strong outsiders. lack of confidence in landownership, Rasmussen demonstrates, is the main major distinction among early mountain farmers and early American farmers in every single place.
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Extra resources for Absentee Landowning and Exploitation in West Virginia, 1760-1920
Indeed there were two survey books, and the entries did not match. Eight surveys were not recorded in the old land book but were in the new one. At issue were about ten thousand acres of land. Pages were torn out of the old land book, and comparison of entries in the two books revealed serious discrepancies in acreage and owners of record. The investigators found so many mistakes that they observed that noting all the errors would bring great expense to the county and inconvenience to themselves.
In spite of these political struggles, Virginia chartered 46 Absentee Landowning and Exploitation more and more corporations, both domestic and absentee. The state never objected to privately financed development, and consequently western-based organizations undertook internal improvements. At the same time, absentee firms and eastern interests tended with increasing frequency to focus on coal mining or timbering in the West. After 1805 these companies were located in coal-rich areas, and their charters proclaimed their intent to mine coal.
With the assurance of land awaiting, these later, more affluent immigrants moved quickly to positions of influence in Virginia's West. Other immigrants came as tenant farmers, confident of quickly acquiring their own land. But regardless of financial standing, most of these eighteenth-century settlers were farmers, coming from the British Isles to continue farming. 10 Mountain settlers were taking their first steps toward an agricultural society, basing their farm production on the demands of an increasing population in the Ohio Valley and New Orleans, as well as European markets.
Absentee Landowning and Exploitation in West Virginia, 1760-1920 by Barbara Rasmussen