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Randolph writes to an unidentified cottton manufacturer that he has been informed that "exhorbitant" prices are being charged for certain goods. Randolph also requests that his correspondent reply to him what quantity and what price such goods can be furnished at the time of writing and over the subsequent 30, 60, and 90 days at various points throughout the Southern rail system. Randolph further adds that "cotton manufacturers must not ex[ect to sell their goods at unreasonable prices[....]while other classes are suffering[.]"


Confederate States of America War Department Richmond Va June 1862 Sir The War Department will require a quantity of Cotton osnaburgs or cloth suitable for making sacks or bags for flour & meal, haversacks +c for use of the army. I have been informed that notwithstanding the low price at which saw cotton is ruling, exorbitant prices are being charged for “goods” suitable to the purposes above named. You will please write me on receipt of this, what quantity of the above described goods you can furnish now, and in the next thirty sixty and ninety days the prices per yard deliverable at Montgomery Ala, Columbus, Atlanta, Macon, Augusta, Savannah, Ga, or other points on the lines of Railway in your state. As planters and farmers are having their hands and teams impressed, their fences and Crops destroyed or ruined, cotton manufacturers must not expect to sell their goods at unreasonable prices and thus make enormous profits while other classes are suffering heavy losses. The Government is prepared to pay liberal prices for all articles neccessary for the use of the army, and desires particularly to avoid impressments. Very Respectfully [signed] Geo W Randolph

Creation Date







United States

Creator Life Dates



George Wythe Randolph, Richmond, Virginia, Confederate States, War Department, Cotton, inflation, June 1862, business, trade, Civil War, manufacturer, industry

Resource Identifier


Date Digital

May 2014

Document Type



Economic History | Social History | United States History

Format (medium)


Format (IMT)




Digitization Specifications

800ppi 24-bit depth color; Scanned with an Epson 15000 Photo scanner with Epson Scan software; Archival master is a TIFF; TIFFs converted to PDF with Adobe Acrobat XI Pro.


The original from which this digital representation is taken is housed in The Littlejohn Collection at Wofford College, located in the Sandor Teszler Library.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

George W. Randolph, Confederate Secretary of War, writes to an unidentifed cotton manufacturer, June 1862.



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