The Cotton Gin Essay

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The Cotton Gin

In the late 1700’s the slave population in the United States had decreased. Before the invention of the cotton gin the South, which could only make money by farming, was loosing money because it didn’t have a major crop to export to England and the North besides tobacco and rice. However, these crops could be grown elsewhere. Cotton was the key because it couldn’t be grown in large amounts in other places, but only one type of cotton that could be cleaned easily. This was long-staple cotton. Another problem arose; long-staple cotton only could be grown along the coast. There was another strain of cotton that until then could not be cleaned easily so it wasn’t worth growing. The cotton gin was the solution to this
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Also, he heard that it would make the inventor very wealthy. He liked that idea. On his way to Georgia he met Phineas Miller, Mrs. Greene and her children in New York. He took a ship with them from New Haven to Savannah, Georgia. On the way he got very seasick. To add to that the ship ran aground below “Hell’s Gate.” Since he already used most of his money to take the boat he couldn’t afford to take another. A few days later he joined several other passengers and took a wagon into the city. Once more he got sick but this time he came down with the small pox, a mild case though. Phineas Miller and Mrs. Greene took him to the doctor. After some rest he got better and was lucky enough to get some money from a friend.

When he arrived in Mulberry Grove, Georgia he started thinking about plans for a machine to clean cotton. In only ten days he produced a small working model. The rest of the time was spent on perfecting it. There was one problem with the machine. When the cotton passed through the machine it got stuck at the end. One day he was sitting somewhere fiddling with the machine when he saw Mrs. Greene pull out a birdcage. This gave Eli Whitney the idea of metal wire to clean the cotton off the rollers.

Once he perfected the cotton gin he showed it to his friends and they were amazed. One gin with one man and one horse working it could easily produce 50 times one man could do by hand. As you could imagine it didn’t take long for someone to tell other

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