By Barbara Rasmussen
Absentee landowning has lengthy been tied to financial misery in Appalachia. during this very important revisionist examine, 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 zone that started out sooner than the yank Revolution, making a legacy of difficulty that keeps to plague Appalachia at the present time. The proprietors and exploiters of the area have incorporated Lord Fairfax, George Washington, and, such a lot lately, the U.S. wooded area Service.
The overarching crisis 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 incessant domination of politics guaranteed a land tax approach that also favors absentee landholders and concurrently impoverishes the state.
Class variations, a capitalistic outlook, and an ethic of development and improvement pervaded western Virginia from earliest payment. citizens, even if, have been fast 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 all over.
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Extra info for Absentee Landowning and Exploitation in West Virginia, 1760-1920
David Minear in 1776 claimed one thousand acres along the Cheat River. The site may approximate the present location of the town of St. George, where David's brother John located a group of settlers before moving along the Cheat and establishing what surely must have been the first of many sawmills that would soon dominate the regionP James Parsons's sons in 1774 settled along Horseshoe Bend, claiming about four thousand acres. 28 Goff alone registered a county court claim for nearly five thousand acres.
The trail ascended the South Branch and followed the North Fork and Seneca Creek, crossed the Alleghenies twenty miles south of the North Branch Trail and the branches of the Cheat River above the mouth of Horse Camp Creek, and passed near Elkins and Beverly to the vicinity of Huttonsville in Randolph County. 13 These trails were difficult, but all were well traveled. This region contains rugged mountains and narrow valleys, watered by often fickle rivers. The Cheat, Greenbrier, Tygart, and Blackwater rivers run full, flooding in the early spring months, and dwindle to a trickle by the advent of summer.
30 While the congress debated the fate of western lands and speculators, other difficulties were unfolding in the West. Within the Monongahela region, boundary disputes caused complications for settlers. Virginia and Pennsylvania were 26 Absentee Landowning and Exploitation embroiled in controversy over the political boundaries of the Monongahela region. Virginia claimed the transmontane as part of West Augusta, but the northern limits were poorly delineated, and Pennsylvania claimed portions of the region as well.
Absentee Landowning and Exploitation in West Virginia, 1760-1920 by Barbara Rasmussen