Introduction and an tangential question

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#1
I am a British railway historian and author who is currently researching something that very tangential touches on the civil war and I need some guidance from experts in the field as where to look next.

I am currently researching the history of a company based on Staten Island named C W Hunt Co. Between the 1870s and 1920s they manufactured a very specific type of narrow gauge railway for industrial use. It was owned by the eponymous Charles Wallace Hunt, who was a bit of a genius in his field and made many innovations, not just in narrow gauge railways but material handling which sped up the spread of industrial development in America. Due to circumstances Hunt has rather unfortunately become something of a footnote in American industrial history.

He was a former president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and as such when he died in 1911 they published a fulsome biography of him. It is here that my tangent to the civil war comes in. In this it states that

He was responsible for the welfare of slaves who came to the union states and was responsible for putting them to work in mills that were supplying the Union Government.
Does anyone have any idea where I would start to try and track down where and how he did this? Are there any surviving records that concern this sort of activity? Has anyone ever looked at this aspect of industry during the civil war? Or is this just going to be a dead end?

I realise that his is a very specific and perhaps esoteric question and indeed one that there maybe no answer to but if anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear from them.

Cheers

Simon
 

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#2
They way your inserted blurb is written, "slaves", rather than "former slaves", and "supplying the Union Government", one may assume that this was occurring during the War. I have not heard of this, but hopefully someone will be along soon to help shed light.

Not judging, but just hoping those so-called "slaves" were no longer treated as such, paid for their mill work, and treated fairly. Though saying this, were the poor children, who worked in mills sixteen hours daily, treated fairly?

Child labor in Avondale Mills Birmingham.jpg
 
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Chattanooga, Tennessee
#3
I am a British railway historian and author who is currently researching something that very tangential touches on the civil war and I need some guidance from experts in the field as where to look next.

I am currently researching the history of a company based on Staten Island named C W Hunt Co. Between the 1870s and 1920s they manufactured a very specific type of narrow gauge railway for industrial use. It was owned by the eponymous Charles Wallace Hunt, who was a bit of a genius in his field and made many innovations, not just in narrow gauge railways but material handling which sped up the spread of industrial development in America. Due to circumstances Hunt has rather unfortunately become something of a footnote in American industrial history.

He was a former president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and as such when he died in 1911 they published a fulsome biography of him. It is here that my tangent to the civil war comes in. In this it states that



Does anyone have any idea where I would start to try and track down where and how he did this? Are there any surviving records that concern this sort of activity? Has anyone ever looked at this aspect of industry during the civil war? Or is this just going to be a dead end?

I realise that his is a very specific and perhaps esoteric question and indeed one that there maybe no answer to but if anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear from them.

Cheers

Simon
Hi, @nomisd and welcome to the forum. If you tap on the forums section and scroll downward to The Long Dust Road you will find a section on Railroads and Steam Locomotives. Tap that and you will find a list of threads, and @Jimklag is the host there on that forum for further questions and follow ups. Thanks for joining up,
Lubliner.
 

luinrina

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#6
Greetings from Germany and welcome aboard from The Traveler's Companion and Other Notable Biographies forum, Simon! :smile:

I'm sorry I can't be of help, but someone around here probably can point you in the right direction. Good luck with your research!
 

Jimklag

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#8
Welcome aboard, Simon, from the Railroads and Steam Locomotives forum. @DaveBrt is our top Civil War railroad expert and I'll bet he will know the answer to your question. Glad to have you with us.
 

DaveBrt

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#9
My field is Confederate railroads -- I don't know anything about the subject of your question.

For Confederate railroads, check my site: ww.csa-railroads.com
 
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#11
Welcome from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I would suggest you contact Pat Young on this forum. Pat lives in New York City and is literally a treasure trove of all kinds of interesting and informative subject matter; he has encyclopedic knowledge of the civil war and reconstruction. Since I have been a member of this forum, I have learned a lot of valuable and useful information from him. David.
 


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