Tobacco Factories — pre-1865

   The discovery of the method for producing bright leaf tobacco in the late 1830s led to the North Carolina's rise as a major producer of the crop. Small tobacco factories began springing up in the decades prior to the Civil War, but the large scale tobacco factories wouldn't occur until the 1880s.

   Tobacco was mostly a small farmer product and home manufactured. Chewing tobacco was the primary product prior to the Civil War, although there was some cigar making factories/operations. Tobacco factories were generally small. The North Carolina tobacco manufacturers and goods produced were about 10% the size of Virginia establishments  and output during the antebellum period.

    North Carolina tobacco factories employed 482 people, according to the 1840 Census, which included operations producing less than $500 of goods a year. The approximately 60 shops and factories produced $189,868 worth of products and had a capital investment of $91,065.

   There were 81 tobacco manufacturing firms reported for North Carolina in the 1850 Census.
This total included two cigar manufacturers (one in Stokes and Forsyth counties). These factories employed 621 people, producing $308,630 worth (in 1850 dollars) of goods. The value of these firms was $167,440 in invested capital.
   In 1850, tobacco manufacturers were located in the following counties: Caswell (9), Davie (1), Forsyth (2), Franklin (1), Granville (17), Iredell (1), Macon (3), Person (4), Rockingham (27), Stokes (15), and Surry (1).

   There were 97 tobacco factories in North Carolina reported in the 1860 Census, with $646,730 in invested capital. These firms produced $1,117,099 in goods annually. These companies employed 1,461 people. The total number of firms include one cigar manufacturer in Forsyth County, and two stemmery operations in Person County.
   In 1860, tobacco manufacturers were located in the following counties: Alamance (4), Burke (2), Caswell (11), Chatham (1), Davie (3), Forsyth (2), Granville (16), Iredell (3), McDowell (1), Orange (2), Person (2), Rockingham (25), Rowan (1), Stokes (17), Surry (5), Wilkes (1) and Yadkin (1).

North Carolina Tobacco Factories pre-1865 (list to come soon)

Year Location Owner/Company Product/Notes
<1820 Fayetteville John A. Cameron;
Cameron & Towns
employed 65 workers in 1820
<1820 Elizabeth City William Gregory employed 7 workers in 1820; produced Spanish and American tobacco
<1820 Rowan Co. Thomas Holmes  
1836 Halifax Philip Howerton
Later he partnered in Easley, Howerton & Co.; in 1849 he formed a partnership with his son, P. & W.M. Howerton Co.
1858 Durham R. F. Morris
1862 - John R. Green
"Best Flavored Spanish Smoking Tobacco." 
Morris sold the company in 1862 to John R. Green.

 More information and data to come.

  1858-1859 Ad in Weekly Standard (Raleigh), above.

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