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Distributed for University Press of New England

Landscape of Industry

An Industrial History of the Blackstone Valley

In 1790, American craftsmen built the first machines that successfully used waterpower to spin cotton. America’s first factory, Slater Mill, was constructed on the banks of the Blackstone River. The revolution in harnessing the power of water spread quickly through the valley and in other areas of New England, leading to the erection of new structures, changes to the landscape, and radically altered ways in which people lived and worked. Landscape of Industry is both a celebration of this history and a clear-eyed consideration of the social, cultural, and environmental consequences of the rise and ultimate decline of the river valley economy. The unique history of the region unfolds within these pages, including the life and economy of the mills, the complex transportation networks, the role of slaves and the history of abolition in the valley, the struggle for workers’ rights, and the creation of the unique National Heritage Corridor itself. Contributors include: Joseph F. Cullon, Jennifer Desai, Gray Fitzsimons, Richard E. Greenwood, Albert T. Klyberg, and Seth Rockman

196 pages | 8 1/2 x 11

Economics and Business: Business--Industry and Labor


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Table of Contents

Foreword – Senator Edward M. Kennedy • Introduction: A River Transformed, a Valley Remade – Dr. Joseph F. Cullon • A Landscape of Industry – Dr. Richard Greenwood • Vignette: “A Country So Full of Factories . . .” – Ranger Chuck Arning • The Slaters of Rhode Island and the Rise and Fall of American Textiles – Gray Fitzsimons • Vignette: By the Canal! – Ranger Chuck Arning • Moving the Goods: Roads, Canals, and the Coming of the Railroads – Gray Fitzsimons • Vignette: “At Night You Could Hear the Looms for Miles” – Ranger Chuck Arning • Mill Villages and the Diversity of Industry – Rangers Chuck Arning, Ray Boswell, Peter Coffin, Kevin Klyberg, and Jack Whittaker • Vignette: “Slavery Has Lifted Up Her Voice in Our Streets” – Ranger Chuck Arning • Slavery and Abolition along the Blackstone – Dr. Seth Rockman • Vignette: “Cannot and Will Not Grant Eight-Hour Day!” – Ranger Chuck Arning • “We Walk!” The Struggle for Worker Rights in the Industrial Blackstone Valley –Dr. Albert T. Klyberg • Vignette: The Demise of a Mill Village – Ranger Chuck Arning • The Past as Prologue: The National Park Service and the Reintegration of the Blackstone Valley’s Past – Dr. Joseph F. Cullon • Contributors • Index

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