Augusta existed to collect cotton, and get the cotton to a seaport. The most available seaport for Augusta was Savannah, 231 river miles away. Hamburg existed to collect cotton, Augusta’s cotton if possible, and get the cotton to a South Carolina seaport. That was Hamburg’s drumbeat, to keep South Carolina commerce at home, which was part of the deal for support from the state legislature. So Hamburg boats routinely sailed right past Savannah, and beat their way another 101 miles behind the sea islands to Charleston.
Manufacturing was alien to the Southern plantation spirit, but nevertheless found its way into the freewheeling atmosphere at Hamburg, including – for a few years – the local assembly of clocks. These were ‘Short Case’ clocks of the type that stood on the fireplace mantles of many, if not most Southern homes. Many Hamburg clocks still exist, one at the Aiken County Historical Museum, and a Huson clock at the Saluda Museum (by the Saluda Theater at 105 Law Range Street). Some are labeled ‘L. M. Churchill & Co.’ and others ‘Huson & Co.’
Henry Shultz was all for a rising tide of commerce that lifted all boats, as long as a few tidbits fell in his own lap. His first love was for transportation, but close behind was banks. Here are some notes from banks closely connected with Shultz and Hamburg.
Thomas Jefferson’s ideal society was a thin carpet of independent landholders, masters of their own domains where all needs were satisfied by their land, their family, and the fruits of their labor. What impulse could turn men away from this ideal society, to collect at a common point, a town? Continue reading