Milton Historical Society Presents:

Early Cotton Production in the
Milton County Area 

Speaker: Lynn Tinley, PhD
Society Treasurer

Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.

Milton Branch Library
855 Mayfield Road
Milton, Georgia 30009
John Hammond, U.S. Senator from South Carolina, popularized the phrase “Cotton is King” in the years leading up to the Civil War. This aphorism was well familiar to and associated with the coastal communities of Georgia, which focused on the growing of Sea Island cotton.

But, it also describes the economy of the area that became Milton County - as soon as settlers began actively migrating here beginning in the 1840s. This frontier region of Georgia grew what is known as Upland cotton, a short staple cotton that was easier to grow than Sea Island cotton. Upland cotton became a profitable option for farmers with the patenting of a new type of cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1798. 

While our cotton industry was not associated with a plantation economy, it was an important mainstay of the subsistence farmers who grew it as a cash crop. This presentation will focus on how cotton affected virtually all who lived here until the mid-twentieth century - from growing and perfecting it, to processing and selling it, and to making it into important textiles that clothed and blanketed the local families.

Note on the photos above: Cotton growing and processing displays can be seen at the Roswell History Museum and the Museum of the Waxhaws in North Carolina.
About our speaker...
Lynn C. Tinley, PhD

Lynn is a native of Western New York who moved to Atlanta in 1983 from Miami. She and her husband Pat, a native Atlantan, have been married for 34 years and moved to Milton from Sandy Springs in 2021. After receiving her PhD in American Studies from Emory University in 2012, she was an adjunct professor at Oglethorpe University in the history department for eight years.

Her research initially focused on textiles and religion, and has expanded to include Southern history in the areas of education, textiles, religion, and social history. Lynn has lectured and taught on the topic of textiles for over 20 years; the study, creation, and embellishment of textiles have been an important part of her life since she was a child. Milton has quickly become home for Lynn; she joined the Milton Historical Society before her move to the area and has been engrossed in its history and heritage ever since!