Photographer's Note

Most people associate cotton from the American South with slavery, and while that is an utterly correct association, it does not tell the complete story. The American South continued to be the leading world producer of cotton long after then end of the American Civil War and long after the end of American slavery; in fact, the crop itself expanded in postwar years (this is, of course, largely due to the barely free labor of former slaves who were often forced into unfair sharecropping contracts in Southern states for decades after the end of the war).

The building featured here is the second Houston Cotton Exchange building. The Cotton Exchange served as a commodities market and trade center for the cotton trade in Texas; originally built in 1874, it moved to this building - a larger, more modern facility - in 1924.

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Additional Photos by Andrew Lipsett (ACL1978) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 884 W: 75 N: 1695] (7511)
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