Table of Contents

This is one of a
series of paintings
by Robert Butler
that depict
turn-of-the-century scenes from twelve
of Florida's major
agricultural industries.
Shipping Cotton
Cotton was a major commodity in the agricultural economy of Florida from the 1830s to the 1860s, with plantations in North Florida as productive as those in neighboring states. But cotton production declined after the Civil War as other agricultural endeavors played a larger role in the states economy. In the mid-1990s, more favorable prices for cotton brought renewed interest in the crop, with nearly 100,000 acres generating cash receipts of more than $40 million. Cotton production is concentrated in Santa Rosa, Jackson and Escambia counties.

All narratives accompanying the paintings were written by Robert Butler.
All rights reserved by the artist.

bullet.gif (943 bytes) Cracker Cowman
bullet.gif (943 bytes) Golden Grove
bullet.gif (943 bytes) Equine Splendor
bullet.gif (943 bytes) Farmers' Harvest
bullet.gif (943 bytes) Fern Garden
bullet.gif (943 bytes) Timber Shadows
bullet.gif (943 bytes) Shipping Cotton
bullet.gif (943 bytes) Ocean Farming
bullet.gif (943 bytes)
Strawberry Patch
bullet.gif (943 bytes) Sugar Harvest
bullet.gif (943 bytes) Tomato Garden
bullet.gif (943 bytes) Beekeeping in the Pines
rule.gif (2885 bytes)
Shipping Cotton

King Cotton is one of those gifts from nature that man has excelled at developing. Few fibers have found such a capital place in the development of civilization. Without cotton, many of the worlds greatest works of art and other cultural treasures could not have breached the seal of time to inspire a modern world.

Though cotton is but one of the many fibers man has cultivated for his use, it has earned a special place in American history. For a time, cotton was king of the economy of the southern United States, and played an important role in the human saga of the South.

Through the advance of modern technology, cotton has been relegated to a lessor role in modern agri-economics. Progress will find new and exciting roles for this historic fiber in the future, but history has reserved a permanent place for it in the American romantic past.

Robert Butler 1999