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A Dangerous Business

A Dangerous Business

(p.180) Chapter 6 A Dangerous Business
Builders of a New South
Aaron D. Anderson
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses the Natchez business environment during the last half of the nineteenth century. The constrained postwar labor market, depressed cotton prices, changing international cotton markets, emergent cotton futures trading, debilitating reliance upon outside credit, and enduring dearth of significant local capital all combined to ensure a volatile business environment. Merchants in particular felt this pressure, not only as the leading providers of petty agricultural and consumer credit but also as the prime keepers and perpetuators of an unequal and pernicious system of liens and credit that poisoned the future growth of Natchez. At least half of all postwar Natchez merchants succumbed to failure between 1865 and 1910.

Keywords:   Natchez, business environment, volatility, business failure

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