Skip to main content
  • Gilded Roses: Thomasville and Northern Industrialists

    According to Tom Hill, curator of the Thomas County Museum of History, the city of Thomasville in southwest Georgia provided the perfect playground for Northerners who profited from the Civil War and looked for a place to enjoy themselves and invest their monies. Jack Hadley, the great-grandson of a slave master and the grandson of a slave, was born at Pebble Hill Plantation and acknowledges that the influx of Northerners to Thomasville benefited both blacks and whites.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. Why did Northern industrialists choose Thomasville as their vacation site?

    2. According to Tom Hill, why did both sides think the over "got took" during the time when northerners were coming into Thomasville with a lot of money? 

    Expansion

    1. Find pictures of Thomasville on the internet. Make a picture book that could be used by the Chamber of Commerce to “show off” the town. Write a description of the town that invites people to come and visit.

    2. After the Civil War, Thomasville benefited from Northerners who invested in the city. Give examples from the Georgia Story that show the city continues to reap benefits from those investments.

    3. Write a newspaper article, complete with pictures, about “favorite son” Henry Ossian Flipper.

    Vocabulary

    antebellum: a period of time preceding a war; most often refers to the Civil War
    industrialist: one engaged in manufacture or industry
    Sherman's March: General William T. Sherman captured the city of Atlanta in 1864 during the American Civil War and began his famous "march" in the fall of that year. In an effort to cripple the economy and morale of the South, his troops destroyed railroads, factories, and other industrial facilities in their path. The brutal effectiveness of his campaign is still fresh in the minds of many southerners today and marks a critical turning point in the history of war strategy.

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. Why did Northern industrialists choose Thomasville as their vacation site?
    After the Civil War, it was the southernmost destination travelers could reach by train. Additionally, Thomasville proved itself to be more accommodating to "Yankees" than many other Southern towns, which had suffered more directly during the war. Later on, Florida became the prime mecca for tourists, but that state had to eradicate its malaria-carrying mosquitoes before it could rival Thomasville.

    2. According to Tom Hill, why did both sides think the other "got took" during the time when northerners were coming into Thomasville with a lot of money?
    Hill explains that land at that time was incredibly inexpensive due to the depressed price of cotton. As land prices fell lower than a nightly stay at a hotel, northerners bought up Thomasville's farm land at what they thought was a great price. At the same time, southerners believed that the northern buyers would spend all of their money in Thomasville, so they were happy to accommodate. 

    Explore More