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Inquiry Question

Historical Context





Table of

The Shields-Ethridge Farm: The End of a Way of Life Supplementary Resources

After reading The Shields-Ethridge Farm: The End of a Way of Life, students will know more about sharecropping as a way of life in upland Georgia and the struggles of the landowner to build a sharecroppers’ village that could withstand fluctuation in the cotton market and urbanization of the South. Students and educators who want to know more will find much useful information on the World Wide Web.

Booker T. Washington Papers
The University of Illinois houses the Booker T. Washington Papers, in which he discusses “white mud” (kaolin), recognizing its worth to the South. Read his May, 1911 account of the usefulness of this “native kalsomine” which is found on the Shields-Ethridge Farm, part of a vein in northeast Georgia.

FDR Speech on the Agricultural Adjustment Act, 1935
PBS's "American Experience" provides a transcription of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s address on the Agricultural Adjustment Act, May 14, 1935. Roosevelt reviews the plight of farmers and the plan to adjust crop production.

GA Historic Preservation Division: Agriculture
The Historic Preservation division of Georgia Department of Natural Resources presents the agricultural heritage of Georgia. This resource includes information about landscapes, buildings, and an inventory of Centennial Farms on the National Register in Georgia. Several scenes from the Shields-Ethridge Farm are shown.

Photo Dossier on Sharecropping
A photographic dossier of sharecropping during the years 1935-1939 in several southern states is posted on this Indiana University website. Sharecroppers’ houses and worklife are captured in the photographs.

Shields-Ethridge Heritage Farm
The official website of the Shields-Ethridge Farm provides in-depth content about the family members, historic buildings, agriculture, and history of the farm. The site also has information about visiting the farm in small or large groups, with the farm's iPhone app, or for public events.

University of Illinois essays on sharcropping
The Modern American Poetry website treats sharecropping as a theme in American literature, referring students to numerous authors who wrote about the sharecropping experience. Writers included in the synopsis present another point of view from sharecroppers’ accounts on the Shields-Ethridge Farm.

Vanishing Georgia Photographic Collection
The Georgia Division of Archives and History houses the “Vanishing Georgia” photographic collection of 18,000 historically significant photos. By searching the index for “sharecropper” or “cotton farming” the reader can view photographs taken in Georgia during the relevant time period.

Whole Cloth, Unit 2: Early Industrialization
This Smithsonian Institution classroom unit includes the cotton gin in its activity packet “Fixing A Gin: Math and History at Your Desk.” A diagram of a saw gin explains the components, and an original account book of a gin repairman shapes a lesson in calculating the charge for repair of a gin. A video clip of a saw gin in operation from the National Museum of American History is appended.

World of the Tenant Farmer
The Texas Beyond History website contains a unit in its curriculum called “The World of A Tenant Farmer.” Photographs of cotton, of tenant farmers, and of artifacts from the 1920s on the Osborn Farm are included. Interviews with tenant farmers, many Mexican, describe the daily life of the workers.


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