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Vicissitudes of the South Carolina Railroad, 1865-1878: A Case Study in Reconstruction and Regional Traffic Development

James F. Doster
The Business History Review
Vol. 30, No. 2 (Jun., 1956), pp. 175-195
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3111972
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Vicissitudes of the South Carolina Railroad, 1865-1878: A Case Study in Reconstruction and Regional Traffic Development
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Abstract

The Best Friend of Charleston was a famous locomotive engine, but the real best friend of Charleston was the engine's owner, the South Carolina Railroad. Together the city and the railroad faced and endured the rigors of Reconstruction; both held fast to an ante-bellum dream of regional dominance. The railroad made bold moves to acquire the trunk lines and feeder systems that would make Charleston a Gateway to the West. But frustrating forces were at work. Developing traffic patterns did not favor Charleston, and profligate multiplication of competing lines cut into existing business. Rate agreements and pooling arrangements gave the company only mild relief at best. By 1878 Charleston had resigned itself to its role as a local trading center, and the SCRR was in bankruptcy, the victim of circumstances too powerful for even the most competent of managements to combat.

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