By Duncan Maysilles

It's difficult to make a desolate tract in a spot that gets sixty inches of rain every year. yet after a long time of copper mining, all that remained of the previous hardwood forests within the Ducktown Mining District of the southern Appalachian Mountains used to be a fifty-square mile barren expanse of seriously gullied purple hills--a panorama created by means of sulfur dioxide smoke from copper smelting and harmful logging practices. In Ducktown Smoke, Duncan Maysilles examines this environmental catastrophe, one of many worst the South has skilled, and its effect on environmental legislations and Appalachian conservation.Beginning in 1896, the widening destruction wrought in Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina through Ducktown copper mining spawned hundreds of thousands of personal proceedings, culminating in Georgia v. Tennessee Copper Co., the U.S. ultimate Court's first pollution case. In its 1907 selection, the courtroom well-known for the 1st time the sovereign correct of person states to guard their normal assets from transborder toxins, a foundational opinion within the formation of yankee environmental legislations. Maysilles finds how the best court docket case introduced jointly the disparate forces of agrarian populism, commercial logging, and the woodland conservation flow to set a felony precedent that continues to be correct in environmental legislations this day.

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Additional info for Ducktown Smoke: The Fight over One of the South's Greatest Environmental Disasters

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Raht’s efforts to restore the industry were so successful that it produced more than one million pounds of copper during the first year of peace. 51 The postwar annual reports of the Union Consolidated, Burra-Burra, and Polk County copper companies repeatedly addressed each of the problems. Exhaustion of the rich, easily reached black ores forced miners to incur the expense of digging tunnels to reach the lower-quality yellow ore. ” Wood and charcoal presented problems of both cost and supply. Union Consolidated reported in 1866 that it bought a wood lot of 1,800 acres, which was a substantial tract of roughly three square miles, yet the supply of timber within it was insignificant compared to the company’s annual wood requirement of 1,200–1,500 acres per year.

19 State sovereignty became the doctrine by which Georgia advanced its material and racial concerns. This was, and would long remain, a core theme of the Georgia body politic. Having won its independence against the British, the state now sought to preserve and advance its prerogatives against the Cherokees. The immediate dispute centered upon an 1802 agreement in which Georgia ceded its claim to western lands (the present states of Alabama and Mississippi) to the federal government in exchange for $1,250,000 and the promise “that the United States, shall at their own expense extinguish for the use of Georgia, as early as the same can be peaceably obtained on reasonable terms the Indian titles to .

38 Fourteen mines opened between 1850 and 1854, yet for all of the activity, the mining boom did not immediately cause drastic wide-scale changes to the landscape. Frederick Law Olmsted, who would achieve fame for his design of New York’s Central Park, traveled up the Copper Road to Ducktown during his 1853–54 travels in the southern highlands. His only mention of the land was that he “approached through the pretty valley of the [Ocoee], where . . ” The social changes struck him more than the landscape.

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