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The Story of Eli Whitney

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By: Lacinda Norfleet


Monarch World History

                                                      The Story of Eli Whitney

Eli Whitney was born on December 8, 1765. His parents names are Eli Whitney Sr, and

Whitney Fay. His dad was a farmer. He was born in Westborough, Massachusetts. Eli

Whitney grew up on a farm. In 1789, Eli Whitley started attending the University of

Yale. Then, his intention was to be a lawyer. He graduated in 1792. After Eli Whitney

graduated, he moved up to South Carolina.

 In South Carolina, he got hired to be a tutor.  On his way up to his new job, he met a

woman named Catherine Greene. She was the widow of a Revolutionary War general.

This woman could give him a job that paid double the salary that he would make

tutoring. There, he would be working with boats. Eli Whitney decided to decline the offer

of tutoring, and work for Catherine Greene. Once he started working there, he changed

 his mind. Instead of working on boats, he would read law at her Mulberry Grove


When Eli Whitney began working for Ms. Greene, he met Phineas Miller. Mr. Miller was

also a former Yale student. Phineas Miller was engaged to Catherine Greene. He was also

the manager of her estate.

Catherine Greene soon discovered that there was a lack of money crop coming in that

area, with the market of tobacco declining. The green-seed cotton was widely available.

Though it was widely available, it took hours of manual labor to clean the seed properly

and extract the fiber. Eli Whitney though of a solution for this problem.

Through out the winter, Mr. Whitney worked on that solution. He had Catherine Greene's

support. Eli Whitney created a machine that was able to clean the cotton quickly and

effectively. The machine used a system of hooks, wires, and a rotating brush. When Eli

Whitney would show off his machine, he would get jaw dropping reactions. This

machine produced more cotton in an hour, than how much cotton was produced in a day.

His colleagues were super impressed.

Eli Whitney and Phineas Miller finally panted the machine in 1794. They called this

machine the Cotton Gin. They started installing Cotton Gins throughout the South.

They would charge the farmers 2/5 of the farmers resulting profits. At first this plan

worked very well. They earned a lot of money by doing this. But then later, farmers

started making there own version of the cotton gin. Eli Whitney spent years in legal

battles, and by the turn of the century agreed to license Cotton Gins at an affordable rates.

Southern planters were now able to use there own Cotton Gins. They got huge profits



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