The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967 Page: 676
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of interest in the two fields lies in the romance and excitement
so generally associated with the cattle trade. For historians, cotton
seems to have lost much of its appeal with the ending of slavery
and the plantation system.
The small volumes under review, written by two of the most
knowledgeable leaders of the twentieth century cotton trade,
provide a fleeting glimpse of what historians have been missing
by neglecting such an important phase of our economic and
cultural background. Both books treat primarily of phases of
operations of Anderson, Clayton Sc Co., with which each man
was long connected. Both authors wrote for specific and limited
audiences: Clayton for his grandchildren; Lamar for the direc-
tors and officers of the company.
Clayton's work is mostly reminiscences of his years as an ac-
tive partner of the firm. He provides the reader with a brief
and personal view of the scope and complexity of international
cotton merchandising. A surprising feature of the company's
operation during these years was the wide autonomy given to
its offices throughout the world and the lack of centralization.
Such structural organization contrasted sharply with that of most
large businesses of the period. Clayton attributes this feature
and the expertise of the senior partners in explaining the rise
of a small Oaklahoma-based firm in 1904 to become the largest
cotton firm in the world by 1929.
Fleming's little study (originally a memorandum) of Ander-
son, Clayton Sc Co. is sketched against the background of the
world cotton trade. The study is broken down into periods:
prior to 1915, from 1915-1933-after the United States became
a creditor nation-and from 1933-1941, when governmental poli-
cies changed the nature of the trade. Editor Tinsley has up-
dated the story by summarizing the company's operations from
1941-1965. The striking point that comes through in Fleming's
presentation is the diversity of the company's operation and the
ability of the company to adjust to drastic and rapidly changing
conditions in the trade during these years.
Neither book is of much depth or wide comprehension-they
were not meant to be. But they are, nevertheless, of consider-
able value because of the ability of each writer to, present a fas-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967, periodical, 1967; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/m1/708/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.