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Coastal professor publishes History of Tobacco in South Carolina

August 7, 2000

Long Green: The Rise and Fall of Tobacco in South Carolina by Coastal history professor Eldred E. Prince Jr. has been published by the University of Georgia Press.

The first comprehensive history of Bright Leaf tobacco culture of any state in more than 50 years, Long Green traces the economic history of tobacco in South Carolina from the colonial period to the present. The book was written in collaboration with the late Robert R. Simpson of Coker College, who died in 1995.

"Long Green tells the story of the crop which was for many years a central factor in the economic and social life in the Pee Dee region," says Prince. The book examines rise of cigarette smoking in the 19th and 20th centuries, the relationship between tobacco growers and manufacturers, the impact of World War I, the Great Depression and World War II, and the evolution of the government-sponsored price support program in the 1950s and '60s.

The book also traces the modernization and consolidation of tobacco culture in the 1970s and the impact of health issues relating to smoking and tobacco use. The story concludes with speculations on the future of Bright Leaf and possible alternatives for former tobacco growers in the Pee Dee.

Key individuals who played important roles in the Pee Dee's tobacco industry, including growers, warehousemen, editors and others, are profiled in the book, which features eight pages of illustrations.< p> A native of Loris, S.C., Prince has deep roots in Horry County, one of the leading tobacco producing areas of the Pee Dee. Prince, who joined the Coastal faculty in 1987, earned a bachelor's degree, master's degree and Ph.D. in history from the University of South Carolina. An associate professor of history at Coastal, he was named the university's Distinguished Professor of the Year in 1993. Prince and his family live near Conway.