Edward L. Ayers, In the Presence of Mine Enemies: War in the Heart of America 1859-1863 (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2003), 11.
Ayers, Edward L. In the Presence of Mine Enemies: War in the Heart of America 1859-1863. New York: W W Norton & Company, 2003.
Franklin County distinguished itself mainly by its agricultural wealth: It was the seventh-largest wheat-producing county in the United States in 1859. The rural population had grown steadily for the last twenty years, marked neither by the flight that eroded rural New England nor the flood of newcomers that rushed into western counties. Increasing numbers of people, largely born in the county, filled the 722 square miles of Franklin. Two-thirds of the farmland in the county rested under cultivation; the rest remained in forest to help supply the relentless need for wood. The value of the county's farms increased by nearly five million dollars in the 1850s as the pressure of population on the land drove up prices.