Katharine and R. J. Reynolds: Partners of Fortune in the Making of the New South by Michele GillespieKatharine and R. J. Reynolds: Partners of Fortune in the Making of the New South by Michele Gillespie

Katharine and R. J. Reynolds: Partners of Fortune in the Making of the New South

byMichele Gillespie

Paperback | April 15, 2016

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Separately they were formidable—together they were unstoppable. Despite their intriguing lives and the deep impact they had on their community and region, the story of Richard Joshua Reynolds (1850–1918) and Katharine Smith Reynolds (1880–1924) has never been fully told. Now Michele Gillespie provides a sweeping account of how R. J. and Katharine succeeded in realizing their American dreams.

From relatively modest beginnings, R. J. launched the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, which would eventually develop two hugely profitable products, Prince Albert pipe tobacco and Camel cigarettes. His marriage in 1905 to Katharine Smith, a dynamic woman thirty years his junior, marked the beginning of a unique partnership that went well beyond the family. As a couple, the Reynoldses conducted a far-ranging social life and, under Katharine's direction, built Reynolda House, a breathtaking estate and model farm. Providing leadership to a series of progressive reform movements and business innovations, they helped drive one of the South's best examples of rapid urbanization and changing race relations in the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Together they became one of the New South's most influential elite couples. Upon R. J.'s death, Katharine reinvented herself, marrying a World War I veteran many years her junior and engaging in a significant new set of philanthropic pursuits.

Katharine and R. J. Reynolds reveals the broad economic, social, cultural, and political changes that were the backdrop to the Reynoldses' lives. Portraying a New South shaped by tensions between rural poverty and industrial transformation, white working-class inferiority and deeply entrenched racism, and the solidification of a one-party political system, Gillespie offers a masterful life-and-times biography of these important North Carolinians.

MICHELE GILLESPIE is a professor of history and dean of the undergraduate college at Wake Forest University. She is also author of Free Labor in an Unfree World: White Artisans in Slaveholding Georgia, 1789–1860 (Georgia) and co-editor of ten books, including North Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times (Georgia).
Title:Katharine and R. J. Reynolds: Partners of Fortune in the Making of the New SouthFormat:PaperbackDimensions:440 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:April 15, 2016Publisher:University of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820347221

ISBN - 13:9780820347226

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 Making a Business of It 15

2 A Hardworking, Painstaking Student 47

3 Making Money 77

4 Dearest of All 121

5 Brains and Backbone 163

6 A Thousand Cattle on a Hill 213

7 A Woman for a New Day 262

Epilogue 291

Notes 299
Bibliography 359
Index 375

Editorial Reviews

In this well-researched joint biography of entrepreneur Richard Joshua Reynolds (RJR) and businesswoman Katharine Smith Reynolds, Michele Gillespie traces the rise of a husband and wife from the ranks of the middling sort to positions of great wealth and power. . . . The author takes care to situate the couple in the economic, political, and social currents of their time, and Gillespie's diligence in this regard informs readers about southern history and conveys appreciation for the lives of the couple. - Julia Kirk Blackwelder - Journal of Southern History