Historians of the Old South have traditionally searched for generalizations that might hold true for the entire region. Despite their attempts at regional generalization, they have used sources that come largely from the plantation South— the tidal, riverain, and Piedmont areas of the Lower South, where cash crop plantations predominated. Wealthy planters who owned many slaves and who grew cash crops such as cotton, tobacco, rice, or sugar were far more likely to leave a written legacy than small farmers who owned no slaves and grew few if any cash crops. Moreover, visitors who penned travelogues describing conditions in the Old South typically toured the plantation belt, where they found most of the South’s transportation facilities, and where they found lodging in the homes of hospitable planters. Even the surviving antebellum periodicals have tended to come from the plantation belt, for planters subscribed to a variety of newspapers, magazines, and journals. Therefore, by using these sources from the plantation South, historians have tended to overlook the “Isolated South”— the mountains of the Upper South and the coastal pine flatwoods of the Lower South—areas where inadequate transportation and poor soils hindered cash cropping and limited the growth of plantation slavery.
Otto, John Solomon
"Hillsborough County (1850): A Community in the South Florida Flatwoods,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 62:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol62/iss2/5