Reny Stackpole of Thomaston, former director of the Penobscot Marine Museum, will explain the cotton trade between southern ports and England in the 1800s and its importance to the local economy at the next meeting of the St. George Historical Society on Thursday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the St. George Grange Hall.

Vessels built, owned, and manned by Thomaston and St. George residents were engaged in this trade. Therefore the financial interests of the most influential families in these towns were closely tied to those of southern planters and merchants, which explains the local pro southern sympathies during the Civil War. Negro slavery and the preservation of the Union seemed to have been less important than financial interests.

For ordinary seamen aboard vessels engaged in the cotton trade, the voyage to southern ports was fraught with labor, loneliness, and high risk of disease or death.

There will be a potluck supper at 6:30 p.m. to which everyone is invited. Please bring eats if possible. There is no charge but a collection will be taken to pay for the use of the hall. For more information, call James Skoglund 372-8893.