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Jun 13 2011

Cassius R. Hudson

Handwritten caption reads "Sometimes I am very busy, C.R.H.," 1920

contributed by Rachel McCall. Cassius R. Hudson, better known as C.R. Hudson, worked for 28 years in the Farmers Cooperative Demonstration (F.C.D.) Agency. This agency was critical to North Carolina because it gave farmers more information on their land. In North Carolina, farmers needed to control the boll weevil which was impeding cotton production and this agency helped do this.

According to F.H. Jeter, the publicity editor for the Agricultural Extension Service, C.R. Hudson was hired by Dr. S. Knapp who established the Farmers Cooperative Demonstration in 1904. However North Carolina was not happy about Hudson working with their farms, they did not want ” Washington” to be active in their business.

The Farmers Cooperative Demonstration was not paid for with government funds. The Federal Government supplied $1 for free mailing privileges and the rest of the business was funded by the Standard Oil Company. This led to interesting office spaces. Jeter mentioned that Hudson worked in the same area where the corn and grain exhibit for the state fair was stored. Because of the shared space many mice would frequent the office which caused the secretaries to “have fits.” When the Federal Government prosecuted the Standard Oil Company as a trust, the F.C.D. was not allowed to accept money from it. C.R. Hudson now had to be paid by North Carolina Counties. He had to literally plead for permission to start work in the county and for financial help.

C.R. Hudson wanted to help all of North Carolina, including African American Farmers. He wanted this group to have the same advantage as white farmers and had threats sent to him from the KKK. He kept these threats secret until the letters were found after his death.

Because of the work Hudson did for North Carolina a ship was named after him. He was chosen from five men that were nominated for doing the most for NC agriculture. This ship served during WWII and was sunk by a mine off the coast of Africa.

U.S.S. Cassius Hudson, 1944

For more information on NC Agriculture visit the Special Collections Research Center at

http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/specialcollections/.

For more images of Cassius Hudson and other NC personages visit http://historicalstate.lib.ncsu.edu/