124 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI sorghum, peas, peanuts, sweet potatoes, and usually a variety of vegetables.…Cattle, hogs, and chickens are now raised to a greater extent than formerly.” Farmers in the Lower River counties were able to build new lives for themselves because of the work of the Resettlement Administration. This agency was established in 1935 by the Federal Emergency Relief Act, which also established the WPA. Its purpose was to restore ruined and abandoned farmlands and make it possible for landless farmers to own and work their own farms. Landless farmers could apply to the Resettlement Administration for loans to purchase lands, which they would be expected to build into thriving farms. This was no easy task. The lands offered were some of the worst available, blighted by erosion and soil exhaustion. However, for many tenant farmers and sharecroppers, it was a chance at a better life along with the pride of land ownership. For African Americans, especially, this was a rare opportunity to better their circumstances of which some were quick to take advantage. As of 1936, there were ninety-two African Americans in Amite County working lands under the resettlement program. In 1936, the Lower River counties became part of a statewide effort conceived by Governor Hugh White to alleviate the economic insecurity of the Depression and of Mississippi’s dependence on agriculture. Under White’s Balance Agriculture with Industry (BAWI) program, municipalities would lure industries by floating bond issues to build factories for companies that would move manufacturing jobs to Mississippi. In the Lower River counties, the result was the Vicksburg Garment Factory in Vicksburg and the Armstrong Tire Factory in Natchez. The Armstrong Tire Factory was the more important of the two. Armstrong Tire was a major national manufacturer, and Natchez was more in need of diversification from agriculture than Vicksburg. For the rest of the century, BAWI would be the standard model by which communities throughout the Lower River counties attracted industry. Between 1939 and 1999, six municipalities in the area passed sixty bond issues for the benefit of forty-four companies. Some, especially in Natchez and Vicksburg, were the recipients of multiple bond issues. The coming of the Armstrong Tire Factory was the beginning of a new period of prosperity for Natchez and for Adams County. The tremendous population growth Adams County experienced between 1930 and 1950 shows the effect of the resulting influx of new jobs and wartime prosperity. In 1930, 23,564 people lived in Adams County. By 1950, that number had risen to 32,256, the highest population growth of any of the Lower River counties during that period. The long ordeal of the Great Depression had ended in the region by the coming of World War II. Government rearmament and war spending created tremendous demand beautification went rapidly and intelligently forward. Great state and federal memorials, roads and historic fortifications were saved.… The destruction of Fort Nogales (or Fort Hill), one of the most historic spots in Mississippi, was prevented.…The park was preserved in its entirety and will continue to be a great magnet attracting annually to this city around one hundred thousand visitors.” The CCC volunteers had been a boon to Vicksburg in other ways. “Their letters to the home folks as well as their personal descriptions, upon returning home, have had great value from an advertising standpoint. They have greatly stimulated national interest in both the park and this picturesque city.… From a purely material standpoint they contributed to business prosperity in Vicksburg. The camps have bought liberally here. The boys have all spent some money. A great deal of employment was provided for local mechanics in the erection of the camps and a number of Vicksburg citizens are permanently employed in the camps in various duties.” The effect of the New Deal programs and legislation on the Lower River counties was noted by Warren County agent W. R. Lominick. “Over 100 farmers, many of them colored, for the first time have planted vetch or some winter legumes. Most of the increased planting of winter crops is due to the emphasis placed on soil building under government conservation act.”An unknown WPAresearcher, in agreement with Lominick’s opinion of the value of federal efforts to solve the problems of erosion and soil exhaustion, observed, “The landowners of this county are awakening to the value of soil conservation, now. The CCC camps with those busy boys are demonstrating day by day what can be done to prevent erosion and help build up waste places.” All farmers in the Lower River counties, white and AfricanAmerican, benefitted from New Deal laws, agencies, and the spreading of scientific farming concepts throughout the region. There were 443AfricanAmerican farm owners in Amite County in 1935 in spite of the obstacles sharecropping and tenantry placed in the way of obtaining land.According to “Source Material for Mississippi History: Amite County Volume III Part 2,” “their method of farming has improved.…The present trend in farming is for diversification of crops.…Therefore, the average Negro farmer raises, in addition to cotton and corn, sugar cane, Farmers in the Lower River counties were able to build new lives for themselves because of the work of the Resettlement Administration.