Georgia fruit growers embodied the intelligent, business-minded mentality about which New South boosters preached. Rather than stubbornly adding to the already glutted cotton markets, these modern farmers diversified. In supplying urban markets with fruit and truck, growers drew the attention of northern capital southward. Queen Peach and her cousins would supplant King Cotton and bring prosperity to the prostrate South. Yet it was with the New South's critics that many growers allied themselves in the 1890s. Despite epitomizing scientific agriculture and virtuous industry, Georgia growers asserted the near impossibility of squeezing profits from fruit. Railroads, they argued, hindered the promised progress and liberation through extortionate freight rates. Consequently, growers became leaders of Georgia's Populist revolt. Their story challenges notions of Populism as backward-looking while revealing the inefficiencies, failures, and precarities of corporate capitalism exemplified by southern railroads. Moreover, it demonstrates the Populists' distinct threat to the rising corporate order.

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