Articles | Volume 15, issue 2
Research article
20 Mar 2019
Research article |  | 20 Mar 2019

Extracting weather information from a plantation document

Gregory Burris, Jane Washburn, Omar Lasheen, Sophia Dorribo, James B. Elsner, and Ronald E. Doel

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Cited articles

Aono, Y. and Kazui, K.: Phenological data series of cherry tree flowering in Kyoto, Japan, and its application to reconstruction of springtime temperatures since the 9th century, Int. J. Climatol., 28, 905–914,, 2008. a, b, c
Baptist, E. E.: The half has never been told: slavery and the making of American capitalism, Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group, New York, the heart: 1937 – Feet: 1783–1810 – Heads: 1791–1815 – Right hand: 1815–1819 – Left hand: 1805–1861 – Tongues: 1819–1824 – Breath: 1824–1835 – Seed: 1829–1837 – Blood: 1836–1844 – Backs: 1839–1850 – Arms: 1850–1861 – The corpse: 1861–1937 Historian Edward Baptist reveals how the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States, 2014. a, b
Beckert, S.: Empire of cotton: a global history, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, “This is a Borzoi Book” – Title page verso Reprint. Originally published: 2014 The rise of a global commodity – Building war capitalism – The wages of war capitalism – Capturing labor, conquering land – Slavery takes command – Industrial capitalism takes wing – Mobilizing industrial labor – Making cotton global – A war reverberates around the world – Global reconstruction – Destructions – The new cotton imperialism – The return of the global South – The weave and the weft: an epilogue, 2015. a
Burris, G., Elsner, J. B., and Doel, R. E.: Plantation Records as a Source of Historical Weather and Agricultural Data, Southeastern Geographer, 58, 348–364, 2018. a, b, c, d, e
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC – Malaria – About Malaria – Disease, available at: (last access: 18 March 2019), 2018. a
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Historical documents are full of untapped data on past climate conditions. Our paper sets out a method for extracting this information into a database that is easily utilized by climate scientists. We apply this method to a document from Shirley Plantation covering the years 1816–1842. We then provide two case studies to demonstrate the validity and utility of the new method and database.