Full text of Negro Migration in 1916-17
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U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR O ffice of the Secretary DIVISION OF NEGRO ECONOMICS GEORGE E. HAYNES. Ph. D.. DIRECTOR NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17 REPORTS BY R. H. LEAVELL, T. R. SNAVELY T. J. WOOFTER, JR, W. T. B. WILLIAMS AND FRANCIS D. TYSON W IT H A N IN T R O D U C T IO N B Y J. H. DILLARD W ASHINGTON GOVERNM ENT PRINTING OFFICE 1919 CONTENTS. Page. 5 N ote......................................................................... . .............................................. Letter of authorization by the Secretary of Labor................................................ 7 Introduction, by J. H. Dillard............................................................................... 9 Report of R. H. Leavell........................................................... . ........................... 15-49 Ndgro migration from Mississippi..............................................................................15-49 ^Volume of the migration.................................................................................. 15 17 Extent of shortage in labor.............................................................. ............... Causes of Negro migration....... ........................................................................ 19-27 21 Economic and social causes of mfgration............................................... Living conditions in the North................................................................ 22 Condition of Mississippi Negroes in Chicago.......................................... 24 A living wage the practical necessity . .................................................... 25 Pellagra as an index to hunger wages...................................................... 26 Agents of migration.......................................................................... ............... 27-28 United States mails stimulate migration................................................. 28 Attitude of Negro leaders................................................................................. 31 Change in relations of white and Negro......................................................... 33 Northern versus southern Negro leadership.................................................... 33-35 Repression will not work.......................................................................... 34 35 Conference and cooperation will work.................... ................................ Negro leaders on causes of migration.............................................................. 35 Negro suggestions on practical plantation management................................ 36 40 Attitudes of whites toward Negroes............................................................... Constructive adjustments already introduced..................................................42-49 Successful communities............................................................................. # 42 Planters successful in labor management................................................ 43 Holding labor at least money outlay....... '............................................... 45 Other constructive adjustments.............................................................. 46 Constructive adjustments suggested......................................................... 46 Cooperation of white and Negro labor..................................................... 48 Conclusion.......................................................................................................... 49 . Report of Tipton Ray Snavely................................................................................. 51-74 The exodus of Negroes from the Southern States .................................................. 51-74 Alabama...............................................................................................................51-73 Yplume of migration........................................... 52 Causes of the movement. . ....................................................................... 58 Wages and living conditions. ................................................................... 66 Present shortage of labor and means of checking the exodus................ 70 North Carolina.................................................................................................. 73 Report of T. J. Woofter, jr ....................................................... 75-91 Migration of Negroes from Georgia, 1916-17............................................ 75-91 Farm labor................................................................................... 77-80 Boll-weevil section............................................................................ 78 South Central Georgia (wire-grass section)...................................... 81 Southeast Georgia (coast region)....................................................... 82 Black b e l t . ! ....................................................................................... 82 Upper piedmont................................................................................. 82 3 4 CONTENTS. Report of T. J. Woofter, jr.—Continued. Page. Classes of farm labor migrating................................................................ 82 City labor............................................ 88-85 Bricklayers....................................................................................... 83 Carpenters............................................................................................ 83 Day labor. . . '- ..................................................................................... 84 Turpentine and sawmill gangs......................................................................... 85 Causes of the movement................................................................................... 86 Constructive possibilities.................................................................................... 89-91 Farm management..................................................................................... 89 Employment Bureau.................................................................................. 90 South Carolina................................................................................................... 91 Report of W. T. B. Williams....................................................................................93-113 The Negro exodus from the South........................................................................ 93-113 rSize of the exodus............................................................................................. 97 Some effects of the exodus................................................................................ 98 Underlying causes of the exodus..................................................................... 100 Initial remedies.................................................................................................. Ill Report of Francis D. Tyson.................................................................................. 115-156 The Negro migrant in the North.................... 115-156 The Negro population of the North................................................................. 115 The causes of the migration.............................................................................. 118 The adjustment to northern industry.............. 122 Race friction in the North................................................................................ 129 The Negro migration and the labor movement............................................... 134 Delinquency in the migrant population...................................................... 138-143 Increase of Negro crime in Pittsburgh..................................................... 139 Health of the migrant........................................................................................ 143 Housing in the North............................................................................ 145-149 Camps................................................; ...................................................... 145 Community housing.................................................................................. 148 -Constructive efforts toward adjustment of the migrant population............. 149 Appendix................................................................................................................... 157 MAPS. Per cent of negroes in total population of Alabama, by counties, 1910............... Georgia—Approximate location and size of area studied...................................... 54 78 NOTE, In the latter part o f April (1917) the Secretary o f Labor decided to make an investigation o f the migration and asked me to supervise it. From that time during trips through the South I began to make inquiry, with the result that the importance o f the movement became more and more evident and seemed to justify the engagement o f special investigators who for a time might devote theeir whole attention to the task. Mr. K. H. Leavelel, o f Mississippi, a graduate o f the Statee University and at one time professor in one o f the State institutions, had offered his services to the Department. In addition the following were engaged: Mr. T. J. Woofter, jr „ o f Georgia, a graduate o f the University o f that State and recently engaged as assistant in the preparation o f the report issued by the Bureau o f Education dealing with Negro schools; Mr. T. H. Snavely, o f Virginia, a graduate of Emery and Henry College and also o f the University o f Virginia, author o f a recent report on Negro Taxation, published by the University under the PhelpsStokes Foundation; and Mr. W. T. B. Williams, o f Hampton, Va., a graduate o f the Hampton Institute and o f Harvard University and field agent o f the Jeanes and Slater Funds. A little later Prof. Francis D. Tyson, o f the Uni versity o f Pittsburgh, offered his services. Mr. Leavell was assigned to the State of Mississippi and Louisiana; Mr. Woofter to Georgia and South Caro lina; and Mr. Snavely to Alabama and North Carolina. Mr. Williams, a colored man, for many years engaged in educational work among the people o f his race throughout the South, especially in the line o f industrial education, was assigned to no particular territory. Prof. Tyson naturally was assigned to the investigations of the conditions in the North affected by the migration. The Southern States which seemed to require most attention were Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, from which States the largest exodus has occurred, and Messrs. Leavell, Snavely, and Woofter found that within the time at their dis posal, about two months, it was possible for them to see but little o f the second States assigned. The work was done in the months o f June, July, August, and September—mainly during July and August— (Extract from Dr. Dillard’s pre liminary statement, p. 78, Fifth Annual Report o f the Secretary o f Labor.) 5 LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION BY THE SECRETARY OF LABOR. This is the report o f an investigation necessitated by the war into which our country entered in April, 1917. The circumstances, how ever, out o f which that necessity sprang were o f earlier origin. As long before as June, 1916, the attention of 'the Department of Labor had been called to a disturbing labor condition in the South. A great migratory stream of Negro wage earners was reported as flow ing out of southern and into northern States, arousing the fears of wage earners in the North on account of the potential competition for opportunities to work and consequent depressions o f wages which it threatened, and exciting consternation at the South among em ployers who feared a loss of crops from lack of customary labor. The movement was due to a complex of causes, some of which, at least, are explained in this report. In order to avoid contributing unnecessarily to the industrial confusion noted above, the Depart ment of Labor, in the summer of 1916, detailed two competent Fed eral employees o f the Negro race, Charles E. Hall and William Jen nifer, to make a quick inquiry into the causes, extent, and general character o f the migration. Their work was well done and it an swered all the advisory needs o f the department at that time. But when the United States entered the war this migration, rising rapidly in volume, excited widespread concern for its possible effect upon the prosecution o f the war. Manifestly, therefore, the cir cumstances demanded a wider and more intensive investigation than the department had deemed necessary for employment-service needs in time o f peace. Arrangements were accordingly made for the inquiry reported in the follow ing pages. I requested Dr. James H. Dillard, o f Charlottesville, Va., to or ganize and supervise such an inquiry as in his judgment the circum stances called for. Responding favorably, he, as a volunteer in the national crisis, assumed responsibility for this work. Dr. Dillard’s special competency is evident. O f Virginia birth and a graduate o f Washington and Lee University, he was for years a professor at Tulane University and long the dean o f its faculty. Thereafter he was called to the management of the Jeanes and Slater Funds for Negro education in the South, a position \ie still holds and one which has afforded him an extraordinary experience along the general lines o f the investigation to which this report re 7 8 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. lates. He is, besides, well known both at the North and at the South, and in both sections enjoys the confidence o f both races. It would seem that no better choice of managing the investigation could have been made for the subject committed to him. His report is confi dently commended to the fair-minded o f whatever locality or interest. After the compilation o f Dr. Dillard’s report, and partly in con sequence o f the investigation upon which it rests, the attention o f this department was drawn to the advisability o f its having continu ous expert advice upon.economic problems involving wage-earning labor in its relation to the Negroes o f the country and their em ployers, and especially with reference to an effective prosecution of the war. This suggestion was presented with a favorable recom mendation by the advisory council o f the department, composed of representatives o f employers, o f wage earners, o f women, o f an eco nomic specialist, and o f the general public, o f which council the Hon. John Lind, o f Minnesota, was chairman. Upon this recommenda tion I decided to bring a Negro economic adviser into the depart ment. Accordingly, under the title o f director o f Negro economics, and after consultation with many persons of both races well quali fied to advise in such a matter, I appointed Dr. George E. Haynes, who is professor o f economics and sociology in Fisk University, at Nashville, Tenn. Accepting this appointment, Dr. Haynes entered upon its duties May 1, 1918. This report, therefore, although com piled prior to the appointment o f the director of Negro economics, is issued by the department through his division. W . B. W i l s o n , Secretary of Labor. INTRODUCTION. The more one learns of the migration of Negroes from the southern States to the North during the years 1916-17 the more convinced he must become o f the great variety o f occasions and causes which led to the movement, of the great variety of motives and conditions among those who moved, and of the great variety o f satisfaction or dissatis faction which the movement caused both in the South and in the North and among the migrants themselves. And great as is the variety in the actual facts, still greater is the variety o f opinion con cerning the facts. Much has been said and written during the past two years on all the various phases of the question, and naturally each speaker or writer has brought forward and emphasized this or that phase which has come under his immediate observation or elicited his particular interest. In considering the movement as a whole I think we should face two broad truths, which I hope I may be pardoned for mentioning, for they are o f importance in studying the story of economic and social changes. W e become so interested and immersed in our im mediate and personal views that we oftentimes fail to look out upon the larger view; and yet it is altogether fair, wise, and beneficial that we do not lose sight o f this larger view. One o f the truths to which I allude is that the desire of any people or class o f people to improve their condition o f living is a natural and healthy desire, and that their effort to gain such improvement is a commendable effort. The migration o f Negroes, from one part of“ the country to another, like all racial Mid popular migrations in history, expresses such desire and effort. Whether the movement result in the desired advancement is another matter. In any case the desire and effort, however originated, deserve commendation not condemnation. The second broad truth to which I beg to call attention is this. The genuine progress of a country depends upon the spread o f good conditions o f living and good chances o f healthy improvement among all the people o f the country, not only among those o f any class, or race, or profession, or occupation, but among all, including especially those who have hitherto had the least chance through power, education, or inheritance. This truth has been gradually forced upon the world by bitter experience, and it is the special sign 10 NEGRO M IGRATIO N IN 1&16-1*7. o f enlightenment in our day that it is now so generally realized. W e are realizing that the health and well-being o f any class or group in a nation or community depend upon and influence the health and well being o f all classes or groups in the nation or community, and we are understanding that the realization o f this truth is the foundation o f our democratic and humanitarian ideas and o f our practical Chris tianity. Many immigrants from Europe and most o f the colored people in our southern States are within the definition o f those who have had the least chance o f improvement through power, education, or inheritance. W hat can be done fo r extending their Chances o f im provement is a matter o f supreme importance. The Negro migration may or may not be a step toward the attainment o f better chances, but it is at any rate a most interesting effort in this direction, and should be recognized as such in our thoughts on the subject. These thoughts recurred to my mind while talking with a colored man in Cincinnati, and while looking over the rolls o f new admis sions to a colored school in Philadelphia. I had just come up from the South with my mind full o f the opinion, which I still hold, that the South is the best home for the masses o f our Negro population. I was making my way near nightfall toward a railroad station in Cincinnati, and stopping to inquire the nearest way was accosted by a polite colored man who said he was going to the same station and would gladly show me the way. I found that he had been six months in the city, had moved from Atlanta, had a good job in some iron works, had brought his w ife and three children, and was making for the station to meet his brother fo r whom he had secured a position in the same plant. H e himself had come through correspondence with a friend who had lived fo r some time in Cincinnati. H e stated that he was getting better wages, and that he was paying the same rent for a better house. H e gave no cause for m oving other than the desire, as he said, “ to better himself.” In view o f various reports in regard to housing conditions, this man’s experience may have been exceptional in this respect, but at any rate he was apparently much pleased with his move, and I could not but think that he was to be commended fo r his desire and effort “ to better himself.” A few days later I visited the Durham School in Philadelphia, a large public school for colored children. I thought that the new enrollment would probably afford some information as to new arriv als in that city. Th& principal had enrolled the new pupils on sheets containing 50 names, and he had been careful to enter opposite each name the place from which the pupil came. I took six o f these sheets at random and found that one o f them had 26 names o f children who had been brought within the past year from various States o f the South— Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, etc. The lowest number of names o f recent arrivals found on any one o f the six sheets was 21. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 11 In other words, among the new pupils there were between 40 and 50 per cent who were newcomers, and all these from the South. I was surprised at the number, and could not but realize that the parents who had migrated to that city showed a commendable desire to give their children the benefit of education. I am inclined to the opinion that the desire to secure better opportunities for “ schooling ” has been one o f the influential causes o f the migration, certainly among the better class o f Negroes who have moved. For it is an undoubted fact that the movement has embraced Negroes o f all grades; many herded together by labor agents and many who have moved sepa rately and o f their own initiative. On this subject, as well as on the other facts regarding the migra tion, I must refer to the reports. I had thought to collate these re ports, but have concluded that it is better to let each writer’s facts and inferences be read in his own setting. It may be well, however, to bring together here a few of the state ments in regard to certain leading questions: 1. The number.—The movement had been well under way for some time before anyone thought of making an effort to secure sta tistics. Moreover, so many left separately and unobserved that to get complete statistics would at any time have been impracticable. Mr. Lea veil says that “ any numerical estimate must be based on such scanty data as to have no scientific value.” Mr. Snavely estimates that 75,000 left Alabama within 18 months, but adds that “ except in a few particular instances it is impossible to give numbers with scientific accuracy.” Mr. W oof ter estimates the number leaving Georgia between May, 1916, and September, 1917, at 35,000 to 40,000, but says that “ a numerical estimate o f the total number must be an approximation.” Mr. Williams gives 50,000 for Georgia, quoting the commissioner o f commerce and labor; 90,000 for Alabama, quot ing the commissioner o f agriculture; and 100,000 for Mississippi, according to officials of insurance companies, and 75,000 accord ing to the editor o f the Jackson Daily News. Prof. Tyson says that “ within certain limits one guess is as good as another.” I Should be inclined to set the limits at 150,000 and 350,000 and my guess would be 200,000. The number o f those who have returned South is equally uncertain. Some say 10 per cent; some say as much as 30 per cent 2. The cause.—That the lack o f labor at the North, due mainly to the ceasing o f immigration from Europe, was the occasion o f the migration all agree. The causes assigned at the southern end are numerous: General dissatisfaction with conditions, ravages o f boll weevil, floods, change o f crop system, low wages, poor houses on plantations, poor school facilities, unsatisfactory crop settlements, rough treatment, cruelty o f the law officers, unfairness in courts, 12 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. lynching, desire for travel, labor agents, the Negro press, letters from friends in the North, and finally advice o f white friends in the South where crops had failed. A ll o f these causes have been men tioned, and doubtless each cause mentioned has had its influence in individual cases. A discussion o f these causes will be found in the reports, none o f which give as much prominence to the influence of labor agents as might be expected. Doubtless the spectacular part o f the migration, the movement of large numbers at the same time, was due to agents, and doubtless in many localities the labor agent was the instigator of the movement. “ The universal testimony of employers was, however,” says Mr. Woofter, “ that after the initial group movement by agents, Negroes kept going by twos and threes. These were drawn by letters, and by actual advances of money, from Negroes who had already settled in the North.” Mr. Williams says that “ every Negro that makes good in the North and writes back to his friends starts off a new group.” He thinks that this quiet work “ has been more effective in carrying off labor than agents could possibly have been.” Mr. Lea veil approves the opinion that “ the railroads and the United States mails have been the principal‘ labor agents.’ ” However the influence came, and whatever concurrent causes may have operated, all will agree with Mr. Williams when he says that “ better wages offered by the North have been the imme diate occasion for the exodus.” 3. Shortage o f labor.—What the investigators say on this point should be read with the context, but this phase of the movement is o f such prominence in general discussions that I venture to give here several brief quotations, because, while there was certainly a shortage o f labor in some sections, the danger seems not to have been so ex tensive or so acute as was feared at one time. Speaking o f Missis sippi, Mr. Lea veil says: “ The migration has undoubtedly materially reduced the supply o f labor. But the demand for labor has also been altered.” He explains that a new type o f mixed farming does not call for as many laborers. Again he says: “ The indications are that possibly half o f the northern migrants came from the towns.” Mr. Snavely speaks o f the shortage o f skilled labor in the mines and in dustries o f the Birmingham district and gives a list of counties in the Black Belt o f Alabama which suffered most. It was in these counties that there was most poverty among the Negroes, and he adds that “ the shortage o f labor is most acute among the landowners who made no attempt to keep their Negro tenants by providing for their subsistence.” He also says: “ A t the present time the number o f Negroes leaving the State has been greatly lessened.” Mr. W oofter says: “ Although no acute shortage o f labor either in rural or urh&n districts has as yet been felt in Georgia, field workers in connection with the United States Employment Service, Department o f Labor, NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 13 could find many instances o f individual employers who need more Negro labor.” Mr. Williams says: “ Seriously costly effects o f the exodus are not hard to find in many places.” Yet he says in another place that “ on the whole the evil effects are not so great as one might have expected.” 4. Remedies.—Many suggestions will be found in the reports for stopping the migration, and also for the improvement o f the Jiving nt TJnprvmg whn liavn already made the move. Prof. Tyson dwells particularly on the question of housing. “ It is ob vious,” he says, “ that the housing situation among the migrants is acute.” Again he says: “ Industries with executives farsighted enough to pick the men, to think in terms o f the Negro’s human relations, and to provide housing quarters on a family basis, were universally favorable to the Negro laborers.” In the South the suggestion o f remedies covers practically the whole ground of the contribut ing causes o f the migration. Mr. Leavell makes a number, of. sugges tions as to constructive adjustment and tells o f some that have al ready been introduced. The quotations from the southern news papers give frankly the intelligent thought o f the South on this wKole matter. A ll of these editors recognize the necessity for higher wages, and most o f them speak o f the need for asquarer deal and a more sympathetic .attitude toward the aspirations and general im provement o f the race. “ The real thing that started the exodus,” says one editor, “ lies at the door o f the farmer and is easily within his power to remedy. The Negroes must be given better homes,and better, surroundings. F ifty years after the Civil War they should not be expected to be content with the same conditions which existed at the close o f the war.” A thousand words could not say more on this phase o f the question. The Southern University Commission on Race Relations, in an open letter dealing with the migration, enumerates as remedies “ against all allurements” the following items: “ Fair treatment, opportunity to labor and enjoy the legitimate fruits o f labor, assurance o f even-handed justice in the courts, good educa tional facilities, sanitary living conditions, tolerance, and sym pathy.” With this brief introduction I leave the reports to speak for them selves. I am sure they will be found to be a valuable contribution to the subject, and it is hoped that they will aid in calling attention to certain evils and in leading to remedial measures at both ends. J a m e s H. D i l l a r d . A n n . 20,1918. THE NEGRO M IGRATION FROM M ISSISSIPPI W IT H SPECIAL REFEREN CE TO THE EXODU S TO NORTHERN COMMUNITIES IN 1916-17. By R . H. L eavele. The extent and character of the Negro migration from Mississippi to northern communities in 1916 and 1917, the relation of this move ment to labor supply and wages, the causes o f the migration, the efforts made to accelerate and to retard it, and certain suggestions for limiting and directing the movement in ways calculated to help both races North and South—these are the principal topics included in this study o f Negro migration from Mississippi. The object of the report is to throw light on the problem of utiliz ing Negro labor advantageously in the present national and inter national crisis— for the United States is confronted both in agri culture and in manufactures with an actual labor shortage. This shortage will certainly last as long as the war lasts, and probably the shortage will last much longer. Then, too, the southern Negro is the one great source o f raw labor that is not yet fully utilized. Hence it is important to study Negro migration as affecting the number of laborers in agriculture and industry, as affecting the best distribution of labor betjveen agriculture and manufacture, North and South, and as influencing the development of efficiency o f the labor management and o f the individual Negro, while actually at work on farms and* plantations, in* stockyards, on railroads, and in manufactures. In this study o f Negro migration account is therefore taken o f the legitimate interest o f each section o f the Nation and o f each race. VOLUME OF TH E M IGRATION. Any numerical estimate concerning the Negro migration to north ern cities must be based on such scanty data as to have, in the writer’s judgment, no scientific value. More important, however, than in quiry as to the number leaving for the North are the other inquiries: How great a shortage o f labor exists in the various sections of Mis sissippi? Is it likely to increase? Is the Negro going where he can be of most service in the national crisis, while advancing his own interests? Before considering these more significant problems let us note briefly the reasons why it is impracticable to make a scientific esti 15 16 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. mate o f the numbers in the northward migration. The following are the chief reasons : 1. The railroad system which is alleged to have transported the great majority of these Negroes to northern points is not a satisfac tory source o f information. 2. The way in which migrants left complicates the problem. Many went from their home station to some other in Mississippi, or to Mem phis, Tenn., before getting transportation for the rest of the journey. 3. Many Negroes went to the upper part of the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta in the northwestern part of the State; others went to Arkansas or other southern points, directly or after reaching Memphis. Indica tive of this is the fact that of five labor agents and alleged agents who came to my attention, two were posing as a man from Memphis and his friend; one represented an Arkansas planter, and two, under arrest for operating without a license, were said to have been seeking labor for a concern in Chattanooga, Tenn. 4. The normal migration in past years to the delta has always been considerable. Thus from 1900 to 1910, while Negroes increased in Mississippi by nearly 102,000, more than half of this increase, or about 53,000, were in seven counties in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta. Yet these counties have a total area o f less than one-eleventh o f the State area. 5. In the past, the emigration of Mississippi Negroes has always been much heavier to the West and even to the South than to the North. Calculations based on data in the Thirteenth United States Census (cf. tables in vol. 1, pp. 740, 743) show that in 1910 Negroes born in Mississippi and living in New England, the Middle Atlantic States, and the Middle West were less than one-sixth of the number o f such Negroes living in the four southwestern States of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. And in Arkansas alone there were twice as many Negroes o f Mississippi birth as in the whole o f the northern territory mentioned above. Again, although Mississippi had gained more than twice as many Negroes, natives o f southern States to the east, than she had lost o f her own Negro natives to these States, yet in 1910 there were in southern States east of Mis sissippi nearly three times as many Negroes born in Mississippi as there were o f these Negroes in the entire North. 6. Many Negroes in the past have found their way from the farms and plantations to the towns. An index to this movement is found in the fact that out of the total increase of about 102,000 in Negro population for the State in the decade closing in 1910, 38,500 were living in towns and cities of 2,500 or over. We may safely assume that the increase of the Negro population in towns and villages of less than 2,500 was in the same ratio to the increase in white popula tion as it was in the larger communities mentioned above. I f this is NEGJtO MIGBATION IN 1916-17. 17 true, then nearly 28,000 more o f the Negro increase in that decade occurred in these smaller towns. Out o f the total State increase of 102,000 in Negro population we find, then, that 66,500 was in the towns and cities as against 35,500 on farms and plantations. 7. The boll weevil in past years has tremendously stimulated the migration of Negroes within the State. Thus, in the decade ending in 1910 the five southwestern counties in Mississippi, which were the first exposed to the pest, showed a decline in Negro population of nearly 18,000, while the seven upper delta counties already mentioned were showing a gain of 53,000. Most o f those leaving southwest Mississippi moved northward to the delta. The foregoing considerations make clear that the mere fact o f a Negro’s having moved out of his former home is no evidence that he has moved to a northern city. Fortunately the number actually leaving for the North is, from the standpoint o f labor supply, not so significant a thing to find out as is the ratio between demand and supply o f labor as affected by the total Negro migration from Mississippi. EXTEN T OF SHORTAGE IN LABOR. The migration has undoubtedly materially reduced the supply of labor; but the demand for labor has also been altered. In some lo calities the demand for labor has decreased; in others it has in creased. Changes in the wage rate in different parts of Mississippi are a fairly reliable index to the ratio between demand and supply of labor. Speaking generally, wages are lowest where agriculture has had time since the invasion of the boll weevil to get reorganized on a mixed farming basis, with the emphasis on live stock; for this type o f farming does not call for as many laborers per hundred acres as the older style of cotton and corn farming, in which cotton was emphasized. Thus, in southwest Mississippi farm labor appears to get rarely more than 75 cents a day, although a range of from 40 and 50 cents up to $1 was reported to me. In east Mississippi lands lay idle to a noticeable extent, but the lack o f labor was due to a lack o f capital. Several short crops in succession were followed last summer (July, 1916) by a destructive storm; and the boll weevil has now worked its way north of the Southern Railway into the upper part of the northeastern prairies and westward to the Mississippi River, with a small deflection southward when the line reaches the upper delta. The boll weevil makes cotton culture for the time being out o f the question in the Mississippi “ Hills.” The Negro is notoriously a poor com farmer. Planters and bankers hesitate to finance new types o f farming that must depend on the untrained Negro for the field 70752°—19----- 2 18 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. work. Hence, in many localities in east Mississippi the Negro was actually advised by his white friends to leave, and in some cases he was aided in going. In this section those who were able and dis posed to care for the tenant and the laborer during the lean autumn and winter months are said to have been pretty generally successful in holding their labor for this year. In south Mississippi there was a heavy migration o f sawmill Negroes from around Laurel and Hattiesburg and other smaller stations. Gulfport lost dock hands because o f irregularity in em ployment; many town Negroes left this region. One-fourth of the Negro tenant houses, before the building of the cantonment began, were reported by realty agents in Hattiesburg as being vacant. Out o f a list of 109 Mississippi Negroes who sought employment through one agency in Chicago 20 came from Hattiesburg, 2 from Laurel, 6 from Gulfport. Wages in sawmills rose from $1.10 in the summer o f 1916 to from $1.40 to $1.75 within 12 months. Out o f the 96 Mississippi Negroes applying to this agency, whose addresses are known to the writer, 52 were from south Mississippi; 9 from southwest Mississippi; 19 from Jackson; 7 from Meridian, in the eastern part o f the State; 5 from northeast Mississippi; 1 from the lower delta; 1 from the upper delta; and 2 from the northern part of the u Hills.” This indicates with fair accuracy the distribution of the labor migration, except that from the northeast and east many Negroes went either to Memphis or St. Louis and did not come at all to Chicago; and a very large proportion o f Negroes went to the delta and to Arkansas. Comparisons resting upon daily wage rates can not be based on as abundant data as is desirable, for a large part o f the farm workers are not hired for a money wage, but are employed as share renters. Thus the census for 1910 gives, in round numbers, 233,700 Negro males 21 years o f age and over; in the same year 139,600 Negro ten ants were reported. O f these 107,000 were share and share-cash tenants, and 68,800 were cash tenants. There has been no notable change in the wage system in the State as a whole since 1910, so that it is plain that a rather small proportion o f farm workers get their income in the form o f money wages. The matter is still further complicated by the fact that in many cases wage hands hired by the month are given part o f their pay in kind—a cabin, a garden and truck patch, with, sometimes, the use o f a cow and pasturage for live stock. It may be observed, however, that wages have risen from 10 to 25 per cent quite generally throughout the State, except in the localities noted above. And this may be taken as meaning that the shortage o f labor is rather general. The demand for labor would be still stronger in the lumber section o f south Mississippi were it not that NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-1’T. 19 car shortage made it impossible for the mills to run at night, al though had there been ample transportation facilities present prices for lumber would have caused such operation with consequent in crease in demand for labor. As a rule, in the northern part o f the State farm wages are 25 to 35 per cent higher than in the southern, except where the sawmill in the south forces a somewhat higher rate on the farms. But in the Mpinev woods ” of south Mississippi Negro farm labor is not so important a factor as elsewhere in the State. The indications are that possibly half o f the northern migrants came from the towns; but as less than one-tenth o f the Negroes in the State live in towns o f 2,500 population or more, it is evident that the town Negroes furnished a disproportionately large number to the migration. A study o f 25 Negro families in Chicago,1 however, gives 18 as coming from rural communities, as against 7 from towns and cities. The distribution by occupations is hard to get at. Among readers o f a Chicago Negro weekly that circulates largely in the South, out o f a list of 283 wishing to come to the North from several Southern States, the principal occupations were as follows: Laborers, 33; molders, 22; cooks, 19; carpenters, 16; blacksmiths, 12; painters, 9; janitors, 9; chauffeurs, 8; machinist helpers, 8; firemen, 8; as against farmers, 10; merchants, 3; preachers, 3; and teachers, 2. This throws no light on the proportion o f farmers leaving, because this paper circulates more largely in the towns than in the rural districts. Then, too, the westward migration into the upper delta and into Arkansas would naturally be chiefly a migration o f farm labor, while in the northern movement to industrial centers they would quite as naturally form a smaller proportion, for a larger number o f mechanics and town workers would choose the North rather than southern rural communities. In one group o f 69 male Negro wage earners coming to Chicago from the South, Miss Clark found that “ 18 came from farms, 14 from work in sawmills. No other occupa tions were represented by more than 1, except 2 each o f machine-shop workers, chauffeurs, carpenters, and firemen.” CAUSES OF TH E NEGRO M IGRATION. I do not wish to be understood as implying in any way that the northern migration o f Negroes from Mississippi in the past 18 months has not been large. Undoubtedly they have gone by the thousands. And this movement is the more important, because the large majority o f those going North become, through letters and 1 By H iss M ary M oore Clark, a student o f the Chicago School o f Civics and Philanthropy. 20 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 191&-17. messages home, apostles of exodus to those remaining behind. It is important, therefore, that analysis be made o f the chief motives o f the Negroes in leaving their homes and in moving to northern indus trial communities, as against moving to the towns and cities of the State, to the Mississippi delta or to Arkansas. Those acquainted with Negro character will recognize at the outset serious obstacles to securing dependable information. The ordinary Mississippi Negro does not readily confide in white strangers; he is not disposed to say things to white Mississippians that may be un pleasant to the latter.* Hence, if any o f the causes for the Negro exodus in any way involve reflection upon the policies o f white Mississippi and upon the behavior o f individual white men. it would be hard to get such information. If, on thexother hand, the Negro got the erroneous impression that the investigator did not have a sympathetic appreciation of the attitude o f the whites o f his native State, the Negro would be quite likely to cite extreme instances as if they were typical and even to invent cases, on the theory that in so doing he would be most agreeable. I made it a point, therefore, to begin my inquiry usually with the neutral question, “ Why are the Negroes leaving Mississippi in such numbers? ” A number of times, however, it was necessary to show sympathy with the struggle o f the Negro race for self-development, before those I was interviewing could be induced to talk freely. The value o f the testimony of individual witnesses lies in its uni formity and in the corroborating conclusions of fully half o f the representative white men whom I interviewed. One weakness of mueh of the testimony, however, deserves especial notice. To a great extent I had to rely on the impressions of edu cated and thoughtful Negro leaders in the towns. It would be natural, therefore, if there were a tendency to overemphasize the extent to which motives other than the purely economic account for the migration of the Negro masses. As a matter of fact, this limita tion was several times pointed out by the Negro leaders themselves. There were, however, several conditions promoting candor and frankness. I had personal introductions to Negro leaders in all of the principal communities in the State from other Negro leaders both in the North and in the South. Then, too, the ease with which the Negro can get out o f the State makes him less hesitant about being frank with white strangers, even though they may be natives. Not infrequently the same episodes were recited to me by thoughtful whites and Negroes, so that there was some opportunity to evaluate testimony directly. The point to be emphasized is that people’s behavior depends upon their beliefs about facts. It is important, therefore, to find out what the Negro believes is the attitude and the policy o f the whites toward NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 21 him, and it is equally important to find out what the whites believe about the Negro. Hence my effort has been twofold. I have sought to find out what economic and social facts are pushing the Negro out of Mississippi and pulling him toward other communities. And I have tried to find out what beliefs of the Negroes have been influencing their migration. In both endeavors I have found the widest variety of facts and beliefs operating as motives in different parts of the State and in different local communities. The inference is obvious that this diagnosis o f causes of the move ment will be useful only when employed by white leaders locally in determining whether actual or threatened shortage of labor is due to one or more of the causes mentioned. For such testing of the attractiveness of a community to Negro labor, the facts and beliefs about facts which are herein set forth it is hoped may be of help. ECONOMIC AN D SOCIAL CAUSES OF M IGRATION. The economic and social facts, as distinguished from beliefs about facts, that have been responsible for much of the Negro migration are the following : 1. In southeast and east Mississippi lack of capital for carrying labor through the fall and early winter until time to start a new crop. This lack of capital has been occasioned by one or more o f three causes—a succession of short crops, the more recent advent o f the boll weevil, a destructive storm in the summer of 1916. 2. Reorganization of agriculture behind the boll weevil so as to call for a smaller number of farm laborers per hundred acres. This is notable in southwest Mississippi, which was the first section to meet the boll-weevil pest. Such reorganization, although paying considerable attention to trucking, is emphasizing live stock, par ticularly beef cattle. 3. Hunger wages in Mississippi. 4. The attractions of Arkansas. That State, country Negroes assert, competes for Mississippi Negro agricultural labor not only by affording larger economic opportunity but also by offering more considerate treatment. 5. The attractions of the northern urban and industrial centers. These attractions are of two sorts: (a) Distinctly higher wages for unskilled labor, such as in munitions plants, railroad construction, stockyards; (6) better living conditions, such as (1) housing that seems superior to the rough cabins o f southern plantations; (2) a closer approximation to even-handed justice in the courts in cases where both whites and Negroes are involved1; (3) better schools for l A Chicago weekly calls attention to the fa ct that the grand ju ry was able at least to find persons to Indict fo r the East S t Louis afTalr; but this same weekly maintains that grand juries seem unable to locate the culprits in southern mobs. 22 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. the Negro race than in either the country or the towns o f Mississippi; (4) equal treatment on the cars. Indeed, in the cars equality of treat ment is the necessary result of the fact that there is no segregation in them. Concerning equality of treatment, be it noted that northern Negro leaders are strenuously opposed quite generally to any sort of compulsory segregation anywhere. The southern Negro leaders pay little attention to this, but limit themselves to asking for equality of treatment, even though segregated. It is quite possible, however, that this difference in attitude is accounted for by the fact that at present abolition o f “ Jim Crowism5 is in Mississippi a purely academic 5 proposal. LIVING CONDITIONS IN THE NORTH. As illustrating the higher wages in a northern industrial center and the kinds o f occupation open to unskilled Negro labor, the fol lowing facts are taken from Miss Clark’s recent Chicago study of 77 Negro families from the South. Seventy-five o f these families, be it noted, moved to Chicago within a 12-month period in 1916 and 1917. The following table shows the number o f male wage earners and their classification by present occupation : Number. Occupation. Stockyards................................................ Pullman Co............................................... Loading nan. * .................... .................. Fertilizer plant ............... Railroad.................................................... Cleaning cars and taxis............................ 36 4 2 2 2 Occupation. Number. Other occupations •................................. Unemployed............................................. i n . . . . . . . : . ................................ 11 TotaL.............................................. 69 4 5 3 a Junk, box and dye factory, foundry helper, hotel help, steel-mill porter, wrecking company, baker, mating sacks. The follow ing table adapted from the Clark report shows the number o f male wage earners classified by specified weekly earnings: Classification by weekly earnings. S9 to $9.99................................. ‘. .............. $10 to $10.99............................................... $11 to $11.99.............................................. $12 to $12.99............................................... 113 to 113.99.. ...................... $14 to $14.99............................................... Number wage earners. 1 2 1 7 11 4 Classification by weekly earnings. Number wage earners. $15............................................................. Over $15 but less than $20....................... Unemployed............................................. m............................................ 27 5 5 3 TotaL.............................................. 66 O f the 66 wage earners recorded in the foregoing* table only 4 were earning less than $12 a week; 22 were earning from $12 to $14.99 a week; 27 were earning $15, and 5 between $15 and $20; and o f those not ill only 5 were not employed. Nearly all were receiving the equivalent o f at least $2 and $2.50 per day at steady employment. Contrast with this the fact that in NEGRO MIGRATION IN 191G-17. 23 the summer of 1917 money wages on the farm iii Mississippi ranged from 75 cents to $1.25. On the other hand, rents in Chicago are at least four or five times higher than in a Mississippi town, if the experience o f 41 families reported by Miss Clark is typical. It should be observed, however, that the differences in the character of living make comparison con fusing. Then, too, a Negro earning $12 to $15 a week in Chicago has left, after paying out even as much as $3 for a week’s rent o f one room, from $9 to $12 for other expenses. On the other hand, 39 of the 41 families were living in single rooms. Such congestion is prob ably much worse than in the ordinary Mississippi community. The obvious need for adjustment to northern urban conditions is being met effectively by the Chicago League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes (an organization composed chiefly o f Negroes) and by cooperating welfare agencies. A report o f this organization says: Organized four months ago, the league has concentrated the forces available for service to the Negro emigrant. Organizations comprising more than 1,200 persons and more than 30 smaller organizations have been enlisted to cooperate through an executive board associated with the league. Departments for trav elers* aid, factory investigation, and employment have been formed. In addi tion a block system o f visiting has been devised and sections have been assigned to organizations and clubs. Under direction, it is planned for visitors to go to the homes of the newcomers and establish friendly contact as a basis for assist ance and instruction. An outline o f topics1 including care o f health, cleanliness, — deportment in public places, care o f children, dress, efficiency, high rents, over crowding—has been made. Along these lines the visitor will give advice and suggestions and will emphasize the importance o f their observance in estab lishing new residence. This service rendered by the resident people to their own race will be invaluable in giving social anchorage. The league, which maintains an employment bureau, reports that the de mand for common laborers exceeds the supply/ Wages received regularly for steady work are the basis of family advancement. The small number unem ployed were strangers who did not know o f the faculties o f the league until the visitor called. Conditions for the employment o f women are not so favorable. The league is unable to place the women applying for work owing to scarcity o f jobs and un fitness in domestic training. To remedy this club women are meeting appli cants at league rooms to instruct them in the requirements and methods in use in northern homes. Efforts are also being made to secure suitable factory work for girls and women. The report adds: In cooperation with the league are the churches which number the largest membership among Negroes. Only 4 families were without church affiliations. Belonging to the Baptist Church are 39 families, to the Methodist 22, and to other churches 5. Establishing church connections is o f inestimable value in making social contact. Visitors extend invitations and emphasize the benefit from immediate identification with a religious organization. 1 Demand in September, 1917, showed some signs o f slackening, but em ploym ent open ings continued in near-by communities. 24 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. The visitor from the School o f Civics found in nearly every family need for friendly service or counsel. With special knowledge o f organized social agen cies, she acted as the link connecting those in need of services and the supply. Little children who had not been enrolled in school in Chicago were accom panied by her on the difficult “ first day.” Illness in need o f attention was found in several families and the visiting nurse was called in. In other cases cards were given to dispensaries. To restless' boys she suggested the Y. M. C. A. for companionship and recreation. Better methods in housekeeping were suggested. Directions in regard to employment were given. Her interest and help extended through the entire family, its work and play and other interests. CONDITION OF M ISSISSIPPI NEGROES IN CHICAGO. In view o f the need o f the Negro immigrant for aid in getting adjusted to the conditions of life in a northern city, it is interesting to note the results in 21 cases of Negroes from Mississippi, which were followed up in September of this year by another investigator. Ten families, it was found, had gone to housekeeping; two single women, teachers, had gone back to their schools, after working all summer in a tobacco factory; two other families had moved to Wau kegan, near Chicago; and one woman with her son had moved to the suburbs. In six instances the people had moved without leaving their address, and so could not be located. A bricklayer had had trouble in getting work in Chicago, although he asserted he had earned from $5 to $6 a day in Mississippi. For a time he had to work in the stockyards, where he obtained from $2.50 to $2.75 a day. Later he got work at his trade in the suburbs at about the same wages he had earned in Mississippi. A young woman in domestic service reported that she earned $8 a week with room and board. In Mississippi $4 a week with a house in the yard and board is a high wage. Another woman, a laundress, who in Mississippi, earned $3 to $4 a week when working regularly, has difficulty in getting work in Chicago; but it should be observed that capable laundresses in this city can get $2 a day with one meal hnd car fare. Wages o f seven men in this group o f Mississippi Negroes were reported as follow s: Wages. S12 to $14 a week....................................... $14 to S15 a week............ .......................... Number wage earners. 2 1 Wages. $3.50 a day in foundry.............................. $5.50 a day as bricklaye-.......................... Number wage earners. 3 1 The investigator, a young woman from the Yazoo Delta in Mis sissippi, knew personally a number of other Mississippi Negroes in Chicago besides this group. When questioned as to whether she NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 25 knew any from her own section o f Mississippi, she stated that she knew six adult Negroes from Clarksdale, in the prosperous upper delta. Her information is that even these were actuated primarily by a desire for better wages and better working conditions. She was ac quainted altogether with six women teachers—two in the group inves tigated and four others. Five of these had worked during the summer vacation in a tobacco factory, one in domestic service; but all had re turned to Mississippi by September to teach. This is significant in two ways: (1) School-teachers’ wages for Negroes in Mississippi are such that tobacco factory wages are attractive for vacations; (2) there is a constant flow of ideas from north to south, not only through the Negro press, but through select, individual southern Negroes, devoted to their race and its welfare. But perhaps the most sig nificant fact brought out by the investigator was the apparent ten dency for the Negro wife and mother in Chicago to stay at home and keep house. A ll the information that I have been able to get emphasizes the pull to the North as based on genuine advantages, even though there is congestion in the housing situation. This congestion is a clue to one means o f competition with the North available to Mississippi planters, namely the construction of comfortable, sanitary, and at tractive—though inexpensive—houses, with such other advantages as gardens, poultry yards, truck patches, and cow sheds, together with provision for some time allowance for attending to these; for it must be borne in mind that such facilities without time to care for them would be futile. Besides, one of the greatest competing attractions of the city is the shorter working day. A LIVING W A G E THE P RA CTIC AL NECESSITY. From the standpoint of practical policy, perhaps the most im portant matter, certainly the most urgent, concerns provision of a living wage. Although the range o f wages is from about 75 cents on farms in the southwest to $1 or $1.25 in the northern counties; this wage, unless intelligently supplemented by supervised produc tion of foodstuffs by the worker for his own use, is not enough to maintain the Negro in a high state of physical efficiency, especially because food prices have risen much more rapidly than money wages. Rehabilitation is, however, already taking place in that choice hill region known as the brown loam. This lies next to the delta and was the first to feel the inroads of the boll weevil and the first to recover. Then, too, it is not deficient in mineral plant foods, and needs only a few restorative crops o f legumes to give maximum yields o f corn, hay, and truck. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 26 But the hunger push will continue for perhaps the majority of the Negroes in a total area in the hills, comprising about one-half the lands in the State, until more capital and a reorganized agriculture and a shift o f the surplus farm Negro population have relieved the strain. The urge o f hunger is felt, however, by many Negroes throughout the entire State.* Perhaps the most reliable index to a general condition of wages on too low a scale to allow maintenance o f physical well-being and the attainable maximum of labor energy is to be found in the telltale record o f pellagra in the past three years. P E L L A G R A A S AN IN D E X TO HUNGER W AGES. In 1915 the State board of health began a systematic campaign o f education against this disease of malnutrition, and in 1916 the rate of sickness from it was cut in half. Last year crops were short pretty generally throughout Mississippi except in the upper delta. The effect o f this on the pellagra sickness rate is revealed by a com parison of the number o f cases from January to June, inclusive, in the three successive years of 1915, 1916, and 1917. For the State as a whole the number of cases declined in 1916 over 43 per cent, but in the first half o f 1917 the number of cases as compared with the same period of 1916, jumped up nearly 23 per cent. In the prosperous upper delta the decline in the pellagra rate has continued although the disease has meantime been increasing in the State as a whole. In five counties o f this delta region, the rate has declined one-eighth over the corresponding period in 1916 and two-thirds over that period in 1915. On the other hand, eight short-crop counties in the hills show an increase o f nearly one-half in the pellagra cases in the first six months of 1917 as against those in the similar period for 1916. But can changes in the pellagra sickness rate be accepted as any index to living conditions and to the prevalence of hunger wages? Competent authorities hold that the work of Nesbitt, public health officer in Wilmington and in the county of New Hanover, N. C., demonstrates this correlation. From 1911 to 1915 there was a marked decline in Wilmington in the general death rate, in the death rates for those under 5 years of age, for those suffering from enterocolitis, from typhoid, and from the group o f communicable diseases (includ ing pellagra). But for pellagra by itself the death rate by years is as follows: Per 100,000 o f population. 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 ______38. 83 ______21.38 _____ 16.69 ______38.26 ______64.6 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 27 These figures show a three-year decline in pellagra mortality fol lowed by a doubling and quadrupling o f the rate within the next two years. Here is the explanation: 1912 and 1913 were years of excep tional prosperity; trucking and other industries were prosperous; there was plenty o f work for a ll; wages were good; and food prices were 15 to 20 per cent lower than at the time o f Nesbitt’s report in February, 1916. After war broke out in 1914 there was an immediate business depression, more or less continuous up to the date o f Nes bitt’s report, especially up to June, 1915. Meantime general improve ment in public sanitation had resulted in the lowering o f the death rate in other diseases, as already indicated. Analysis o f the data which I obtained from Hie State board o f health in Mississippi corroborates Nesbitt’s conclusion that busi ness depression, lack o f employment, a limited market for products, and increased price o f food, with consequent increase of poverty, taken together, increase the number of- cases o f pellagra very defi nitely. Does this mean that there must be a heavy increase in money wages and in money income in order to insure physical efficiency o f the plantation worker? Not necessarily. For as Goldberger’s work seems to have shown pellagra is the result of a monotonous, low proteid diet; and this can readily be corrected by making use of poten tial plantation food resources, such as variety and abundance in meats and vegetables, as well as cereals. T o sum up the economic and social facts stimulating Negro migra tion, we reach the following conclusions: The economic motive is present in nearly every case; but in addition belief that there is need for fairer treatment in business dealings, in the courts o f justices o f the peace (and even in higher courts when a white is a party to the controversy), as well as in the schools, is operative in many, and probably in a majority, of instances. AGENTS OF M IGRATION. Many o f the whites whom I interviewed laid great stress on the activities o f labor agents as a cause of emigration. The truth seems to be that the white labor agent was and to some extent still is an important means for acquainting Negroes with the superior wages o f the North, and with the greater degree o f equality o f treatment in the courts, in the schools, in the cars, at the polls, and elsewhere. But since the parties to whom the labqr agent went, if they responded, left Mississippi, it has not been practicable to get direct information from those securing free transportation through such agents. The repeated statements o f men o f standing, both whites and Negroes, NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 28 leave no doubt, however, that free transportation could be had for the asking by Negroes willing to go north in the autumn of 1916, although the labor agent himself is inclined to be secretive, his occu pation not being regarded favorably as a rule by white communities. The impression prevails that the white labor agent is still somewhat active, but that more and more dependence is placed upon Negro emigrants who have been sent back to draw others after them. I quote upon this point a letter from a well-known Negro educator, who stands high with both the whites and his own race: There were a few labor agents for awhile, but they are not very abundant now; though I was told up north by some colored men that several white agents were in X at various times and the white people never knew i t Parties said it was the first time in their lives they ever knew colored people to keep anything or that it didn’t leak out in some way, but they kept it absolutely secret. Another labor agent is the colored man who comes back proclaiming he has come to stay, don’t like the North, and is back to die in the Sunny South. Nine times out of ten he is back after a crew and pretty soon disappears and a hun dred more with him. Uncle Sam is the most effective agent at this time. All who are away are writing for others to come on in, the water’s fine. A competent observer in charge of a philanthropic Negro employ ment agency in Chicago confirms the impression I derived from re peated statements made to me in Mississippi, when he declares that, the railroads and the United States mails have been the principal “ labor agents.” As to the railroads this is true in more ways than one. Many Negroes have been taken north by the railroads to work in construc tion camps. For a time at least it was alleged that Negroes could get free transportation over the roads to northern points; but whether such transportation was furnished by the railroads them selves or not I was unable to learn. It should be borne in mind in connection with this that the chief means o f self-education possessed by the Negro worker is travel. And the love to travel is commonly regarded as a racial trait. Hence, “ riding to the end o f the line,” especially when it cost little or nothing, was promptly taken up by him. The Negro philosophy to the effect that “ I ’se gwineter live till I die anyhow, so I might just as well go up north,” was cited to me by a prominent Negro leader as doubtless a factor in the movement o f the masses. UN ITED STATES M AILS STIM ULATE M IGRATION. The United States mails have been increasingly effective in pro mpting the migration in two different ways. Letters from Negroes in the North—especially letters containing that unanswerable evi NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 29 dence o f better conditions, considerable sums o f actual cash—have probably been of unsurpassed effectiveness in stimulating the later migration. A white banker told me of one young Negro who regu larly every two months sent back to his aged father $75. Other re mittances for smaller, though considerable, amounts were reported to me in a number of communities. The northern Negro press has also had access through the mails or the express companies to the towns of Mississippi, notably a weekly published in Chicago, whose editor knows clearly what he wants for his people and why he wants it, and is able to express his ideas and feelings so as to arouse response in the Negro masses. This paper has a large southern circulation. Within a fortnight after some “ booster” articles on northern conditions appeared in this sheet last spring, a Negro welfare agency received from its readers 940 letters from Negroes desiring to leave the South. O f these 511 were analyzed and their distribution by States noted, as follow s: L ou isia n a ______________________________________________ 85 M ississippi_____________________________________________ 87 A labam a___________________________________________ —— 84 Georgia __________________________________________________102 Florida ________________________________________________ 79 Scattering ______________________________________________ 94 T o t a l__________________________________________________ 511 Equal justice in the courts and the abolition of lynching is a mat ter upon which the northern Negro press lays emphasis. Some of the more self-contained journals feature quotations from accounts in the white press of such outrages as the affair at East St. Louis. The periodical mentioned in the preceding paragraph makes skillful use o f a recent lynching in which the head of the dead man was sev ered from his body, so it is alleged, and thrown into a crowd of Negroes on the principal Negro street. A photograph o f what pur ports to be the head as it lies on the deserted street is published under the telling caption, “ Not Belgium—America.” Such terribly effective publicity as this spreads the terrorizing and hate-breeding influence o f crimes o f violence committed by whites upon Negroes far beyond the localities in which they took place. And this pub licity is all the more effective, because there is a natural tendency on the part of this Negro press to minimize such justification as may exist. The Chicago Negro weekly referred to may be an extreme illustra tion o f the attitude and policy of the northern Negro press as it circulates in the South. Certainly the single copies I have seen of Negro papers published in New York, Washington, and Indian 30 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. apolis have been more self-contained. The significant point, how ever, is that this extreme Chicago paper is the one that circulates most largely among the Negro masses in Mississippi. Its popularity is evinced by the fact that in an important town o f that State one little Negro boy formerly had trouble in disposing o f 10 copies a week, so that he was often late at Sunday school. Now, since the exodus has begun, he has had no trouble in selling his papers in time to get to Sunday school; and many other small boys are doing a lively business selling additional copies. In July o f this year a circulation of 80,000 in the United States was claimed for this weekly, and I was told recently on what seems unquestionable authority that the circulation is now 93,000. A reputable Negro in Louisiana to whom I was directed by a prominent white leader, said o f this paper: wMy people grab it like a mule grabs a mouthful o f fine fodder.” The influence of the northern Negro press in advertising the real advantages o f the North, both in wages and in living condi tions, can not be exaggerated. It has been apparently quite as effec tive in promoting discontent with treatment received locally at the hands o f the whites in the courts, in the schools, in political life, and (among town Negroes) in the distribution of public improvements, such as street paving. Enforced segregation is also inveighed against. The Negroes pay more heed to this northern press, because o f the suspicion that the local Negro press can be influenced by the white community. A single instance of this—though not in Mississippi— came to my attention. The manager of a business organization in an important southern city told me of changing the tone o f the local Negro newspaper concerning migration by giving it advertising matter. Shortly after the second outbreak at East St. Louis I fell into con versation with a Pullman porter. He remarked: “ We pay no atten tion to what the southern white papers report; I ’m waiting to get home and see what my Chicago paper has to say.” Such a comment suggests that the Negroes feel the press o f the white South holds a brief against the northern migration. Another Negro informed me that many o f his people believed the trouble in East St. Louis was incited by white southerners to deter Negro migration. A publicspirited judge who takes a friendly interest in the Negroes, told me that at first a great many o f them in his community did not believe the East St. Louis riots took place at all, and that the report was a mere canard of the southern white press to scare the Negroes from going north. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 31 ATTITU DE OF NEGRO LEADERS. The passivity o f local negro leaders generally leaves the influence o f the northern Negro press without effective counter agents in Mississippi. This passivity is due to several things. The local Negro leader is quite often a professional or business man. I f he urges his people to stay in Mississippi, he is at once under sus picion as talking in his own interest to hold his clients or customers or else as being a tool of the whites. On this point I quote from a letter by one o f the ablest Negroes in the State to the editor o f a white paper who had said plainly the causes o f the exodus were due to lack o f consideration in three respects, namely, no adequate school facilities, unfair treatment in the courts, and low wages. As to this the Negro leader wrote: You have certainly hit the right trail, and if the suggestions that you now offer are carried out you are going to get results. The professional and business Negroes are very much dejected on account o f the exodus; and, speaking selfishly, they are all but forced away on account of making a living. There is not a Negro who would not prefer to live in the South. ♦ * * I f you can have your suggestions put into execution, it will give us some thing to work on. We can then call our people together and effectively inveigh against this thing. Confidentially, it is the most unpopular thing that any pro fessional or business ^egro can do, i. e., say anything against the exodus. For instance, Z wrote an article against the exodus, and his business has not paid expenses since, I am reliably informed. A Negro highly spoken o f by the whites in his community told me that he had spoken a short time before in a public gathering urg ing the members of his race to remain where they were. He stated that one o f his audience rose and said: “ You tell us that the South is the best place for us. What guaranties can you give us that our life and liberty will be safe if we stay? ” “ When he asked me that, there was nothing I could answer,” this Negro continued, “ so I have not again urged my race to remain.” A few months previous to this the lynching o f a Negro had been barely prevented by officers o f the law in that community, and a feeling o f uncertainty about personal protection was rife, perhaps, as a consequence. Another Negro o f equally high standing, who had cooperated actively though silently with local white leaders to prevent injustice to. a member o f his race, said: “ I am discouraged over the outlook. Frankly, the thing that discourages me most is the helplessness o f the southern white man who wants to help us.” His point was that he believed southern white men were in danger o f social censure from their own race if they exerted themselves actively on behalf o f fair dealing for the Negroes in the courts and 32 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. elsewhere. The secrecy that whites had felt it necessary to employ T in order to secure justice for the Negro in trouble, mentioned above, was the thing that had depressed and discouraged this leader. The fundamental cause, however, of the apathy of the local Negro leaders to the migration is that at heart they rejoice over it. The feeling is general that the things they desire for their race will come only as concessions prompted by the self-interest of the whites. These leaders believe they see in the growing need for Negro labor so powerful an appeal to the self-interest of the white employer and the white planter as to make it possible to get an influential white group to exert itself actively to provide better schools; to insure full settlements between landlord and tenant on all plantations at the end o f the year; to bring about abolition of the abuses in the courts of justices of the peace, operating under the fee system, as well as a fair trial in cases where a white man is involved; and to obtain living wages for the Negro masses. These leaders believe that in some sections not enough Negroes have departed as yet to compel the economic self-interest o f the white capitalist and land lord; and therefore when, in their thinking, such Negro leaders separate their personal interest from the racial interest, they are silently hoping that the migration may continue in such increasing proportions as to bring about a successful bloodless revolution, as suring equal treatment in business, in the schools, on the trains, and under the law. The local leaders differ from those controlling the northern Negro press in that as a class in our interviews they have laid no emphasis on the use of the ballot. Said one: 441 do not care to vote; I only ask that those who do have the ballot shall see to it that the rulers whom they choose give to white and black equal protection under the law.” In my judgment, the most serious weakness in the present situation is the lack of contact and of personal acquaintance between the white leaders and the Negro leaders in local communities. Speaking generally, the white leaders are familiar with the existence of the Negro field hand and the house servant, while at the same time they are out of touch with the handful of thoughtful and practically educated Negroes who guide their people. These leaders are not asking for social intermingling, but only for equal opportunity for the self-development of their race. The significance of this group is well stated by one o f their number in this fashion: Whether you whites like it or not, you have educated some of us; and now we are persons, and we want the rest of our race to have a chance to become persons, too. That is what makes this exodus different from any other that has taken place before. We are helping the masses to think. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 33 The fundamental need for closer and more sympathetic contact between the leaders o f the two races locally is well brought out by a parallel analysis as to the' change in relationship between the two races during the past three generations. CHANGE IN RELATIONS OF W H ITE AND NEGRO. A man o f mixed blood, a country preacher, gave this account o f the change as illustrated in the three generations o f his own fam ily: “ My father,” said he, “ was born and brought up as a slave. He never knew anything else until after I was born. He was taught his place and was content to keep it. But when he brought me up he let some o f the old customs slip by. But I know there are cer tain things that I must do, and I do them, and it doesn’t worry me; yet in bringing up my own son, I let some more o f the old customs slip by. He has been through the eighth grade; he reads easily. F or a year I have been keeping him from going to Chicago; but he tells me this is his last crop ; that in the fall he’s going. He says, ‘ When a young white man talks rough to me, I can’t talk rough to him. You can stand that; I can’t. I have some education, and inside I has the feelin’s o f a white man. I ’m goin’.’ ” Compare with this the account given me by a leading political thinker in Mississippi o f the changed attitude in three generations o f his own fam ily: “ My father owned slaves,” he told me. “ He looked out for them; told them what to do. He loved them and they loved him. I was brought up during and after, the war. I had a ‘ black mammy ’ and she was devoted to me and I to her; and I played with Negro children. In a way I ’m fond o f the N egro; I understand him and he understands m e; but the bond between us is not as close as it was between my father and his slaves. On the other hand, my children have grown up without black playmates and without a ‘ black mammy.’ The attitude o f my children is less sympathetic toward the Negroes than my own. They don't •know each other." NORTHERN VERSUS SOUTHERN NEGRO LE A D E R SH IP. The local Negro leader wants to stay in the South; he would be glad to use his influence to induce the masses to stay, provided they can get as good an opportunity fo r self-development in Mississippi as in Ohio, Indiana, or Illinois. But the actual situation is that he is not using his influence against the migration, and this leaves the field clear fo r the northern negro press to call constant atten tion to opportunities in the North and to promote dissatisfaction 70752*— 19--- 8 34 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-1*7. with conditions in the South. The ability of those in control of this northern press is conspicuous; they have well-nigh a religious en thusiasm in their work for their race; and the more extreme among them adopt a most uncompromising attitude toward the white South. A conversation I had recently with the editor of one of these northern Negro newspapers illustrates this. I had suggested that in addition to the other activities of his paper, he should call attention to communities and plantations where the relations between the races were friendly and the Negro prosperous; where, in short, the Negro felt that he got a square deal. In reply he said: “ I will not call attention to any good thing a southern white man does for my race so long as he tickles me with one hand and strikes me with the other. The very men who are giving an honest deal to my people on their plantations are with holding other rights from them. They keep them from having good schools; they prevent them from having the ballot; and many of them make the girls and women o f my race the mothers of their bastard children, and then they uphold a law which forbids them to take the mother of these bastards and protect her and them by mak ing her a wife. I am not an advocate of intermarriage,” he con tinued, “ but I do say that laws against intermarriage should be abolished, so that if white men will have children by the women o f my race they can do it with honor to all.” .Such an attitude of an influential northern Negro editor is matter for grave concern, when we consider that southern whites are out o f touch with local Negro leaders; that the latter are passive in this Negro emigration; and that meantime this northern press reaches the Negro masses, especially in the towns; and that from the towns the influence works its way back to the country districts, REPRESSION W IL L NO T W ORK. The policy o f repression has been advocated in at least one in stance. Effort has been made to secure exclusion o f a northern Negro paper from the mails in the neighboring State of Louisiana. This effort has failed; and in the interest of the white South it is fortunate that it has failed, for the Negro is suspicious of everything that the white man does. The Negro sees clearly that it is to the interest of the southern white capitalist to keep him for his labor. Hence all the advice about staying in the South that we shower on the Negro, he reads backward. Attempt to suppress the circulation o f northern Negro publications would react against the southern white man, and would stimulate further migration. NEGRO MIGRATION IK 1916-11. 35 CONFERENCE A N D COOPERATION W IL L W O R K . But this newspaper influence can be counteracted by establishing frank and confidential relationship with the local negro leaders and with the more farseeing northern Negro editors. “ I know,” said one local Negro leader, “ that conditions can not be changed in a day; but give us something definite to go on and then we can and will talk to our people and urge them to stay.” NEGRO LEADERS O tf CAUSES OF MIGRATION. I f this reasoning be correct, it becomes highly significant to in quire, What are the causes o f the migration as the Negro leaders see the matter ? For the answer to this question will throw light on what local communicities may or may not need to do to secure continuance o f a needful supply o f labor. Again, if certain communities find themselves unwilling to remove the causes o f the migration or to make clear to Negroes that such causes are not operative in these com munities, the answer to this question will emphasize the need for meeting the labor situation by other methods than by inducing the Negro to stay. An educated Negro, a professional man in one o f the principal towns outside o f the delta, gave me the following analysis o f the exodus: The prime cause is higher wages' in the North, coupled with the stagnant condition of southern industries. Here wage increase has been only occa sional, although in this community in the past six months, since the movement has begun to be felt, .wages have gone up from 15 to 25 per cent. But the cost o f living has risen faster than wages. Contributory influences include labor agents, need o f better schools and better poUce protection, and lack o f incentive. Concerning the school situation he declared that the Negro schools in comparison with those for whites were held in poor buildings, poorly equipped; that the teachers were poorly paid; that Negro high schools are almost universally wanting; and that the State school at Alcorn is overcrowded now, while there are two or three times as many students who would like to attend if there were room for them. As to lack o f incentive to effort, he said that not more than one or two Negro physicians pass the State board of examiners each year; that some who have failed before this board have subsequently been passed by boards in other States; and that as a consequence only a few now apply in Mississippi. This apparent policy o f discouraging educated professional men among the Negroes from coming to 36 NEGBO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. Mississippi is being applied also, be believes, to candidates for license as dentists. The politicians com m ute to the racial unrest. Many feel that they must “ declare against the Negroes the first thing” after an nouncing for office. He cited an instance o f a politician’s advocating giving no employment to Negroes upon municipal public works.1 He asserts that on plantations there is a widespread omission of the business practice of giving Negroes itemized accounts, and that the labor income o f Negroes has not risen in the same ratio as the profits o f the white planter.2 When I suggested that the solution of the problem of the Negro on inadequate wages in the hills might be found in his moving to a plantation in the delta, the comment of this leader was: “ The Negro may make more money in the delta, but there he has no incentives. The farmer who has to struggle in the hills is better off because he is struggling. In the delta there is a terrible monotony. On the typical plantation one sees an endless row of huts; but barns, smokehouses, henhouses, gardens, and live stock are conspicuous by their absence.” Despite exceptions, this, he believes, is the rule throughout the delta. The result is that the Negro has nothing to think about; nothing to stimulate him to action. The landowner <Joes all the thinking for him. Hence there can be no development. The hope of the Negro, this colored leader concludes, lies in the education and the liberalizing of the white man. NEGRO SUGGESTIONS ON PRACTICAL PLANTATION MANAGEMENT. Another professional man among the Negroes, regarded by some capable judges as the ablest member of his race in Mississippi, out lined the policy which, if followed on plantations, would, he believed, hold Negro labor. This policy would call for healthful and com fortable housing, better school facilities, and reform o f the credit or advancing system. As regards schools on delta plantations he complained of the absence o f suitable buildings, of the mode of choosing teachers, resulting frequently in the selection of women o f easy virtue as teachers o f the young; o f the apparent policy in the larger communities o f refusing to employ ambitious Negro men as school principals. The Negro, he* 1 T his politician, it should be noted, was^ defeated, although the Negro leader did not mention this fa ct to the writer. * R epresentative white southerners, commenting on the above statement, say that Negroes should recognize that in the South the Negro’s opportunity to work is a right, but that in the N orth it is only a privilege. On the other hand, I have seen a statement by a w hite labor leader in the South to the effect that in case o f com petition, the white laborer in the South w ill not allow the Negro to take the job aw ay from him. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 37 declared, needs real education, and this is not promoted by repressing and limiting Negro ambition. The length of school term is too short; the pay o f the teacher too lpw to permit genuine training; and the subjects taught are limited in scope. The credit system he regards as unsatisfactory; it deters the better class o f workers from coming into or remaining in the community. The premium is placed on the negro that is an extravagant spender; and this is the type of Negro that is likely to be inefficient. The crop mortgage combined with exorbitant commissions on sales of cotton; the charging o f interest on cash advanced to the Negro before he draws it for use; the requirement, where it exists, that the Negro shall buy in the plantation commissary at credit prices while being charged interest on cash advances even after he has delivered a portion of his cotton, itself equivalent to cash— all this spells a kind of business inefficiency under which the Negro chafes. The third Negro, who is in a position to form an intelligent opinion about the whole State, says that Negroes are leaving because of lack of good schools, because of lack of itemized accounts and full settle ments on many plantations, and because of starvation wages. Three Negroes in Memphis, who were recommended to me as valu able informants by representative whites, summed up the situation as follows: There has been for many years widespread unrest among the Negroes; but there was no obvious outlet. Now the high wages in the industrial North afford such an outlet. But even under these cir cumstances some local exciting cause is necessary to start the migra tion. This exciting cause varies. It may be the advent of the boll weevil, or the coming of a destructive storm, the substitution o f live stock and pasture in the place of cotton under the old cultural system, or it may be a lynching. Once the movement has started, it grows like a snowball; for everybody is inclined to do what every one else is doing. Some concrete evidence on this point is available. A t my request a Negro social worker in Memphis had interviews during July and August of this year with 206 individuals who were planning to leave that city for the North. O f these, 142 gave as the reason the desire to better their economic condition. There were 23 who said they wanted more “ privileges” than they could have in the South. u Privileges,” be it noted, is the term o f the ordinary Negro for better social conditions.1 Forty-one gave both economic and social better ment as the cause of their leave taking. Some o f the younger onesi i Am ong the rougher element o f Negroes from M ississippi, “ privilege ” as a m otive was defined by a Negro teacher as being mainly the privUege o f hitting back, o f drinking, and cursing. 38 NEGBO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. said, 4 I ’m tired o f being treated like a dog.” Many o f those inter 4 viewed were seen after the occurrence o f the second riot in East St. Louis. They expressed the opinion th^t this happening need not deter them, because they believed the Government would step in and give protection in the future. Some o f those who were leaving gave as one reason that they were going because others had gone. Thip Memphis testimony is o f practical value for Mississippi con ditions, because Memphis is to a considerable extent a Mississippi town. One colored man whom I interviewed in Chicago, after telling me that he would keep silent about anything that he would be silent about in Mississippi, expressed the opinion that better living conditions in the North were not the same stimulus to the migration of the country Negro as to the one in town. 4 I f you have never eaten lemon pie, 4 you don’t know how fond you may be o f it. A fter you have tasted it, it’s different.” He believed that improved living conditions in the northern cities* even though not the attracting force for the country Negro, would l$eep him from returning South. This colored man laid special emphasis on the city housing o f the North. 4 A country 4 Negro,” he said, 4 may not use the bathtub in the house he rents in 4 Chicago; but it’s there and he can write home about it.” The whole situation as the Negro sees it was summed up by one educator in these words: 4The Negro wants a square deal.” 4 Although the testimony was not entirely uniform on the question, of the extent to which better schools for the children was a motive in the exodus; the consensus of opinion was that this was a contributing cause somewhat among town negroes, but to a lesser degree in the country; yet operative with a few there. This general conclusion seemed to be borne out by the statements o f inquirers about northern opportunities who wrote to a Negro welfare agency in Chicago from Mississippi and neighboring States. In one group o f letters analyzed, 120 gave low wages or irregular or no em ployment as the cause o f their inquiry, 115 expressed dissatisfaction with the treatment they received from the whites, and 19 wrote that schools for their children was the motive. The fact, however, that the leaders and the town Negroes stress schools is a point to be considered seriously. It may be well, there fore, to state briefly at this juncture the facts about the public-school system for Negroes in Mississippi as set forth in two tables in the report o f the United States Bureau o f Education on Negro Educa tion, volume 2, pages 333, 335: 39 NEGBO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. White. 786,111 Population. 1910......................................................................................................... 173,020 Children 6 to 14 years, 1910............................................. ........................................ Children fi t o 14 yfljirs in 51 co u n tie s, 1910 .................................................................... ..... 121,233 Teachers’ salaries in public schools in 51 counties <*................................................ $1,284,910 $10.60 Teachers’ salaries per child in 51 counties, 1912-13 & ................................................ 5.2 Percentage i 1 literate in 1910 .............................................................................. . 85.8 Percentage living in rural communities in 1910....................................................... Negro. 1,009,487 238,101 150,758 $340,459 $2.26 35.4 90.6 « Teachers’ salaries (or ottter counties not available. b These figures were computed b y dividing the teachers’ salaries in public schools by the number of chil dren 6 to 14 years of age enumerated by the United States census of 1910. The public-school teachers o f the 51 counties reporting received $1,625,369 in salaries in 1912-13. Of this sum $1,284,910 was for the teachers o f 121,233 white children and $340,459 was for the teachers of 150,758 colored children. On a per capita basis this is $10.60 for each white child of school age and $2.26 for each colored child * * *. The inequalities are greatest in counties with the largest proportion of Negroes. The per capita sums for white children decrease and those for colored children increase with considerable regularity as the proportion of Negroes becomes smaller. The extent of this regularity appears in the following table, which shows the per capita expenditure for county groups based on the percentage of Negro population: County groups. (Percentage of Negroes in tne population.) Counties under 10 per cent...................................................... Counties 10 to 25 per cent....................................................... Counties 25 to 50 per cent................................................... Counties 50 to 75 per cent........................................................ Counties 75 to 100 per cent.................................................... . Negro White school school population. population. 2,846 13,060 71,608 24,882 8,837 280 3,580 45,202 54,112 47,584 Per capita white. $5.67 6.54 9.04 14.25 20.49 Per capita Negro. $3.52 2.51 2.29 2.24 2.23 The high per capita cost for white children in the “ black belt ” counties is partially explained by the fact that the children are few in number and widely scattered. The smaller cost o f schools for colored children is due partly to the lower wage scale and partly to the very limited provision for high-school education. It is apparent, however, that this explanation by no means accounts for the wide divergencies in the “ black b e lt” counties. In addition to salaries of teachers in white public schools, the State appropriated $336,584 to maintain one normal school and three institutes o f higher learning for whites. On the other hand, to the salaries o f colored public-school teachers the State added $11,000 to supplement the income o f the agricultural and mechanical school for colored people, largely maintained by the Federal Gov ernment. The report adds: It is sometimes thought that the liberal private contributions to private colored schools make up for the inequalities in the public appropriations for the education of white and colored youth. In Mississippi, however, the total expenditures for both public and private schools for colored people are con siderably less than the expenditures for white teachers in public schools alone 40 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. Continuing, the report gives a summary o f Negro educational needs (vol. 2, pp. 338-339): 1. The strengthening and extension o f the elementary school system. The only agencies able to supply this need are the States, the counties, and the local public-school districts. 2. The increase of teacher-training facilities. To this end secondary schools with teacher-training courses should be provided, more summer schools and teachers* institutes should be maintained and private schools should cooperate with the State department o f education by placing more emphasis on teacher training courses in accordance with State standards. 3. More provision for instruction in gardening, household arts, and simple industries. In developing this work counties should realize the possibilities o f the Jeanes Fund industrial supervisors. 4. More instruction in agriculture and in the problems of rural life, so that teachers and leaders may be developed for a people 80 per cent rural. 5. The maintenance of'industrial high schools in cities. The picture would appear darker than existing tendencies would justify, i f one did not call attention to the growing interest in Negro education, the high quality o f men at the head o f the State depart ment o f public instruction, and the activities o f the supervisors o f colored industrial education, supported partly by communities within the State and partly by the Jeanes Fund. ATTITU D ES OF W H ITES TOW ARD NEGROES. Now that attention has been given to the silent indorsement o f the Negro exodus by the leaders o f the race and to the underlying causes o f their passivity as found in their beliefs about the attitude and policy o f the whites toward opportunity for Negro self-develop ment, it is worth while to inquire what are the prevailing attitudes o f the white leaders. In order to show these attitudes in their proper setting, a brief reference to the traditional beliefs o f the white toward the Negro as fixed in the Reconstruction period is essential. In that era when, as the Negro who was a slave the day before himself expressed it, “ the bottom rail was on top,” the whites were reinforced in the con viction that the Negro could not profit by schooling and that it only added to the embarrassments o f maintaining law and order to give the Negro educational opportunity. The Negro, it was commonly believed, aspired to social intercourse, intermarriage, and the ballot And it was believed that to grant the ballot would be subversive o f white civilization under these circumstances. In 1890 the new con stitution enfranchised those who could read. This, in view o f the conviction about Negro aspirations and Negro political incapacity, operated as a deterrent to the white in providing adequate school facilities. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 41 Meantime the old close personal relations existing between the finer spirits o f the two races have lapsed in great degree and there have come quite generally in its place two different attitudes among the whites. The small white farmer on the unproductive soils that constitute a large part o f the uplands regards the Negro and nis child as taking the place in the sun needed by the white farmer for his own children. There is barely enough to go around, even if the whole product o f the soil is reserved for the whites. The white landlord group, on the other hand, has a direct economic interest in such a degree o f Negro well-being as w ill insure a de pendable supply o f the kind o f labor which they know how to deal with. There is, however, a growing separation in spirit between this group and the Negroes; the economic tie tends more and more to be the principal connecting link. Under these circumstances the attitude o f economic exploitation with which students o f labor prob lems are fam iliar in the militant white manufacturers’ group has an unusual chance to flourish in southern agriculture. This is all the truer because under southern conditions the employing class can buttress their economic exploitation o f the weaker Negro laborer and absolve themselves by appeal to race prejudice, which in many cases seems to have become a sort o f religion. The white employer has been sincere in this attitude; he has honestly believed it was better for the Negro himself to keep him ignorant and to deal with him on the animalistic rather than on the human plane. These are the attitudes o f the older groups o f white men—the small white farmer who holds the political power in the State and in the uplands, and the white capitalist who as planter, banker, and business man holds the economic power in the State and in the delta. Another attitude is coming into being: The educated son o f the small white farmer and the educated son o f the white capitalist and planter are beginning to see that perpetuation o f ignorance is no solution o f human problems. Out o f all these attitudes arise differ ences o f opinion as to the good and evil in the exodus. Some wish to see all the Negroes leave the State; others want to see enough Negroes go to change their m ajority in the State as a whole and in certain localities into a minority. Business men and planters are concerned over the loss, or the threatened loss, o f an ample supply o f comparatively docile labor, for their immediate profits are men aced. But even in this group one finds thoughtful men who are w ill ing to accept immediate loss for what they regard as the permanent welfare o f the community in getting rid o f the Negro m ajority. Some dream o f the time when the Negro population may become evenly distributed throughout the Nation, and the complex problems 42 XEGBO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. o f democratic behavior in a biracial community thus tend toward the vanishing point. Always, o f course, there has been in Mississippi the thinker and the idealist who, at whatever cost to existing institutions o f white social and political control, have been w illing to stand for the same kind o f opportunity for the development o f the Negro child as for the development o f the white child. These, however, have quite gener ally stood for separation in matters o f social intercourse, insisting that the separation should'be not only at the table, which is the sym bol, but also from the bed, which is the essential to complete social separateness o f the two races. In the face o f the growing problem o f an ample supply o f efficient Negro labor, the practical man and the idealistic thinker are rapidly drawing closer together as to what the statesmanship o f the situation calls for. CONSTRUCTIVE ADJUSTMENTS ALREA D Y INTRODUCED. Policies and methods already introduced in Mississippi, when gen erally adopted, bid fair to meet the situation on the economic side and, to some extent, on the social side. SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITIES. 1. Certain communities are noteworthy for the cordial relations existing between the two races. Adams County, of which Natchez is thexounty seat, is a striking instance. The harmonious condition found there is due directly to the close contact between the leaders o f the two races. There are historical reasons for this that do not obtain in some o f the newer and rougher portions o f the State. 2. It is significant that in the older counties which line the eastern bank o f the Mississippi River from Tennessee to the Louisiana line, where relations, between the races are fairly good, white adult male illiteracy by counties is from one-half to one-fifth what it is in the State as a w hole; and that in two counties notorious for whitecapping and expelling Negroes white adult male illiteracy is 50 per cent more than for the State as a whole. 3. Again, the proportion o f Negro farm owners in 1910 in the river counties and in the upper delta as a whole was double that propor tion in the State. And in the three northernmost river counties nearly four-fifths o f the farm owners in 1910 were Negroes. It is to the upper delta, where relations between the races are steadily im proving, that Negroes are flocking from other parts o f the State. School facilities for the delta Negro are poor, but a productive soil and in some localities acquiescence in and even approval o f Negro farm ownership are attractions. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 43 4. Speaking generally, relations are most cordial in the State as a whole where white illiteracy falls below the State average; where communities have existed for a long time and as a result white and black have known each other generation after generation; where communities are off the main line o f communication, so that roving Negroes come infrequently; where the soil is fertile; where Negroes accused o f crime get a trial in the courts instead o f before a m ob; and where the Negro is encouraged or allowed to own property. PLAN TERS SUCCESSFUL IN LABOR MANAGEM ENT. Not only are some communities suffering less than others from the exodus o f Negro labor, but throughout the State there are planters and large farmers conspicuously successful in attracting and holding labor. From 25 county agricultural agents I secured information about the methods o f that planter in each o f their respective counties whom the different agents considered the most successful in this respect. Analysis o f their reports gives the follow ing results: 1. Conspicuously fair treatment, 6. 2. Always work for spare time o f croppers, 6. 3. Cash payment for special work, 2. 4. Cash market to all tenants for all surplus product, 2. 5. Somewhat higher wages than others in same community, 2. 6. Advances only in form of cash, not in supplies, 3. 7. Personal interest and friendly advice; 4 close inquiry ” into tenants’ wel 4 fare, 4. 8. Good housing, 2. 9. Encouraging the production o f foodstuffs by the tenant, 11. Combinations o f two or more o f the foregoing methods were the usual thing. In addition, other methods reported as in successful use in single instances include the follow ing: 1. “ Rewards good croppers.” 2. 4 Makes it a point to feed his men.” 4 3. 4 Special inducements of many sorts,” including “ reasonable ren t” 4 4. 4 Does not mix with Negroes unduly.” 4 5. 4 Requires short hours.” 4 6. Cooperative work system among tenants, with individual allotments. All the tenants work in a gang, passing from one individual's aUotment to the next, according to the condition of the crops on each. 7. Monthly allowance o f supplies; after purchase o f necessities Negro allowed to purchase comforts and luxuries with balance due for that month. 8. u Every tenant clears money each year.” 9. 4 Fixed pay for wage hands.” 4 10. ‘‘Allowed to pay cash, if desired.” U . 4 Uniform sum paid wage hand each week. I f wages earned are less, he 4 is loaned the balance; if wages earned are more than this uniform sum, he is credited on the books with the surplus.” 44 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. The appearance o f the boll weevil in destructive numbers for the first time, or the destruction o f the crops by a storm, produces a special condition. Planters who under such circumstances were suc cessful in holding their labor for the next season against the allure ments o f the upper delta or Arkansas or the northern cities— in Adams County some years ago and more recently in Noxubee, Clay, and Lowndes Counties, in the eastern part o f the State, and in Mar shall and Pontotoc, in north and northeastern Mississippi— attribute their achievement to their undertaking the feeding and clothing o f the tenants so long as the tenants stayed with them and worked. The methods o f two notably successful planters in the upper delta have been o f special interest. One of these was reported as prac ticing the system o f farm labor given below : Mr. D. has his tenants know that there is a home for a lifetime. ( a) Has tenants plant a few fruit trees. (&) Tenants are asked to keep house and yard in good repair. (c ) Rewards the good croppers. ( d ) Plantations build good churches and schoolhouses. (e) Mr. D. assists his Negroes in selecting preachers and teachers. ( / ) The State laws govern. ( g) Motherhood approved. ( h) Sanitation attended to. In a personal interview I obtained from the second planter an ac count o f his methods, with some o f which he is still experimenting. He has abolished the plantation commissary; he proposes to make his profits as an efficient planter rather than as a merchant. The use o f improved machinery is encouraged. The plantation pays the ex pense for two months o f school in the summer months after the State support is used up. A tariff of $7.50 to $10 a bale is charged to meet plantation overhead expense, such as wages o f management. The Negro is notified o f this at the time the contract is made. Other significant features o f his plantation management include— 1. Introduction of three and five year leases. 2. Agreement by tenant to plant a certain proportion of leguminous, restora tive crops annually. 3. Planting of fruit trees. 4. Provision of garden and truck patch with agreement by tenant to raise as much of his living as possible. 5. Share rents, to enable both landlord and tenant to profit by gains pro duced by increased fertility. There is general agreement that friendly personal interest, abso lutely fair dealing in all business transactions, clear understanding o f the terms o f the contract at the outset, itemized statements o f indebtedness, good housing, and encouragement o f the Negro to raise his foodstuffs as far as possible, taken together, will attract and hold labor on plantations. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 45 HOLDING LABOR A T LEAST MONEY O U TLA Y. Effective competition with northern employers can be introduced with least money outlay by providing comfortable houses and by en couraging the production o f ample and varied food supplies on the plantation. Housing does not need to be as elaborate as that de signed to withstand northern winters, but if attention be paid to making plantation houses comfortable, healthful, and convenient, while keeping the rental moderate, it would not be difficult to meet the housing competition o f the cities; for in many of these in the Nprth there is serious congestion. The most expensive foods in the diet o f the city dweller are meats, eggs, and vegetables. Upon any well-regulated plantation it should be possible to produce milk, eggs, chickens, pork, beef, fresh and canned vegetables, potatoes, corn meal, and sorghum sirup at low cost. These might be produced in any one o f a variety o f ways. The community garden, cared for by the tenants, where the houses are close together, might be one practical m ethod; or home gardens and truck patches, as are not uncommon now. These, however, are o f comparatively little value unless some kind o f supervision and en couragement are offered. Two interesting possibilities suggest themselves. The first would be for the plantation to produce and sell to the tenant milk, eggs, chickens, pork, beef, root crops, fresh and canned vegetables, sorghum and cane sirup, corn meal, and possibly whole-wheat flour. The prices charged should be only high enough to pay for the interest on the investment. They would then be far below market prices, as freight and middlemen’s profits would be practically eliminated. Thus food bills would not be over^ one-half what they are under city conditions. Ter eliminate compulsion under this system, tenants could be al lowed to raise their own foodstuffs, when as individuals they should so desire. The other suggestion would be to secure for the nearest Negro school a teacher trained in home economics and agriculture, so as to encourage the formation o f canning and poultry clubs among the girls and corn and pig clubs among the boys. A market for their surplus could be provided by the plantation. Advantages o f such a system would include among others the education o f the children o f the tenants jtoward an agricultural life instead o f away from it. This would tend to stop the loss o f labor from the migration o f young men and women to the towns. It would also utilize constructively labor that would otherwise be wasted; at the same time it would leave the adult workers free to devote their energies more exclusively to raising crops for market; and eventually it would result in develop 46 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1&16-T7. ing a more efficient type o f plantation and farm labor. The provision o f such school facilities would undoubtedly attract and tend to hold a superior class o f tenants. In connection with the foregoing the parallel activity in public schools o f Jeanes Fund educational super visors should be noted. OTHER CONSTRUCTIVE ADJUSTM ENTS. Besides the foregoing methods and possibilities in plantation man agement, attention should be called to the work o f the county agents, many o f whom are encouraging some o f the forward methods indi cated above. Cooperative marketing resulting in higher prices to producers has been especially stressed. This will make higher wages possible. The Farm Extension Bureau o f the Memphis (Tenn.) Chamber o f Commerce is also conducting educational campaigns to improve agri culture and rural living conditions not only in Mississippi but also in parts o f Arkansas and Tennessee. This work is skillful and effective. In particular the employment. o f Negro farm demonstrators is worth serious consideration as providing in ce n tiv e ^ the Negro worker to become more skillful and more industrious. These farm demonstrators are already at work in six counties within the State.1 The movement which on its face offers the greatest promise o f any now launched in Mississippi is the “ Community Congress.” Perhaps the most hopeful illustration o f this is the community organization in Bolivar County, located in the upper delta. This organization is the fruit o f agricultural agent and local cooperation. The principal features include a representative general committee with five leading white planters and business men from each o f the five supervisors’ districts within the county. In addition to these 25, the committee has on it 5 leading Negro citizens o f the county. The function o f the organization is, through committees, to take up any and all im portant community problems. For instance, there is a committee on labor supply. In case any communities hesitate to include in the general committee Negro citizens, a parallel advisory committee o f such men could be provided. But the Bolivar type o f organization is especially significant as emphasizing the common interest o f both races in community development; and automatically it provides con tacts between the local leaders o f the two races in ways best calculated to promote harmony, prosperity, and opportunity. CONSTRU CTIVE ADJUSTM ENTS SUGGESTED. Besides the constructive adjustments already introduced locally, to which reference has been made in the preceding section, I wish to 1 Inform ation about the results o f the work o f Negro fartp dem onstrators * m a j be secured from R. S. W ilson, State agent, Agricultural College, Miss. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 47 call attention to several notable suggestions that have been made by native Southerners and Mississippians which are worthy o f con sideration. 1. Protecting the small producer o f cotton from exploitation by street scalpers is important, because the small producer is unable to furnish enough cotton to permit his selling it “ on the table” by sample. The scalpers avoid bidding against one another. The return o f the small producer is consequently often seriously cut into and he becomes discouraged, especially now that the boll weevil increases the cost o f production. Several suggestions have been made to meet this evil. One o f these is for the large cotton buyers to induce country merchants to perform the services o f collecting small lots o f cotton o f different grades into large lots o f uniform grades, paying prices just enough under the mar ket to make the business remunerative. An additional gain to the mer chant would be in the appreciation o f his services by his customers; so that part o f the cost could be reckoned as advertising expense. Another suggestion has been the creation o f Government ware houses and the employment there o f cotton classers o f high efficiency. A third suggestion has been that cooperative community organiza tions render such a service.1 Particularly it is to the permanent interest o f the large cotton buyer to promote the introduction o f some type o f marketing for the producer o f small lots calculated to protect him from exploitation by street scalpers, for it w ill stimulate cotton growing by the small farmer and tenant. 2. Adoption o f uniform contracts with tenants by landlord^ in the same .community or by landlords in the same section, such as the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, would go far toward eliminating the con fusion and the dissatisfaction o f Negro tenants. This is a type o f service that might be promoted by community congresses, chambers o f commerce, or the farm extension bureaus o f such commercial organizations. 3. The publication and dissemination o f bulletins and other infor•mation by the State agricultural extension service upon such topics as plantation housing and the efficient feeding o f families o f Negro laborers and tenants would "be a practical way o f prom oting effective competition in housing and food with northern industrial com munities. 4. The creation within chambers o f commerce o f bureaus o f Negro affairs, having as their object the bringing together o f desirable Negro tenants with white landlords and planters and the encourage ment o f Negro betterment in all its phases. * Aj th ii I f written, announcement Is being made o i a cooperative cotton-grading and etfttoaHMtttftf venture at Carrollton, M iss,, on October 10-11# 1917* 48 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 5. The adoption o f the Culkin plan o f partial consolidation o f Negro rural schools. Mr. J. H. Culkin, the superintendent o f educa tion in Warren County, is advocating the plan o f consolidating the upper grades o f the rural schools for Negroes in every fifth school, and em ploying at such schools teachers in home economics and agri culture. These teachers would work both in the schools and in the homes o f the children. In connection with this suggestion it may be said that a Jeanes Fund industrial teacher is now at work in Warren, as in about 20 other counties o f Mississippi. 6. The employment upon plantations o f assistant managers whose special business would be teaching Negro workers the use and care o f improved Aachinery, as well as better methods o f farming. Such assistant managers could be developed from the present supply, and the agricultural colleges might be urged to introduce practical courses to develop both managers and assistant managers with especial fitness for such industrial teaching. 7. There is need also for a general and practical course in planta tion and labor management at the A. & M. College for whites. 8. The lack o f capital for financing new types o f agriculture emphasizing restorative crops and live stock in those parts o f the hills where the boll weevil and depletion o f the soil have made cotton growing unprofitable should be met in some way. The fixing o f a minimum price on corn or corn meal and on velvet beans and soy beans has been suggested as a means o f encouraging capitalists to finance those regions in new types o f farm ing and in teaching both white and Negro field workers the use o f improved machinery and new lqethods. 9. The development in the principal towns o f the State o f co' operative organizations o f white and colored citizens to improve race relation and community conditions among Negroes.1 COOPERATION OF W H IT E AN D NEGRO LABOR. Another significant development is that labor-union leaders, nota bly in Chicago, are evincing a growing interest in the encouragement o f the organization o f Negro laborers. Since the great m ajority o f Negroes are in the working class, their permanent interests are as laborers, and these interests are in the maintenance o f living wages and o f good working conditions. The Negroes believe, however, that the strike has sometimes been used by organized labor to elimi nate Negroes from jobs. It will bfe necessary, therefore, for labor leaders to exert their influence to prevent anything giving color to such belief. The characteristic method o f the Negro race—the method that has enabled it to survive in the presence o f the dominant 1 Such an organization w ith an advisory comm ittee from the white chamber o f com* rneree has recently been organized in Memphis, Tenn. In the w riter's judgm ent, It is a* encouraging and constructive an effort as any \>ther that has come to his attention, T h i B olivar County movement is the one other that so significant NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 49 white— is conciliatory friendliness. Herein lies the opportunity o f labor and capital alike. In such a middle way there seems a possi bility o f harmonizing the interests o f both capital and labor and white and Negro. The significance for Mississippi o f such a policy on the part o f Chicago labor leaders—as well as o f the attention now being paid by northern employers to developing the efficiency and safeguarding the health o f Negro migrants—lies in the creation o f standards o f labor income and o f living conditions which employers and planters in Mississippi must meet in some way in order in the future to keep an ample supply o f efficient Negro labor. T o the extent, indeed, that organized white labor and the Negro worker in Chicago solve the problem o f cooperation in maintaining efficient wages and wholesome working conditions, not only must the Missis sippi planter and the agricultural South generally meet these new work standards, but the manufacturers o f the South must do likewise. CONCLUSION. The foregoing study o f Negro migration from Mississippi points to the follow ing as the chief conclusions as to means or measures fo r the rehabilitation o f Mississippi labor conditions: 1. A permanent surplus o f Negro laborers outside o f the upper delta can be created by reorganizing agriculture with emphasis on live stock and forage. 2. This surplus could then be attracted to the delta and to Arkansas so far as needed for producing cotton and foodstuffs. 3. The balance o f this surplus labor could then be drawn to north ern industries permanently. 4. By general application o f methods now in use locally and by further improvement o f conditions, the older communities along the Mississippi River, and especially the upper delta from the river to the hills, can attract the necessary additional labor from the sur plus created in the hills, now in many cases leaving agriculture for northern industries while there is still need fo r them as farmers. 5. Better schools, emphasizing education toward the farm ; fair dealing in all business transactions; equal treatment in the distribu tion o f public utilities in the towns and cities; equal treatment in the courts; and the encouragement o f Negro farm ownership w ill contribute toward the maintenance o f an ample supply o f contented and efficient Negro laborers. It is especially important to secure the abolition o f the fee system in courts o f justice o f the peace and the insistence o f white public opinion on full settlement with Negroes on plantations. 6. Above all else, the fundamental need is for frequent and con fidential conferences upon community problems and for active coop eration between the local leaders o f the two races. 70752°—19----- 1 THE EXODUS OF NEGROES FROM THE SOUTHERN STATES. A L A B A M A AN D NORTH C AR O LIN A . B y T ip t o n R a y S n a v e l y . The exodus o f Negroes from the Southern States during the past several months has attracted more or less widespread attention. The diversity o f opinions, however, which have been expressed in news papers, periodicals, and elsewhere sufficiently illustrates the need o f accurate inform ation concerning the movement. The report given 4 iere contains the results o f an investigation, the purpose o f which was to secure such facts as could be obtained in regard to the various aspects o f the migration from the States visited and to ascertain the possible means o f checking it. ALABAM A. Aside from the recent migration, some Negroes have been leaving the State o f Alabama for the past few years. It is true that they have gone in small numbers, so that no special significance was at tached to the movement. Their going was largely due to the presence o f the boll weevil and the consequent surplus o f labor in the transi tion from cotton to other crops. The immense reduction in the cot ton acreage resulting from boll-weevil conditions is, as w ill be seen later, one o f the principal causes fo r the more recent exodus. The recent m igration o f Negroes from the State has been a gen eral movement. They have gone from practically all sections hav ing a Negro population. In 1910 the total Negro population in the State was 908,282, and it is estimated that 75,000, or 8.8 per cent, o f this number have emigrated within the past 18 months. This esti mate, it is true, is a personal one. It is based upon the sales o f tickets by railway passenger agents, records o f which are necessarily incom plete; from the records kept by the licensed immigration agents; and from opinions o f individuals. The latter, o f course, are open to bias. It given, however, after a careful investigation o f these sources and is believed to be approximately correct. 61 52 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. The report for Alabama has been conveniently divided into four general topics. The first is the volume o f the migration. Under it are considered ( a) the importance o f the exodus in the different sections o f the State; ( 6 ) the policies o f the railroads concerning it; and (<?) th^ extent o f the movement at the present time. The second is the pauses o f the movement. These have been divided into (a) the underlying and (5 ) the immediate causes. As a third topic, wages and living conditions are considered; and as a fourth, the present shortage o f labor and means o f checking the exodus. % VOLUM E OF TH E M IGRATION. The difficulties o f ascertaining the precise number o f Negroes who have gone from the State are obvious. Except in a few par ticular instances, it is impossible to give numbers with scientific accuracy. In every community the most widely varying opinions exist concerning the character and extent o f the migration. Fur thermore, no inform ation can be had from the "chambers o f com merce or other organizations in the cities, a$ these bodies have either neglected or been unable to keep a record o f the movement. Such data as are available, however, w ill be found useful not only for throwing light on the volume o f the migration, but also fo r indi cating some o f the main points o f destination in the northern States. It was not until the spring o f 1916 that the Negroes began to leave the State in such numbers as to constitute what has since been termed a migration. The movement was not then one o f concerted action, but simply the response to a demand for labor made by certain northern corporations. A t the beginning little attention was paid to their leaving. Hence during the subsequent months, when the number going assumed the proportions o f a mass movement and public attention was focused upon it, no records were available showing the extent o f the exodus. And while some alarm was felt and closer attention was paid to the large numbers who left during the past winter, no effort was made by the cities or counties to keep a record o f those leaving. The heaviest exodus has naturally been from the black-belt terri tory. In 1910 there were 21 black-belt counties in the State, and in 11 o f these Negroes constituted three-fourths or more o f the popu lation. These counties, as a glance at the m ap 1 w ill show, form a block extending across the south central portion o f the State—six o f which lie to the east o f Montgomery County and 14 to the west. They had a Negro population in 1910 o f nearly^ 490,000, as compared with a population o f 418,000 in the remaining 46 counties o f the 1 See map on p. 54. 53 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. State. O f the latter number Jefferson County alone, in which the city o f Birmingham is located, contained 90,617. Birmingham and Bessemer cities, owing to their railroad facilities and peculiar location in a large coal and iron industrial district, have been the most important points o f distribution for Negroes going North. The Southern, Louisville & Nashville, St. Louis & San Francisco, and Illinois Central Railways run northward from B ir mingham, and Negroes have gone out o f the State over all o f these lines. The Birmingham industrial district is itself an employment center o f much importance. There are approximately 25,000 em ployees in the coal mines o f the State, about two-thirds o f whom are in Jefferson County. Negroes compose much the greater part o f these.1 This number does not include the employees in the iron mines, furnace^, steel plants, by-products plants, and various other industries. A large percentage o f the Negroes who have left the black-belt sections o f the State first purchased tickets to Birmingham and from there went on to northern and eastern points. The passenger and ticket agents o f the railways were able to give the most effective help, both with regard to the volume o f the move ment and the principal points o f destination. In most instances these officials fully cooperated in the investigation by volunteering such information as they had. Some o f the city passenger agents were able to give the exact number o f tickets sold within specified periods. In the month o f July, 1916, a special train carried 610 laborers from the State for the Pennsylvania Railroad. The follow ing statement was obtained from the general passenger agent o f one o f the railroads over which Negroes have gone in large numbers from the Birmingham industrial district. The period extends from A pril 1 to October 12, 1916, and from November 1, 1916, to May 1, 1917, for Birmingham, and from November 1, 1916, to May 1, 1917, for Bessemer: Movement of labor April 1 to October 12, 1916, inclusive, from Birmingham: Four thousand seven hundred and ninety-three whole tickets and 158 half tickets. Points o f destination: Jenkins, Fleming, McRoberts, McClure, White Oak Junction, and Beaver Creek, K y .; Oneida, ChurchUl, and Cleveland, Tenn.; 1 Of a total of 3,494 employees in the mines of the Republic Iron & Steel Co., 2,239 are Negroes. The Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Co. is the largest single employing company in the district. The following condensed statement will serve to show the percentage of white and colored employees at the ore and coal mines and quarries of the company, as based on the December, 1916, pay roll: Colored. White. r|W„l loiai. Number. Per cent. Number. Per cent. Total.................................................... 12,349 3,661 30 8,688 70 Ora mines and quarries................................ Goal m ines...:............................................... 5,138 7,211 1,014 2,647 20 37 4,124 4,564 80 33 54 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17, C larksbu rg, F a irm on t, S carbro, M cD on a ld, Q uinton, T h urm on d, and W ood b a y , W . Y a . ; A k ro n and C in c in n a ti,'O h io ; K ane, Pa. PER CENT OF NEGROES IN TOTAL POPULATION OF A L A B A M A , BY CO U N TIES: 1910. [From Reports of the Bureau of the Census, 1910.] N ovem b er 1, 1916, to M ay 1, 1917, fro m B irm in g h a m : T w o thousand s ix hun dred and nineteen w h ole and h a lf tickets. P oin ts o f d e s tin a tio n : M cR ob erts an d M id d lesb oro, K y . ; St. P aul, B ig Stone Gap, and R oanoke, V a . ; P ittsb u rg h NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17, 55 and Gaston, Pa.; Oneida, Tenn.; Creighton, P a.; Ocean Mine and Schlagel, W. Va. From Bessemer November 1,1916, to May 1,1917: Five thousand one hundred and sixty-one whole and half tickets. Destinations: Williamsburg, Dorchester, and Appalachia, V a .; Vandergriff, P a .; Alcoa and Knoxville, Tenn. Thus, for the periods mentioned the total movement o f labor from Birmingham and Bessemer over one railroad amounted to 12,731 persons, 158 o f whom traveled on half-fare tickets. Prac tically the whole o f this was Negro labor. From the points o f des tination it w ill be seen that the great m ajority were coal miners leav ing the Birmingham district for the coal fields in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The number does not in clude those who have gone over the three remaining railways run ning north from Birmingham. Probably more have gone over one o f these roads than over the road for which the above figures are quoted. Likewise, it does not include the movement to Detroit, M ich.; Chicago, East St. Louis, and other points in Illinois; and points in Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania. The movement to Detroit, M ich.; Chicago, 111.; Cincinnati, Akron, Cleveland, Dayton, Portsmouth, and Barberton, O hio; and Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pa., has been especially large. The Birmingham district has thus been an important distribution point for Negroes going north from the black-belt counties and from all sections o f the State to the south o f Jefferson County. It has drawn some from Meridian and other points in east Mississippi, as well as from the southwestern part o f Georgia and the western side o f Florida. From this territory Negroes steadily came into the dis trict to take the places made vacant by those leaving, and as they in turn follow ed their predecessors others succeeded them. The city o f Selma, Ala., which is located in the heart o f the black belt and is the county seat o f Dallas County, had a population in 1910 o f 13,649. It is the terminus o f a number o f branch railroads which extend into the black-belt territory. From this point the monthly statement for Augjist, 1916, to June, 1917, o f the tickets purchased by Negroes to the Birmingham district is as follow s: Month and year. 1916. August___ , t .................................... September. _T ............................................ October....... T._ ..................................... November. .............................. December r......................... 1917. January................................................... Number of tickets. Month and year. Number oftickets. 1917. 1 0 1February.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i . . . . ,0 1 962 M a r ch .................................................. . 1,240 April.......................................................... 976 1,678 I June............................................... ........... 1,667 I Total................................................ 988 1,094 1,118 12 ,1 0 1,103 12,937 56 KEGBO MIGRATION IN 1918-17. W hile the Birmingham district has been an important point o f distribution for Negroes' leaving, large numbers have gone directly to the North and East without stopping there. F or example, during the months recorded above they purchased from Selma 51 tickets to Akron and Cleveland, O hio; 47 to Chicago, 111.; 81 to Detroit, M ich.; 31 to Pittsburgh, P a .; 159 to Memphis, Tenn.; 26 to the State o f Oklahoma; and 6 to Appalachia, Va. From the city o f Montgomery, which is also a distributing center for a number o f counties to the east, west, and south, Negroes purchased 1,705 tickets to points in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. This number was sold over one railroad between the months o f September, 1916, and May, 1917. The figures, which in all instances were obtained from the passenger agents o f the railroads, serve to indicate the par ticularly large exodus from the black belt. O f the 11 black-belt counties which in 1910 had a Negro popula tion amounting to 75 per cent or more o f the total, 8 form a section extending from Montgomery County westward to the State o f Mis sissippi. These are Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Marengo, Perry, Sumter, and W ilcox. The remaining three—Bullock, Macon, and Bussell—connect Montgomery County with the State o f Georgia to the east I t is from these counties that Negroes have gone literally by the thousands. Some o f them have lost 25 per cent or more o f their total Negro population within the past 18 months. A branch o f the Southern Bailway running from Selma, Ala., to Meridian, Miss., cuts through the central portion o f the territory formed by the eight counties on the western side o f the State.'' The agents at the stations along this railway reported large sales o f tickets both to Birmingham and to points in the North and E ast A similar report was made by the agents o f all the railways extending through these counties. It is a notable fact also that the estimated registration under the selective draft greatly exceeded the actual registration— the difference in some counties being as high as 50 per cent Uniontown affords a good example o f a section in the black belt which has lost heavily in Negro population. It is a town o f 2,500 inhabitants, situated on the Southern Bailway, in the southwestern corner o f Perry County. It also forms a central location for a por tion o f Dallas, Hale, Marengo, and W ilcox Counties. P rior to the coming o f the boll weevil cotton was the sole crop in the surrounding territory. The necessary transition to other crops has been made slowly. O f the farmers and business men visited in Uniontown and the surrounding country not one estimated the recent loss o f Negro population in Perry and portions o f the adjacent counties at less than 25 per cent. This means that o f the 24,494 Negroes in Perry County in 1910,6,000 have emigrated since A pril, 1916. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 57 It has been the policy o f the railroads within recent months to dis courage the movement o f Negroes by refusing to provide extra equip ment and by not accepting prepaid orders for transportation. Some months ago, when the Pennsylvania and Erie Railway Cos. trans ported several thousand Negroes for employment on their roads, they tried to reach an agreement with certain railways in the South whereby prepaid orders would be accepted in lieu o f cash fares for the Negroes being transported. The officials o f some o f the railways in Alabama stated that these requests were not complied with and that they have consistently refused to accept such orders for the trans portation o f Negroes from anyone. Labor agents have also found it difficult to obtaip party tickets from the railways desiring to dis courage the removal o f Negroes. During the months when the mi gration was heaviest the railway companies provided extra cars, when the number leaving was sufficient to demand them. This policy was discontinued after President W ilson requested the railroads to conservi their equipment. Since that time, when there are more passengers than can be accommodated on the regular cars, all who are unable to obtain seats are required to wait for other trains. On the through trains, however, Negroes are now being given the use o f a full car, whereas form erly the pars contained a partition, one section being used for Negro passengers, the other as a smoking car for whites. A t the present time the number o f Negroes leaving the State has been greatly lessened. The largest movement occurred between the months o f November, 1916, and May, 1917, while there was a con stant decrease during the past summer. The follow ing article rela tive to the checking o f the exodus appeared in the Birmingham News for June 19,1917: Few Negroes are leaving Alabama for northern employment now, according to information current in individual circles Tuesday. This condition is largely the result, it is claimed, of the action o f the railroads in refusing longer to provide special traveling equipment for parties o f Negroes. It is also attrib utable to a large extent, it is claimed, to the prompt action o f the courts in visiting summary punishment upon foreign labor agents, who entered the dis trict and sought by false, misleading claims to entice labor away. Available statistics at the railroad passenger offices point to a great falling off of this traffic. Up to three or four weeks ago there were thousands o f Negroes in transit on through lines, leaving southern points for northern and eastern destinations. It is now stated by railway executives that there has been an almost complete stoppage o f this traffic, and fewer inquiries are coming into the offices in Birmingham relative to the traveling equipment provided. They are continuing to go in important numbers, however. Be tween June 1 and June 20,1917,663 Negro men and 194 Negro women were observed to leave the city o f Birmingham fo r eastern and north ern destinations. On August 5, 1917, approximately 50 Negroes 58 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916^17. boarded a Louisville & Nashville through train at Montgomery, holding tickets to northern points. This is not an exceptional oc currence. A t the same time, some who have gone are now return ing, though it is not probable that the number returning will assume the form o f a general movement. CAUSES OF TH E MOVEMENT. There have been many causes for the exodus o f Negroes from Alabama. It is impossible to estimate the importance o f each as a separate' factor." One can not enumerate certain causes, for ex ample, and say that each has been responsible for a definite per centage o f those who have emigrated. They must be considered as joint forces. A s individuals, Negroes have gone from the State for several reasons, rather than for a specific cause, although many seem merely to have follow ed an impulse to travel. The general causes, however, may be classified as underlying and immediate. The former are both economic and social. The main economic causes are the changes in farm ing, made necessary by the boll weevil, while some o f the underlying social causes have been the desire for better schools, for justice in the courts, for an increase o f privileges in public conveyances, etc., which have recently been given an oppor tunity o f outward expression. The immediate causes have been the shortage o f crops in 1916, the demand for labor in the North and the higher wages offered there, the activities o f labor agents, a short age o f railroad cars, and the persuasion o f friends. O f the two general causes the underlying w ill be ^considered first. In the black-belt counties cotton has been the sole crop for sev eral generations. Much o f the land has been held in the form o f large estates. The Negroes working as wage hands, share croppers, and renters have composed the whole supply o f unskilled labor. As th\s labor has been cheap and plentiful, farm machinery for plow ing the land and for cultivating the cottton has never been used. JJnder the old system o f cotton planting, it was possible fo r the landowners to employ overseers, or, in many instances, to rent their land to Negro tenants without giving it much personal supervision. A great m ajority o f the Negroes have been wholly dependent fo r their subsistence on the owners or overseers o f the land. The Negro tenants have always been accustomed and have, therefore, always expected to have provisions advanced to them through many months o f the year. This was done either by the landowner, over seers, or by the merchants. To use the common expression, they expected to be “ carried” while the crop o f cotton was being made. When an average crop was made the result was satisfying both to the landowner and to the Negro cropper or renter. But the evil NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-11. 59 effects o f this system have been felt most severely during the past four years. For many reasons the system has proved economically unsound. In the first place, it was profitable only for extensive farm ing, and the fertility o f the land has been constantly lessened. Neither the absentee farmer nor the Negro tenant, who was at best attached in only a temporary way to the land, which he cultivated, was vitally interested in the improvement o f the soil. As a consequence, some o f the most fertile lands have become unproductive through poor cultivation and the continued planting o f a single crop. Again, the methods o f conducting business under this system, by both the white landowners and the Negro tenants, have been unscien tific. Partly because o f the improvident habits o f the Negroes and their frequent disregard o f the binding importance o f contracts many landowners have not been accustomed to keep strict accounts or to make strict settlements with their Negro tenants. The system was also conducive to idleness. The Negroes were fully and profit ably employed during the cotton planting and picking seasons, but went without employment during the other months. Diversified farming requires labor in every month o f the year, but in the cultiva tion o f cotton the Negro could spend certain months away from the farm if he chose. Thus as a farmer the Negro has known how to raise only one crop and that under definitely prescribed conditions. Planters and Negro tenants alike stood powerless before the conditions arising from the coming o f the boll weevil. One o f the effects o f the weevil has been greatly to reduce the cotton acreage and to alter the methods o f planting and cultivating it. It is not unnatural that the Negroes accepted these facts slowly. Economic pressure alone forced a reduction in the cotton acreage. They have never been skilled in stock raising, the growing o f grain crops, peanuts, and forage crops. They have yet to learn how to prepare the soil for grain crops, how to plant and cultivate them, and how to harvest them. Everywhere in the black belt the remark was heard that the Negro renter “ likes to plant cotton.” He is skeptical o f com , velvet beans, peanuts, and hay. For both landowners and tenants the period o f transition in farm ing during the past two or three years has been one o f great uncer tainty, instability, and unrest. The period was preceded and attended by, two other unfortunate conditions which brought financial ruin to many planters, merchants, tenants, etc. One o f these was the low price o f cotton and the other was the inability to borrow money at a reasonable rate o f interest. “ The exodus,” said one o f the most suc cessful business men o f the State, “ originated in the low prices paid 60 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. for cotton in 1913 and 1914. The farmers have not been prosperous; they have been exceedingly unprosperous. The present conditions grew out o f the failure o f a paying crop.” One o f the underlying causes o f the migration, therefore, may be characterized as the changed conditions incident to the transition from the old system o f cotton planting to stock raising and the diversification o f crops. The desire fo r changed social conditions would not alone have caused the large migration o f Negroes from the State. It has never theless been given an opportunity o f outward expression, and it must be recognized as an important factor in the movement. This desire is not o f recent birth. It has assumed a more conscious form —par ticularly among the more enlightened classes o f Negroes—because o f the possibilities o f partial fulfillment. Among the wage-earning classes in the isolated rural districts the desire for better schools, for better protection by the law, for privileges in public conveyances, fo r more consideration by the press, etc., has not been as strong as it is among those who have had more advantages. The feeling o f lack o f a “ square deal” exists generally and is not confined to locali ties. There is little local friction between the white and colored races o f the State. In every community visited, such expressions as “ we have the best Negroes in the State” and “ perfect harmony exists be tween the races here” were invariably made. Back o f this apparent harmony, however, there is a feeling among the Negroes that many conditions should be changed. The statement was frequently made by their leaders that the law-abiding and property-owning Negroes received no more recognition than the poorest and most ignorant classes. The recent exodus has not been confined to any class and a desire fo r changed social conditions must be recognized as one o f the underlying factors. By reason o f economic causes its fulfillment has been made possible, and it has thus assumed a more conscious and outward form o f expression. The immediate causes came at a time most favorable for the exodus. The effectiveness o f the movement was greatly enhanced on account o f this fact. One o f these was a shortage o f crops which resulted from the floods o f July, 1916. The crops were destroyed not only in the black-belt counties but throughout a large portion o f the State. F or many planters this new disaster formed a climax to a series o f misfortunes from which they have not been able to recover. They were making a final attempt to recoup themselves from the losses o f the past four years. The result was immediate. Both farmers and tenants who had staked all on this last effort were obliged to find some means for a present livelihood. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1910-17, 61 The customary advances o f provisions to the negro tenants were cut off. Owners o f large plantations were compelled for the first time in their lives to tell their Negroes that they could not feed them and that they were forced to let them move away. In a number o f the black-belt counties the state o f actual privation was such that food was distributed to the starving Negroes by the Federal Depart ment o f Agriculture and by the organization o f the Red Cross. The tenants were not only left without food but they were also in debt for provisions which had been furnished them during the past winter. Thus in many instances they lost their mules and other property which were taken for the payment o f rent and store debts. On the other hand, hundreds o f landowners simply released their tenants from such contracts as they held against them. The rents were either relinquished outright or postponed indefinitely. In some instances work was improvised on the farms in order that the Negroes might be supplied with food. But the mere canceling o f rents and debts did not relieve the immediate necessity for provisions, and planters who were not able to furnish work for their Negro tenants saw them go to the railroads and sawmills for employment. The landowners who felt justified in carrying their tenants for another year, and were able to do so, have suffered less from the recent short age o f labor than have those who did not adopt similar measures. Absentee owners, who depended upon a self-adjustment o f the situa tion, have suffered most. The exodus from , the rural districts and towns into the cities began, and there was soon a steady movement toward the Birmingham district and to the northern and eastern States. Some communities also made an effort to hold their Negroes by providing employment for them, as well as by charitable means. Nearly $50,000 was made up in and around the town o f Demopolis and distributed among the most destitute ones. In several counties they were given work on the public roads for a time. The lumber mills and other public employments attempted to take care o f the sur plus o f labor. The follow ing statement, made by the president o f a lumber company in Sumter County, is illuminating, both as to the general conditions there and the shortage o f railroad cars which has prevented many enterprises from employing larger forces: This section o f the country was visited last July (1916) by a severe storm which devastated the crops on the uplands and an overflow which swept away the crops o f the lowlands, thus leaving the Negroes almost destitute. The lum ber manufacturers through this section o f the country attempted to increase their capacity, and through this particular section we made for a time fair headway, and had it not been for the fact that the railroads were not prepared, or not willing, to furnish us an extraordinary amount of cars we would have been able to take care o f all the labor which was placed in want by the ravages 62 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-11. o f the storm. Our company bought and started up several little mills and was preparing to operate our plant day and night, when all at once we were faced with the fact that we could not secure equipment to ship out even our normal output; so, instead o f tripling, as we anticipated, our output o f lumber, it had to be reduced to very much less than normal. That being the case, the number o f men we required was reduced to less than normal, and, of course, those who were turned out o f employment were compelled to go elsewhere to seek work. From the foregoing account it is apparent that the exodus from the black-belt counties was imperative. It was precisely when the time was most favorable for such a demand that employers in the north ern States began to seek the unskilled labor in the South. This demand for labor in the north was another o f the immediate causes o f the movement. W ithout the economic basis o f higher wages offered there it would not have been given the momentum which it attained during the past winter and spring. By the spring: o f 1916 there was a real surplus o f labor throughout the black belt which was ready to respond to the demand for labor and higher wages in the northern and eastern States. But the current once started did nonstop when the surplus was removed. Another o f the immediate causes was the labor agent. The agents have played the part o f middleman in the exodus. By furnishing transportation and by other means they have made it possible and easy. From the conditions which have already been described it may be seen that Alabama afforded an exceptional field for the activities o f such agents. This is especially true, since the unlicensed agents were allowed to solicit for a time practically unmolested by the State authorities. The State had laws which imposed a heavy license for the soliciting o f labor to be removed from its borders; but it was not until its own industries were threatened with a shortage o f labor that a successful attempt was made to enforce the laws. In all the coun ties visited it was reported that unlicensed agents had come and gone, but that it was usually impossible to detect their presence until they had got away W hite agents have found it advantageous to em ploy Negro subagents to work for them among the Negroes. This made it difficult for the State license inspectors to obtain the neces sary proof for conviction. The statement was everywhere made that it was impossible to get much information concerning the agents fromi the Negroes themselves. Some arrests have been made, however, in nearly all o f the blackbelt counties. In the city o f Selma four unlicensed agents were con victed and fined, and, in default o f payment o f the fine, sentenced to labor on the public roads. Owing to the large exodus to the B ir mingham industrial district, both licensed and unlicensed agents have constantly solicited Negroes in Jefferson County. They have been able to do more effective work there than in any other section o f the NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17, 63 State. The follow ing is a statement which was made by a member o f the State tax board o f equalization relative to the enforcement o f the emigrant license laws o f the State in this particular county: Conditions in Jefferson County recently became so alarming— that is, so many Negroes were leaving—that this department was requested to enforce more specifically our license laws relative to emigrant agents. Under the license act of 1915, subsection 43, we have a statute that reads as follow s: “ Each emigrant agent or person engaged in hiring laborers or soliciting emigrants in this State to be employed or to go beyond the Umits o f the State must pay an annual license of five hundred dollars in every county in which he operates or solicits emigrants.’1 There is in addition to this a license of 50 per cent o f the State license added for each county, making a total of $750 in each county for each emigrant agent who solicits emigrants in this State to go beyond the Umits o f the State. This department, having had this matter brought to our attention, deemed It wise to insist that each emigrant agent pay the proper license as prescribed in subsection 43 of the license act. I, as representative o f this department, spent sev eral weeks in Jefferson County, working in conjunction with the license inspector of that county, and caused 7 emigrant agents to take out this Ucense, and the license inspector’s department has caused the arrest o f over 30 agents. Some of them were convicted and the others we failed to have convicted. W e found in most cases that the agents who had licenses to operate would hire Negroes, mostly, to go out and solicit laborers, the agents who had the licenses getting a large commission for each man sent beyond the State limits. It was reported to me, while in Jefferson County, that some o f these agents received as much as $10 a man. The subagents, of course, were liable for the license also. Is was these sub agents that the Ucense inspector’s department caused to be arrested, and a good many, as- stated, were convicted and fined as much as $500 and sentenced to a year’s hard labor on the pubUc roads o f Jefferson County for having done busi ness without a license. In addition to a license o f $500 for the State and $250 for each county, most o f the cities also impose a fee on emigrant agents. B ir mingham and Bessemer require a license o f $500 and $300, respec tively. In the form er city the total annual license required thus amounts to $1,250, and to $1,050 in the latter. Between June, 1916, and July, 1917, at least four licensed agents have operated in the city o f Birmingham and three in Bessemer. The Negroes most sought after in the Birmingham district have been the coal miners. There has been a constant demand in the mines o f Kentucky, W est Virginia, Pennsylvania, and V irginia for the experienced miners here. Several months’ time is required for turn ing a raw recruit into a skilled miner. The places o f those who left could be filled only by the u boll weevil ” NegrOes from the black'belt. The manager o f labor o f the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Co. stated that 75 per cent o f the 3,600 employees in the ore mines o f the company have come from the farms in the past 12 months. In the Spauldihg mine o f the Republic Iron & Steel Co., 225 new men, 64 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. o f a total o f 336, have been employed since February 1, 1917, and in the Raimund mine, o f a total o f 812 on roll, 400 have been employed since that date. O f a total o f 624 employees in a third mine o f the company only 164 have been employed as long as two years. The agents, however, have not confined their activities to miners; they have sent away Negroes o f all classes and to all parts o f the North. They have been wholly unscrupulous, too, as to the character and conditions o f the Negroes sent by them. For instance, if a “ boll weevil ” Negro arrived fresh from the black belt he was sent on as an experienced miner. Various agreements and contracts have been made between the northern employers and the resident agents. A partnership firm in Bessemer has sent away more Negroes than any other single agency in the Birmingham district. The partner ship was form ed in February, 1917, but one o f the members has been a labor agent there for a number o f years. The second member o f the firm was employed by a coal company in Kentucky. This com pany took out a year’s license in October, 1916, in the name o f a representative who was discharged later, and the second member o f the present agency was employed. The latter was not allowed to solicit labor under the license o f the company’s first representative, but was required to take out a license in his own name. He stated that he received a salary and personal expenses and board from this coal company and that he charged no fees from the Negroes shipped to it. The transportation o f the Negroes is paid by the company. A Negro restaurant is run in connection with the agency, and the com pany allows $2 a man fo r food while in transit. The associate mem ber o f the agency receives a monthly salary from a coal company in another State. The largest shipments o f this agency have been made to the two coal companies from which the members draw a regular salary, but they are not restricted from sending Negroes to other places. For those sent elsewhere they attempt to get a fee o f $1 or $2, or more, from the Negroes and to collect from the employers also, if possible. On February 22, 1917, a special train carrying 191 people was sent to Pittsburgh, Pa., at a cost o f $3,391.95. The daily records o f this agency were inspected and it was found that between February 15 and June 21,1917, a total o f 4,456 Negroes were shipped to northern and eastern States. Approxim ately 200 o f these were half-fare tickets. Tw o other licensed agents from Birmingham claimed to have been established in business for many years. Each stated that he received a per capita fee for the Negroes sent, both from the em ployers and from the Negroes themselves, if possible. According to their statements they sent out o f the State 2,000 or more, each, NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1918-17. 65 within the past 18 months. A ll o f the agents interviewed said that they had had much trouble in getting the Negroes to take their destination on account o f other agents taking them from the trains along the route. The labor agents as a class, whether residing temporarily or permanently and whether licensed or unlicensed, have been un scrupulous as to the means used for soliciting Negroes to be sent out o f the State. Their work has been d profitable business in pro portion to the numbers they have sent. One o f the agencies at Bes semer has issued attractive circulars from time to time as a means o f advertising. These were distributed among the Negroes in B ir mingham and Bessemer and some were found in the black-belt counties. They contained such phrases as, “ Let’s go back north where there are no labor troubles, no strikes, no lockouts; Large coal, good wages, fair treatment; Two weeks’ pay; Good houses; W e ship you and your household goods; A ll colored ministers can go free; W ill advance you money if necessary; Scores o f men have written us thanking us fo r sending them; Go now while you have the chance.” The agents stated that they have done no illicit .soliciting through the employment o f unlicensed subagents, but State license inspectors have caught such subagents from time to time and punished them. The use o f subagents is an extremely effective method o f soliciting. The licensed agents have not gone among the mining camps in per son, but have attracted the Negroes to their offices. Negro sub agents, however, disguised as salesmen and insurance agents, have obtained access to the Negro quarters. In some instances, those who went North were sent back by their northern employers to put up a plea o f distress and regain their form er jobs in the Birmingham district. When allowed to go to work they left fo r the North again in a few days, after having induced 20 or 25 other employees to go with them. A shortage o f railroad cars prevented a portion o f the surplus labor resulting from the floods o f July, 1916, from finding em ployment in the State. Various officials o f the railway companies expressed the belief that fully half o f the miners who have gone from the Birmingham district did so because the companies were unable to obtain cars. In the month o f June, 1917, according to a statement made by the chairman o f the Birmingham district sub committee on car service, more than 7,000 cars o f manufactured products had accumulated fo r shipment in the district. About 45 per cent o f the excess tonnage consisted o f pig iron and the re mainder o f cast-iron, pipe and foundry products, steel rails, steel billets, soil pipes, steel scrap, by-products, etc. The vice president 70762°—19---- 6 66 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. o f the W oodward Iron Co. stated that in response to an order o f 160 cars on the 21st o f June only 28 were supplied. Certain lumber companies in the black belt and other sections o f the State undertook to increase the daily output o f their mills, but instead were forced to reduce the number o f their employees on account o f the impossibility o f getting the lumber hauled from the yards.) A Birmingham sales agent for more than 40 lumber com panies o f the State reported a reduction o f employees several months ago by all o f the companies which he represented. The officials o f one company stated that their output had been reduced from 8 to 14 cars daily within the past 18 months, and that they could now use 20 cars daily if they were available. Another company made the follow ing statement: “ The normal output o f stock that we carry in our sheds and yards consists o f 150 to 200 carloads. W e have now, all told, between eleven hundred and twelve hundred carloads.” “ The supply o f cars which we have received,” stated another, “ has been only sufficient to move from 50 to 60 per cent o f the material which, had we had an ample car supply, could have been moved. This has resulted in serious congestion in our plant, and the addi tional cost o f operation caused by this congestion.” Some companies, on account o f inadequate storage facilities, have been forced to burn the rough lumber which under normal conditions would have been utilized. Thus, during the high tide o f the exodus, a shortage o f railroad cars necessitated the discharge o f a great many men and prevented the employment o f additional forces. A t the present time, however, this scarcity has been greatly relieved. Another o f the most potent immediate causes o f the exodus has been the persuasion o f friends and relatives already in the North. The county farm demonstration agents in nearly all o f the counties visited stated that the principal influence at present is not the labor agent but the solicitation o f friends. In every community o f the black belt letters have been Received from former residents containing the story o f good wages and good conditions generally. By far the greater number o f the letters sent back home have been o f this tenor. The Negro men who went largely at first began later to send money for the transportation o f their families. The fact, too, that money was sent back to relatives and friends has been a strong inducement to others. W A G E S AN D LIVIN G CONDITIONS. As compared with the steady rise in wages which has occurred in all branches o f labor since the beginning o f the European war, wages fo r farm labor in the State were found to have advanced but little. The price paid for day labor in the 21 black-belt counties averages 50 and 60 cents a day. It ranges from 40 cents as a mini*’ NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 67 mum to 75 cents and, in a very few instances, $1 as a maximum. The above average is based on the wages received by able-bodied male farm hands and does not include the somewhat lower wages received by women and boys. In exceptional instances the noon meal is given to employees, but the prevailing custom is for the Negroes to board themselves at all meals. T o the question o f whether they had raised wages within the past two years some o f the farmers answered that they were now paying from $15 to $18 a month, whereas they form erly paid from $12 to $15. Others stated that they had made no increase at all. The m ajority, however, have made an advance averaging from 10 to 20 per cent. Wherever they have been forced to compete with the lumber m ills and mining industries for labor, wages were found to have advanced most. In portions o f Choctaw, Pickens, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa Counties, for example, the average farm wage was 75 cents a day. The lum ber mills in the western part o f the State g iv e ,employment to a large number o f Negroes. In A pril, 1917, the daily capacity o f the mills located on the Alabama, Tennessee & Northern Railroad, which exftends from Mobile to Reform , was 2,453,500 feet. W ages were found to vary both as to the grade o f work and the locality— averag ing from $0.75 to $1.50 and, in exceptional instances, $2 a day. Most o f the companies reported an increase within recent months; the Alabama Dry Dock Co., at Mobile, stated that 600 Negroes were employed by the company and that wages had been increased from $1.50 to $1.75 and $2 a day. The landowners rightly maintain that the actual or real wages are higher than the nominal figures quoted above. It is held that if the cost o f living be taken into consideration the inequalities existing between farm wages and the apparent high wages o f the North w ill tend to disappear. House rent and the cost of water and fuel, which are received free by the tenants o f the black belt, must be deducted outright from the monthly wages obtained from employment o f a public nature. Most o f the landowners give their tenants the privilege o f cultivating a garden. Many are allowed a certain amount o f free pasture for their stock; and some are intrusted with the use o f a cow for which no charge is made, either for the milk and butter o f pasture. These considerations are usually given to all classes o f tenants, whether they are wage hands, share crop pers, or renters. The wages, however, are paid in money or store orders, and current prices must be paid for all the necessities o f life. It was found difficult to estimate the proportion o f wage hands, share croppers, and renters, as the percentage o f each class varies greatly in different counties. It appears to be generally true that the destruction o f crops in 1917 and the uncertainty o f the cotton crop 68 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. have resulted during this year in a large increase o f the wage-hand class. In the coal mines o f the Birmingham industrial district advances o f wages have been made during the past two years as follow s: February 1,1916, May 1,1916, December 16,1916, May 1,1917, and July 1,1917. There are about 30 seams o f coal in the State o f which the Pratt and Blockton are the established differentials. The rate o f wages paid fo r digging coal amounted after the 1st o f July, 1917, to approxi mately 75 cents a ton. This is the basic rate for the Pratt seam, which is 42 inches in thickness. When the seam exceeds this thickness the rate o f wages is reduced, a corresponding increase being made when the thickness is less. This is the rate which was found to obtain fo r the companies which are members o f the Alabama Coal Oper ators’ Association. The output o f coal by members o f the association was, in 1915,10,726,494 tons, as compared with an output o f 4,494,421 tons by the companies which are not members o f the association.1 The output in 1915 o f the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Co., which is the largest single producer in the district, was 8.950,454 tons. In the month o f June, 1917, the minimum wages paid by this company fo r any branch o f service exceeded $2 a day. Living conditions among all classes o f tenants in the black-belt counties are in need o f great improvement. The houses in which the vast m ajority o f Negroes live contain no modem conveniences and are little better than rudely constructed shanties. Large families quite commonly live in one small room, in which there is little window space. T oo often the houses have been placed in a bleak spot o f ground which is barren o f grass or trees, and the environment o f the home is such that cleanliness and sanitation are impossible o f attain ment. Except in isolated instances, the schools must be characterized as wholly inadequate. In the rural districts many communities have no schools whatever. In many others the buildings have been im pro vised from vacated Negro dwelling houses which consist o f a single room. That the school term is o f short duration, that the houses are poorly equipped and the attendance irregular, that the teachers are incompetent, and that there is an absence o f interest and spirit which are necessary fo r a healthy school system are facts which were every where stated by the leaders o f both the white and colored races. The worst conditions obtain in the communities in which most o f the land is held by the absentee owners o f large estates; communities in which few, if any, white residents are to be found; and in which, under the old cotton-planting system, it was possible, either by the use o f overseers or by renting it, to collect an annual income from the land without giving it much personal attention. In these communi 1 Since these figures were com piled some o f the nonmembers have become member* o f NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-1T. 69 ties there is a notable lack o f leadership as well as o f pride o f home and community spirit. Living conditions among Negroes o f the Birmingham district, except in occasional instances, are good and greatly superior to the conditions found generally in the Black Belt counties. The city o f B irmingham has no race-segregation ordinance, and there is not the congestion and squalor which are frequently found in the larger cities. Some o f the smaller mining companies, it is true, have not been able to improve the living conditions o f their employees to the same extent that the larger companies have. The homes o f both whites and Negroes were inspected in many quarters o f the district, and those o f the latter were found to have the same advantages and conveniences as the homes o f the whites. In some o f the smaller mines conditions are bad, as they are in a few o f the oldest camps o f the larger companies, but the houses o f the latter have been rapidly eliminated. The homes o f the Negroes are usually built some dis tance from those o f the white employees. In the newer camps the houses are modem and consist o f three and four rooms. They are equipped with electric lights and have running water either in the kitchen or yard. A very few have sewerage connections. Most o f the homes are inclosed by 9, wire fence and have a garden plat. Sanitation is encouraged, and many o f the houses have screens. The schoolhouses are modem, and the school term is eight and nine months fo r both races. Apparatus is provided fo r the play grounds, and in some o f the schools domestic science, manual train ing, and music are taught. In various camps mothers’ clubs have been organized among the Negroes, and there are clubhouses fo r the Negro employees, where they can obtain lunches and baths, play games, and read. The Negro residents who were questioned offered no complaint concerning their living conditions. They stated that their rents were reasonable; that they had plenty o f work, were well paid, and were well treated. Occupants o f some o f the oldest houses stated that their houses needed repair. Many o f the residents have been living in the camps o f the various companies fo r a great many years and there is just pride among them. This is fostered by the coinpanies as much as possible, and they stated that the older resi dents are a real asset to them in helping to improve the.conditions o f incoming families. In 1916 the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Co. spent $475,000 in health, sanitation, and social service work fo r its employees, and o f this amount $188,000 was contributed by the employees themselves. Most o f the commissaries in the district were found to be in a sanitary condition. Separate drinking stands and separate counters at the meat market are provided fo r the white and Negro employees. The markets are encased by screens, and in the best commissaries 70 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. wooden floors are being discarded. The prices charged for meats, vegetables, canned goods, and flour were found to be reasonable and equal to, if not below, the prices on similar goods which prevailed in the city o f Birmingham. Exorbitant prices have o f necessity been abolished. The exodus has undoubtedly brought about certain changes in the treatment o f Negroes in the district, and many abuses which have existed in the past have been largely checked. The system o f the monthly pay day was form erly in practice and the discounting o f store checks, labor scrip, statements, etc., was a common occurrence. Such discounting has now been largely discontinued and a semi monthly pay day has been established. Similarly, the abuse o f Negro employees by foremen is not allowed and the latter are repri manded or discharged for according discourteous treatment to the employees. According to the statements o f the coal operators the Negro employees are not allowed to be discriminated against in any manner, and an employee, when discharged, has the right o f appeal to a bofcrd, which renders a decision on the justice o f the act. On February 8,1917, the follow ing letter was mailed by the secretary o f the Alabama Coal Operators5 Association to the members o f the asso ciation : The discounting of store checks has been discontinued by a number of oper ators who have in practice the semimonthly pay day. To a great extent, the semimonthly pay day will eliminate the necessity for discounting checks, labor scrip, and statements between pay days, especially where the semimonthly pay day is in practice, and make provision, in cases o f urgent necessity (upon the approval o f the superintendent), to draw the face value o f their time in cash between pay days. It is believed that this will have the effect o f keeping labor better satisfied and contented and will remove a possible ground of criticism. It is also believed that employees would be better satisfied and that it would probably have the effect of preventing the movement o f workmen from this dis trict to the North and elsewhere, if care was taken to see that they can have no complaint because o f not being accorded at all times prompt service and courteous treatment by commissary, meat-market, and supply clerks; and also, if care is exercised to see that the price of commodities sold to them through the commissary and otherwise by the operator was held-down to a minimum, at most not to exceed what the same could be purchased for by them elsewhere, making allowance for a difference in freight and cost o f handling. PRESENT* SHORTAGE OF LABO R A N D MEANS OF CHECKING THE EXODU S. Although there was a surplus o f labor in the black-belt counties at the beginning o f 1916, the exodus o f Negroes has not stopped with the removal o f the surplus, but has continued until there is a serious shortage, not only in these counties, but also in other sections o f the State. Some o f the counties in the black belt which have suffered most severely for labor during the past summer are Macon, Bullock, NEGRO MIGRATION IN IT (H11 71 Montgomery, Autauga, Lowndes, Dallas, Perry, Greene, Sumter, and Pickens. In the entire black-belt territory much land has been allowed to lie out during the past season, due, in addition to the scarcity o f tenants and laborers, to the reluctance o f landowners, mer chants, and bankers to supply the capital necessary for cultivating it. The follow ing example is one o f many instances and is illustrative o f both the causes and effects o f the exodus: A prominent citizen o f Selma owns 7,000 acres o f land in Dallas County. Before the boll weevil reached the State he was accustomed to plant the whole o f this in cotton, and ran 250 plows annually. For the past three or four successive years he has realized no profits, but has constantly suffered a loss on the capital invested. When the floods o f July, 1916, virtu ally wiped out the crops o f his tenants, he decided that as a matter o f sound business he could not afford to make an additional outlay in the advancement o f provisions to them, the result being that the great m ajority were obliged to move elsewhere. In the spring o f 1917 he was unable to secure more than 50 tenants and was, therefore, able to put in cultivation only about 1,500 acres o f his land. The remainder was allowed to lie out. O f the amount cultivated, about 250 acres were planted in cotton, 800 or more in corn, and the rest in oats, pea nuts, etc. He expressed the intention o f going into the cattle busi ness as soon as possible. The farm demonstration agent o f Dallas County reported a reduction o f more than 3,000 in the number o f plows operated in the county this year. A s has already been said, the shortage o f labor is most acute among the landowners who made no attempt to keep their Negro tenants by providing for their subsistence. On the other hand, those who m&de such provision have usually been able to hold their labor. A planter living at Union Springs, who operates 150 plows, stated that he has taken care o f his Negroes and as a consequence has lost very few. He has also been able to replace those leaving. This can not be accepted as an invariable rule, however, fo r many tenants who were taken care o f during the winter suddenly left in the spring and summer. Crops which had been poorly tended or abandoned were noticeable in all o f the black-belt counties. The most striking illus tration o f the latter condition was found in Pickens County, where much o f the land is owned and managed by the lumber companies. These farms are largely deserted. It seems probable that if, the pres ent demand for labor in the northern and eastern States continues the shortage o f farm labor will constantly grow more serious. This opinion was expressed by the farm demonstration agents o f the black belt and other counties o f the State in a conference held on August 6 at Auburn^ W hile there has been a large exodus o f Negroes from Mobile, no shortage o f labor .was reported in the city. The immigration in 72 NEGBO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. spector stated that there was no present demand for labor and that he had been unable to place both whites and Negroes who were seek ing employment. Most o f the lumber companies in the State re ported a scarcity o f Negro hands in their mills, a few saying that they would need more men as soon as they were supplied with rail road cars. A serious shortage was found to exist in the Birmingham district, especially in the mines. It is most acute among the operators who have done least to protect their employees. A ll are suffering, however, either from a shortage or from the loss o f their former experienced labor and the supplementing o f this with green hands. The percentage o f loss has been greater among the employees who do not live in the companies’ houses. The Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Co. stated that about 30 per cent o f its Negro employees who have gone north lived in the houses o f the company, while the other 70 per cent did not. This company reported a shortage o f 500 men in the coal mines as well as a loss o f labor in the steel plants and iron furnaces, and the general manager o f labor stated that he was confronted with the problem o f obtaining the requisite Negro labor for the immediate construction, at a cost o f more than $11,000,000, o f an addition to the company’s steel plant. The Republic Iron & Steel Co. made the follow ing compilation o f the number o f its employees and the existing shortage: Average number employed. Ore mtriftg division...................................................................................................... Coal mines division..................................................................................................... Furnaces...................................................................................................................... 1,103 1,125 1,000 Number short. 223 133 The vice president o f the W oodward Iron Co. stated that this company had hitherto had no difficulty in securing “ boll w eevil” Negroes, but that the last visible draft had been made. Various means are now operating to check the movement o f Ne groes from the State. In the black belt the outlook for good crops during the present season is more favorable than it has been fo r a number o f years. This fact, together with the high prices o f farm products, is spurring the farmers to increase their efforts for next year. The, statement was made by the landowners and Negro lead ers that the Negro tenants w ill become better satisfied as soon as they realize that they can make money in raising grain crops and peanuts. It is believed by many that i f the crops o f this year are successful some Negroes who have left w ill return, while it is predicted by others that more may be expected to leave the State as soon as they are able to sell their crops. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-11. 78 An increase o f wages, which with the assurance o f a paying crop is both justified and possible, is one o f the most obvious and neces sary means o f checking the exodus. The small increase which has been made ip the black-belt counties does not compare favorably with the rapid rise o f wages in other localities. Nor does it compare favorably with the increased cost o f the necessities o f life. Again, the correction o f certain abuses and defects which have existed in the past is necessary. This fact has been recognized by the coal op erators o f the Birmingham district, where such abuses as the short weighing o f coal, the discounting o f store checks, unfair prices in tiie commissaries, etc., have been largely abolished. The system o f keeping strict accounts and making strict settlements with their Negro tenants should be observed by the landowners and merchants. The custom, too, o f spending certain periods o f the year without employment w ill, under a system o f crop diversification, become less possible for the Negro tenants. The need fo r better schools and better living conditions throughout .the black belt is most urgent. A t the present time the State license inspectors are keeping a close watch on the solicitation o f Negroes to be sent from the State by the unlicensed immigrant agents. This is necessary not only as a means o f checking the exodus but also fo r preventing a state o f constant agitation and unrest NORTH CAROLINA. There has been a steady exodus o f Negroes from the State o f North Carolina since the spring o f 1916. They have gone prin cipally to points in Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Penn sylvania, and New York. The Raleigh News and Observer o f Au gust 23, 1917, contained the follow ing words from the State com missioner o f labor concerning the num ber-of Negro laborers who had emigrated from the State: W e have no definite inform ation relative to the num ber o f N egro laborers w bo have been Induced to go north, but believe 20,000 w ill cover i t N orth C arolina has not been as hard h it as som e o f th e States farth er south, but the practice o f labor agents is becom ing m ore n oticeable in th is State during th e past few weeks. The W »1 number o f Negroes who have left the State, however, is believed to be greatly in excess of the estimate just quoted. At the same time, some Negro labor has been brought into the State for temporary employment in railway construction, etc. Many Negroes from the lower southern States have come into both Virginia and North Carolina, and after staying for a short time have gone on to northern destinations. The commissioner o f labor o f the State reported a scarcity o f Negro farm labor prior to the recent exodus. In the year 1916, 74 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-1V 87 o f a total o f 100 counties reported a shortage o f labor, and in many sections o f the State, as in Mecklenburg County, for example, the farmers are sowing grasses and raising stock on account o f the scarcity o f hands. More farm machinery is also being*employed. The statement was made in many o f the cotton-producing counties that there would be a serious shortage o f labor for cotton picking. In some counties, also, much land has been allowed to lie out dur ing the past summer. Wages for Negro farm labor were found to average approximately $1 a day. Unlicensed emigrant agents were reported to have solicited Negro labor m all o f the counties visited and in the city o f W ilmington four agents— one negro and three whites—were awaiting trial. Although the exodus o f Negroes from the State has diminished, they are continuing to leave in im portant numbers. The general passenger agent o f the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, which extends from Richmond, Va., to Washington, D. C., stated that the number o f Negro pas sengers going north over this railroad is frequently large enough to demand extra cars. W hile many o f these are from Richmond and the surrounding country, the great m ajority are from North Carolina and other States in the lower South. MIGRATION OF NEGROES FROM GEORGIA, 1916-17. T By T. J. W oofteb , Jr. From May, 1916, to September, 1917, probably 12,000 or 15,000 male Negro laborers left the State o f Georgia for northern cities. This represents a population movement o f from 35,000 to 40,000 men, women; and children.1 Although this is the first movement to stir discussion among the masses o f Negroes themselves and attract nation-wide attention, it is but the extension and intensification o f a steady, less spectacular shift o f Negro population which has been in progress since the close o f the C ivil W ar. Immediately after the Civil W ar inequalities in wages caused a considerable shifting o f freedmen among the southern States. The follow ing table indicates inequalities in wages in 1867-68: Annual w ages in southern S ta tes, 1867-68.* (FARM LABOR.) State. 1867 1868 w North Carolina............... ........................................... . South Carolina.......................................................................... .......... . Alabama.............................................................................. - ............................................ Mississippi......................................................................................................................... Louisiana......................................................................- ......................................- ......... Arkansas........................................................... ......................... ............ ....... ............. Tennessee.......... ...................................... .............................. . . . . . . . ____ ___________ 8104 10 1 125 139 117 149 150 109 158 136 889 98 83 97 87 90 104 130 115 108 » Yearbook, Department of Agriculture, 1878. The wages quoted a n in addition to food. It is evident from these figures that all the cotton States except North and South Carolina and Alabama were offering higher wages in 1867 than Georgia. In 1868 all the southern States offered higher 1 It is impossible to estimate the number o f males o f working age on account o f the difficulty o f ascertaining how many have left the towns. A numerical estimate o f the total number leaving must also be an approxim ation for the reason that it is impossible, w ithout a careful survey, to determine how much o f the movement has been constituted by single males and how much by families. Certainly, the average number o f persons per male laborer m igrating would hardly be higher than 3. The average Negro fam ily is slightly over 5, and many o f the families have been left behind. The report o f the investigator o f northern conditions Indicates that many o f the migrants are single males living in large camps. In fa ct the consensus o f opinion in Georgia seems to be that the bulk o f the movement during the summer o f 1917 has been constituted by the families o f these men who are Just now going up to Join them. 75 76 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1&1&-T7. wages. Records o f the administration o f the Freedmen’s Bureau in Georgia, under Gen. Tillson, indicate that numbers o f Negroes were shifted westward to Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana to meet the demand. Strange to say, southwest Georgia, the very section which lost most heavily in 1916 and 1917, was in 1868 in position to offer better wages than the old black belt. Negroes migrated in response to this higher wage. Freedmen’s Bureau records show a movement o f from four to five hundred hands to Baker County, and from three to five hundred to Dougherty County in 1866, with other lesser movements during the period o f unrest.1 “ Old inhabitants ” interviewed state that the recent migration o f groups o f Negroes to northern cities reminds them o f the migration to western States in 1866,1867, and 1868. A t this time covered wagons similar to the old prairie schooners were used. It is said that long trains o f these wagons left Columbus, Ga., weekly. The causes o f this movement were— 1. Discontent with the close supervision necessitated by the effect o f the old black-belt planters’ attempts to continue the gang system o f labor with freedmen. 2. Higher wages in western States. 3. Artificial stimulation by the Freedmen’s Bureau. A fter southern agriculture had regained some degree o f perma nence this migration o f Negroes settled down to a steady, slow move ment away from old plantation areas in the black belt to newer lands o f the South. A small percentage o f the migrants became wholly detached from the land and moved into the cities o f the South and the North.2 The movement o f 1916-17 bears all the earmarks o f the earlier / movement o f freedmen. Discontent with the old plantation system which still prevails on some o f the southern farms was intensified by low wages in 1914 and 1915 and the appearance o f the boll weevil in the southwestern com er o f the State. Higher wages were offered in the northern cities and artificial stimulation was provided by the labor agent representing northern industry. ,The beginnings o f the movement o f 1916-17 may, therefore, be characterized as an intensifi cation o f the shift o f Negro population which has been taking place for the past 50 years, accelerated by the boll Weevil and abnormal conditions o f northern industry. Since the movement started, how ever, it has induced a great amount o f discussion among the Negroes themselves. This discussion has emphasized the social grievances o f Negroes in the South, and since a distinct public opinion has been created, even among the masses o f Negroes, the social causes have* 1 Brooks, R. P . : Agrarian Revolution in Georgia, University o f W isconsin, 1915. * See Haynes, George B., Ph. D., The Negro at W ork in New York City, Columbia Uni versity Studies in History, Econom ics, and Public Law, Vol. X L IX , No. 3, pp. 13-44, for a statistical and analytical study o f this urban phase o f the movement from 1860 to 1910. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 77 been playing a part in the migration. These are, briefly: Injustice in the courts, lynching, discrimination in public conveyances, and inequalities in educational advantages. The differing action o f this complex of causes may best be studied in different sections o f the State and among different classes o f Negroes. The facts in this study are based upon two and a half months of field investigation in Georgia for the Department o f Labor. For two months before this investigation was undertaken for the depart ment the investigator had been traveling through Georgia, devoting part o f his time to inquiries into the migration o f Negroes. Differ ent parts of the State were visited in order that the sample areas might be representative o f the old central black belt, or plantation area; the portion of the southwest black belt affected by the boll weevil, the “ wire grass,” or coast plain, in the southeast section o f the State, and the upper piedmont, a belt running east and west between the black belt and the Appalachian Mountains. The map on the following page indicates the areas studied. Em ployers of about 10,000 farm laborers and share tenants and about 10 per cent of the total number o f Negroes in these groups were interviewed. At the same time farm, demonstration agents and mer chants were questioned as to movement among the 50,000 Negro farm renters and the 15,000 Negro farm owners. In the towns bank ers* business men, and railroad agents were questioned. Employers of 1,150 Negro railroad shop laborers, 2,000 workers in fertilizer plants, and about 2,000 workers in other lines o f mechanical indus try and day labor were interviewed. About 1,000 of the 4,000 tur pentine farm laborers in the State were on farms visited. The number and types o f Negroes leaving may therefore be discussed in three divisions: Farm labor, city labor, and turpentine and woods gangs. FARM LABOR. Farm labor Was disturbed only in spots. The two centers o f move-' ment were both in the southern portion o f the State. -One was the boll-weevil area and one the area around Savannah. There was very little movement from the upper piedmont section or the central black belt (see map, p. 78) about Macon, Augusta, and Columbus. The boll-weevil area is marked off from the remainder o f the black belt on the map on page 78 by a line showing the eastern limit of medium weevil damage in 1916. Within this area 10 heavily dam aged counties are marked off by the line showing the eastern limit o f heavy weevil damage in 1&16. The reports o f plantation owners and farm demonstrators indicate that only about 300 farmers and farm laborers have migrated from the piedmont section, 1,200 from the central black belt, 3,200 to 3,500 from the 20 counties suffering 78 NEGRO M IG R ATIO N IN 1916- 11. h ea v y and m oderate dam age from the boll weevil, and 1,200 from the w ire-g rass and coast counties o f the southwest and south central p o rtio n s o f the State. T h is indicates a total o f about 5,900 Negro fa rm e rs and fa rm laborers w ho have left the State. G E O R G IA — A P P R O X IM A T E L O C A T IO N A N D SIZE OF A R E A S STUDIED. (H e a v y lines separate M ountain, Upper Piedmont, Black Belt, and Wire-Grass sections.) T h e b o ll-w e e v il section .— The boll weevil entered the southwest ern to n ties had co rn er o f G eorgia in 1915 and damaged the top, or late fall, cot cr o p sligh tly. In 1916 heavy damage was inflicted in 10 coun in the southwestern section, and before the fall o f 1916 the weevil spread over all o r a considerable part o f 10 other counties, NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 79 inflicting damage on some farms and leaving others undamaged. In these counties terrific rains during July added to the damage o f the weevil and made it increasingly difficult to take the proper precau tions against its inroads. As a result many o f the farmers were almost ruined and many decided to change from cotton to food prod ucts. These food products—peanuts, com and velvet beans, oats, sorghum, and sweet potatoes— require only from 70 to 80 per cent the labor which an all-cotton crop requires. The employers o f about 30 per cent o f the Negro farm hands and tenants in five o f the counties heavily damaged by the weevil and about 30 per cent o f the hands and tenants in two o f the counties suffering moderate damage, to gether with scattering employers in other boll-weevil counties, were questioned as to their labor supply in 1916 and 1917. Their replies indicated that the line o f heavy movement corresponded closely to the line o f heavy damage by the weevil. The boll weevil can not, however, be taken as the only cause o f the movement in this section. In this section three o f the worst lynchings ever seen in Georgia occurred during 1915 and 1916. The planters in the immediate vicin ity o f these lynchings attributed the movement from their places to the fact that the lynching parties had terrorized their Negroes. Some o f the counties, however, remote from the lynchings showed as heavy a movement as the counties where the lynching took place. On the whole, the weevil, together with the simultaneous offers o f high wages, seemed to be the main determining factor in the movement froih southwest Georgia. Z. R. Pettet, the State crop estimator, says in his annual report for 1916: “ The Negro exodus has been greatest in the territory that has been infested [with the weevil] long enough to make it difficult to grow a paying crop o f cotton. The reported acute labor-shortage line coincides closely with the line o f third-year infestation, except along the southern State line.” The follow ing table indicates the extent to which the heavy damage was followed by a movement o f Negro farmers and farm laborers. It appears from this table that the planters interviewed in the heavily damaged counties sustained a loss o f 13 per cent o f their plow hands, and those in the counties with moderate damage sustained a loss o f 0.09 per cent. These percentages are slightly higher than the percentage o f loss in the boll-weevil area as a whole, for the reason that points o f heavy movement were selected for study. The loss fo r all 10 heavily damaged weevil counties would probably be close to 10 per cent and for the 10 moderately damaged counties about 0.06 per cent. NEGRO MIGRATION IN lM fr -ll. 80 M o vem en t o f N egroes and sh orta ge in b o ll-w eevil section , 1 9 1 6 -1 7 . Counties. Planters inter viewed. Plow Plows Number hands a Per cent Number of plows normally moved. return moved snort. operated. ing. north. Heavily damaged: T ew ell..rr............................................ Randolph.............................................. Quitman................................................. Calhoun................................................. Early___ *.............................................. Decatur................................................. 39 23 6 8 13 2 98 72 37 22 96 1 0.13 .11 .18 .09 .19 22 9 4 0 19 0 10 11 10 27 24 0 757 687 212 233 508 226 Total................................................... 91 326 .13 54 62 2,623 Moderately damaged: Sumter................................................... W orth.................................................... Dougherty............................................. Thomas................................................. Colquitt................................................. 42 27 4 4 1 116 40 14 6 22 .10 .07 8 9 1 0 2 50 4 8 3 0 1,146 • 587 416 34 25 Total................................................... Grand total.................................. . 78 208 .09 20 65 2,208 169 ft 534 .11 74 127 4,831 •A plow hand usually operates a one-mule plow, tilling from 30 to 40 acres of land. The unit of cultivation on the plantation is the “ plow '' of land. The family of the plow hand usually does ^he day labor. The plows on plantations are sometimes operated by laborers and sometimes by tenants. * Includes from 75 to 100 who left the State for work on a dam and power plant at Badin, N C. Columns 2 and 4 o f the foregoing table indicate a return o f 74, considerably over 10 per cent o f the 534 plow hands moving North. Inquiry in other sections and examinations o f railroad and steam ship figures indicate that the return current throughout the State amounts to about 10 per cent o f the northward current. The net loss in farm labor in the boll-weevil counties w ill, therefore, hardly aver age over 7 per cent. The shortage which would normally have been caused by this movement was recruited in three ways: (1) Movement o f Negroes into Georgia from sections o f Alabama where the crop was more seriously damaged; (2) using half-grown boys as plow hands; (3) cultivating more food crops and less cotton to the plow with a reduction o f the amount o f day labor used to supplement the regular labor o f the plow hand. Under the old system o f cultivating from 25 to 30 acres in cotton to the plow, planters made it a point to secure as plow hands Negroes with large families. The labor o f the plow hand was steady, but the w ife and the half-grown boys and girls were hired at 40, 50, and 75 cents per day to hoe cotton in the spring and paid by the hundred pounds to pick it in the fall. Thus a large number o f fam ily laborers were held on the farm throughout the year, but employed for only 2 or 3 months. The cultivation o f com , oats, velvet beans, sorghum, sweet potatoes, and peanuts en ables the planter to cultivate more land to the plow, and, at the same time, do away with much o f the fam ily labor which was needed for hoeing and picking cotton. The shortage o f 127 plow hands out o f the 4,831 normally hired on plantations in the boll-weevil area is therefore by no means serious. Very little more than the. normal amount o f land is lying idle this year. 81 NEGBO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. South central G eorgia (w ire-grass section ).— In this region neither damage by the boll weevil, nor activity o f labor agents, nor lynching has been felt to any great extent. In one or two instances, however, isolated spots o f movement in the vicinity o f a town indi cate the work o f a labor agent. Fanning conditions in the wiregrass differ materially from those in the boll-weevil section. The boll weevil entered the area in which the plantation system has re tained its firmest .hold in Georgia. A very large proportion o f the land is held in big tracts and cultivated almost exclusively by Negro labor. On the other hand, in the wire grass only a small percentage of the land is in cultivation. The process of turpentining and clear ing the longleaf pine is still going on. A few large* plantations are scattered throughout the wire grass, but the greater proportion of the farm land has been bought up by small farmers as the timber was cleared off. They are, in the majority of instances, farming without the aid of Negro labor. The farmer who does use Negro labor has to compete with the employers of turpentine and sawmill labor in the rural districts. Wages therefore average somewhat higher than those paid in the plantation area. While wages in the boll-weevil section of the black belt ranged from $12.50 to $18 per month in 1917, the wages in the wire-grass section ranged from $17.50 to $20 per month. In the wire-grass section less labor is employed by the month and mbre by the day. Seventy-five cents and $1 per day were the prevailing wages reported for this labor. The scattering location o f plantations and the sparseness of Negro population in this section rendered it more difficult to get statistical information regarding the movement. The following table, based upon interviews with rep resentative, planters is, however, indicative of the irregularity of the movement from the wire-grass section. Interviews with local bankers, merchants, and farm demonstrators indicate that the per cent of plow hands moving from the wire grass as a whole is only about 4 or 5, though the planters interviewed reported a loss of 7 per cent. This is due to the fact that areas o f noticeable movement were selected for study. Movement and shortage of Negroes in the wire grass, 1916-17. Counties. Total............................................... Ben H ill....................................................... T ift ........................................................ Coffee........................................................... Lowndes............................................... Wayne.................... ..................................... W are........................................................ Pierce.................................................. Planters inter viewed Plow moved north. Per cent moved Number Number Plows return of plows normally snort. operated. ing. 33 38 0 .0 7 8 8 625 6 21 0 .2 0 0 0 ,0 9 .0 4 .2 0 0 4 3 0 0 0 101 96 97 86 45 32 33 4 5 9 3 2 4 o 0 9 2 6 0 0 0 3 1 1 0 0 5 0 82 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. Southeast G eorgia (eoast reg ion ).— This section, like the wiregrass, is still being cleared o f its timber. Savannah and Brunswick are centers o f the naval stores industries o f the South. Interspersed with the farms are the turpentine and woods gangs. Very little com plaint is made by the farmers in this region except in the neighbor hood o f Savannah, where the movement o f day laborers seems to have drawn with it some farm laborers. B lack belt.—In the central black belt, outside the boll-weevil counties, inquiries among farm demonstrators, merchants, and bankers, with occasional visits to plantations, indicate that the move ment from farms has been almost inappreciable. In the neighbor hood o f cities such as Augusta and Macon some movement has taken place, but not to the extent o f that in the section o f the black belt infested with the weevel, or even to the extent o f the movement from south central Georgia. Upper piedm ont.—The Negro farmers o f the upper piedmont, like those o f the wire grass, are scattered among white farmers. They are more prosperous than those o f the black belt and all reports in dicate that they have been practically undisturbed. C L A S S E S O F F A R M L A B O R M IG R A T IN G . The figures used in the foregoing tables were obtained from plan tation owners. These owners, living in the county towns, usually supervise their plantations closely or provide a competent overseer. The m ajority o f Negroes on their places are, therefore, wage hands or share croppers; a few rent land from the planter. These are su pervised almost as closely as the wage hands and share croppers. O f the 4,831 plows operated by planters interviewed in the boll-weevil section, 1,722 were operated by wage hands, 2,334 by share croppers, and 775 by renters. That is to say, 36 per cent o f the Negro plow hands on these places were working for wages, 48 for a share o f the crop, and only 16 paid a fixed rental. This indicates that the area in fested by the weevil happens to coincide with the areas where the old plantation system 'is most firmly established. As a consequence the great m ajority o f the Negroes leaving were wage hands and share croppers. O f the 534 leaving the boll-weevil section only 20 or 30 were renters. Two classes o f Negro farmers were not reached by this inquiry among plantation owners. They are (1) independent renters on the land o f absentee landlords and (2) negro landowners. Only a scattering number o f these were reported by farm demonstra tors and local merchants as having le ft; but while these higher types of the Negro farmer constitute only a small part o f the total move ment, the few who have left are noteworthy for the reason that they point to causes other than economic for their movement. They will be considered more in detail in the discussion o f the causes o f the movement NEGRO MIGRATION IN ld lS - t f . 83 CITY LABOR. W hile it is probable that the estimate o f 6,000 migrant Negro farmers and farm laborers is not far wrong, it is more difficult to esti mate the loss from the cities and towns o f Georgia. The com plexity o f town occupations and the fluctuating character o f employment in normal times makes employers less certain as to the number o f their Negro laborers who have left. It is probable, however, that not less than 5,000 or more than 8,000 city negroes have moved to the North. These have been drawn from all sections o f the State. The towns lo cated in regions where the farmers were disturbed have, o f course, suffered a greater loss than the towns o f the'piedm ont and black belt. Skilled laborers especially have been drawn from all towns, because wages o f skilled labor run much higher in the North than in the South. The mass o f Negro day laborers has been disturbed only in Savannah, Macon, Waycross, Albany, Thomasville, and smaller towns in southern Georgia. Augusta and the smaller towns o f mid dle Georgia have lost negroes, but recent attempts to secure laborers for the cantonment construction in three Georgia cities proved suc cessful in this section. Even Columbus, though it has sent numbers o f Negroes north, was able, through its chamber o f commerce, to supply a shipbuilding concern in Savannah with about 100 laborers in August. The towns o f the upper piedmont have also suffered a relatively slight loss. It seems that the large m ajority o f the migrants from towns have been drawn from the best and poorest elements. The unemployed and shiftless where taken up by agents and the property-owning and money-saving class paid their own way up. The movement was started in the early spring o f 1916 in Savannah among the unem ployed ; later the better class o f skilled laborers started to move. Still later, after numbers began to leave southern towns, a sprinkling o f merchants, doctors, and lawyers moved to keep with their clienteles. B ricklayers.—The bricklayers in Georgia are about equally di vided between the two races. In Augusta the head o f the Negro bricklayers’ union reported that 12 out o f 134 had moved north and 4 had returned. Reports from other towns indicated that from 5 to 10 per cent o f the Negro bricklayers had moved. Enough have been left, however, to carry on construction work without inconvenience. The head o f the bricklayers’ union in Augusta attributed the move ment o f these tradesmen entirely to the fact that increases in wages, ranging from 10 to 15 cents per hour, were offered in northern cities. About the same conditions hold for the plastering trade as fo r the bricklaying trade. Carpenters.—Although a sprinkling o f Negro carpenters moved North from the towns, no great shortage has been felt. From 2,000 NEGRO MIGRATION IK 1916-l*r. 84 to 4,000 carpenters have been employed in Atlanta, 1,500 to 2,000 in Macon, and 1,000 or more in Augusta for the construction o f Arm y cantonments. About h alf o f these were Negroes. These laborers, were recruited during July and August o f 1917 without great trouble. Hitherto carpenters have been getting 30 and 35 emits per hour; can tonment work pays 40 cents. Ship carpenters are badly needed in Savannah, but this is a new trade for the South. Day labor.—Practically all o f the day labor in Georgia, outside o f the upper-piedmont and mountain towns, is done by Negroes. A ll through the cotton belt fertilizer works, oil mills, gins, and compresses employ Negroes, and in the larger towns employment is also fur nished to Negroes as railway shop helpers, street laborers, porters, drivers, hod carriers, etc. This class o f labor is scarcer in Georgia than it probably ever has been before, and a number o f employers complain o f green and inexperienced hands. No shortage in the sense o f decreased output was found. There is, however, a potential shortage which w ill not be fu lly felt until the winter, for the reason that much o f the labor in the towns is seasonal. A t the same time when cotton picking tempts Negroes from the towns with the offer o f 75 cents and $1 and $1.501 per hundred pounds, the cotton gins, compresses, warehouses, and oil mills begin to take on hands. These concerns employ practically no labor in the summer. The fertilizer plants—one or more in every town o f over 2,000 people—employ from 30 to 300 men. They take on about 25 per cent o f their labor in the fa ll and reach their maximum in January and February. The managers o f these plants, especially in the southern portion o f the State, report that many o f their hands have moved north since they were laid off in the spring. They are apprehensive that they w ill not be able to renew their force without'considerable trouble. A fter the cotton picking season is over, any shortage in these plants must eventually be made up from the surrounding rural districts, because the farmer can not compete with the town employer in the matter o f wages. In 1916, when farm hands were getting 50 and 75 cents a day, the oil mills and fertilizer works paid 80 cents and $1 and $1.25 a day. During the latter part o f the 1916 season many o f these indus tries were paying $1.50 and $1.75 a day. Complaint o f incompetent labor is especially prevalent among ra il' way shop foremen and bosses o f section gangs. Negroes who work fo r the railroads, however, are continually shifting their employ ment, even in normal times. The Central o f Georgia shops at Macon, the Atlanta, Birmingham & Atlantic shops at Fitzgerald, and the Atlantic Coast Line shops at W aycross reported great disturbance last summer and a continued shifting o f their labor up to date. The Central o f Georgia shops in Macon employ about 600 Negroes, mostly 1 This Is the price paid when cotton sells fo r 22 cents or more per pound. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 85 unskilled, and they report that during the three months March-M ay, 1917, when a labor agent was active in Macon, they lost approxi mately 200 Negroes per month, or one-third o f their normal force. In normal times their turnover was about 100 per month. The sec tion gangs o f the Georgia Southern & F lorida; Atlanta, Birmingham & A tlantic; and parts o f the Central o f Georgia and Coast Line are also reported short. In general, the movement o f common laborers has been stopped by a rise in the scale o f wages from 75 and 80 cents per day in 1916 to $1.25, $1.50, and $2 a day in the summer o f 1917. The supervising engineers o f the cantonments at Columbia, S. C., and Macon and Atlanta, Ga., have succeeded without great trouble in employing some 6,000 common laborers. Most o f this labor is bring ing $1.75 and $2 per day. Some o f the threatened shortage in the oil mills, fertilizer plants, and railway gangs w ill be averted when this cantonment work is completed and the 6,000 day laborers' are released. It may be, however, that other employers w ill have to pay the same scale o f wages which has been paid by the cantonments to keep the laborers from moving north to seek the same or higher wages. TURPENTINE AND SAW M ILL GANGS. Laborers gathering turpentine from the tree and operating tur pentine stills and the woods gangs o f sawmills live in camps in rural districts. Some o f them farm during the summer and work in tur pentine during the winter and some spend the whole year in woods gangs. Although probably not more than 1,500 o f these men have left the State, the shortage in the naval-stores industries and lum ber camps is probably more acute than in any other line, for the reason that comparatively, few are normally employed in this work. The census o f 1910 enumerated 4,000 . Negro turpentine farm la borers. Probably not over 5,000 were engaged in sawmilling and lumber gangs. T o have lost 1,500 o f this number has seriously ham-, pered the work in these industries. Inability to move the products because o f car shortage also has contributed largely to the decreased output. The naval-stores and lumber interests o f Georgia center around Savannah, the largest naval-stores market in the world. Turpen tine and lumber were especially inactive in 1914, and many Negroes were unemployed. This unemployment extended into 1916, during which time Mr. W hatley, the immigration inspector and head o f the employment office in Savannah, states that he was besieged fo r jobs. On this account the Pennsylvania and Erie railroads succeeded in getting large gangs o f laborers to move north. Turpentine and saw m ill laborers were then making only 75 oents and $1 a day, with 86 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. rough sleeping quarters furnished. A turpentine corporation em ploying 600 men in five gangs reports that in 1914 labor was so plentiful that they worked five months without a pay day, allowing their laborers only board and lodging as compensation. The mi gration was, o f course, heavy among this class and is still continu ing, though wages are now $1.50 a day with sleeping quarters furnished. CAUSES OF T& E MOVEMENT. Low wages, in the South and high wages in the North have been the chief determining factors in the movement. The foregoing discussion o f the conditions prevailing in sections which have been losing Negro population indicate a complex of economic and social causes—wages, conditions o f labor, lynching, minor injustices in the courts, and other social considerations. However, the fact that the movement began among the farm laborers and the day laborers in the city and, at first, largely among the unemployed in Savannah indicates that a living wage attracted the first migrants and has been one o f the primary considerations with the large majority of the later migrants. In such cases the labor agent from the North was the instigator o f the movement. Agents of the Pennsylvania and Erie railroads started the movement from Savannah, and agents carried the first groups up from the boll-weevil section. Arrests o f labor agents were made in Americus, Cuthbert, Thomasville, and Sylvester, and direct evidence of labor agents having been at work was found in many of the south Georgia towns. Only one agent— who operated in Macon three months—paid the $500 State license for soliciting labor; the others operated in a semisecret way. The universal testitnony o f employers was that after the initial group movement by agents, Negroes kept going by twos and threes. These were drawn by letters and actual advances of money from Negroes who had already settled in the North. The wages o f Negro labor in the South have tended to follow the cost of living rather than the productivity of the labor. With cotton low, however, and with poor supervision, the productivity of Negro labor is often not much more than it takes to maintain the Negro’s standard o f living. The fault, therefore, for the starvation wage o f Negro farm laborers has not lain so largely upon the individual planters as upon the inadequate system o f employing Negro labor. Some counties were paying $10 and $12 per month for farm labor in 1916, and some $13 and $15. Practically every planter has ad vanced wages since the movement started, some counties now averag ing $14 and some as high as $17, and many planters pay as high as $20 per month. These wages are in addition to housing and sometimes food. The food furnished consists o f a piece o f fat NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 87 meat, varying in size with the size o f fam ily, one-half peck o f meal, sirup, coffee, and sugar. In 1915 this eost $4 or $5 per m onth; in 1917, $7 or $8 per month. Theoretically, most planters provide enough space around the houses o f their tenants for a garden, usually one-fourth to one-half acre; in actual practice, however, these “ gar dens” seldom consist o f anything beyond a row or two o f cabbage and perhaps some string or lima beans and sweet potatoes. Often no active encouragement is given tenants and laborers to cultivate these gardens and sometimes the labor is pushed so hard by the landlord that no time is allowed for this work. Planters who have been successful in holding their labor empha size these other conditions o f labor more than they do their money wage. In fact, one o f the few planters who had not advanced wages since the movement started was a Negro. In 1917 he still paid but $12 per month for his farm labor. He, however, hired a woman on his plantation to attend to the mending o f his single laborers and to see that their food was properly prepaled and he gave especial atten tion to his tenant houses and gardens and made it a point to have the plantation produce enough pork to furnish fresh meat all through the winter. These and other points o f contact between landlord or overseer and laborer and tenant greatly influence the economic and social life o f the Negro farm laborer. In the past on many planta tions they have been left to work themselves out. A statistical study o f the movement o f farm labor would probably reveal a close rela tion between the number o f Negroes leaving and the care given by the landlord to the supervision o f these details o f plantation life. In the weevil section the method o f change from cotton to food crops seems also-to have influenced the attitude o f tenants. Some Negro tenahts became panic-stricken at the .appearance o f the weevil and had to be assured that they would be financed, and landlords who seemed to give this assurance grudgingly naturally lost their laborers and tenants. Other tenants who had not been damaged by the weevil desired to keep on planting cotton and had to be shown the value and method o f raising food crops. A fter the initial movement o f laborers by agents, the migration attracted the attention o f the press and excited much discussion among the Negroes themselves. Then their social grievances became a topic o f conversation, and quite a few economically independent, respected citizens moved North. It was noted in connection with farm labor that a few independent renters and owners have sold their property, in the m ajority o f instances at a sacrifice, and moved North. Beal estate men also report that in the towns a number o f home owners have sold oqt and left. W hile this number forms a relatively small proportion o f the total number migrating, they form quite an appreciable proportion o f the property-owning Negroes, and 88 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. their departure from the South marks a recession o f the Negro race from some o f the gains it has made in its progress toward economic independence in the South. In these cases economic advantage can be said to play but a small part in the movement, for unquestionably these men sacrifice their property and move fo r better protection.in the courts and better social advantages in housing and education. ' It is difficult to determine the exact influence o f the lynchings in Georgia upon the movement o f Negroes, on account o f the fact that the lynchings which occurred immediately before and during the movement o f Negroes were in the boll-weevil section, where the eco nomic conditions were also at their worst. Several planters across whose places lynching parties passed say that their loss was heavier than those o f the surrounding plantations on account o f the ter rorization o f their tenants. Negroes on the farm, the ignorant class, seem to take the lynching o f a guilty Negro as a matter o f course. In cases in 1915 and 1916, however, in the boll-weevil section o f Georgia not only the guilty Negro was killed but also other Negroes. In one county the m ob'beat and terrorized many Negroes and after killing the criminal went across the county and killed his mother and one o f his relatives. This feeling o f danger, even from the misdeeds o f other Negroes, has undoubtedly contributed largely to the w illing ness o f many Negroes to seek opportunity in the North. The two counties in which these lynchings occurred, Randolph and Early, were among the heaviest losers in Negro population. (See table, p. 80.) M inor injustices in the courts also are frequently assigned by Negroes as a cause o f discontent with life in the South. Under the fee system county and police officials are often overzealous in round ing up Negroes fo r gambling, drinking, and petty infractions o f the law. The lim it fine or sentence to work the county roads is often imposed. Two city officials stated that they had endeavored to dis courage this practice since the movement o f Negroes started, and that they believed that their success had contributed to the slacken ing o f the movement. , As long as rural recreational facilities and social life o f the Negro is so barren, such cases o f petty disorders among the Negro population w ill continue, and as long as they are dealt with summarily he w ill continue to nurse his grievance against the courts. A well-developed public opinion among the Negroes concerning inequalities in educational facilities is also apparent. A recent report o f the Bureau o f Education indicates that the per capita expenditure in public-school teachers’ salaries fo r each white child 6 to 14 years o f age is obout six times the per capita expenditure fo r each colored child 6 to 14. In addition, the only provision made by the State for agricultural, industrial, higher, and normal schools was, up to 1917, NEGBO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 89 an appropriation o f $8,000 toward the Georgia State Agricultural and Mechanical School, largely supported by Federal funds. Negro teachers in rural districts are poorly trained, the houses are in bad condition, and in the black belt they are inadequate for the masses o f Negroes who live on plantations. Although the impression in the South is general that the Negroes are moving to gain “ social equality,” it is fairly certain that they are merely seeking social advantages—advantages in safety, protection in the courts, and better housing and education. CONSTRUCTIVE P O SSIB ILITIE S. The fact that Negro labor, immediately after the Civil W ar and during the present European struggle, indicated its smoldering dis content by a rapid shift toward superior opportunities, indicates that as long as the system o f southern agriculture is based on the payment o f a bare living wage, and as long as social conditions surrounding Negro life are unsatisfactory the labor supply w ill be discontented and uncertain; therefore, it w ill be likely to prove inadequate in the event o f a crisis. The improvement o f race relations is a matter o f time, and w ill rest largely on the satisfactory solution o f the economic problems o f farm life. Several noteworthy tendencies were, however, noticeably strengthened by the fear o f loss o f Negro labor. The first o f these was a tendency o f the leaders o f the two races to draw closer together. Several State-wide and county meetings were held to discuss the migration and the grievances o f the Negro. U ntil more interest is taken in.these meetings by the white leaders and until they are fo l lowed by constructive programs fo r better law enforcement and edu cation they can not measurably influence, the tendency o f the Negroes to move. Probably more is being done to improve educational conditions than in any other phase o f race adjustment.' Private schools and educational funds are receiving increasing support. The State legis lature o f 1917 seemingly recognized educational inequalities as one o f the causes o f Negro migration. I t raised the appropriation fo r the State Agricultural and Mechanical School from $8,000 to $10,000 and created a new Negro normal school. FARM MANAGEMENT. Two distinct objectives are open to workers in farm management in order to make the Negro labor supply more permanent One is the organization o f the plantation so that higher wages may be paid; the other is study of the contracts between landlord and tenant mid spreading publicity as to the methods o f the most successful farmers. 90 NEGRO ‘MIGRATION IN 1916-11. Surreys in farm management have been made by the United States Bureau o f Farm Management, Department o f Agriculture, and by the Georgia State College o f Agriculture^ but these hare been concerned .chiefly with the former problem—that o f organization o f the farm so that labor w ill be employed for the year round and crops rotated profitably. Practically all o f these surreys hare been concerned with areas under normal conditions; consequently there is need in this field o f a surrey o f a hearily infested boll-weevil area and effort to dis seminate—in areas which are in the line o f weevil migration—the proper principles o f adjusting labor to meet boll-weeril conditions. The latter field—that o f contact between landlord and tenant—is relatively unstudied. The problems o f food advances, tenant hous ing, tenant gardens, accounting with tenants, and use o f farm animals are among the primary considerations in holding Negro labor. T o hare a satisfied labor supply these should be carefully attended to. A study o f these problems in detail should be attended with an effort to disseminate the findings among the farmers. In propaganda move ments o f this type the farm-demonstration agents are indispensable. These men hare their counties organized and hare the confidence o f the farmer. They are in touch with local needs and local conditions. Any effort in the field o f farm management should, therefore, be re lated as closely as possible with the work o f the Bureau o f Farm Man agement o f the United States Department o f Agriculture, the States Relations1Service o f the United States Department o f Agriculture, and the extension force o f the State College o f Agriculture. Such work would be directly productive o f a more satisfied labor supply if the planters were impressed with the magnitude o f the details o f farm management in the eyes o f the Negro farm laborer and farm tenant. EM PLO YM EN T BU REAU . Although no acute shortage o f labor in either rural or urban dis tricts has as yet been felt in Georgia, field workers in connection with the United States Employment Service, Department o f Labor, could find many instances o f individual employers who need more Negro labor. I f such labor were available, from 700 to 1,200 could be placed in the sawmill and turpentine industries at $1.50 and probably $2 per day; perhaps 2,000 at $1.75 and $2 per day could be placed in shipbuilding industries; from 1,500 to 2,000 could be utilized from September to December in picking cotton at $1, $1.50,' and $1.75 per hundred pounds. The cotton, however, w ill suffer no serious deterioration through tdelay in picking. A il employers express their doubts as to the feasibility o f utiliz ing any immigrant labor. Transportation provides another diffi culty. in any employment-bureau work, every employer expressing NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 91 himself as unwilling to risk payment for transportation o f Negro labor from any considerable distance, on account o f the unreliability o f some Negroes and the chances o f a m ajority not working long enough to reimburse him for the transportation advanced. They universally express the thought that any employment agency plac ing Negroes should have field men to examine them before transpor tation is advanced. SOUTH CAROLINA. In addition to the study o f conditions in Georgia, some trips were made into South Carolina in order to compare the conditions in the two States. Probably only 3,000 to 5,000 male laborers have left South Carolina. The only factors which have influenced the Negroes to leave this State are the labor agents and general discontent with social and economic conditions. The boll weevil had not appeared in any part o f South Carolina, and only in one case had a lynch ing o f the type o f those in southwest Georgia occurred. This was in the town o f Abbeville. A considerable number o f Negroes had left this town, but reports o f the ticket agents, farmers, and business m to seemed to indicate that the operations o f a labor agent in the adjoining county, Greenville, had had more to do with the move ment than the lynching. More Negroes had left the section o f Abbe ville County, adjoining Greenville County, than from the eastern portion. Also, more Negroes had moved from Greenville County than from Abbeville County. These are old plantation counties, similar to the black-belt counties o f Georgia. Low wages have prevailed, and the high-wage offers made by labor agents were probably the deciding factor in the move ment. The only other section o f the State which seemed to have suffered considerable loss was the coastal region between Charleston, S. C., and Savannah, Ga. In this section the movement o f turpen tine laborers that was noted in Georgia seemed to have extended into South Carolina. A considerable amount o f day labor had been drawn from all the towns, but the labor market in Columbia was not critical at the time o f the erection o f the National Arm y cantonment. THE NEGRO EXODUS FROM THE SOUTH. B y W . T . B. W illiams. For a number o i years it has been apparent to even the casual observer that a stream o f Negroes has been flowing into the North from the border southern States. Some have been going from the lower South also, but that section has not hitherto been greatly affected. However, recent extraordinary occurrences—the war in Europe, with the consequent shortage o f labor in the North, the ravages o f the boll weevil and flood conditions in the South— have set on foot a general movement, o f Negroes northward that is affecting the whole South. No southern State is entirely free from the loss o f necessary and desirable Negro labor due to this movement. Such States as Texas, Louisiana, the delta section o f Mississippi, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, where the cotton crop o f 1916 was good, seem to have suffered less than the others. In the States most affected certain sections have been harder hit than others. It seems quite dear that the exodus had its main start and recruited its largest .numbers in those sections which suffered most from the boll weevil and the floods and in those where the general treatment o f the Negro has been at its worst. When the floods o f 1916 destroyed everything in large sections o f Alabama and Mississippi, where for several years previously the cotton had been a failure owing to the ravages o f the boll weevil, the banks, merchants, and planters were unable or unwilling to make furthe? advances to the Negro laborers on the farms. Many o f the employers turned the Negroes out with nothing to live on. Some urged them to go away to find work, and for the most o f them it was a matter o f go or starve. Fortunately the unusual demand for Negro labor in the North at that time gave many o f the colored people a chance to secure remunerative employment. Thus the exodus had its beginnings. In the midst o f these conditions some planters were wise enough to inaugurate movements for employing and keeping their labor. They set about improving their farms, digging ditches for better drainage, building fences, etc. Such men invariably held on to their labor. Dougherty County, Ga., furnishes an interesting example o f the effect of consideration and kindly treatment o f the Negroes on 94 HECffib MIGRATION IN 1916-17. the part o f the whites. This county has lost few Negroes in com parison with the counties all about it. The Jews are the dominating influence here to a greater extent perhaps than in any other county in the South. The Negroes declare they ‘‘ are not a cruel people” and that they “ never stop ‘ advancing.’ ” They treat the Negroes kindly, leave them a large share o f freedom, and do not harass them on the plantations. A ll the Jews want apparently is their money, o f which they doubtless get as much as any other planters o r mer chants, but they keep the Negro happy while delivering it. Many o f the large corporations em ploying Negro labor have lost but few men owing to the care they take of-them and to the advances they made in wages to meet the rapidly rising cost o f living. The Newport News Shipbuilding & D ry Dock Co., in Virginia, which employs nearly 4,000 colored men, is another great corporation which, through considerate, appreciative, and fair treatment o f its Negro workmen, has not been disturbed by the exodus, though the attractive wages in the North have carried off many thousands o f Negroes from Virginia. Though Negroes may go from a section in large numbers, as from Lowndes County, Ala., fo r example, which was severely af fected by the boll weevil and the floods, yet few , i f any, usually leave the neighborhood o f a good school in such a locality. About the Calhoun Colored School, in Lowndes County, Ala., there are perhaps a hundred Negro fanners, who, through the instrumen tality o f the school, have been able to buy and pay fo r their lands. Not one o f these men has been attracted away by the opportunities in the N orth; and other Negroes in this neighborhood, though liv ing under hard conditions on great plantations, declare that they remain on account o f the good school fo r their children. A number o f other similar illustrations could be given. However, the exodus has carried off a surprisingly large number o f Negroes from many sections. The movement has been confined to no one class entirely; the ignorant and the intelligent, the in efficient and the capable Negroes have gone, and they have left both the city and the country. They have taken positions in the North mainly as common laborers on the farms, on the railroads, and about the great industrial plants, while a considerable number a^e employed as mechanics. The less reliable class o f Negroes, especially from the cities and towns, were among the first to go, owing to the indiscriminate meth ods used by some o f the railroads in gathering up laborers for their lines. In some instances they simply ran trains into towns and offered to take anyone who was willing to go. Some o f the larger cities, like Birmingham, for instance, at first rejoiced to be thus easily rid o f their less desirable element of Negroes. But even NEGRO M IGRATION IN 1916-1$. 95 these men in some instances were attracted by the large amount o f money they could earn by working steadily, and set about making good. The more industrious, steady ones, forced out o f the country districts, naturally did well. The alluring reports from these pio neers, together with the eloquent promises o f labor agents, set up 2 movement among the conservative, dependable portions o f the colored people which is going steadily forward and even promises to increase in some sections as soon as the present crops are gathered. The exodus is carrying off in considerable numbers not only the common laborers from the farms and industries o f the South but also many o f the skilled Negro mechanics from the larger cities, like New Orleans, Montgomery, Birmingham, Savannah, and Charleston; many o f the trained workers with less skill; and even Negro business men, ministers, and physicians. F or example, in several sections I found cotton-oil-m ill men in doubt as to whether they would be able to find enough o f their trained hands to operate the mills to advantage when they planned to begin work. A cer tain Negro medical college publishes a striking list o f its graduates who have recently moved from the South to the North. Five out o f one class are reported to have gone to Chicago. I know person ally o f several colored physicians with fine practices and good stand ing in southern cities who have pulled up within the last 18 months and gone North. This abnormal movement among the colored people is striking in many ways. It seems to be a general response to the call o f better economic and social opportunities. The movement is without or ganization or leadership. The Negroes just quietly move away withdut taking their recognized leaders into their confidence any more than they do the white people about them. A Negro minister may have all his deacons with him at the mid-week meeting, but by Sunday every church officer is likely to be in the North. They write the minister that they forgot to tell him they were going away. They rarely consult the white people, and never those who may exercise some control over their 'actions. They w ill not allow their own leaders to advise them against going North. A Rev. Mr. Carter, o f Tampa, Fla., who was brave enough to attempt such advice from the pulpit, was stabbed next day fo r so doing. They are likely to suspect that such men are in the employ o f white people. An influential Negro newspaper in Virginia made an earnest effort at the outset to stem the movement northward. Its supporters brought such influence to bear upon it that, according to the report o f its editor, it was forced to change its attitude. In fact, very little positive effort o f any kind within the race is made to check the movement. Most Negroes have, o f course, no idea o f leaving the South themselves. They know that for many reasons the greater & NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. part o f the race w ill likely remain better off in the South than in the North. But practically all are convinced that this exodus w ill result in great good for Negroes generally. It is the universal feel ing, in fact, that good has already come out o f it. •The exodus has pointedly called attention to the value o f Negro labor to the South and to the South’s dependence upon it. A ccord in gly the Negroes remaining in the South are being given a consider ation never before accorded them. Influential white men are coming to the conclusion, they told me in a number o f cases, that they must give the Negro better treatment and a more nearly square deal. Owing to the scarcity o f labor, a Georgia fanner near Albany this year laid aside his whip and gun, with which it is reported he has been accustomed to drive his hands, and begged for laborers; and the more progressive men are seeing, too, that if they would keep the colored people on their places they must give them better houses and more o f the ordinary com forts o f the home. The exodus has carried off the surplus labor which has existed in so great abundance that the South has been prodigal and contemptuous o f it. The result is less competition among the Negroes for the work the South has to offer and an increased demand among employers fo r labor. Wages, though still low , are advancing. A North Carolina editor com plained o f the “ outrageous wages ” ($1.25 per day) whiqh certain farmers had found it necessary to pay Negro farm hands. The commissioner o f commerce and labor o f Georgia reported two in stances o f Negro farm hands receiving $1 and $1.10, respectively, per day, which, he admitted, was far above the average pay. Negroes are not alone in approving o f the exodus. A number o f southern white men also, for various reasons, look with favor upon the movement. Many o f them feel that the Negro can better his condition by going and that he ought to be free to go. A greater number by far feel that the Negro is making a mistake, and many o f them would go to any length to prevent his leaving. Some white men see that if enough Negroes leave the South the masses o f white men w ill be put to work. They are eager to have this brought about. Others, including the commissioner o f agriculture o f A la bama, believe, too, that the going o f the Negro in sufficient quantities means the breaking up o f the big plantations. This w ill enable more whites, and also the Negroes who remain, to get land and become responsible citizens. Some whites feel, too, that they are being demoralized by the excessive employment o f Negroes under existing conditions. The competition for Negro labor often becomes so keen that the whites w ill do anything to get it. They wink at all kinds o f wrong and crime, and so debauch themselves. A State officeholder in Alabama confessed to me that he bad once got a murderer out o f ja il to work on his farm- And there are southern NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1915-17. 97 whites who declared that they w ould'like to see the Negroes scatter over the North, so as to give that section a taste o f the Negro prob lem. Some feel, as did the editor o f one o f the leading dailies o f South Carolina, that it is undesirable to have a preponderating number o f Negroes in a number o f southern localities and in States like South Carolina and Mississippi. So not only have many Negroes been forced out o f some sections by unfavorable natural causes, and are being lured off from others by better wages and the promise o f wider opportunities in the North, but they are also being encouraged to go by many Negroes and some white people. Meanwhile, com paratively little positive effort is being put forth" to check the move ment, which has grown to threatening proportions. SIZE OF THE EXODUS. As to the number o f Negroes who have left the South in this move ment all sorts o f figures have been given. They are mainly, however, mere guesses, few reliable figures being available. In fact, the States interested seem to have no means o f promptly gathering such data. The commissioner o f commerce and labor o f Georgia reported 50,000 as a reasonably correct figure for the number that had left his State. These figures were obtained from the auditing departments o f the several railroads handling the traffic out o f Georgia. In Alabama the commissioner o f agriculture gave figures derived from similar sources. In that State, according to this authority, the exodus o f Negroes has reached 90,000. In Mississippi the Negro insurance companies, which keep in pretty close touch with movement among colored people, estimate upon a conservative basis that 100,000 # Negroes have gone from that State. The editor o f the Daily News, Jackson, Miss., put the number at not less than 75,000. It does not seem probable that any o f the other States not men tioned have lost as many Negroes as Georgia. More may have been shipped from Virginia, but the bulk o f them came in all probability from farther South, where in many cases obstacles have been placed in the way o f a direct movement to the North. From these sections Negroes have come to Richm ond; then they take a new start either upon their own initiative or with the aid o f labor agents. As a sam ple o f the difficulties to be overcome by any large number o f these migrants, the Southern Railway, according to the Montgomery A d vertiser o f June 5, 1917, ordered that no special coaches or other facilities be placed at the command o f the labor movement. How* ever, there can be little doubt that several hundred thousand Negroes, mainly men, have left the South in this movement. The wives and children are swelling the lists o f those that are still leaving. And the end is not yet in sight. 70752°—19---- 7 98 NEGBO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. SOME EFFECTS OF TH E EXODUS. Naturally so great a movement o f labor from one section would have some harmful effects. The loud and widespread objections to the exodus raised by the farming and industrial interests o f the South indicate that the losses and interruptions to business have been considerable and significant. In a comparatively few and iso lated cases farm ing and even industries have been paralyzed, as, for instance, in eastern Mississippi and western Alabama. In a number o f industries production has been 4 slowed down,” owing to the neces 4 sity o f breaking in new men to take the places o f experienced men, as in the lumber mills all over the South, in the mines, on the docks, and, as is likely to prove, in the cotton-oil mills. But on the whole the evil effects are not so great as one might have expected. Most of the industries have managed, with some extra effort no doubt, to keep steadily at work, and the crops in the South have rarely been better. The boll weevil is slowly bringing about a change in methods o f farming. Fewer acres o f cotton are now planted to the plow and diversification o f crops is gradually gaining headway. Farming under these conditions requires fewer laborers than form erly; then, too, planters are putting more and more o f their land 4 under wire ” 4 for cattle raising. So it was not so difficult, when put to the test, to grow good crops this year, even with a loss o f labor. In fact, with such methods gaining ground, it was simply a matter o f time any way, in all probability, before many Negroes would have been forced out o f the South for profitable employment elsewhere. The actions o f a large planter in Lowndes County, Ala., are suggestive in this connection. He called together a group o f his Negro tenants, showed them a handsome Hereford bull, which he had just unloaded from the car, and threatened them that unless they worked harder he would, through breeding cattle, drive every one o f them off his plan tation. Seriously costly effects o f the exodus are not hard to find in many places. In every State from the Carolinas to Mississippi thousands o f acres o f land are reported to be lying idle that would have been cultivated had labor been available. And even where good crops have been grown it is a question in many places as to whether suffi cient labor for gathering them can be secured. From Abbeville and Greenwood Counties, in South Carolina, Negroes have streamed northward. Large plantations in the neighborhood o f Sumter in the same State are reported to have been seriously crippled by the exodus. A t D illon and other points severe measures were used by the authori ties to prevent the movement from the State. The Georgia commis sioner o f commerce and labor reported that /arm ing had been4 espe4 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 94 daily but not disastrously affected ” by the exodus from his State The editor o f the Times Record o f Americus, Ga., reported that there were 2,000 acres o f land usually cultivated lying idle within a radius o f 3 miles o f Americus. The president o f the chamber o f commerce, Valdosta, Ga., declared that the migration o f the colored people had seriously affected the situation in that section. He said: “ It has made the change from a surplus o f labor to a scarcity. Every man that goes now creates a vacancy and is missed.” A t Uniontown, Ala., the president of the Planters and Merchants’ Bank told o f a 2,000-acre plantation near by that had only two or three Negro families left on it. Other plantations in this section were in more or less the same condition. The whole southwestern portion o f Alabama has been hard hit by the exodus; and particu larly have suffered the large plantations that are owned by absantee landlords, whose agents usually had no authority to care for the suffering tenants after the destruction caused by fhe boll weevil and the floods. Similar conditions are to be seen in northern and eastern Mississippi. For the region about Meridian, the chamber t>f commerce reported that the acreage cultivated had been reduced. At Okolona an officer o f the First National Bank said many thousands o f acres form erly cultivated thereabout were now lying idle. The editor o f the Okolona Messenger, many colored business men, farmers, and tenants confirmed the banker’s report. Some farms hereabout are turning to dairying; but, as the editor pointed out, they w ill need many laborers even for that work. He felt, too, that there was little likelihood that cotton growing would be materially lessened fo r any great length o f time. So the loss o f labor was keenly felt in any event. He did not blame the Negroes for leaving. Many whites, he reported, had gone for the same reasons—boll weevils and floods, and the chance to better their condition. Other farm ing sections o f eastern Mississippi are said to have suffered even more than the region about Okolona, and the sawmill industry, the big business o f south ern Mississippi, was reported seriously affected. From the cities and towns all over the South a great many colored women and girls have gone North in this movement. Thfe means that many o f the best trained domestic servants have been lost to southern homes. That causes more acute suffering o f a kind than the loss o f the men laborers. New servants from the towns and from the country have taken the places left vacant, but they lack the train ing o f the old servants, and, above all, are not known to nor trusted by their employers, as were the old ones. This means a real hardship for wives and daughters, from whom come the loudest complaints against the migration o f the Negroes. NEGBO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 100 UNDERLYING CAUSES OF THE EXODUS. From the average white man one hears only o f the attractive wages offered the Negro in the North and the work o f labor agents in the South as the causes o f the exodus o f Negroes. Both have had their effect, but there are other significant, underlying causes. The North needed labor sorely and sought it where it was available. The South has done little to meet this competition except to complain and to argue that from 50 cents to $1 a day is worth as much to the Negro in the South as the pay o f from $2 to $1 and over per day is worth to him in the North. The Negro, however, seems not to be con vinced. He appears to be interested in having some experience with from four to six times as much pay as he has ever had before, what ever the conditions. This increased wage, to many almost fabulous sums, has without doubt been the immediately impelling influence that has taken the Negro suddenly into the North in such large num bers. “ Better wages ” has been the universal response from black and white alike to my inquiry as to why the Negroes are leaving the South. In responding to the call o f better wages, the Negro has done as labor usually does and as white men about him in the South are now doing. I ran across a number o f white men in industrial plants who explained to me that only their fam ily relations, property hold ings, etc., kept them from the better wages to be had in the North. A leading citizen o f Tuskegee, Ala., reports that 500 white men from his county have recently gone North. A t least 50 o f these are em ployed in one plant at Akron, Ohio. And Negroes from the South report the presence o f large numbers o f southern white men in a wide range o f northern industries. I have already indicated the effect o f the boll weevil and floods in driving the Negroes out o f the South. They were “ starved out of Alabama,” as a well-informed Negro in one of the affected districts put it. This condition of affairs made the work o f the labor agent easy;.but he did little more than point the way out of the unfor tunate situation. The Negro’s success in the North has been far more effective in carrying off labor than agents could possibly have been. Every Negro that makes good in the North, as thousands are doing, and writes back to his friends that “ everything is pretty,” starts off a new group to the “ promised land.” It is this quiet, effective work that leads the whites to think that labor'agents in large numbers are working secretly still. Then, too, a great deal o f money has been sent back into the South by the migrants, and this attracts no end of attention. There are little towns in Alabama, for instance, where colored people are reported to be handling more real money now than ever before in their lives, it having come from friends and relations NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-1*7. 101 in the North. It is said that at the Selma (Ala*> post office the spe cial-delivery letter and money-order business among Negroes has in creased to such an extent that the delivery boys who formerly earned $35 or $40.per month now earn from $75 to $100. A Negro minister whose son is thus employed assured me that his earnings amounted to $75 per month. The unusual amounts of money coming in, the glowing accounts from the North, and the excitement and stir of great crowds leaving, work upon the feelings of many Negroes. They pull up and follow the crowd almost without a reason. They are stampeded into action. This accounts in large part for the apparently unreasonable doings o f many who give up good positions or sacrifice valuable property or good businesses to go North. There are also Negroes of all classes who profoundly believe that God has opened this way for them out of the restrictions and oppressions that beset them on every hand in the South; moving out is an expression o f their faith. Unfortu nately the South gives the Negro abundant occasions for wanting to leave. As some one has put it, it is not only the northern pull but also the southern push that is sending so many Negroes out of the South. The treatment accorded the Negro always stood second, when not first, among the reasons given by Negroes for leaving the South) I talked with all classes of colored people from Virginia to Louisi ana— farm hands, tenants, farmers, hack drivers, porters, mechanics, barbers, merchants, insurance men, teachers, heads o f schools, min isters, druggists, physicians, and lawyers-/and in every instance the matter of treatment came to the front voluntarily. This is the ajl-absorbing, burning question among Negroes. For years no group o f the thoughtful, intelligent class of Negroes, at any rate, have met for any purpose without finally drifting into some discussion o f their treatment at the hands o f white people. The average white man, however, seems to have little knowledge or appreciation o f this feeling among Negroes. Few think ap parently that anything but money, or the novelty o f change, or de sire for what they call “ social equality” has anything to do with the migration from the South; but they are greatly deceiving them selves. Even so well-informed a man as the leading editor o f one o f South Carolina’s foremost dailies assured me that the treatment o f the Negro in the South would include only 10 per cent o f the reasons for the exodus. Such positive ill-treatmqnt as lynching, beating, and other physical abuses he evaluated at 2 per cent, and he gave 8 per cent to such negative treatment as the white man’s neglect o f the Negro, including his lack o f concerp about the way the Negro lives, for the kind of house he gives him, for his inade quate and ineffective schools, and his indifference toward the Negro’s 102 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. general welfare and development. The other 90 per cent o f the reasons he thought were covered by the effects o f the boll weevil, the floods, and the desire fo r better wages. Indeed, it was rare to find a southern white man who felt, or would at least admit to me, that the South’s treatment o f the Negro had anything to do with the exodus. However, the editor o f the Albany (G a.) Herald said: “ The Negro is leaving because he thinks he is not getting a square deal; and he is not. We have got to treat him better.” The repre sentative o f the Montgomery Advertiser, Farm Department, re ported as effective causes bad housing conditions and poor wages; but he thought he recognized a recent tendency to overcome these unfavorable conditions on the part o f employers. The editor o f the Evening Star, Meridian, Miss., said Negroes were leaving because they think they are not treated fairly in the matter o f wages, in civil affairs, and in the courts. He declared, however, that the South regards the Negro as a servant and w ill not under any con ditions think o f him otherwise. “ This is the nut,” he added, “ that must be cracked before any situation agreeable to both whites and blacks can be established.” A State official o f Georgia said: “ Negroes suffer as dependent people always suffer. There is no question about their being wronged and cheated by many whites, who, however, would wrong and cheat anyone they could * * *. Suspicion and hate o f the Negro has been sown by the white man. The Negro has responded in kind.” The secretary o f the chamber o f commerce o f an important southern port recognizes the justice o f many o f thevNegro’s grievances, and said: “ W e must change the point o f view toward the Negro. He is. human and must be given consideration as such. W e must drop the attitude o f ‘ Oh, well, he is just a nigger.’ W e must pay him better. The South just must meet northern competition.” An at torney fo r the M obile & Ohio Railroad, a lawyer o f distinction and a large plantation owner, ascribed a lack p f education on the part o f the Negro as a cause o f the migration. I f Negroes were better educated, he argued, they would not believe the flattering promises o f the labor agents, they would understand the laws, would know how to keep accounts, and would be less likely to think they are cheated and wronged. In reply to my question, “ W hy, then, does not the South educate the N egro?” he said, “ The South has to be educated to this.” Because Negroes have made few public complaints about their condition in the South, the average white man has assumed that they are satisfied; but there is a vast amount o f dissatisfaction among them over their lot. There seemed to be no escape and little remedy fo r it, so there was no point in stirring up trouble fo r themselves by publicly railing' about their p ligh t The easiest way was the best NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-11 103 way. The opportunity to make a living in the North, where hitherto no considerable number o f Negroes were wanted, gave them the chance long looked for to move out and to better their condition. Nevertheless these migrants love the South; many o f them write back longingly of their homes; still they break their old ties and face a new life in a strange land for the sake o f the larger, freer, life which they believe awaits them and, particularly, their children. It has taken something more than money to move these masses o f people, though money is a necessary condition for the movement and is the immediate occasion o f the exodus; but the Negro’s list o f grievances that have prepared him for this migration is a long one. The effect of the Negro press in making the Negro actively con scious of his condition is little known outside of the Negro race. At least two of these publications have exercised a tremendous influence in arousing Negroes to this movement from the South. One o f these Negro newspapers in Chicago makes its lurid appeal to the lowly class o f Negroes. It has increased its circulation in the South manyfold during the last year. In some sections it has probably been more effective in carrying off Negroes than all the labor agents put together. It sums up the Negro’s troubles and keeps them constantly before him, and it points out to him in terms he can understand the way o f escape. It neglects to mention the new troubles he .is likely to meet, but plays up the advantages open to him in most inviting style. One o f the most serious of the long-standing grievances o f the Negro is the small pay he receives for his work in the South. Even now, with a comparative scarcity of labor, common laborers on southern farms receive from 50 to 75 cents and rarely $1 per day. Women and children receive 35 and 40 cents per day. Only in some instances are meals given with these wages; more often than not no meals are given. The following are typical of the wages for com mon laborers in such industries as saw mills, cotton-oil mills, etc.: Newbern, N. 0 --------------------------------- --------------------$1.50 to $1. 90 Americus, Ga------------------------------------------------------1.25 Jackson, Miss------------------------------------------------------- 1.25 to 1.75 Laurel, Miss---------------------------- .---------------------------- 1.65 to 2.00 Hattiesburg, Mi|p------------------------------------------------- 1.40 to 1.65 As tenant, the Negro works under varying conditions from State to State and in different sections of the same State. In typical por tions of South Carolina, the tenant furnishes the stock, plants, culti vates, and gathers the crop for one-half of everything except the cot ton seed of which he gets none; or, if he merely furnishes his labor, he gets one-third o f everything except the cotton seed. Similar conditions for tenant farming obtain in the sections of eastern Mississippi which I visited. But many o f the Negro ten 104 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. ants feel that it makes little difference what part o f the crop is promised them, for the white man gets it all anyway. In the por tions o f Alabama and Georgia which I visited conditions are ap parently easier, for there the tenants get half of the cotton seed as well as half o f everything else. Commenting on conditions like 'the above the Charlotte Observer says: The real thing that started the exodus lies at the door of the farmer and is easily within his power to remedy. The Negro must be given better homes and better surroundings. Fifty years after the Civil W ar he should not be ex pected to be content with the same conditions which existed at the close* of the war. We can not blame him for no longer countenancing life in the win dowless cabin, nor with being discontented with the same scale o f remunera tion for his labor that prevailed when farmers were unable to do anything bet ter for him. If, as is represented, it is the custom o f farmers not to divide the cotton seed with the Negro tenant, then a hitherto undiscussed cause of grievance is brought to light, and reveals an injustice to the Negro which no landowner could defend. Cotton seed is now the important part of the bale. That the Negro’s share o f the money-producing crop should be withheld from him ought to be in itself regarded as justification for immediate migration from the farm upon which such a system is in operation. In certain parts o f Mississippi, at any rate, Negro renters fare but little better than tenants. They are subject to the overseer’s driving and directions, and must respond to the landlord’s bell, just as the other hands do; and when the renter has made his cotton crop he can not sell it. According to the law o f the State, only the landlord can give a clear title to the cotton sold. This gives rise to the fre quently deferred settlements of which the colored people complain bitterly. Apparently, in order to secure his labor, the landlord often will not settle for the year’s work till late in the spring when the next crop has been “ pitched.” The Negro is then bound hand and foot and must accept the landlord’s terms. It usually means that it is impossible for him to get out o f the landlord’s clutches, no matter how he is being treated. In many cases the Negro does not dare ask for a settlement. Planters often regard it an insult to be required, even by the courts, “ to go to their books.” A lawyer and planter cited to me the planters’ typical excuse: “ It is unnecessary to make a settlement, when the tenant is in debt.” As to the facts in the case the landlord’s word must suffice. It is not easy to get capable lav j yers to take Negroes’ cases against landlords, even when it is quite apparent injustice is being done. It not infrequently happens that the Negro who obviously makes money and gets out o f debt is dis missed from the plantation, a common expression being that as soon as Negro begins to make money he is no longer any account. Another form o f injustice that has long been preparing the Negro to escape at his first opportunity is the charging o f exorbitant prices n eg r o m ig r a t io n i n 1916-17. 105 by the merchants and planters for the “ advances ” to the Negroes, and the practice o f usury in lending money to them. For example, the tenant contracts for his money advances from the 1st o f ‘January. He usually receives no money, however, till the 1st o f March and none after the 1st o f August. But he must pay interest on the whole amount for a year, and sometimes even for the extra months up to the time o f the deferred settlement. This practice has become so common that the Comptroller of the United States Treasury, I was reliably informed, has warned all Southern banks that such practice is usury, and i f it is continued, he will close the banks indulging in it. Other common practices that keep.Negroes stirred up and tend to drive them away are carried on in many places to an extent hardly believable. In a number of the small towns and villages Negroes are roughly handled and severely punished by the whites. The beat ing o f farm hands on the large plantations in the lower South is so common that many colored people look upon every great plantation as a peon camp; and in sawmills and other public works it is not at all unusual for bosses to knock Negroes around with pieces o f lum ber or anything else that happens to come handy. A “ poem ” writ ten by a southern Negro descriptive o f conditions as he sees them in the South and printed several times has two lines bearing on this point: I f a thousand whites work at a place, Each one there is my '* boss.” On the whole, the plantations or industrial camps that have given any attention worth considering to the housing and general com forts o f their employees are rare. In the cities and towns Negro sections are usually shamefully neglected in the matter o f street improvements, sewer facilities, water, and light. Most o f the larger southern cities not only exclude Negroes from their fine parks, but make little or no provisions for the recreation o f the colored people. Harassing, humiliating “ Jim Crow ”•regulations surround Negroes on every hand and invite un necessarily severe and annoying treatment from the public and even from public servants. T o avoid trouble, interference, and even in jury, Negroes must practice eternal vigilance in the streets and on common carriers. The possibilities o f trouble are greatly increased if the colored men are accompanied by their wives, daughters, or sweet hearts. For then they are more likely to resent violently any rough treatment or abuse and insulting language whether addressed directly to them or to the women. Colored women understand this so well that they frequently take up their own defense rather than ex pose their male friends to the danger o f protecting them. The abnormal, unwarranted activities o f southern police officers are responsible for deep grievances among Negroes. In many cases 106 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17, tbe police have been the tools o f powers higher up. Many colored people believe that employers of convicts urge the police to greater activities among Negroes in order to fill up convict camps; and, as i f encouraging arrests, the authorities frequently do not pay the constable and other petty officers salaries for their services but reward them in accordance with the number o f arrests made. Natu rally, they get all out o f it that the business will stand. The Negro suffers and pays the bill: These officers have become so notorious that even some influential whites have revolted at the enormity of their practices. On this point the Daily News, o f Jackson, Miss., has the follow ing to say: We allow petty officers o f the law to harass and oppress our Negro labor, mulcting them o f their wages, assessing stiff fines on trivial charges, and often they are convicted on charges which if preferred against a white man would result in prompt acquittal. An editorial in the Macon Telegraph is also informing in this connection: Everybody seems to be asleep about what is going on right under our noses— that is, everybody but those farmers who waked up on mornings recently to find every Negro over 21 on their places gone—to Cleveland, to Pittsburgh, to Chicago, to Indianapolis. Better jobs, better treatment, higher pay— the bait held out is being swallowed by thousands o f them about us. And while our very solvency is being sucked from underneath us we go about our affairs as usual— our police raid pool rooms for “ loafing Negroes,” bring in 12, keep them in the barracks all night, and next morning find that 10 o f them have steady jobs and were there merely to spend an hour in the only indoor recre ation they have; our county officers hear o f a disturbance at a Negro resort and bring in fifty-odd men, women, boys, and girls to spend the night in jail, to make a bond at 10 per cent, to hire lawyers, to mortgage half o f two months' wages to get back their jobs Monday morning, although but a half-dozen could have been guilty o f the disorderly conduct. It was a week following that sev eral Macon employers found good Negroes, men trained in their work, secure and respected in their jobs, valuable assets to their white employers, had suddenly left and gone to Cleveland, “ where they didn't arrest 50 niggers fo r what three o f ’em done,” Another source o f long slumbering discontent is the matter of Negro schools. Southern* white people know so little about the schools for Negroes, or regard their education so lightly, that they do not often look upon the lack o f facilities for even elementary education among the colored people as an impelling cause o f unrest among them; but in whatever else Negroes may seem to differ they are one in their desire for education for their children. The move ment o f the Negroes from the country to the cities and towns in the South has been largely an effort in this direction. Naturally, the good schools o f the North, together with the opportunity to earn better wages, serve as a strong attraction to the colored people and NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 107 particularly to the more intelligent classes. Among the others this motive for going was not given as often as I had expected it would be; but, as the principal o f an effective colored school in Georgia thinks, their lack o f expressed desire for better schools in particular is probably due to their ignorance o f what good schools really are. Another o f the more effective causes o f the exodus, a cause that appeals to every Negro whether high or low, industrious or idle, respected or contemned, is the Negro’s insecurity from mob violence and lynching. He may or may. not know o f the sporadic cases o f lynching in the North, but he does know it is epidemic in the South. It was The State, of Columbia, S. C., I think, that asked its white readers i f they would not lesbve a country, where they might be lynched by mistake. Recent lynchings, and particularly that o f Anthony Crawford at Abbeville, S. C., have led Negroes generally to feel that character and worth secure no more protection for them than less desirable qualities, and that no Negro is safe. . Regarding the Crawford lynching the Charlotte Observer comments signifi cantly as follows: It must be admitted that out o f that revolting incident the Negro recog nised his insecurity and began to move like sheep to an y land that even prom ised better conditions. It was the South Carolina incident which gave Impetus to a movement that was then but slumbering. The broadening intelligence o f the Negroes makes them more restive under these unfavorable conditions than they have been in the past Even the masses o f them feel vaguely something o f the great world movement for democracy. They bear unwillingly the treatment Usually given them in the South, and they are making use o f this first great opportunity to escape from i t T o assume that the Negro has been blind and insensible to all his limitations, pro scriptions, and persecutions, as so many whites appear to do, is to ascribe to the Negro less sense than is required to earn the money which alone the South seems to think is taking him away. Money, o f course, he must have to live in the South, to say nothing o f the North; but the Negro really cares very little for money as such. Cupidity is hardly a Negro vice. There is a good deal in the state ment o f a leading colored woman o f Florida: “ Negroes are not so greatly disturbed about wages. They are tired of'b ein g treated as children; they want to be men.” So they are going where the con dition; are more promising in that direction; and the mass o f the migrants will in all probability not come back, as the whites gen erally ithink they will. Even i f they do come back they will be very different people. From a good deal o f evidence that is avail able. it seems that most o f the migrants are making good in the North, where they plan to stay. 108 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. In my travels I met a number of men returning from work in the North. Only one was coming back to stay any length of time; none had any complaint to make o f their opportunities in the North. The most successful common laborer I saw had been at work in a steel plant in Pennsylvania. His wages were 30 cents an hour, with an op portunity to work 12 hours per day for seven days in the week. His pay envelopes showed he had earned from $48 to $54 for every two weeks during the three months he had been at work in the North. He wae going to his home in North Carolina to pay his family a short visit. Two intelligent colored men—a teacher and a physician—of Americus, Ga., went north to-see how the colored people who left Americus in great numbers were faring. They visited New York City, Philadelphia, Springfield, Mass., Hartford and New Haven, Conn., and they asked their friends who had gone away why they left the South. They replied that wages were not the most important con siderations; that they “ wanted to be free, to get good treatment, to be away from getting into the wrong seat on street cars.” They declared, however, that they still loved the South. Every family from Americus was doing well. One man’s pay envelope showed $30 pay for 40 hours’ work. Four other bricklayers like himself were being paid at the same rate, as were plasterers. A carpenter had had trouble with the union which he joined; he got his money back and left it. Women were paid 25 cents an hour and 10 cents car fare besides. These Georgians were rapidly learning northern city ways. They were renting and subletting houses. In some cases too many were living in one house. A ll had plenty to eat and were saving their money. They were adding, the visitors thought, “ life and vigor and vision” to the northern Negroes who have been overshadowed by the superior numbers and wisdom o f the whites about them. New Negro enterprises were springing up. The only uncomfortable per sons they saw were several colored women school-teachers from about Americus who were embarrassed to have their old friends find them at work in the tobacco fields along with their husbands. They found no one who meant to come back South to live. After looking over the field, these two thoughtful colored men advise the masses o f the colored people to remain in the South and particularly those with property. Common laborers should go north for the better wages. The head Negro farm demonstrator for Alabama, with' headquar ters at Tuskegee Institute, sent out a questionnaire on the exodus to persons in the North who are known to Tuskegee Institute. In order to get hold o f answers from people familiar with conditions both North and South, I examined six replies sent in by Tuskegee graduates or 4>y men who had been employed at Tuskegee. These NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-11. 109 replies happened to come from Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Cali fornia. As to whether the Negroes who have gone North in the past 12 months are making good, all answered “ yes.” One made exceptions o f a few persons he knew. As to whether Negroes in large number^ could adjust themselves to northern conditions, all six replied affirmatively; but two would not have them come too sud denly, owing to lack o f available accommodations. As to an un usual death rate due to cold weather and poor housing, four reported not a single death; one, the death o f an old man; and one, from Iowa, “ no unusual death rate.” In regard to any discrimination in wages paid to white and colored laborers in the North, five reported “ none ” ; one at Akron, Ohio, thought there was some discrimination against Negroes. As to whether the whites were alarmed over the large number df Negroes coming into the North, three answered “ no.” One from Deis Moines, Iowa, said: “ Better class are not; the labor ing class,are.” One at Cleveland, Ohio, said: “ No large degree o f alarm; occasional editorials.” One at Akron, Ohio, said: “ Northern ers are not; those from the border States are.” The respondent from Iowa added the following suggestive re marks: The whites welcome Negroes, especially to the farms, for they say they can not depend upon foreign labor. The white churches helped the Negroes to adjust themselves. At first they found it difficult to get houses, but that was remedied. Negroes receive the same pay as whites for the same work. They are employed where Negroes were never employed before in factories, shops, hotels, railroad stations, and on farms. Negroes can adjust themselves in the North on farms, in dairies, and at lumbering. Where Negroes have settled, their labor is In demand. Few o f the Negroes coming into the section owned homes in the South or lived where they had schools. The first reason they give for coming North is to educate their children; the second is to get better wages and shorter hours; and the third is to have the privilege o f voting. As far as I have been able to learn, there is yet no falling off in the demand for Negro labor in the North. I know o f no case where Negro labor has been given up after it has been given a fair trial. It seems that as the Negro continues to prove his worth and ability the demand for his services increases. For instance, a big pump fac tory in Massachusetts offers to take all the mechanics a certain wellknown school will recommend. The northern railroads are taking Negro workmen by thousands. Some of the roads are making com mendable preparations, I am told, for caring for the men, and are placing trained social workers among them. A big corporation re cently offered $500 to the man who would get 500 Negro workmen for its works; and it is said that the Westinghouse people alone are asking for 1,000. It is quite evident that an unprecedented movement o f colored people from the South to the North is taking place. During the 110 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. year I have been repeatedly on practically every great railroad lead ing out o f the South. In every instance I have found groups of Negroes bound for the North. From many southern centers the movement has been large and attended with dramatic incidents. In some instances the public authorities have attempted to use force to check the movement. A t Sumter, S. C., a popular Negro minister who went to the station to see some o f his members off was arrested as a labor agent. A t Albany, Ga., the police tore up the tickets o f migrants about to leave for the North, and at Savannah the police arrested and jailed every Negro found in the station on one occa sion, without regard as to where he might be going. Fortunately all these arbitrary acts were righted later. Meanwhile, the exodus went on increasing in volume until easily several hundred thousand, it may be. half a million, Negroes have left the South. The niovement has carried off many o f the best workers; new ones had to be trained at no little cost and annoyance, and many readjustments to the new conditions had to be made. But the South has been affected seriously only locally; production has been lessened in some quar ters, and business has been affected in some o f the smaller towns, as, for instance, at Uniontown, Ala., where practically all of the for merly thriving Negro business and a good deal o f the white business was paralyzed by the heavy exodus from that section. Though there are many powerfully contributing influences, the better wages offered by the North have been the immediate occasion for the exodus. Wages on southern farms have not nearly kept pace with the rising cost o f living, in fact they have remained practically stationary. The Progressive Farmer is quoted as follows in a letter to the Ledger-Dispatch, o f Norfolk, V a .: Farm labor has always commanded smaller wages in the South than in other parts o f the country. In 1910 the average monthly wage o f male farm laborers in the South Atlantic States was only $18.76, and in the South Central States $20.27, while in the North Atlantic and North Central States the average ex ceeded $30, and in the Western States reached $44.35. * * * We ought to face the competition o f other sections, not by taxing and mobbing labor agents, but by treating our own labor so fairly that -t wiU be willing to stay with us. But the general treatment o f the Negro in the South has also had a fundamental influence in sending him away. The white South strenuously opposes the Negro movement and loudly objects to the loss o f her labor, but she is slow to adopt any constructive measures for retaining it. Indeed many feel that there is nothing to do but to let the movement run its course. The Negroes generally feel that good has already come to them from the exodus. New* fields o f labor with favorable conditions for larger development have opened to the Negro; his migration has awakened the South to a keener appreciation o f the value o f Negro labor, admittedly the NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. I ll best labor possible for the South; and selfish interests, at least, should lead the South to make that labor efficient and contented with its pay and treatment. So the Negro feels that there is a better day ahead for him, both north and south. IN ITIA L REMEDIES. How to keep the Negroes in the South and make them satisfied with their lot is the problem now presented to the South. It ought not to be difficult o f solution. It is not natural for the Negroes to leave their old homes in this wholesale fashion, and they really do not want to go. Many o f the most radical Negroes admit that the colored people will endure objectionable things in the South provided they can be made reasonably safe and comfortable, because it is home. Some planters and industrial establishments are already demonstrating by means o f better pay and greater care for their employees what such consideration will do in keeping the Negroes loyally at work in the South, and the more efficient Negro schools have for years been point ing the way. When the Negroes were leaving W ilcox County, Ala., by hundreds a Negro school, conducted by Negroes, gathered 32 o f these wandering farmers about it, gave them work, secured them some credit, $15 each, and saved them to the county. Not one o f them went away and all are now growing good crops. The effect of the Calhoun Colored School, in Lowndes County, Ala., has already been cited. A local white trustee o f Okolona* Institute, in Mississippi, declared that the men and women from that school had not been led off by the exodus. In fact the graduates o f the better Negro schools o f the South have not been conspicuous among the migrants. The Negroes on their own, farms or on the farms o f white men cen tering about the Penn School and the Port Royal Agricultural School, in Beaufort County, S. C., seemed not to have known that an exodus o f Negroes was on, although Savannah, only a few miles away, had been a rallying point for the movement As to means o f checking the exodus an editorial in the Daily News, Jackson, Miss., makes the following suggestions: The Negro exodus is the most serious economic matter that confronts the people o f Mississippi to-day. And it isn’t worth while to sit around and cuss the labor agents, either. That won’t help us the least bit in getting to a proper solution. We may as well face the facts, even when the facts are very ugly and very much against us. The plain truth o f the matter is the white people of Mississippi are not giving the Negro a square deal. And this applies not merely to Mississippi, but to all the other States in the South. How can we expect to hold our Negro labor when we are not paying decent living wages? Have we any right to abuse the Negro for moving to the northern States, where lie is tempted by high wages, when we are not paying him his worth at home? I f you, Mr. White Man, believed that yon could greatly benefit your financial condition by moving to some other section of the country, would yon lose any 112 NEGBO MIGRATION IN 1916-17, time in doing so? * * * And that is just what the Negro is doing. He is going away from ns because he finds the going good. * * • We expect our Negro laborers to work for the same wages they were paid four or five years ago, shutting our eyes to the fact the increased cost of living affects the Negro as well as the white man. A few industrial plants here in Jackson are holding their labor because o f the fact that their managers have sense enough to take account o f the radical economic changes in recent years and are pay ing Negro laborers higher wages. Then, too, the Negro is not being given a square deal in the matter o f edu cation. In a majority o f our rural districts especially the schools for Negro children are miserable makeshifts, the teacher often more ignorant than his pupils, little or nothing allowed for their support, and the children derive no benefits whatever. A Negro father, if he is honest, hard working, and industrious, has the same ambition for his children that a white man possesses. He wants to see his off spring receive an education in order that they may be properly equipped for the battle of life. But they are not getting this. Every person who is familiar with educational affairs in Mississippi well knows this to be the case. And it forms one o f the chief reasons why thrifty, industrious Negroes, who want to get ahead in the world, who have a desire to live decently, are following the lure of higher wages and better living conditions and moving to the Northern States. * * * The ugly fact remains that we have not been doing our duty by the Negro, and until we do there is no reason to hope for a better settlement o f our industrial condi tions. The fJegro will continue to desert our farms, leaving thousands of fertile acres untilled, and bring about a business stagnation in some sections from which we may never recover. There is no question as to the value o f the Negro to the South; but circumstances are bringing other sections to an appreciation o f his value also, and the Negro, too, is coming to understand something o f his worth to the community. I f the South would keep the Negro and have him satisfied she must give more constructive thought than has been her custom to the Negro and his welfare. Negroes must be given better houses to live in and such improved surroundings as will make it possible for them to live decent, sanitary lives. They must also have larger pay for their services in order that they may properly meet the new conditions, and it must be made evident to the Negroes that they are given justice in the courts. It will be necessary also to provide adequate school facilities for colored children, not only for elementary education but for secondary training as well. Prac tically no provisions for the latter have been made at public expense for colored youth in the South, where Negroes see high schools being placed within reach o f every white boy and girl. Some check will have to be put upon the rampant “ Jim C row 5 legislation and restric 5 tions; the Negro must be made reasonably safe from mob violence and lynching and be given protection against constant irritation, insult, and abuse for no reason other than that he is a black man; and the South must find a way to admit at least the educated, capable colored man to the franchise. The South can not longer afford to do NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 113 less for the Negro within her gates and upon whom she depends than for any other peoples from anywhere else in the world. Then she should make the same demands of the Negro as o f any other citizen. It is too much to expect that Negroes will indefinitely endure their severe limitations in the South when they can escape most of them in a ride o f 36 hours. To bring about these changes so desirable to all Negroes who have not only their own good but the good o f the South at heart requires something o f a fundamental change in the attitude of the South toward the Negro. But, after all, it may not be so difficult a nut to crack as the Mississippi editor supposes. 70752°—19-----8 , THE NEGRO MIGRANT IN THE NORTH. By F r a n c is D. T tso n . From the dramatic activity o f the underground railway o f the days before the W ar of 1861-1865 to the widespread migration o f 1916-17 the Negro has moved northward in the United States. B y 1900, 911,025 Negroes were living in the North, or 10.3 per cent o f the total o f the Negro population o f 8,833,994.1 This number increased 167,251 between 1900 and 1910, to a total o f 1,078,276,2 o f whom 834,774 were urban dwellers in the North and West. Again, in 1900 slightly over 1 in 10 o f the total Negro population lived north. A pro rata increase up to 1915 would have added about another 100,000 to the total Negro population o f the North. A fur ther migration of the Negro to the North in these early years o f the new century was no doubt deterred by the large foreign immigra tion o f unskilled workers for northern industries. T able I .— Num ber and per cent o f Negro population in selected northern cittet, 1910. THE NEGRO POPULATION OF THE NORTH. Negro population in northern cities o f the metropolitan class showed percentages o f absolute increase since 1900 varying from 51 to 16, New York standing highest with 51.2 per cent, followed by Chicago, 46.3 per cent; Indianapolis, 87.5 per cent; Philadelphia,* • 1 Census o f 1900, Supplementary Analysis, pp. 204-205. • Census o f 1910, Abstract, p. 42. U5 *1 1 6 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 34.9 per cent; and so through the list to Boston with 16.9 per cent. The Negro urban population has, with few exceptions, increased relatively faster than other racial elements. The proportional in crease is very slight, however, and did not as greatly Effect the com position o f the population as the presence o f a large proportion of foreign bom has done. In the northern cities, however, with the exception o f Kansas City and Boston, the Negro urban population increased during the decade 1900-1910 at a faster rate than the foreign-bom population. In New York, where the highest rate of increase among the foreign bom occurs, th$ Negroes’ rate o f increase is exceeded by less than 1 per cent; in Philadelphia the Negro rate o f increase exceeds the foreign bom by 10.6 per cent; in Pittsburgh, 3 per cent; Indianapolis, 21.7 per cent; Cincinnati, 31.9 per cent. On the contrary, the rate o f increases among the foreign born in Kansas City exceeds that o f the Negro by 4.4 per cent and in Boston by 6.5 per cent. The high rate o f increase both among the foreign-bom whites and the Negroes seems to indicate the great demand in the modern city for unskilled workers in common labor and personal service. O f course it must be remembered that the percentage o f Negroes did not amount to 10 per cent in any northern city, and in the largest cities ranges from 2 to 6 per cent. Nevertheless these Negro populations, if considered in absolute numbers, constituted a large body—a city within a city. In New York in 1910 there were as many Negroes as there were people in Springfield, Mass.; Camden or Trenton, N. J .; Reading, P a .; or Dallas, Tex. In St. Louis there were enough Negroes to make a city the size o f Topeka, Kans., or Lincoln, Nebr. And it might be added that the Negro population is confined to much smaller areas than is the population o f the cities just named. In smaller cities the percentages o f increase in Negro population were smaller than those o f the cities o f the metropolitan class, show ing that larger cities are increasing their Negro population at a faster rate. This fact is probably due to definite causes. Industrial opportunities for the sort o f labor the Negro can furnish are no doubt found in greater abundance in larger than in smaller cities, and in the case o f the Negro, as in the case o f the foreign-bom peoples, the movement is naturally toward cities where there are already considerable numbers of his race. The foreign immigration has for years constituted the chief source o f unskilled labor for northern industry.1 With the coming o f the war and the mobilization and blockade o f Europe this immigration . 1 An analysis o f alm ost any “ million a year ” im m igration shows seven-tenths o f the Im migration to be males, three-fourths o f whom are, again, o f working age. Seventy per cent o f such an annual m igration was in recent years, moreover, distributed among about six industrial northern States with large urban population.— Jenks and Lauck, “ The Im migration Problem,” Macmillan Co., 1911, NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1016-17. 117 underwent a marked reduction.1 A t the same time our production o f goods and munitions for the allies brought an industrial boom to the North and increased the demand for unskilled and semiskilled laborers. Naturally these same northern industrial States turned to the only available cheap labor supply in the country, the Negro workers o f the South. In any case the wages o f unskilled labor rose rapidly after 1915 from 18 to 20 cents an hour, to 25 and 30 cents and higher, and northern firms began to employ labor agents to offer inducements and transportation to hasten the coming north o f the Negro. This work was probably made easier by the ravages o f the boll weevil in cotton-growing districts o f southern Alabama and Georgia and the suffering consequent upon the widespread depres sion immediately following the outbreak o f the war and the tie-up in the cotton movement. In fact, by the early spring o f 1916 the migra tion from the South was well under way. It has increased in an as cending curve, with a depression during the winter months, probably reaching a maximum in the past summer. The printed estimates o f the number o f Negroes moving northward over the Mason and Dixon line have varied widely from 350,000 to 1,000,000. These estimates are for the most part guesses. It will be impossible to ascertain accurately the increase in the northern Negro population till the census taking two years hence, and within certain limits one guess is as. good as another. We have attempted no estimate of the total number o f Negroes who have come north in the 18 months o f migration; the only figures presented are based upon their distribu tion in the industrial centers, determined by returns from indus tries as to the total number o f Negroes employed and community reports as to the number o f newcomers. Such totals o f men employed are arbitrarily doubled by the additions o f a like figure covering the families (a wife and two children on the average) o f approximately a third o f the workers. On this basis the total estimate for the three industrial States o f Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Ohio reaches the figure 150,000.* For * New York and New England accurate figures for estimation were not available. In Michigan, Detroit (where the Negro population trebled) reported 12,000; and in Illinois, Chicago alone had about 24,000 newcomers. This rapid and necessarily superficial survey o f sections o f the northern industrial district was attempted in six weeks in August and September, 1917. The Philadelphia district work, with Essing1 For the year ending In Jane, 1914, there was an addition o f 1,217,500 to oar popu lation by immigration. In the next year, 1915, the number fell to 315,700, little more than a fourth o f the form er stream, and has since fallen to less than 20,000 a month, on the average. The number o f foreign born retaining home, nearly balanced the number o f newcomers. (See U. 8. Bureau o f Im m igration Com m issioner's Report^ 1910.) * For detailed estim ates, see Appendix. 118 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. ton, Chester, Wilmington, Coatesville, and Steelton, consumed over three weeks; New York, Newark, and Jersey City a week; and the work in the Ohio cities and Detroit consumed the remaining available time. A more intensive study in the Pittsburgh industrial district had been under way from June 1, 1917, in charge of Mr. A. Epstein, a student in social economy in the University o f Pittsburgh, who conducted the investigation in the Pittsburgh district and who filled out 530 schedules of interviews with newcomers. This latter survey included health, housing, and delinquency studies, as well as a review o f the industrial labor problems of the migrants. It is being given separate publication,1 but has been drawn upon freely in this survey. THE CAUSES OF THE MIGRATION. The immediate or primary cause of this tremendous and unique movement o f population is evidently economic. The great demand for labor in the North sent the wages o f the unskilled up as high as the unprecedented figure o f 35 and 36 cents an hour. At Duluth, Minn., the most northern terminus of the movement, $3.60 was offered in July, 1917, for 12 hours’ work in the steel mills. Throughout the East contractors and traction companies were paying from 30 to 35 cents an hour, and a large electric-light plant operation at Chester provided also free transportation by rail to and from Philadelphia and offered the further inducement o f a free lunch. Prevailing wages in the steel mills o f the East were from 25 to 30 cents an hour. Stories and rumors o f such wages circulated in the cities o f the South, where prevailing wage rates were from $1 to $2 a day, and soon spread to rural districts, where day wages are reported to have averaged 75 cents to $1 a day, to say nothing of districts where the cotton crop failed and the people were in actual want. In the North, at a minimum estimate, over 90 per cent o f the Negro workers were doing unskilled or common day laborers’ work at a prevailing wage ranging from 19 cents an hour for a 10-hour day in railroading to 30 cents an hour for 10 hours in construction work and 25 to 30 cents an hour for 10 to 12 hours’ work per day in the steel mills. The wage rate has been rising steadily. Thus in October the steel industry wage rate rose to 33 cents an hour in the Pittsburgh district, with the most recent general 10 per cent addition by the United States Steel Corporation. This rise is in part due to the fact that the railroads ceased bringing trainloads regularly from the South as a “ benefaction to northern industry.” The Pittsburgh study convinces one that from the standpoint of the northern industrial and business interests, however, the migra tion into this district has not been altogether satisfactory. Pitts 1 Published in Studies on Social Econom ics series, University o f Pittsburgh. NEGBO MIGRATION IN lM A-TZ. 119 burgh, as the workshop o f the world, is naturally playing a more important part than ever in the present crisis and has felt a pro portionate interest in the increase of the labor supply. The Negro migrant in Pittsburgh, it can be safely stated, has not usurped the place o f the white worker. Every man is needed, as there are now more jobs than men to fill them. Pittsburgh’s industrial life is now partly dependent upon the Negro-labor supply. In spite'of its necessity, Pittsburgh did not get a sufficient supply o f Negroes, and certainly not in the same full proportion as did many smaller towns. Pittsburgh manufacturers are still in need o f labor, and this in spite o f the fact that the railroads, the largest steel corporations, and at least two smaller industrial concerns o f the locality have had labor agents in the South. These agents, labor ing under great difficulties because o f the restrictive measures adopted in certain southern communities to prevent the Negro exodus, have nevertheless succeeded in bringing several thousand colored workers into this district. That they have had little success in keeping these people here is acknowledged by all o f them. One company, for instance, which imported about 1,000 men within the past year, had only about 300 o f these working at the time of the investigator’s visit in July, 1917; another that had brought more than 12,000 had less than 2,000 left. Indeed, the steel companies throughout the North faced a difficult problem in securing workers. One o f the large new corporations in Philadelphia, employing as many as 8,000 Negro laborers in four plants, had effective service from its safety superintendent, a south erner, who operated, he stated, as did the largest Pittsburgh plant, through opening a labor office in Richmond, Va. From May, 1916, about 150 a week had been brought up from the South, a total o f about 7,500 men. There were five white assistants, and transporta tion was secured from the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Baltimore & Ohio. A license as employment agent had been taken out at a license fee o f $500, but very little selection o f workers had been possible. Two o f the assistants had been arrested for soliciting workers on the street. Until August there had been no trouble in securing transportation from the southern roads, but at that time they were refusing to honor, at points o f embarkation, tickets pur chased in the North. The safety superintendent said that he had been dealing also with a Philadelphia employment agent, paying $2 a head for workers. He had stopped business with him when he found him planning to pull men back from Newark where he had just sent them in order to secure a double profit. There had been trouble with two labor agents who had come from Newark, N. J., to secure men for a dye works there, offering them 39£ cents an hour. These agents had made away with 150 men before they were discovered. 120 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. The fracas which ensued resulted in charges against the safety man and his assistants of felonious assault and battery and damage suits for $18,000 against the company. These suits are being quashed by agreement between the companies upon the promise of the Coatesville firm to settle the $100 hospital bill resulting from physical injury to the Newark agents. The transportation expenses o f the Negroes from Richmond, Va. ($7.79 P. R. R. and $6.48 B. & O.) were taken out of the first pay by this steel company, to be returned as a bonus if the men stayed 90 days. Later the rule was altered to imply uninterrupted work for that period. The employment agent stated that the company had lost on the average o f $3 a man for each migrant brought north. At Steelton, Pa., the employment manager of the steel plant oper ated from Alexandria, Va., bringing groups weekly, beginning in July or August, 1916, using colored assistants who, rumor among the men had it, were paid $1 or $2 a head and a salary. The total num ber brought probably exceeded 6,000 and here, as in Coatesville, Pa., there was a large labor camp. The assistant to the superintendent of this company told with some pride how the company had “ broken even,” and the expenses involved in transportation had averaged only $2 a man. It might be proved that from 10 to 20 per cent of the Negro work ers were brought north by the direct solicitation o f labor agents of northern industrial concerns, and a great business developed in southern cities as well as in the North. Even Negro preachers were engaged in these transactions. Such agents often collected funds from the laborers as well as from the industrial concerns. The motives o f the employers who are bringing the colored migrants are obviously not altruistic. They are not concerned primarily with freeing the Negro from the restrictions to which he is still subjected in* the South, nor can they be held responsible for the shortcomings o f northern communities in caring for the migrants. It is not to be assumed that their interests extend further than the employment o f these ignorant people as unskilled laborers. Indeed, the sheer economic interests o f the northern industrial concerns which are bringing the Negro migrants may be illustrated from the follow ing agreement which is perhaps typical o f those that were signed by the migrants when accepting transportation to come north: It is hereby understood that I am to work for the above-named company a s ___________ _ the rate of pay to b e ---------- The ____________ Railroad agrees to furnish transportation and food to destination. I agree to work on any part of t h e ____________ Railroad where I may be assigned. I further agree to reimburse th e ______'______Railroad for the cost of my railroad trans portation, in addition to which I agree to p a y ______to cover the cost of meals and other expenses incidental to my employment NEGRO MIGRATION IN lM.fr-17. 121 I authorize the company to deduct from my wages money to pay for the above expenses. In consideration o f t h e ____________ Railroad paying my car fare, board, and other expenses, I agree to remain in the service o f the aforesaid company until such time as I reimburse them for the expenses o f my transportation, food, etc. It is agreed upon the part o f the railroad company that if I shall remain in the service for one year t h e ____________ Railroad agrees to return to me the amount of car fare from point o f shipment t o ---- --------------- By continuous service for one year is meant thdt I shall not absent myself from duty any time during the period without the consent of my superior officer. It is understood by me that t h e ____________ Railroad will not grant me free transportation to the point where I was employed. I am not less than 21 or more than 45 years o f age, and have no venereal disease. I f my statement in this respect is found to be incorrect this contract becomes void. Laborer’ s name. The movement o f the migrants was no doubt begun by the organ ized activity o f the labor agents from the North. A national philan thropic organization, according to its industrial secretary, arranged with some northern tobacco growers to import Negro students from some o f the southern private institutions for summer work, and early in May, 1916, brought the first two trainloads from Georgia. Then the agent o f a large northern railroad, taking advantage o f the pub licity given this venture, used the name o f this organization to get migrants to come North. Other railroads and steel mills were in dire straits for laborers. The railroad which claims credit for starting the movement northward, according to the written state ment o f the employment superintendent .responsible, brought from eight Southern States, principally from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Alabama, 13,223 Negroes from July 1, 1916, to July 31, 1917. It is interesting that on the latter date only 1,880 o f this number remained in the employ o f the company. The employment superintendent o f the road said that these men were all furnished transportation by the railroad, which selected from its depart ments “ live-wire” - assistants and police officers who operated.in many parts o f the South. Negro aid was also secured by the desig nation o f colored agents, who were, it is claimed, not paid by the rail road. Some selection o f laborers was attempted, but the procedure o f getting workers sometimes amounted simply to backing a train into a southern city and filling it as quickly as possible. A t first fib opposi tion had been offered by the white South; but later, though there was no limit to the number o f Negroes anxious to come, the antago nism to their leaving increased. The company had lawsuits for viola tion o f local laws and ordinances in four southern cities in as-many States. ' In many places the Negro assistants o f the agents o f the road had been maltreated, arrested, and fined, in addition to the in 122 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1910-17. stances mentioned above, where the agents had been indicted. The workers themselves were restrained from leaving in many districts. The opposition o f influential whites in the South was often, accord ing to the northern agent, due to immediate and definite economic in terest : e. g., the mayor o f a city o f Florida was the owner o f a basket factory employing Negro labor at 90 cents a day. The chief executive in a large city of Georgia owned tenements evacuated by Negroes going north, and the president of the council in the same city had an interest in a steamboat company employing Negro labor. As the northern railroad had no desire to antagonize legitimate business in terests, when southern sentiment became articulate, the policy of im porting Negro labor was “ abandoned.” This probably meant that the field o f operation was moved westward to Texas. From this State carloads were still being brought in August and September, 1917. Another railroad brought 10,000 or more Negroes from the Balti more docks to the railroad camps along the line in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, etc., or to be more accurate, distributed them through the North for the benefit o f their customers. The other largest railway employer and transporter of Negro labor has been the New York Central, with large camps at Weehawken, New York City, and Cleveland, Ohio, and smaller groups at other stations along the line. Another railroad which early entered the field of trans porting Negroes from the South was the Erie. The general super intendent o f this line stated that his representative, a native o f Jack sonville, Fla., had “ started the migration northward ” by bringing 9,000 Negroes from Georgia, Florida, and Kentucky, largely by way o f Cincinnati. This line had a camp of 300 at Weehawken, N. J., and two other camps at Binghamton and Elmira, N. Y. In greater or less numbers, the New York, New Haven & Hartford, Delaware & Hudson, Lackawanna, Philadelphia & Beading roads in the East, like the Illinois Central and other middle western roads, transported and employed Negroes, but definite figures were not secured for these lines. TH E ADJUSTMENT TO NORTHERN INDUSTRY. From the viewpoint of northern industry the outstanding problem o f the Negro migration is that of the labor turnover. This was in evitable when the lack of selection of the newcomers, the majority o f them single men with no responsibilities, and the camp and hous ing conditions accorded them are considered. The railroads with their lower wage rate were the worst sufferers. After bringing tens o f thousands on free transportation and build ing camps for them, the Pennsylvania, Baltimore & Ohio, and New NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 123 York Central found themselves with less than 2,000 Negroes in the case o f the Pennsylvania Railroad, or less than 1,000 so far as the other roads were concerned. The railroad camps visited were all running at 60 per cent capacity or less. Each road had a demand for 800 or 1,000 more workers and was futilely seeking to fill the depleted ranks o f the laborers by new importations from the South. In despair o f securing even a Negro male labor force at all adequate to their demand they are turning in some cases to the employment o f women on the tracks and about the roundhouses. The Erie Railroad received considerable publicity regarding its success with Negro labor, due to a policy o f selection and supervision, but the general superintendent o f this line admitted that among the 9.000 men brought during a period of six or seven months’ trans portation a full turnover occurred every 11 days. Only the first 2.000 worked their transportation out. Nor were the conditions at the Erie Railroad camp at Weehawken, N. J., when visited, an im provement upon, or even as favorable as, the conditions in the Pennsylvania camps. In August this superintendent admitted hav ing between 600 and 700 women employed on the tracks and in the yards o f New York State. In many o f the camps the same story o f continuous turnover o f laborers was heard. A t Girard Point, the Pennsylvania Railroad camp in Philadelphia, the camp supervisor said that the group had been a fluxing one from the start. Q f the last batch o f 50 that had been brought 10 days before the visit, on August 10, less than 25 remained. A t Mantua Transfer the superintendent said that he had to have from 500 to 600 new men a month to keep up a steady force o f 300, and this despite the fact that the “ tonnage wage ” was much higher than the usual railroad hour rate. But these Negro workers were handling 2,500 tons o f freight a day and had helped to subscribe a record figure o f $7,800 for the camp in the first Liberty loan. At Camp Holland—Fifty-sixth Street and Lancaster Avenue, a splen didly located camp— o f the Negroes brought there from St. Louis only four weeks before, only two remained, and one was the janitor, an intelligent and skilled man, who confidentially admitted that he was only waiting for pay day. The employment agent o f the Pennsylvania Railroad at Harris burg made the samfe emphasis concerning the fluxing nature o f the Negro labor force and the useless expenditure on camps. He showed from his reports a labor shortage on the Philadelphia division for the week ending August 8 of 628 track laborers and 176 other laborers, a total o f 794. Indeed, most o f the new Negroes, with the exception o f favored cooks and janitprs, remained in the camps only long enough to draw 124 NSGKO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. a first pay, or until they learned o f the opportunity for high wages in the steel and construction fields. Those who knew the game did not even wait to try the work and ^quarters after their transportation had been paid, but struck out at once for 4 greener fields.” Nor have 4 many o f the steel mills been in a better condition when it comes to keeping a stable labor force of Negroes. Even with the high wage scale at the Coatesville Midvale plant, it was necessary to bring in 150 new workers each week to keep up the force. A t this plant it had been necessary to hire from 2,500 to 2,800 men a month to keep a steady force o f 5,500 employed, and the turnover was just twice as great among the Negro as among the white workers. The employment agent o f the Carnegie steel plant at Youngstown is not in a unique position in having seen 9,000 or 10,000 Negroes pass through his plant and in having to keep hiring five men all the while to have every two jobs filled. Reports are common even in the plants paying the highest wages o f hiring 200 or more a month to keep up a force o f 600 men. A ll o f these employment managers, and the higher executives of northern industry as well, are sadly worried by their labor problem. They feel that things are going from bad to worse; that even wage increase can avail little; they hope for national conscription o f labor for the period o f the war as the only adequate solution of their prob lem, and are eager for Federal assistance. The fullest cooperation was accorded the investigator in his inquiries concerning the employ ment o f Negro labor. The majority o f executives interviewed were favorable to the experiment with Negro employment in the North and sympathetic to suggestions concerning selection, training, housing, and recreation for the newcomer. It must be admitted that the labor agents, because o f their eager ness to secure as many men as possible have not been particular as to the character o f those they are bringing here, and there is there fore a goodly number of idle and shiftless Negroes who are floating and undependable. On the other hand, we must not fail to recog nize that many migrants come o f their own volition, pay their own fares, leave their native States, break up family connections, and come north because they are in search o f better opportunities— community and economic. A s a class they are industrious and temperate and are often eager to get established with their families. In Pittsburgh the Negro is politically, at least, as free as the whites o f the same class. Coming from places where the vote is denied him, he is naturally very glad to have his right o f suffrage restored. It is a well-known fact to Pittsburghers that the Negro vote may be a deciding factor in the results of municipal elections. Although there are a few very shrewd Negro politicians, and the Negro vote is fre quently a “ block,” there is never an issue made on some particular NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 125 Negro problem. A ll - candidates seem to assume' that there is no special issue that concerns the Negro more than any other group in the city, and Negro politicians do not seem to be much concerned about it, either. They always see to it, however, that their group’s poll taxes are paid and that they are registered, so that no Negro vote w ill be lost. This was clearly brought out in this year’s municipal election. Although the Negro vote was. a great factor in deciding this campaign, not one o f the candidates made an issue o f the hous ing and other problems which are confronting the Negroes at present. It can therefore be stated that in politics, while the Negro has been utilized by all sorts o f politicians, he has been, at least nominally, as free as his.white brother in the same position. However, more and more we are coming to realize that political freedom without industrial opportunities means but little. Democ racy must also mean industrial opportunity, as well as political de mocracy. But the industrial opportunity which the Negro can get is not even the same as is- demanded by his more fortunate white skinned brother. W hile his fellow human beings demand a larger voice in industry and business and a greater share o f the product o f industry, the Negro is still meekly begging fo r his inalienable right to participate in industry, to help extend and build it up. I t is the denial o f this right that confronts the Negro in the North and makes his problem o f paramount significance, an almost unsolvable problem o f race prejudice. The great m ajority o f the Negro migrants come North because o f the better economic and community opportunities here; but even here they are not permitted to enter industry freely. They are kept in the ranks o f unskilled labor and in t^ie fields o f personal service. U ntil the present demand fo r unskilled labor arose the Negroes in the North were for the most part servants. There were comparatively few Negroes occupied otherwise than as porters, chauffeurs, janitors, and the like. The Negro at present has entered the productive indus tries, but he is still kept mainly on the lowest rung o f the economic ladder. From a study o f colored employment in about 20 o f the largest in dustrial plants in the Pittsburgh district, we find that most o f the concerns have employed colored labor only since May or June, 1916. Very few o f the Pittsburgh industries have used colored labor in capacities other than as janitors and window cleaners. A few o f the plants visited had not begun to employ colored people until the spring o f 1917, while a few others had not yet come to employ Negroes, either because they believed the Negro workers to be inferior and inefficient or because they feared that their white labor force would refuse to work with the blacks. The superintendent o f one big steel plant which has not employed colored labor during the past few years, ad- 126 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. raitted that he faced a decided shortage o f labor and that he was in need o f men, but said he would employ Negroes only as a last re sort, and that the situation was as yet not sufficiently acute. In a big glass plant, the company attempted to use Negro laborers last winter, but the white workers “ ran them out” by swearing at them, calling them “ nigger,” and making conditions so unpleasant for them that they were forced to quit. This company has therefore given up any further attempts at employing colored labor. It may be interesting to note, however, that one young colored boy who pays no attention to the things done him persistently stays there. More than 90 per cent o f the colored workers in the steel mills visited in our survey were doing unskilled labor. In the bigger plants, where many hundreds o f Negroes are employed, almost fully 100 per cent are doing common labor, while in the smaller plants a few might be found doing labor which required some skill. The reasons alleged by the manufacturers are, first, that the migrants are inefficient and unstable; and, second, that the opposition to them on the part o f white labor prohibits their use on skilled jobs. The latter objection is illustrated by the case o f the white bargemen of a big steel company who wanted to walk out because black workers were introduced among them, and who were only appeased by the provision o f separate quarters for the Negroes. While there is an undeniable hostility to Negroes on the part o f white workers, the objection is frequently exaggerated by prejudiced gang bosses. That this opposition is often due to the prejudice of the heads o f de partments and other labor employers was the opinion o f a sym pathetic superintendent of one o f the largest steel plants, who said that in many instances it was the superintendents and mana gers themselves, who do not understand their own business $nd who are opposed to the Negro’s doing the better classes o f work. The same superintendent said that he had employed Negroes for many years; that a number o f them have been connected with his com pany for several years; that they are just as efficient as the white people. Many o f the Negroes in his plant were doing semiskilled and even skilled work. He had one or two colored foremen over colored gangs, and cited an instance o f a colored man drawing $114 in his last pay for two weeks. This claim was supported by a very intelligent Negro who was stopped a few blocks away from the plant and questioned as to the conditions in the plant. While admitting everything that the superintendent said, and stating that there is now absolute free opportunity for colored people in that plant, the man claimed that these conditions have existed only within the last year. The same superintendent told o f an episode illustrating the amicable relations existing in his shop between the white and black workers. He related that a gang of workers had NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 127 come to him with certain complaints and the threat o f a walkout. When their grievances had been satisfactorily adjusted, they pointed to the lone black man in their group and said that they were not ready to go back unless their colored brother was satisfied. From our survey of the situation, it is evident that the southern migrants are not as well established in the Pittsburgh industries as is the white laborer. They are as yet unadapted to the heavy and pace-set labor in our steel mills. Accustomed to the easy going plantation and farm work o f the South, it will take some time before these migrants have found themselves. The roar and clangor o f our mills make these newcomers a little dazed and con fused at first. They do not stay for long in one place, for they are continually searching for better wages and accommodations. They can not be persuaded to wait until pay day, and they like to get money in advance. This is often received on very flimsy pretexts and spent in the saloons and similar places. It is admitted, however, by all employers o f labor that the Negro who was bom in the North or has been in the North for some time (although not as militant against bad conditions as is the white) is as efficient and because o f his knowledge o f the language and customs of the country is often more easily taught than the foreign laborer. Exceptions to the rule that Negroes are doing unskilled work were rare. The noteworthy illustration is that o f the Newport News Ship building & Dry Dock Co., which might be said to be in the South rather than in the North. Here more than half o f the labor force is Negro and the colored men do almost every kind o f skilled labor at high wages. A t Holyoke, Mass., again, the Dean Steam Pump Co. employs a hundred negroes, doing skilled or semiskilled work at high wages. The firm is typical o f a number in New England and New York. At. the Atlantic Refining Co.’s in Philadelphia, as at the. great majority o f all plants visited, o f 1,000 Negro workers all were day laborers, save for a few riggers and carpenters o f the third grade, earning 35 to 40 cents an hour. The Park mill o f the Crucible Steel Co. at Pittsburgh employed as many as a hundred o f its 500 colored workers at skilled work, in cluding a number o f foremen. The Memphis Iron & Steel Co.' at Greensburg, Pa. followed a similar policy. A t Coatesville the big plant o f the Midvale Steel Co. had a sympa thetic assistant superintendent, who believed the Negro to be a capa ble worker, needing only selection and training. O f the total force o f about 2,500 Negro workers he had about 200 men-in four “ sets” shearing in the plate mill, earning $5 and $6 a day; about 100 men in the shell plant, making $4 to $5; and a score or more riggers and other semiskilled men earning a high wage. 128 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. But at the large Bethlehem steel plant at Steelton, Pa., very few o f the 1,000 Negro workers were making a high rate on tonnage work, and the 1,200 Negroes employed at the Cambria Steel Works at Johnstown, Pa., were practically all doing unskilled work. The number of semiskilled men who could earn high wages turned for the most part on two considerations—the nature o f the industry and work it demanded, on the one hand, and the extent o f unioniza tion, on the other. Thus in the great steel industry, where the labor force is 60 to 70 per cent unskilled, although the industry is nonunion and little effec tive prejudice against employment o f colored men has developed, nearly the whole number of Negroes employed were common labor ers. On the other hand, in the more diversified automobile industry o f Detroit, also unorganized, but employing a large percentage of skilled labor, more than 10 per cent o f about 2,000 Negro migrants surveyed by the Urban League were working as coremakers, punchpress operators, molders and dippers, and other semiskilled tasks at more than a 35-cent-per-hour wage. It has been impossible in Chicago to ascertain the exact number of Negroes engaged in skilled and semiskilled work. Molders, mechan ics, carpenters, asphalt workers, and coopers have had no difficulty in finding work in a period of industrial boom at pay running up to 75 cents an hour, or piecework permitting the earning o f as much as $7 a day. The employment o f some skilled artisans from the South in Dayton, Ohio, was also reported. An appreciable number were also doing semiskilled work in Cleveland in the hardware and machine shops and brick yards. In the crafts o f skilled labor, as in the business professions and personal service, the Negro in all probability finds less opportunity in the North than in the South at the present time. In the trip through the northern cities no appreciable number o f new Negro professional and business men were encountered. At the colored Young Men’s Christian Associations, as in Philadelphia and Cin cinnati, from 6 to 12 newcomers have been arriving regularly, looking over the northern situation with the prospect of settling in the North, and the number of such newcomers has increased with the migration. The new business men seem to have been for the most part restaurant keepers, who know the culinary wants o f southern blacks, and some new tailors and barbers were met with. The colored South also, no doubt, supplied her full quota of em ployment and leasing agents, religious fanatics, insurance agents, and gamblers, who have followed in the wake o f the migration and helped the whites to separate the Negroes from their new earnings or past savings. NEGBO MIGBATIOH tBT IM S-17. 129 Skilled craftsmen, o f the building trades especially, have had little welcome in the North. In railroad stations at Philadelphia, Pitts burgh, Cincinnati, and Toledo, for instance, individual carpenters and bricklayers, in two instances with union cards from the South, were interviewed. They were returning home because o f inability to find steady employment at union rates in the North. In hurried contractors’ operations, especially on the recently constructed canton ments at W rightstown, N. J., and at Chillicothe, Ohio, a-consider able number o f colored carpenters were used, apparently not, how ever, in the high-grade work. RACE FRICTION IN TH E NORTH. When the extent o f the movement o f Negroes to the North is con sidered, the amount o f race friction reported is remarkably small. In but- few industries among those where inquiry was made was any trouble reported' In the vast m ajority o f cases Negroes were work ing amicably side by side with the old working population or with the foreign white laborers. Here and. there firms had deemed it inadvisable to employ Negroes because o f opposition among the white labor force, and a few o f the more “ select” industrial towns, it was reported, did not wish the Negroes- and the problems they might bring. In one case, in, the Pittsburgh district, small houses built-by a steel company to house the Negro workers could not be used for that purpose because o f the opposition o f the white residents o f the neighborhood. Such neigh borhood prejudice and opposition is no doubt to be found in most northern cities and is sure to cause serious trouble in some places sooner or later. Seldom, however, does the antagonism in the North take the fdrm o f physical intimidation or coercion such as was re ported recently in Detroit, where an attempt was made to force colored residents at the revolver’s'point to leave an apartment house which they had moved into a short time before. A t Weehawken, N. J., according to the statement o f a high official, o f an eastern railroad, a threatening letter had frightened away as many as 75 Negroes from the railroad camp, including some steady fam ily men. Race friction sometimes develops immediately out o f economic rivalry and competition fo r jobs. Here the employer is often re sponsible fo r the trouble, because he brings in the Negro workers ‘ to replace the striking whites. In March and A pril, 1917, some riot ing occurred in connection with the strike at a Philadelphia sugar refinery. The I. W . W . was attempting the organisation o f the plant, and the stevedores already in that organization went oat in sym pathy. The attempt to man the plant with a Negro force resulted 70752°— 18------0 130 NEGBO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. in rioting. The Negro stevedores, brought in in automobiles, were attacked; several were struck by flying bricks, and according to their Negro leader one died on reaching the plant. The attempt of the Negroes to defend themselves then resulted in continuous rioting and in the conviction of a number of Negro workers on the charges o f carrying concealed weapons, rioting, and assault and battery. According to the white lawyer of some of the Negroes, one man had had to be sacrificed as a “ martyr ” for the rest. A moral, steady man had died in jail “ o f a broken^heart ” after a few weeks. It is perhaps remarkable that the influx o f Negro workers in such large numbers has so seldom resulted in serious consequences. Labor-’ ing people in many localities no doubt resent the coming of the Negroes and feel that they may be used to keep wages from going higher or to prevent unionism. In case of industrial difficulties the Negro workers brought in to take the place of white workers are almost sure to be attacked as the apparent and immediate cause o f the suffering o f the strikers. The July riot o f 1917 in East St. Louis, during which, it is reported, several hundred thousand dollars’ worth o f property was destroyed, 5,000 Negroes were driven from their homes, and more than a hun dred blacks shot or maimed, seems to have had as its basis such deepseated ill feeling and economic antagonism. This statement concern ing the East St. Louis trouble is made after a perusal of newspaper and magazine accounts o f the riot and interviews with special in vestigators and other informed and unprejudiced persons. The influx o f Negro workers came early to East St. Louis, which is an industrial center, with large packing and manufacturing plants that employ great numbers o f unskilled workers. In the summer o f 1916 about 4,000 white men went on a strike in the packing plants, and it is claimed that Negroes were used in plants as strike breakers. When the strike was ended Negroes werfe still employed, and some of the white men lost their positions. The white leaders undoubtedly .realized that the effectiveness o f striking was materially lessened by this importation o f black workers. Trouble was brewing in May when some rioting occurred after a meeting attended by some o f the white strikers o f a large ore works. The Central Trades and Labor Union planned a meeting on May 28 as a consultation with the mayor about the complicated labor problems o f the migrating population and surplus of unskilled labor that meant competition for jobs. The letter which follows was sent out by the secretary of the central body to the delegates and given wide publicity. It asks for “ drastic action” to reduce the influx o f undesirable Negroes and to “ get rid of a certain portion o f those who are already here.” NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 131 E a s t S t . L o u is , I I I ., M a y 23, 1911 . T o th e D eleg a tes to the C entral T rades and L a bor Union . G reeting : The immigration of the southern Negro into our city for the past eight months has reached the point where drastic action must be taken if we intend to work and live peaceably in this community. Since this influx o f undesirable Negroes has started, no less than 10,000 have come into this locality. These men are being used to the detriment of our white citizens by some o f the capitalists and a few of the .real estate owners. On next Monday evening the entire body o f delegates to the Central Trades and Labor Union will call upon the mayor and city council and demand that they take some action to retard this growing menace and also devise a way to get rid of a certion portion o f those who aTe already here. This is not a protest against the Negro who has been a long resident o f East St. Louis and is a law-abiding citizen. We earnestly request that you be in attendance on next Monday evening at 8 o’clock, at 137 Collinsville Avenue, where we will meet and then go to the city hall. This is more important than any local meeting, so be sure you are there. Fraternally, C e n t r a l T rades a n d L abor U n io n . As the district organizer of the A. F. of L. and other leaders testified before the congressional committee which investigated the East St. Louis trouble early in November, 1917, the union leaders were surprised to find a large crowd at the meeting place. Control o f this meeting soon passed out o f the union leaders’ hands, and speeches were made advising that in case the authorities should take no action the whites should resort to mob law in getting rid of the Negroes. The terrible July riots did not grow out o f the May meeting, but they probably developed out o f the dispositions o f jealously and hatred revealed there. The horrors of mob violence, once the pas sions o f the whites were unleashed, have been described at length in the newspapers and the magaaine press. There is undoubtely truth in the claims o f the unionists that the rioting was in a large degree attributable to lax law enforcement by the local authorities, the utter lack o f selection o f Negro workers, and lack o f control over their living conditions. The result o f these combined circumstances was crime that went unpunished, the presence o f an increasing num ber o f idlers o f both races, and resentment caused by general lawless ness, particularly in the black group that had saloon rights and political powerv The mayor, although ^warned that these conditions would almost inevitably lead to trouble, took no action. Nor did the State authorities act at once when the problems were referred to them. The race friction and serious rioting that occurred in Chester, Pa., August 1 to 4,1917, seem to have had no basis whatever in the labor 132 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. situation. The trouble probably took its rise from friction and con flict between the worst elements o f both groups in the community. The chief o f police o f the city when interviewed stated that the riot was directly due to the presence o f riffraff of both races from the South and to the organized activity o f a gang of local roughs. The trouble started Tuesday night, July 31. An altercation began between a white lad who was coming home late, probably slightly intoxicated, and a party made up o f two colored men and two col ored women. According to the story/they had jostled on the side walk; the white man made an insulting remark that was resented by one o f the Negro women, who demanded that her companion 4 get ” 4 the white man; whereupon the latter was stabbed to death. The victim, though rather a worthless fellow, was well liked and a mem ber o f a social chib, or gang, of the Bethel Court district. This group had already arranged an excursion down the Delaware for Wednes day afternoon, and it was there that revenge for his death was planned. This statement was substantiated by another member of the police force, said to be a former member of the group. In any case the trouble spread on Wednesday night and was prob ably started by the white group. Evidently no attempt was made to single out the vicious Negroes, for mobs several hundred strong surged through the streets, stopping the cars and driving all of the Negroes to cover. As many as 80 were beaten more or less severely. About 90 deputies were quickly sworn in, and the rioting was well in hand on Thursday night, when the State constabulary first put in appearance. The casualties that occurred on Saturday night were entirely unwarranted, and were caused by the foolish shooting o f the deputies o f both races at each other. One white deputy was wounded in the shoulder by a colored deputy, who was then shot to death; in the mel6e a jitney driver was also slain. Altogether three Negroes and two white men were killed; the bounded who needed hospital care numbered a score; members of both groups were held awaiting trial. This story was corroborated by the account given by the employ ment agent o f a large Philadelphia firm with a plant north of Ches ter, who had been sworn in as a deputy sheriff. He stated that ill feeling between the whites and Negroes had been fostered by a bad political situation. Some of the leaders, backed by the liquor in terests, catered to the 30 per cent Negro vote in Chester. This served to keep the bad Negroes in the town. The activity of a gang of colored toughs had been particularly flagrant in exploiting the newly arrived workers from the South. For instance, a Negro laborer leaving his work at a certain Chester plant after being paid one Saturday was held up in the center o f tow n; on refusing to give over part o f his pay he was shot by the Negro ruffians, who seemed to know NEGRO ^O R A T IO N IN 1916-17. 138 that they would not be punished, because of their political influence. The gangs o f the Bethel Court district had brought the worst ele ments o f the whites and blacks into contact. Trouble had been brew ing at a notorious saloon in this section, run by a political henchman. When asked about events that paved the way for the outbreak, this well-informed citizen could instance only the arrest of a Negro two months before on the charge of assaulting a white girl. Criminal intent had not been proved, and the justice, one o f the political group, had released the man on $300 bail. This had caused resentment among an element of the whites, and public opinion forced a rehear ing, at which the bail was raised to $50p. This story o f the riot agreed substantially with the account given above, beginning with the stabbing of Tuesday night. Wednesday evening the trouble began when a Negro tried to board a jitney near the center o f town. In the altercation “ which followed a white by stander was shot and wounded; then the riot was on. Two car con ductors who had been on duty at the time were interviewed; both stated that their cars had been stopped by mobs and the Negroes aboard taken off and beaten or made to run for safety. Mere chance might turn similar tense race situations into tragic outbreaks in a number o f towns in Pennsylvania, Ohio, or N ew Jersey. For instance, at the famous steel town o f Homestead, Pa., a near race riot occurred on Thanksgiving Day in 1917. Rumors o f ill feeling between the groups had been spreading for some time, and a number o f skirmishes had occurred on the cars and streets. An Irish lad o f 18 was arrested and fined as the alleged leader o f a crowd o f white boys who attacked and beat an unoffending middleaged Negro; at the same time a young Negro, on whose account the trouble is claimed to have started, was dismissed. The latter said that he accidentally bumped into a white man on the 'main street, and that the white man hit him a blow in the face. As he staggered back, he said, he collided with a white woman, who screamed; her cry gathered a criowd of white men who thought he had insulted the white woman. According to the police, five other Negroes were at tacked by the crowd and had to be rescued and taken to the police station for safety. Undoubtedly similar and even more serious out breaks o f violence may be expected where there does not exist effective police control o f the vicious elements o f both groups. Moreover, casual work, indecent housing conditions, and drinking and gambling in leisure time are steadily creating viciousness. Disease, crime, and race friction are perhaps inevitable in those communities to which the Negroes have come in considerable numbers, and which are making no provision for the selection and supervision o f colored workers, the' regulation o f housing and lodging, and the creation o f wholesome ^creation facilities. 134 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. TH E NEGRO M IGRATION AND THE LABOR MOVEMENT. As was pointed out in the discussion o f the nature of the work of the migrants, a very small percentage are engaged in skilled labor, and unionization is scarcely an issue with the Negro labor force at present. In fact, a pitifully small number o f unionized Negroes were found, although there is undoubtedly a steady movement toward organization. In Chicago there were more labor organizations among the Ne groes—strong locals of hodcarriers, plasterers, and molders, and a general mixed union o f janitors were already in existence—than is the case in eastern cities. In that city able Negro leadership may help the white union heads to organize the blacks in the abnormal labor situation o f the war crisis. In the W. & H. Cane Construc tion Works in Newark, N. J., 80 out of every 200 Negro employees were in the union and worked an eight-hour day for $3.60. Here also there was reported to be a plasterers’ local. In Cincinnati locals represented plasterers, teamsters, and tar roofers, and a commonlaborers’ union with 600 colored members was reported. No infor mation could be obtained about this unskilled workers’ union. Since the fearful East St. Louis race riots of July, 1917, the press of the country has been filled with controversy concerning the prob lems of the colored race in the North.*"Editors, employers, and even “ prominent statesmen” have laid the blame of the wholsesale slaughter o f women and children at the door of the labor unions. On the other handflabor leaders have placed the responsibility for the riots upon the industrial leaders, who, they charge, brought the Negroes as a tool to break up the labor movement. The recrimina tions on both sides are in error. ^The more or less definite charges made by certain sections o f the Negro press that the riots were trace able to the action of organized labor and its leaders is the result of misunderstanding of the Negro labor situation. That individual labor leaders may be guilty of bigotry and race prejudice is true, and it may be that some feared for the future of their unions, but for the most part their interests as leaders of organized labor did not bring them into direct opposition to the new Negro labor group. As the district organizer* of the American Federation of Labor pointed out before the congressional committee investigating the July riots, unionism in East St. Louis was confined to the control of the skilled laborers, into whose ranks the Negroes can not or do not gain ad mittance, are ineligible, or excluded. In the North, the two groups, organized craftsmen and unskilled workers, white or Negro, do not overlap, or only in such rare cases that the correlation is negligible. For instance, the conflict which, uncontrolled, resulted in the fear ful tragedy o f East St. Louis was not a struggle between organized N E 6B 0 MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 135 and unorganized labor, but between the white and black unorganized workers crowding for a place on the lowest rung o f the industrial ladder. There seems to have been a temporary oversupply o f un skilled labor, due to the large migratory population passing through East St. Louis. The American Federation o f Labor was not con nected with the strike at the Aluminium Ore Works—which was more or less directly concerned with the July riots—where the men were trying to organize a separate association not connected with a national body. Not until August was an attempt made to form a federal labor union of unskilled workers, affiliated with the Ameri can Federation of Labor. Again, in the Chester riots later in the month, a careful search failed entirely to reveal any labor cause o f the trouble whatever. The riot here seemed to have had its basis entirely in saloon politics and to have taken its rise from the friction between the vicious ele ments in both groups. Until recently, as we have seen, very few colored people in the North were working in trades where the whites were organized. The great mass of Negroes were largely doing work o f a personalservice character, such as porters, janitors, elevator men, etc. This class of workers it has been impossible to organize, even among the whites. O f course it must be admitted that any hostile attitude o f the local unions is probably based upon the fear that Negro labor may ultimately be used to batter down the standards o f the labor move ment, and may be grounded in the deduction that i f unskilled Negroes can be used to fight the organization o f unskilled whites, skilled Negroes may be used to break down the craft unions. As we have shown, the number o f skilled Negroes employed in the North seems as yet to be so small that this is a groundless fear. In only one instance in our survey of the Pittsburgh trade-unions was a complaint lodged against colored people taking the places of striking white workers. This was in a waiters’ strike, which was won just the same, because the patrons o f these eating places protested against the substitution o f Negro waiters; in all the others there were no such occurrences. Indeed, the number o f Negroes taking the places o f striking whites and o f skilled white workers is so small that it can hardly be noticed. They are, as we have seen, largely taking the places that were left vacant by the unskilled foreign laborers since the beginning o f the war, and the new places created by the present industrial boom. These unskilled people, whose places are now being taken by the Negro, worked under no Ameri can standard o f labor. The fear o f these unskilled laborers break ing down labor standards which did not exist is obviously largely unfounded. 136 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1910-17. In two cases in Philadelphia Negroes were brought in to break strikes in which unorganized unskilled laborers were attempting to establish the right to organize and gain a higher wage. At a large oil-refining company the policy o f the company regarding employ ment o f Negro labor had changed when a spontaneous strike for an eight-hour day and a higher wage involved almost 70 per cent o f the 4,000 foreign workers at the plant August 23 to September 14. With the importation o f Negroes the strike had been broken and the men returned to work; a fourth of the force subsequently became colored. The agent employed, a professional strikebreaker, trans ported the Negroes at the expense o f the company, bringing a first batch o f 90 on September 13. This group, called the “ North Caro lina gang,” had been housed and fed by the company in an old building ujitil the trouble was past and the men could find places in the community. Five or six o f this first group were still with the company. Afterwards further transportation of the workers from the South was engaged in on the usual basis. The assistant superintendent said the company had decided to continue the use of Negro labor as it was the only sort available. The employment manager complained that the Negroes had been unsatisfactory, be cause they “ soldiered ” and were unable to stand the strain of ex tremes o f heat and cold which the workers in the plant had to en dure. They were compared unfavorably with the foreign workers, as they did not make good still cleaners at piece rates. An even more violently contested strike occurred at a Philadel phia sugar refinery. The general superintendent o f this company made the follow ing statement: At the time o f the strike o f the white workers at the plant February 1, 1917, Negroes had been employed to replace and “ equalize ” the foreign laborers. The strike had been organized by the I. W. W. among the foreign workers of the plant and the stevedores already in that organization had been called out in sympathy. After a six weeks' strike in which there had been considerable violence, the strike had been broken and the demands o f the workers for 30 cents an hour and organization had been lost. In the plant a 25-cent-per-hour rate had been raised after the strike to a 27-cent rate, which is increased by a 10 per cent bonus for steady work for two months to 29.7 cents an hour. The stevedore rate o f wages is 40 cents. The plant works continuously, two 12hour shifts, stevedores working a 10-hour day. The turnover in May and June was from 30 to 50 per cent A t present this manager had from 250 to 300 Negroes in the plant and from 400 to 500 working as stevedores. On the whole, his expe rience with Negroes had been satisfactory. They had worked well, even on the docks in winter, though many had been eliminated by illness. A steady group o f good workers had been selected. There had been no race trouble on the docks where whites and blacks had worked side by side. In the plant there has been developing a strong NEGBO M3GBATT0N IK 1016-11. 137 undercurrent o f prejudice among the foreign workers, particularly the Slavs. There are no skilled Negro workers at the refinery, though some in the warehouse make a high-tonnage wage. The Negro dock foreman who had been responsible for gathering the Negro workers and was proud o f the record o f his stevedores, complained bitterly, however, that although the company had promised to keep all the colored workers, the assistant superintend ents, who were southern men, were now replacing them with foreign laborers. “ This week they fired 30 Negroes and hired 15 Polacks,” he said. “ These men dislike to work beside the colored men, and are going to make trouble fo r us.” The attitude o f the superintendent o f this plant, who believed in “ welfare work ” but was unalterably opposed to unionism, may fee indicative o f a generally favorable disposition o f some groups o f northern employers toward the southern migrants. They may see in these colored workers the effective means o f staving off or prevent ing the movement toward organization and the attainment o f the eight-hour day, which is now spreading among the foreign workers. For instance, the employment manager o f a Pittsburgh plant, which had a big strike about two years ago, pointed out also that one o f the chief advantages o f the Negro migration lay in the fact that it gives him a chance to “ mix u p ” his labor force and so secure “ a balance o f power.” “ The Negro,” he claimed, “ is more indi vidualistic—does not form a group and follow a leader as readily as many foreigners do.” Perhaps the generalization should not be made that the colored people are difficult to organize, fo r from our Pittsburgh survey we have found only one union, the waiters’ local, that has made any at tempt to organize the colored people, and this was unsuccessful. An official o f this union explains it because the colored waiters “ are more tim id, listen to their bosses, and also have a kind o f distrust o f the white unions.” The same official also admitted that while he himself would have no objection to working with colored people, the rank and file o f his union would not work on the same floor with a colored waiter. None o f the other unions made any effort to organize the colored workers in their respective trades, and they can not there fore claim there is difficulty o f organizing the Negroes. In the two trade organizations which admit Negroes to member ship the colored man has proved to be as good a unionist as his white fellows. In Pittsburgh a single local o f the hod carriers’ union, a strong labor organization, has over 400 Negroes among it^ 600 mem-: bers, and has proved how easy it is to organize even the new migrants by enlisting over 150 southern hod carriers within the past year. The other union which admits Negroes—the hoisting engineers’ union— has a number o f colored people in its ranks. Several o f these NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 138 are charter members, and a number have been connected with the organization for a considerable time. Judging from the strength of these unions—the only ones in the city which have a considerable number o f blacks amongst them—the Negroes have proved good union men. DELINQUENCY IN THE M IGRANT POPULATION. The natural accompaniment o f the migration from the South, which included casual city laborers and illiterate farm hands as well as steady responsible workers seeking greater opportunity and a more congenial environment, has been a marked increase of delin quency and crime. How much of the migration northward was due to the fact o f coercive white control and prohibition laws in the South and the prospect of license in drinking and excess in the North can not be estimated. With some of the migrants these reasons were of real importance. But it would be all too easy to misinterpret mere consequences of the movement as causes, nor would such explanation o f the vicious char acter of the migrants account for the apparently enormous increase in arrests and imprisonments for minor offenses of all kinds in the North. This is but another sign o f social change, another proof of the friction caused by the breakdown o f community control with the sudden migration o f a large population. A brief summary of our Pittsburgh study of delinquency among the migrants will be o f some significance in this regard. The Negro, although with us for centuries, is still unintelligible to the average northern white community, and perhaps it is not sur prising that the average individual assumes that these strangers are entirely responsible for the increase in crime and vice. This unfor tunately is not only the case with the person unfamiliar with condi tions, but is apt to be the theory upon which the police officials work. On one or two occasions when murders were committed in the “ Hill ” district in Pittsburgh the police proceeded to make wholesale arrests of Negroes, only to free them in a few days because they had no evi dence whatsoever against them. The erroneous assumption of the Negro migrant’s responsibility for “ a wave of crime, rape, and murder ” this year was held not only by persons who got their information from played-up cases in the newspapers but by many social workers and colored people them selves, as was evidenced by the expression of their personal opinions. A colored probation officer in Pittsburgh, for example, believed that the juvenile delinquency among her people had at least doubled dur ing the last year, and was much surprised when an examination of the records revealed the fact that it had considerably decreased. 139 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. In order to ascertain the facts concerning the increase o f Negro crime in the Pittsburgh district since the beginning of the migration we proceeded to analyze the police-court records of seven months o f the year 1914-15, in comparison with a like period o f 1916-17. The first period (December, 1914, to June, 1915) covers the time of the initial war prosperity boom before the migration had begun. The second period (December, 1916, to June, 1917) is the one in which the migration reached its highest point. The police dockets of the two stations (Nos. 1 and 2) in the most densely populated Negro district of the city were studied. T H E IN C R E A S E O F N E G R O C R IM E IN P IT T S B U R G H . Kind and number of arrests of "Negroes in police districts Nos. 1 and 2 comparing the periods December 1914-June 1915, and December 1916-June, 1917. , , , 1914-15 1916-17 Male. Female. Total. Male. Female. Total. Charges., Petty offenses: Suspicious persons.............. Disorderly conduct............. Drunkenness....................... Keeping disorderly houses. Visiting disorderly houses.. Common prostitute............ Violating city ordinances... Keeping gambling houses.. Visiting gambling houses... Vagrancy............................. Other noncourt charges----Total. Per Per cent cent of in of decrease, 1917. 1917. / 467 427 353 240 16 92 58 121 58 85 5 31 84 668 493 36 217 I ll 106 40 55 76 54 143 779 909 91 54 143 37 1,370 311 1,681 2,556 442 140 142 68 11 2,996 Major offenses: Larceny......................................... Assault and battery...................... Highway robbery......................... Entering bui’ding......................... Felonious cutting and felonious shooting..................................... Murder, turned over to coroner... Assault and battery with attempt . to commit rape.......................... Concealed weapons and pointing firearms...................................... Other court charges...................... Total. 90 87 94 The above table shows that while there has been an approximate increase of 80 per cent in petty offenses, the increase in graver crimes, in view o f the addition to the population, has been practically neg ligible. It is significant to note that of 3,092 arrests for petty offenses in December, 1916-17, 1,716 were discharged without prosecution, either on account o f the petty character or the lack o f evidence of these charges. The marked increase in drunkenness is not surprising, in view of the housing situation in Pittsburgh. In many rooming houses beds 140 KEGBO MIGRATTON IK I W h -V l. are run on a double-shift basis and the lodger may stay in his room only when he sleeps. There are few recreational facilities offered him by the community. Only one place, the saloon, welcomes him, and even this hospitality is denied him except in the Negro sections. That there should be an increase in arrests for visiting and keep ing disorderly houses is to be expected. The migration is largely lhat o f single men or men who have left their families behind them. With the higher wages, the housing congestion, the break-up of the family life, and the lack o f facilities for decent recreation, it is in evitable that vice should flourish. That there was no increase in arrests for prostitution can be explained only as due to laxity of the police. The increase of arrests on charges of carrying concealed weapons, pointing firearms, and felonious cutting was inevitable. In a num ber o f instances when arraigned on charges o f felonious cutting, these migrants expressed great surprise that they should have been arrested at all for this crime. An examination o f the records o f the addresses given by these migrants shows that a great number are listed as having “ no home.” It also shows the close relation between bad housing conditions and crime. Throughout the records a few houses notorious for their over crowding stand out again and again. Thus, a well-known tenement house, which is recorded as having over a hundred families within its four walls, with a seemingly unlimited number of lodgers, has fur nished 84 arrests during the seven months, December, 1914r-June, 1915, and over 100 arrests during December, 1916-June, 1917. The charge “ suspicious person,” on which 779 persons were ar rested in December, 1916-June, 1917, is one of the most tragic evi dences o f the social maladjustments o f this group. Many o f the migrants are single men, unskilled and without savings, whose very transportation has been furnished them. In the North they are often left stranded without money and without friends, and are forced to accept any job that will furnish money for their immediate physi cal needs. Undoubtedly many thys develop the “ odd-job” habit and are frequently apprehended as vagrants or suspicious persons. A t the Allegheny County jail there had been a considerable in crease in the number o f colored commitments. For the full year o f 1916 the totals were 1,614 males and 261 females. In 1917, from Jan uary 1 to September 30, a period of but nine months, already 1,670 males and 248 females had been committed. In Cleveland also definite figures were procured as to the number o f commitments to the Cleveland workhouse or correction farm. Supt. Burns gave the following figures, showing the increase in Negro commitments: NEGBO MIGBATIOK IK 1* 16- 17. 141 Increase in num ber o f Negro com m itm ents to Cleveland correction form . Inmates of farm, September, Inmates of farm Sept. 19,1917. 1916. Men. Colored......................................................... W hite............................................................ \ 54 385 Women. 13 58 Total. 07 443 Men. 356 21 2 Women. 60 30 Total. 414 251 The above table shows that the Negro population o f the jail had increased from 13 per cent o f the total ja il population in September, 1916, to 87 per cent in September, 1917. During August, 1917, the Negro population o f the ja il was 60 per cent o f the total. Mr. Burns stated that it was his belief that these men were not. o f the criminal type, but had been sent to the ja il for such minor offenses as loafing on street com ers, drunkenness, and for being “ suspicious characters.” H e said that in many instances, because they were inadequately housed, had no opportunity fo r decent recreation, were poorly clothed and often even had no hats, they were picked up by the police and later were sent to the ja il am ply on suspicion. A n identical situation no doubt existed in all the large centers where there had been a sudden influx o f Negro workers. For in stance, the supervisors, o f railroad and other labor camps reported trouble with the men. A t the Mantua transfer camp in Philadel phia the'superintendent stated that in June, when the camp was started, he had had much difficulty with drunkenness and disorderly conduct after pay day, but that this trouble ended when, with the cooperation o f the local lieutenant o f police, he had had all tflich characters “ rounded up.” The result was, he said, that as many as 15 men had been committed \to the house o f correction. In Harrisburg, Pa., at the Dauphin County jail, the Negro popu lation o f Steelton had served to more than double the number o f col ored prisoners in the past year. The warden stated that through the spring and summer o f 1917 more than half the average, 200 inmates, had been colored, although the Negro population o f the county could not have been 10 per cent o f the total. A t the time o f the visit, early in August, 96 o f the ja il population o f 168 were Negroes. H ie in vestigator interviewed more than a score o f these colored prisoners. Nearly all had been transported from Virginia or States farther south during the preceding summer and fa ll to work at Steelton, just east o f Harrisburg. A fter a longer or shorter period o f steady labor they had been sentenced to five or eight months for stabbing other Negroes, carrying deadly weapons, or fighting with white men. Some of the men were real peripatetics o f industry. One Percy Page, for instance, stated that he had been brought north by the 142 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-11. agent o f an eastern railroad more than a year before from Savannah. From Rochester, N. Y., he had “ freighted” it to New York City. He was brought by transportation to Harrisburg, then to Johnstown, Pa., and had drifted back to Harrisburg, where his fighting ability had secured him an enforced residence for a period of five months. Perhaps a typical illustration, of the reason for the frequent in carceration o f the young Negro migrants is furnished by the case o f two boys of 18, Lawrence Fletcher and Henry Rouse. They claimed to have been given transportation from Charlotte, and had arrived on Sunday, three days before. Fletcher showed eagerly a brass check carrying the name of a local firm whose agent, he said had promised them jobs, although he had but one arm. When work was refused h|m he had “ started on,” his friend Rouse accom panying him. They had received two months in jail for “ train jumping.” That instances o f badly administered justice at times occur in the North as well as in the South is shown by the case of Ed Higgens, a better type o f Negro lad, aged 20, whose treatment offended even some o f the white prisoners. After two years’ steady work in Harris burg he had been arrested for larceny, charged with stealing a hat. He claimed to be innocent and, in any case, the action o f the local alderman in holding him from June for the session of the grand jury in September seemed unnecassarily severe. The justice o f the peace at Steelton, Pa., when interviewed stated that there had been considerable trouble with the new Negroes. They fought among themselves; there had been a goodf many stabbing affuays concerning women between the newcomers and the older Negro residents; and at first there had been general carrying o f weapons, promiscuous shooting, and some dangers of trouble with the white population. The justice further explained that by a borough ordinance the burgess or he could fine misdemeanants from $3 to $10 and costs, or, using the State law, he could sentence to 30 days in the county jail; costs-in summary convictions usually amounted to $10 or $12. He admitted that there had been many arrests and a great deal o f fining among the Negroes, particularly for drunkenness, gambling, and disorderly conduct. The chief of police here was an active politician, who had recently ended his in cumbency as justice o f the peace. Shares o f the costs went to the officials. At another steel-mill town in Pennsylvania the employment super intendent claimed that the chief of police interfered with the em ployment work of the company by keeping the county jail full o f prisoners, as he was out to “ get ” the company for political reasons. It was stated that the fine system was in vogue here, and that the Negroes were “ trimmed” at every turn. For instance, some had NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 143 lost as much as $50 through the collusion o f the police with certain unscrupulous town attorneys, who would proffer their services to defend the colored workers when the latter were arrested on what were claimed to be serious charges like gambling. One of the local policemen, this official said, had boasted openly o f arresting all the Negroes he could pick up at $2 a head. At the time of the visit the town authorities had just announced the appointment o f 200 dep uties, as a precaution against possible race friction. However, the camp system here, as in other places, along with bad housing in the town and in the runs beyond it, would account for widespread delinquency. H EALTH OF TH E M IGRANT. A sudden movement o f population as large as the Negro migration inevitably involves social maladjustment. The most evident and pathetic phase o f the friction and sacrifice accompanying the move ment from South to North has to do with the increase o f sickness and death. Newspapers in practically all of the northern centers reported widespread suffering from pneumonia among the new group. During the winter lurid hews and magazine articles in the Phila delphia papers told o f the' dreadful occurrence o f pneumonia due to inadequate clothing, hard labor, exposure, and bad hygiene of the newcomers from the South. The assistant director o f health o f the city was quoted as saying that 1,000 o f the blacks had pneumonia, and 700 o f them were dying from the dread disease. A perusal o f this material from papers in Philadelphia, Newark, and Cincinnati showed little definite evidence to support the sweeping statements that were made. The charity organizations, it is true, had to deal with an increased number of cases of sickness, particularly pneu monia, and physicians universally gave similar reports. One of the striking results o f unregulated migration o f Negroes was the outbreak of smallpox ii\ the\North; many cities had a num ber of cases reported. Philadelphia ahd Pittsburgh faced the danger o f epidemic and were compelled to undertake wholesale vaccination in camps and iqills. An official o i the poard o f Health o f Cleveland reported 330 cases o f smallpox ih. a ^ear in Cleveland, traceable directly to the influx o f southern Negroes. There were reports Everywhere id thd North from physicians and employers that venereal disease wfcs rife among the newcomers. Again these reports Were hard to trace to reliable sources. Hospitals in Philadelphia like the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia General had a marked increase ini Syphilis cases. In the same city the superin tendent o f a sugar refinery had been converted to the plan o f physi cal examination, because when introduced it had disclosed wide spread venereal infectiPB* At the first examination, in July, 1917, 144 NEGBO MIGRATION IN 1M.6-17. 30 infected men had been discharged. The Atlantic Refining Co. had introduced physical examination at hiring and during three weeks o f its practice 3 in 10 of the Negro applicants were rejected as suffering from noticeable syphilis or active gonorrhea. The su perintendent of a large eastern road stated that in an examination of nearly 800 blacks at a large camp made by railroad physicians, with the cooperation o f city physicians, 70 per cent were found to be in fected with tuberculosis, syphilis, or gonorrhea, and that nearly 80 per cent o f the total infected had the latter disease. These men were o f course casuals and floaters for the large part. On the other hand, a physical examination o f 1,000 Negroes, carefully selected workers of the Washington Electric & Manufacturing Co., o f East Pitts burgh, revealed only 5 per cent of venereal disease. The Pennsylvania Railroad has a very well developed system of medical service throughout its camps, especially in the large cities, but separate figures concerning venereal infection among the Negroes were not available for publication. An analysis of the death certificates of the health department of Pittsburgh for seven months of 1915 as compared with the same seven months of 1917 showed an increase of Negro deaths due to bronchial pneumonia from 21 to 37, to lobar pneunfbnia the startling rise from 43 to 141, and to acute bronchitis from 2 to 9, indicating, no doubt, exposure and inability to adjust to the northern environ ment. Again, the deaths among Negroes caused by apoplexy rose from 9 to 20, by nephritis from 9 to 22, by heart disease from 23 to 45, indicating in all likelihood the effect of stress and strain of north ern work and life. The total death rate showed an increase of 60 per cent, while the Negro population was increasing about 30 per cent. These figures also disclose the startling fact that the death rate among Negroes in Pittsburgh during the first seven months o f 1917 was 55 per cent greater than the birth rate, while in the city popula tion q,s a whole the number o f deaths was 30 per cent less than the number o f births. It is inevitable with any group which is suddenly transferred into a new physical environment that striking maladjustments should arise. While single instances may be misleading they are so numer ous and typical that the citation o f a few, which are by no means ex ceptional, may help to visualize the problem. A former Georgia farmer, who is making $3.60 a day for 12 hours’ work, brought his wife and eight children to Pittsburgh. A few weeks after his arrival all o f the children were taken sick, and two of them, 11 and 6 years old, died of pneumonia. Because o f the con tagion the man was isolated at home for eight weeks. His physician said the death o f the children was due to the overcrowded condition NEGRO MIGRATION IN 191&-17. 145 o f the house. This man received no charity and the money he had saved went fo r doctor bills. Mrs. E. H . lives on C Street with her three children, the oldest o f whom is 5 years o f age. She occupies one small damp room. Since there is no gas in the house, a red-hot stove serves to hqat the water for the washing by which she supports the fam ily. The water supply o f the house is in the street. A ll the children were sick at the time o f the visit; one had pneumonia. Mrs. H . came here a few months ago, as all her friends were coming. HOUSING IN THE NORTH. C AM PS. The outstanding fact o f the Negro migration from t^e South is that the movement is preponderate^ one o f single'men. Certainly 70 or 80 per cent o f the migrants are without fam ily ties in the North. A large number, particularly o f those employed by the railroads and in the steel industry, are housed in camps. / The Pennsylvania Railroad has developed the most extensive camp system, especially on the lines East. In the fall o f 1916 a more or less uniform system o f camp construction whs inaugurated at considerable expense. These camps are wooden sheds, covered with tar paper and steam heated and equipped with salutary cots, often placed in tiers. There are separate sheds furnished! with flush toilets, wash rooms, and shower baths, and a separated eating room. The commissary is organized by the company and m arges fo r board have varied from $4 to $7 a week. A nominal charge o f $1 or $2 a month is charged for lodging. / As many as 35 camps, each/housing more than 40 men, the m ajority o f whom are Negroes, were reported in July, 1917, distributed over the eastern Pennsylvania, western Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, and Delaware divisions o fth e Pennsylvania Railroad. f Alm ost 2,000 Negro laborers were reported to be so housed in August, 1917. A typical large camp is at Girard Point in South Philadelphia. Here thtye were 170 men on August 10. The camp had a capacity o f 360, and the construction was o f the usual sort— eight houses, with two-tier beds, a clean kitchen and mess room. The camp was located in a hot, dusty place between railroad tracks. . The Curtain Street Pennsylvania Railroad camp in Harrisburg housed 25 Negroes in a reconstructed building. The kitchen, dining room, and rest room downstairs were in model condition, but the upper floor, fitted up as a dorm itory, with single cots and wooden lockers, was congested, as a space 20 by 40 feet was filled with 30 cots, and there were but three w indow s., The commissary, with four cooks, 70782*—10-----10 146 NEGBO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. served very good meals and packed lunches at 20 cents a meal. The men paid $1 a month for lodging. The G wi ” camp at Lucknow in the Harrisburg yards was con structed on the site o f an old Italian camp. Four new buildings, put up in July, 1916, provided facilities for 150 Negroes. The maximum number at the camp had been 74 on July 30,1917. A t the time o f the visit there were only 26 in the camp. The supervisor spoke o f the great expense to the railroad, the contractor’s bill alone having been $16,000, without counting the cost o f draining and lighting. The Baltimore & Ohio, New York Central, and Erie camp systems did not involve such a complete organization. For instance, the Baltimore & Ohio camp at Hazlewood, in the Pittsburgh district, was merely a box-car camp, consisting o f 10 freight ca # . Here a row o f seven old two-story houses was also used to accommodate the men. The New York Central and Erie camps at Weehawken, N. J., consisted each o f about 40 passenger coaches fitted up as sleeping and restaurant cars. Each sleeping car housed about 20 men, and there was a car captain and a restaurant car for each group o f 60. The Pennsylvania Bailroad had large box-car camps at Pitcairn, Pa. ' The steel mills also had extensive camping facilities. The largest steel mill camps wfere those o f the Carnegie Steel Co. in the Pitts burgh district, the Bethlehem Steel Co. at Steelton, Pa., and the M id vale Steel Corporation at Coatesville, Pa. A t the latter place there were as many as 1,400 men in camp o f the 2,500 employed at the plant. The largest camp was Baker farm, with a capacity o f 789, and 600 in residence. An old bam had been recon structed into a sanitary camp. Floors and stairways had been re paired. There was considerable congestion in the main building and in the other shacks. The upper floor o f the main bam accommodated about 80 cots in a space o f 60 by 60 feet. The eating room and rest rooms downstairs were in good condition. The iron cots were clean, and the bedding was washed and sterilized weekly. A t smaller camps here, the Brandywine camp, with a capacity o f 200 and 170 in resi dence, and the Viaduct camp, filled to its capacity o f 176, less fa vorable conditions prevailed. A splendid commissary system was run by the company on a cafeteria basis, but the prices were exces sive, especially fo r vegetables. A price o f 10 cents was charged fo r orders o f hominy, rice, and m acaroni; 5 cents was charged for half o f a small loaf o f bread or a small cut o f p ie; 15 cents purchased a fish or meat order. The food was good and well prepared. There seemed to be considerable dissatisfaction among the men housed in these camps, and a copy o f a protest made by them was o f interest because it naively confused an official o f the company with the gov ernor o f the State. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 147 A t the Lukens Steel Co., in Coatesville, Pa., an old and conservative firm, about 500 Negroes were employed. The superintendent had little interest in his Negro laborers. They represented the only labor force available, and had to be used. He complained that these com mon laborers were costing the company about $7 per day apiece. They had been brought from the South by the captain o f the com pany’s police force. A visit to the camp here was o f interest because considerable publicity had been given to the statements made by this same police captain at a public meeting and used by Ray Stannard Baker.1 It was claimed that the Negroes had been selected, were happy and comfortable, and under religious influence. As a matter o f fact the camp shacks where 225 Negroes resided were among the most insanitary and dilapidated o f those visited. The wooden bunks in double tiers provided sleeping quarters for 40 Negroes in each shack. The straw mattresses were dirty and vermin infested. The com missary department was ill smelling and badly kept. A score or more o f Negroes loitering about the camp evidently belonged to an unruly crew. The old policeman who accompanied the investigator seemed frightened and powerless to control them. One Negro en gaged in conversation said loudly that they were overcharged and badly treated, and hoped that the investigator was from “ the board o f health.” The camp was located on an unfavorable spot back o f a slag pile. The company was engaged on a new housing operation, but this was for white workers alone. The Carnegie Steel Co. in the Pittsburgh district, employing from 4,000 to 4,500 Negroes at its four plants, has a camp at each o f them F or instance, at the Edgar Thompson W orks in Braddock there is a well-appointed bunk house holding 288 o f the 575 Negroes employed at the plant. The Bethlehem Steel Co., at Steelton, Pa., em ploying more than a thousand Negroes, has had a large labor camp at Locust Grove since September, 1916. A t the end o f July, 1917, the company report re turned 612 inmates. The camp consists o f 11 rows o f wooden bar racks, with 10 rooms in each row, each providing four beds, and six rows o f 10-room brick structures, with concrete wall and floors. The rent fo r the wood roms was $1 per m onth; for the brick rooms $2. The men eat cooperatively, buying their food outside or from a Steelton storekeeper, who has the company privilege o f the camp. The store is a large building, providing recreation with three pool tables and a h alf dozen checkerboards. There is a ball team, and re ligious meetings are held Sunday afternoon; a half dozen shower baths are provided, and a large bathhouse is waiting construction. » World’* Work, July, 1917, “ Th* Ne*ro Go*# North." NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 148 Many smaller concerns through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Jersey operate camps and bunk houses o f varying sizes. One o f the worst o f the camps visited was on a construction operation at Essington, Pa. Here about 400 Negroes were housed in 10 rough shacks, 10 by 30 feet in size. Wooden bunks were built closely, in tiers of three and four, housing about 35 men in a shack. One larger shack o f 40 by 40 feet, o f similar bunk construction, housed 45. Mat tresses were filthy and verminous; old clothes, cans, and whisky bot tles were thrown about and the shacks had not been cleaned for some days. The toilets and wash room were open sheds, and no sanitary plumbing facilities‘ were provided. The commissary privilege was let to an Italian commission firm of South Philadelphia. There were three men in the store and three Italian policemen on duty when the camp was visited at lunch time. The commissary was run like a com pany store, selling goods at current city prices. No mess hall was provided, but in the store there were a few crowded tables. The stench and flies made it impossible to stay in the room. The men were paying $1 a month for lodging, and food at the commissary cost from $6 to $8 a week. The condition of this camp was reported to the State department o f labor and industry, and it was later mate rially improved. C O M M U N IT Y H O U S IN G . In all the communities visited the story o f housing congestion and overcrowding was retold. The single Negroes not housed in camps were boarding in Negro districts of the cities near their work. The colored districts o f all the northern centers have been congested with these newcomers. The customary charges are $1.50 and $1.75 a week for lodging. Sometimes the men board at a cost o f $5 to $7 a week, or feed themselves, often buying cooperatively. Save in Philadel phia, where perhaps 10,000 or more empty houses in various sections o f the city have been rapidly taken up by the Negroes with but slight rise in rentals, tremendously increased rents, varying from 10 to 100 per cent in certain instances, were reported. The following extract from the Pittsburgh report shows something o f the congestion there: The conditions in these rooming houses are often beyond description. Sleep ing quarters are provided not only in bedrooms but in attics, basements, and kitchens. In the more crowded sections, beds are rented on a double-shift basis. There is no space in these rooms except for beds. Only a few are provided with bathrooms and a great number have the water and toilets outside the house. In one case a colored migrant rented an old dilapidated shack for $50 a month. The housing o f migrant families was deplorable. Of 157 families investi gated, 77, or 49 per cent, live in one room each; 33, or 21 per cent, live in two rooms; and o f the remaining 47 families, 38 kept 3.5 roomers per family.1 1A. E p ste in : T he N egro M igrant in P ittsb u rg h ; U niversity o f P ittsburgh publications, p. 12. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. 149 In regard to the housing situation in Chicago, the secretary o f the Urban League reports: The Negroes here live in a limited area, similar to Harlem, N. Y. Here the houses are o f the old one-family type and are insanitary and in a grave state of disrepair. Two years ago 300 or more o f these houses stood vacant. They are all occupied now, and many have been converted to house two or more families. The Negro population has pushed into the white residential section. The houses now being evacuated by whites are taken by Negroes at an increase of 20 per cent or more in rent. No new houses have been built yet, and there is still overcrowding and excessive rents, due to the great demand for houses. The lieadworker o f the Playhouse Settlement, o f Cleveland, re ports : At present, with little relief in sight, Negroes are living in cramped insani tary quarters two or three families per suite. Rents have increased far out of proportion, ranging from 50 to 75 per cent higher than for white tenants. In stances are oh record here o f rents jumping from $25 to $45, from $16 to $35, etc. From the above illustrations it is obvious that the housing situaticTn among the migrants is acute. In the course o f the investigation many o f them said frankly that in spite o f the better wages and better treatment in the North they did not intend to remain on account o f the lack o f adequate housing facilities. CONSTRUCTIVE EFFO RTS TOW ARD ADJUSTMENT OF TH E M IGRANT POPULATION. Another great mass movement o f population has been under way. The Negro migrant has been the pawn, in a tremendous transition. Leaving the relatively fixed social system o f the South suddenly and in numbers, he has been compelled to adjust him self to radically different conditions o f work and life in the crowded northern cen ters. Inevitably, with the responsible fam ily men seeking a new permanent home, have come the floaters and casuals, the untrained product o f the defective community life o f the South, and the vicious, who prey upon them. The presence o f these unstable and trouble-causing elements in large numbers has done much to develop opinion in the North in opposition to the migration and to the Negro as worker and citizen. That the present economic stability o f the Negro worker is low is evident; but consideration must be given to the fact that these new comers are handicapped, as were the foreign immigrants, by an al most universal attitude o f “ laissez faire ” and individualism in the northern cities. The communities have assumed almost no control o f his living conditions, and the burden o f his success or failure in es tablishing himself has rested on his own weak shoulders. He has lacked almost entirely the training for industry that alone would 150 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. insure success in the new environment. The casuals who drift about are often underfed, devitalized, and lodged in congested and inde cent quarters that could not but interfere with their health and working efficiency. Many o f the undesirable newcomers were brought by labor agents, who made little effort to select their workers; but that this group is smaller than many have supposed is shown by the fact that of ap proximately 500 migrants interviewed in Pittsburgh less than 20 per cent had been furnished with transportation North. The ma jority had paid their own way and gave intelligent reasons for com ing—to better their working and living conditions and to secure better treatment. These figures seemed to indicate that the prime causes o f the migration were fundamental and that the movement was not artificially induced. As compared with the previous European immigration, the num ber o f Negroes who bring their families with them is probably greater in proportion than was the case with the foreigners. The European usually came alone and sent for his family after a con siderable lapse of time. The married Negro either brings his family with him or sends for them as soon as he is established at work and can send money for their railroad fare. Proof that these newcomers are not usually lazy and shiftless is to be found in the statements o f savings and o f remittances to relatives in the South. O f the Pittsburgh Negroes interviewed, 15 per cent o f 162 newly arrived families had savings, 80 per cent of the 139 married one*> with families in the South were sending money home, and nearly 100 (46 per cent) o f the 219 single Negroes interviewed were con tributing to the support of parents or other relatives. Most o f these contributions amounted to about $5 a week. The labor problem o f the Negro worker is largely one o f selection and supervision. Industries with executives farsighted enough to pick the men, to think in terms o f the Negro’s human relations, and to provide housing quarters on a family basis were universally favorable to the Negro laborers. Difference o f opinion as to the value o f the Negro as a worker often turned on these points. For example, two steel-plant employment managers serving the same corporation in the Pittsburgh district held absolutely opposite views as to the value o f the Negro worker. One had seen 10,000 Negroes pass through his mills in 10 months, and described the Negro as u shiftless and undependable.” The other manager had provided through the company 128 family homes for a some o f the steadiest and most dependable men he had ever employed.” Undoubtedly, as the relation between housing and the stability o f the Negro labor force is recognized, more housing experiments will be undertaken with success in reducing the labor turnover. As it is, only the build NEGBO MIGRAnON n r 1816-17. 151 ing o f sanitary camps and bunk houses with commissary departments has assured a partly adequate force o f colored workers to the rail roads and steel and construction works. Experimentation with the introduction o f Negro labor has been accomplished in a number o f cases without the slightest friction. For instance, a machine shop in a city in the Connecticut Valley 'introduced about 150 Negro workers, one-third o f them men with families. Nearly half were doing unskilled work at a wage o f over 30 cents an hour. A letter from the manager states that “ because o f the small numbers introduced into a city o f considerable propor tions, with a little care housing facilities have been obtained in various tenement sections o f the city. Due to careful selection, care ful watchfulness, and diplomacy we have found little disease, crime, or prejudice.” Philadelphia, under the Armstrong Association, has maintained an excellent Negro employment bureau for some time, and is seeking to establish cooperation with various industrial plants. Pittsburgh has organized a branch o f the Urban League which w ill place par ticular emphasis on the placement and supervision o f workers. That such an industrial policy is sound is shown by the long-time experience o f the Newport News Ship Building & D ry Dock Co., at Newport News, Va., in employing Negroes in skilled and semiskilled labor. About half the force o f 7,000 are colored, earning up to 40 cents an hour as riveters, drillers, fitters, riggers, anglesmiths, and ship carpenters. A local trust company is developing a Garden City, where fam ily men buy houses cheaply. The investigator found the executive o f the Harlan H ollings worth Ship Building Co., at W ilm ington, DeL, favorable to similar experiment with colored labor, and the American International Cor poration in its new project at H og Island, south o f Philadelphia, is reported also to have developed plans fo r securing an adequate col ored labor force. Again, the E. I. du Pont de Nemours Co., with successful ex perience in employing at its Hopewell plant 1,250 o f its 4,650 colored workers at semiskilled work, paying from 35 to 45 cents an hour, is planning to extend the use o f colored men to other plants. In August this firm was already employing 700 Negroes at Carneys Point and building small houses at Riverview fo r fam ily men, in addition to barrack camp facilities fo r 300. Concerning antagonism on the part o f organized white labor, there are indications o f a change in the attitude o f local labor leaders. The national officers fo r a number o f years have held to a policy o f knowing no color or creed. In Chicago, under strong Negro leader ship, there are signs that local union prejudice against Negro labor may be overcome. I t is surely significant that the announcement 152 NEGBO MIGRATION IN 1910-17. was made at the recent American Federation of Labor convention at Buffalo that two Negro organizers had been appointed. Detroit and Pittsburgh especially, not being unionized centers, offer good op portunity for further experiments with Negro labor in semiskilled activities in the automobile and steel industries. From the standpoint o f the development of a rounded constructive program to lessen the costs of the migration the most interesting fact is that in the last year the National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes, according to its executive secretary in New York, has established a score of branches in as many cities. The program o f the league has been taken up in Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and other cities simultaneously with the migration. In Ohio a Federation for Service Among Colored People was formed in July, 1917, with representation in most industrial com munities of the State. It has appointed working subcommittees on housing, labor, health, and crime and welfare work. The Welfare Federation o f Cleveland has undertaken the guidance and direction o f the Cleveland Chapter, and in Cincinnati the Negro Civic Welfare Association was organized by the Council o f Social Agencies. Both organizations employ trained Negro secretaries for employment and social-service work. In Philadelphia also a general migration com mittee was appointed under the leadership of the Armstrong Asso ciation and the Philadelphia Housing Association, with representa tive subcommittees, for work in adjusting the migrants. The coming o f the new draft and a consequent greater labor short age should bring abundant opportunity for carrying forward such economic and social^ welfare programs. With so many branches and the cooperation o f the colored press such a league is in strategic positions to act as adjusting agent, guide, and organzer in assur ing maximum benefits to the Negro laborers in establishing them selves in northern industry. Composed o f white and colored men such organizations aim to promote cooperation between the races and to extend a community program o f industrial and social service. But there can be no solution to the problem of labor turnover and no employment o f skilled Negro workers in large numbers until employers give more attention to the housing question, or a com munity solution o f the problem is found. Pittsburgh, for instance, until the present time has attempted to meet the housing problem only o f single men workers o f the new labor group, and the more responsible men react against the situation. The question as to whether they planned to remain in Pittsburgh was asked of 330. single men or men without families here. Only 92 (28 per cent) answered in the affirmative, 137 (42 per cent) were planning to leave the city, while the remaining 101 (30 per cent) were undecided. NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-1*7. 153 More than half of those who had definitely decided to leave gave the housing conditions as their reason. There is already tremendous economic pressure from industry to bring community solutions o f the housing, rent, and transportation problems, and the chamber of commerce or special commissions in Detroit, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh see the problem and plan building operations. In Cincinnati the investigator found about 250 o f the new families housed adequately and cheaply in the attractive flats built by the Schmidlapp Model Homes Co. More such experiments will undoubtedly be tried “ in philanthropy at 5 per cent interest.” The chamber o f commerce in Cleveland has recently formed a hous ing company in which most o f the big industries o f the city seem to be interested ; also the Negroes there have organized a housing and investment company which secures leases o f apartments and relets them to colored tenants. They have also induced one or two con tractors to build apartments for them, with the control o f the renting left in the hands of their company., This company requires a deposit o f $50 from every person desiring < home. This deposit is regarded a as a stock holding in the company and must be made before any effort is put forth by the company to find a suitable place for the tenant. / The Urban. League in New York and Detroit not only made every effort to secure better houses for the new workers along the regular commercial channels but also recommended housing operations sub sidized by industries whose location made their problem difficult. Unfortunately the high cost o f building materials and the uncer tainty as to the labor need after the war have served to delay these adjustments. Whether the war through increasing the need for industrial production will hasten State and National action in the matter o f housing provision is yet to be seen. Even if the claims might be accepted that the disease and mor tality rates &mong the Negroes are higher than among the whites because the natural resistance is less, the environmental difficulties they have to meet are undoubtedly much greater. Low wages, long hours and exposure, congestion, lack o f group cooperation, and ignorance o f hygiene— all account for the widespread existence of sickness. But the conservation o f health is no longer the problem o f the individual or isolated group in the city. The high Negro mortality rate is no more his problem alone. Eventually the com munity pays the price in money and life, in loss o f work, and in taxes for hospital and pauper burials. Our people are not immune from the disease that spread in the Negro population. Here a com munity viewpoint is fast developing. The public-health function o f northern cities is in process o f rapid expansion, and the departments o f health are beginning to undertake constructive work. In Phila 154 NEGBO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. delphia, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh the departments were burdened by the migration in vaccinating the newcomers, preventing small pox epidemics, and in enforcing sanitary regulations in lodging places and camps. Many industries employing Negroes have intro duced physical examinations. Much information will be available concerning the costly relation o f sickness to labor turnover as the significance o f such statistics is realized. The New York, Cleveland, and Chicago departments o f health have undertaken some extensive study o f the health o f the Negro population. The health survey o f a section o f the city o f Chicago where the Negroes live has not yet been published, but a survey of the Columbus Hill section of Manhattan by the New York depart ment formed the basis for a constructive program undertaken by the bureau o f child hygiene to reduce infant mortality in the colored population. Nursing and cooperation among existing health and charitable agencies and organizations o f the people themselves for education proved the value o f such a program for any city. Similar campaigns are needed for reduction in the working population of losses from tuberculosis, pneumonia, and venereal diseases. With regard to cordial reception o f the newcomers a/nd the organi zation o f their leisure time so little effective work has so far been done that delinquency, drunkenness, and vice, as well as industrial inefficiency, have taken frightful toll in working to reduce the value o f the migration both to the colored people and to the northern pox epidemics, and in enforcing sanitary regulations in lodging communities into which they have come. The pitiful straits o f many o f the newcomers were met in part by the provisions o f temporary quarters by the Travelers’ A id and similar societies, as in Philadel phia and Chicago, and direction .to decent lodging and boarding places by local leagues. In Cincinnati the Park Street Newcomers’ Relief Home was established. In Pittsburgh a colored mission using an old church in the Negro quarter served this need. It is essential to emphasize the fact the colored churches have done almost the only extensively organized work for the welfare o f the newcomers. The church served also to furnish the best leisure activity for the new group. The church-going proclivity o f the Negro is well known and is borne out by our study in Pittsburgh. O f the 489 Negroes who replied to the question, 370, or almost 76 per cent, were either church members or attendants, and only 119, or 24 per cent, said they did not attend any church in the city. Many o f the large Baptist and Methodist churches greatly in creased their membership. One leading colored pastor in Phila delphia had taken in 1,500 new members. He stayed through the summer without a vacation to conduct tent meetings nightly under the auspices o f the Board o f Home Missions o f the Methodist de NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1016-17. 155 nomination. H e had organized a committee o f 100 in his congrega tion'and claimed rather extravagantly to have districted the city and visited 11,000 homes o f 30,000 newcomers, and distributed 20,000 pieces o f literature, prepared especially to moralize and socialize the migrants. This church has also opened an office for employment work and social service. The Urban League program includes organization o f the recreation facilities among the colored people to counteract the influence o f the saloon and gambling. In Detroit the use o f a public-school building for two nights a week and a public high-school building for one evening weekly was secured. The newcomers’ community dances were very successful. A Young Negroes’ Progressive Asso ciation was form ed by the Negro college men and took over the organization o f recreation ,and summer camp work for the young people. In Philadelphia also, as in Louisville in the South, a migration committee secured the use o f public schools for recreation purposes. In Cleveland the Playhouse Settlement, in cooperation with the W elfare Federation, is continually in touch with the colored situa tion and is working along recreational lines especially. The settle ment has secured the cooperation o f the board o f education in the use o f recreational facilities o f a school building and also o f the city recreational division in the use o f playgrounds. The Negro m igration is neither an isolated nor a temporary phe nomenon, but the logical result o f a long series o f linked causes beginning with the landing o f the first slave ship and extending to the present day. < The bondage which was ended by the Emancipa tion Proclamation and the fourteenth amendment o f the national Constitution has been succeeded by less sinister but equally signifi cant social and economic problems, which are full o f subtle menace for the welfare o f America. The intelligent Negro has long believed that his only escape from the measures o f suppression which still exist is to go to the North, and he has seized the opportunity whenever it was presented to him. The present unprecedented influx o f black workers from the South is merely the result o f a sudden expansion o f opportunity, due to a war-depleted labor market in the North. But basic causes for his migration are inherent in the social and economic system which has retarded his progress for years. The Negro is beginning to ap preciate his own value and duties and is proceeding to the North where he feels he can enjoy a fuller measure o f justice. This natu rally means a tremendous problem for the North. The race ques tion is no longer confined to the States below the Mason and Dixon line, but is the concern o f the whole Nation. It may be presumed that the European immigration after this war w ill not be as great as it 156 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1916-17. was before it. The Negro is taking the place o f the foreign worker, and he is certain to become an increasingly important factor in our national political and economic life. Indeed, he is already an im portant political factor in our municipalities; he may soon be a basic factor in our industries. That the Negro has struggled so patiently, persistently, and, in a measure, successfully against all handicaps; that, seeing his chance, taking slow counsel, and following and imitating the whites even as they condemn him, he has at last gained a tenacious hold on the lower rungs o f the industrial ladder— is a tribute to the innate strength and powers of resistance of the colored people. No exact estimate o f the number o f Negroes who have come north within the last 18 months is possible. Estimates vary from 200,000 to 700,000. There are nearly 2,000,000 Negroes now living in the North. It is o f paramount importance that the condition of these people, who, although in the midst o f the white group, are yet so little known to it, should be considered, to the end that, for their own good and for the welfare of the Nation, they may be fitted into their new environment APPENDIX. NEGRO M IGRATION IN TH E NORTH. M in im u m estim a te o f n u m ber o f N egro m igra n ts in P en n sylva n ia , 1 9 1 6 -1 7 , based on n u m ber o f N eg ro es em p loyed in 1917 in e x c e ss o f n u m ber em p loyed in 1915. [F igu res com piled in Septem ber, 1917.] P en n sylvan ia: P ittsb u rg h -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ;__ . 18,500 P h ila d e lp h ia _________________________________________________________ 32,000 S te e lto n ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3,000 H a r r is b u r g ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2,000 O oatesville ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------ 6,000 C hester ______________________________________________________________ 3,000 J oh n stow n ___________________________________________________________ 3,000 A ltoona ______________________________________________________________ 1,000 Pennsylvania R ailroad (ou tside large c itie s )------------------------------------- 1,000 N orthw estern P en n sylvan ia: Erie,. O il C ity, Franklin, and Stoneboro______________________________ 6,000 N ortheastern P en n sylvan ia: Scranton, W ilkes-B arre,E aston; and R eading_______________________ 7,000 T otal fo r Pennsylvania___________________________________________ 84,000 E stim a te o f e x te n t o f P h iladelph ia m igra tion , based on n u m ber o f N egroes em p lo yed in P hiladelphia A u g u st, 1917. Pennsylvania R ailroad cam ps: G irard ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------M antau Junction-----------------------------------------------------------------------F ran k ford Junction_______________________________________ E astern Pennsylvania cam ps__________________________________ B altim ore & Ohio cam ps------------------------------------------------------------------R eading cam ps------------------------------------------------------------------------'------ 170 300 60 150 120 300 T otal fo r railroad cam ps----------------------------------------------------------------M idvale Steel C o_________________________________________________ 4,000 A tlan tic R efining C o______________________________________________ 1,000 F ranklin Sugar R efining C o______________________________________ 700 K eystone Paving & C onstruction Co. (C h e ste r)_________________ 1,100 W estinghouse-C hurch-K err (E ssin g ton )_________________________ 600 E ddystone M unition C orporation________________________________ 600 D igston Saw C o------------------------------------------------------------------------------400 1,100 T otal estim ated num ber in plants v is ite d !_______________________ 8,400 E stim ated num ber in plants in con tracting w ork not visited -------------------- 7,750 E stim ated num ber wom en and ch ildren __________________________________ 16,250 T otal fo r Philadelphia_____________________________________________ 33,500 157 158 NEGRO MIGRATION IN 1919-17. E stim a te o f P ittsb u rg h m igra tion , based on n u m ber em p loyed in A lleg h en y C ou n ty , A u g u st , 1917. Number o f N egroes em ployed. Carnegie Steel Co. (four plants)_______________________________________ Jones & Laughlin Steel Co________.___________________________________ Westinghouse Co_____________________________________________________ Edgewater Steel Co___________________________________________________ Union Switch & Signal Co-------------------------------------------------------------------Harbison & Walker___________________________________________________ National Tube Co. (all plants)_________________________________________ Pressed Steel Car Co--------------- — ----------------------------------------------------Pittsburgh Forge & Iron Co___________________________________________ Moorehead Bros_______________________________________________________ American Steel & Wire Co-------------------------------------------------------------------Clinton Iron & Steel Co________________________________________ Oliver Iron & Steel Co_______________________________ Carbon Steel Co---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Crucible Steel Co_____________________________________________________ A. M. Byers Co_______________________________________________________ Lockhart Steel Co____________________________________________________ Mesta Machine Co____________________________________________________ Marshall Foundry Co_________________________________________________ Pennsylvania Railroad camps__________________________________________ Baltimore & Ohio Railroad camps_____________________________________ T otal em ployed____________________________________________________ 4,000 1,400 900 400 200 250 250 25 75 200 25 25 40 200 400 200 100 50 25 300 100 9,225 M in im u m n u m ber o f m igra n ts in O hio ( estim a te based on v is its and r e p o r ts). C lev ela n d _________________________________________________________________10,000 C in cin n a ti________________________________________________________________ 6,000 C olu m bu s________________________________________________________________ 3,000 D a y to n ___________________________________________________________________ 3,000 T oledo ___________________________________________________________________ 3,000 C a n to n ------------------------------------------------3,000 A k r o n ____________________________________________________________________ 3,000 M id d letow n _______________________________________________________________ 1,000 Camp Sherm an, C h illicoth e_______________________________________________ 2,000 P ortsm ou th _______________________________________________________________ 300 B altim ore & Ohio cam ps__________________________________________ 400 Pennsylvania R ailroad cam ps___________________________________________ 300 C o n tra cto rs_______________________________________________________________ 1,000 T raction com panies_______________________________________________________ 1,000 T otal fo r O hio____________________________________________________ 37,500 R ep orted n u m ber o f N egro m igran ts in N ew J e r se y , S ep tem b er , 1917. N ew Y ork C entral cam p, W eehaw ken------------------------------------------------------B rie cam p s: W eeh aw k en __________________________________________________________ Jersey C ity___________________________________________________________ Philadelphia A R eading, Pennsylvania R ailroad, etc., cam ps-------------------Jersey C ity------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------N e w a rk __________________________________________________________________ C arneys P oint____________________________________________________________ T r e n to n __________________________________________________________________ C am den_______________________ 1__________________________________________ Bayonne, Paterson, and P erth Am boy-----------------------------------------------------W righ t stown and South Jersey__________________________________________ 500 300 100 1.300 3,000 7,000 300 3,000 2,000 4,000 3,000 T otal fo r New Jersey______________________________________________ 25,000 o