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Title: Negro Migration during the War
Author: Scott, Emmett J. (Emmett Jay), 1873-1957
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Negro Migration during the War" ***

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[Transcriber's Note: All spellings and hyphenations have been left as
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changed to 'during'.]




In the preparation of this study I have had the encouragement and
support of Dr. Robert R. Moton, Principal of the Tuskegee Normal and
Industrial Institute, Alabama, who generously placed at my disposal
the facilities of the Institute's Division of Records and Research,
directed by Mr. Monroe N. Work, the editor of the _Negro Year Book_.
Mr. Work has cooperated with me in the most thoroughgoing manner. I
have also had the support of the National League on Urban Conditions
and particularly of the Chicago branch of which Dr. Robert E. Park
is President and of which Mr. T. Arnold Hill is Secretary. Mr. Hill
placed at my disposal his first assistant, Mr. Charles S. Johnson,
graduate student of the University of Chicago, to whom I am greatly
indebted. I must also make acknowledgment of my indebtedness to Dr.
Carter G. Woodson, Director of the Association for the Study of Negro
Life and History, Incorporated, Washington, D.C., for placing at my
disposal the facilities of his organization.

The work of investigation was divided up by assigning Mr. Work to
Alabama, Georgia and Florida; Mr. Johnson to Mississippi and to
centers in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, while the
eastern centers were assigned to Mr. T. Thomas Fortune, Trenton, New
Jersey, a former editor of the _New York Age_, and a publicist and
investigator of well known ability. It is upon the reports submitted
by these investigators that this study rests. I can not speak too
warmly of the enthusiastic and painstaking care with which these
men have labored to secure the essential facts with regard to the
migration of the negro people from the South.

Emmett J. Scott.

Washington, D.C.,

_June 5, 1919._



  I Introduction                                        3

  II Causes of the Migration                           13

  III Stimulation of the Movement                      26

  IV The Spread of the Movement                        38

  V The Call of the Self-Sufficient North              49

  VI The Draining of the Black Belt                    59

  VII Efforts to Check the Movement                    72

  VIII Effects of the Movement on the South            86

  IX The Situation in St. Louis                        95

  X Chicago and Its Environs                          102

  XI The Situation at Points in the Middle West       119

  XII The Situation at Points in the East             134

  XIII Remedies for Relief by National Organizations  143

  XIV Public Opinion Regarding the Migration          152

  Bibliography                                        175

  Index                                               185




Within the brief period of three years following the outbreak of the
great war in Europe, more than four hundred thousand negroes suddenly
moved north. In extent this movement is without parallel in American
history, for it swept on thousands of the blacks from remote regions
of the South, depopulated entire communities, drew upon the negro
inhabitants of practically every city of the South, and spread from
Florida to the western limits of Texas. In character it was not
without precedent. In fact, it bears such a significant resemblance to
the migration to Kansas in 1879 and the one to Arkansas and Texas
in 1888 and 1889 that this of 1916-1917 may be regarded as the same
movement with intervals of a number of years.

Strange as it might seem the migration of 1879 first attracted general
notice when the accusation was brought that it was a political scheme
to transplant thousands of negro voters from their disfranchisement
in the South to States where their votes might swell the Republican
majority. Just here may be found a striking analogy to one of the
current charges brought against the movement nearly forty years later.
The congressional inquiry which is responsible for the discovery of
the fundamental causes of the movement was occasioned by this charge
and succeeded in proving its baselessness.[1]

The real causes of the migration of 1879 were not far to seek.
The economic cause was the agricultural depression in the lower
Mississippi Valley. But by far the most potent factor in effecting
the movement was the treatment received by negroes at the hands of the
South. More specifically, as expressed by the leaders of the movement
and refugees themselves, they were a long series of oppression,
injustice and violence extending over a period of fifteen years; the
convict system by which the courts are permitted to inflict heavy
fines for trivial offenses and the sheriff to hire the convicts to
planters on the basis of peonage; denial of political rights; long
continued persecution for political reasons; a system of cheating by
landlords and storekeepers which rendered it impossible for tenants
to make a living, and the inadequacy of school facilities.[2] Sworn
public documents show that nearly 3,500 persons, most of whom were
negroes, were killed between 1866 and 1879, and their murderers were
never brought to trial or even arrested. Several massacres of
negroes occurred in the parishes of Louisiana. Henry Adams, traveling
throughout the State and taking note of crime committed against
negroes, said that 683 colored men were whipped, maimed or murdered
within eleven years.[3]

In the year 1879, therefore, thousands of negroes from Mississippi,
Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina moved to
Kansas. Henry Adams of Shreveport, Louisiana, an uneducated negro
but a man of extraordinary talent, organized that year a colonization
council. He had been a soldier in the United States Army until 1869
when he returned to his home in Louisiana and found the condition of
negroes intolerable. Together with a number of other negroes he first
formed a committee which in his own words was intended to "look into
affairs and see the true condition of our race, to see whether it was
possible we could stay under a people who held us in bondage or not."
This committee grew to the enormous size of five hundred members. One
hundred and fifty of these members were scattered throughout the South
to live and work among the negroes and report their observations.
These agents quickly reached the conclusion that the treatment the
negroes received was generally unbearable.[4] Some of the conditions
reported were that land rent was still high; that in the part of the
country where the committee was organized the people were still being
whipped, some of them by their former owners; that they were cheated
out of their crops and that in some parts of the country where they
voted they were being shot.

It was decided about 1877 that all hope and confidence that conditions
could be changed should be abandoned. Members of this committee felt
that they could no longer remain in the South, and decided to leave
even if they "had to run away and go into the woods." Membership in
the council was solicited with the result that by 1878 there were
ninety-eight thousand persons from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and
Texas belonging to the colonization council and ready to move.[5]

About the same time there was another conspicuous figure working in
Tennessee--Benjamin or "Pap" Singleton, who styled himself the father
of the exodus. He began the work of inducing negroes to move to the
State of Kansas about 1869, founded two colonies and carried a total
of 7,432 blacks from Tennessee. During this time he paid from his own
pocket over $600 for circulars which he distributed throughout the
southern States. "The advantages of living in a free State" were the
inducements offered.[6]

The movement spread as far east as North Carolina. There a similar
movement was started in 1872 when there were distributed a number of
circulars from Nebraska telling of the United States government and
railroad lands which could be cheaply obtained. This brief excitement
subsided, but was revived again by reports of thousands of negroes
leaving the other States of the South for Kansas. Several hundred of
these migrants from North Carolina were persuaded en route to change
their course and go to Indiana.[7]

Much excitement characterized the movement. One description of this
exodus says:

    Homeless, penniless and in rags, these poor people were
    thronging the wharves of St. Louis, crowding the steamers
    on the Mississippi River, hailing the passing steamers and
    imploring them for a passage to the land of freedom, where the
    rights of citizens are respected and honest toil rewarded by
    honest compensation. The newspapers were filled with accounts
    of their destitution, and the very air was burdened with the
    cry of distress from a class of American citizens flying from
    persecution which they could no longer endure. Their piteous
    tales of outrage, suffering and wrong touched the hearts of
    the more fortunate members of their race in the North and
    West, and aid societies, designed to afford temporary relief
    and composed almost wholly of colored people, were organized
    in Washington, St. Louis, Topeka and various other places.[8]

Men still living, who participated in this movement, tell of the long
straggling procession of migrants, stretching to the length at times
of from three to five miles, crossing States on foot. Churches were
opened all along the route to receive them. Songs were composed, some
of which still linger in the memory of survivors. The hardships under
which they made this journey are pathetic. Yet it is estimated that
nearly 25,000 negroes left their homes for Kansas.[9]

The exodus during the World War, like both of these, was fundamentally
economic, though its roots were entangled in the entire social system
of the South. It was hailed as the "Exodus to the Promised Land" and
characterized by the same frenzy and excitement. Unlike the Kansas
movement, it had no conspicuous leaders of the type of the renowned
"Pap" Singleton and Henry Adams. Apparently they were not needed. The
great horde of restless migrants swung loose from their acknowledged
leaders. The very pervasiveness of the impulse to move at the first
definite call of the North was sufficient to stir up and carry away
thousands before the excitement subsided.

Despite the apparent suddenness of this movement, all evidence
indicates that it is but the accentuation of a process which has
been going on for more than fifty years. So silently indeed has this
shifting of the negro population taken place that it has quite escaped
popular attention. Following the decennial revelation of the census
there is a momentary outburst of dismay and apprehension at the
manifest trend in the interstate migration of negroes. Inquiries into
the living standards of selected groups of negroes in large cities
antedating the migration of 1916-1917 have revealed from year to year
an increasing number of persons of southern birth whose length of
residence has been surprisingly short. The rapid increase in the negro
population of the cities of the North bears eloquent testimony to this
tendency. The total increase in the negro population between 1900 and
1910 was 11.2 per cent. In the past fifty years the northern movement
has transferred about 4 per cent of the entire negro population; and
the movement has taken place in spite of the negro's economic handicap
in the North. Within the same period Chicago increased her negro
population 46.3 per cent and Columbus, Ohio, 55.3 per cent. This
increase was wholly at the expense of the South, for the rural
communities of the North are very sparsely populated with negroes
and the increment accruing from surplus birth over deaths is almost

When any attempt is made to estimate the volume of this most recent
movement, however, there is introduced a confusing element, for it can
not definitely be separated from a process which has been in operation
since emancipation. Another difficulty in obtaining reliable
estimates is the distribution of the colored population over the rural
districts. It is next to impossible to estimate the numbers leaving
the South even on the basis of the numbers leaving the cities. The
cities are merely concentration points and they are continually
recruiting from the surrounding rural districts. It might be stated
that 2,000 negroes left a certain city. As a matter of fact, scarcely
half that number were residents of the city. The others had moved in
because it was easier to leave for the North from a large city, and
there was a greater likelihood of securing free transportation or
traveling with a party of friends. It is conservatively stated, for
example, that Birmingham, Alabama, lost 38,000 negroes. Yet within
a period of three months the negro population had assumed its usual
proportions again.[11] Prior to the present migration of negroes,
there was somewhat greater mobility on the part of the white than on
the part of the negro population. As for example, according to

the census of 1910 of 68,070,294 native whites, 10,366,735 or 15.2 per
cent were living in some other division than that in which they were
born. Of 9,746,043 native negroes reported by the census of 1930,
963,153 or 9.9 per cent were living outside the division of birth.[12]
Previous to the present migration, the south Atlantic and the east
south central divisions were the only ones which had suffered a direct
loss in population through the migration of negroes.[13]

The census of 1910 brought out the fact that there had been
considerable migration from the North to the South, as well as from
the South to the North, and from the East to the West. The number of
persons born in the North and living in the South (1,449,229) was not
very different from the number born in the South and living in the
North (1,527,107). The North, however, has contributed more than five
times as many to the population of the West as the South has. The
number of negroes born in the South and living in the North in 1910
was 415,533, or a little over two-thirds of the total number living in
the North. Of the 9,109,153 negroes born in the South, 440,534, or 4.8
per cent, were, in 1910, living outside the South.[14] The migration
southward it will be noted, has been in recent years largely into the
west south central division, while the migration northward has been
more evenly distributed by divisions, except that a comparatively
small number from the South have gone into the New England States.[15]

The greater mobility of whites than of negroes is shown by the fact
that in 1910, 15 per cent of the whites and 10 per cent of the negroes
lived outside of the States in which they were born. This greater
mobility of the whites as compared with the negroes was due in a large
measure to the lack of opportunities for large numbers of negroes
to find employment in the sections outside the South. The World War
changed these conditions and gave to the negroes of the United States
the same opportunities for occupations in practically every section of
the country, which had heretofore been enjoyed only by the whites. In
1900, 27,000 negroes born in the North lived in the South. In 1910,
41,000 negroes born in the North lived in the South. This indicated
that there was beginning to be a considerable movement of negroes from
the North to the South because of the greater opportunities in the
South to find employment in teaching, medicine and business. The
migration conditions brought about by the war have probably changed
this to some extent. Previous to the World War, the States having
the greatest gain from negro migration were Arkansas, 105,500,
Pennsylvania, 85,000, Oklahoma, 85,000, Florida, 84,000, New York,
58,450 and Illinois, 57,500.

The point brought out here indicates that because of economic
opportunities, Arkansas and Oklahoma, being contiguously situated in
one section of the South and Florida in another section of the South,
had received a greater migration of negroes than any State in the

Dr. William Oscar Scroggs of Louisiana calls attention to the tendency
of negroes to move within the South, although, as, he points out, this
tendency is not as great as it is for the whites. On this he says:

    The negro shows a tendency, not only to move northward, but
    also to move about very freely within the South. In fact, the
    region registering the largest net gain of negroes in 1910
    from this interstate movement was the west south central
    division (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas) which
    showed a gain from this source of 194,658. The middle Atlantic
    division came second with a gain of 186,384, and the east
    north central third with a gain of 119,649. On the other hand,
    the south Atlantic States showed a loss of 392,827, and the
    east south central States a loss of 200,876 from interstate
    migration. While the negroes have shown this marked
    inclination toward interstate movement, they nevertheless
    exhibit this tendency in less degree than do the whites.[16]

The subjoined tables show the intersectional migration of the negro


(As Reported by Census of 1910)

Number Born in Specified Divisions and Living In or Out of These Divisions

                                       Number Living:        Per Cent Living
                                     +---------------------+ Without
                      Total Born in                          the Division
      Division        the Division    Within     Without     in Which
                                      Division   Division    Born
  United States       9,746,043       8,782,890   963,153       9.9
  New England            37,799          30,815     6,984      18.5
  Middle Atlantic       212,145         189,962    22,183      10.5
  East North Central    173,226         145,187    28,039      16.2
  West North Central    198,116         162,054    36,062      18.2
  South Atlantic      4,487,313       4,039,173   448,140      10.0
  East South Central  2,844,598       2,491,607   352,991      12.4
  West South Central  1,777,242       1,713,888    63,354       3.6
  Mountain                7,342           4,122     3,220      43.9
  Pacific                 8,262           6,082     2,180      26.4

  Number Living in Specified Divisions

                                      Number       Number        Per Cent
                      Total Living    Born in and  Living in     Living in
     Division         in the          Living in    the Division  Division
                      Division        the Division Born in Other Born in Other
                                                   Divisions     Divisions
  United States       9,746,043       8,782,890     963,153        9.9
  New England            58,109          30,815      27,294       47.0
  Middle Atlantic       398,529         189,962     208,567       52.3
  East North Central    292,875         145,187     147,688       50.4
  West North Central    238,613         162,054      76,559       32.1
  South Atlantic      4,094,486       4,039,173      55,313        1.4
  East South Central  2,643,722       2,491,607     152,115        5.8
  West South Central  1,971,900       1,713,888     258,012       13.1
  Mountain               20,571           4,122      16,449       80.0
  Pacific                27,238           6,082      21,156       77.7

  Migration North to South, South to North and East to West

                                            Born in:               State of
                                ----------+----------+---------+   Birth not
                    Total       The North  The South  The West     Reported
  Race and Section  Native                                         or Born in
  of Residence      Population                                  Possessions, etc.
     All Races
  United States     78,456,380  46,179,002 29,010,255 2,906,162   360,961
    The North       44,390,371  42,526,162  1,527,107   124,001   213,101
    The South       28,649,319   1,449,229 27,079,282    38,230    82,578
    The West         5,416,690   2,203,611    403,866 2,743,931    65,282

  United States     68,386,412  45,488,942 19,814,860 2,766,492   316,118
    The North       43,319,193  41,891,353  1,110,245   116,939   200,656
    The South       19,821,249   1,407,262 18,326,236    34,523    53,228
    The West         5,245,970   2,190,327    378,379 2,615,030    62,234

  United States      9,787,424     621,286  9,109,153    15,604    41,381
    The North          999,451     570,298    415,533     2,295    11,325
    The South        8,738,858      39,077  8,668,619     2,412    28,750
    The West            49,115      11,911     25,001    10,897     1,306

  Net Migration Eastward and Westward and Northward and Southward

                                          Population, 1910
                       Total              White                 Negro  All
                               +---------+---------+----------+        Other
                                   Total  Of Native Of Foreign
                                          Parentage  or Mixed
  Section                                           Parentage
  Born east and
  living west of
  the Mississippi
  River               5,276,879 4,941,529 3,846,940 1,094,589  331,031 4,319

  Born west and
  living east of the
  Mississippi River     684,773   616,939   417,541   199,398   63,671 4,163
  Net migration
  westward across the
  Mississippi River   4,592,106 4,324,590 3,429,399  895,191   267,360   156
  Born North and
  living South        1,449,229 1,407,262 1,156,122  251,140    39,077 2,890
  Born South and
  living North        1,527,107 1,110,245   944,572  165,673   415,533 1,329
    Net migration
      southward                   297,017   211,550   85,467           1,561
    Net migration
      northward          77,878                                376,456

[Footnote 1: _Congressional Record_, 46th Cong., 2d sess., vol. X, p.

[Footnote 2: _Atlantic Monthly_, LXIV, p. 222; _Nation_, XXVIII, pp.
242, 386.]

[Footnote 3: Williams, _History of the Negro Race_, II, p. 375.]

[Footnote 4: _Atlantic Monthly_, LXIV, p. 222.]

[Footnote 5: Williams, _History of the Negro Race_, II, p. 375.]

[Footnote 6: W.L. Fleming, "Pap Singleton, the Moses of the Colored
Exodus," _American Journal of Sociology_, chapter XV, pp. 61-82.]

[Footnote 7: _Congressional Record_, Senate Reports, 693, part II,
46th Cong., 2d sess.]

[Footnote 8: _American Journal of Social Science_, XI, pp. 22-35.]

[Footnote 9: Ibid., p. 23.]

[Footnote 10: _The Censuses of the United States_.]

[Footnote 11: Ibid.]

[Footnote 12: Vol. I, census of 1910, Population, General Report and
Analysis, p. 693.]

[Footnote 13: Ibid., p. 694.]

[Footnote 14: Ibid., p. 698.]

[Footnote 15: Vol. 1, 1910 census, Population, General Report and
Analysis, p. 699.]

[Footnote 16: Scroggs, "Interstate Migration of Negro Population,"
_Journal of Political Economy_, December, 1917, p. 1040.]



It seems particularly desirable in any study of the causes of the
movement to get beneath the usual phraseology on the subject and
find, if possible, the basis of the dissatisfaction, and the social,
political and economic forces supporting it. It seems that most of
the causes alleged were present in every section of the South, but
frequently in a different order of importance. The testimony of the
migrants themselves or of the leading white and colored men of the
South was in general agreement. The chief points of disagreement were
as to which causes were fundamental. The frequency with which the same
causes were given by different groups is an evidence of their reality.

A most striking feature of the northern migration was its
individualism. This factor after all, however, was economic. The
motives prompting the thousands of negroes were not always the
same, not even in the case of close neighbors. As a means of making
intelligible these complicating factors it is necessary to watch
the process as it affected the several migrants. The economic motive
stands among the foremost reasons for the decision of the group to
leave the South. There are several ways of arriving at a conclusion
regarding the economic forces. These factors might, for example, be
determined by the amount of unemployment or the extent of poverty in a
community as registered by the prosperity. These facts are important,
but may or may not account wholly for individual action. Except in a
few localities of the South there was no actual misery and starvation.
Nor is it evident that those who left would have perished from want
had they remained. Discontent became more manifest as comparisons were
made between the existing state of things at home and a much better
state of things elsewhere. It is possible to note in the appeals of
the letters a suggestion of a desire simply to improve their living
standards so long as there was an opportunity. In the case of some
there is expressed a praiseworthy providence for their families; and
in others may be found an index to the poverty and hopelessness of
their home communities. In this type of migration the old order is
strangely reversed. Large numbers of negroes have frequently moved
around from State to State and even within the States of the South in
search of more remunerative employment. A movement to the West or even
about in the South could have proceeded from the same cause, as in the
case of the migration to Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Among the immediate economic causes of the migration were the labor
depression in the South in 1914 and 1915 and the large decrease in
foreign immigration resulting from the World War. Then came the cotton
boll weevil in the summers of 1915 and 1916, greatly damaging the
cotton crop over considerable area, largely in Louisiana, Mississippi,
Alabama, Georgia and Florida, and threatening greatly to unsettle
farming conditions in the year 1917.[17] There followed then the
cotton price demoralization and the low price of this product during
subsequent years. The unusual floods during the summer of 1915 over
large sections in practically the same States further aggravated the
situation. The negroes, moreover, were generally dissatisfied because
of the continued low wages which obtained in the South in spite of the
increasing cost of living. Finally, there was a decided decrease in
foreign immigration. The result was a great demand in the North for
the labor of the negro at wages such as he had never received.[18]

To understand further the situation in the South at the beginning of
the migration and just prior to it, attention should be directed to
the fact that the practice of mortgaging the cotton crop before it
is produced made sudden reversals--an inevitable result of such
misfortune as followed the boll weevil and the floods. Thousands
of landlords were forced to dismiss their tenants and close the
commissaries from which came the daily rations. Some planters in
Alabama and Mississippi advised their tenants to leave and even
assisted them. The banks and merchants refused to extend credit when
cotton was no longer to be had as a security. As a consequence, a
great number of tenants were left without productive work, money or
credit. A host of idle persons thrown suddenly on the labor market
could have no other effect than to create an excess in the cities to
which they flocked, make laborers easily replaceable, and consequently
reduce wages. A southern paper in commenting on this situation
declared "there is nothing for this excess population to do. These
people must live on the workers, making the workers poorer ... if
there is a tap that will draw off the idle population, that will be a
good thing for the cities at least."[19]

The circumstances of unemployment which contributed so largely to the
restless mood in some sections of the South was due primarily to a
lack of sufficient capital to support labor during the lean seasons.
This meant, of course, that the cotton pests and storms that played
havoc with whole sections rendered helpless all classes of the
population. The usual method of handling labor, especially on the
cotton plantations, was for the planter to maintain his hands from the
commissary during the fall and early winter in order that they might
be convenient for the starting and cultivation of a new crop. But with
their last year's crop lost, their credit gone and the prospects of a
new crop very shadowy, there was left no other course but to dismiss
the people whom they could not support.

For a long time southern farmers had been importuned to adopt a more
diversified method of farming to offset the effects of unexpected
misfortune in the cotton industry and to preserve the value of the
soil. Following the ravages of the boll weevil, the idea gained
wide application. The cotton acreage was cut down and other crops
substituted. The cultivation of cotton requires about five times
as many laborers as the cultivation of corn and the work is fairly
continuous for a few employes throughout the year. Additional
unemployment for negro tenant farmers was an expected result of this
diversification. The greatest immediate disadvantage to negro planters
and small farmers resulting from the failure of the cotton crops was
the lack of money and credit to sustain them while the corn and velvet
beans were being grown. It was for like reasons impracticable to
attempt to raise stock, for there was no means of making a beginning,
as a certain amount of capital was prerequisite.

Despite the fact that food prices began to rise with the war, wages
advanced very slowly. In 1915, wages of farm laborers in the
South averaged around 75 cents a day. In the towns the principal
opportunities for employment were in the oil mills, lumber mills,
cotton compresses, railroad shops and domestic service. In the mills
and shops the average of wages ranged from $1 to $1.50 a day. The
wages of such skilled laborers as carpenters and bricklayers ranged
from $2 to $3.50 a day. In domestic service women received from $1.50
to $3 per week and board. Men in domestic service received on an
average of $5 a week.[20]

In spite of these conditions in the South it might appear strange that
not until fifty years after the privilege was granted negroes to
go where they pleased did they begin to make a sudden rush for the
northern States. Stranger still does it seem that, despite the fairly
general agreement among southern negroes that the North affords
greater personal liberty, is less prejudiced to individuals because of
the color of their skins, grants to negroes something nearer to open
handed justice, participation in the government, wider privileges
and freer associations, there should be in 1910 scarcely more than
one-tenth of the negro population where these reputed advantages are.
The North has been looked upon as the "Promised Land," the "Ark of
Safety," the "House of Refuge" for all these years. A common reason
recently advanced by the majority of southern negroes for the
abandonment of their homes was the desire to escape from the
oppressive social system of their section. Why have they not escaped
before? The answer lies in the very hard fact that, though the North
afforded larger privileges, it would not support negroes. It was the
operation of an inexorable economic law, confused with a multitude of
social factors, that pushed them back to the soil of the South despite
their manifest desire to leave it.

None of the causes was more effective than that of the opportunity
to earn a better living. Wages offered in the North were double and
treble those received in the South. Women who received $2.50 a week
in domestic service could earn from $2.10 to $2.50 a day and men
receiving $1.10 and $1.25 a day could earn from $2.50 to $3.75 a day
in the various industries in the North.[21] An intensive study of the
migration to Pittsburgh, made by Mr. Abraham Epstein, gives an idea of
the difference in wages paid in the North and the South. His findings
may be quoted: "The great mass of workers get higher wages here than
in the places from which they come. Fifty-six per cent received less
than two dollars a day in the South, while only five per cent received
such wages in Pittsburgh." Sixty-two per cent received between $2 and
$3 per day in Pittsburgh as compared with 25 per cent in the South,
and 28 per cent received between $3 and $3.60 in this city as compared
with four per cent in the South.

The inability to educate their children properly because of the
inadequacy of school facilities was another cause which has been
universally given for leaving the South.[22] The basis for this
frequently voiced complaint is well set forth in the study of _Negro
Education_ by Dr. Thomas Jesse Jones.[23]

    The inadequacy of the elementary school system for colored
    children is indicated both by the comparisons of public
    appropriations already given and by the fact that the
    attendance in both public and private schools is only 58.1 per
    cent of the children six to fourteen years of age. The average
    length of the public school term is less than five months in
    practically all of the southern States. Most of the school
    buildings, especially those in the rural districts, are in
    wretched condition. There is little supervision and little
    effort to improve the schools or adapt their efforts to the
    needs of the community. The reports of the State Departments
    of Georgia and Alabama indicate that 70 per cent of the
    colored teachers have third grade or temporary certificates,
    representing a preparation less than that usually given in
    the first eight elementary grades. Investigations made by
    supervisors of colored schools in other States indicate that
    the percentage of poorly prepared colored teachers is almost
    as high in the other southern States.

    The supervisor of white elementary rural schools in one of the
    States recently wrote concerning negro schools: "I never
    visit one of these (negro) schools without feeling that we are
    wasting a large part of this money and are neglecting a great
    opportunity. The negro schoolhouses are miserable beyond all
    description. They are usually without comfort, equipment,
    proper lighting or sanitation. Nearly all of the negroes of
    school age in the district are crowded into these miserable
    structures during the short term which the school runs. Most
    of the teachers are absolutely untrained and have been given
    certificates by the county board, not because they have passed
    the examination, but because it is necessary to have some kind
    of negro teacher. Among the negro rural schools which I have
    visited, I have found only one in which the highest class knew
    the multiplication table."

The treatment which the negroes received at the hands of the courts
and the guardians of the peace constituted another cause of the
migration. Negroes largely distrust the courts and have to depend on
the influence of their aristocratic white friends. When a white man
assaults a negro he is not punished. When a white man kills a negro he
is usually freed without extended legal proceedings, but the rule as
laid down by the southern judge is usually that when a negro kills a
white man, whether or not in self-defense, the negro must die. Negro
witnesses count for nothing except when testifying against members of
their own race. The testimony of a white man is conclusive in every
instance. In no State of the South can a negro woman get a verdict for
seduction, nor in most cases enter a suit against a white man; nor,
where a white man is concerned, is the law of consent made to apply to
a negro girl.

It will be said, however, that such drastic action is not general
in the South; but throughout the Black Belt the negroes suffer from
arrests and impositions for petty offenses which make their lives
sometimes miserable. The large number of negroes owning automobiles is
a source of many conflicts. Many collisions, possibly avoidable, have
resulted in wresting from the negroes concerned excessive damages
which go to increase the returns of the courts. For example, the
chauffeur of one of the most influential negroes in Mississippi
collided with a white man's car. Although there was sufficient
evidence to exonerate the chauffeur concerned, the owner of the
vehicle was forced to pay damages and sell his car.[24]

In the Birmingham district of Alabama a striking discrimination is
made in the arrests for failure to pay the street tax. Mr. Henry L.
Badham, President of the Bessemer Coal, Iron and Land Company, said in
commenting on the causes of the migration:

    I do not blame the negroes for going away from Birmingham. The
    treatment that these unfortunate negroes are receiving from
    the police is enough to make them desire to depart. The
    newspapers have printed articles about the departure of the
    laborers from Birmingham. On one page there is a story to the
    effect that something should be done to prevent the exodus of
    the negroes to other cities. And then on the same page there
    appears a little paragraph stating that negroes were arrested
    for failure to pay $2.50 street tax. The injustice of
    arresting these negroes for the inability to have $2.50 ready
    to turn over into the coffers of the city is obvious. While
    they have been taken into custody, despite their protests that
    they merely have not a sufficient amount of money with which
    to meet the demand, you do not see that white men are arrested
    for the failure to pay the tax. There is no gainsaying the
    fact that there are thousands of men walking the streets who
    have not paid a similar sum into the treasury of the city. The
    negroes ought to get a square deal. When he is without funds,
    you can not blame him for that. The city police ought to be
    more reliable, or at least show no favoritism.[25]

The fee system in the courts of the South is one of the most effective
causes of the migration. The employers of labor fought this system for
eight years and finally got it abolished in Jefferson county,
Alabama. Under this system the sheriff received a fee for feeding all
prisoners. The greater the number of prisoners, the greater would be
the income for the sheriff's office. As a result, it became customary
in Jefferson county, Alabama, to arrest negroes in large numbers.
Deputy sheriffs would go out to mining camps where there were large
numbers of laborers and bring back fifty or more negroes at a time.
This condition became unbearable both to the employer and to the
employe. Calling attention to the evil of this fee system, Dr. W.H.
Oates, State Prison Inspector, said in his annual report for 1914:[26]

    The vile, pernicious, pervading fee system beggars description
    and my vocabulary is inadequate to describe its deleterious
    and baneful effects. It increases in the management of our
    jails greed for the almighty dollar. Prisoners are arrested
    because of the dollar and, shame to say, are frequently kept
    in captivity for months in steel cages for no other reason
    than the almighty dollar.

During the fiscal year ending September 30, 1917, Jefferson county had
6,000 prisoners as follows:

  In jail at the beginning of the year        328
  Incarcerated during the year:
            White men                  1,289
            Negro men                  3,636
            White women                  118
            Negro women                  969
                 Total                 6,340

The fee bill, according to the sheriff's annual report of this
department was $37,688.90. As the law provided that for each prisoner
the sheriff shall receive 30 cents a day for feeding, and as a matter
of fact the sheriff fed them for 10 cents a day, it is clear that he
made a net profit of $25,125.94 during one fiscal year or at the same
rate for his term of four years, $100,503.76.[27]

Another frequent complaint was directed against the accommodations
for travel. It generally happens that the cars are crowded because the
amount of space allotted is insufficient, and negroes as a class are
denied accommodation in sleeping and dining cars. Usually there is but
one toilet for both sexes and the waiting rooms at stations are cut
off, unclean and insanitary. Then there are numerous petty offenses,
which in themselves appear trifling, but which are spoken of as being
on the whole considerably annoying. White men are permitted to come
into the negroes' part of the coach and entertain the conductor,
newsboy and flagman, all of whom usually make their headquarters
there. The drunkards, the insane and other undesirables are forced
into this comparment among negro women who have to listen to oaths
and vulgar utterances. In stopping at some points, the trains halt the
negro car in muddy and abominably disagreeable places; the rudeness
and incivility of the public servants are ever apparent, and at the
stations the negroes must wait at a separate window until every white
passenger has purchased a ticket before he is waited on, although he
may be delayed long enough to miss the train.

Both whites and negroes in mentioning the reasons for the movement
generally give lynching as one of the most important causes and state
that the fear of the mob has greatly accelerated the exodus. Negroes
in Florida gave as their reason for going north the horrible lynchings
in Tennessee. The white press in Georgia maintained that lynchings
were driving the negroes in large numbers from that State. A
careful study of the movement, however, shows that bad treatment by
representatives of the law caused almost as many negroes to leave the
South as lynchings, for, whereas lynchings were more or less sporadic,
persecutions and mistreatment by representatives of the law were
trials which all negroes had continually to bear and from which they
were anxious to escape.[28]

Many of these causes then have their origin on the one hand in the
attitude which the South assumes toward the negro as expressed in law
and public opinion, and on the other hand in the feeling of the negro
toward the South because of the treatment given him. A negro educator
of Mississippi sought to explain the situation, saying:

    Many white men of high intellectual ability and keen
    discernment have mistaken the negroes' silence for
    contentment, his facial expression for satisfaction at
    prevailing conditions, and his songs and jovial air for
    happiness.[29] But this is not always so. These are his
    methods of bearing trouble and keeping his soul sweet under
    seeming wrongs. In the absence of a spokesman or means of
    communication with the whites over imagined grievances, he has
    brightened his countenance, smiled and sung to ease his mind.
    In the midst of it all he is unable to harmonize with the
    practices of daily life the teachings of the Bible which the
    white Christian placed in his hands. He finds it difficult to
    harmonize the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man,
    and his faith is put to the test in the _Providence_ which
    enslaved his ancestors, corrupted his blood and placed upon
    him stigmas more damaging than to be a leper or convict by
    making his color a badge of infamy and his preordained social
    position at the bottom of human society. So firmly has his
    status been fixed by this _Providence_ that neither moral
    worth, fidelity to trust, love of home, loyalty to country, or
    faith in God can raise him to human recognition.

    When he remembers that he has been the beast of burden of
    southern civilization and the foundation of its luxuriant
    ease, when he rehearses to his children that he was the
    South's sole dependence when his master was away repelling
    hostile armies, and how he worked by day and guarded his
    unprotected mistress and her children at night, or accompanied
    his master to the swamps of Virginia and the Carolinas and
    bound up his wounds or brought his maimed or dead body home on
    his shoulders, these children can not understand the attitude
    of the South toward them. They do not understand why they
    have not been educated to efficiency and employed to the best
    interest of the South. They do not understand why they have
    not been given better living conditions, a more equitable
    division of funds appropriated for the education of the youth,
    nor provisions made for their higher or professional training,
    or why so much prejudice is engendered in the practice
    of these professions among their own people. They do not
    understand why they have been made to toil at starvation wages
    and to pay heavy fines and suffer long prison sentences for
    stealing food and clothing. They do not understand why no
    estimate is placed upon negro virtue and the full rights of
    citizenship are denied to negroes of education, character and
    worth. If some mysterious _Providence_ has ordained that
    they support themselves and employers by farming, they do not
    understand why they are deprived of agricultural schools.
    They do not see why mere prejudice would prevent them from
    obtaining a square deal when contending for the possessions
    of life, liberty and property. They do not understand why they
    are not protected from petty peace officers in search of
    fees and from mobs while in the hands of officers of the law.
    Finally, they do not understand why there is so little genuine
    sympathy and brotherhood between them and the only people they
    know--the people whose language and customs they use, under
    whose laws they live, whose Bible they read, whose God they
    serve. These thoughts possessed the negroes' mind when, twelve
    months ago, the boll weevil and rains destroyed the crops in
    the South and the European war was calling foreigners from
    field and factory in the North.[30]

One should bear in mind that the two generations of negroes living in
the South are affected differently by the measures of control of the
whites, and in many cases respond differently to treatment received.
The older generation of whites and blacks avoided much friction by
a sort of mutual understanding. The children of colored and white
parents come less frequently into friendly contact and find it
difficult to live together on the terms accepted by their fathers.
Negro parents appreciate this situation but, although admitting that
they can tolerate the position to which they are assigned, they do not
welcome such an arrangement for their children. For this reason
they are not reluctant to send their sons away from home. Should
the children remain there, they live in a state of anxiety for their
safety. They would not have them grow up as they, encompassed by
restraints, and the young men themselves appear to entertain toward
the prevailing system a more aggressive hostility.

A woman of color in Greenville, Mississippi, for example, had a son
in a northern State and was afraid to invite him home to pay a visit
because, as she stated, "for him to accept the same abuses to which
we, his parents, are accustomed, would make him much less than the man
we would have him be." Another negro, a physician, the "Nestor" of
his profession, having practiced in his State over thirty-five years,

    Sir, I can't expect my son to accept the treatment under which
    I have been brought up. My length of residence here and
    the number of friends whom I know of the older and more
    aristocratic type of whites will protect me but as for him,
    there is no friendship. Now, as for me, there is no reason why
    I should leave. I am making as much money as I could anywhere
    else and all of the white people respect me. But I am just one
    out of a thousand. The younger men have neither my contact nor

A lawyer of remarkable talent formerly of Mississippi, now living
with his children in Chicago, who had felt keenly this humiliation and
recognized it as one of the motives behind his change of residence,
thus stated the situation:

    One peculiar phase of the white southern prejudice is that
    no matter how well liked or popular a colored man be in any
    community, his son does not share that popularity unless he
    enters a field of endeavor distinctly lower in the scale than
    that occupied by his parent. My experience goes both ways on
    this subject. My stepfather was a dearly beloved colored man
    of the old school, but when he sent me off to Oberlin College
    I returned to find that the community in which I had been
    beloved as a boy in attendance at the rude country school
    looked at me askance. It took twenty years to overcome the
    handicap of attempting to occupy a higher sphere than that
    to which the community thought it right to assign me. My
    experiences were repeated by my son. He was a well liked boy
    by the best people in a city of about twenty-five thousand,
    because he was my son and was polite and agreeable. When he
    went to a nearby Mississippi college and worked in his summer
    vacations in a local industrial plant, they still thought well
    of him, but when it was learned that he was being graduated
    at Oberlin College, and his picture appeared in a college year
    book, among others, my intimate white friends wanted to know
    the necessity for so much education and, with a shrug of
    the shoulder, they let all mention of him drop, as if he had
    offended the most sacred laws of the community. This spirit
    appeared so marked that I did not have him come back to visit
    his mother and me during the summer vacation. I have seen the
    same spirit in many instances. No man can explain why it is,
    but it is so.[31]

[Footnote 17: _New York Times_, September 5, 9, 28, 1916.]

[Footnote 18: Ibid., October 18, 28; November 5, 7, 12, 15; December
4, 9, 1916.]

[Footnote 19: Work, _Report on Negro Migration from Alabama_.]

[Footnote 20: Work and Johnson, _Report on the Migration during the
World War_.]

[Footnote 21: Attractive advertisements appeared in negro newspapers
with wide circulation in the South. These are from the _Chicago

"Wanted--10 molders. Must be experienced. $4.50 to $5.50 per day.
Write B.F.R. _Defender_ Office."

"Wanted--25 girls for dishwashing. Salary $7 a week and board. John
R. Thompson, Restaurant, 314 South State Street. Call between 7 and 8
a.m. Ask for Mr. Brown."

"Wanted--25 young men as bus boys and porters. Salary $8 per week
and board. John R. Thompson, Restaurant, 314 South State Street. Call
between 7 and 8 a.m. Ask for Mr. Brown."

"Molders wanted. Good pay, good working conditions. Firms supply
cottages for married men. Apply T.L. Jefferson, 3439 State Street.

"Ten families and 50 men wanted at once for permanent work in the
Connecticut tobacco fields. Good wages. Inquire National League on
Urban Conditions among Negroes, 2303 Seventh Avenue, New York City,
New York."

"Molders wanted. A large manufacturing concern, ninety miles from
Chicago, is in need of experienced molders. Wages from $3 to $5.50.
Extra for overtime. Transportation from Chicago only. Apply Chicago
League on Urban Conditions among Negroes. T. Arnold Hill, Executive
Secretary, 3719 State Street, Chicago."

"Laborers wanted for foundry, warehouse and yard work. Excellent
opportunity to learn trades, paying good money. Start $2.50--$2.75 per
day. Extra for overtime. Transportation advanced from Chicago only.
Apply Chicago League on Urban Conditions among Negroes, 3719 South
State Street. Chicago."

"Experienced machinists, foundrymen, pattern makers wanted, for
permanent work in Massachusetts. Apply National League on Urban
Conditions among Negroes, 2303 7th Ave., New York City."

"3,000 laborers to work on railroad. Factory hires all race help. More
positions open than men for them."

"Men wanted at once. Good steady employment for colored. Thirty and
39-1/2 cents per hour. Weekly payments. Good warm sanitary quarters
free. Best commissary privileges. Towns of Newark and Jersey City.
Fifteen minutes by car line offer cheap and suitable homes for
men with families. For out of town parties of ten or more cheap
transportation will be arranged. Only reliable men who stay on their
job are wanted. Apply or write Butterworth Judson Corporation, Box
273, Newark, New Jersey, or Daniel T. Brantley, 315 West 119th Street,
New York City."

"$3.60 per day can be made in a steel foundry in Minnesota, by strong,
healthy, steady men. Open only to men living in Chicago. Apply in
person. Chicago League on Urban Conditions among Negroes, 3719 South
State Street, Chicago, Illinois."]

[Footnote 22: An investigator in Mississippi reports the following:

The school population is 60 per cent colored. There are seven white
and two colored schools. The average salaries paid to white assistant
teachers is $75 per month. The average salaries paid to colored
assistant teachers is $32.50 per month. The average number of pupils
taught by white is 30 and the average number taught by colored is 100.

In the county there are no agricultural high schools or in fact
high schools of any kind. The whites in the same county have an
agricultural high school of "magnificent proportions" and "excellent
facilities," a literary high school and about ten consolidated

Negroes complain that the authorities are building white schools in
communities where the negro population is five times as great. When
they first sought to establish these consolidated schools, there was
a provision that every one must pay taxes to support them. Negroes who
were required to pay large taxes refused because they were denied the
benefits of the schools. A law was passed with the provision that the
majority of qualified electors in a county supervisor's district might
secure one of these schools on petition to the Board of Supervisors
and with the understanding that they would pay taxes. But negroes are
not qualified electors and consequently have no schools.

In Liberty Grove the white school goes to the twelfth grade, with
courses also in music. Automobiles bring the children to school and
carry them back. The negro school in the same community has only one
teacher getting $25 per month and teaching over 200 children. There
are two large negro denominational schools, Jackson College and
Campbell College which serve to supplement the public schools provided
by the city.]

[Footnote 23: Jones, _Negro Education_, vol. II, pp. 14, 15, Bulletin,
1916, No. 30 of the United States Bureau of Education.]

[Footnote 24: Work and Johnson, _Report on the Migration during the
World War_.]

[Footnote 25: _Montgomery Advertiser._]

[Footnote 26: Annual Report of the Prison Inspector of Alabama, 1914.]

[Footnote 27: Report of the Sheriff of Jefferson County, Alabama,

[Footnote 28: Work and Johnson, _Report on the Migration during the
World War_.]

[Footnote 29: Mr. Charles S. Johnson reports the following from
Mississippi: "The police of most of the cities are rough and
indiscriminate in their treatment of negroes. At the depot during the
summer, on several occasions, negro porters were severely beaten by
policemen for trivial reasons. This, it was said, started a stream of
young men that cleaned the town of porters.

"Fee constables made their living from arresting negroes,
indiscriminately, on trivial charges. A white man, to whom a prominent
negro physician had gone for advice on a case concerning his arrest
on a charge of having no lights on his automobile, said, 'If I were a
negro, I would rather appear before a Russian court than come before a
court here for trial.'"]

[Footnote 30: Work and Johnson, _Report on the Migration during the
World War_.]

[Footnote 31: Work and Johnson, _Report on the Migration during the
World War_.]



It is not surprising that the exodus grew so contagious when viewed in
the light of the numerous factors which played a part in influencing
its extension. Considering the temper of the South and its attitude
toward any attempt to reduce its labor supply, it is readily apparent
that leaders who openly encouraged the exodus would be in personal
danger. There were, of course, some few who did venture to voice
their belief in it, but they were in most cases speedily silenced. A
Methodist minister was sent to jail because he was said to have been
enticing laborers to go north and work for a New York firm, which
would give employment to fifty of his people. The tactics adopted
by influential persons who favored the movement, therefore, were of
necessity covert and very much guarded.

One of the chief stimuli was discussion. The very fact that negroes
were leaving in large numbers was a disturbing factor. The talk in the
barber shops and grocery stores where men were wont to assemble soon
began to take the form of reasons for leaving. There it was the custom
to review all the instances of mistreatment and injustice which fell
to the lot of the negro in the South. It was here also that letters
from the North were read and fresh news on the exodus was first given
out. In Hattiesburg, Mississippi, it was stated that for a while there
was no subject of discussion but the migration. "The packing houses
in Chicago for a while seemed to be everything," said one negro. "You
could not rest in your bed at night for Chicago." Chicago came to be
so common a word that they began to call it "Chi." Men went down to
talk with the Chicago porters on the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad
which ran through the town. They asked questions about the weather in
Chicago. The report was that it was the same as in Hattiesburg.[32]

In every circle the advisability of leaving was debated. In the
churches the pastors, seeing their flocks leaving, at first attempted
to dissuade them. The people refused to come to church. In the church
meetings there were verbal clashes on the matter of the attitude
toward the migration. Some few had been careful enough to go north
and investigate for themselves and friends. A man learned of the North
through a friend whose relatives wrote him from that section. He,
thereupon, decided to pay a visit of two weeks, going in August. The
attitude of the North overwhelmed him. At Fulton, Kentucky, while he
was on the train a white man was sitting in front of him. He wanted to
ask him a question but hesitated fearing that he would be rebuffed.
He finally addressed the stranger, who answered him courteously and
kindly, calling his attention to other points of interest in the
North. At Gary, Indiana, he met a gentleman who said he had been
mayor of Gary for seven years. He described the Gary school system and
promised him an education for his children. He was assured employment
at $4 a day for eight hours' work.[33]

A still more powerful, though insidious factor, was the work of
public speakers who hid their intentions behind their unique method of
presentation. In a lecture on the question of migration a speaker, who
is a widely known character, made these remarks:

    So many of my folks are leaving that I thought I'd go up and
    see whether or not they had made a mistake. I found thousands
    of old friends up there making more money than they'd ever
    made in their lives. I said to one woman in Chicago, "Well,
    Sister ----, I see you're here." "Yes, Brother ----, I'm here,
    thank the Lord." "Do you find it any colder up here than it
    was in Mississippi?" "Did I understand you correctly to say
    cold? Honey, I mean it's cold. It is _some_ cold." "But you
    expect to return, don't you?" "Don't play with me, chile. What
    am I going to return for? I should say not. Up here you see
    when I come out on the street I walk on nice smooth pavements.
    Down home I got to walk home through the mud. Up here at
    nights it don't matter much about coming home from church.
    Down home on my street there ain't a single lamp post. And
    say, honey, I got a bath tub!"[34]

He related the instance of his visit to an automobile plant where he
was met at the door by a "stalwart, handsome, six-footer as black as
midnight." He asked his companion the name of this "potentate." He was
told that this man was an experienced machinist. Every car that passed
out of that plant must have his O.K. He added further that his salary
was something like $100 a week and that the incident showed the
unlimited chance for expansion in the North. When he began to
enumerate some of the positions which "men of the race" were holding,
the audience became enthusiastic beyond control. One man in the
audience, who had been to Detroit, could restrain himself no longer
and stood up to inform the audience that there were also colored
street car conductors and motormen and that he had seen them with his
own eyes. The speaker paid no attention to this interruption and the
audience appeared not to notice it, but began to exchange reports
among themselves. The speaker added that he had found negroes in the
North, well dressed and looking like men--for the first time in
their lives--men who were simply "bums" at home. In excusing the
indisposition of some negroes toward work, he said, "How in the
world can you expect a man to work faithfully all day long for fifty

Among the important stimuli were the rumors in circulation. When a
community is wrought up, it is less difficult to believe remarkable
tales. To persons beyond the influence of this excitement it is
somewhat difficult to conceive how the rumor that the Germans were on
their way through Texas to take the southern States could have been
believed. And yet it is reported that this extravagant fiction was
taken seriously in some quarters. On the outskirts of Meridian,
Mississippi, a band of gypsies was encamped. The rumor gained
circulation that the Indians were coming back to retake their
land lost years ago. It was further rumored that the United States
Government was beginning a scheme to transport all negroes from
the South to break up the Black Belt. Passed from mouth to mouth,
unrestrainedly these reports became verities.

It was further asserted on the word and honor "of one in position
to know" that the Chicago packing houses needed and would get fifty
thousand negroes before the end of the year. One explanation of the
belief that the South was overrun with labor agents was the fact
that every strange face came to be recognized as a man from the North
looking for laborers. If he denied it, they simply thought he was
concealing his identity from the police, and if he said nothing,
his silence was regarded as sufficient affirmation. Hundreds of
disappointments are to be traced to the rumor that a train would leave
on a certain date. Hundreds would come to the station prepared to
leave and, when no agent appeared, purchased their own tickets.

The questions of wages and privileges were grossly featured. Some men,
on being questioned, supposed that it was possible for every common
laborer to receive from $4 to $10 a day, and that $50 a week was not
an unusual wage. The strength of this belief has been remarked by
several social agencies in the North which attempted to supply the
immigrants with work. The actual wages paid, though much in excess of
those they had been receiving, were often disappointing. Similarly
in the matter of privilege and "rights" it was later revealed that
unbounded liberty was not to be found in the North. The singular cases
of misconduct, against which the more sober minded preached, possibly
had their root in the beautiful and one-sided pictures of the North
which came to the South.

The _Chicago Defender_, a weekly negro newspaper, with its pronounced
radical utterances, its criticism of the South, its policy of
retaliation, etc., contributed greatly to the exodus.[36] Its
influence can be imagined when, after reading the southern white
papers with only occasional references to the negroes which might be
called commendable and numerous articles which were for the most part
distasteful, negroes could read the things they wanted to hear most,
expressed in a manner in which they would not dare express them. It
voiced the unexpressed thoughts of many and made accusations for which
they themselves would have been severely handled. Freud's theory of
the suppressed wish finds a happy illustration in this rage over the
_Chicago Defender_. Expressed in terms of figures, the circulation of
the paper at the beginning of the movement was something like 50,000.
In 1918 it had grown to 125,000. It had a large circulation in
Mississippi and the supply was usually bought up on the first day of
its arrival. Copies were passed around until worn out. One prominent
negro asserted that "negroes grab the _Defender_ like a hungry
mule grabs fodder." In Gulfport, Mississippi, a man was regarded
"intelligent" if he read the _Defender_. It was said that in Laurel,
Mississippi, old men who did not know how to read would buy it because
it was regarded as precious.

It was this paper that named the exodus "The Great Northern
Drive," and set the date May 15th, announced the arrivals and took
responsibility for inducing "the poor brethren" from the South. It was
accused of ruining Hattiesburg, Mississippi, by promoting this rush to
the North. The sale of this paper was, therefore, forbidden in several
towns in the South. A correspondent said: "White people are paying
more attention to the race in order to keep them in the South, but
the _Chicago Defender_ has emblazoned upon their minds 'Bound for the
Promised Land.'"

In answer to the warnings of the South against the rigors of the
northern winters, the _Defender_ said:

    To die from the bite of frost is far more glorious than at the
    hands of a mob. I beg you, my brother, to leave the benighted
    land. You are a free man. Show the world that you will not let
    false leaders lead you. Your neck has been in the yoke. Will
    you continue to keep it there because some "white folks'
    nigger" wants you to? Leave for all quarters of the globe. Get
    out of the South. Your being there in the numbers in which you
    are gives the southern politician too strong a hold on your
    progress.... So much has been said through the white papers in
    the South about the members of the race freezing to death in
    the North. They freeze to death down South when they don't
    take care of themselves. There is no reason for any human
    being staying in the Southland on this bugaboo handed out by
    the white press.[37]

    If you can freeze to death in the North and be free, why
    freeze to death in the South and be a slave, where your
    mother, sister and daughter are raped and burned at the stake;
    where your father, brother and sons are treated with contempt
    and hung to a pole, riddled with bullets at the least mention
    that he does not like the way he is treated. Come North
    then, all you folks, both good and bad. If you don't behave
    yourselves up here, the jails will certainly make you wish you
    had. For the hard-working man there is plenty of work--if you
    really want it. The _Defender_ says come.[38]

The idea that the South is a bad place, unfit for the habitation of
colored folk, was duly emphasized. Conditions most distasteful to
negroes were exaggerated and given first prominence. In this the
_Defender_ had a clear field, for the local colored newspapers dared
not make such unrestrained utterances.[39] In fact, reading the
_Chicago Defender_ provided a very good substitute for the knowledge
which comes through travel. It had the advantage of bringing the North
to them. Without fear of exaggeration it is safe to say its policy was
successful in inciting thousands of restless negroes to venture north,
where they were assured of its protection and the championship
of their cause. There are in Chicago migrants who attribute their
presence in the North to its encouraging pictures of relief from
conditions at home with which they became more and more dissatisfied,
as they read.

The setting of a definite date was another stimulus. The great
northern drive was scheduled to begin May 15, 1917. This date, or the
week following, singularly corresponds with the date of the heaviest
rush to the North, the periods of greatest temporary congestion and
the awakening of the North to the presence of their guests. Letters
to the _Chicago Defender_ and to the social agencies in the North
informed them that they were preparing to come in the great drive. One
of many such letters received is presented.

    April 24, 1917.

    Mr. R.S. Abbott,

    Editor, the _Chicago Defender_,


    I have been reading the _Defender_ for one year or more, and
    last February I read about the great northern drive to take
    place May 15, on Thursday, and now I can hear so many people
    speaking of an excursion to the North on the 15th of May for
    $3. My husband is in the North already working, and he wants
    us to come up in May, so I want to know if it is true about
    the excursion. I am getting ready and, oh, so many others
    also, and we want to know is that true so we can be in the
    drive. So please answer at once. We are getting ready.


This was perhaps the most popular date, but there were others, of
which August 15 was one. Usually the dates set were for Wednesday and
Saturday nights, following pay days.

Personal appeals in the form of letters have a recognized weight in
influencing action. The United States mail was about the most active
and efficient labor agent. The manner in which the first negroes left
made great opportunities for letter writing. It is to be remembered
that the departure of one person was regarded always in the light of
an experiment. The understanding existed between a man and his friends
that he would honestly inform them of conditions in the North.
Letters were passed around and read before large groups. A woman from
Hattiesburg is accredited with having sent back a letter which enticed
away over 200 persons. A tailor who had settled in a town of white
people in the West wrote a letter which was read in a church. It
explained the advantages of the free schools open to all, and the
privilege to ride and to go where one pleases. The reading of the
letter brought forth long and loud applause. A man who had left home,
writes back to his friend yet undecided:

    Mike, old boy, I was promoted on the first of the month. I was
    made first assistant to the head carpenter. When he is out of
    place I take everything in charge and was raised to $95 per
    month. You know I know my stuff. What's the news generally
    around H'burg? I should have been here twenty years ago. I
    just begin to feel like a man. It's a great deal of pleasure
    in knowing that you have got some privileges. My children are
    going to the same school with the whites and I don't have
    to humble to no one. I have registered. Will vote the next
    election and there isn't any 'yes, sir, and no, sir.' It's all
    yes and no, and no, Sam, and Bill.

The man has long since been joined by his friend.

The pastor of a Hattiesburg church received a letter from one of his
members with the extravagant assertion that the people whose funerals
he had preached were in Chicago (meaning Heaven) because they were
good Christians. To give assurance on the question of weather migrants
in the North would mention the fact that they were writing with
their coats off. A fact which strengthened the belief in the almost
incredible wages offered in the North was the money sent back to the
families in the South. A man whose wife had preceded him wrote that
she was making $3.50 a day in charge of a bluing works in Chicago, and
actually sent home $15 every two weeks. Another man wrote that he was
in Gary working at his trade making sometimes as much as $7 a day. He
sent home $30 every two weeks. Fully one-half, or perhaps even more
of those who left, did so at the solicitation of friends through

Despite the restraints on loose talk in encouragement of the exodus,
there were other means of keeping the subject alive. One method, of
course, was the circulation of literature from the North. One of the
most novel schemes was that of a negro dentist in a southern town who
had printed on the reverse side of his business cards quotations from
rather positive assertions by northerners on the migration.[41] The
northern press early welcomed the much needed negro laborers to the
North and leaders of thought in that section began to upbraid the
South for its antagonistic attitude towards the welfare of the
negroes, who at last had learned to seek a more congenial home.

A stronger influence than this, though not quite so frequent, was the
returned migrant who was a living example of the prosperity of the
North. It was a frequent complaint that these men were as effective as
labor agents in urging negro laborers to go north. There are reported
numerous instances of men who came to visit their families and
returned with thirty to forty men. It has been suspected, and with
a strong suggestion of truth, that many of these were supplied with
funds for the trip by the northern firms which employed them. A woman
whose daughter had gone north had been talking of her daughter's
success. The reports were so opposite to the record of the girl at
home that they were not taken seriously. Soon, however, the daughter
came home with apparently unlimited money and beautiful clothes, and
carried her mother back with her. This was sufficient. It was remarked
afterwards: "If she can make $2.50 a day as lazy as she was, I know I
can make $4."[42]

The labor agents were a very important factor in stimulating the
movement. The number at work in the South appears to have been greatly
exaggerated. Agents were more active in large cities where their
presence was not so conspicuous. It was difficult to discover because
of the very guarded manner in which they worked. One, for example,
would walk briskly down the street through a group of negroes and,
without turning his head, would say in a low tone, "Anybody want to go
to Chicago, see me." That was sufficient. Many persons were found
to remark frequently on the strange silence which negroes _en masse_
managed to maintain concerning the movement of the agents. A white man
remarked that it was the first time there had ever happened anything
about which he could not get full information from some negro. Agents
were reported, at one time or another, in every section from which the
migrants went. When the vigilance of the authorities restricted their
activities they began working through the mails. Many sections were
flooded with letters from the North to persons whose names had been
obtained from migrants in the North or through a quiet canvass of the
community by unobstructed solicitors.[43]

Poems on the migration were also strong stimuli. In some instances
arrests of persons circulating them were made. A bit of poetry which
received widespread popularity was one called "Bound for the Promised
Land." It was said that this piece of poetry was responsible for much
trouble. The _Chicago Defender_ reported on June 1, 1917, that five
young men were arraigned before Judge John E. Schwartz of Savannah,
Georgia, for reading poetry. The police contended that they were
inciting riot in the city and over Georgia. Two of the men were sent
for thirty days to Brown Farm, a place not fit for human beings. Tom
Amaca was arrested for having "Bound for the Promised Land," a poem
which had been recently published in the _Defender_. J.N. Chisholm
and A.P. Walker were arrested there because they were said to be
the instigators.[44] Another very popular poem widely circulated was
entitled "Farewell! We're Good and Gone." It was said that this
poem influenced thousands to go. Other poems on the migration were
"Northward Bound," "The Land of Hope" and "Negro Migration" and "The
Reason Why."

[Footnote 32: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 33: Ibid.]

[Footnote 34: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 35: Ibid.]

[Footnote 36: Some of the material prepared by the _Defender_ for
consumption in the South was as follows:

"Turn a deaf ear to everybody. You see they are not lifting their laws
to help you, are they? Have they stopped their Jim Crow cars? Can you
buy a Pullman sleeper where you wish? Will they give you a square deal
in court yet? When a girl is sent to prison she becomes the mistress
of the guards and others in authority, and women prisoners are put on
the streets to work--something they don't do to a white woman. And our
leaders will tell you the South is the best place for you. Turn a deaf
ear to the scoundrel, and let him stay. Above all, see to it that that
jumping-jack preacher is left in the South, for he means you no good
here in the North.... Once upon a time we permitted other people to
think for us--today we are thinking and acting for ourselves, with the
result that our 'friends' are getting alarmed at our progress. We'd
like to oblige these unselfish (?) souls and remain slaves in the
South; but to other sections of the country we have said, as the song
goes, 'I hear you calling me,' and have boarded the train, singing,
'Good-bye, Dixie Land.'"]

[Footnote 37: The following clippings are taken from these white

"Aged Negro Frozen to Death--Albany, Ga., February 8.

"Yesterday the dead body of Peter Crowder, an old negro, was found in
an out-of-the-way place where he had been frozen to death during the
recent cold snap."--_Macon Telegraph_.

"Dies from Exposure--Spartanburg, S.C., February 6.

"Marshall Jackson, a negro man, who lived on the farm of J.T. Harris
near Campobello, Sunday night froze to death."--_South Carolina

"Negro Frozen to Death in Fireless Gretna Hut.

"Coldest weather in the last four years claimed a victim Friday night,
when Archie Williams, a negro, was frozen to death in his bed in a
little hut in the outskirts of Gretna."--_New Orleans Item_, February

"Negro Woman Frozen to Death Monday.

"Harriet Tolbert, an aged negro woman, was frozen to death in her
home at 18 Garibaldi Street early Monday morning during the severe
cold."--_Atlanta Constitution_, February 6.]

[Footnote 38: Articles such as the following kept alive the spirit of
the exodus:

"Tampa, Florida, January 19. J.T. King, supposed to be a race leader,
is using his wits to get on the good side of the white people by
calling a meeting to urge our people not to migrate north. King
has been termed a 'good nigger' by his pernicious activity on the
emigration question. Reports have been received here that all who have
gone north are at work and pleased with the splendid conditions in
the North. It is known here that in the North there is a scarcity of
labor; mills and factories are open to them. People are not paying
any attention to King and are packing and ready to travel north to the
'promised land.'"

"Jackson, Miss., March 23. J.H. Thomas, Birmingham, Alabama,
Brownsville Colony, has been here several weeks and is very much
pleased with the North. He is working at the Pullman Shops, making
twice as much as he did at home. Mr. Thomas says the 'exodus' will be
greater later on in the year, that he did not find four feet of snow
or would freeze to death. He lives at 346 East Thirty-fifth St."

"Huntsville, Alabama, January 19. Fifteen families, all members of
the race, left here today for Pittsburgh, Pa., where they will take
positions as butlers and maids, getting sixty to seventy-five dollars
a month against fifteen and twenty paid here. Most of them claim that
they have letters from their friends who went early and made good
saying that there was plenty of work, and this field of labor is
short owing to the vast amount of men having gone to Europe and not

"Shreveport, La., April 13. The Business Men's League held a meeting
here and the white daily papers reported that it was for the purpose
of discouraging people from going north. The meeting had no such
object. On the other hand, members of the race claim that on May 15th
they will be found leaving with the great northern drive."

"The northern invasion has already started, much earlier than
predicted. Many members of the race refused to wait until spring. They
have started despite the snow and cold. Last week thirty-one came here
from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and said they intended to stay. They
were well clothed, having heavy overcoats and rubber overshoes."

"Memphis, Tenn., June 1. Your correspondent took a walk to Central
station Saturday night just to see what was going on, and to his
surprise and delight, he saw gathered there between 1,500 and 2,000
race men and women. Number 4, due to leave for Chicago at 8:00
o'clock, was held up twenty minutes so that those people who hadn't
purchased tickets might be taken aboard. It was necessary to add two
additional eighty-foot steel coaches to the Chicago train in order to
accommodate the race people, and at the lowest calculation there were
more than 1,200 taken aboard."

"St. Louis, Mo., May 11. The _Defender_ propaganda to leave sections
of the South where they find conditions intolerable is receiving
a hearty response. A communication was received by a _Defender_
representative last week from Houston, Texas, asking for information
relative to conditions in this city and the writer stated a number
of persons were planning to leave Houston for this city later on. The
information was promptly and cheerfully given."

"Tallulah, La., January 19. This time it's a professor. Heretofore
it has been the preachers who have been paid by the white men of the
South to tell our people that the North is no place for them. A bigger
lie never was uttered. But now it is a professor. He is licking
the white man's hand to hold a little $35 job as a backwoods school
teacher. He got his name in the papers (white) as 'good nigger.' Just
because this 'would-be professor' has been making speeches, asking
that our people remain here and be treated like dogs, they are
starting a crusade north, and by Easter there will not be one left to
tell the tale."]

[Footnote 39: "Forest City, Ark., February 16. David B. Smith (white)
is on trial for life for the brutal murder of a member of the race,
W.H. Winford, who refused to be whipped like others. This white man
had the habit of making his 'slave' submit to this sort of punishment
and when Winford refused to stand for it, he was whipped to death with
a 'black snake' whip. The trial of Smith is attracting very little
attention. As a matter of fact, the white people here think nothing
of it as the dead man is a 'nigger.' This very act, coupled with other
recent outrages that have been heaped upon our people, are causing
thousands to leave, not waiting for the great spring movement in

[Footnote 40: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 41: "There is no class of people and no ethical question
that will not feel the effects of the war. The negroes of this
country who go to France to fight, or who replace workingmen who go as
soldiers will demand, and justly so, full American rights. The United
States can not stand before the world as the champion of freedom and
democracy and continue to burn men alive and lynch them without fair
trial. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
calls upon this country to 'clear her conscience before she can
fight for the world's good,' by abolishing lynching and ceasing
all oppression of negroes. This is a national problem and more
particularly one of the South. In Europe there are practically no race
distinctions. A negro can mix with white folk as an equal, just as a
Spaniard, for example, does here; even intermarriage is not regarded
as miscegenation. The race problem here is a different matter,
however, as even the more intelligent negroes themselves will
acknowledge. The negro should be assured all the protection and
rights that go with American citizenship, but in this is not involved
intermarriage or social equality."--_Leslie's Illustrated Weekly_,
October 13, 1917.

"The foreign laborer has been called home to bear arms for his
country. The daily death toll and waste and the recently enacted
immigration law make it certain that he will not soon return in great
numbers. As a result a large market exists for the negro laborer
in localities in which he would have been considered an impudent
trespasser had he attempted to enter a few years ago. The history of
the world from the days of Moses to the present shows that where
one race has been subjugated, oppressed or proscribed by another
and exists in large numbers, permanent relief has come in one or two
ways--amalgamation or migration. The thought of amalgamation is not to
be entertained. If conditions in the South for the colored man are
to be permanently improved, many of those who now live there should
migrate and scatter throughout the North, East and West. I believe the
present opportunity providential."--Hon. John C. Ashbury, Philadelphia

"This is the psychological moment to say to the American white
government from every pulpit and platform and through every newspaper,
'Yes, we are loyal and patriotic. Boston Common, Bunker Hill,
Gettysburg, Fort Pillow, Appomattox, San Juan Hill and Carrizal will
testify to our loyalty. While we love our flag and country, we do not
believe in fighting for the protection of commerce on the high seas
until the powers that be give us at least some verbal assurance that
the property and lives of the members of our race are going to be
protected on land from Maine to Mississippi.' Let us have the courage
to say to the white American people, 'Give us the same rights which
you enjoy, and then we will fight by your side with all of our might
for every international right on land and sea.' If this kind of talk
is not loyalty, then I am disloyal; if this is not patriotism, then
I am unpatriotic; if this is treason, then I am a traitor. It is not
that I love Cæsar less, but these black Romans more, who have been
true to the flag for two hundred and fifty years. It is infinitely
more disgraceful and outrageous to hang and burn colored men, boys and
women without a trial in the times of peace than it is for Germans
in times of war to blow up ships loaded with mules and
molasses."--Reverend A. Clayton Powell, New York, N.Y.]

[Footnote 42: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 43: Work and Johnson, _Report on the Migration during the
World War_.]

[Footnote 44: Ibid.]



In the first communities visited by representatives of northern
capital, their offers created unprecedented commotion. Drivers and
teamsters left their wagons standing in the street. Workers, returning
home, scrambled aboard the trains for the North without notifying
their employers or their families. The crowds that blackened the pool
rooms and "hangouts" faded away as the trains continued to leave.
Wild rumors about the North crept into circulation and received
unquestioning credence. Songs about Pennsylvania, the spontaneous
expression of anxiety and joy over the sudden revelation of a new
world, floated about on the lips of the children. Homes were thrown on
the market and sold at ruinously low prices.

It was observed that the beginnings in each new community exhibited
the same characteristics. This is due in part to a pretty universal
state of unrest among negroes throughout the South. Although the first
State entered by representatives of northern capital was Florida,
their efforts were not confined to that commonwealth. And again,
although the Pennsylvania and Erie Railroads were the first to import
negroes in large numbers, they were not alone in the field very
long. The steel mills of the East and the railroads of the West
soon followed--each selecting States from which egress was easy and
convenient. The authorities of the cities of Florida, when they
began to engage themselves in the suppression of recruiting agents,
succeeded in scattering them to other fields where their mere
presence, preceded as it was by the news of their mission in the
South, was sufficient to attract, first, all of the landless labor,
then to loosen the steady workman wedded to the soil, and finally
to carry away the best of the working classes. Quite naturally
southeastern Georgia was the second district to feel the drain of the
exodus. These workers were carried into Pennsylvania, New York and New
Jersey for the maintenance work of the roads. North Carolina was next
entered; then finally Virginia which had been sending many negroes
into New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey for a number of years.[45]

Numerous illustrations show the popular state of mind at the
beginning, when every one was feverish. Men would loudly decry the
folly of breaking up their homes, the result of years of unrelenting
toil, and venturing into the unknown North, and within less than
twenty-four hours, would leave themselves. A good citizen would talk
with another about the apparent insanity of those negroes who had
"contracted the northern fever." They would condemn their acts with
their strongest words. Hardly before another day could pass, one of
the two would disappear, having imitated the recklessness of the very
people he had so recently condemned.

One man in telling of how they acted, asserts "You could see a man
today and he would be calling the people who were leaving all kinds of
names; he could even beat you when it came to calling them fools for
going north. The next day when you met him he wouldn't talk so loud
and the next day he wouldn't let you see him. That would be the last
of him, because, unless you went to the depot, you wouldn't see him
again. Whenever I saw them shying off from me, I always knew what they
had up their sleeves." It was "just naturally fashionable" to
leave for the North. A man would make up his mind to go and proceed
forthwith to persuade his friends. If they refused, they no longer had
any interests in common. In talking with a man who had persistently
refused to leave, he declared that he had lost practically every
friend he had, simply because he did not agree with them on "the
northern question." For the pastors of churches it was a most trying
ordeal. They must watch their congregations melt away and could say
nothing. If they spoke in favor of the movement, they were in danger
of a clash with the authorities. If they discouraged it, they were
accused of being bought up to hold negroes in bondage. If a pastor
attempted to persuade negroes to stay, his congregation and his
collection would be cut down and in some cases his resignation
demanded. In some of the smaller communities the pastors settled this
difficulty by following their flock, as was the case of three who left
Hattiesburg, Mississippi, following their congregations. Two lumber
companies in Mississippi employed a negro to lecture for the purpose
of discouraging the exodus. He was handsomely paid, but he was
unheeded. Even now he is held in contempt by his former friends.

The devout and religious saw God in the movement. It was inspired,
they said, else why could so many thousand negroes all be obsessed at
once with the same impulse. There were set afloat rumors that a great
calamity was about to befall the Southland. In Georgia and Alabama,
hundreds believed that God had cursed the land when he sent droughts
and floods and destructive pests to visit them. The number of negroes
needed in the North was counted in millions; the wages offered were
fabulous and the letters that came from the vanguard painted pictures
of a land of plenty. From some communities a small group would leave,
promising to inform those behind of the actual state of affairs. For
a week or more there would follow a tense period of "watchful waiting"
and never ending anxiety, when finally there would arrive a card
bearing the terse report "Everything pritty," or "Home ain't nothing
like this." On this assurance, a reckless disposition of household
effects would follow.[46]

The towns quite naturally were the first to feel the effect. There,
the pass rider--the labor agent--could move about more freely. People
lived in closer contact and news circulated more rapidly; the papers
came in regularly and the negroes themselves could see those leaving.
On market days when the country folk reached town they got their first
impulse from the commotion. Young country boys failed to return to
quiet isolation, and sturdy sensible farmers whose whole lives had
been spent on the farm, could not resist the temptation. As they
returned they informed their neighbors, saying: "They are leaving town
by the thousands," or "Man, colored folks are leaving in droves for
the North." There are cases of men who left their fields half
plowed and journeyed to the city and thence to the North. In other
communities, the beginning would be a timid dribble to the larger
cities or directly to the North.[47]

The state of mind of the community under the influence of the first
effects of the "fever" is illustrated in authenticated accounts of
persons who witnessed the exodus from different cities:

    The most interesting thing is how these people left. They were
    selling out everything they had or in a manner giving it away;
    selling their homes, mules, horses, cows, and everything about
    them but their trunks. All around in the country, people who
    were so old they could not very well get about were leaving.
    Some left with six to eight very small children and babies
    half clothed, no shoes on their feet, hungry, not anything to
    eat and not even a cent over their train fare. Some would go
    to the station and wait there three or four days for an agent
    who was carrying them on passes. Others of this city would
    go in clubs of fifty and a hundred at a time in order to get
    reduced rates. They usually left on Wednesday and Saturday
    nights. One Wednesday night I went to the station to see
    a friend of mine who was leaving. I could not get in the
    station, there were so many people turning like bees in a
    hive. Officers would go up and down the tracks trying to keep
    the people back. One old lady and man had gotten on the train.
    They were patting their feet and singing and a man standing
    nearby asked, "Uncle, where are you going?" The old man
    replied, "Well, son, I'm gwine to the promised land."[48]

"When the laboring man got paid off," said a Jackson, Mississippi,
man, "he bought himself a suit of overalls and a paper valise and
disappeared." Even the young married women refused to wait any longer
than the time required to save railroad fare. It's strange that when
a negro got a notion to leave and he could not sell or give away,
he simply locked up his house and left the key with his neighbor.
Families with $1,000 worth of furniture have been known to sell it for
$150. A negro in Jackson was buying a $1,000 house, on which he had
paid $700. When the "fever" struck the town, he sold it for $100 and

There was related this instance of a number of negro laborers:

    On a plantation in south Georgia, where fifteen or more
    families were farming as tenants, there had been a great deal
    of confusion and suffering among the people because of the
    lack of sufficient food and clothing. There were the Joneses,
    a family of nine, the Harrisons, a family of ten, and the
    Battles, a family of six. No family on the place had an
    allowance of more than $25 per month for food and clothing.
    When this allowance gave out, nothing could be gotten until
    the next month and the tenants dared not leave their farms to
    work elsewhere. The owner of this plantation lived in town ten
    miles away and only visited the farm about once a week. Much
    to his surprise, on one of his weekly visits, he found all the
    homes and farms deserted except one. On that were two old men,
    Uncle Ben and Uncle Joe, who had been left behind because
    they were unable to secure passes. Uncle Ben and Uncle
    Joe sorrowfully told the landlord all that had happened,
    emphasizing the fact that they were the only ones who had
    remained loyal to him. Then they told him their needs. The
    landlord, thinking that the old negroes were so faithful,
    rewarded them with a good sum of money and left with the
    assurance that they would see to the crops being worked. No
    sooner had the landlord left than these old men with grips
    packed and with the money they had received, boarded the train
    to join their companions in the North.[49]

As an example of the irresistible force which characterized the
movement, one old negro made the remark: "I sorter wanted to go
myself. I didn't know just where I wanted to go. I just wanted to git
away with the rest of them." A woman in speaking of the torture of
solitude which she experienced after the first wave passed over her
town, said: "You could go out on the street and count on your fingers
all the colored people you saw during the entire day. Now and then a
disconsolate looking Italian storekeeper would come out in the street,
look up and down and walk back. It was a sad looking place, and so
quiet it gave you the shivers."[50]

In the heat of the excitement families left carrying members
dangerously ill. There is reported one interesting case of a family
with one of its members sick with pneumonia. As soon as the woman
was able to sit up, she was carried away. At St. Louis it was found
necessary to stop because of her condition. Finding that she could
not recover, they proceeded to Chicago, where she died. Several of the
migrants have seen fit to make heroes of themselves by declining to
return to the South even on the advice of a physician. Thus, a certain
minister is said to have refused to be sent home when his physician
had told him there was a possible chance for recovery in his home
in the South. He said that he preferred to die and be buried in the

By the summer of 1916, the exodus from Florida had grown to such
ungovernable bounds that the more stable classes of negroes became
unsettled. A body, representing the influential colored citizens of
the State, wrote the editor of the _New York Age_:[51]

    Jacksonville, Fla., August 10, 1916.

    To the Editor of the _Age_:

    To be brief, I beg to state that the (----) of this city, in
    a regular meeting, voted last Monday that I write your paper
    asking advice on the subject of migration which is large and
    really alarming to the people of this State, for thousands
    of people (colored) are leaving this State, going to
    Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and New Jersey, where it is
    stated they are wanted as laborers in various pursuits. In
    your mind and to your knowledge, do you think it is the
    best thing for them to do, and are they bettering condition
    financially, morally and religiously; even in manhood,
    citizenship, etc. Our ---- has been asked by the white and
    colored people here to speak in an advisory way, but we
    decided to remain silent until we can hear from reliable
    sources in the North and East, and you have been designated
    as one of the best. So to speak, our city is in a turmoil--in
    suspense. You have doubtless heard of the great exodus of
    negroes to the North, and we presume you have given it some
    thought, and even investigated it. Please give the benefit of
    your findings and reasons for your conclusion.

    Thanking you in advance for a prompt and full reply to the
    corresponding secretary, Yours truly,

    Corresponding Secretary.

Caught up in the wave of enthusiasm that swept over the South, these
migrants could not resist the impulse to leave. The economic loss
resulting from their reckless departure expressed in terms of
dollars and cents is another story, and probably can never be even
approximately estimated. What seems of most interest here is that they
were in the frame of mind for leaving. They left as though they were
fleeing some curse; they were willing to make almost any sacrifice to
obtain a railroad ticket and they left with the intention of staying.
What has been described, of course, can not be construed to apply to
every one who left. There were those of the business and professional
classes who were promoted by other motives than those which impelled
the masses of migrants. There were, for example, migrants who in the
South had held positions of relatively high standing by virtue of the
fact that there do exist two institutional standards, the white and
the black. Measured by the requirements of the latter, they stood high
in the respect of the community, but when removed to the North they
suffered in the rank of their occupation. A college president or even
a school teacher had little opportunity in their respective fields
in the North. They had, therefore, migrated because deserted by their
neighbors they were left with a prospect of a diminishing social

Professional men followed their practice. In Chicago there are
at least six lawyers from Mississippi, with practically the same
clientele. At the height of the exodus, one of these came to Chicago
and secured admission to the bar in order that he might be in a
position to move quickly if his practice were too severely cut down.
Several physicians of the State have remarked that they would now be
in the East or the North if reciprocity with the State of Mississippi
were possible.[52] Business men have been reported to have moved North
for the sole purpose of collecting debts. Others are cooler and more
calculating in preparing to leave. One pharmacist, for instance, plans
to move within the next five years. It is true that some of those who
came in the movement would have come even if no one else had decided
to migrate. The influence of the general state of mind, however, on
the great majority is of most concern in determining the forces behind
the exodus.

Possibly the numbers to leave the South would have been considerably
smaller had there not been existent so universal a readiness to
respond to a call in almost any direction. The causes of this state of
mind are stated elsewhere. What is important here is the behavior of
the persons leaving which exerted such a compelling influence on their
neighbors. The actions are illustrative not only of the contagion
of the movement, but of the fundamental emotions of the negroes who
formed the exodus. Thus it was, for example, that the movement was
called the "exodus" from its suggestive resemblance to the flight of
the Israelites from Egypt, _The Promised Land_, _Crossing over Jordan_
(the Ohio River), and _Beulah Land_. At times demonstrations took on
a rather spectacular aspect, as when a party of 147 from Hattiesburg,
Mississippi, while crossing the Ohio River, held solemn ceremonies.
These migrants knelt down and prayed; the men stopped their watches
and, amid tears of joy, sang the familiar songs of deliverance, "I
done come out of the Land of Egypt with the good news." The songs
following in order were "Beulah Land" and "Dwelling in Beulah Land."
One woman of the party declared that she could detect an actual
difference in the atmosphere beyond the Ohio River, explaining that it
was much lighter and that she could get her breath more easily.[53]

The general direction of the spread of the movement was from east to
west. While efforts were being made to check the exodus from Florida,
the good citizens of Texas were first beginning to note a stir of
unrest in their sections. On the other hand, the march of the boll
weevil, that stripped the cotton fields of the South, was from west to
east. Where there was wide unemployment, depression and poverty as a
result of the great floods in Alabama, the cutting down of the cane
area in Louisiana, the boll weevil in Mississippi, there were to be
found thousands who needed no other inducement save the prospect of
a good job. Indeed, it is alleged by some negroes that the myriads of
labor agents who were said to be operating in the South were creatures
of the imagination of an affrighted Southland; that but few were
actually offering positions in the North; but their success was due to
the overpowering desire on the part of the negroes to go.[54]

In September of 1916 a Georgia correspondent of the _Atlanta
Constitution_ wrote:

    For the past two or three weeks I have been receiving two
    or more letters daily from people in all sections of Georgia
    asking my advice as to the advisability of the colored people
    leaving the State in large numbers, as they have been leaving
    for the past six months. I think it is a mistake for our
    people to sell and practically give their earnings of years
    just on a hearsay that they will be given larger salaries and
    great advantages in some other part of the country.

It will be remembered that the State of South Carolina was not
immediately affected. It was not until the discussions bearing on the
negro's insecurity and economic state, which accompanied the exodus
in justification of it, had begun to be emphasized as the cause of the
movement that a great exodus took place in the State. The principal
occasion here was the unfortunate lynching of Anthony Crawford. A
negro newspaper with a correspondent in Abbeville said:

    The lynching of Anthony Crawford has caused men and women of
    this State to get up and bodily leave it. The lynching of Mr.
    Crawford was unwarranted and uncalled for and his treatment
    was such a disgrace that respectable people are leaving daily.
    When they begin to leave in the next few weeks like they have
    planned, this section will go almost into hysterics as some
    sections of Georgia and Alabama are doing because they are
    leaving for the North to better their industrial condition.
    Crawford is said to have been worth $100,000 in property. His
    wife and five sons have been ordered to leave. Word comes that
    neighbors are beginning to leave and the number the first of
    the week reached 1,000. The cry now is--"Go north, where there
    is some humanity, some justice and fairness." White people
    have accelerated the movement for the race to move north.

This, however, accounts principally for the spread of the movement as
accomplished by northern capital which, hitting the South in spots,
made it possible for a wider dissemination of knowledge concerning the
North, and actually placed in the North persons with numerous personal
connections at home. The husbands and fathers who preceded their
families could and did command that they follow, and they in turn
influenced their neighbors. It appears that those who came on free
transportation were largely men who had no permanent interests or
who could afford to venture into strange fields. This indiscriminate
method of many of the transporting agencies undoubtedly made it
possible for a great number of indigent and thriftless negroes simply
to change the scene of their inaction. Yet it is unquestionably true
that quite a large proportion of those who went North in this fashion
were men honestly seeking remunerative employment, or persons who left
through sheer desperation. In the second stage of the movement the
club organizations, special parties and chartered cars did most
perhaps to depopulate little communities and drain the towns and

This is easily to be accounted for. The free trains, carrying mainly
men, were uncertain. They were operated for brief periods in towns,
but were in such ill favor with the police that passengers were not
safe. The clubs or special parties were worked up by a leader, who was
often a woman of influence. She sought her friends and a convenient
date was appointed Arrangements could also be made with friends in the
North to receive them. The effectiveness of this method is seen in
the fact that neighbor was soliciting neighbor and friend persuading
friend. Women in some of the northern cities, joining these clubs,
assert that no persuasion was needed; that if a family found that it
could not leave with the first groups, it felt desolate and willing to
resort to any extremes and sacrifices to get the necessary fare. One
woman in a little town in Mississippi, from which over half of the
negro population had dribbled away, said: "If I stay here any longer,
I'll go wild. Every time I go home I have to pass house after house of
all my friends who are in the North and prospering. I've been trying
to hold on here and keep my little property. There ain't enough people
here I now know to give me a decent burial."

[Footnote 45: Work, _Report on the Migration from Florida_.]

[Footnote 46: Work and Johnson, _Report on the Migration during the
World War_.]

[Footnote 47: _The Chicago Defender_, 1916, 1917.]

[Footnote 48: "Whether he knew what he was going for or not," says
one, "he did not take time to consider. The slogan was 'going north.'
Some never questioned the whys or wherefores but went; led as if, by
some mysterious unseen hand which was compelling them on, they just
couldn't stay. One old negro when asked why he was leaving, replied:
'I don't know why or where I'm going, but I'm on my way.' The northern
fever was just simply contagious; they couldn't help themselves. So
far as I know, and I think I am about right, this fever started in
and around the vicinity of Bessemer, Alabama. One little village,
especially, there was owned by a white man from my home who had gone
there the year before carrying some negroes with him. The negroes
started leaving this village so fast that he wouldn't allow any more
tickets to be sold in this village, but the negroes only scoffed at
this. They left the plantations at night and went to other villages
for tickets. The fever had now begun and, like all other contagious
diseases, it soon spread. I arrived home on May 4 and found my native
town all in a bustle. Now, what was it all about? The next club for
the North was leaving on May 18. The second-hand furniture store
and junk shop were practically overflowing. People were selling out
valuable furniture such as whole bedroom sets for only $2. One family
that I knew myself sold a beautiful expensive home for only $100. In
fact people almost gave away their houses and furnishings. Finally,
the night for the club to leave came and the crowds at the train were
so large that the policemen had to just force them back in order to
allow the people to get on and off. After the train was filled with as
many people as it could hold, the old engine gave one or two puffs and
pulled out, bound for the promised land."

"A very close neighbor of ours," says one, "left for the North. He had
a very small family. He left because his youngest son, who had been
north a few months, came home with a considerable amount of money
which he had saved while on his trip. The father made haste and sold
all he had. His son got him a pass. He said it was far better for him
to be in the North where he could stand up like a man and demand his
rights; so he is there. His daughter Mary remained at home for some
time after the family had gone. She finally wrote her father to send
her a pass, which he did. She had a small boy that was given her. She
was not able to take him and care for him as she would like. Her next
door neighbor, a very fine woman who had no children, wanted a child
so Mary gave it to her. To secure better wages and more freedom his
oldest son went to East St. Louis and remained there until June. Then
he left for Chicago. This family sold their chickens and rented their
cattle to some of the people in that community."--Work and Johnson,
_Report on the Migration during the World War_.]

[Footnote 49: Work and Johnson, _Report on the Migration during the
World War_.]

[Footnote 50: Ibid.]

[Footnote 51: _The New York Age_, August 16, 1916.]

[Footnote 52: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 53: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 54: Work, _Report on the Migration from Alabama_.]



A surviving custom of servitude has consigned the mass of negroes
to the lower pursuits of labor. Even at this it would be possible to
live, for there would be work. In the North, however, such employment
has been monopolized by foreign immigrants clearing Ellis Island at
the rate of more than a million a year. The usurpation here brought
no clash, for the number of negroes in the North scarcely equalled a
year's immigration. From the ranks of unskilled labor, accordingly,
they were effectively debarred, being used occasionally, and to their
own detriment, as strike breakers and forced to receive smaller wages
and to make more enemies. From the field of skilled labor they have
been similarly debarred by the labor unions.

The labor unions have felt that they had a good case against the negro
workman. The complaints most commonly made are that he could be too
easily used as a strike breaker and that he lacked interest in
the trade union movement. As a matter of fact, both are true. An
explanation of this attitude at the same time brings out another
barrier opposed by the North to the free access of negroes to trades.
Considerable wavering has characterized the attitude of the trade
unions toward negro labor. The complexity of their organization
makes it difficult to place any responsibility directly for their
shortcomings. The fact remains, however, that despite the declaration
of the constitution of the federated body that no distinction shall
be made on account of sex, color or creed, negroes have been
systematically debarred from membership in a great number of labor
bodies. Even where there has been no express prohibition in the
constitution of local organizations the _disposition_ to exclude
them has been just as effective. Refused membership, they have easily
become strike breakers. The indifference on the part of negroes to the
labor movement, however, may well be attributed also to ignorance of
its benefits. In a number of cases separate organizations have been
granted them.

With the foreign immigration silently crowding him back into the
South, the labor unions, the prejudices of his white fellow workman
and the paucity of his number making him ineffective as a competitor,
driving him from the door of the factory and workshop, the negro
workman, whatever his qualifications, was prior to 1914 forced to
enter the field of domestic service in the North and farming in the
South. The conditions of livelihood in both sections kept him rigidly
restricted to this limited economic sphere. In 1910 the total number
of negroes ten years of age and over gainfully occupied in the United
States was 5,192,535 or 71 per cent of the total number of negroes ten
years of age and over. Of this number 2,848,258 or 55.2 per cent were
farmers and 1,122,182 or 21.4 per cent were domestic servants. Out
of nearly five hundred occupations listed in the census of 1910
three-fourths of the negro working population were limited to two. In
the manufacturing and mechanical pursuits throughout the entire United
States there were employed scarcely a half million or 12.1 per cent of
the working population.

Statistics of labor conditions in certain northern cities support this
conclusion. In New York City in 1910, of the negroes ten years of
age and over gainfully occupied there were 33,110 males and 26,352
females. Of the males there were engaged in domestic and personal
service 16,724 or 47.6 per cent of the total number of males. Of the
26,352 females there were in domestic service 24,647 or 93.5 per cent
of the total number. In the occupations which require any degree of
skill and utilise the training of acquired trades, the percentage
was exceedingly low. For example, in the manufacturing and mechanical
pursuits where there were the benefits of labor organizations and
higher pay, there were but 4,504 negro males, or 13.6 per cent of the
total number gainfully employed. The per cent of colored women in this
line was considerably less. Taken together with the 1,993 dressmakers
working outside of factories it was but 8.3 per cent of the total
number of females. This line of work, however, as all who are familiar
with the manner in which it is done will recognize, is but another
form of domestic service. Exclusive of this number the per cent drops
to a figure a trifle over one per cent.

Chicago, as another typical northern city, shows practically the same
limitations on negro labor. In 1910 there were gainfully employed in
this city 27,317 negroes. Of this total 61.8 per cent were engaged
in domestic service. The negro women, of course, contributed a larger
share to this proportion, theirs being 83.8 per cent of the females
ten years of age and over gainfully employed. In the manufacturing and
mechanical pursuits there were engaged 3,466 males and 1,038 females,
or 18.7 and 1.1 per cent respectively.[55]

Detroit, viewed in the light of its tremendous increase, shows some
of the widest differences. In 1910 there were 3,310 negroes of working
age profitably employed. Of this number there were but 410 males
and 74 females engaged in the manufacturing and mechanical pursuits.
Forty-six of the total female working population were engaged in
domestic service. Limited to a few occupations, the negroes naturally
encountered there intense competition with the usual result of low
wages and numerous other abuses. Whenever they entered new fields,
as for instance those designated by the census as trade and
transportation, they were generally compelled to accept wages below
the standard to obtain such employment.

There appears to have been a slow but steady progress throughout the
North toward the accession of negroes to new lines of occupation. This
change was forced, unquestionably, by the necessity for seeking new
fields even at an economic loss. From the lines of work in which
negroes for a long time have held unquestioned prestige, the
competition of other nationalities has removed them. It is difficult
now to find a barber shop operated by a negro in the business district
of any northern city. The most dangerous competitor of the negro in
northern industry has been the immigrant, who, unconscious of his
subtle inhibition on the negro's industrial development, crowded him
out of employment in the North and fairly well succeeded in holding
him in the South. After fifty years of European immigration the
foreign born increased from two million to over thirteen million and
only five per cent of them have settled in the South. Indeed, the
yearly increase in foreign immigration equalled the entire negro
population of the North.

The competition in the North has, therefore, been in consequence
bitter and unrelenting. Swedes and Germans have replaced negroes in
some cities as janitors. Austrians, Frenchmen and Germans have
ousted them from the hotels, and Greeks have almost monopolized the
bootblacking business. The decline in the domestic service quota of
the working negro population, when there has been a decline, seems to
have been forced. The figures of the United States census strengthen
the belief that the World War has accomplished one of two things: It
has either hastened the process of opening up larger fields or it
has prevented a serious economic situation which doubtless would
have followed the complete supplanting of negroes by foreigners in
practically all lines.

Before the war the immigration of foreigners from Europe was
proceeding at the enormous rate of over a million a year. This influx
was so completely checked by the war that the margin of arrivals
over departures for the first three years following the beginning
of hostilities was the smallest in fifty years. The following is a
statement taken from reports of the Bureau of Foreign Immigration.


Year     Number
1913   1,197,892
1914   1,218,480
1915     326,700
1916     298,826
1917     295,403

The decrease of over 900,000 immigrants, on whom the industries of the
North depended, caused a grave situation. It must be remembered also
that of the 295,403 arrivals in 1917, there were included 32,346
English, 24,405 French and 13,350 Scotch who furnish but a small quota
of the laboring classes. There were also 16,438 Mexicans who came
over the border, and who, for the most part, live and work in the
Southwest. The type of immigration which kept prime the labor market
of the North and Northwest came in through Ellis Island. Of these, Mr.
Frederick C. Howe, Commissioner of Immigration, said that "only enough
have come to balance those who have left." He adds further that "As
a result, there has been a great shortage of labor in many of our
industrial sections that may last as long as the war."

With the establishment of new industries to meet the needs of the war,
the erection of munitions plants for the manufacture of war materials
and the enlargement of already existing industries to meet the
abnormally large demand for materials here and in Europe, there came
a shifting in the existing labor supply in the North. There was a rush
to the higher paid positions in the munitions plants. This, together
with the advancement of the white men to higher positions nearly
depleted the ranks of common labor. The companies employing foreign
labor for railroad construction work and in the steel mills of
Pennsylvania, the tobacco fields of Connecticut, the packing houses,
foundries and automobile plants of the Northwest, found it imperative
to seek for labor in home fields. The Department of Labor, in the
effort to relieve this shortage, through its employment service,
at first assisted the migration northward. It later withdrew its
assistance when its attention was called to the growing magnitude of
the movement and its possible effect on the South.

Deserted by the Department of Labor, certain northern employers
undertook to translate their desires into action in 1915, when the
anxieties of the New England tobacco planters were felt in the New
York labor market. These planters at first rushed to New York and
promiscuously gathered up 200 girls of the worst type, who straightway
proceeded to demoralize Hartford. The blunder was speedily detected
and the employers came back to New York, seeking some agency which
might assist them in the solution of their problem. Importuned for
help, the National League on Urban Conditions among Negroes supplied
these planters with respectable southern blacks who met this unusual
demand for labor in Connecticut. Later, moreover, it appeared that on
the threshold of an unusually promising year the Poles, Lithuanians
and Czechs, formerly employed in the fields, were dwindling in number
and there was not at hand the usual supply from which their workers
were recruited. A large number of these foreigners had been called
back to their fatherland to engage in the World War.

In January of 1916, therefore, the tobacco growers of Connecticut met
in conference to give this question serious consideration. Mr. Floyd,
the Manager of the Continental Tobacco Corporation, offered a solution
for this difficult problem through the further importation of negro
labor. The response to this suggestion was not immediate, because New
England had never had large experience with negro labor. An intense
interest in the experiment, however, was aroused through a number of
men with connections in the South. It was decided that the National
League on Urban Conditions among Negroes, with headquarters in New
York City, should further assist in securing laborers. Because of the
seasonal character of the work, an effort was made to get students
from the southern schools by advancing transportation. The _New York
News_, a negro weekly, says of this conference:

    Thus was born, right in the heart of Yankee Land, the first
    significant move to supplant foreign labor with native labor,
    a step which has resulted in one of the biggest upheavals in
    the North incident to the European war, which has already been
    a boon to the colored American, improving his economic status
    and putting thousands of dollars into his pockets.[56]

The employers of the North felt justified in bringing about a more
equitable distribution of the available labor supply in America.
Discussing the labor situation before a conference in New York, Mr.
E.J. Traily, Jr., of the Erie Railroad said:

    The Erie Railroad has employed a large number of the negro
    migrants and we are still in need of more because of the
    abnormal state of labor conditions in this part of the
    country. It is altogether unfair that the southern States
    should enforce laws prohibiting the moving of labor from their
    borders, when there are railroads all over this country that
    would pay good wages to these laborers. I know of one railroad
    company last year, which never had a colored man in the
    service, that was offering large wages and scouring every
    place for colored help. At the same time the South had and
    still has a surplus of colored labor and would not permit it
    to be moved. These conditions actually exist, and I know it.
    I am interested in this thing not alone from the personal side
    of it, but due to the fact of my association with the Erie
    Railroad. I believe that the best thing that this body can
    do, in my judgment, is to pass resolutions demanding that the
    United States Emigration Bureau carry out the act passed by
    Congress empowering the Labor Department to place unoccupied
    men of other parts of the country where labor is needed.[57]

Early in the summer of 1916, the Pennsylvania and Erie Railroads
promiscuously picked up trainloads of negroes from Jacksonville, St.
Augustine and Pensacola, Florida. They were at first grouped in camps.
The promise of a long free ride to the North met with instant favor,
and wild excitement ensued as the news circulated. Carloads of negroes
began to pour into Pennsylvania. When they had once touched northern
soil and discovered that still higher wages were being offered by
other concerns, many deserted the companies responsible for their
presence in the North. Some drifted to the steel works of the same
State; others left for points nearby. Letters written home brought
news of still more enticing fields, and succeeded in stimulating
the movement. Of the 12,000 negroes brought into Pennsylvania by the
Pennsylvania Railroad, less than 2,000 remained with the company.[58]

It will no doubt be interesting to know exactly where these
negroes settled in the North. For the purpose of understanding this
distribution the North may well be divided according to the two main
lines followed by the migrants in leaving the South. The South and
middle Atlantic States sent the majority of their migrants directly up
the Atlantic coast while the south central States fed the Northwest.
There is, of course, no hard line of separation for these two streams.
Laborers were sought in fields most accessible to the centers
of industry, but individual choice as displayed in the extent of
voluntary migration carried them everywhere.

The New England States, which were probably the first to attract
this labor, were Connecticut and Massachusetts. The tobacco fields
of Connecticut with Hartford as a center received the first negro
laborers as mentioned above. Before a year had passed there were over
3,000 southern negroes in the city of Hartford. Massachusetts had
its new war plants which served as an attraction. Holyoke received
considerable advertisement through the National League on Urban
Conditions among Negroes, and as a result secured a number directly
from the South. Boston, which has always stood as a symbol of hope for
those who sought relief from southern conditions, has not, however,
at any time afforded any great variety of occupations for the peasant
class of negroes. The receptions staged by the negro leaders of that
city were stimulated apparently more by the sentimental causes of
the movement than any other consideration. Although there existed in
Boston the type of industries which required great numbers of men,
barriers prevented negroes in large numbers from entering them and as
a result there was no great influx of migrants from the South.

The places mentioned above are, of course, only those which received
large numbers. Scattered all over this section of the country were
thousands of individuals who, seeking more profitable employment,
broke loose from the crowd congregating at favorite points. New York
State with New York City as its center has received a considerable
number. New York City, however, has been principally a rerouting
point. In fact, many of those who subsequently went to New England
first went to New York City. The State of New York recruited its labor
here. There came to New York probably no less than 75,000 negroes,
a large portion of whom stopped in New York City, although Albany,
Poughkeepsie, Buffalo and smaller cities received their share.

New Jersey, because of the great number of its industrial plants, was
rapidly filled. Newark alone augmented its colored population within
a little over a year by one hundred per cent. The attractions in this
State were the munitions plants, brick yards and wire factories. The
principal cities here that might be mentioned are Newark, Trenton
and Jersey City, although the migration to the last two cities hardly
compares in volume to that of Newark. Delaware, bordering New Jersey,
received a few.[59] Washington, the Capital City and the gateway to
the North, already containing the largest negro population of any city
in the country was in the path of the migration and had its increase
of population accelerated by the war. A considerable number of
southern negroes found work there, principally in domestic service.
Pennsylvania, the first northern State to begin _wholesale_
importation of labor from the South, is the seat of the country's
largest steel plants and is the terminal of three of the country's
greatest railroad systems. Pittsburgh received perhaps the largest
number; Philadelphia and Harrisburg followed in order. The numerous
little industrial centers dotting the State fed from the supply
furnished by the railroads.[60]

The migration to the Northwest was more extensive. Ohio, the State
of vital historical association for negroes, was generously visited.
Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron and Youngstown were popular
centers. The coal mines, factories and iron works were most in need
of men, and obtained them without any great difficulty. Indiana, still
probably remembered as the delicate spot in the inquiry following
a similar migration thirty-nine years ago, with its very highly
developed industries caught the flood proceeding up the Mississippi
valley. Indianapolis was a popular point although not a satisfactory
one for the migrants, who pretty generally left it for better fields.
Gary and Indiana Harbor, more properly satellite cities of Chicago,
developed an almost entirely new negro population.

Missouri, a border State, has one city with a considerably augmented
negro population. The size of the new population of St. Louis can be
accounted for by the fact that geographically it is the first city of
the North. East St. Louis, recently made notorious by the reception
which it accorded its newcomers, is surrounded by a number of
satellite towns, all of which made bids for labor from the South and
received it. Not a few negro laborers went to Kansas City from which
many were rerouted to other points. Nebraska received a large number
of migrants as a direct result of self-advertisement. Omaha was the
city which invited them and received the bulk of immigration to that

Illinois, the one State known throughout the South because of Chicago,
received probably the heaviest quota of any. Located as it is in
the center of industry for the Middle West and known to negroes as
a "fair" State, it received through Chicago as many at least as the
entire State of Pennsylvania. Chicago is the center of a cluster of
industrial towns. It has served as a point of distribution through
its numerous employment agencies for the territory northwest and
northeast. Michigan has one large city, Detroit, which has recently
increased its population one hundred per cent because of its number
of highly developed industries which have supplied employment for its
rapidly increasing population.[61]

The eastern cities which made efforts through various means to augment
their labor supply were Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Newark, New York
City and Hartford. It is manifestly impossible to get reliable figures
on the volume of increase in the negro population of any of these
cities. All that is available is in the form of estimates which can
not be too confidently relied upon. Estimates based on the average
number of arrivals from the South per day, the increase in the school
population and the opinions of social agencies which have engaged
themselves in adjusting the newcomers to their new homes appear to
agree in the main.

[Footnote 55: These facts appear in the _United States Census

[Footnote 56: _The New York News_.]

[Footnote 57: _New York Age_, January 30, 1917; _Christian Recorder_,
Philadelphia, February 2, 1917.]

[Footnote 58: Ibid.]

[Footnote 59: Fortune, _Report on Negro Migration to the East_.]

[Footnote 60: Ibid.]

[Footnote 61: These estimates are based upon the reports of
investigators sent to make a study of the condition of the migrants.]



In order better to understand the migration movement, a special study
of it was made for five adjoining States, Georgia, Florida, Alabama,
Mississippi and Louisiana, from which came more than half of all
migrants. The negro population of these five States was 4,115,299,
which was almost half of the negro population of the South. In the
particular sections of these States where the migration was the
heaviest, the one crop system, cotton, was general. As a result of
the cotton price demoralization resulting from the war, the labor
depression, the ravages of the cotton boll weevil, and in some regions
unusual floods, as already stated, there was in this section of the
South an exceptionally large amount of surplus labor. The several
trunk line railroads directly connecting this section with the
northern industrial centers made the transportation of this labor an
easy matter.

In 1915, the labor depression in Georgia was critical and work at
remunerative wages was scarce. In Atlanta strong pressure was brought
to bear to have the negroes employed in cleaning the streets replaced
by whites who were out of work. It was reported that the organized
charities of Macon, in dealing with the question of the unemployed,
urged whites employing negroes to discharge the blacks and hire
whites. Mr. Bridges Smith, the mayor of the city, bitterly opposed
this suggestion. When the 1915 cotton crop began to ripen it was
proposed to compel the unemployed negroes in the towns to go to the
fields and pick cotton. Commenting editorially on this, the _Atlanta
Constitution_ said:

    The problem of the unemployed in Albany, Georgia, is being
    dealt with practically. All negroes who have not regular
    employment are offered it in the cotton fields, the immense
    crop requiring more labor than the plantations ordinarily
    have. If the unemployed refuse the opportunity, the order
    "move on" and out of the community is given by the chief of
    police, and the order must be obeyed. Though the government is
    taking up very systematically the problem of the unemployed,
    its solving will be slow, and the government aid for a long
    time will have to be supplementary to work in this direction,
    initiated in communities, municipalities and States, where the
    problem of the unemployed is usually complex.[62]

In the course of time, when the negroes did leave, they departed in
such large numbers that their going caused alarm. Because they left
at night the number of negroes going north from the immediate vicinity
was not generally realized. One night nearly fifty of Tifton boarded
northbound passenger trains, which already carried, it is said, some
three hundred negroes. Labor agents had been very active in that
section all fall, but so cleverly had they done their work that
officers had not been able to get a line on them. For several weeks,
the daily exodus, it is said, had ranged from ten to twenty-five.[63]

Columbus was an assembling point for migrants going from east Alabama
and west Georgia. Railroad tickets would be bought from local stations
to Columbus, and there the tickets or transportation for the North,
mainly to Chicago, would be secured. Americus was in many respects
similarly affected, having had many of its important industries
thereby paralyzed. Albany, a railroad center, became another
assembling point for migrants from another area. Although difficulties
would be experienced in leaving the smaller places directly for the
North, it was easy to purchase a ticket to Albany and later depart
from that town. The result was that Albany was the point of departure
for several thousand negroes, of whom a very large percentage did
not come from the towns or Dougherty county in which Albany is

A negro minister, well acquainted with the situation in southwest
Georgia, was of the opinion that the greatest number had gone from
Thomas and Mitchell counties and the towns of Pelham and Thomasville.
Valdosta, with a population of about 8,000 equally divided between the
races became a clearing house for many migrants from southern Georgia.
The pastor of one of the leading churches said that he lost twenty
per cent of his members. The industrial insurance companies reported
a twenty per cent loss in membership.[65] Waycross,[66] a railroad
center in the wire grass section of the State, with a population of
7,700 whites and 6,700 negroes, suffered greatly from the migration.
Hundreds of negroes in this section were induced by the employment
bureaus and industrial companies in eastern States to abandon their
homes. From Brunswick, one of the two principal seaports in Georgia,
went 1,000 negroes, the chief occupation of whom was stevedoring.
Savannah, another important seaport on the south Atlantic coast, with
a population of about 70,000, saw the migration attain unusually large
proportions, so as to cause almost a panic and to lead to drastic
measures to check it.

The migration was from all sections of Florida. The heaviest movements
were from west Florida, from Tampa and Jacksonville. Capitola early
reported that a considerable number of negroes left that vicinity,
some going north, a few to Jacksonville and others to south Florida to
work on the truck farms and in the phosphate mines. A large number of
them migrated from Tallahassee to Connecticut to work in the tobacco
fields. Owing to the depredations of the boll weevil, many others went
north. Most of the migration in west Florida, however, was rural as
there are very few large towns in that section. Yet, although they had
no such assembling points as there were in other parts of the South,
about thirty or thirty-five per cent of the labor left. In north
central Florida near Apalachicola fifteen or twenty per cent of the
labor left. In middle Florida around Ocala and Gainesville probably
twenty to twenty-five per cent of the laborers left, chiefly because
of the low wages. The stretch of territory between Pensacola and
Jacksonville was said to be one of the most neglected sections in the
South, the migration being largely of farm tenants with a considerable
number of farm owners. There were cases of the migration of a whole
community including the pastor of the church.[67]

Live Oak, a small town in Sewanee county, experienced the same
upheaval, losing a large proportion of its colored population.
Dunnelon, a small town in the southern part of Marion county, soon
found itself in the same situation. Lakeland, in Polk county, lost
about one-third of its negroes. Not less than one-fourth of the black
population of Orlando was swept into this movement. Probably half of
the negroes of Palatka, Miami and De Land, migrated as indicated by
schools and churches, the membership of which decreased one-half.
From 3,000 to 5,000 negroes migrated from Tampa and Hillsboro county.
Jacksonville, the largest city in Florida, with a population of about
35,000 negroes, lost about 6,000 or 8,000 of its own black population
and served as an assembling point for 14,000 or 15,000 others who went
to the North.[68]

By September, 1916, the movement in Alabama was well under way. In
Selma there was made the complaint that a new scheme was being used
to entice negroes away. Instead of advertising in Alabama papers, the
schemes of the labor agents were proclaimed through papers published
in other States and circulated in Alabama. As a result there was a
steady migration of negroes from Alabama to the North and to points in
Tennessee and Arkansas where conditions were more inviting and wages
higher. Estimates appear to indicate, however, that Alabama, through
the migration, lost a larger proportion of her negro population than
did any one of the other southern States.[69]

From Eufaula in the eastern part of the State it was reported in
September that trains leaving there on Sundays in 1916 were packed
with negroes going north, that hundreds left, joining crowds from
Clayton, Clio and Ozark. There seemed to be a "free ride" every Sunday
and many were giving up lucrative positions there to go. The majority
of these negroes, however, went from the country where they had had
a disastrous experience with the crops of the year 1916 on account
of the July floods.[70] By October the exodus from Dallas county had
reached such alarming proportions that farmers and business men were
devising means to stop it.

Bullock county, with a working population of 15,000 negroes, lost
about one-third and in addition about 1,500 non-workers. The reports
of churches as to the loss of membership at certain points justify
this conclusion. Hardly any of the churches escaped without a serious
loss and the percentage in most cases was from twenty-five to seventy
per cent.[71] It seemed that these intolerable conditions did not
obtain in Union Springs. According to persons living in Kingston, the
wealthiest and the most prosperous negroes of the district migrated.
In October, 1916, some of the first large groups left Mobile, Alabama,
for the Northwest. The report says: "Two trainloads of negroes
were sent over the Louisville and Nashville Railroad to work in the
railroad yards and on the tracks in the West. Thousands more are
expected to leave during the next month."

As soon as the exodus got well under way, Birmingham became one of the
chief assembling points in the South for the migrants and was one of
the chief stations on the way north. Thousands came from the flood
and boll weevil districts to Birmingham. The records of the negro
industrial insurance companies showed the effects of the migration
both from and to Birmingham. The Atlanta Mutual Insurance Company lost
500 of its members and added 2,000. Its debit for November, 1916, was
$502.25; for November, 1917, it was $740. The business of the Union
Central Relief Association was greatly affected by the migration. The
company in 1916 lost heavily. In 1917 it cleared some money.

The State of Mississippi, with a larger percentage of negroes than any
other State in the Union, naturally lost a large number of its
working population. There has been in progress for a number of years
a movement from the hill counties of the State of Mississippi to the
Delta, and from the Delta to Arkansas. The interstate migration
has resulted from the land poverty of the hill country and from
intimidation of the "poor whites" particularly in Amite, Lincoln,
Franklin and Wilkinson counties. In 1908 when the floods and boll
weevil worked such general havoc in the southwestern corner of
the State, labor agents from the Delta went down and carried away
thousands of families. It is estimated that more than 8,000 negroes
left Adams county during the first two years of the boll weevil
period. Census figures for 1910 show that the southwestern counties
suffered a loss of 18,000 negroes. The migration of recent years to
adjacent States has been principally to Arkansas.[72]

Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, seriously felt the migration. The
majority of the "lower middle class" of negroes, twenty-five per cent
of the business men and fully one-third of the professional men left
the city--in all between 2,000 and 5,000. Two of the largest churches
lost their pastors and about 200 of each of their memberships. Other
churches suffered a decrease of forty per cent in their communicants.
Two-thirds of the remaining families in Jackson are part families with
relatives who have recently migrated to the North.

For years the negroes of Greenville have been unsettled and
dissatisfied to the extent of leaving. Negroes came from Leland to
Greenville to start for the North. This condition has obtained there
ever since the World's Fair in Chicago, when families first learned
to go to that section whenever opportunities for establishment
were offered them. Although the negroes from Greenville are usually
prosperous, during this exodus they have mortgaged their property or
placed it in the hands of friends on leaving for the North. Statistics
indicate that in the early part of the movement at least 1,000 left
the immediate vicinity of Greenville and since that time others have
continued to go in large numbers.[73]

Greenwood, with a population evenly balanced between the white and
black, had passed through the unusual crisis of bad crops and the
invasion of the boll weevil. The migration from this point, therefore,
was at first a relief to the city rather than a loss. The negroes,
in the beginning, therefore, moved into the Delta and out to Arkansas
until the call for laborers in the North. The migration from this
point to the North reached its height in the winter and spring of 1916
and 1917. The migrants would say that they were going to Memphis, but
when you next heard from them they would be in Chicago, St. Louis or
Detroit. The police at the Illinois Central depot had been handling
men roughly. When they were rude to one, ten or twelve left. Young men
usually left on night trains. Next day their friends would say, "Ten
left last night," or, "Twelve left last night." In this manner the
stream started. Friends would notify others of the time and place of
special trains. The type of negro leaving is indicated in the decline
in the church membership. Over 300 of those who left were actively
connected with some church. During the summer of 1917, 100 houses
stood vacant in the town and over 300 were abandoned in the McShein
addition. As the crops were gathered people moved in from the country,
from the southern part of the State and from the "hills" generally to
take the places of those who had left for the North.

There was no concerted movement from Clarksdale, a town with a
population of about 400 whites and 600 blacks; but families appeared
to slip away because of the restlessness and uneasiness in evidence
everywhere. From the rural district around there was considerable
migration to Arkansas, but considerable numbers were influenced to
leave for Buffalo and Chicago. Mound Bayou lost some of its population
also to Arkansas and the North, as they could buy land cheaper in the
former and find more lucrative employment in the latter. Natchez did
not suffer a serious loss of population until the invasion of the boll
weevil and the floods.

Hattiesburg, a large lumber center, was at the beginning of the
exodus, almost depopulated. Some of the first migrants went to
Pennsylvania but the larger number went to Chicago. It became a
rallying point for many negroes who assembled there ostensibly to
go to New Orleans, at which place they easily provided for their
transportation to Chicago and other points in the North. From Laurel
in Jones county, a large sawmill district, it is estimated that
between 4,000 and 5,000 negroes moved north. About 3,000 left Meridian
for Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit and Pittsburgh. Indianola, a town with
a number of negro independent enterprises, also became upset by
this movement, losing a considerable number of progressive families.
Gulfport, a coast town a short distance from New Orleans, lost about
one-third of its negro population. About 45 families left Bobo for
Arkansas, and 15 families went to the North. Johnstown, Mississippi,
lost 150 of its 400 negroes.[74]

The owners of turpentine industries and lumber plants in southeastern
Mississippi were especially affected by the exodus. In Hinds, Copiah,
Lincoln, Rankin, Newton and Lake counties, many white residents rather
than suffer their crops to be lost, worked in the fields. It was
reported that numbers of these whites were leaving for the Delta and
for Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas. Firms there attempted to look
in the North that they might send for the negroes whom they had
previously employed, promising them an advance in wages.

At the same time the Illinois Central Railroad was carrying from New
Orleans and other parts of Louisiana thousands into Indiana, Illinois
and Michigan. At the Illinois Central Railroad station in that city,
the agent had been having his hands full taking names of colored
laborers wanting and waiting to go North. About the first of April,
1917, there came also the reports from New Orleans that 300 negro
laborers left there on the Southern Pacific steamer for New York, and
500 more left later on another of the same company's steamships bound
also for New York, it was said, to work for the company. Thousands
thus left for the North and West and East, the number reaching over

It is an interesting fact that this migration from the South followed
the path marked out by the Underground Railroad of antebellum days.
Negroes from the rural districts moved first to the nearest village or
town, then to the city. On the plantations it was not regarded safe to
arrange for transportation to the North through receiving and sending
letters. On the other hand, in the towns and cities there was more
security in meeting labor agents. The result of it was that cities
like New Orleans, Birmingham, Jacksonville, Savannah and Memphis
became concentration points. From these cities migrants were rerouted
along the lines most in favor.

The principal difference between this course and the Underground
Railroad was that in the later movement the southernmost States
contributed the largest numbers. This perhaps is due in part to the
selection of Florida and Georgia by the first concerns offering the
inducement of free transportation, and at the same time it accounts
for the very general and intimate knowledge of the movement by
the people in States through which they were forced to pass. In
Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for example, the first intimation of a great
movement of negroes to the North came through reports that thousands
of negroes were leaving Florida for the North. To the negroes
of Florida, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia the North means
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and New England. The route is more
direct, and it is this section of the northern expanse of the United
States that gets widest advertisement through tourists, and passengers
and porters on the Atlantic coast steamers. The northern newspapers
with the greatest circulation are from Pennsylvania and New York, and
the New York colored weeklies are widely read. Reports from all of
these south Atlantic States indicate that comparatively few persons
ventured into the Northwest when a better known country lay before

The Pennsylvania Railroad, one of the first to import laborers
in large numbers, reports that of the 12,000 persons brought to
Pennsylvania over its road, all but 2,000 were from Florida and
Georgia. The tendency was to continue along the first definite path.
Each member of the vanguard controlled a small group of friends at
home, if only the members of his immediate family. Letters sent
back, representing that section of the North and giving directions
concerning the route best known, easily influenced the next groups
to join their friends rather than explore new fields. In fact, it is
evident throughout the movement that the most congested points in
the North when the migration reached its height, were those favorite
cities to which the first group had gone.[75] An intensive study of
a group of 77 families from the South, selected at random in Chicago,
showed but one family from Florida and no representation at all from
North and South Carolina. A tabulation of figures and facts from 500
applications for work by the Chicago League on Urban Conditions among
Negroes gives but a few persons from North Carolina, twelve from South
Carolina and one from Virginia. The largest number, 102, came from
Georgia. Applicants for work in New York from the south Atlantic
States are overwhelming.[76]

For the east and west south central States, the Northwest was more
accessible and better known. St. Louis and Cincinnati are the nearest
northern cities to the South and excursions have frequently been run
there from New Orleans, through the State of Mississippi. There are
in St. Louis, as in other more northern cities, little communities of
negroes from the different sections of the South. The mail order and
clothing houses of Chicago have advertised this city throughout the
South. The convenience of transportation makes the Northwest a popular
destination for migrants from Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas
and Tennessee. The Illinois Central Railroad runs directly to New
Orleans through Tennessee and Mississippi.

There were other incidental factors which determined the course of
the movement. Free trains from different sections broke new paths by
overcoming the obstacles of funds for transportation. No questions
were asked of the passengers, and, in some instances, as many as were
disposed to leave were carried. When once they had advanced beyond the
Mason and Dixon line, many fearing that fees for transportation would
be deducted from subsequent pay, if they were in the employ of the
parties who, as they understood, were advancing their fares, deserted
the train at almost any point that looked attractive. Employment could
be easily secured and at good wages. Many of these unexpected and
premature destinations became the nucleuses for small colonies
whose growth was stimulated and assisted by the United States postal

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Map of where migrants came from and went]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Footnote 62: _Atlanta Constitution_, August 28, 1915.]

[Footnote 63: Ibid., December 13, 1916.]

[Footnote 64: A leading colored physician of Albany in commenting on
the exodus said: "A considerable number went from town and county. The
number was not near so great, however, as from other counties." He was
of the opinion that not more than eight or ten families had left. He
said that his practice had not been affected. Individuals came in from
other sections and took the place of those who went away. He was
of the opinion that the fever was about over. This was due to the
shortage of labor created by the draft, the increase in wages and
better treatment, particularly the latter. Tenants on plantations
were receiving better treatment than they formerly received. Some
plantation owners as an inducement to their tenants were furnishing
each with a cow and a sow. Farm labor which was formerly paid $8 to
$12 per month, now received from $20 to $30 per month. He said he knew
of one plantation owner who was paying his hands $1.25 per day. This
doctor said he was reliably informed that many negroes had left Lee
and Calhoun counties and the whites had to go in the fields and plow.
As a result of the exodus, the white and colored men of Albany had got
closer together. He had recently been elected a member of the Albany
Chamber of Commerce, and he understood that about twelve colored men
had been invited to become members of the Chamber to assist in working
for the development of the county.

One of the colored druggists in Georgia said that Albany was a central
point, and that a great many came from Cuthbert, Arlington, Leary and
Calhoun, Early and Miller counties to Albany as a starting point for
the North. Many went from Albany to Chicago and Philadelphia, but he
was of the opinion that the largest number had gone to New Jersey.
Migration has been affected by the draft and new opportunities opening
up in the South. He said that whites became alarmed and called a
meeting and invited some colored persons to consult with them.--Work,
_Report on Migration from Georgia_.]

[Footnote 65: "The migration of negroes from this city to the North
set in again this week, after a comparative lull of two months. A
party of twelve left here yesterday for Jersey City, while twenty
others are expected to leave shortly. Many women are going with the
men, in some cases leaving their children. Stories of suffering from
cold, brought back by negroes during this winter, checked the
movement considerably. Several hundred negroes will leave here this
spring."--_Atlanta Constitution_, March 26, 1917.]

[Footnote 66: A report from there, in the _Savannah Morning News_, of
December 3, 1916, said: "Hundreds of negroes in this section recently
have been fleeced by white men posing as agents of large employment
bureaus and industrial companies in the eastern States. The most
recent instance of the easy marks is reported from Coffee county,
but it is in line with what has been happening in other counties. The
so-called agent collects a registration fee, giving in return for the
money, usually one or two dollars, a card which is said to entitle the
bearer to a position at such and such a plant. The negroes get on the
train on the date specified, the agent meeting them at the station.
He tells them he will have a party ticket for the entire number and
to tell the conductor to collect their fares from him. The negroes of
course leave home for the point where they think they will be given
work, and apparently are a happy lot. But when ticket collecting time
comes there is another story to tell.

"Thirty-seven negroes the other day boarded a northbound train at
Douglas for Pittsburgh. The agent was on hand to check each one
and then he got aboard, or so the negroes thought. A few miles from
Douglas the conductor found he had thirty-seven ticketless passengers.
And none of the negroes had the money to pay the fare to Pittsburgh.
The train was stopped, and the negroes returned home, wiser and vowing
they were 'done with leaving home.' Quite a number of negroes have
come to Waycross to meet agents and go north. Before coming here the
negroes of course had contributed."]

[Footnote 67: Work, _Report on the Migration from Florida_.]

[Footnote 68: Work, _Report on the Migration from Florida_.]

[Footnote 69: Work, _Report on the Migration from Alabama_.]

[Footnote 70: _Montgomery (Alabama) Advertiser_, September 27, 1916.]

[Footnote 71: The investigator had been in Union Springs on a Saturday
before there was a migration. The crowds on the streets were so great
that it was difficult for one to pass. On Saturday, November 17, 1917,
the investigator was again in Union Springs. It was an ideal autumn
day. Good crops had been made in the county. Especially high prices
were being paid for all sorts of farm produce. The market season was
on. Court was in session. The streets, however, had about the crowds
to be found on some days, other than Saturday, before the migration

[Footnote 72: The reasons back of this, as obtained from migrants
themselves, are that, except in the town of Mound Bayou, negroes have
not been encouraged to own property or rent, but to work on shares;
in Arkansas it is possible to buy good land cheaply and on reasonable
terms; inducements are offered by Arkansas in the form of better
treatment and schools; there are no such "excessive" taxes as are
required in the Mississippi Delta to protect them from the overflows;
the boll weevil has not yet seriously affected that State, and a small
farmer may be fairly independent in Arkansas.]

[Footnote 73: The lumber mills and the local corporations provide
a great part of the work for laborers in the city. Wages last year
ranged from $1.25 to $1.50 a day. Wages at present are $1.75 and $2
a day. Cotton picking last year brought 60 and 75 cents a hundred;
at present $2 is paid for every hundred pounds picked. The city has
enacted "move on" laws intending to get rid of drones. The police, it
is said, could not distinguish drones from "all negroes."

It was further complained that the police deputies and sheriffs
are too free with the use of their clubs and guns when a negro
is involved. It was related that Dr. ----, practising 47 years in
Greenville, Mississippi, was driving his buggy in a crowded street on
circus day when he was commanded by a policeman to drive to one side
and let a man pass. He replied that he could not because he himself
was jammed. He was commanded again and then dragged from the buggy,
clubbed and haled into the police court and fined. The officer who
arrested him swore that he had given frequent trouble, which was
untrue according to reliable testimony and his own statement. This
incident is also told:

A policeman's friend needed a cook. The policeman drove by a negro
home and, seeing a woman on the porch, told her to get in the buggy.
No questions were permitted. She was carried to his friend's home and
told to work. The woman prepared one meal and left the city for the
North.--Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 74: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 75: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 76: Ibid.]



The departure of the first negroes usually elicited no concern
from the authorities. It was assumed that their actions were merely
expressions of the negro's "love for travel," and that they would
soon return. When, however, they did not return and hosts of others
followed, the white South became deeply concerned and endeavored to
check the movement. Throughout the exodus drastic legislation and
force were employed. In Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Georgia
laws were passed in an effort to suppress the activities of labor
agents. Licenses were made prohibitively high; labor agents were
arrested and heavily fined. In some cases their coming was penalized
to prohibit their operations entirely and they frequently suffered
physical injury.

In Florida labor recruiting early assumed a serious aspect. Precaution
was, therefore, taken to impede the progress of the work of labor
agents among negroes, at first by moral suasion and then by actual
force. The cities and towns of this State enacted measures requiring
a very high license of labor agents, imposing in case of failure to
comply with these regulations, a penalty of imprisonment. For example,
in Tampa when these operations were brought to the attention of
the authorities, Joe Robinson, a negro officer, was detailed to
investigate the matter. He discovered that one Joyce and another negro
named Alex Reeves were implicated in the movement. These men were
charged with having collected $7 from each of several hundred negroes
who wanted to go to Pennsylvania. A meeting among the negroes of Tampa
was then held to secure pledges of assistance for the negro officer,
then making an effort to prevent the exodus. Being under the
impression that the ignorant members of their race were being imposed
upon by agents from without, many of these leading negroes pledged
themselves to assist in the suppression of it.[77]

In Jacksonville, where the labor agents flourished, the City Council
passed an ordinance requiring that migration agents should pay $1,000
license to recruit labor sent out of the State under penalty of $600
fine and 60 days in jail. Several police detectives were assigned the
task of arresting those who were said to be spreading false reports
among negroes there to the effect that special trains were ready on
various specified dates to take them to points in the North. When,
therefore, large crowds of negroes gathered near the Union Depot in
Jacksonville, awaiting the so-called special train, they were handled
rather roughly by the police when it was shown that they had
not purchased tickets and there was no one to vouch for their

The same condition with respect to the apparent necessity for
prohibitive measures obtained in Georgia. The local governments early
took action to prevent the drain of the labor population to northern
States through the operation of labor agents. It was soon observed,
however, that these agents worked out their schemes so clandestinely
that it was impossible to check the movement by such measures. Fearing
that the general unrest among the negroes of the city and the efforts
that were being put forth on the part of the authorities to keep them
from being transported from Macon to the North, might result in a riot
with which the city authorities would not be able to cope, Chief of
Police George S. Riley recommended to the civil service commission
that forty magazine rifles be purchased for the police department.[78]
At that time the police had only their pistols and clubs. It was
said that surliness then existed among certain negroes and the police
wanted to be able to cope with any situation that might arise. The
City Council, thereafter, raised the license fee for labor agents to
$25,000, requiring also that such an agent be recommended by ten local
ministers, ten manufacturers and twenty-five business men. The police
of Macon were very active in running down labor agents violating this

Americus was honeycombed and carefully watched and searched for
persons inducing negroes to migrate, as there was a large exodus of
negroes from this city to the tobacco fields of Connecticut. Negroes
attempting to leave were arrested and held to see if by legal measures
they could be deterred from going North. The officers in charge of
this raid were armed with State warrants charging misdemeanors and
assisted by a formidable array of policemen and deputy sheriffs.
Negroes were roughly taken from the trains and crowded into the
prisons to await trial for these so-called misdemeanors. Although the
majority of them were set free after their trains had left the city,
the leaders in most cases suffered humiliation at the hands of the
officers of the law.[79]

At Thomasville, a white man and a negro were arrested, charged with
the usual crime of being labor agents. Much excitement followed.
Fearing serious results, the colored ministers of this city endeavored
to stop the exodus. A committee of their most prominent citizens met
with the mayor and discussed the matter freely. They arranged for
a large mass meeting of white and colored citizens who undertook to
cooperate in bringing the exodus to an end. The white citizens of
Waycross experienced the same trouble with labor agents, but had much
difficulty in finding out exactly who they were and how they contrived
to make such inroads on the population.[80]

The situation became more critical in Savannah, one of the largest
assembling points for migrants in the South. When the loss of labor
became so serious and ordinary efforts to check it failed, more
drastic measures were resorted to. On the thirteenth of August, for
example, when there spread through the city the rumor that two special
trains would leave for the North there followed great commotion among
the negroes, who, already much disturbed by the agitation for and
against the movement, were easily induced to start for the North.
When, at about five o'clock that morning, 2,000 negroes assembled
at the station for this purpose, the county police, augmented by a
detachment of city officers, appeared at the station and attempted to
clear the tracks; but the crowd being so large the officers finally
found their task impossible, for as they would clear one section of
the tracks the crowd would surge to another. The crowd was extremely
orderly and good natured and the two arrests that were made were for
minor offenses. As these trains failed to move according to orders,
over 300 of this group paid their own fares and proceeded to the

A few days later Savannah reached a crisis in the labor movement
agitation, when over 100 negroes were placed under arrest at the Union
Depot and sent to the police barracks. Several patrol wagon loads of
police arrived at the station and immediately a cordon was formed by
the police around all negroes in the lobby and every exit from the
station was guarded. By this unusual sight many persons were attracted
to the station and excitement ran high. Many negroes were arrested
with a view to finding out the leaders of the movement, but upon
failure to discover the facts in the case the lieutenant in charge
ordered the men in custody to be incarcerated on charges of loitering.

To show how groundless these charges were, one need but to note
the character of some of the persons arrested. Four carpenters from
Lumpkin, Georgia, had just arrived and were waiting for a contractor
for whom they had agreed to work a short distance from the city.
Another young man entered the station to purchase a ticket to
Burroughs, Georgia, to see relatives, but he was not only incarcerated
but had to give a bond of $100 for his appearance next morning.
Another young man, working for the Pullman Company, entered the
depot to cash a check for $11 when he was arrested, sent to jail
and searched. Still another, a middle-aged man of most pleasing
appearance, had just arrived from Jacksonville, Florida, and was
waiting in the station until the time to proceed by boat that
afternoon to New York. On one occasion, J.H. Butler, manager of the
_Savannah Tribune_, a negro newspaper, was arrested charged with
violation of the city and State law of sending labor out of the city.
He was obliged to give bond of $400 to appear in court the next day.
At the same time seventeen college boys who were waiting at a New York
steamer dock were also apprehended. The trial of the men before the
recorder proved farcical, not a single one of the hundred or more
prisoners being required to testify. After the chief of the detective
force and several police lieutenants had testified, Recorder Schwartz
ordered the men all released, but not before he had taken occasion
to upbraid the police force for the unnecessarily large number of

Alabama was equally alive to the need to suppress the migration
propaganda among negroes. To this end the Montgomery City Commission
on September 19, 1916, passed an ordinance to the effect that any
person who would entice, persuade or influence any laborer or other
person to leave the city of Montgomery for the purpose of being
employed at any other place as a laborer must on conviction be
fined not less than one nor more than one hundred dollars, or may be
sentenced to hard labor for the city, for not more than six months,
one or both in the discretion of the court. The other ordinance
provided that any person, firm or corporation who published, printed
or wrote or delivered or distributed or posted or caused to be
published, printed or written or delivered or distributed or posted,
any advertisement, letter, newspaper, pamphlet, handbill or other
writing, for the purpose of enticing, persuading or influencing
any laborer or other person to leave the city of Montgomery for the
purpose of being employed at any other place as a laborer must on
conviction be fined not less than one hundred dollars, or may be
sentenced to hard labor for the city for not more than six months, one
or both in the discretion of the court. Labor agents and other leaders
both white and black were arrested throughout the State in accordance
with the usual custom of preferring technical charges.[83]

The treatment of the movement in Mississippi was no exception to the
rule. At Jackson, the "pass riders," as they were called, were so
molested by the police that they were finally driven from the town. In
the same town the citizens were reported to have forced the railroads
to discontinue the use of passes on the threat of damaging their
interests and influencing decisions in court cases. Negroes were
secretly enticed away, however, after they had been dispersed from
the railway stations and imprisoned when in the act of boarding
the trains. The police interfered at one time with negroes leaving,
especially when it was suspected that they were leaving on passes. To
circumvent this, negroes would go two or three stations below Jackson
where there were no policemen and board the trains. It was the
unanimous opinion of whites and blacks who observed the almost frantic
efforts to leave the town, that any attempt to hinder by intimidation
or by making it difficult to leave, simply served to make them more
determined to leave.[84]

At Greenville, Mississippi, trains were stopped. Negroes were dragged
therefrom and others were prevented from boarding them. Strangers were
searched for evidence that might convict them as labor agents. It is
also reported that local authorities were reprimanded for interfering
with interstate commerce. At Greenwood there was much complaint
against the brutality of the police, whose efforts to intimidate
negroes carried them beyond bounds. A chartered car carrying fifty
men and women was sidetracked at Brookhaven for three days. The man
conducting the passengers was arrested, but when no charge was brought
against him, he was released.[85]

A Hattiesburg, Mississippi, ticket agent attempted on the advice
of citizens to interfere with negroes leaving by refusing to sell
tickets. Some one called the attention of the general superintendent
to the matter. Thereafter the man was courteous and even assisted
the migrants. Police arrested one or two men at the station, and,
according to one of the men, made the crowd so angry that they swore
they would not stop until all had gone. There are cited further
instances of letters to plantation hands which were detained and
telegrams which were delayed. At Meridian, Mississippi, a trainload of
negroes en route to the North was held up by the chief of police on a
technical charge. It is said that the United States marshal arrested
him and placed him under heavy bond for delaying the train. The
federal authorities were importuned to stop the movement. They
withdrew the assistance of the Employment Department, but admitted
that they could not stop the interstate migration.[86]

One remarked, however, "It will scarcely be possible, to make a
sectional issue of these Columbus convictions, as the charge of
'enticing away of labor' in that country is aimed at certain Arkansas
planters who carried away several carloads of negroes to work on their
places, leaving the Mississippi employers without the labor to gather
or grow their crops. It can not, therefore, be interpreted as an
attempt to keep the negro in semislavery in the South and prevent him
from going to work at better wages in the northern munition factories;
it is only an effort to protect Mississippi employers from Arkansas

The alarm felt over the exodus prompted the mayor of New Orleans to
telegraph the president of the Illinois Central Railroad, asking that
his road stop carrying negroes to the North. The latter replied that
he had viewed with much concern the heavy exodus of negro labor from
the South during the past year, and, because of his very important
interest in that section, it was not to his advantage to encourage it,
but as common carriers, they could not refuse to sell tickets or to
provide the necessary transportation. It seemed to him that as long as
their friends and kinsmen who had preceded them to the North and East
were receiving a high scale of wages, the South would have to look for
continued movement.[88]

After having enforced these drastic measures without securing
satisfactory results, and having seen that any attempt to hold the
negroes by force resulted apparently in an increased determination to
leave, there was resort to the policy of frightening the negroes
away from the North by circulating rumors as to the misfortunes to be
experienced there. Negroes were then warned against the rigors of the
northern winter and the death rate from pneumonia and tuberculosis.
Social workers in the North reported frequent cases of men with simple
colds who actually believed that they had developed "consumption."
Speakers who wished to discourage the exodus reported "exact" figures
on the death rate of the migrants in the North that were astounding.
As, for example, it was said by one Reverend Mr. Parks that there
were 2,000 of them sick in Philadelphia. The editor of a leading white
paper in Jackson, Mississippi, made the remark that he feared that
the result of the first winter's experience in the North would prove
serious to the South, in so far as it would remove the bugbear of the
northern climate. The returned migrants were encouraged to speak
in disparagement of the North and to give wide publicity to their
utterances, emphasizing incidents of suffering reported through the

When such efforts as these failed, however, the disconcerted planters
and business men of the South resorted to another plan. Reconciliation
and persuasion were tried. Meetings were held and speakers were
secured and advised what to say. In cities and communities where
contact on this plane had been infrequent, it was a bit difficult
to approach the subject. The press of Georgia gave much space to the
discussion of the movement and what ought to be done to stop it. The
consensus of opinion of the white papers in the State was that the
negro had not been fairly treated, and that better treatment would
be one of the most effective means of checking the migration. Mob
violence, it was pointed out, was one of the chief causes of the

The _Tifton_ (Georgia) _Gazette_ commenting on the causes said:

    They have allowed negroes to be lynched, five at a time,
    on nothing stronger than suspicion; they have allowed whole
    sections to be depopulated of them (notably in several north
    Georgia counties); they have allowed them to be whitecapped
    and to be whipped, and their homes burned, with only the
    weakest and most spasmodic efforts to apprehend or punish
    those guilty--when any efforts were made at all. Loss of much
    of the State's best labor is one of the prices Georgia is
    paying for unchecked mob activity against negroes often
    charged only with ordinary crimes. Current dispatches from
    Albany, Georgia, in the center of the section apparently most
    affected, and where efforts are being made to stop the exodus
    by spreading correct information among the negroes, say that
    the heaviest migration of negroes has been from those counties
    in which there have been the worst outbreaks against negroes.
    It is developed by investigation that where there have been
    lynchings, the negroes have been most eager to believe what
    the emigration agents have told them of plots for the removal
    or extermination of the race. Comparatively few negroes have
    left Dougherty county, which is considered significant in
    view of the fact that this is one of the counties in southwest
    Georgia in which a lynching has never occurred.

At Thomasville, Georgia, a mass meeting of colored citizens of the
town with many from the country was held at the court house and
addresses were made by several prominent white men, as well as by
several colored with a view to taking some steps in regard to the
exodus of negroes from this section to the North and West. The whole
sentiment of the meeting was very amicable, the negroes applauding
enthusiastically the speeches of the white men and the advice given by
them. Resolutions were drawn up by a committee expressing the desire
that the people of the two races continue to live together as they
have done in the past and that steps be taken to adjust any difference
between them.[90]

After a conference of three days at Waycross, Georgia, the negroes
came to a decision as to the best manner in which to present their
cause to the white people with a view to securing their cooperation
towards the improvement of conditions in the South to make that
section more habitable. "There are four things of which our people
complain," they said, "and this conference urges our white friends
to secure for us these things with all possible speed. First, more
protection at the hands of the law. We ask that the law of the State,
made and enforced by white men, should be made to apply with exact
justice to both races. We have no sympathy for criminals, but we ask
that the innocent shall be protected to the fullest extent of the law.
Second, that more liberal provisions be made for the education of
our people." They commended Governor Dorsey for his courageous
recommendation in his inaugural address that an agricultural school
should be established for negroes in some center in southern Georgia,
and asked their friends everywhere to urge the members of the
legislature from the various counties to put Governor Dorsey's noble
sentiments into law. These memorialists felt, too, that as far as
possible, wages should be in keeping with the cost of living, and
that the white people generally should take an interest in the general
welfare of the negroes.[91]

Tuskegee Institute was also quick to offer a remedy for the migration.
In the latter part of September, 1916, the institution made a strong
effort to persuade the negro farmers to remain on the land instead
of going to the cities. Conferences were held with the bankers of
Tuskegee and with many planters of Macon county and a method of
dealing with the situation was worked out. This method embraced a
number of helpful suggestions as to how to solve their many perplexing
problems.[92] At the twenty-sixth annual negro conference at Tuskegee
Institute, the institution took that occasion to send through certain
declarations a message to the negroes of the South. These declarations
recited the distress and suffering impelling the negroes to migrate,
expressing the appreciation of the necessity to do something to better
their condition by embracing the new opportunities offered them in the
North. On the other hand, this institution felt that there were many
permanent opportunities for the masses of the colored people in the
South, which is now entering upon a great era of development. Among
these are the millions of acres of land yet to be cultivated, cities
to be built, railroads to be extended and mines to be worked. These
memorialists considered it of still greater importance to the negro
that in the South they have acquired land, buildings, etc., valued at
about five hundred million dollars. The negroes were, therefore, urged
to stay on the soil which they owned.

Addressing a word to the white people of the South, the conference
said that the disposition of so many of the blacks to leave is not
because they do not love the Southland but because they believe that
in the North they will not only have more opportunity to get more
money but that they will get better treatment, better protection
under the law and better school facilities for their children. The
conference urged, therefore, that the southern white people avail
themselves of their greatest opportunity to cooperate with the blacks
in the various communities and have a thorough understanding as to
working for the common welfare of all. The delegates believed that the
time had come for the best element of the whites and blacks to unite
to protect the interests of both races to the end that more effective
work may be done in the upbuilding of a greater South.[93]

In the same way the people of Mississippi soon discovered that any
attempt forcibly to hold negroes resulted apparently in an increased
determination to leave. Nor was it sufficient to warn the negroes
against the rigors of the northern winter and the death rate from
pneumonia and tuberculosis. In Greenwood, Mississippi, the difficulty
was circumvented by using the Red Cross and the food conservation
meetings as a forum for the discussion of the movement. This was the
first time that the negroes and whites of Greenwood had met to discuss
matters of mutual welfare. Bishop W.P. Thirkield of New Orleans
addressed a body of negroes and whites on the movement. He suggested
that whites get representative colored persons together and find the
cause. He also suggested a remedy through better treatment, more wages
and more cooperation between the races. Negro ministers stated that
they were offered sums of money by bankers, planters and merchants to
speak in discouragement of the movement. Some spoke, and others, by
far the greater number, seem to have remained neutral.[94]

It was found necessary to increase wages from ten to twenty-five per
cent and in some cases as much as 100 per cent to hold labor. The
reasons for migration given by negroes were sought. In almost all
cases the chief complaint was about treatment. An effort was made
to meet this by calling conferences and by giving publicity to the
launching of a campaign to make unfair settlements and other such
grievances unpopular. Thus, in Bolivar county, Mississippi, a meeting
was called, ostensibly to look after the economic welfare of the Delta
country, but in reality to develop some plan for holding labor. A
subcommittee of seventeen men was appointed to look into the
labor situation. There were twelve white men and five negroes. The
subcommittee met and reported to the body that the present labor
shortage was due to the migration, and that the migration was due to a
feeling of insecurity before the law, the unrestrained action of mobs,
unfair methods of yearly settlement on farms and inadequate school
facilities. As a result of the report, it was agreed to make an
appropriation of $25,000 towards an agricultural high school, as a
step towards showing an interest in the negroes of Bolivar county and
thus give them reasons for remaining. A campaign was started to make
unpopular the practice among farmers of robbing negroes of the returns
from their labor, and a general effort was made by a few of the
leading men behind the movement to create "a better feeling" between
the races.[95]

Wide publicity was given to the experiment in plantation government,
and the policy was accepted by a number of planters as opportunistic
action. Thus, one Mr. Abbott of Natchez, Mississippi, told the
planters of his section that good treatment, adequate and sympathetic
oversight are the important factors in any effort to hold labor. He
made a trip to his farm every week, endeavoring to educate his tenants
in modes of right living. Every man on his place had a bank account
and was apparently satisfied. This example was presented with the
statement that where these methods had been used, few had left. One
planter purchased twenty-eight Ford automobiles to sell on easy terms
to his tenants with the hope of contenting them.

The newspapers published numerous letters from southern negro leaders
urging negroes to consider well their step, asserting that the South
is the best place for them and that the southern white man knows them
and will in consequence be more lenient with their shortcomings.
The papers further urged an increase in wages and better treatment.
Wherever possible, there were published articles which pointed to the
material prosperity of negroes in the South. For example, a writer of
Greenville, said of negroes' loyalty in 1917:

    The prosperity as well as the patriotism of the negro farmer
    has been shown in the purchase of Liberty Bonds in the Delta.
    Many colored farm laborers subscribed for bonds. Every family
    on the place of Planter C.D. Walcott, near Hollandale, took
    a bond, while one negro, Boley Cox, a renter, bought bonds to
    the amount of $1,000 and gave his check for the total amount
    out of the savings of this year from his crop and still has
    cotton to sell. There are negro families on Delta plantations
    making more money this year than the salary of the governor of
    the State.

When migrants could be induced to talk freely, they complained also
against the treatment in the courts. Some of the cities consequently
are known to have suspended their raids and arrests on petty charges.
In some instances the attempts at pacification reached almost
incredible bounds. For example, a negro missed connection with his
train through the fault of the railroad. His white friend advised him
to bring suit. This he did and urged as his principal grievance that
he was stranded in a strange town and was forced to sleep in quarters
wholly at the mercy of bed bugs. It is said that he was awarded
damages to the extent of $800. A Jackson, Mississippi, daily paper
that had been running a column of humorous incidents about negroes
taken from the daily court sessions, which was very distasteful to
the colored people of the city, discontinued it. Such methods as
these have been the only ones to prove effective in bringing about
an appreciable stem in the tide. With the advent of the United States
Government constructing cantonments and establishing manufacturing
plants in the South, the millions thus diverted to that section have
caused such an increase in wages that the movement has been decidedly

[Footnote 77: Work, _Report on the Migration from Florida_.]

[Footnote 78: _Atlantic Constitution_, November 1, 1916.]

[Footnote 79: Work, _Report on the Migration from Georgia_.]

[Footnote 80: Ibid.]

[Footnote 81: Work, _Report on the Migration from Georgia_.]

[Footnote 82: Work, _Report on the Migration from Georgia_.]

[Footnote 83: Work, _Report on the Migration from Alabama_.]

[Footnote 84: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 85: Ibid.]

[Footnote 86: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 87: _Times Picayune_, New Orleans. October 1, 1916.]

[Footnote 88: Work, _Report on the Migration from Louisiana_.]

[Footnote 89: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 90: _Atlanta Constitution_, June 1, 1917.]

[Footnote 91: I.D. Davis served as president of the conference and
J.B. Ellis as secretary. Former Superior Court Judge T.A. Parker and
V.L. Stanton, president of the Chamber of Commerce, were among
the prominent white people who attended. It was the sense of the
conference that the colored people as a race should do all in their
power in the present crisis to assist the government and, above all
else, to help themselves by conserving food. The president of the
conference said the colored people had to work harder than ever before
with so many problems confronting their country. "It is no time for
loafing," he said, "we must work early and late, and make our work
count."--_Savannah Morning News_, July 18, 1917.]

[Footnote 92: The suggestions were: to encourage the farmer to plant
peanuts, soy beans, velvet beans and cotton as cash crops; to create
a cash market for such crops named above as at present have no cash
market; to encourage tenants to grow fall and winter gardens and to
plant at least five acres of oats to the plow, seed being furnished
when necessary; to stipulate, in making tenant contracts for another
year, that cotton stalks be plowed under in the fall, that special
methods of combating the boll weevil be used. To advance no more than
$25 to the plow, and, in every case possible, to refrain from any
advance; to encourage land holders to rent land for part of the crops
grown; to urge the exercise of leniency on unpaid notes and mortgages
due from thrifty and industrious farmers so as to give them a chance
to recover from the boll weevil conditions and storm losses; to create
a market lasting all year for such crops as hay, cow-peas, sweet
potatoes, poultry and live stock; to urge everybody to build fences
and make pastures so as to grow more live stock and to produce more
nearly all of the supplies used on the farm; to carry on a food
campaign in the country, devoting the first Sunday in October to
the work of urging the people to plant gardens and sow oats, and to
organize a Farmers' Loan Association in Macon county to work with the
Farmers' Loan Bank being established by the United States Government.]

[Footnote 93: Report of the Twenty-sixth Annual Negro Conference at
Tuskegee Institute.]

[Footnote 94: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 95: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]



The first changes wrought by this migration were unusually startling.
Homes found themselves without servants, factories could not operate
because of the lack of labor, farmers were unable to secure laborers
to harvest their crops. Streets in towns and cities once crowded
assumed the aspect of deserted thoroughfares, houses in congested
districts became empty, churches, lodges and societies suffered such
a large loss of membership that they had to close up or undergo

Probably the most striking change was the unusual increase in wages.
The wages for common labor in Thomasville, Georgia, increased almost
certainly 100 per cent. In Valdosta there was a general increase in
the town and county of about 50 per cent, in Brunswick and Savannah
the same condition obtained. The common laborer who had formerly
received 80 cents a day earned thereafter $1.50 to $1.75. Farm hands
working for from $10 to $15 per month were advanced to $20 or $35
per month. Brick masons who had received 50 cents per hour thereafter
earned 62-1/2 cents and 70 cents per hour. In Savannah common laborers
paid as high as $2 per day were advanced to $3. At the sugar refinery
the rates were for women, 15 to 22 cents per hour, men, 22 to 30
cents per hour. In the more skilled lines of work, the wages were
for carpenters, $4 to $6 per day, painters, $2.50 to $4 per day, and
bricklayers $4 to $5 per day.

The increase in the Birmingham district may be studied as a type
of the changes effected in the industrial centers of the South, as
Birmingham is a great coal mining center and, with the exception of
Pittsburgh, is the greatest iron ore district in the United States.
On November 6, 1917, the average daily wage earnings of forty-five men
was $5.49. On November 10, 1917, the average for seventy-five men was
$5.30. One man was earning $10 a day, two $9 to $10 a day, five $8 to
$9, six $7 to $8, ten $6 to $7, fourteen $5 to $6, thirty-two $4 to
$5, nine $3 to $4, and six under $3. In the other coal and iron ore
sections the earnings had been similarly increased.[96]

In Mississippi, largely a farming section, wages did not increase to
the extent that they did in Alabama, but some increase was necessary
to induce the negroes to remain on the plantations and towns to keep
the industries going. In Greenville wages increased at first about ten
per cent but this did not suffice to stop the migration, for, because
of the scarcity of labor, factories and stores had to employ white
porters, druggists had to deliver their own packages and firms had
to resort to employing negro women. On the farms much of the crop was
lost on account of the scarcity of labor. In Greenwood wages of common
laborers increased from $1 and $1.25 to $1.75 per day. Clarksdale was
also compelled to offer laborers more remuneration. Vicksburg found it
necessary to increase the wages of negroes from $1.25 to $2 per day.
There were laborers on steamboats who received $75 to $100 per month.

At Leland 500 to 1,000 men received $1.75 per day. The oil mills of
Indianola raised the wages of the negroes from $1.50 to $2 per day.
At Laurel the average daily wage was raised from $1.35 to $1.65, the
maximum wage being $2. Wages increased at Meridian from 90 cents and
$1.25 to $1.50 and $1.75 per day. The wholesale houses increased the
compensation of their employes from $10 to $12 per week. From $1.10 in
Hattiesburg the daily wage was raised to $1.75 and $2 per day. Wages
in Jackson increased from $1 and $1.25 to $1.35 and $1.50 per day. In
Natchez there was an increase of 25 per cent. On the whole, throughout
the State there was an increase of from 10 to 30 per cent and in some
instances of as much as 100 per cent.[97]

Throughout the South there was not only a change in policy as to the
method of stopping the migration of the blacks to the North, but a
change in the economic policy of the South. Southern business men and
planters soon found out that it was impossible to treat the negro as
a serf and began to deal with him as an actual employe entitled to his
share of the returns from his labor. It was evident that it would be
very much better to have the negroes as coworkers in a common cause
than to have them abandon their occupations in the South, leaving
their employers no opportunity to secure to themselves adequate income
to keep them above want.

A more difficult change of attitude was that of the labor unions. They
had for years been antagonistic to the negroes and had begun to drive
them from many of the higher pursuits of labor which they had even
from the days of slavery monopolized. The skilled negro laborer
has gradually seen his chances grow less and less as the labor
organizations have invaded the South. In the end, however, the trade
unions have been compelled to yield, although complete economic
freedom of the negro in the South is still a matter of prospect.

There was, too, a decided change in the attitude of the whole race
toward the blacks. The white people could be more easily reached, and
very soon there was brought about a better understanding between
the races. Cities gave attention to the improvement of the sanitary
condition of the negro sections, which had so long been neglected;
negroes were invited to take part in the clean-up week; the Women's
Health League called special meetings of colored women, conferred with
them and urged them to organize community clubs. Committees of leading
negroes dared to take up with their employers the questions of better
accommodations and better treatment of negro labor. Members of these
committees went before chambers of commerce to set forth their claims.
Others dared boldly to explain to them that the negroes were leaving
the South because they had not been given the treatment which should
be accorded men.

Instead of expressing their indignation at such efforts on the part
of the negroes, the whites listened to them attentively. Accordingly,
joint meetings of the whites and blacks were held to hear frank
statements of the case from speakers of both races. One of the most
interesting of these meetings was the one held in Birmingham, Alabama.
The negroes addressing the audience frankly declared that it was
impossible to bring back from the North the migrants who were making
good there, but that the immediate problem requiring solution was how
to hold in the South those who had not gone. These negroes made it
clear that it was impossible for negro leaders through the pulpit and
press to check the movement, but that only through a change in the
attitude of the whites to the blacks could the latter be made to feel
that the Southland is safe for them.

Here we see the coming to pass of a thing long desired by those
interested in the welfare of the South and long rejected by those who
have always prized the peculiar interest of one race more highly than
the welfare of all. White men, for the first time, were talking on
the streets with negroes just as white men talk with each other. The
merchants gave their negro patrons more attention and consideration. A
prominent white man said, "I have never seen such changes as have come
about within the last four months. I know of white men and negroes
who have not dared to speak to one another on the streets to converse
freely." The suspension of harsh treatment was so marked in some
places that few negroes neglected to mention it. In Greenwood and
Jackson, Mississippi, the police were instructed to curtail their
practices of beating negroes. Several court cases in which negroes
were involved terminated favorably for them. There followed directly
after the exodus an attempt at more even handed justice, or at least
some conciliatory measures were adopted. The authorities at Laurel,
Mississippi, were cautioned to treat negroes better, so as to prevent
their leaving. There is cited the case of a negro arrested on an
ambiguous charge. He was assigned to the county chain gang and put to
work on the roads. At this time the treatment in the courts was
being urged by negroes as a reason for leaving. This negro's case was
discussed. He was sent back from the county roads alone for a shovel.
He did not return; and his return was not expected.[98]

Conferences of negroes and whites in Mississippi emphasized the
necessity of cooperation between the races for their common good. The
whites said, to quote a negro laborer, "We must just get together."
A negro said: "The dominant race is just a bit less dominant at
present." "We are getting more consideration and appreciation," said
another. From another quarter came the remark that "instead of the old
proverbial accusation--shiftless and unreliable--negro labor is being
heralded as 'the only dependable labor extant, etc.'"[99] A general
review of the results made it clear that there was a disposition
on the part of the white population to give some measure of those
benefits, the denial of which was alleged as the cause of the exodus.
For those who remained conditions were much more tolerable, although
there appeared to persist a feeling of apprehension that these
concessions would be retracted as soon as normal times returned. Some
were of the opinion that the exodus was of more assistance to those
negroes who stayed behind than to those who went away.

As a matter of fact, the white people in the South began to direct
attention to serious work of reconstruction to make that section
inviting to the negro. Bolivar county, Mississippi, as a direct result
of the recommendation of the labor committee, made an appropriation of
$25,000 toward an agricultural high school, the first of its kind
in the State. The school boards of Coahoma and Adams counties have
appointed Jeanes Foundation Supervisors and, in Coahoma county,
promised a farm demonstration agent. They also made repairs on the
school buildings in towns, and prominent whites have expressed a
willingness to duplicate every dollar negroes raise for rural school
improvements. A large planter in the Big Creek neighborhood has
raised, together with his tenants, $1,000 for schools and the
superintendent of schools has gone over the county urging planters to
give land for negro schools. Two other large planters, whose tenants
number into the hundreds, have made repairs on the schoolhouses
on their plantations. The Mississippi Council of Defense passed a
resolution calling upon the State to put a farm demonstrator and home
economics agent to work in rural communities to make living conditions
better in the effort to induce the people to stay.

This upheaval in the South, according to an investigator, will be
helpful to all.

    The decrease in the black population in those communities
    where the negroes outnumber the whites will remove the fear of
    negro domination. Many of the expensive precautions which the
    southern people have taken to keep the negroes down, much
    of the terrorism incited to restrain the blacks from
    self-assertion will no longer be considered necessary; for,
    having the excess in numbers on their side, the whites will
    finally rest assured that the negroes may be encouraged
    without any apprehension that they may develop enough power to
    subjugate or embarrass their former masters.

    The negroes, too, are very much in demand in the South and the
    intelligent whites will gladly give them larger opportunities
    to attach them to that section, knowing that the blacks, once
    conscious of their power to move freely throughout the country
    wherever they may improve their condition, will never endure
    hardships like those formerly inflicted upon the race. The
    South is already learning that the negro is the most desirable
    labor for that section, that the persecution of negroes not
    only drives them out but makes the employment of labor such a
    problem that the South will not be an attractive section
    for capital. It will, therefore, be considered the duty of
    business men to secure protection to the negroes lest their
    ill treatment force them to migrate to the extent of bringing
    about a stagnation of business.

    The exodus has driven home the truth that the prosperity of
    the South is at the mercy of the negro. Dependent on cheap
    labor, which the bulldozing whites will not readily furnish,
    the wealthy southerners must finally reach the position of
    regarding themselves and the negroes as having a community
    of interests which each must promote. "Nature itself in those
    States," Douglass said, "came to the rescue of the negro. He
    had labor, the South wanted it, and must have it or perish.
    Since he was free he could then give it, or withhold it; use
    it where he was, or take it elsewhere, as he pleased. His
    labor made him a slave and his labor could, if he would, make
    him free, comfortable and independent. It is more to him than
    either fire, sword, ballot boxes or bayonets. It touches the
    heart of the South through its pocket." Knowing that the negro
    has this silent weapon to be used against his employer or
    the community, the South is already giving the race better
    educational facilities, better railway accommodations,
    and will eventually, if the advocacy of certain southern
    newspapers be heeded, grant them political privileges. Wages
    in the South, therefore, have risen even in the extreme
    southwestern States, where there is an opportunity to import
    Mexican labor. Reduced to this extremity, the southern
    aristocrats have begun to lose some of their race prejudice,
    which has not hitherto yielded to reason or philanthropy.

    Southern men are telling their neighbors that their section
    must abandon the policy of treating the negroes as a problem
    and construct a program for recognition rather than for
    repression. Meetings are, therefore, being held to find
    out what the negroes want and what may be done to keep them
    contented. They are told that the negro must be elevated, not
    exploited; that to make the South what it must needs be, the
    cooperation of all is needed to train and equip the men of all
    races for efficiency. The aim of all then must be to reform
    or get rid of the unfair proprietors who do not give their
    tenants a fair division of the returns from their labor. To
    this end the best whites and blacks are urged to come together
    to find a working basis for a systematic effort in the
    interest of all.[100]

Another evidence of the beneficent effects of the decrease in the
population in the Black Belt of the South is the interest now almost
generally manifested in the improvement of the negro quarters in
southern cities. For a number of years science has made an appeal in
behalf of the thoroughly clean city, knowing that since the germ does
not draw the color line, a city can not be kept clean as long as a
substantial portion of its citizens are crowded into one of its oldest
and least desirable parts, neglected by the city and avoided by the
whites. Doing now what science has hitherto failed to accomplish, this
peculiar economic need of the negro in the South has brought about
unusual changes in the appearance of southern cities. Darkened
portions of urban districts have been lighted; streets in need of
improvement have been paved; the water, light and gas systems have
been extended to negro quarters and play grounds and parks have been
provided for their amusement.

No less important has been the effect of the migration on the southern
land tenure and the credit system, the very heart of the trouble in
that section. For generations the negroes have borne it grievously
that it has been difficult to obtain land for cultivation other than
by paying exorbitant rents or giving their landlords an unusually
large share of the crops. They have been further handicapped by the
necessity of depending on such landlords to supply them with food and
clothing at such exorbitant prices that their portion of the return
from their labor has been usually exhausted before harvesting the
crops. Cheated thus in the making of their contracts and in purchasing
necessities, they have been but the prey of sharks and harpies bent
upon keeping them in a state scarcely better than that of slavery.
Southerners of foresight have, therefore, severely criticized this
custom and, in a measure, have contributed to its decline. The press
and the pulpit of the South are now urging the planters to abolish
this system that the negroes may enjoy the fruits of their own labor.
It is largely because of these urgent appeals in behalf of fair play,
during the economic upheaval, that this legalized robbery is losing
its hold in the South.

Recently welfare work among negroes has become a matter of much
concern to the industries of the South in view of the exceptional
efforts made along this line in the North. At the very beginning of
the migration the National League on Urban Conditions among Negroes
pointed out that firms wishing to retain negro laborers and to
have them become efficient must give special attention to welfare
work.[101] A considerable number of firms employing negro laborers
in the North have used the services of negro welfare workers. Their
duties have been to work with the men, study and interpret their wants
and stand as a medium between the employer and his negro workmen. It
has, therefore, come to be recognized in certain industrial centers in
the South that money expended for this purpose is a good investment.
Firms employing negro laborers in any considerable numbers have found
out that they must be dealt with on the same general basis as white
laborers. Among the industries in the South now looking out for their
negro laborers in this respect are the Newport News Shipbuilding and
Dry Dock Company, the American Cast Iron Pipe Company of Birmingham
and the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company.

These efforts take the form which usually characterize the operations
of social workers. The laborers are cared for through the Y.M.C.A.,
the Y.W.C.A., the National Urban League and social settlement
establishments. The attention of the welfare workers is directed to
the improvement of living conditions through proper sanitation and
medical attention. They are supplied with churches, school buildings
and bath houses, enjoy the advantages of community singing, dramatic
clubs and public games, and receive instruction in gardening, sewing
and cooking. Better educational facilities are generally provided.

On the whole the South will profit by this migration. Such an upheaval
was necessary to set up a reaction in the southern mind to enable its
leaders of thought to look beyond themselves into the needs of the
man far down. There is in progress, therefore, a reshaping of public
opinion, in fact a peaceful revolution in a land cursed by slavery
and handicapped by aristocracy. The tendency to maltreat the negroes
without cause, the custom of arresting them for petty offenses and the
institution of lynching have all been somewhat checked by this change
in the attitude of the southern white man towards the negro. The
check in the movement of the negroes to other parts may to some extent
interfere with this development of the new public opinion in the
South, but this movement has been so far reaching in its effect as to
compel the thinking class of the South to construct and carry out a
policy of fair play to provide against that day when that section may
find itself again at the mercy of the laboring class of the negroes.

[Footnote 96: Work, _Report on the Migration from Alabama_.]

[Footnote 97: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 98: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 99: Johnson, _Report on the Migration from Mississippi_.]

[Footnote 100: Woodson, _A Century of Negro Migration_, pp. 183-186.]

[Footnote 101: At the National Conference, "The Problems of the
Employment Manager in Industry" held at Rochester, New York, in May,
1918, considerable time was given to this question. In discussing
psychology in the employment of negro workingmen Mr. E.K. Jones,
Director of the Urban League, pointed out that negro laborers must
be given not only good housing and recreation facilities but also the
opportunity for advancement. "Give them," said he, "a chance to become
foremen and to engage in all kinds of skill and delicate labor. This
will inspire them and place new life in them."]



It will be both interesting and profitable to follow these migrants
into their new homes in the North. Among the most interesting of these
communities is the black colony in St. Louis. St. Louis is one of the
first cities of the border States, a city first in the memory of the
unsettled migrant when the North was mentioned. During a long period
thousands had gone there, settled down for a while and moved on,
largely to Illinois, a sort of promised land. Conservative estimates
place the number of negro migrants who have remained there at 10,000.
The number of migrants passing through this city, its reception
of them, the living conditions provided and the community interest
displayed in grappling with the problem are facts extremely necessary
to an understanding of the readjustment of the migrants in the North.

The composition of the city's population is significant. It has a
large foreign element. Of the foreign population Germans predominate,
probably because of the brewery industry of the American white
population. The southern whites are of longest residence and dominate
the sentiment. The large industrial growth of the town, however, has
brought great numbers of northern whites. The result is a sort of
mixture of traditions. The apparent results of this mixture may
be observed in these inconsistencies; separate schools, but common
transportation facilities; separate playgrounds, but common bath
houses; separate theaters and restaurants with the color line drawn as
strictly as in the South.[102] There has been considerable migration
of whites to this city from Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and

As there are separate schools in St. Louis, the statistics of the St.
Louis system may serve as an index to the sources and the increase
of the negro population. The school population was known to increase
approximately 500 between 1916 and 1917.[103] The school registration
shows communities in which have settled numbers of families from the
same State and even the same town. For example, in the vicinity of the
Dessalines School in the 1700 block on 12th Street, North, Mississippi
colonists are in preponderant majority. The towns represented here are
located in the northeastern part of that State. In the vicinity of
the L'Overture School are distinct colonies from west Tennessee and
Alabama. On Lawton Avenue, another popular street, Mississippians also
are in majority. What makes migration to St. Louis from these
States easy is probably its convenient location and direct railway
communication with them. There has been no influx from Texas and

How St. Louis secured her migrants makes an interesting story. The
difficulty of apprehending labor agents can be appreciated when it is
recalled that the most zealous efforts of authority in the majority
of cases failed to find more than a trace of where they had been
operating. It was asserted by many of the migrants to this city,
however, that they had been approached at some time by agents. Large
industrial plants located in the satellite city of St. Louis sent men
to Cairo, a junction point, to meet incoming trains and make offers.
There developed a competition for men. They were first induced to
accept jobs in smaller towns, but lack of recreational facilities
and amusements and the monotony of life attracted them to the bright
lights of St. Louis. The large alien population of this city at the
beginning of the war made some employers anxious about the safety
of their plants. The brick yards had been employing foreigners
exclusively. When war began so many left that it was felt that their
business was in danger. They advertised for 3,000 negroes, promising
them $2.35 per day. The railroad construction companies sent out
men to attract negroes to the city. They assert, however, that their
agents solicited men only after they had started for the North.[104]

The industries of St. Louis had much to do with the migration. In
this city there are more than twenty breweries. None of these employ
negroes. St. Louis also has a large shoe industry. In this line no
negroes are employed. A short while ago a large steel plant employing
foreigners in large numbers had a strike. The strike was settled but
the management took precautions against its repetition. For each
white person employed a negro was placed on a corresponding job. This
parallel extended from unskilled work to the highest skilled pursuits.
The assumption was that a strike, should it recur, could not cripple
their industry entirely. About 80 per cent of the employes of the
brick yards, 50 per cent of the employes of the packing houses, 50
per cent of the employes of the American Car and Foundry Company are
negroes. The terra cotta works, electrical plants, united railways and
a number of other foundries employ negroes in large numbers.[105]

The range of wages for unskilled work is $2.25 to $3.35 per day, with
an average wage of about $2.75. For some skilled work negroes receive
from 35 cents to 50 cents an hour. Wages differ even between St. Louis
and East St. Louis, because of a difference in the types of industries
in the two cities. Domestic service has been literally drained, and
wages here have been forced upwards to approximate in some measure the
increase in other lines.

The housing facilities for negroes, though not the best, are superior
to such accommodations in most southern cities. There are about six
communities in which the negroes are in the majority. Houses here are
as a rule old, having been occupied by whites before they were turned
over to negroes. Before the migration to the city, property owners
reported that they could not keep their houses rented half of the
year. According to the statements of real estate men, entire blocks
stood vacant, and many vacant houses, after windows had been broken
and plumbing stolen, were wrecked to avoid paying taxes on them. Up
to the period of the riot in East St. Louis, houses were easily
available. The only congestion experienced at all followed the
overnight increase of 7,000 negroes from East St. Louis, after the
riot. Rents then jumped 25 per cent, but normal conditions soon
prevailed. Sanitation is poor, but the women coming from the South, in
the opinion of a reputable physician of the city, are good housewives.
New blacks have been added to all of the negro residential blocks.
In the tenement district there have been no changes. The select negro
residential section is the abandoned residential district of the
whites. Few new houses have been built. An increase of rent from $5 to
$10 per month is usually the sequel of the turning over of a house to

Community interest in the situation was at first dormant but not
entirely lacking. The migration was well under way before there was
any organization to make an adjustment in this unusual situation.
Interested individuals made sporadic efforts to bring pressure to bear
here and there, but the situation was not really appreciated until the
outbreak in East St. Louis. There is an active branch of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and just recently
there has been established a branch of the National League on
Urban Conditions among Negroes to deal with the peculiarly local

East St. Louis, another attractive center for the migrants, is unique
among northern industrial cities. It is an industrial offshoot of St.
Louis, which has outstripped its parent in expansion. Its geographical
advantage has made it a formidable rival even with its less developed
civic institutions. Perched on the banks of the Mississippi River,
with twenty-seven railroads radiating from it, within easy reach
of the coal mines, there has been made possible a rapid and uneven
growth. It has doubled its population for three successive decades.
Revolving around this overgrown center are a number of small towns:
Brooklyn, Lovejoy, Belleville, Venice, Granite City and Madison. Its
plant owners live in St. Louis and other cities, and consequently have
little civic interest in East St. Louis. Land is cheaper, taxes
are low. In fact, some of the largest concerns have been accused of
evading them entirely. It has been artificially fed and, in process
of growth, there have been irregularities in the structure of the
community which eventually culminated in the greatest disgrace of the
North, the massacre of about one hundred negroes.

Fifty years ago before the river dividing St. Louis from East St.
Louis was bridged, men rowed over from St. Louis for their cock
fights, dog fights and prize fights. Escaped prisoners found a haven
there. The town was called "The Bloody Isle." The older population
is made up of whites from West Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky and
Georgia. The men who have risen to political prominence in the
city are for the most part saloon keepers. As many as 100 saloons
flourished in the town before the riot. The city government has always
been bad. The attitude of the citizenry appeared to be that of passive
acceptance of conditions which must not be interfered with. As an
example of the state of mind, much surprise was manifested when an
investigation of the rioting was begun. Criminals have been known to
buy immunity. The mayor was assassinated some time ago and little or
no effort was made to punish his murderers.

Long before an influx was felt, it had been foreseen and mentioned by
several men, most notably, Mr. Charles Nagel, Secretary of Commerce
and Labor under President Taft. The East St. Louis plants had been
going to Ellis Island for laborers. When this supply was checked,
steps were taken to secure negroes. Agents were sent to Cairo to get
men en route further North. One advertisement which appeared in a
Texas paper promised negroes $3.05 a day and houses. It is estimated
that as a result of this beckoning the increase in population due to
the migration was 5,000. A number of other negro migrants, however,
work in East St. Louis and live in St. Louis, Lovejoy and Brooklyn,
a negro town. The school registration of the city showed that the
largest numbers of these blacks came from Mississippi and West
Tennessee. Despite the advertisement for men in Texas newspapers, few
came to this city from that State.[107]

The industries requiring the labor of these negroes were numerous.
The packing plants of Swift, Armour, Nelson and Morris employ large
numbers of negroes. In some of the unskilled departments fifty per
cent of the employes are black. The Aluminum Ore Works employs about
600 blacks and 1,000 whites. This is the plant in which occurred
the strike which in a measure precipitated the riot. The Missouri
Malleable Iron Works makes it a policy to keep three classes of men at
work and as nearly equal numerically as possible. The usual division
is one-third foreign whites, one-third American whites and one-third
blacks. The theory is that these three elements will not unite to
strike. Negroes are also employed in the glass works, cotton presses
and transfer yards. Their wages for unskilled work ranges from $2.75
to $3.75 generally for eight hours a day. Semiskilled work pays from
35 cents to 50 cents an hour.

The housing of the negro migrants was one of the most perplexing
problems in East St. Louis. The type of houses available for negroes,
before being burned during the riot, were small dilapidated cottages.
Congestion, of course, was a problem which accompanied the influx of
negroes. The incoming population, consisting largely of lodgers, was
a misfit in the small cottages designed for families, and they were
generally neglected by the tenant and by the local authorities.
The segregated vice district was located in the negro locality. The
crowding which followed the influx forced some few negroes into the
white localities. Against this invasion there was strong opposition
which culminated in trouble.[108]

The roots of the fateful horror that made East St. Louis notorious,
however, are to be found largely in a no less notorious civic
structure. Politics of a shady nature was the handmaiden of the local
administration. The human fabric of the town was made up of sad types
of rough, questionable characters, drawn to the town by its industries
and the money that flowed from them. There was a large criminal
element. These lived in a little corner of the town, where was
located also the segregated vice district. Negroes were interested in
politics. In fact, they were a considerable factor and succeeded in
placing in office several black men of their choice.

Trouble started at the Aluminum Ore Works which employed a large
number of whites and blacks. In February of 1917 the men struck while
working on government contracts. Immediately, it is claimed, negroes
were sought for in other States to take their places. An adjustment
was made, but it lasted only a short while. Then followed a second
strike at which the employers balked. In this they felt reasonably
secure for negroes were then pouring into the city from the South
during the spring exodus. There followed numerous evidences of
brooding conflict such as insults on the street cars, comments and
excitement over the daily arrival of large numbers from the South.
On one day three hundred are said to have arrived. Standing on
the streets, waiting for cars, lost in wandering about the streets
searching for homes, the negroes presented a helpless group. The
search for homes carried them into the most undesirable sections.
Here the scraggy edges of society met. The traditional attitude of
unionists toward negroes began to assert itself. Fear that such
large numbers would weaken present and subsequent demands aroused
considerable opposition to their presence. Meetings were held,
exciting speeches were made and street fights became common. The East
St. Louis _Journal_ is said to have printed a series of articles under
the caption, "Make East St. Louis a Lily White Town." It was a
simple matter of touching off the smoldering tinder. In the riot that
followed over a hundred negroes were killed. These, for the most part
lived away from the places of the most violent disturbances, and were
returning home, unconscious of the fate that awaited them. The riot
has recently been subject to a congressional investigation, but
few convictions resulted and those whites convicted escaped serious

[Footnote 102: A segregation law was passed by an overwhelming
majority. Negroes secured an injunction and the matter rested there
until the United States Supreme Court declared the segregation laws

[Footnote 103: St. Louis School Reports, 1916 and 1917.]

[Footnote 104: Johnson, _Report on the Migration to St. Louis_.]

[Footnote 105: Ibid.]

[Footnote 106: _Reports of the National Urban League_, 1916, 1917.]

[Footnote 107: Johnson, _Report on the Migration to St. Louis_.]

[Footnote 108: See _Congressional Report on the Massacre of East St.

[Footnote 109: See _Congressional Report on the Massacre of East St.



Chicago, the metropolis of the West, remembered in the South since
the World's Fair as a far-away city of hope from which come all great
things; unceasingly advertised through its tremendous mail order and
clothing houses, schools and industries until it became a synonym for
the "North," was the mouth of the stream of negroes from the South. It
attracted all types of men, brought them in, encouraged them and
cared for them because it needed them. It is estimated that within
the period of eighteen months beginning January, 1916, more than fifty
thousand negroes entered the city. This estimate was based on averages
taken from actual count of daily arrivals.

There were at work in this city a number of agencies which served to
stimulate the movement. The stock yards were sorely in need of men. It
was reported that they had emissaries in the South. Whether it is true
or not, it is a fact that it was most widely advertised throughout the
States of Mississippi and Louisiana that employment could easily be
secured in the Chicago stock yards district. The report was circulated
that fifty thousand men were needed, and the packers were providing
houses for migrants and caring for them until they had established
themselves. The Illinois Central Railroad brought hundreds on free
transportation with the understanding that the men would enter the
employ of the company. The radical negro newspapers published
here urged negroes to leave the South and promised employment and
protection. It is indeed little wonder that Chicago received so great
a number.

The most favorable aspect of their condition in their new home is
their opportunity to earn money. Coming from the South, where they
were accustomed to work for a few cents a day or a few dollars a week,
to an industrial center where they can now earn as much in an hour
or a day, they have the feeling that this city is really the land
overflowing with milk and honey. In the occupations in which they are
now employed, many of them are engaged at skilled labor, receiving the
same and, in some cases, greater compensation than was paid white men
in such positions prior to the outbreak of the war. Talking with a
number of them the investigator obtained such information as, that men
were working at the Wilson Packing House and receiving $3 a day; at
the Marks Manufacturing Company for $3.75; as lumber stackers at $4 a
day, at one of the rolling mills for $25 a week, and on the railroads
at $125 a month. The large majority of these migrants are engaged in
the packing houses of Chicago where they are employed to do all
sorts of skilled and unskilled labor with the corresponding

It was soon discovered that the needs of the migrants could not all be
supplied by money. Something had to be done for their social welfare.
Various agencies assisted in caring for the needs of the 25,000 or
more negro migrants who, it is estimated, have come to Chicago within
three years. The Chicago Renting Agents' Association appointed a
special committee to study the problems of housing them and to confer
with leaders in civic organization and with representative negroes.
The Cook County Association considered the question of appointing
some one to do Sunday School work exclusively among the newcomers.
The Housing Committee of the Chicago Women's Club arranged for
an intensive survey of housing conditions. The negroes themselves
organized to help the recently arrived members of the race. Negro
ministers, lawyers, physicians and social workers cooperated in
handling the problem through churches, Sunday Schools and in other

The negroes residing in Chicago, who came from particular States in
the South organized clubs to look after the migrants from their
own States. The result was that an Alabama Club, a Georgia Club,
Mississippi Club, Tennessee Club and so on were formed. Committees
from these clubs met the train and helped the newcomers to find
homes and work. The chief agency in handling the migrant situation
in Chicago was the local branch of the National League on Urban
Conditions among Negroes. The work which the league did for the
migrants as set forth in the report of 1917 was of three kinds:
employment, housing and adjustment or assimilation. The policy of
the Urban League with regard to employment was to find and, where
possible, to open new occupations hitherto denied negroes. The housing
problem was urgent. The most that the league was able to do thus
far was to find lodging, to assist in finding houses. Lodging
accommodations for more than 400 individuals were personally inspected
by several women volunteers. It is impossible to do much else short of
the construction of apartments for families and for single men.

The league's first efforts to assimilate the new people started
with their entrance to the city. To see that they received proper
directions upon reaching the railroad station was an important task.
It was able to secure the services of a volunteer travelers' aid
society. This agent met trains and directed migrants to destinations
when they had addresses of relatives and friends. In the absence of
such they were sent to proper homes for lodging, and to the league
office for employment.

The great majority of negroes in Chicago live in a limited area known
as the South Side. State Street is the thoroughfare. It is the
black belt of the city. This segregation is aided on one hand by the
difficulty of securing houses in other sections of the city, and on
the other, by the desire of negroes to live where they have greatest
political strength. Previous to the migration, hundreds of houses
stood vacant in the sections of the district west of State Street from
which they had moved only a few years before, when it was found that
better homes were available. The presence of negroes in an exclusively
white locality usually brought forth loud protests and frequently
ended in the abandonment of the block by whites. The old district
lying west of State Street held the worst type of houses. It was also
in disrepute because of its proximity to the old segregated vice area.
The newcomers, unacquainted with its reputation, found no hesitancy in
moving in until better homes could be secured.

Congestion has been a serious problem only during short periods
when the influx was greater than the city's immediate capacity for
distributing them. During the summer of 1917 this was the situation. A
canvass of real estate dealers supplying houses for negroes conducted
by the Chicago Urban League revealed the fact that on a single day
there were 664 negro applicants for houses, and only 50 supplied,
while there were 97 houses advertised for rent. In some instances as
many as ten persons were listed for a single house. This condition
did not continue long. There were counted thirty-six new localities
opening up to negroes within three months. These localities were
formerly white.

An accompaniment to this congestion was the increase in rents of
from 5 to 30 per cent and sometimes as high as 50 per cent. This
was explained by landlords as a return to former standards after the
property had depreciated through the coming in of negroes. A more
detailed study of living conditions among the migrants in Chicago was
made by a student of the School of Civics and Philanthropy. The study
included 75 families of less than a year's residence. In the group
were 60 married couples, 128 children, eight women and nine married
men with families in the South.

How this large group--265 persons--fresh from a region where life
is enlivened by a mild climate and ample space was to find living
quarters in an overcrowded section of two Chicago blocks was a problem
of many aspects. A single furnished room, rented by the week, provided
the solution for each of 41 families, while 24 families rented
homes by the month, four families occupied two rooms each. In some
instances, this meant overcrowding so serious as to threaten morals
and health. The Urban League interested corporations and capitalists
in the construction of modern apartment houses with small individual
apartments. It endeavored also to have the city see the necessity
of preventing occupancy of the physically unfit houses. The league
conducted a campaign to educate the masses in regard to housing,
and payment of exorbitant rents was discouraged. The various city
departments were asked to enforce ordinances in negro neighborhoods.
In this way the league tried to reduce overcrowding and extortionate

All of the arrivals here did not stay. They were only temporary guests
awaiting the opportunity to proceed further and settle in surrounding
cities and towns. This tendency appears to have been to reach those
fields offering the highest wages and most permanent prospects. With
Chicago as a center there are within a radius of from one hundred
to one hundred and fifty miles a number of smaller industrial
centers--suburbs of Chicago in which enterprises have sprung
up because of the nearness to the unexcelled shipping and other
facilities which Chicago furnished. A great many of the migrants who
came to Chicago found employment in these satellite places.[112]

One of these towns was Rockford, a city of about 55,000 people before
Camp Grant began to add to its population. It is estimated that there
were about 1,500 negroes in Rockford, 1,000 of whom came in during
1916 and 1917. The Rockford Malleable Iron Company, which never hired
more than five or six negroes until two years ago, has nearly one
hundred in its employ. A timekeeper, five inspectors, a machinist, a
porter, three foremen and twenty of the molders are negroes. The
Free Sewing Machine Company, Emerson and Birmingham, the Trahern Pump
Company and the two knitting factories began also to employ negroes.
The standard wage prevailed, and, while the unskilled work was largely
given to the negroes, there were instances when opportunity was given
for them to follow pursuits requiring skill.

Housing showed every evidence of congestion. The city was unprepared
for the unprecedented increase in population necessitated by the
demands of its factories for men to produce munitions of war. The
workingmen, however, were soon better provided for than in some other
cities. The Rockford Malleable Iron Company conducted two houses
for the accommodation of its employes and rented several smaller
ones.[113] This company had recently purchased a large acreage and
was considering the advisability of building houses for its employes,
including the negro migrants. The Emerson and Birmingham Company and
the Sewing Machine Company had similar plans under advisement.

The Rockford Malleable Iron Company was the first to use negroes. In
the fall of 1916 the first negro employes were brought in from Canton,
Illinois, through a Mr. Robinson then employed by the company as
a molder. There were nine molders in the group. At brief intervals
Tuskegee sent up four, then five, then eight and then six men, most
of whom had had training in machinery and molding. The total number
of Tuskegee boys was 32. Robinson also brought men from Metropolis,
Illinois, and from Kankakee. He made a trip through Alabama and
brought up 15 or 16. Most of these were laborers. Seven laborers came
as a result of correspondence with a physician from Des Moines, Iowa.
From Christiansburg, Virginia, the only negro blacksmith came. The
Urban League also sent up some men from Chicago. The company was so
pleased with the men's service that they called upon the Urban
League for more men and placed in its hands a fund for their railroad

Negroes were promoted from time to time and were used in every
department of the shop. One of the men was an inspector. Two new
machines turning out work faster than any other machine were turned
over to the negroes. All of them were given steady work without
being forced to lay off, and their wages were increased. Street car
companies and officials in Rockford have congratulated the men
upon their conduct. Two of the men who came up from the South were
purchasing property.

When the increase in negro population became noticeable, a good deal
of discrimination appeared in public places. The mayor of the
city, therefore, called a conference of the Chamber of Commerce,
of representatives from Camp Grant, hotels, skating rinks and other
public places and read the civil rights law to them. He gave them to
understand that Rockford would not stand for discrimination between
races. When some of the conferees thought they would like to have
separate tables in the restaurants the mayor opposed them and
insisted that there should be no such treatment. One restaurant, which
displayed a sign, "We do not cater to colored trade," was given orders
by the Chief of Police to take it down in fifteen minutes, when his
deputy would arrive with instructions to carry out the law in case the
sign was not removed.

Waukegan, a town thirty miles northwest of Chicago, with a total
population of about 22,000 has approximately 400 negroes, where two
years ago there were about 275. The Wilder Tanning Company and the
American Steel and Wire Company employed the largest number of these
negroes. These firms worked about 60 and 80 respectively. Smaller
numbers were employed by the Gas Company, the Calk Mill, the Cyclone
Fence Company, the Northwestern Railroad freight house and a bed
spring factory and several were working at the Great Lakes Naval
Training Station. A few found employment as porters in barber shops
and theaters. At the Wilder Tanning Company and the American Steel and
Wire Company, opportunity was given negroes to do semiskilled work.
The former was working negroes into every branch of its industry. The
average daily wage here was about $3.[115]

The secretary of the Chamber of Commerce believed that the influx
did not cause anything more than a ripple on the surface. He said: "I
cover everything when I say that, no apparent increase in crime;
no trouble among themselves; no race friction." Theaters began to
discriminate, but soon ceased. The proprietor of the Sheridan Club
stated that he took a group of men to one theater which had shown
signs of discrimination. Each man was told to purchase his own ticket.
The owner observing the scheme admitted them. Very few restaurants
refuse to serve negroes. Only one openly segregated them to a
particular part of the dining-room. Absolutely no trouble was
experienced in the schools. The police commissioner sees that the
negroes have the protection of the law.

East Chicago, an industrial center located about twenty-five
miles from Chicago with a population now made up in large part of
Hungarians, Poles, Italians and negroes, had only one negro family
in 1915. During the month of August, 1916, about 150 negroes came and
others soon followed. At present there are about 75 families, 35 or
40 children of school age and about 450 men working in the industrial
plants. The majority of these newcomers were from the rural districts
of Alabama and Georgia, with a few from Mississippi. A large number of
negroes, moreover, live in Indiana Harbor and in Chicago and work in
East Chicago.[116]

Some of the people went to Indiana Harbor for church services. During
the summer of 1917, an attempt was made to organize a church, but it
was unsuccessful and almost excited a racial conflict. The negroes
from Alabama and Georgia complained about the wickedness of East
Chicago, and declared their intentions of going home, "where they can
sing without appearing strange, and where they can hear somebody else
pray besides themselves." Few racial clashes, however, have followed.
A strike which occurred at Gasselli's Chemical Company was at first
thought to be a protest of the foreigners against the 80 negroes
employed there. Nothing serious developed from it. The only apparent
dangers were in thoughtlessness on the part of negroes in their
conduct. They were too badly needed in industry to be harshly treated
either by the foreigners or their employers.[117]

In Beloit, Wisconsin, as in other cities, it was impossible to find
out with any degree of accuracy the approximate number of negroes.
Estimates of the number ranged from 700 to 2,000, whereas, before the
influx, the black population was as low as 200. The total population
of Beloit is about 20,000. There are now two negro churches, a Baptist
and an African Methodist Episcopal. The Baptist church was said to be
made up entirely of new people. Beloit did not have a negro Baptist
preacher until the migration, and had no negro physicians. Prior to
the influx there was little discrimination, except in some of the
restaurants and occasionally in the theaters. One negro was working
at the post office, and another at the railroad station. Aside from
these, the negro men were practically all laborers and porters.

As is true in most small cities, one company took the initiative in
sending for men from the South. The Fairbanks Morse Company was the
pioneer corporation in this respect in Beloit. This company hires at
present 200 men. Most of these came from Mississippi. In fact, Albany
and Pontotoc, small towns in Mississippi, are said to have dumped
their entire population in Beloit. A few from Memphis, Tennessee,
were employed there but the company preferred Mississippians, and had
agents at work in that State getting men for its plant. It was said
to be fair in its treatment of negroes and to pay the standard

Milwaukee was one of the ready recipients of negro migrants from other
points in the North. Following the outbreak of the war, the consequent
cessation of foreign immigration and the withdrawal of a number of
aliens from the labor market to follow their national colors, a large
demand for negro labor was for the first time created. Milwaukee
apparently could not attract voluntary migration, and the larger
plants were forced to import some 1,200 southern negroes to man their
industries. In 1910, the city had a negro population of 980. There are
now in Milwaukee about 2,700 negroes of whom 1,500 are newcomers, not
only from the South, but from the adjacent States of Illinois, Iowa,
Michigan and Minnesota.[119]

This migration to Milwaukee caused a number of difficulties. The first
difficulty to arise was in the relationship of the migrant to the old
residents of the city. Like the newly arrived foreigners they lived
rather "close lives," had little contact with the people of the
community and as a consequence were slow in changing their southern
standards. This lack of contact was registered in the slight
attendance in the colored churches, which are by far the most common
medium of personal contact among negroes. The leading pastors and
two others who have made unsuccessful attempts to establish churches
complained that the newcomers, although accustomed to going to church
in their old homes, "strayed from the fold" in the large city. There
was also a certain unmistakable reticence on the part of the newcomers
with respect to the negroes of longer residence. The new arrivals
were at times suspicious of the motives of the older residents, and
resented being advised how to conduct themselves. They were for the
most part not in touch with any civic agency. The migrants, therefore,
came into contact with the lower element. The recreations and
amusements of the newcomers were those which the social outcasts
furnished them.[120]

Another anomaly was to be observed in the motives behind the
migration. The most recent European immigrants, unfamiliar with the
character of the plants, having strong bodies and a disposition to
work, are engaged as unskilled laborers. They do not, of course,
remain at this level, but are continually pushed forward by later
comers. The men who filled these lower positions were not the best
type of foreigners. When the war began and this influx from Europe
was stopped, it was for these positions that the plants were forced
to seek men. Negroes were sought in the South, but, unfortunately, the
emphasis was placed on quantity and not quality. Those who were able
to move on shortest notice, those with few responsibilities and few
interests at home, were snapped up by the labor agents. This blunder
has also registered itself in the records of the city and the
character of the negro migrants. This was probably due to the fact
that little is known of Milwaukee in the South. Unlike Chicago,
Detroit, New York and other northern cities, it was not a popular
destination for voluntary migration. Agents who scoured the South for
men testified that in a large number of cases the first question asked
was whether or not Milwaukee was a wet town, for the southern States
have prohibited the sale of liquor. While Chicago got advertisement
in the South through its great mail order business, most of what was
known of Milwaukee related to its breweries.

The negroes here, however, had numerous industrial opportunities.
The manner in which the trades suddenly opened up to them made it
difficult to ascertain the number of negroes so engaged. An intensive
study of a neighborhood showed a much wider variety of skilled negro
laborers and brought to light the cases of many not otherwise known.
One man in touch with the iron workers of the city ventured the
statement that there were perhaps 75 negroes engaged in skilled work
in the iron and steel industries of the city. In a large number of
other plants one or two negroes had succeeded in finding skilled
employment. Firms known to employ negroes in the capacity of skilled
workmen are the Plankington Packing Company, Wehr Steel and Machine
Shops, the National Malleable Iron Works, A.J. Lindeman-Hoverson
Company and the Milwaukee Coke and Gas Company. For the most part
skilled negroes are butchers and molders.[121]

In the case of negroes from the South with trades, however, there
arose a situation which is seldom fully appreciated. A man in the
South may be skilled in such an independent trade as shoemaking,
tailoring, carpentry and the like, but in a northern city with its
highly specialized industrial processes and divisions of labor, he
must learn over again what he thought he had mastered, or abandon his
trade entirely and seek employment in unskilled lines. The wages for
skilled work were for butchers, 55 to 64 cents an hour; for steel
molders, 35 to 47 cents an hour; for firemen, $27 per week; for
chauffeurs, $15 to $30 a week; for shoemakers, $20 a week; stationary
firemen, $24 a week. The mass of negroes, men and women, gainfully
employed in the city was made up of manual laborers. Vacancies for
negroes in industry were made at the bottom. The range of occupations
in unskilled work, however, was fairly wide. They were packing house
employes, muckers, tannery laborers, street construction workers, dock
hands and foundry laborers. Their wages were for foundry laborers,
32-1/2 cents to 35 cents an hour; for muckers, $28 a week; for tannery
laborers, $24 a week; dock hands, 60 cents an hour; and for packing
house laborers, 43 cents an hour (male), and 30-1/2 cents an hour
(female). There were also porters in stores and janitors whose weekly
wages averaged between $15 and $18 per week.

Several firms made strenuous efforts to induce laborers to come from
the South. The Pfister-Vogel Company employed a negro to secure them
for this purpose, and made preparation for their lodging and board.
This representative stated that he was responsible for the presence
of about 300 negroes in the city. Reverend J.S. Woods of the Booker
T. Washington social settlement, who was actively engaged in assisting
the plants, asserted that he had placed over 400. The Albert Trostel
Company paid transportation for nearly 100 men.

The principal industries employing negroes with the number employed
were about as follows:[122]

       Firm                 Male  Female

Plankington Packing Co.      78     10
Albert Trostel Leather Co.   75     30
Faulk's Manufacturing Co.    34
Hoffman Manufacturing Co.     2
Tunnell Construction Co.     10
Milwaukee Coke and Gas Co.   38
Pfister-Vogel Tannery        75
A.J. Lindeman-Hoverson Co.   13
National Malleable Iron Co.  22
Solvay Steel Castings Co.    24
Allis Chalmers               70

On December 1, 1917, the Plankington Packing Company employed 93 men
and 27 women. The Pfister-Vogel Company had only 75 men in its employ.
This company, however, within 18 months had employed 300 negroes from
the South.

Concerning the range of wages for negroes in these lines the data
provided by these firms gave some means of information.

Firms                         Male                     Female

Plankington Packing Co.     43c to 64c an hour       30-1/2c an hour
Faulk's Manufacturing Co.   35c to 47c an hour
Hoffman Manufacturing Co.   32-1/2c an hour
Tunnell Construction Co.    $4 a day
Albert Trostel Co.          40c an hour              30c an hour
Milwaukee Coke and Gas Co.  $3.67 to $4.79 a day
A.J. Lindeman-Hoverson Co.  $3 to $5 a day
National Malleable Iron Co. 35c an hour to $4 a day
Pfister-Vogel Tannery       $22 to $24 a week

The quality of the workingmen is of interest both to the employers and
social workers. To get uniform data employers were asked the principal
faults and principal merits of their negro workmen. To the question,
"What are the principal faults of your negro workmen?" these answers
were given:[123]

    None that predominate.

    The principal fault of negro workmen is, they are slow and
    very hard to please.

    Not good on rapid moving machinery, have not had mechanical
    training; slow; not stable.

    Inclined to be irregular in attendance to work.

    Very unsteady.

    Leave in summertime for road work.

To the question, "What are the principal merits of your negro
workmen?" these answers were given:

    They are superior to foreign labor because they readily
    understand what you try to tell them.

    Loyalty, willingness, cheerfulness.

    The skilled men stick and are good workmen.

    Generally speaking they are agreeable workmen.

    Quicker, huskier, and can stand more heat than other workmen.

The attitude of white and black workmen toward one another in none of
the plants visited presented anything like a serious situation. The
following are answers to questions relating to this sentiment as
returned by the important industries:[124]

    No feeling--no complaints--no comments.

    White and black get along well. There was a little trouble
    some time ago between a Jewish foreman and his negro workmen.
    All the negroes quit. The matter was investigated and the
    foreman discharged.


    The relations are favorable, although negroes appear a bit

    Good fellowship prevails.

    Negroes do not stay long enough to get acquainted.

    Good in most cases. Very little opposition. They are working
    as helpers with whites. Few objections.

As a final effort to get the opinion of employers themselves
concerning the best means of improving their labor, a suggestion from
them on this matter was solicited. Their views are subjoined:[125]

    A rather broad question and one that could only be answered
    after considerable study. Believe the great trouble with negro
    labor has been the fact that a poor class of negroes has been
    employed by many. We have a good lot of workers now.

    Some means should be devised to get them away from their
    general shiftless ways.


    As a negro can be very contented and happy on very little, if
    their living conditions were improved and the desire created
    in them to improve their condition, this would be a help
    towards encouragement in bettering their social condition.
    In fact, we feel that anything that would help to better the
    social attention of the negro would make him a better workman.

    Better housing and supervision through some responsible
    organization. Some way to keep sympathetic watch over them.

Without doubt there is an element of truth in each of these comments.
It is unquestionably true that a large number of these men register
by their actions instability, irregularity and general shiftlessness.
Some of these cases are inexcusable, and the only reason for their
connection with the industry is the fact that they were brought from
the South, where they were voluntarily idle, by agents of employers.
The importation merely shifted the scene of their deliberate loafing
and spasmodic contact with work.

Employers in all of the plants know that they have had difficulty
in holding their negro labor, but do not know why. Most of the
men willing to leave the city were unmarried men with few
responsibilities. These are the ones who found employment there and,
being dissatisfied, quit. The highest negro labor turnover was in
the leather factories. But for this there was a reason. The only
employment permitted negroes there was wet and very disagreeable beam
work, and at wages not in excess of those paid by neighboring plants
with a different grade of work. Inquiries among laboring men reveal
reasons plausible indeed to the laborers themselves, which in many
cases would have been found reasonable also by the employers.

It is generally known that all classes of labor of all nationalities
are in an unsettled state. Shifting to the higher paid industries
is common. In consequence the disagreeable and poorly paid ones have
suffered. The instability of negroes, especially in those industries
that have been so hard pressed as to find it necessary to go South for
men, is not so much a group characteristic as an expression of present
tendencies in labor generally.

Reasons of a more intimate nature advanced by the men for changing
jobs are numerous. Among these are dissatisfaction with the treatment
of petty white bosses, the necessity for ready money for the care of
their families, the distance of the plants from the district in which
the negro workmen live[126] and the unpleasant indoor work in certain

The social condition of negroes in Milwaukee is not alarming. There
are indicated, however, unmistakable maladjustments which require
immediate attention. But even these will not become alarming, if
checked now, when preventive measures can be made practicable,
attractive and easy.

The neighborhoods in which negroes live have long showed evidence of
physical and moral deterioration. The addition of 1,400 negroes
from the South, over 70 per cent of whom were brought to the city by
companies seeking labor, hastened the deterioration and gave rise to
problems where only tendencies existed before. Neighborhood life is
conspicuously lax and the spirit of the community quite naturally
comports with the looseness and immorality of the district. Though
such conditions are plainly evident, no organized influence has been
projected to correct them. As with the neighborhood, so with housing,
crime, delinquency, education, recreation, industry, and the like,
the conditions which retard developmental habits must have constant
vigilance and treatment.

[Footnote 110: Johnson, _Report on the Migration to Chicago_.]

[Footnote 111: Ibid.]

[Footnote 112: The Detroit branch of the Urban League reported, for
example, that a great percentage of its applicants for work were from

[Footnote 113: The two large houses accommodated fifty to sixty men.
One of these was known as the Tuskegee Club House and housed only men
from Tuskegee Institute.]

[Footnote 114: Johnson, _Report on the Migration to Chicago_.]

[Footnote 115: In May, 1917, the Sherman House on Genesee Street in
the heart of the city became a negro hotel. It has 19 bedrooms and
accommodates 35 men. It was poorly managed and dirty. A barber shop,
pool room and dining room were run in connection with it and were also
poorly managed. The manager of the hotel is one of the newcomers.
A rooming house and dance hall for negroes is operated in another
section of the city. The Wilder Tanning Company was building a hotel
for 50 single men and individual houses of five, six, seven and eight
rooms for families. Houses for white workmen were to be built by the
company after these were completed. Lawrence Wilder, president of the
company, stated that the building of these houses was no "experiment."
"They are being put up to stay." Hot and cold water, hot air, heat,
electric lights, and shower baths will be in the hotel. Single rooms
will rent for $1.25, double rooms $2.50 per week. No women will be
permitted to live in the hotel. A social room will be within easy
access of all occupants. No meals will be served at the hotel, but
will be served at the plant. The houses will be one and two stories
and can be purchased on a monthly basis. A street car line will
connect the plant and the subdivision.

Before the influx the Cyclone Fence Company and the Calk Mill Company
were said to have sworn never to employ negro labor. The Wilder
Tanning Company and the American Steel and Wire Company have standing
invitations for negro men with references.--Johnson, _Report on the
Migration to Chicago_.]

[Footnote 116: They were employed by the Gasselli Chemical Company,
Goldsmiths Detinning Company, the International Lead Refining Company,
the United States Reduction Company, the United States Refining
Company, Hobson and Walker's Brick Yard, the Inland Steel Foundry,
Interstate Mill, the Cudahy Soap Factory and the Republic Rolling
Mill. The Hobson and Walker's Brick Yard employed 200 and provided
houses within the yards for the families of the workmen. The
International Lead Refining Company provided lodging for its men in
remodeled box cars. Wages for ordinary labor ranged from $2.50 to
$4.50 per day. This did not include the amount that might be made by
overtime work. The brick yard employed negroes for unskilled work at
35 cents an hour. A few skilled negroes employed were receiving from
$4.75 to $7 a day.

Negroes are fairly well scattered throughout the foreign residential
section. A small area known as "Oklahoma" or "Calumet" had perhaps the
largest number. The houses were overcrowded, dark, insanitary, without
privacy and generally unattractive. All of the rooms were sleeping
rooms, usually with two beds in a room accommodating six men. Rent was
high, and ranged from $15 to $25 a month for four and five room flats
in very unattractive buildings. Single lodgers paid from $1.50 to
$1.75 a week. Restaurant rates were exorbitant and food was so high
that many of the families bought their provisions in Chicago.

There were no churches or in fact any wholesome social institutions in
town. There were many flourishing saloons. There was one colored pool
room, and one colored restaurant. On occasions, a hall belonging to
the whites was used for dances and socials.--Johnson, _Report on the
Migration to Chicago_.]

[Footnote 117: Following each pay day from twenty to thirty negroes
left for their homes in the South. Some returned when their funds were
about exhausted and worked five or six months more. Others remained at
home for the winter. "It was expected that the brick yard would lose
a very large number on the 8th of November. On the 15th of December
another large contingent leaves for the South."--Johnson, _Report on
the Migration to Chicago_.]

[Footnote 118: There was great congestion in housing, as the negroes
were restricted to certain sections with homes usually kept in
insanitary condition. A very large housing plan of the company
met with objection on the part of the white citizens who sent in a
petition to the City Council against building houses for negroes. The
City Council said they wanted the housing property for park purposes.
The matter was taken to court. The Council condemned the property but
failed to sustain the belief that it was needed for a park. Through
various methods of red tape and legal procedure the matter was
delayed. The company then built houses on a smaller scale. The plans
included two apartment houses that would accommodate six families
each. There were also in the course of erection houses for men with
families to take the place of some improvised huts which the
company had found necessary to use to facilitate the work of the
men.--Johnson, _Report on the Migration to Chicago_.]

[Footnote 119: Before 1910, 114 persons had arrived; between 1911
and 1915, 72; during 1916, 74; during 1917, 102; and during 1918, 40
persons had arrived.]

[Footnote 120: Johnson, _Report on the Migration to Chicago_.]

[Footnote 121: Johnson, _Report on the Migration to Chicago_.]

[Footnote 122: Johnson, _Report on the Migration to Chicago_.]

[Footnote 123: Johnson, _Report on the Migration to Chicago_.]

[Footnote 124: Johnson, _Report on the Migration to Chicago_.]

[Footnote 125: Ibid.]

[Footnote 126: A simple situation of this nature registers itself
without explanation against the character of negroes in the records of
the firms. The Pfister-Vogel Company had a house on Clinton Street
in which lived twenty or more negroes. This location is eight or ten
miles away from the community in which negroes live. There are no
amusements for these young men around Clinton Street. The cars stop
running at a comparatively early hour. If they go to the city they
must either come back in a taxicab or spend the evening away from
home. It is less expensive to spend the evening away. As a result they
are late for work and may not report. If they report, they are tired
and unfit for work. If they do not they are put down as irregular and
unsteady.--Johnson, _Report on the Migration to Chicago_.]



The most important city in this section to be affected by the
migration was Pittsburgh, the gateway to the West. The Pittsburgh
district is the center of the steel industry. For this reason, the war
caused the demand for labor to be extremely heavy there. Pittsburgh
was one of the centers to which the greatest number of negroes went.
Before the migration, a considerable number of negroes were employed
there. In 1900, the negro population of Allegheny county, in which
Pittsburgh is situated, was 27,753. In 1910 it was 34,217. When the
migration began, the county had about 38,000 negroes. Investigations
and estimates indicate that, at the end of 1917, the negro population
of the county had increased to almost 66,000. Epstein in his survey of
_The Negro Migrant in Pittsburgh_ said:[127]

    From a canvass of twenty typical industries in the Pittsburgh
    district, it was found that there were 2,550 negroes employed
    in 1915, and 8,325 in 1917, an increase of 5,775 or 227 per
    cent. It was impossible to obtain labor data from more than
    approximately sixty per cent of the negro employing concerns,
    but it is fair to assume that the same ratio of increase holds
    true of the remaining forty per cent. On this basis the number
    of negroes now employed in the district may be placed at
    14,000. This means that there are about 9,750 more negroes
    working in the district today than there were in 1915, an
    addition due to the migration from the South.

According to Epstein, the migration had been going on for little
longer than one year. Ninety-three per cent of those who gave the time
of residence in Pittsburgh had been there less than one year. More
than eighty per cent of the single men interviewed had been there
less than six months. In the number who had been there for the longest
period, married men predominated, showing the tendency of this class
to become permanent residents. This fact becoming evident, some
industrial concerns bringing men from the South, having learned from
bitter experience that the mere delivery of negroes from a southern
city did not guarantee a sufficient supply of labor, made an effort to
secure married men only, and even to investigate them prior to their
coming. Differences in recruiting methods may also explain why some
employers and labor agents hold a very optimistic view of the negro as
a worker, while others despair of him. The reason why Pittsburgh has
been unable to secure a stable labor force is doubtless realized by
the local manufacturers. Married negroes come to the North to stay.
They desire to have their families with them, and if they are not
accompanied North by their wives and children they plan to have them
follow at the earliest possible date.

It would appear that the stability of the labor supply depended to a
very large extent upon the housing conditions. It was found that in
many instances men who had families went to other cities where they
hoped to find better accommodations. The Pittsburgh manufacturer will
never keep an efficient labor supply of negroes until he learns to
compete with the employers of other cities in a housing program as
well as in wages. The negro migration in Pittsburgh, however, did not
cause a displacement of white laborers. Every man was needed, as there
were more jobs than men to fill them. Pittsburgh's industrial life was
for a time dependent upon the negro labor supply, and the city has not
received a sufficient supply of negroes, and certainly not so many
as smaller industrial towns, although the railroads and a few of
the industrial concerns of the locality have had labor agents in the
South. Yet, in spite of the difficulties because of the obstructive
tactics adopted in certain southern communities to prevent the negro
exodus, they have nevertheless succeeded in bringing several thousand
negroes into this district. "One company, for instance," says Epstein,
"which imported about a thousand men within the past year, had only
about three hundred of these working at the time of the investigator's
visit in July, 1917. One railroad, which is said to have brought about
fourteen thousand people to the North within the last twelve months,
has been able to keep an average of only eighteen hundred at work."
These companies, however, have failed to hold the newcomers.

The problems created by this sudden increase of Pittsburgh's
population were very grave. In the early part of 1917, plans were
formulated to make a social survey of the migrants in Pittsburgh.
Cooperating in this survey were the University of Pittsburgh, the
Associated Charities, the Social Service Commission of the Churches of
Christ and the National League on Urban Conditions among Negroes.
In March, 1917, the director of the Department of Public Health,
instructed the sanitary inspectors to pay special attention to all
premises occupied by the "newcomers." Another step in this direction
was the establishment in that city of a branch of the National League
on Urban Conditions among Negroes.

A survey made in 1917 showed that the housing situation was the most
serious aspect of the migrants' social problems, and that in order
to have improvements in other lines housing conditions must be made
better. Because of the high cost of materials and labor incident
to the war, because the taxation system still does not encourage
improvements and because of investment attractions other than in
realty, few houses had been built and practically no improvements had
been made. This was most strikingly apparent in the poorer sections of
the city. In the negro sections, for instance, there had been almost
no houses added and few vacated by whites within the previous two
years. The addition, therefore, of thousands of negroes just arrived
from southern States meant not only the creation of new negro quarters
and the dispersion of negroes throughout the city, but also the utmost
utilization of every place in the negro sections capable of being
transformed into habitations. Attics and cellars, storerooms and
basements, churches, sheds and warehouses had to be employed for the
accommodation of these newcomers. Whenever a negro had space which he
could possibly spare, it was converted into a sleeping place; as many
beds as possible were crowded into it, and the maximum number of
men per bed were lodged. Either because their own rents were high or
because they were unable to withstand the temptation of the sudden,
and, for all they knew, temporary harvest, or perhaps because of the
altruistic desire to assist their race fellows, a majority of the
negroes in Pittsburgh converted their homes into lodging houses.

    Because rooms were hard to come by the lodgers were not
    disposed to complain about the living conditions or the prices
    charged. They were only too glad to secure a place where they
    could share a half or at least a part of an unclaimed bed. It
    was no easy task to find room for a family, as most boarding
    houses would accept only single men, and refused to admit
    women and children. Many a man, who with his family occupied
    only one or two rooms, made place for a friend or former
    townsman and his family. In many instances this was done from
    unselfish motives and in a humane spirit.[128]

How the negroes are employed will throw more light on their situation.
The Epstein investigation showed that

    Ninety-five per cent of the migrants who stated their
    occupations were doing unskilled labor, in the steel mills,
    the building trades, on the railroads, or acting as servants,
    porters, janitors, cooks and cleaners. Only twenty, or
    four per cent out of 493 migrants whose occupations were
    ascertained, were doing what may be called semiskilled
    or skilled work, as puddlers, mold-setters, painters and
    carpenters. On the other hand, in the South 59 out of 529
    claimed to have been engaged in skilled labor, while a large
    number were rural workers.

The following table shows the occupations of migrants in Pittsburgh as
compared with statements of occupations in the South:

Occupations     In  Pittsburgh        %     In South           %

Common laborer     468               95        286            54
  or semiskilled    20                4         59            11
Farmer              --               --         81            15
Miner               --               --         36             7
Sawmill workers     --               --          9             2
Ran own farm or
  father's farm     --               --         22             5
Ran farm on crop
  sharing basis     --               --         33             6
Other occupations    5                1          0             0

It seems clear that most of the migrants were engaged in unskilled
labor. The reason given by the manufacturers in accounting for this
disparity were that the migrants are inefficient and unstable, and
that the opposition to them on the part of the white labor prohibits
their use on skilled jobs.[1] Ninety-five per cent of the negro
workers in the steel mills were unskilled laborers. "In the bigger
plants," says the investigator, "where many hundreds of negroes are
employed, almost one hundred per cent are doing common labor, while
in the smaller plants, a few might be found doing labor which required
some skill." Epstein believes that this idea is often due to the
prejudice of the heads of departments and other labor employers. A
sympathetic superintendent of one of the large steel plants said that
in many instances it was the superintendents and managers themselves
who are not alive to their own advantage, and so oppose the negroes in
doing the better classes of work. The same superintendent said that
he had employed negroes for many years; that a number of them had been
connected with his company for several years; that they are just
as efficient as the white people. More than half of the twenty-five
negroes in his plant were doing semiskilled and even skilled work. He
had one or two negro foremen over negro gangs, and cited an instance
of a black man drawing $114 in his last two weeks' pay. 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 there. While
admitting everything that the superintendent said, and stating that
there is now absolute free opportunity for negroes in that plant,
the man asserted that these conditions have obtained within the last

It was found that in the Pittsburgh district the great mass of workers
get higher wages than in the places from which they come. Fifty-six
per cent received less than $2 a day in the South, while only five per
cent received such wages in Pittsburgh. However, the number of those
who said they received high wages in the South is greater than the
number of those receiving them there. Fifteen per cent said they
received more than $3.60 a day at home, while only five per cent
said they received more than that rate for twelve hours' work there.
Sixty-seven per cent of the 453 persons stating their earnings here,
earn less than $3 a day. Twenty-eight per cent earn from $3 to $3.60 a
day, while only five per cent earn more than $3.60 a day. The average
working day for both Pittsburgh and the South is ten and four-tenths
hours. The average wage is $2.85 here; in the South it amounted to
$2.15. It may be interesting to point out that the number of married
men who work longer hours and receive more money is proportionately
greater than that of the single men, who have not "given hostage to

Judging from what has been said about the habits of living among the
negro migrants in Pittsburgh, they are of the best class of their
race. Chief among those to be mentioned is their tendency to abstain
from the use of intoxicants although it has often been said that the
cause of the migration from the South was due to the desire of negroes
in prohibition States to go where they may make free use of whisky.
In this city it was observed that out of 470 persons who answered
questions with reference to whether or not they imbibed only 210 of
them said that they drank, while 267 made no use of intoxicants at
all. It was also observed that among those who have families, the
percentage of those addicted to drink is much smaller than that of
others who are single or left their families in the South. This,
no doubt, accounts for the orderly conduct of these negroes who,
according to statistics, have not experienced a wave of crime. The
records of the courts show numerous small offenses charged to the
account of negroes, but these usually result from temptations
and snares set by institutions of vice which are winked at by the

These negroes, on the whole, are thrifty and will eventually attach
themselves permanently to the community through the acquisition
of desirable property and elevation to positions of trust in the
industries where they are employed. Evidences of the lazy and
shiftless and the immoral are not frequent, because of a sort of
spirit of thrift pervading the whole group. Many of the families have
savings accounts in banks, and practically all of the married men
separated from their families in the South send a large portion of
their earnings from time to time. Money order receipts and stubs of
checks examined show that these remittances to distant families range
from between $5 to $10 a week. Others have seen fit to divert
their income to objects more enterprising. They are educating their
children, purchasing homes and establishing businesses to minister to
the needs of their own peculiar group.

In view of the desirability of most migrants in this city, several
persons have seen fit to make a comparison of the negro and foreign
labor, with a view to determining whether or not the employment
of negroes in the North will be permanent, as they may easily be
displaced by the foreigners immigrating into this country in the
future. The consensus of opinion is that the blacks are profitable
laborers, but that their efficiency must be decidedly increased to
compete with that of the white workers. Some of the faults observed
are that they are as yet unadapted to the "heavy and pace-set labor
in the steel mills." Accustomed to the comparatively easy going
plantation and farm work of the South, it will take some time for
these migrants to find themselves. "They can not even be persuaded to
wait until pay day, and they like to get money in advance, following
the habit that they acquired from the southern credit system. It is
often secured on very flimsy pretexts and spent immediately in the
saloons and similar places." Yet the very persons who make this
estimate of the negro laborer say that the negroes born in the North
or who have been in the North some time are as efficient as the
whites, and that because of their knowledge of the language and the
ways of this country, they are often much better than the foreign
laborers who understand neither.

The principal industrial centers in Ohio to which the migrants went
were Cincinnati, Middletown, Akron, Dayton, Springfield, Youngstown,
Columbus and Cleveland. The city which took the lead in endeavoring
to handle the migration problem was Cleveland. This was due to
a considerable extent to the fact that the housing conditions in
Cleveland were especially bad. Investigations made in the summer of
1917 by the Chamber of Commerce showed that housing conditions never
were so in need of remedying as they were at that time. The influx of
negroes, thousands of whom were living in box cars on railway sidings,
was only one feature of the problem, investigators say. In nearly
every part of the city, and especially in the vicinity of large
manufacturing plants, workers are herded together, paying as much as
$8 a week for a single room for a whole family.[130]

The Cleveland Welfare Federation appointed a committee composed
of representatives of both races, to study problems made acute in
Cleveland by the recent incoming of probably 10,000 negroes from the
South. At the first meeting of this committee, August 3, 1917, the
city welfare department announced that 61 per cent of the men in the
workhouse at Warrensville were negroes and that of 100 women 66 were
negroes. The normal proportion of negroes in the workhouse before
the migration began was about 10 per cent, he said. This had mounted
rapidly in the last year. It was brought out that the cause of
this increase lay in housing congestion, lack of opportunities for
recreation and because negro migrants are ignorant of the city's
customs, laws and ordinances. A subcommittee was therefore appointed
to look into this matter, as well as into that of perils surrounding
newly arrived negro girls. A subcommittee was also appointed to study
housing congestion and health problems. The secretary of the Cleveland
Real Estate Board reiterated that there were 10,000 houses, renting
at $25 and under, needed at the present time for both negro and white
residents, and that, owing to labor difficulties and the high price
of building materials, very little had been done to relieve the
situation. He stated that a partial solution could be found in
inducing both negro and white people who could afford to build or
buy houses to do so, and thus free more houses for those who can not
afford to buy them. It was asserted that unless something should be
done before cold weather the housing problem would become acute.[131]
To assist in meeting the house shortage a group of prominent negroes
organized "The Realty Housing and Investment Company."[132]

The negro churches and other organizations cooperated in the effort
to solve the problem of caring for the newly arrived negroes. In
December, 1917, all the organizations and agencies working to aid
the migrants were united in the Negro Welfare Association of
Cleveland.[133] William R. Connors, a negro social worker, was
employed as executive secretary of the new organization, beginning
January 1, and offices were opened in the Phyllis Wheatley Association
Building at East 40th Street and Central Avenue. The budget for the
first year was estimated at about $5,000.

The organization acted as a clearing house for all the problems
confronting the negro people there and cooperated with other agencies
in the following activities: relief work, nursing service, legal aid,
employment, promoting thrift, providing recreation through the public
schools and otherwise, studying the delinquency problem, caring for
discharged prisoners in cooperation with the workhouse and promoting
community singing. It investigated the social conditions among
negroes, with a view to establishing those agencies which are needed,
or to point out the needs to the organization already established. It
endeavored to educate the negro public to a full appreciation of the
possibilities of a definite social program and to its responsibility
for seeing that it is carried out.

In June, 1916, a call was issued for a statewide conference of
representative white and colored people to be held at the capital of
the State, Columbus, on July 12, 1916, to take steps toward caring for
the 100,000 negro migrants believed to have remained in Ohio. Among
those who signed the call were J. Walter Wills, President of Cleveland
Association of Colored Men; Reverend H.C. Bailey, President of
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; W.S.
Scarborough, President of Wilberforce University; Charles Johnson,
Superintendent of Champion Chemical Company, Springfield, and Edward
T. Banks, member of Charter Commission, Dayton.[134] The mayors of
Ohio cities named delegates to the conference. At this conference the
Ohio Federation for the Uplift of the Colored People was formed,
and an extensive program designed to improve economic and social
conditions was outlined. Branches of the Federation were soon
established at Akron, Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Piqua,
Steubenville, Youngstown and other points.

Reports showing labor, housing, general welfare and health conditions
among the negroes throughout the State were compiled and distributed
broadcast. It was also decided to send lecturers through Ohio cities
to visit negro centers for the purpose of instilling within the race
a desire for better living conditions. A campaign was waged also to
bring about greater censorship of motion pictures. Efforts were made
to have the State Council of National Defense and the State and City
Labor Bureaus actively interest themselves in the problem of negro

The State of Ohio also undertook an investigation of the migration
movement. Reports to the Ohio branch, Council of National Defense,
indicated a very serious situation resulting from the exodus of
negroes. An investigation at direction of Governor Cox was conducted
by the Council and State Department, to get as much information as
possible concerning the unprecedented migration. The first work was a
study of health conditions in several cities by the State Department
of Health, which took immediate steps to correct evils. The negroes
who were coming into the State were being crowded into the negro
sections of the various cities in such a way that the health of these
communities, in many cases was being seriously threatened. The Council
of National Defense asked the Ohio branch for information on
the migration, particularly to learn if it had been artificially
stimulated and accelerated by agencies that have paid so many dollars
a head for every negro from the South.[136]

Detroit, because of its importance as an industrial center, was one of
the places to which the largest number of migrants to Michigan
went. The negro population of the city in 1910 was 5,741. It is
now estimated that the city has between 25,000 and 35,000 blacks,
three-fourths or more of whom have come there during the past two
years. As elsewhere, the majority of the negroes are in unskilled
occupations. There is, however, a considerable number of skilled and
semiskilled workers. Detroit was formerly a city where the negro was
restricted to a very few lines of work.

The wartime pressing needs of the industrial enterprises have caused
the barriers to be removed. The available evidence that Detroit has
removed the barriers from the employment of negroes in many lines
is considerable. There were calls for 336 truckers, 160 molders, 109
machinists, 45 core makers and for a number of other miscellaneous
skilled and semiskilled men. Most of the women were wanted in domestic
and personal service in private homes, but 32 calls came from a
garment factory, 18 from a cigar factory and 19 for ushers in a

Their wages were exceptionally high according to Dr. George E. Haynes'
intensive study of the returns of 407 families. One received between
$30 and $39 a month; three received between $40 and $49, six received
between $60 and $69; 20 received between $70 and $79; 96 received
between $80 and $89; 6 received between $90 and $99; 27 received
between $100 and $119; 21 received between $120 and $129, and 4
received $140 or more a month. There was a man working at $6.30 a
day. The number of days they were employed a month could not be
ascertained. There were 161 men whose monthly wages were doubtful
or unknown, two men were the owners of a business and five were
unemployed. Of the 45 women who were the heads of families, 13 were
doing day's work at $2 a day and one at $2.50 a day, but the number
of days they were employed could not be ascertained and so the monthly
wages could not be calculated. There were two women earning between
$40 and $49 a month and three earning between $70 and $79 a month. The
monthly wages of 26 were doubtful or unknown. "As far as these figures
are typical of the wages of negro workmen in Detroit," says Dr.
Haynes, "they show that the prevailing wages of the men are from
about $70 to $119 a month; for, 159 of the 194 men whose wages were
ascertained were receiving wages ranging between these amounts. The
prevailing wage for women is about that of those doing day work, $2 a

In Detroit, as in other places, there is conflict of opinion as to
the value of the negro as a laborer. The survey of the migrants there
showed that there were diverse views about the suitability of negro
labor. Mr. Charles M. Culver, General Manager of the Detroit Employers
Association, thought some employers were highly pleased with negro
workmen and some were not. He said:

    There are two lines of adverse opinion about the negro as a
    workman; first, nine-tenths of the complaints of employers
    are that he is too slow. He does not make the speed that the
    routine of efficient industry demands. He is lacking in the
    regularity demanded by routine of industry day by day.
    Second, the negro has been observed to be disinclined to
    work out-of-doors when the cold weather comes. Employers have
    discussed this and have not found the negro satisfactory
    on this point. Unless the negroes overcome this practice
    employers will turn to other sources of supply when their
    present extreme needs are past. Employers must have a labor
    supply upon which they can depend at all seasons--laborers who
    will work out-of-doors winter as well as summer.

Speaking of the colored women employed in the manufacture of garments
by the Krolick Company, Mr. Cohen, the superintendent, said his
greatest difficulty was in overcoming the timidity of the girls and in
inducing them to believe they can become successful operators and earn
good wages.

The peculiar situation caused by the sudden increase of the city's
negro population was met by organized efforts directed, in the main,
by the local branch of the National League on Urban Conditions among
Negroes, which here also took the lead in helping the migrants adjust
themselves.[138] Among the important things done by the league were
the establishing of a vocational bureau, a bureau of investigation
and information regarding houses, and a committee on recreation; the
inaugurating of a ten cent "newcomers" community dance, which was held
every Tuesday evening in a public school in the heart of the negro
district; the development of athletic features for the immigrants, and
the organization of a branch of "Camp Fire Girls." The league induced
one of the largest foundries to build low-priced homes for its negro
employes near the plant. It also somewhat relieved the housing problem
by the purchase of leases from the proprietresses of a number of
disorderly houses which were closed by the police. In each case the
league persuaded some manufacturer to take over the lease, and in this
way a large number of negro families were accommodated. It also kept a
list of vacant houses and was surprised to find how many of them were
not listed by commercial real estate agents.

The league persuaded the police commissioner to appoint a special
officer, selected by the league especially for the newcomers. It is
his duty to mingle with crowds on the streets where the newcomers
congregate and urge them not to make a nuisance of themselves by
blocking sidewalks, boisterous behavior and the like. He was also
provided with cards directing newcomers to the office of the league
when in need of employment. The league itself kept a close watch on
the negro underworld of Detroit and immediately apprised the police
when dives were developed especially to prey on the immigrant.

The Board of Commerce cooperated in a movement for the investigation
and improvement of working conditions of negro employes in the various
manufacturing plants in Detroit. The Board of Health gave considerable
assistance in obtaining better and more sanitary housing conditions.
The aid of several mothers' clubs among the colored women was enlisted
to instruct immigrant mothers in the proper diet and clothing for
children in a northern climate. From the outset, the aim was not only
to put each migrant in a decent home but also to connect him with
some church. Many times the churches reciprocated with considerable
material as well as spiritual assistance.

Valued cooperation was given by the Young Negroes' Progressive
Association, a body of thirty-four young colored men, most of whom
attended the various schools and colleges about Detroit. They
have been the finest possible agents in the development of all the
different activities. In the adjustment of the negro, a definite
place must be given to the development of industrial efficiency.
In pursuance of this object the league, with the assistance of the
Progressive Association, carried on a movement.[139] Representatives
of the two organizations visit the various factories where large
numbers of negroes are employed and talk to them during the noon
hour on the necessity of creating the best possible impression at the
present time so that they may be certain of retaining their jobs in
the future. At the same time, the speakers circulate these cards:


  He watched the clock.
  He was always behindhand.
  He asked too many questions.
  He wasn't ready for the next step.
  He did not put his heart in his work.
  He learned nothing from his blunders.
  He was contented to be a second-rater.
  He didn't learn that the best part of his salary was not in his pay envelope.

[Footnote 127: Epstein, _The Negro Migrant in Pittsburgh_, p. 7.]

[Footnote 128: Epstein, _The Negro Migrant in Pittsburgh_, pp. 7-8.]

[Footnote 128: The latter objection is illustrated by the case of 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 of separate quarters for the negroes. While there is
an undeniable hostility to negroes on the part of a few white workers,
the objection is frequently exaggerated by prejudiced gang bosses.]

[Footnote 129: The same superintendent told of an episode illustrating
the amicable relations existing in his shop between white and black
workers. He related that a gang of workers had come to him with
certain complaints and the threat of a walkout. When their grievances
had been satisfactorily adjusted, they pointed to the lonely black
man in their group and said that they were not ready to go back unless
their negro fellow worker was satisfied.]

[Footnote 130: _Cleveland News_, August 11, 1917.]

[Footnote 131: _Cleveland Plain Dealer_, August 4, 1917.]

[Footnote 132: An advertisement of this company in the _Cleveland
Advocate_ was as follows:

    Cleveland is short 10,000 houses:

    The city on Lake Erie is face to face with the problem of
    _"Housing the People!"_ We have been on the job day in and day
    out and are pleased to announce that _we have just played a
    master stroke_.

    You may ask what is it? We will answer.

    We have just secured the group of seven apartment houses which
    are rapidly nearing completion on East 40th Street between
    Central and Scoville Avenues. Three and four room suites
    with bath, hot water, electric lights, gas ranges, heating
    appliances, refrigerators, Murphy in-a-dor beds. Laundry just
    waiting to be occupied. All for colored people.

[Footnote 133: _Cleveland Town Topics_, December 22, 1917.]

[Footnote 134: _Dayton News_, July 7, 1917.]

[Footnote 135: _Cincinnati Enquirer_, September 12, 1917]

[Footnote 136: _Columbus Dispatch_, August 1, 1917.]

[Footnote 137: Haynes, _Survey of the Migrants in Detroit_.]

[Footnote 138: The Urban League is maintained by the Associated
Charities and private individuals to study Detroit's negro problem and
improve the condition of the city's negroes. Forrester B. Washington
is director in charge of the league. The organization will aim to
direct negro sentiment and support along lines of best interests for
Detroit.--_Detroit News_, November 6. 1916.]

[Footnote 139: Two surveys of the migrants in Detroit were made. One
was under the auspices of the negro committee of the Home Missions'
Council of the Churches of Christ in America and was published under
the title, "Negro Newcomers in Detroit." This survey investigated
industrial opportunities, housing and recreation facilities, and
the work which the churches were doing and should do for Detroit's

The Church Extension Committee of the Detroit Presbytery made a survey
of the negro problem in Detroit. This survey showed that the negro
population of the city has grown from 5,000 in 1910 to 21,000 in 1917.
The negro churches of the city are utterly inadequate to take care of
the religious needs of the race here, it was shown.]



No less conspicuous as attractions to the negroes of the South were
the various industries of the State of Pennsylvania. Although not so
closely connected with the Black Belt of the South as are so many
of the industrial centers of the West, Pennsylvania nevertheless was
sought by many of these migrants because of the long accepted theory
that this commonwealth maintains a favorable attitude toward persons
of color. It drew upon this population too because of the very urgent
need for workers in its numerous industries during the labor crisis
resulting from the falling off of the foreign immigration. When,
moreover, manufacturing establishments of the State multiplied as
elsewhere because of the demand for the manufacture of munitions of
war, this need became more urgent than ever.

According to the census of 1910, the State of Pennsylvania had 193,919
inhabitants of negro blood, 84,459 of whom lived in the city of
Philadelphia. During the recent rush to that commonwealth, however,
investigators are now of the opinion that the negro population of that
State is hardly less than 300,000. These migrants were, of course, not
all settled in the city of Philadelphia. Here we see another example
of a rerouting point, a place where the migration broke bulk,
scattering itself into the various industrial communities desiring
labor. Among the other cities and towns receiving this population were
practically all of those within a radius of about one hundred miles of
Philadelphia, such as Lancaster, Pottsville, York, Altoona, Harrisburg
and certain other towns lying without the State, as in the case of
Wilmington, Delaware, a site of a large munitions plant. In some cases
the negro population in these towns increased more than 100 per cent
in a few days.

The chief factors in the bringing in of these negroes from the South
were the leading railroads like the Erie and Pennsylvania. During
the shortage of labor, these corporations found it impossible to keep
their systems in repair. In this situation, they, like the smaller
concerns further west, sent labor agents to the South to induce
negroes to supply this demand. Unfortunately, however, so many of the
negroes who had their transportation paid by these firms counted it
more profitable to leave their employ immediately after arriving,
because of the unusually high wages offered by smaller industries in
just as urgent need of labor. Instead of supplying their own demand,
therefore, the railroads were benefiting their neighbors.

A better idea as to the extent of the congestion made possible by this
influx of newcomers may be obtained from the comments of observers
in that section. Traveling men tell us of the crowded houses and
congested streets which marked the places wherever these migrants
stopped. Housing facilities being inadequate, temporary structures
were quickly built and when these did not suffice, in the case of
railroads, ordinary tents and box cars were used to shelter the new
laborers. Owing to these unsatisfactory conditions and the inability
of employers to ameliorate them, the migration was to some extent
discouraged, and in a few cases a number of the migrants returned to
their homes in the South, so that the number that actually came into
the State is much less than it would have been, had it been possible
to receive and adequately accommodate the negroes in their new homes.

In Philadelphia the situation at first became unusually critical.
Being closer to the Southland than most of the large cities of the
country, the people of Philadelphia are much more prejudiced against
the negro than those in some other northern cities. It was necessary,
therefore, upon their arrival in that city for them to crowd into the
district largely restricted to negroes, giving rise to such unhappy
conditions as to jeopardize the peace and health of the community.
Numbers of these migrants died from exposure during the first winter,
and others who died because of their inability to stand the northern
climate made the situation seem unusually alarming. It was necessary,
therefore, to organize social workers to minister to the peculiar
needs of these newcomers. Appeals were made in their behalf and a
number of prominent citizens felt that it was necessary to urge them
to remain in the South.

The solution of this problem was rendered a little more difficult
for the reason that here, as in many other centers in the North, the
newcomers were not welcomed by their own race. Philadelphia had for
years been pointed to as having a respectable, thrifty and prosperous
colored population, enjoying the good will and the cooperation of the
best white people in the community. These northern negroes felt then
that the coming of their brethren in the rough did them a decided
injury in giving rise to a race problem in a northern community where
it had not before figured. This unusual influx of other members of the
race greatly stimulated that tendency to segregate negro children in
the schools, to the deep regret of the older citizens of Philadelphia.
Other social privileges as in theaters, churches and the like,
formerly allowed the negro citizens of that city, tended gradually to
be withdrawn.

The negro migrants were not altogether innocent. Many of them used
their liberty in their northern home as a stumbling block. Receiving
there such high wages which they could not judiciously spend, the
unwise of their group used this unusually large income to their own
detriment and to that of the community. It was indeed difficult to
restrain a poor man who never had had a few dollars, when just arrived
from a section of the country where he had not only been poor but
restricted even in expending what income he received. Many of them
received $6, $7 and in a few cases $8 to $10 a day. They frequented
saloons and dens of vice, thereby increasing the number of police
court cases and greatly staining the record of the negroes in that
city. A number of fracases, therefore, broke out from time to time,
growing in intensity in keeping with the condition to which the
community, unaccustomed to negro neighbors, saw fit to manifest
its displeasure. This finally culminated in the recent riots in
Philadelphia in which a number of blacks and whites were killed.

Feeling that they did not have the support of the officers of the law,
the negroes of the city organized a Colored Protective Association and
raised a fund for the prosecution of policemen and others who might
aid mobs. The method of strengthening itself is to organize the
churches of the city with a view to securing the cooperation of every
negro there. To advance this work, a large sum has been raised. Other
efforts of this sort in behalf of the negroes in Philadelphia have
been made by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People and the Armstrong Association in cooperation with the National
League on Urban Conditions among Negroes.

Social workers in general soon found it necessary to address
themselves to the task of readjusting these migrants.[140] The
Philadelphia Academy of Medicine, composed of negro physicians,
dentists and druggists, put into effect measures calculated to meet
requirements for housing, sanitation, medical attention and education.
Systematic medical inspections were given, and projects for the
erection of houses and the adaptation of existing buildings for
lodgings are under way. Eighty negro physicians of the city collected
information which took the form of a weekly report of the Bureau of
Health. Real estate dealers were asked to submit lists of every house
immediately available for the relief of the overcrowded buildings then
occupied by the negroes and to provide hundreds of new ones, cheaply
but substantially constructed. Stereopticon lectures and talks were
given on an increasing scale in all the negro churches telling the new
arrivals how to care for themselves in the Philadelphia climate, how
to avoid colds, which lead to pneumonia and tuberculosis, the two most
common diseases among them, and other useful information in general.

The Interdenominational Ministerial Union of Philadelphia, embracing
all the negro ministers of the city, drew up certain resolutions
setting forth their views relative to the migration and making some
suggestions concerning the situation in Philadelphia. They pledged
themselves to look after the comfort of the migrants in every way
possible, urged them to join the churches and other organizations for
improvement, and send their children to the schools, and to utilize
the libraries, night schools and other agencies of culture which were
denied them in the South. These ministers urged them also to work
regularly, and give their best services to their employers regardless
of pay, remembering always that the race is on trial in them; that
they save their money, and purchase homes and become a part of the
substantial citizenry as soon as possible.[141]

A Negro Migration Committee was formed, composed of eight workers from
social agencies and charitable societies, to provide suitable housing
for negro families arriving in this city and to aid them in getting
work. Each member of the committee is to work through the organization
he represents and be responsible for one specific phase of the

Notwithstanding the efforts that were made to improve the housing
conditions, the situation in this respect continued to grow worse. In
December of 1917, representatives of the various social agencies
and of the corporations employing large numbers of negroes met in a
conference on the housing situation. "All the questions involved in
the reasons for the colored people coming north and the problem of
housing and caring for them were seriously discussed."

    Some representatives of the corporations asserted that the men
    were not reliable and dependable, going from place to place
    and only working a few days in each week. The social service
    workers stated that the reason for this is that there are not
    a sufficient number of houses in which to take care of the men
    and their families, and that the districts in which they lived
    were shamefully crowded. According to these workers the only
    way in which the men can be made satisfied is by providing
    more homes for them in sanitary and wholesome quarters. After
    thoroughly considering the problem a permanent committee was
    appointed to deal with the problem in all its aspects.[143]

One of the most effective agencies for dealing with the situation
created by thousands of negroes migrating north was the Armstrong
Association. This association gave special attention to stabilizing
negro labor and to improving the housing conditions. The association
brought before several corporations conditions of housing and
recreation which would enable them to retain their workers. They
provided a negro welfare worker for the American International
Shipbuilding Company, to attend to the stabilizing of negro labor. The
association is perfecting plans for better housing of negro workers
and the providing of recreation centers, such as are now enjoyed in
virtually every city by the white workers. The association obtained
the cooperation of a number of large industrial firms and corporations
in this city, to aid it in the employment of competent negro welfare
workers to help adjust existing conditions, making for greater
efficiency and reliability among the negro race.

The demand for labor by the many industrial plants located in New
Jersey caused that State to get a very large proportion of the negro
migrants and as a result to have, in acute form, the problem of
housing conditions and the other problems incident to a large number
of migrants being within her borders. To assist in caring for the
situation a Negro Welfare League was organized with branches at
various points in the State.

Writing on the situation in New Jersey, a contributor of _The Survey_,
for February 17, 1917, states:

    The native negro residents of the city and suburban towns have
    been kind and generous in helping the southern stranger. They
    have collected money to send numbers back home, and when
    the bitter cold weather began they collected and distributed
    thousands of garments. Resident negroes have also taken
    hundreds of newcomers into their own homes until rooms could
    be found for them. But, while different churches and kind
    hearted people had been most active in helping individually,
    there was no concerted movement to bring all these forces
    together until the organization of the Negro Welfare League
    of New Jersey. Industries of New Jersey have utterly failed
    to provide the housing which would enable their negro help
    to live decently and in enough comfort so that while growing
    accustomed to their unusual work, they might be stimulated to
    become useful and efficient.

    In the last two weeks the Negro Welfare Committee, with the
    help of an investigation of 120 self-supporting families, all
    of whom were found in the worst sections of the city, showed
    that 166 adults--only twenty of whom are over forty years of
    age--and 134 children, a total of 300 souls, are all crowded
    into insanitary dark quarters, averaging four and two-sevenths
    persons to a room. These fifty-three families paid a total
    rent per month of $415.50, an average of $7.66. The average
    wage of these people is $2.60 a day. In not one of the 120
    families was there a wage earner making the maximum wage of
    $3 and $4 a day. Some of the reports in brief were: "Wife and
    children living over a stable. Husband earning $11 a week."
    Three families in four rooms, "a little house not fit for a
    chicken coop." "A sorry looking house for so much money, $15 a
    month; doors off the hinges, water in the cellar, two families
    in five rooms." "Indescribable; so dark they must keep the
    light burning all day." "This family lives in three rooms on
    the second floor of a rickety frame house, built on the side
    of a hill, so that the back rooms are just above the ground.
    The entrance is in a muddy, disorderly yard and is through
    a tunnel in the house. The rooms are hard to heat because of
    cracks. A boy of eighteen was in bed breathing heavily, very
    ill with pneumonia, delirious at times." Unused to city life,
    crowded into dark rooms, their clothing and household utensils
    unsuitable, the stoves they have brought being all too small
    to heat even the tiny rooms they have procured (the instalment
    houses are charging from $20 to $30 for these stoves),
    shivering with the cold from which they do not know how
    to protect themselves, it is small wonder that illness has
    overtaken large numbers.[144]

Newark, New Jersey, was one of the places to which the migrants first
came in large numbers. William H. Maxwell, President of the Negro
Forward Movement, of that city, issued an appeal for the protection
from the unscrupulous of southern negroes migrating to Newark. He
declared that they were being made to work for lower wages than they
had been promised and that storekeepers and dealers were charging them
high prices for worthless goods. The Newark Presbytery took up
the matter of proper housing and clothing of the migrants who were
unaccustomed to the rigors of a northern climate.

On September 23, 1917, a State conference of negroes was held
in Newark to devise ways and means to cooperate with the State
authorities in looking after the welfare of migrants. Soon after
this conference, it was decided to establish a State bureau, "for
the welfare and employment of the colored citizens in the State and
particularly to look after the housing, employment and education of
the citizens migrating from the South." On October 12, Governor Edge
had a number of social workers among the negroes to meet him, "to
discuss the several perplexing and grave economic, industrial and
social problems arising from the steady influx of the negro migrants
from the South." The conference was held in the Assembly room at the
State House. Col. Lewis T. Bryant, Commissioner of Labor, presided.
After many reports and discussions of work accomplished in various
parts of the State, the body voted to accept the proposed Negro
Welfare Bureau, under the Department of Labor. A fund of $7,500 is
available for the coming year's maintenance and work. The scope
of this bureau's work was employment, housing, social welfare and
readjustment, education and legal fairness. This bureau acted as
a welfare clearing house for all social agencies working for the
betterment of the colored people.

At the next session of the legislature, a bill was passed, February,
1918, establishing in the Department of Labor the Negro Welfare
Employment Bureau. According to a report of the work of the Negro
Welfare Bureau made public in April, 1918, considerable progress in
the work of improving both the migrating negroes to New Jersey from
the South as well as the members of the race generally who have been
in this State for some time has been made. With the possible exception
of Salem and Hudson counties, the sheriffs of the State report no
increase of criminality from the migration of negroes from the South.
At Pennsgrove in Salem county, where the Du Pont powder plants are
located, Sheriff William T. Eiffin reports that considering the
increase in population there has been an increase in crime in that
county, but that the situation is well in hand and diminishing to

Hartford was one of the industrial centers to which large numbers of
the migrating negroes went. The housing problem became acute and
the chief efforts of those endeavoring to better the conditions of
migrants was along this line. Religious, civic and commercial bodies
gave attention to the amelioration of this problem.[146] The problem
of housing negroes who were coming in greater numbers each year to
Hartford was taken up briefly by speakers at the 128th annual meeting
of the Hartford Baptist Association at the Shiloh Baptist Church. It
was decided to bring the housing problem before the attention of
the Chamber of Commerce, which, it was said, some time before had
appointed a committee to investigate it. Negroes complained that they
were obliged to pay higher rent than white folks and that they were
obliged by landlords to live together in cramped quarters that were,
by reason of the crowding, insanitary. They said also that the living
of several families almost as one family leads to a breaking down of
the moral and religious ideals.[147] Conditions in Hartford resulting
from the bringing of more than 2,500 negroes from the South were
discussed at the fall meeting of the Confidential Exchange with a view
to preparing for these new arrivals.

At the June, 1917, meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, a committee
was appointed from that body to investigate housing conditions and
to cooperate with other agencies in improving them. The committee met
frequently through the summer with the housing committee of the Civic
Club, in an endeavor to ascertain the facts bearing upon the present
situation. It had before it leading colored citizens, ministers,
business men and industrial workers, some of whom have lived here
for years and others who have recently arrived from the South. It was
discovered that there was, at that time, plenty of work and at good
wages, but the universal complaint was the lack of homes suitable for
proper living and the extortionate prices asked for rents. Negroes
in Hartford were suffering from the cupidity of landlords. They were
obliged to live in poor tenements and under unhealthful conditions
because accommodations of another class were withheld from them.
For such inferior accommodations they were charged outrageous rents,
because selfish property owners knowing that negroes must live charged
all the traffic would bear. Partial relief was obtained from the
immediate need by the purchase of buildings already erected, and homes
for them were later built. It appeared that for the first time in many
years Hartford had a race problem on its hands.

[Footnote 140: The _Philadelphia North American_, February 2, 1917.]

[Footnote 141: Resolutions of the Interdenominational Union.]

[Footnote 142: _Philadelphia Inquirer_, March 2, 1917.]

[Footnote 143: _The Living Church_, December 22, 1917.]

[Footnote 144: Cotton Pickers in Northern Cities, _The Survey_,
February 17, 1917.]

[Footnote 145: _The Courier_ (Camden, N.J.), April 30, 1918.]

[Footnote 146: _The Hartford Courant_, September 19, 1917.]

[Footnote 147: The _Hartford Post_, October 9, 1917.]



The sudden influx of thousands of negro workers to northern industrial
centers created and intensified problems. More comprehensive and
definite plans for aiding the migrants were, therefore, worked out and
more effective methods of help instituted during 1917. A conference
on negro migration was held in New York City under the auspices of
the National League on Urban Conditions among Negroes, January 29-31,
1918. Among those attending the conference were representatives of
capital, of labor, of housing conditions, the Immigration Bureau of
Social Uplift Work for Negroes and others. The subjects considered
were causes and consequences of the migration, present conditions
of those migrating and what is to be done to aid in the negroes'
adjustment to their new environment.

The conference was of the impression that negroes, then migrating to
the North in unprecedented numbers, were preparing to come in larger
numbers in the spring. It, therefore, recommended that wherever
possible, whether in the city or rural community, organizations be
formed to foster good feeling between the two races, to study the
health, school and work needs of the negro population, to develop
agencies and stimulate activities to meet those needs, by training and
health protection to increase the industrial efficiency of negroes
and to encourage a fairer attitude toward negro labor, especially in
regard to hours, conditions and regularity of work and standard
of wages, and to increase the respect for law and the orderly
administration of justice. It further recommended that similar
organizations be formed or existing organizations urged to take action
which, in addition to the purposes already mentioned, should seek to
instruct the negro migrants as to the dress, habits and methods of
living necessary to withstand the rigors of the northern climate; as
to efficiency, regularity and application demanded of workers in
the North; as to the danger of dealing or going with unscrupulous or
vicious persons and of frequenting questionable resorts; as to the
opportunities offered by the towns and cities of the North in schools,
hospitals, police protection and employment, and as to facilities
offered by the church, Y.M.C.A. and other organizations.

The various religious denominations among negroes were profoundly
affected by the migration movement. The sudden moving of thousands of
communicants from one section of the country to the other caused many
churches in the South to become disorganized and in some instances to
be broken up. In the North the facilities of particular denominations
were inadequate to accommodate the new communicants who would worship
in the church of their particular faith. In some instances, it was
necessary to hold double services in order that all who wished
to attend the services might be accommodated. A writer in the
_Southwestern Christian Advocate_, the organ of the negro members of
the Methodist Episcopal Church, said: "The movement of the negroes
by the thousands from the South to the North raises a many sided
question. The missionary view is the logical view for the church,
and that side of the question falls logically upon her hands for

The Boards of Missions of white denominations carrying on work among
negroes made studies of the migration movement. Dr. Gilbert N. Brink,
Secretary for Education of the American Baptist Home Mission Society,
issued a pamphlet on "Negro Migration, What does it Mean?"[149]
"The Invasion from Dixie" was the title of a circular issued on the
migration by the Board of Home Missions and Church Extension of the
Methodist Episcopal Church. In this circular two questions were asked
with reference to the migrants. "What are you going to do for them?"
and "How may we best serve this most pressing need of the present
time?" The circular further said:

    The problem as seen from the viewpoint of the Methodist
    Episcopal Church is twofold. First, somehow to conserve the
    work we have already done in the South where the migration is
    leaving. Second, to provide religious opportunities for those
    people who have come from our own churches of the South as
    well as those unreached by church influences, so that at the
    beginning of their new life in the North they may all have
    the influence of the Church of Jesus Christ to shape and mold
    their future.

The Home Missions Council, which is composed of representatives from
the boards doing missionary work in the United States, through its
committee on negro work had a survey made of the migrants in Detroit.
The results of this survey were published under the title "Negro
Newcomers in Detroit." Detroit was selected because of the large
numbers of negroes, who had been attracted to that city, and also
because it was believed that the conditions in Detroit, although
changing, were sufficiently typical of other northern industrial
centers as to give a fairly accurate understanding of this modern
phase of the negro problem, which might have acute and serious
aspects if not speedily cared for by an enlightened judgment, and the
quickened conscience of the Christian church.

The African Methodist Episcopal Church through its annual conferences,
its Bishops' Council and its Missionary Department, undertook to meet
the migration situation as it affected and imposed duties on that
denomination. The Bishops' Council recommended to all the departments
of the church that, to meet the needs of the church as to the
expenditure of money in the home field of the North and Northwest for
the benefit of "our migrating people," that they should do the best
they could, "in assisting in the establishment of missions and church
houses for our beloved people, consistent with their obligations
already provided for by law and by the action of the Missionary
Board."[150] A circular containing the following questions was sent
out to the A.M.E. churches throughout the North.

    How many persons, to your knowledge, have come from the South
    into your vicinity during the past year?

    In what sections of your city are they located?

    To what extent are they African Methodists?

    From what section of the South have they come?

    What reasons do they give for coming to the North?

    To what extent have they found employment? At what, and what
    is the average wage paid?

    Have you a Lookout Committee in your church to seek these
    people? If not, what organized effort is being put forth to
    church them?

    Has any special mission work been started among or for our
    southern brethren, in your vicinity? If so, what and where?

    What number of people from the South have united with your
    church during the past year?

    How do they affiliate with your people?

    What is the attitude of your members toward them?

    So far as you have seen, is the better plan, where the numbers
    warrant it, to establish a distinct mission for them or bring
    them into the already established churches?

Bishop R.A. Carter, of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, after
an extended trip north in the interest of the work of his denomination
for the migrants, published in the official organ of his church a
description of the situation as he found it, and what the Colored
Methodist Episcopal Church should do to assist in meeting the needs of
the situation. He said:

    I have just returned from an extended trip through the great
    Northwest, having visited St. Louis, Chicago, Gary,
    Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Clarksburg and West
    Virginia.... Heretofore the few church houses in those cities
    have been sufficient for the colored people who were there.
    Since the migration of our people in such great numbers, the
    church facilities are alarmingly inadequate. It is necessary
    to hold two services at the same time in many churches and
    then hundreds are turned away for lack of room. It is pathetic
    to have to tell people who attend one service not to return to
    the next so that a new crowd may be accommodated. Yet that
    is just what must be done in many instances up that way now.
    There must be more churches established in all the large
    cities of the North and East and Northwest for our people or
    serious results will obtain in the future.

He considered the opportunity and duty of the C.M.E. Church as great
and urgent. He recommended the purchase of vacant white churches
offered for sale and the transfer of some of the best pastors. He
urged that there be launched a movement for a great centenary rally
for $500,000 with which to take advantage of the great opportunity
which confronted the race in the North.

Before the migration movement the strength of the negroes in labor
unions was largely in the South. In this section they were found
in considerable numbers in the carpenters, bricklayers, plasterers,
longshoremen and miners unions. In the North, however, they were
not generally connected with the unions mainly for the reason that,
excepting the hod carriers, teamsters, asphalt and cement workers and
a few other organizations of unskilled laborers, they were not found
in any occupation in sufficient numbers to necessitate being seriously
considered by organized labor. The necessities of the industrial
situation created by the war, however, brought thousands of negroes
north and into trades and occupations in which hitherto they had not
been found at all or only in negligible numbers. A change in attitude,
therefore, was necessary. At the 1910 annual meeting of the National
Council of the American Federation of Labor a resolution was
unanimously passed inviting negroes and all other races into the Labor
Federation. The officers of the Federation were instructed to take
measures to see that negro workmen as well as workmen of other races
be brought into the union. In 1913 this action was reaffirmed with the
assertion that

    Many years ago the American Federation of Labor declared for
    the thorough organization of all working people without regard
    to sex, religion, race, politics or nationality; that many
    organizations affiliated with the American Federation of Labor
    have within their membership negro workmen with all other
    workers of their trade, and the American Federation of Labor
    has made and is making every effort within its power for the
    organization of these workmen.[151]

At its 1916 annual convention held in November at Baltimore, the
American Federation of Labor considered the question of negro
migration. The question was brought formally before the convention
by the Ohio State Federation of Labor and the Cleveland Federation
of Labor reciting that: "The investigation of such emigration and
importation of negroes in the State of Ohio had demonstrated to the
satisfaction of labor leaders in that State that they were being
brought north for the purpose of filling the places of union men
demanding better conditions, as in the case of freight handlers."
Believing that "the conditions that prevailed in Ohio might apply
in all northern States," the president and Executive Council of the
Federation were instructed to begin a movement looking towards the
organization of negroes in the southern States."[152]

At the 1917 convention of the American Federation of Labor held at
Buffalo, New York, the question of negro labor was again considered.
It was observed that the colored laborers and helpers throughout the
southeastern district were not as familiar with the labor movement
as they should be, especially upon the different railroads of
the southeastern territory; and that there were fifteen different
railroads in the district for which there were only four colored
locals. Feeling that a negro organizer, because of his racial and
social relations among his people, could accomplish much in organizing
the forces into unions, the National Convention appointed a negro
railroad man as organizer for the territory as above mentioned.
Another set of resolutions, relating to the general condition of
negroes in the United States, making suggestions to secure the
cooperation of the American people and the national government in an
endeavor to have the nations participating in the coming world peace
conference agree upon a plan to turn over the African continent or
parts thereof to the African race and those descendants of said race
who live in America and desire to return to Africa, and thus enable
the black race to work out its own destiny on an equality with other
peoples of the earth, was referred to a committee. The report was,
"Your committee can not be responsible for and rejects the statements
contained in the resolution, but, inasmuch as portions of it refer to
the organization of negro workers, the committee recommends that that
portion be referred to the Executive Council."[153]

At the annual meeting of the National League on Urban Conditions
among Negroes, held in New York City, January 29-31, 1918, resolutions
relating to labor unions and the negroes were adopted and a committee
was appointed to place the resolutions before the executive committee
of the American Federation of Labor. The resolutions adopted were as

    For the first time in the history of America, the negro
    working man is in large numbers getting a chance to offer his
    service at a fair wage for various kinds of work for which he
    is fitted. This opportunity, however, has come as a result of
    conditions over which neither he, nor those offering him the
    chance, have control.

    In the city of New York, on the 31st day of January, 1918,
    we in conference assembled under the auspices of the National
    League on Urban Conditions among Negroes, while in no way
    seeking to condone the existence of the worldwide war which
    has been forced upon our beloved country, wish to express our
    gratitude for the industrial changes wrought and to record
    our prayer that the benefits thus far derived by the negro
    may continue and so enlarge as to embrace full and fair
    opportunity in all the walks of life.

    I. We wish especially to address ourselves to the American
    Federation of Labor which at its recent convention in Buffalo,
    New York, voiced sound democratic principles in its attitude
    toward negro labor.

    We would ask the American Federation of Labor, in organizing
    negroes in the various trades, to include: (1) skilled as
    well as unskilled workmen, (2) northern as well as southern
    workmen, (3) government as well as civilian employes, (4)
    women as well as men workers.

    We would have negro labor handled by the American Federation
    of Labor in the same manner as white labor; (1) when workmen
    are returning to work after a successful strike; (2) when
    shops are declared "open" or "closed"; (3) when union workers
    apply for jobs.

    We would have these assurances pledged not with word only,
    but by deeds--pledged by an increasing number of examples of
    groups of negro workmen given a "square deal."

    With these accomplished, we pledge ourselves to urge negro
    working men to seek the advantages of sympathetic cooperation
    and understanding between men who work.

    II. We would also address ourselves to the Labor Bureau of the
    United States Government.

    In our national effort to speed up production of articles
    essential to the conduct of the war as well as the production
    of other goods, let us not lose sight of our duty to our
    country in quantity production by an unreasonable prejudice
    in many quarters against the use of negro labor. Negro workmen
    are loyal and patriotic, cheerful and versatile. In some
    sections there is an oversupply of such labor; in other
    sections a shortage.

    We would urge the appointment of one or two competent negroes
    in the Department of Labor to serve as assistants in each of
    the bureaus in distributing negro labor to meet war and peace

    III. We would urge negro workmen to remain cheerful and
    hopeful in work; to be persevering in their efforts to improve
    in regularity, punctuality and efficiency, and to be quick to
    grasp all opportunities for training both themselves and their
    children. Success lies in these directions.

    IV. We would impress upon employers the fact that the
    efficiency of their employes during work hours depends very
    largely on the use made of the non-working hours. Most of
    the complaints against negro labor can be removed if proper
    housing, decent amusement, fair wages and proper treatment are

These resolutions were presented to the executive officers of the
American Federation of Labor on February 12, 1918, by a committee
composed of E.K. Jones, Director of National League on Urban
Conditions among Negroes, Robert R. Moton, Principal of Tuskegee
Institute, Archibald H. Grimke, Thomas Jesse Jones, specialist in the
United States Bureau of Education, J.R. Shillady, Secretary of the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Fred R.
Moore, editor of the _New York Age_, George W. Harris, editor of
the _New York News_, and Emmett J. Scott, special assistant to the
Secretary of War. The committee requested of the Executive Council
that a committee be appointed by the American Federation of Labor to
confer with a committee representing the interests of the negroes.
This request was granted.

At the American Federation of Labor annual convention held at St.
Paul, Minnesota, in June, 1918, the problem of negro workers and
organized labor again received considerable attention. B.S. Lancaster,
a negro delegate to the convention from Mobile, Alabama, offered a
resolution asking for the appointment of a negro to organize negroes
not now affiliated with unions in the shipbuilding trades. Another
resolution was to the effect that negro porters, cooks, waiters
and waitresses, section hands and all negro railway employes to be
organized. The press reports of the convention under date of June 12,

    Dr. R.R. Moton, Principal of the Tuskegee Institute, and J.R.
    Shillady, of the National Association for the Advancement
    of Colored People, are authors of a communication asking for
    closer cooperation between white and colored workers. They ask
    that Mr. Gompers prepare a statement on his stand toward
    negro labor, and charge that some unions discriminate against
    colored workers. They urge consideration of revision of
    union charters to permit negroes to become members. The
    communication was referred.[155]

These efforts were not without some result, for sentiment began to
change. In its August, 1918, issue the editor of the _Labor News_ of
Detroit, Michigan, said:

    The time has arrived for the American labor movement to
    face squarely the fact that the negro is a big factor in our
    industrial life, and that he must be taken into account in the
    adjustment of our economic differences. Never again can the
    negro be ignored. Time and time again the selfish masters of
    industry have used him to batter your organizations to pieces,
    and, instead of trying to win him over, you have savagely
    fought him, because they used him as a strikebreaker. But
    the negro must be made to see the value of organization to
    himself, and he must be incorporated into and made a part of
    the great labor movement. It is a stupid policy to try to keep
    him out. Let us work to shift him from his present unhappy
    position, where he is despised by the big business element,
    notwithstanding his utility as a strikebreaker, and hated by
    unionists for his loyalty to the open shop element. Unionism
    must welcome the negro to its ranks.

[Footnote 148: _Southwestern Christian Advocate_, New Orleans, La.]

[Footnote 149: Ibid.]

[Footnote 150: Report of Bishop's Council, A.M.E. Church, 1917.]

[Footnote 151: Report of Proceedings, American Federation of Labor,
annual session, 1913.]

[Footnote 152: Report of Proceedings, American Federation of Labor,
annual session, 1916.]

[Footnote 153: Report of Proceedings, American Federation of Labor,
annual session, 1917.]

[Footnote 154: Minutes of Session, National League on Urban
Conditions, January 29-31, 1918.]

[Footnote 155: Report of M.N. Work on migration to the North.]



It was to be expected that a movement which so profoundly affected the
social and economic life of the South would be widely discussed, and
that the resulting discussions, wherein were set forth at length
the views of whites and negroes, would throw much light upon the
conditions existing prior to the movement. How the South viewed this
taking away of a large part of her labor supply was stated in letters
to the newspapers and in newspaper editorials. There were two views
as to the effect of the migration on the South. One view held that the
movement would benefit the South in that the negro population would
be more evenly distributed over the entire country and as a result
the race problem would be more truly national. The other view was
that negro labor was a necessity for the South, and the drawing of a
considerable part of this labor north was seriously detrimental to the
South's economic interests.

The following are examples of expressions by those holding the view
that the migration would benefit the South:

The New Orleans _Times Picayune_ said:

    Despite the attitude of certain extreme papers of the North
    that there was a broad conspiracy existing here to prevent
    the negroes from leaving, the records show that many southern
    papers and people welcomed the movement, believing that it
    would have a beneficial effect on the South by removing the
    negro majorities in many districts and in at least two
    States, South Carolina and Mississippi. The problems of negro
    majorities is rapidly working itself out. Louisiana, a State
    in which the negro was more numerous a few decades ago, is
    white today by several hundred thousand, and will have a
    million more whites by the next census. South Carolina and
    Mississippi expect to report white majorities in the next
    ten years as they are drifting rapidly in that direction, and
    negro emigration will help this condition along.

    During the first months of this negro movement northward, a
    number of South Carolina papers, led by the _Columbia State_,
    instead of expressing apprehension over these departures,
    showed satisfaction that the State was getting rid of its
    excess of negroes. At the Southern Commercial Congress in
    a session at Norfolk, Judge Francis D. Winston, of North
    Carolina, expressed this same view of the situation in a
    resolution which declares that: "The complete industrial,
    intellectual and social development of the southern States
    can be secured only when the negro becomes a part of the
    citizenship of our sister States, and that we will encourage
    all movements tending to an equitable distribution of our
    negro population among the other States of the Union.

    It is not likely that there will be any serious objection to
    a declaration of this kind in favor of the more equitable
    distribution of the negroes throughout the country as the
    question involved can then be better handled. No encouragement
    to the negroes to leave the South will be held out, but there
    will be no effort made to keep the negroes from going beyond
    explaining the situation to them.[156]

A comment of the _Nashville Banner_ was:

    From a logical point of view that looks beyond immediate
    emergencies, the southern whites should encourage negro
    emigration to the North, not for the cynical motives that
    impelled the late Hon. Jeff Davis while Governor of Arkansas
    to pardon negro convicts on condition that they go to
    Massachusetts to live, but to relieve the South of the entire
    burden and all the brunt of the race problem, and make room
    for and to create greater inducements for white immigration
    that the South very much needs. Some thousands of negroes
    going north every year and a corresponding number of whites
    coming south would affect a distribution of the races that
    would be in many ways beneficial and that at the very least
    would take away from the race problem all sectional aspects,
    which is and has always been the chief cause of sectional ill
    feeling. And it would in the end give the South a homogeneous

The _Vicksburg Herald_[157] was of the opinion that:

    Adjustments and compensation will, we have faith, come. The
    northern drift as it continues, and carries thousands with it,
    will lower negro congestion in certain sections of the South.
    Such a change, restrained and graduated against violent
    progression, promises ultimate benefit. In the South, the
    effect of losing thousands of negroes from lands in southern
    Mississippi is already ... producing a wholesome farm
    diversification and economic stimulation. Then, too, a more
    equitable distribution of the sons of Ham will teach the
    Caucasians of the northern States that wherever there is a
    negro infusion, there will be a race problem--a white man's
    burden--which they are destined to share.

Among those holding the view that the South needed the negro was the
_Memphis Commercial Appeal_.[158] Concerning this an editorial in this
paper said that not only does the South need the negro, but that he
should be encouraged to stay.

    The enormous demand for labor and the changing conditions
    brought about by the boll weevil in certain parts of the South
    have caused an exodus of negroes which may be serious. Great
    colonies of negroes have gone north to work in factories, in
    packing houses and on the railroads.

    Some of our friends think that these negroes are being taken
    north for the purpose of voting them in November. Such is
    not the case. The restriction of immigration because of the
    European war and the tremendous manufacturing and industrial
    activity in the North have resulted in a scarcity of labor.
    The negro is a good track hand. He is also a good man around
    packing houses, and in certain elementary trades he is useful.

    The South needs every able-bodied negro that is now south of
    the line, and every negro who remains south of the line will
    in the end do better than he will do in the North.

    The negro has been a tremendous factor in the development
    of agriculture and all the commerce of the South. But in the
    meantime, if we are to keep him here, and if we are to have
    the best use of his business capacity, there is a certain duty
    that the white man himself must discharge in his relation to
    the negro.

    The business of lynching negroes is bad, and we believe it
    is declining, but the worst thing is that the wrong negro is
    often lynched. The negro should be protected in all his legal
    rights. Furthermore, in some communities, some white people
    make money at the expense of the negro's lack of intelligence.
    Unfair dealing with the negro is not a custom in the South.
    It is not the rule, but here and there the taking of enormous
    profits from the labor of the negro is known to exist.

    It should be so arranged that the negro in the city does not
    have to raise his children in the alleys and in the streets.
    Liquor in the cities has been a great curse to negroes.
    Millions of dollars have been made by no account white people
    selling no account liquor to negroes and thus making a whole
    lot of negroes no account. Happily this business is being

    The negroes who are in the South should be encouraged to
    remain there, and those white people who are in the boll
    weevil territory should make every sacrifice to keep their
    negro labor until there can be adjustments to the new and
    quickly prosperous conditions that will later exist.

Among those holding the same view that the South needed the negro was
the _Georgia Enquirer Sun_ of Columbus, Georgia.[159] An editorial in
this paper said that not only does the South need the negro but that
he should be encouraged to stay.

The _Enquirer Sun_ further emphasized the fact that the South needs
the negro:

    With the certainty that a number will differ with us, we state
    that the negro is an economic necessity to the South. Our
    plantations are large, our climate is peculiar, and we
    ourselves are not accustomed to doing the work that we ask
    the negro to do. Serious labor conditions have confronted us
    before, and it is exceedingly rare to find the native land
    owning white farmer, who has been accustomed to employ negro
    labor, taking the negro's place when the negro leaves his
    neighborhood. The same conditions exist in the industries
    where we of the South have been depending upon the negroes as
    artisans in our industries or mines.

    The South has refused to accept immigration as a means of
    supplying our demands for labor. The farmers stand up and howl
    about preserving the pure blood of the South and invent all
    sorts of reasons for prohibiting the immigration of the same
    classes of people who have been making the North and East rich
    for years; the same classes that build the eighth wonder of
    the world--the Middle West. Now, if we are going to prohibit
    immigration, we must consider the economic status sufficiently
    seriously to preserve the only reliable supply of labor which
    we have ever known. That is the negro. We should ponder over
    the situation seriously and not put off until tomorrow its
    consideration, because this movement is growing every day.
    We should exercise our influence with our landlords and our
    merchants to see that a fairer division of profit is made with
    the negro and should watch the prices charged him as well as
    the interest charged him. We should see that the industries
    offer and pay to him a full and fair wage for his labor which
    will compare favorably with the wages offered in the East.
    We should see to it that the police in our towns, cities and
    counties cease making distinction between the negro and the
    white man when the negro is not absolutely known to be a
    criminal. When we do these things, we will keep our labor and
    we need to keep it.

In connection with the discussion of the need of the South for the
negro, the duty of the South to the negro was pointed out. According
to the _Columbia_ (S.C.) _State_:[160]

    If the southern white people would have the negroes remain,
    they must treat the negroes justly. If they refuse to do so
    their hope of keeping negro labor is in the unwillingness of
    the North to treat them justly, and we fear that this hope is
    more substantial than the North likes to admit. Justice ought
    to be cultivated everywhere for its own sake. Surely common
    sense will dictate to the South that it ought to forestall the
    disruption of our industrial establishment by causing negroes
    to understand that they are safe where they are.

    The Macon _Telegraph_ said of negro labor: "If we lose it, we
    go bankrupt." Yet this same paper only a few months before
    was advocating the sending of 100,000 negroes into Mexico
    to conquer the "mongrel breed," and at the same time rid the
    South of that many worthless negroes.

    The black man has no quarrel with the Mexican, but, on the
    other hand, he certainly has a disagreement with conditions as
    they affect him in the South, and, when he desires to improve
    those conditions by getting away from them, he must be
    checked. Plenty of "sound advice" is given him about staying
    in the South among his friends and under the same old
    conditions. The bugaboo of cold weather is put before him to
    frighten him, of race antagonism and sundry other things, but
    not one word about better treatment is suggested to lighten
    the burden, no sane and reasonable remedy offered.

    The black labor is the best labor the South can get, no
    other would work long under the same conditions. It has
    been faithful and loyal, but that loyalty can be undermined,
    witness the exodus.

A letter published in the Montgomery _Advertiser_[161] truly says:

    And the negro will not come back once he leaves the South.

    The World War is bringing many changes and a chance for the
    negro to enter broader fields. With the "tempting bait"
    of higher wages, shorter hours, better schools and better
    treatment, all the preachments of the so-called race leaders
    will fall on deaf ears.

    It is probable that the "well informed negro," who told the
    Birmingham editor that it was good schools that were drawing
    the negro, could have given other and more potent reasons had
    he been so minded. He could have told how deep down in the
    negro's heart he has no love for proscription, segregation,
    lynchings, the petty persecutions and cruelties against him,
    nor for the arresting of "fifty niggers for what three of 'em
    done," even if it takes all of this to uphold the scheme of

    From Savannah alone, three thousand negroes went, from sixteen
    year old boys to men of sixty years. There must be something
    radically wrong when aged negroes are willing to make the
    change. There is greater unrest among negroes than those in
    high places are aware.

    Let the _Advertiser_ speak out in the same masterful way, with
    the same punch and pep for a square deal for the negro, that
    it does for democracy and the right for local self-government.

What was the attitude of the northern whites toward the migration?
Although the North had been accustomed to the adding of a million
foreigners annually to her population, these newcomers were white
people and as such did not occasion the comment or create just the
problems which a large influx of negroes created. The migration of the
negro attracted a great deal of public attention. A wide and extended
discussion of the movement was carried on through the press. The
attitude which the white people assumed toward the migrants was
expressed in this discussion.

The _New Republic_ of New York City[162] pointed out that the movement
gave the negro a chance and that he, the South and the nation, would
in the end, all be gainers.

    When Austria found the Serbian reply inadmissible, the
    American negro, who had never heard of Count Berchtold, and
    did not care whether Bosnia belonged to Austria or Siam, got
    his "chance." It was not the sort of chance that came to the
    makers of munitions--a chance to make millions. It was merely
    a widening of a very narrow foothold on life, a slightly
    better opportunity to make his way in the industrial world of

    In the beginning such a migration of negroes would increase
    the present race friction in the North. Within certain limits
    a racial minority is unpopular directly in proportion to its
    numbers. Only as it increases to the point where political
    and economic power makes it formidable, does it overcome
    opposition. The negro's competition for jobs and homes will
    probably exacerbate relations. As the negroes increased in
    numbers they would not only seek menial and unskilled work,
    but also strive to enter skilled trades where they would meet
    with antagonism of white workers. Moreover, the negroes would
    be forced to seek homes in what are now regarded as "white"
    neighborhoods, and a clamor would be raised at each new
    extension of their dwelling area.

    The antidote to persecution, however, is power, and if the
    northern negroes are more numerous and more urgently needed
    in our industrial life, they could protect themselves from the
    worst forms of discrimination. If by 1930 the negro population
    of the North has become three millions, instead of the
    fraction over one million which it is today, and if these
    three millions live better and save and spend more per capita
    than today, they will profit more than they will lose from
    their greater numbers. Their custom will be more valuable,
    their political power greater and, as wage earners, they will
    be strong enough to strike. Once they have completely filled
    a new neighborhood, opposition will cease. Moreover, the
    industrial competition with white workmen, while severe at
    certain crucial points, should not permanently be dangerous,
    since the very conditions which bring the negro north also
    make for higher wages for the white workers. What the white
    wage earner desires is not an industrial exploitation of the
    negro, but the maintenance of the white man's superiority of

    For the nation as a whole, such a gradual dissemination of
    the negroes among all the States would ultimately be of real
    advantage. If at the end of half a century, only 50 or 60 per
    cent, instead of 89 per cent of the negroes, were congregated
    in the southern States, it would end the fear of race
    domination, and take from the South many of its peculiar
    characteristics, which today hamper development. To the negro
    it would be of even more obvious benefit. The race would be
    far better educated, considerably richer, and with greater
    political power. Success for the negroes of the North would
    mean better conditions for southern negroes. For if the
    southern negro, finding political and social conditions
    intolerable, were able to emigrate to the North, he would have
    in his hand a weapon as effective as any he could find in the
    ballot box.

The Oshkosh, Wisconsin, _Daily Northwestern_ felt that a large
influx of colored people would bring to the North the same perplexing
problems that long have disturbed the people of the southern States.

    This, in fact, is the most serious aspect of this reported
    migration of southern blacks, and it is suggestive of no end
    of trouble for some of the northern States, which heretofore
    have regarded the so-called negro problem as something which
    little concerns them. The South has struggled for years to
    solve this problem, with its many phases and angles, and
    never yet has found a satisfactory solution. Should the same
    baffling questions be forced on the North it would give the
    people something to think about, and many will gain a new
    appreciation of the perplexities of the southern whites. And
    the necessity of facing this new problem may come to the North
    much sooner than generally is expected.

The Springfield, Massachusetts, _Union_[163] was also of the opinion

    The North has been strong for the negro, considered as a
    political entity, but our communities are manifestly not
    desirous of supplying a field for him to expand and adapt
    himself to the social structure, and their leaders experience
    more difficulty in this regard than do their co-laborers in
    the South, with its vast colored population. This in itself
    furnished food for careful thought.

    In a way, there is justification for a disinclination on the
    part of New Englanders to add a large negro element to their
    number. We have enough of a problem already to absorb and
    educate the large alien element that has come into our midst
    from the Old World. Our duty toward our colored residents
    should not go unrecognized, and the first step toward a just
    and fair disposal of related problems is to admit frankly that
    a rather strict color line is being drawn among us.

The Beloit, Wisconsin, _News_[164] held that the migration had brought
the negro problem north and made it national:

    The negro problem has moved north. Rather, the negro problem
    has spread from south to north; and beside it in the South is
    appearing a stranger to that clime--the labor problem.

    It's a double development brought about by the war in Europe,
    and the nation has not yet realized its significance. Within
    a few years, experts predict the negro population of the North
    will be tripled. It's your problem, then, or it will be when
    the negro moves next door.

    Italians and Greeks are giving way to the negroes in the
    section gangs along northern railroads, as you can see from
    the train windows, and as labor agents admit. Northern cities
    that had only small colored populations are finding their
    "white" sections invaded by negro families, strangers to the
    town. Many cities are in for the experience that has befallen
    all communities on the edge of the North and South--gradual
    encroachment of colored folks on territory occupied by whites;
    depreciation in realty values and lowering of rents, and
    finally, moving of the white families to other sections,
    leaving the districts in possession of colored families with a
    small sprinkling of whites.

    This means racial resentment--for the white family that moves
    to escape negro proximity always carries, justly or not, a
    prejudice against the black race. It hits your pocket too.

    Negroes will enter trades now monopolized by white men,
    at first, perhaps, as strike breakers; later, as non-union
    competitors, working for smaller wages. It will take some
    time, probably, to get them into the labor unions' way of

    Politicians, both good and bad, will seek the ballot of a
    large new element, which will vote largely in the lump. Now,
    what will be the effect in the southern States? Already the
    offers of better jobs further north have caused strikes among
    southern negroes--something almost unheard of. The South gets
    no immigration, but the negro has been an ever present
    source of cheap labor. With the black tide setting north, the
    southern negro, formerly a docile tool, is demanding better
    pay, better food and better treatment. And no longer can the
    South refuse to give it to him. For when the South refuses the
    negro moves away. It's a national problem now, instead of a
    sectional problem. And it has got to be solved.

The _New York Globe_[165] said that:

    For more than a year a migration of men and women of color to
    northern States has been going on that has already deprived
    thousands of southern farmers of cheap labor. And the movement
    bids fair to continue. That it will have both good and bad
    effects is obvious. It will distribute the negro population
    more evenly throughout the States and thus tend to diminish
    race friction. But unless there is a change of spirit on the
    part of northern unions, it will increase the danger of labor
    troubles in case of industrial depression.

The Pittsburgh _Dispatch_[166] held that the migration was helping the
negro. It was of the opinion that:

    This movement eastward and westward of unskilled negro labor
    will both directly and indirectly help the negro. The younger
    element, those of ambition and of some training in the
    schools, will be constantly emerging from unskilled to the
    semiskilled classes, with a consequent increase in their pay
    rolls and a betterment in their methods of living.

    A decidedly better treatment of the negro, both in the North
    and the South, will grow out of the fact that the demand for
    his labor has been limited and the supply unlimited.

In the spring of 1918 the Walla Walla, Washington, _Bulletin_[167]
summed up the situation thus:

    There was much alarm a year or two ago over the migration of
    negroes to the North in large numbers. It was felt that they
    had far better stay in the South, in a familiar and congenial
    environment, and keep on raising cotton and food, than crowd
    into the inhospitable North for unaccustomed factory work. We
    have heard less of that lately; it is still doubtful whether
    the change is good for the negro himself, and there's no
    question that his coming has complicated housing conditions
    and social problems in northern cities. But economically the
    matter appears in a new light. At a time when war industries
    were starving for labor, the negro provided the labor. He is
    recognized as a new industrial asset.

    The migration has been unfortunate, to be sure, for the
    communities thus deprived of agricultural labor; but it is
    said that from a broad, national standpoint the gain to the
    manufacturing industries more than compensates. And there has
    been an actual increase in the output of energy. The negro
    works harder in the North. He produces more. He is thus of
    more use to the community. And for the benefit he brings,
    communities are more willing than they were at first to
    tolerate the inconvenience due to his coming.

Some of the negro newspapers opposed the migration. Prominent among
these was the _Journal and Guide_ of Norfolk, Virginia, and the
_Voice of the People_ of Birmingham, Alabama. In speaking against the
migration, the _Journal and Guide_[168] said:

    It is difficult, if not impossible, to check the operation of
    an economic law, and it is perfectly natural that men should
    seek fields of labor in which they are promised higher
    wages and better conditions, but those who go and those
    who encourage the going of them should get the facts of the
    so-called inducements and learn the truth about them before
    lending their influence to a movement that can not only
    promise no permanent good to laborers, but works untold injury
    to the foundation of their own economic structure.

    Another phase of the matter, and one that invites the
    condemnation of all honest persons, is the manner in which
    negro labor is at present exploited to satisfy the selfish
    whims of a group of misguided and ill-advised agitators and
    fanatics on the race question. All of the nice talk about
    "fleeing from southern oppression," and going where "equal
    rights and social privileges" await them is pure buncombe. It
    is strange that negro labor should stand the oppression of the
    South for fifty years and suddenly make up its mind to move
    northward as an evidence of its resentment.

    The truth of the matter is that the element of negroes in the
    South that feel the oppression most is not concerned in the
    migration movement. Nor are they going to leave their homes
    and accumulations of half a century as a solution of their
    problems. They are going to remain here and fight out their
    constitutional rights accorded them here in the land of their

The editor of _The Star of Zion_, Charlotte, North Carolina,[169]
conceded the right of the negro to go wherever he had opportunity to
go; on the other hand, it was doubtful whether a wholesale exodus was
for the best. He said:

    While I concede the black man's right to go where he likes,
    for he has the right of liberty and the pursuit of happiness,
    yet I doubt the wisdom of such wholesale exodus from the
    South. There are some things which the negro needs far more
    than his wages, or some of the rights for which he contends.
    He needs conservation of his moral life.

    In the North a negro is brought face to face with new
    problems; among the many is the problem of adjusting himself
    to the abundance of freedom into which he comes so suddenly.
    His new freedom brings him new changes, as well as new
    opportunities, for among the roses there lies the thorn....
    While the inducements of the North are very alluring, in the
    end the negro problem must be wrought out in the South.

Concerning the _Journal and Guide's_ position, the Raleigh, North
Carolina, _Independent_[170] took issue and said:

    Our disagreement with our estimable contemporary, the Norfolk
    _Journal and Guide_, we are persuaded, is far less real than
    seeming. Essentially we are in accord. We are certain that the
    _Journal and Guide_ is not advocating the limitation of the
    negro to any one section of the country. If the exigencies
    of the present war have created a demand for his labor in the
    North at better wages than he can secure in the South like
    other people, he should take advantage of it and plant himself
    firmly in the industrial life of the section.

    There are two ways by which we may improve our condition in
    this country. The one is segregation--voluntary segregation.
    The other is "scatteration." If we can come together, build
    up communities of our own, promote them into towns and even
    cities, we shall do well. If, on the other hand, we shall
    scatter all over the land and have nowhere a numerical
    congestion, we strengthen our cause.

The _Dallas_ (Texas) _Express_[171] said:

    The strangest thing, the real mystery about the exodus, is
    that in all the Southland there has not been a single meeting
    or promoter to start the migration. Just simultaneously all
    over the South about a year ago, the negro began to cross the
    Mason and Dixon line. Indeed, this is a most striking case
    where the negro has been doing a great deal more thinking than
    talking, knowing he is not given the freedom of speech. Who
    knows, then, what the providence of God is in this exodus.
    This exodus is not by any means confined to the worthless or
    the ignorant negro. A large per cent of the young negroes
    in this exodus are rather intelligent. Many of the business
    houses in Houston, Dallas and Galveston, where the exodus is
    greatest in Texas, have lost some of their best help. To tell
    the truth more fully, the negroes generally throughout the
    South are more dissatisfied with conditions than they have
    been for several years and there are just reasons why they
    should be. Every negro newspaper and publication in this broad
    land, including pamphlets and books, and the intelligent negro
    pastor with backbone and courage are constantly protesting
    against the injustices done the negro. And possibly these
    agents have been the greatest incentives to help create and
    crystallize this unrest and migration.

How the negro should be treated and what would hold him in the South
was discussed at length and on many occasions in the columns of the
_Atlanta_ (Georgia) _Independent_.[172] An example of this discussion

    Last week we discussed at length the negro exodus. We tried to
    point out in plain, simple and manly language the reason and
    remedy for moving north. We warned our white neighbors that
    city ordinances and legislation could not stem the tide;
    that humane treatment would do more to settle the negro's
    industrial and economic unrest than anything else; that the
    South was his natural home and he desired to stay here; but in
    order to keep him at home he must have contentment; he had to
    be assured of protection of life and property; assured of
    the enjoyment of public utilities; assured of educational
    advantages, ample and adequate, to prepare his children for
    useful and helpful citizenship; he must be permitted to serve
    God unmolested and to assemble in the community where he
    lives, in church, in society and politics; for his own moral,
    intellectual and physical benefit he must be given living
    wages and reminded in his daily dealings with his white
    neighbor that he is a citizen, not a negro, and that he is
    charged with responsibilities like other citizens. The negro
    is conscious of his racial identity and not ashamed of it. He
    is proud of his race and his color, but does not like to have
    the word "negro" define his relation as a citizen. The white
    man should understand that the negro is making progress;
    that he is getting property and education; that his wants are
    increasing in common with the white man's wants and that he is
    not going to be bottled up or hemmed up in any community, so
    long as there is another community on the face of the earth
    where he can breathe freely and enjoy the pursuits of life,
    liberty and happiness in common with other men.

_The Christian Index_[173] the official organ of the Colored Methodist
Episcopal Church, published at Jackson, Tennessee, was of the opinion

    There are two sets of causes for the negro leaving the South
    at this time. One set may be known as the surface causes and
    the other set beneath-the-surface causes. The surface causes
    are easily seen and understood. These are economic causes. The
    war in Europe has called home foreigners out of the industrial
    centers of the North and West. These large factories and other
    industrial enterprises, representing enormous investments,
    had to turn in some other direction for labor. These large
    industrial opportunities with higher wages made strong appeals
    to the southern negro.

    The beneath-the-surface causes are to be found in the
    handicaps under which the negro labors in the South and
    the uncivilized treatment to which he is subjected. He is
    segregated. To this he most strenuously objects. There is a
    difference between segregation and separation, especially so
    in the southern interpretation of segregation as observed
    in the practice of the South in its enforcement of the idea.
    Separation in matters social and religious is not necessarily
    objectionable. Left alone each race group instinctively seeks
    separation from other race groups. But segregation, as we
    have it, means more than separation; it means inferiority and
    humiliation. It means not only another section of the city for
    the negro, but a section that is inferior in improvement
    and protection; it means not only a different school, but an
    inferior school both in building and equipment; it means not
    only separate accommodations on the railroads, but deplorably
    inferior accommodations; this, too, in the face of the fact
    that the negro pays the same price that is paid by others.

    Another cause is the code of laws, or rather the practice of
    it, that gives more concern to the color of a man's skin than
    to the merits of a case he may have in the courts of justice.
    The negro is taught not to expect justice in the courts,
    however industrious, honest, law abiding he may be, when his
    lawful rights to liberty and protection are contested by a
    white man. The negro suffers in the courts, not always because
    he is guilty, not because he lacks character, but because his
    skin, not his heart, is black.

What was the attitude of the northern negroes toward the migration?
With some exceptions, negroes north assumed a friendly attitude toward
the migrants. Many of these residents of the North were themselves
but recently come from the South. The newcomers were looked upon as
brethren, just coming into the "Promised Land." They were welcomed in
the churches and otherwise made to feel at home. In some cities there
were organizations of resident negroes to look after the welfare of
the new arrivals. In the northern race newspapers, the attitude of the
negro north was fully set forth, as the following extracts from the
_New York News_[174] indicate:

    We hail with no alarm whatever the influx of colored men
    from the South. The colored people of the North will be
    strengthened by the hard working, ambitious laborers added to
    their numbers. The laboring conditions and life of the masses
    of the colored people in the South will be made better and
    brighter by their leaving.

    Yet a heavy responsibility rests upon every colored leader,
    moral and civic, in these northern States to take an especial
    interest in their newly arriving brethren. You must teach
    them not to take their liberty to be ladies and gentlemen for
    license to degrade themselves and their race here. You must
    urge them to avoid the deadly vice and wasting extravagance of
    the unhealthy congested city. They should find their homes and
    rear their families in the suburbs, where they can buy their
    own homes and properly train their children in head, hand and
    heart. Urge them to get steady work and settle down. Urge them
    to become good citizens and better parents. Urge them to go to
    church, to lead patient Christian lives and all will come out
    well in the end.

The Philadelphia _Christian Recorder_[175] took the ground that:

    1. The negro is an American. He speaks the language of the
    country and is, therefore, superior to the foreigner in this

    2. He knows the customs of the country and here again has the
    advantage of the foreigner.

    3. He is a peaceable worker and is glad to have an opportunity
    to make good.

    4. The negro is physically the equal and morally the superior
    of the immigrant from Europe.

    There are reasons why the negro should succeed in the North.
    So we have no doubt that many will come.

    Indeed, if a million negroes move north and west in the next
    twelve months, it will be one of the greatest things for the
    negro since the Emancipation Proclamation. And the movement of
    a million negroes should not alarm anybody, especially when we
    remember that a million immigrants were coming every year to
    this country before the war.

    Let the good work go on. Let every community in the North
    organize to get jobs for our friends in the South. Let a
    million come. In coming the negroes will get higher wages.

    They will get first class schools, running nine months a
    year--a thing worth leaving the South for, if there were no
    other advantages.

    They will have a chance in the courts. If they should happen
    to have a difference with a white man, they will not take
    their lives in their own hands by standing up for their side.

    They will be able to defend their homes, their wives and
    children in a way no negro can now protect them in the South.

    They will have the right to vote. The foreigner must wait
    seven years for this--the negro only one year. If a million
    negroes come north, they will soon get sufficient political
    power, which combined with their economic power will be able
    to force the South to do some things she is now unwilling to

    With labor competition for the negro between North and
    South with the North offering higher wages, better living
    conditions, better education, protection and a vote, the South
    must bestir herself if she would keep the best labor in the
    world. And southern statesmen will see that the South must
    cease to lynch, begin to educate and finally restore the

    "But," says an objector, "these negroes coming north will
    increase prejudice." What if they do? Then the northern
    negro will sympathize more with his southern brother. But
    if prejudice increases, the negro has the ballot which is an
    effective way to combat it. If a million negroes come here
    we will have more negro businesses, better churches, more
    professional men and real political power, and the negro in
    the North will begin to get a social position not based on
    mere charity.

What were the causes of migration? A very large part of the discussion
of the movement was taken up with setting forth the causes. The
Montgomery _Advertiser_ was of the opinion that the chief causes of
the negro's leaving central Alabama were floods and the cotton boll

    The negro from middle Alabama is going north because of
    economic conditions which he can not help and which he can
    not overcome. He is not being forced out by pressure from
    the white race. The relations between the two races in this
    section were never better; the negro is not subjected to
    oppression or to any outbreaks of violence, which have induced
    the negro to leave certain sections of the South.

    The negro is going because he is the most unfortunate of the
    victims of the combined disaster this year of the flood and
    the boll weevil. There have been actual want and hunger among
    some of the negroes on the plantations. The heads of negro
    families have been without present resources and without
    future prospects. The wise planter and farmer has said to his
    negro employes and tenants:

    "You have not made anything this year. I have not made
    anything this year. But we will do our best and I will see
    what resources I can get together to keep you until next year,
    when we can all make a fresh start."

    Another class of farmers, and we suspect that their number
    is too large, has said, "You never made anything this year.
    I never made anything this year. I can not afford to feed you
    and your family until the beginning of the next crop year. You
    must go out and shift for yourselves."

    This cold blooded business view of the situation, we suspect,
    has been the best assistance that the labor agent has
    received. It is not difficult to know what a negro farm hand
    will do when he and his family are facing hunger, when a
    labor agent offers him a railroad ticket and a promise of two
    dollars and a half a day in the industrial works of the North
    and East.[176]

Lynching was one of the reasons most often given as a cause of the

    Current dispatches from Albany, Georgia, in the center of the
    section apparently most affected, and where efforts are being
    made to stop the exodus by spreading correct information among
    the negroes, say:

    "The heaviest migration of negroes has been from those
    counties in which there have been the worst outbreaks against
    negroes. It is developed by investigation that where there
    have been lynchings, the negroes have been most eager to
    believe what the emigration agents have told them of plots for
    the removal or extermination of the race. Comparatively
    few negroes have left Dougherty county, which is considered
    significant in view of the fact that this is one of the
    counties in southwest Georgia in which a lynching has never

    These statements are most significant. Mob law we have known
    in Georgia has furnished emigration agents with all the
    leverage they want; it is a foundation upon which it is easy
    to build with a well conducted lie or two, and they have not
    been slow to take advantage of it.

    This loss of her best labor is another penalty Georgia is
    paying for her indifference and inactivity in suppressing mob

    If Georgia is injured, agriculturally and industrially by the
    negro exodus, the white people here have no one to blame but

    The indictment is true, every word of it. The appeal to
    humanity, to fairness and justice and right, has been
    apparently without effect. It is unfortunate for the people of
    Georgia that an appeal to the pocketbook should be necessary
    to bring back the enthronement of law, but if moral suasion is
    powerless, the question of personal interest has entered and
    in no uncertain degree.

    The trouble incident to the migration of negroes from Georgia
    and the South is exactly as stated.

    There is no secret about what must be done, if Georgia
    would save herself from threatened disaster, which, in some
    sections, has already become serious.

    In the first place, there must be no more mobs. Mobs and mob
    spirit must be eliminated completely, so completely that there
    will be no danger of recurrence. If a negro be charged with a
    crime, even if it be known that he is guilty, he must be given
    the same fair treatment before the law that is accorded the
    white man. If anything, it would seem that ignorance and
    childishness demand even more consideration than the crime
    which lacks that excuse.

    But more than that, we must be fair to the negro. There is no
    use in beating about the bush; we have not shown that fairness
    in the past, nor are we showing it today, either in justice
    before the law, in facilities accorded for education or in
    other directions. Argue it as you will, these things which we
    have not done are the things which we must do, or Georgia will
    suffer for it in proportion as she fails.[177]

In connection with lynchings there was the general fear of mob
violence. This fear was taken advantage of by labor agents, as the
following indicates:

    We are astonished, too, to learn that one of the reasons for
    this unrest among the negroes who were born and reared here is
    fear that all negroes are to be run out of Georgia. This idea,
    of course, has been planted in the minds of the simple minded
    of the race by the crafty and unscrupulous labor agents who
    have operated in almost every section of the State.

    The negroes have this idea from the fact that there are
    localities in the State right now where a negro can not live.
    And we do not know of anybody that is doing anything to change
    this condition.

    Labor agents are doing their best to put the fear into the
    hearts of the negroes in this State that they are going to be
    run out by the white people, some of them even fixing the time
    as next June; but this work began long before the negro exodus
    north was thought of. The example of one county in north
    Georgia, which ran every negro out, was followed by other
    counties adjoining, and the general public has little idea
    how widespread the contagion became--for lawlessness is nearly
    always contagious.

    If Georgia is injured, agriculturally and industrially, by the
    negro exodus, the white people here have no one to blame but
    themselves. They have allowed negroes to be lynched, five at
    a time, on nothing stronger than suspicion; they have allowed
    whole sections to be depopulated of them; they have allowed
    them to be whitecapped and whipped, and their homes burned,
    with only the weakest and most spasmodic efforts to apprehend
    or punish those guilty--when any efforts were made at all.

    Has not the negro been given the strongest proof that he
    has no assured right to live, to own property nor to expect
    justice in Georgia?

    When the negro is gone, his loss will be felt in every large
    agricultural section and every industrial community of the
    South. For the average white man can not do the heavier work
    at the sawmills, naval stores plants and in many lines
    of manufacture, that is now being done by the negro. As a
    consequence, these plants and many large plantations must
    stand idle or import a class of white labor that will be a
    great deal worse than the black. Confronted with cheap
    white labor, and white men of a race of which they have no
    understanding--then will the South have its labor problems.

    But at present, it seems, little can be done. Unless southern
    white people who have their all invested in agriculture or
    manufacturing take care of their own interest by seeing that
    the negro gets justice when suspected and a fair trial when
    accused, and assured that so long as he behaves he will be
    guaranteed safety of life and property, it is perhaps as well
    to let the negro go. It will mean an industrial revolution
    for the South, but the present condition of affairs has become

The negroes of the South used both the white and negro newspapers of
that section in carrying on the discussion of the migration movement.
The substance of what the negroes said through the press was that,
first of all, the negroes wanted to stay in the South and were going
north not only because there they could secure better wages than
were generally paid in the South, but also because they would, in the
North, get protection and have privileges not accorded in the South.
Concerning the negro wanting to stay in the South, it was pointed
out that in the South he did have economic opportunity and received
encouragement. "The truth is that the negroes who are leaving the
South in large numbers, and others who are thinking of going, do not
want to go. They prefer to remain here."[179]

It was pointed out that the passing of stringent labor laws would not
stop the exodus. The negro could not be kept in the South by force.

    Various communities [said a negro] are passing stringent
    laws with the view of making the business of agents either
    impracticable or impossible. This will ultimately have the
    very opposite effect of what was intended. I am a negro and
    know the deeper thoughts and feelings of my own people. I know
    their yearnings and the religious zeal with which they look
    forward to the future for better days, and to other climes
    than this for better conditions.

    Now to pass severe laws to block this movement will not only
    be a waste of time, but the most unwise way of dealing with
    the problem. The problem can not be solved from the angle of

    In order for the negro to be kept in the South he must be made
    to see, to feel, that on the whole it will be better for him
    to remain in the South than to migrate to the North. Stop
    lynching. Teach us to love the South and be contented here by
    ceasing to abridge us in such extremes in common rights and

    Another method of helping to keep the negro in the South is
    for the better class of whites to get hold of the negroes.
    In a word, there should be cooperation between the races. The
    negroes should be given better schools and the whites should
    set before the negroes better examples of law and order. The
    North is offering better homes, better schools and justice
    before the law. The South can do the same.

"One of our grievances," said a negro correspondent of the
_Chattanooga Times_,[180] "is that in colored localities we have very
bad streets, no lights, no sewerage system, and sanitary conditions
are necessarily bad. Give the negro the right kind of a show, living
wages, consider him as a man, and he will be contented to remain

A good presentation of the negroes' side of the case is given in
the following letter from a negro minister to the Montgomery
_Advertiser_.[181] He wrote:

    Why should the South raise such objections to the jobless
    man seeking the manless job, especially when it has held
    that jobless man up to the ridicule of the world as trifling,
    shiftless and such a burden to the South? Now the opportunity
    has come to the negro to relieve the South of some of its
    burden, and at the same time advance his own interests, a
    great hue and cry is started that it must not be allowed,
    and the usual and foolish method of repressive legislation is
    brought into play.

Addressing the editor of the _Advertiser_, another negro correspondent

    I have read with profound interest the many articles published
    in your paper upon the great negro exodus from the South.

    The negro has remained in the South almost as a solid mass
    since his emancipation. This in itself shows that he loves the
    South, and if he is now migrating to the East, North and West
    by the hundreds and thousands, there must be a cause for it.
    We should do our best to find out these causes and at least
    suggest the remedy.

    The time has come for plain speaking on the part of all. It
    will do us no good to try to hide the facts, because "truth
    crushed to earth will rise again." In the first place,
    the negro in this country is oppressed. This oppression is
    greatest where the negro population is greatest. The negro
    population happens to be greater in the South than in the
    North, therefore, he is more oppressed in the South than in
    the North.

    Take the counties in our State. Some are known as white
    counties and others as black counties. In the white counties
    the negro is given better educational opportunities than in
    the black counties. I have in mind one Black Belt county where
    the white child is given $15 per year for his education and
    the negro child only 30 cents a year. See the late Booker T.
    Washington's article, "Is the Negro Having a Fair Chance?" Now
    these facts are generally known throughout this State by both
    white and black. And we all know that it is unjust. It is

    This oppression shows itself in many ways. Take for example
    the railroads running through the rural sections of the South.
    There are many flag stations where hundreds of our people get
    off and on the train. The railroads have little stops at the
    platform about six feet square; only one coach stops at this
    point; the negro women, girls and boys are compelled to get
    off and on the train sometimes in water and in the ditches
    because there are no provisions made for them otherwise.

    Again take the matter of the franchise. We all agree that
    ignorant negroes should not be intrusted with this power, but
    we all feel that where a negro has been smart and industrious
    in getting an education and property and pays his taxes, he
    should be represented. Taxation without representation is just
    as unjust today as it was in 1776. It is just as unfair for
    the negro as it is to the white man, and we all, both white
    and black, know this. We may shut our eyes to this great
    truth, as sometimes we do, but it is unjust just the same.

    Take the matter of the courts. There is no justice unless the
    negro has a case against another negro. When he has a case
    against a white man, you can tell what the decision will be
    just as soon as you know the nature of the case, unless some
    strong white man will come to the negro's rescue. This, too,
    is generally known and the negro does not expect justice.

    As yet, there has been no concerted action on the part of the
    white people to stop mob violence. I know a few plantations,
    however, where the owners will not allow their negroes to be
    arrested without the officer first consulting them, and these
    negroes idolize these white men as gods, and so far not one of
    these negroes has gone north. I repeat there are outcroppings
    of these oppressions everywhere in this country, but they show
    themselves most where the negroes are in the largest numbers.
    But all of this the negro is perfectly willing to endure, and
    they all may be classed as the secondary cause of this great

    The primary cause is economic. The storms and floods of last
    July and August destroyed practically all crops in a large
    part of the South, and especially in the Black Belt section.
    These people are hungry, they are naked, they have no corn and
    had no cotton, so they are without food and clothes. What else
    can they do but go away in search of work? There are a great
    many wealthy white men here and there throughout the Black
    Belt section. They have large plantations which need the
    ditches cleared and new ones made to properly drain their
    farms. They could have given work to these destitute people;
    but what have they done? Nothing. They say that it is a pity
    for the negro to go away in such large numbers, and so it is,
    but that will not stop them. They have it in their power to
    stop them by making the negro's economic condition better

    Thus far the average white man of the South has been
    interested in the negro from a selfish point of view; he must
    now become interested in him from a humanitarian point of
    view. He must be interested in his educational, moral and
    religious welfare. We know that we have many ignorant, vicious
    and criminal negroes which are a disgrace to any people, but
    they are ignorant because they have not had a chance. Why, I
    know one county in this State today with 10,000 negro
    children of school age, and only 4,000 of these are in school,
    according to the report of the Superintendent of Education. We
    can not expect ignorant people to act like intelligent ones,
    and no amount of abuse will make them better.

    Sometimes we hear it said that the white man of the South
    knows the negro better than anybody else, but the average
    white man of the South only knows the ignorant, vicious and
    criminal negro better than anybody else. He knows little of
    the best class of negroes. I am glad to say, however, that
    there are a few southern white men who know the better class,
    and know them intimately, and are doing what they can to
    better the negro's condition. I would to God that the number
    of these few could be increased a hundredfold.[182]

R.R. Wright, President of the Georgia State Industrial College for
Negroes, in a discussion of the causes of the migration movement
stated that it is undoubtedly true that the high wages offered is the
main cause. There are other aiding causes, however, for this movement
besides low wages.

Naturally the negro is peculiarly adapted to a southern climate and
prefers to remain in the South. He has made his best progress in the
South. There are nearly a million negro farm operators and most of
them are in the South. The total acreage of their farms is 42,279,510:
valued at $1,141,792,526. In the value of farms operated there was an
increase of 128.5 per cent, during the last census decade, while the
value of farm property operated by white farmers for the same time
increased only 99.6 per cent. The negro is prospering in the South.
Now this and other facts constitute for the negro a strong tie to the
southern soil.

    This tie should not be broken lightly. The negro does not want
    to leave the South. The only thing to break this tie is unfair
    and cruel treatment of the negro on the part of the white man.
    In this connection our white friends should know that not only
    in the lynchings, and in the courts and in the unwholesome
    conditions on the southern railway common carriers (as vital
    as these are), but that in the general attitude of many of our
    southern white people, there is exhibited a contempt for the
    negro which makes the best of the negroes feel that they
    are only tolerated in the South. And yet in their individual
    relations there is no better friend to the negro in the world
    than the southern white man. In the face of our friends it
    is hard to explain this discounting and this contemptuous
    attitude, and yet everybody understands that it exists.
    "You are only a negro and are not entitled to the courteous
    treatment accorded to members of other races." Another cause
    is the feeling of insecurity. The lack of legal protection in
    the country is a constant nightmare to the colored people who
    are trying to accumulate a comfortable little home and farm.

    There is scarcely a negro mother in the country who does not
    live in dread and fear that her husband or son may come in
    unfriendly contact with some white person so as to bring the
    lynchers or the arresting officers to her door, which may
    result in the wiping out of her entire family. It must be
    acknowledged that this is a sad condition.

    The southern white man ought to be willing to give the negro a
    man's chance without regard to his race or color; give him at
    least the same protection of law given to any one else. If he
    will not do this, the negro must seek those north or west who
    will give him better wages and better treatment.[183]

One of the most thoughtful discussions of the causes of migration was
by W.T. Andrews, a negro lawyer and editor, formerly of Sumter, South
Carolina. In an address before the 1917 South Carolina Race Conference
he said:

    In my view the chief causes of negro unrest and disturbance
    are as follows: the destruction of his political privileges
    and curtailment of his civil rights; no protection of life,
    liberty and property under the law; Jim Crow car; residential
    and labor segregation laws; no educational facilities worthy
    of the name in most of the southern States. These, I believe,
    are the most potent causes which are now impelling the
    southern negro to seek employment and find homes in northern
    and western sections of the country.

    In South Carolina, and I believe it is equally true of every
    southern State, except those classed as "border States,"
    statute after statute has been passed to curtail the rights of
    the negro, but in not a single instance can a law be pointed
    to which was enacted for the purpose of enlarging his
    opportunity, surrounding himself and his family with the
    protection of the law, or for the betterment of his condition.
    On the contrary every law passed relating to the negro has
    been passed with the intent of controlling his labor and
    drawing his circle of freedom into smaller and smaller

    In the rural districts the negro is not only at the mercy of
    the lawless white individual citizen, but equally at the mercy
    of the rural police, the constables and magistrates. There
    is hardly a record in modern history of greater oppression by
    judicial officers than that dealt to the negroes by a large
    majority of the magistrates and other officials who preside
    over the inferior courts of South Carolina.

    In towns and cities, as a rule, mayors' and recorders' courts
    are mills for grinding out negro convicts; negroes charged
    with petty offenses are brought into these courts, convicted
    and sentenced with lightning speed, before they even realize
    that they are on trial unless they are able to hire attorneys,
    whose fees often equal the fine that would be imposed. They
    are beaten at will by arresting officers, frequently shot and
    many killed if attempt is made to escape by running away from
    the officer, and for any such shooting, officers are seldom
    put to the inconvenience of trial, even if the victim die.

    In tragic truth it must be confessed that there is in the
    South--South Carolina, more certainly--no protection for the
    life or person of any negro of whatever standing, sex, age,
    against the intent of the bloody-minded white man.

    The negro does not ask for special privileges or social
    legislation in his behalf. He does not ask to be measured
    by any standard less than the white man's standard, but he
    insists that the same test shall apply to all men of all
    races. He refuses to accept the declaration of men who claim
    to be earthly agents and representatives of the Almighty, the
    interpreters of His will and laws, and who solemnly assert
    that the God of the Christian ordained and decreed the negro
    race to be in slavery or semislavery to the white race.

    The negro believes that the world is built on a moral
    foundation with justice as its basic rock. He believes that
    the Almighty is just, merciful and benevolent, and that He
    included all men in His plan of human development and reaching
    out for protection.

    He asks only for justice. Nothing less than justice will stay
    the movement of negroes from the South. Its continued refusal
    will drive in the next two years a third or more of its negro
    population to other portions of the country.[184]

[Footnote 156: New Orleans _Times Picayune_, December 15, 1916.]

[Footnote 157: August 19, 1916.]

[Footnote 158: October 5, 1916.]

[Footnote 159: December 2, 1916.]

[Footnote 160: December 22, 1916.]

[Footnote 161: _The Advertiser_, Montgomery, Alabama, September 22,

[Footnote 162: July 1, 1917.]

[Footnote 163: July 16, 1916.]

[Footnote 164: August 25, 1916.]

[Footnote 165: July 31, 1916.]

[Footnote 166: October 1, 1916.]

[Footnote 167: March 13, 1918.]

[Footnote 168: March 24, 1917.]

[Footnote 169: July 19, 1917.]

[Footnote 170: April 28, 1917.]

[Footnote 171: August 11, 1917.]

[Footnote 172: January 27, 1917.]

[Footnote 173: June 24, 1917.]

[Footnote 174: September 17, 1916.]

[Footnote 175: February 1, 1917.]

[Footnote 176: _The Advertiser_, Montgomery, Alabama, December 12,

[Footnote 177: _Atlanta Constitution_, December 10, 1916.]

[Footnote 178: _Georgia Gazette_, reprint from _Atlanta Constitution_,
December 10, 1916.]

[Footnote 179: _Age Herald_, Birmingham, Alabama, September 25, 1916.]

[Footnote 180: Weldon Victor Jenkins, in _Chattanooga Times_, October
10, 1916.]

[Footnote 181: _The Advertiser_, Montgomery, Alabama, October 7,

[Footnote 182: W.J. Edwards, Principal of Snow Hill Normal
and Industrial Institute (Colored), Snow Hill, Alabama, in the
_Advertiser_, Montgomery, Alabama, January 27, 1917.]

[Footnote 183: Reprinted from the _Morning News_, Savannah, Georgia,
January 3, 1917.]

[Footnote 184: From an address by W.T. Andrews at the South Carolina
Race Conference, Columbia, South Carolina, February 8, 1917.]



A Century of Negro Migration. C.G. Woodson, Washington, 1918.

The Negro Migrant in Pittsburgh. Abraham Epstein, Pittsburgh, 1918.

Negro Newcomers in Detroit. G.E. Haynes, New York, 1918.

The Migration of a Race, 1916-1917, Annual Report of National League
on Urban Conditions among Negroes.

The 1917 Report of the Chicago Branch of the National League on Urban
Conditions among Negroes.

Negro Migration: What Does It Mean? Gilbert N. Brink (pamphlet issued
by American Baptist Home Mission Society, New York).

Negro Migration. _New Republic_, January 1, 1916.

How the War Brings Unprophesied Opportunities to the Negro Race.
_Current Opinion_, December, 1916.

Negro Moving North. _Literary Digest_, October 7, 1916.

Cotton Pickers in Northern Cities. H.B. Pendleton, _Survey_, February
17, 1917.

Exodus in America. _Living Age_, October 6, 1917.

Lure of the North for Negroes. _Survey_, April 7, 1917.

Negroes Come North. K. Moses, _Forum_, August, 1917.

Negroes Go North. R.S. Baker, _World's Work_, July, 1917.

Negro Migration. P.H. Stone, _Outlook_, August 1, 1917.

Negro Migration as the South Sees It. _Survey_, August 11, 1917.

Passing of the Jim Crow. W.E.B. DuBois, _Independent_, July 14, 1917.

Reasons Why Negroes Go North. _Survey_, June 2, 1917.

South Calling Negroes Back. _Literary Digest_, June 23, 1917.

Southern Negroes Moving North. _World's Work_, June, 1917.

Welcoming Southern Negroes; East St. Louis and Detroit a Contrast.
F.B. Washington, _Survey_, July 14, 1917.

When Labor Is Cheap. B.M. Edens, _Survey_, September 8, 1917.

Interstate Migration. W.O. Scroggs, _Journal Political Economy_,
December, 1917.

Negroes Move North. G.E. Haynes, _Survey_, May 4, 1918.

Negroes a Source of Industrial Labor. D.T. Farnham, _Industrial
Management_, August, 1918.

Negro Welfare Workers in Pittsburgh. _Survey_, August 3, 1918.

Negroes and Organized Labor. _Survey_, February 9, 1918.

Negro and the New Economic Conditions. R.R. Moton, Proceedings
National Conference of Social Workers, 1917.

Migration of Negroes into Northern Cities. G.E. Haynes, National
Conference of Social Workers, 1917.

Progress of Work for the Assimilation of Negro Immigrants in Northern
Cities. F.B. Washington, National Conference of Social Workers, 1917

Negro Migration. Ralph W. Tyler, _Pearsons_, November, 1917.

Southern Labor as Affected by the War and Migration. Monroe N. Work,
Proceedings of Southern Sociological Congress, 1918.

The Duty of Southern Labor during the War. R.R. Moton, Proceedings
Southern Sociological Congress, 1918.

The Foundation (Atlanta), May-June, 1917.

A.M.E. Church Review (Philadelphia), January, 1917; April, 1918.

Voice of Missions (New York City), June, 1917.

Causes of Migration from the South. W.T. Andrews, Address at Race
Conference, Columbia (S.C.), February 8, 1917. Specially printed.

The Massacre of East St. Louis. Martha Gruening and W.E.B. DuBois,
_The Crisis_, September, 1917.

_The Crisis_, October, 1916, page 270; June, 1917, pages 63, 65.

_The Nation_, September 6; December 7, 1916.

The Problem of the Negro Laborer. _Iron Trade Review_, April 12, 1917.

Negro Migration Ebbs. _Iron Trade Review_, December 13, 1917.

Proceedings of Annual Convention of Federation of Labor, 1916, 1917,


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Norfolk (Va.) Virginian-Pilot, Oct. 20, 1916; Oct. 19, 1917; May 14,

Oakland (Cal.) Tribune, July 13, 1917.

Omaha (Neb.) Bee, Mar. 4, 1917; Mar. 24, 1918.

Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, Feb. 3, 1917.

Oshkosh (Wis.) Daily Northwestern, July 28, 1916.

Palatka (Fla.) Advocate, Mar. 10, 1917.

Passaic (N.J.) Herald, Apr. 15, 1918.

Paterson (N.J.) Guardian, Sept. 22, 1917.

Peoria (Ill.) Journal, Nov. 23, 1917.

Philadelphia Bulletin, Mar. 12, June 29, July 26-28, 30, 31, 1917.

Philadelphia Inquirer. Feb. 24, Mar. 2, July 26-31, Dec. 14, 1917;
Jan. 31, 1918.

Philadelphia North American, Aug. 9, 30, Nov. 24, 1916; Feb. 2, Mar.
27, July 26-31, 1917.

Philadelphia Public Ledger, May 11, 1916; Jan. 26, Apr. 6, July 16,.
26-31 Aug. 26, 1917; Jan. 31, May 27, Aug. 2, 3, 14, 1918.

Philadelphia Record, Apr. 8, 1915; Dec. 9, 1916; Mar. 2, Apr. 1, July
26-31 1917; June 12, 1918.

Philadelphia Telegraph, Oct. 11, Nov. 21, 1916; July 17, 26-31, 1917.

Pittsburgh Chronicle, Oct. 17, Dec. 1, 1916.

Pittsburgh Courier, June 22, 1917.

Pittsburgh Dispatch, Oct. 1, Dec. 7, 1916; Feb. 26, Mar. 16, Dec. 17,
1917; Mar. 7, Apr. 11, 14, 1918.

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Nov. 21, 1917; June 28, July 7, 1918.

Pittsburgh Leader, Nov. 1, Dec. 7, 1916; June 28, 1918.

Pittsburgh Press, Mar. 28, 29, 1917.

Pittsburgh Sun, Mar. 26, 1917; Apr. 11, 1918.

Portland (Me.) Express and Advertiser, Nov. 25, 1916.

Portland (Me.) Press, Aug. 10, 1917.

Portland (Ore.) Oregonian, Nov. 7, 1917.

Providence (R.I.) Bulletin, Nov. 11, 1916; Feb. 13, 1918.

Providence (R.I.) Journal, Aug. 17, 28, Oct. 29, Nov. 9, 20, Dec. 23,
1916; Aug. 7, 1918.

Providence (R.I.) Tribune, Dec. 22, 1917.

Raleigh (N.C.) Independent, Apr. 28, July 21, Sept. 15, Oct. 27, Dec.
22, 1917; June 1, 29, 1918.

Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, Aug. 11, Oct. 4, Nov. 14, 1916.

Reading (Pa.) Telegram, Sept. 7, 1916; July 11, 1917.

Richmond (Va.) News Leader, July 6, 1917; June 4, 1918.

Richmond (Va.) Planet, Mar. 10, Apr. 7, 28, May 5, 19, June 23, Aug.
18, 1917; Feb. 16, 28, Mar. 30, Apr. 20, June 8, July 6, 1918.

Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, Aug. 26, 1916.

Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat Chronicle, June 5, 1916; Feb. 18, Mar. 27,

Rochester (N.Y.) Post Express, Nov. 11, 17, Dec. 8, 1916; Jan. 8,

Rochester (N.Y.) Times, Dec. 11, 1916.

Rochester (N.Y.) Union and Advertiser, Dec. 8, 1916.

Rome (N.Y.) Sentinel, Mar. 21, 1917.

Sacramento (Cal.) Union, June 16, 1917.

Saginaw (Mich.) Courier-Herald, Mar. 21, 1917.

St. Joseph (Mo.) News. Feb. 17, 1917.

St. Louis Argus, Aug. 25, Oct. 20, 1916; Jan. 6. Feb. 9, Mar. 23, June
1, 8, Sept. 14, Oct. 5, 1917; Mar. 15, 22, Aug. 9, Sept. 27, Oct. 4,
11, 1918.

St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Feb. 15, May 30, 31, July 2-18, 1917; March
28, 1918.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dec. 1, 10, 14, 1916: May 30, 31, July 2-18;
Sept. 9, Nov. 3, 1917; May 10, 11, July 12, 18, Aug. 28, 1918.

St. Louis Star, May 30, 31, July 2-6, 8-13, 15-18, 1917.

St. Louis Times, May 30, 31, July 2-6, 8-13, 15-18, Aug. 11, 28, 1917.

Salina (Kas.) Union, Aug. 30, 1917.

Salt Lake City (Utah) Tribune, Mar. 4, 1917.

San Antonio (Tex.) Light, Sept. 10. 1916; May 14, Sept. 1, 1918.

San Jose (Cal.) Herald, Aug. 28, 1916.

Savannah (Ga.) Morning News, July 31, Aug. 2, 1916; Jan. 3, July 18,
1917; June 6, 1918.

Savannah Tribune, Aug. 5. 19, Sept. 9, 23, 30, Nov. 11, Oct. 28, 1916;
Feb. 3. Mar. 31, Apr. 7, 28, May 10, 12, 17, 19, June 2, July 2, 1917;
Feb. 13, Mar. 16, Apr. 13, May 20, July 20, 27, Aug. 3, 24, 1918.

St. Paul (Minn.) News, June 12, 14, 17, 1918.

St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, July 9, Oct. 5, 1915; Dec. 1, 1916;
Aug. 6, 1918.

Scranton (Pa.) News, Mar. 3, 1915.

Seattle (Wash.) Post, Dec. 15, 1916; Aug. 16, 1917.

Sharon (Pa.) Herald, Feb. 1, 1917.

Shreveport (La.) Times, July 18, Aug. 2, Oct. 6, 1917; May 28, 1918.

Southern Standard (Macon, Ga.), June 16, 1917; May 2, 13, 1918.

Southwestern Christian Advocate (New Orleans), Dec. 7, 1916; Jan. 4,
11, Mar. 1, 22, July 19, Oct. 18, 1917; Mar. 9, May 30, July 25, Aug.
22, 1918.

Spartanburg (S.C.) Journal, Sept. 11, 1917.

Spokane (Wash.) Chronicle, Dec. 11, 1916.

Springfield (Mass.) News, Mar. 6, 1918.

Springfield (Ohio) News, Aug. 2, 1917.

Springfield (Mass.) Republican, May 12, Sept. 8, 10, Nov. 1, 17, 27,
Dec. 3, 1916; Jan. 17, 19, 21, 25, Feb. 15, Mar. 8-11, July 7, Aug. 8,
Nov. 27, 1917; Jan. 20, May 15, 1918.

Springfield (Mo.) Republican, Sept. 9, 1917; Mar. 14, 1918.

Springfield (Mass.) Union, Apr. 16, 1915; July 16, Sept. 6, 1916; Apr.
2, 1917.

Star of Zion (Charlotte, N.C.), July 19, Aug. 16, 1917.

Steubenville (Ohio) Star, Aug. 4, 20, 1917.

Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald, July 17, 1917.

Syracuse (N.Y.) Journal, Aug. 4, 1917.

Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard, Aug. 2, 1916; Oct. 10, 1917.

Tacoma (Wash.) News, May 25, 1918.

Tampa (Fla.) Times, June 8, 9, 1917.

Texas Freeman (Houston), Oct. 13, 1917.

The Daily Herald (Baltimore), Nov. 22, Dec. 17, 1917; Jan. 5, Feb. 16,
Mar. 8, 16, 23, 27, 30, April 1, 2, 16, 17, 19, 22, May 11, 13, 17,
18, 28, 30, June 6, July 8, 31, Aug. 6, 1918.

The Economic World (New York City), Mar. 9, June 29, 1918.

The Living Church (Milwaukee), Dec. 22, 1917.

The Observer (New York City), Oct. 7, 1916.

The Piedmont (Greenville, S.C.), Mar. 16, 1917.

The Progressive Farmer (Raleigh, N.C.), Jan. 27, 1917.

The Public (New York City), Nov. 30, 1917; May 25, 1918.

The Standard (Chicago), July 16, 1917; Jan. 26, 1918.

The Voice of the People (Birmingham), Aug. 5, Dec. 2, 16, 1916; Apr.
22, May 19, July 14, 1917.

The Watchman (New York City), Mar. 1, 1917.

Topeka (Kas.) Plain Dealer, Dec. 20, 1916; June 29, 1917.

Toledo (Ohio) Blade, July 12, Aug. 20, 1917.

Toledo (Ohio) Times, June 14, 1917.

Trenton (N.J.) State Gazette, Aug. 10, Sept. 24, Oct. 8, Nov. 14, Dec.
3, 1917.

Trenton (N.J.) Times, July 28, Aug. 6, 1916; July 6, Sept. 18, 19,
21, 22, 28, Oct. 13, Dec. 3, 1917; Feb. 13, Mar. 9, Apr. 10, July 11,

Troy (N.Y.) Times, July 7, Nov. 1, 1916; Feb. 16, Mar. 28, July 25,

Utica (N.Y.) Observer, Nov. 17, 1916; Aug. 22, 1917.

Utica (N.Y.) Press, Sept. 15, 1917.

Valdosta (Ga.) Times, July 3, 1917; Jan. 29, 1918.

Vicksburg (Miss.) Herald, Aug. 19, 1916; July 7, Dec. 7, 1917; July
30, 1918.

Vicksburg (Miss.) Post, Nov. 9, 1917; July 31, 1918.

Walla Walla (Wash.) Bulletin, Mar. 13, 1918.

Washington (D.C.) Bee, Feb. 13, 1915; Nov. 11, 1917; Mar. 23, Aug. 17,
24, Sept. 7, 1918.

Washington (D.C.) Herald, Jan. 23, 1916.

Washington (D.C.) National Tribune, Nov. 10, 1916.

Washington (D.C.) Post, Dec. 4, 1916; Feb. 25, 1918.

Washington (D.C.) Star, Nov. 23, 1916; Apr. 2, July 18, 1917; Sept. 8,

Washington (D.C.) Times, Nov. 13, 1916; Sept. 8, 1918.

Waterbury (Conn.) Democrat, Feb. 8, Oct. 29, 1917.

Waterbury (Conn.) Republican, July 4, 1917.

Waterloo (Iowa) Courier, Apr. 3, 1918.

Watertown (N.Y.) Times, Nov. 17. 1916: Feb. 2, 1917.

Weekly Witness (New York City), Sept. 6, 1916.

Wesleyan Christian Advocate (Atlanta, Ga.), Mar. 22, 1917.

Westerly (R.I.) Sun, Nov. 8, 1916.

Wilmington (Del.) News, Dec. 1, 1916; Sept. 17, 1917.

Wisconsin Weekly Blade (Madison, Wis.), Jan. 18, Mar. 15, Apr. 5,

Women's Wear (New York City), July 12, 13, 21, Oct. 3, 1917; Jan. 23,
Mar. 27, Aug. 5, 1918.

Yonkers (N.Y.) Herald, July 12, 1915.

Youngstown (Ohio) Telegram, Aug. 21, 1917.

Youngstown (Ohio) Vindicator, Jan. 9, Mar. 23, 1918.

[Footnote 1: The newspaper discussion of the migration had its
beginning in 1915 in statements about the conditions of negro labor
in the South and the outlook for it in the North. The discussion was
continued in the 1918 newspapers.]


  Adams, Henry, 4, 6.

  Abbott, William, 84.

  African Methodist Episcopal Church, 145.

  Akron, migrations to, 57, 126.

    migrations from, 4, 7, 59, 63-74, 95-96, 107, 109;
    causes of migrations, 14-15, 20-21;
    Colonization Council, 5;
    efforts to check migrations, 72, 76;
    effects of migrations, 86.

  Albany, migrations to, 56.

  Albert Trostel Co., employment of negro labor, 114-115.

  Allis Chalmers Co., employment of negro labor, 114.

  Altoona, migrations to, 134.

  Aluminum Ore Works, employment of negro labor, 100-101.

  Amaca, Tom, 37.

  American Baptist Home Mission Society, 144.

  American Car & Foundry Co., employment of negro labor, 97.

  American Cast Iron Pipe Co., employment of negro labor, 93.

  American Federation of Labor, 147-148.
    _See also_ Labor Unions.

  American International Shipbuilding Co., employment of negro labor, 139.

  American Steel & Wire Co., employment of negro labor, 108-109.

  Andrews, W.T., 172.

    migrations to, 3, 9, 65-68;
    efforts to check migrations, 72.

  Armour & Co., employment of negro labor, 100.

  Armstrong Association, 137-138.

  _Atlanta Constitution_, 59.

  _Atlanta Independent_, 162.

  Atlanta Mutual Insurance Co., 64.

  Badham, Henry L., 20.

  Bailey, H.C., 128.

  Banks, Edward T., 128.

    migrations to, 110-111;
    wages in, 111.

  Beloit _News_, 159.

  Bibliography, 175-183.

  Birmingham _Voice of the People_, 160.

  "Bloody Isle," The, 99.

  Boll weevil, damage to cotton crops by, 14, 165.

  Booker T. Washington Social Settlement, 114.

  Bricklayers, wages of, 16, 86.

  Brickmasons, wages of, 86.

  Brink, Gilbert N., 144.

  Brown Farm, 37.

  Bryant, Lewis T., 141.

  Buffalo, migrations to, 56, 67.

  Building trades, negroes employed in, 122.

  Bus boys, wages of, 17.

  Butler, J.H., 75.

  Butchers, wages of, 114.

  Cantonments, construction of, in South, 84.

  Capital, influence on migration of Northern, 47.

    in Pittsburgh, 122;
    wages of, 16, 86.

  Carter, R.A., 146.

  Causes of migrations:
    Of 1879, 3-6;
    unemployment, 14-15, 59;
    failure of crops, 14-15, 165;
    wages, 14-16, 83;
    demand for labor in North, 14, 17-18, 28-29, 102, 111;
    lack of educational facilities, 18-19, 81, 83;
    treatment in courts, 19-20, 22, 83-85;
    fee system and street tax, 20-21;
    traveling accommodations, 21-22;
    lynchings and mob violence, 18-19, 22, 79-81, 83, 166-167;
    prejudice, 24-25, 83;
    between cities in North, 117;
    as expressed through the press, 152-174.

  Champion Chemical Co., 128.

  Charlotte _Star of Zion_, 161.

  Chart showing extent and trend of migrations, 71.

  _Chattanooga Times_, 169.

  Chauffeurs, wages of, 114.

    migrations to, 45, 58, 66-67, 69, 102;
    opportunities, 29, 102;
    increases in negro population, 7, 51;
    housing, 102-106;
    wages, 17, 102-103, 114;
    welfare work, 103.
    _See also_ East Chicago;

  _Chicago Defender_, 29-33.

  Chicago Renting Agents Association, 103.

  Chicago Women's Club, 103.

  Chisholm, J.N., 37.

  _Christian Index_, 163.

    effects of migrations on, 86, 144;
    aid rendered by, 132, 144-147.

  Cigar factories, employment of women in, 129.

  Cincinnati, migrations to, 57, 125.

  Cleveland, migrations to, 57, 126-127.

  Cleveland Association of Colored Men, 128.

  Cleveland Welfare Federation, 126.

  Colonization Council, 4-5.

  Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, 146.

  Colored Protective Association, 137.

  _Columbia_ (S.C.) _State_, 155.

  Columbus, migrations to, 7, 57, 126.

  Commerce and Labor, Secretary of, 99.

  Conferences to check migrations, 79-81, 83;
    in Ohio, 128;
    in New Jersey, 140;
    American Federation of Labor, 147-148;
    National League on Urban Conditions among Negroes, 143-144, 149.

    demand for labor, 54;
    migrations to, 56, 58, 141-142;
    wages, 142.
    _See also_ Hartford.

  Connors, William R., 127.

  Convict system, 3-4.

  Cooks, 122.

  Core makers, 129.

  Correspondence, influence of, on migrations, 34, 69.

  Cotton crop, failures of, 14.

  Council of National Defense, 120.

  Courts, treatment in:
    cause of migrations, 10-20, 22, 83-85;
    effects of migrations, 89.

  Crawford, Anthony, 47.

  Credit system, 92-93.

  Crop failures, 14-15.

  Cudahy Soap Factory, 109.

  Culver, Charles M., 130.

  _Dallas Express_, 162.

  Davis, I.D., 81.

  Dayton, migrations to, 126.

  Discussion, stimulus to migration, 26.

  District of Columbia, migrations to, 57.

  Diversification of crops, 15.

  Delaware, migrations to, 57, 134.

  Delinquency problem, study of, in Cleveland, 127.

    opportunities in, 28;
    negro labor, 51, 130-131;
    wages, 129;
    welfare work, 131-132;
    housing, 131-132.
    _See also_ Michigan.

  Detroit _Labor News_, 151.

  Detroit Employers' Association, 130.

  Dock hands, wages of, 114.

  Domestic service:
    in North, 17, 50-51, 122, 129;
    in South, 16.

  Domination, removal of fear of, 91.

  Dressmaking trade, negro labor in, 50.

  East Chicago:
    migrations to, 109-110;
    wages, 109-110;
    housing, 109-110;
    recreation facilities, 110;
    prejudice, 110;
    returns to former homes from, 110.
    _See also_ Chicago;

  East St. Louis:
    migrations to, 57, 99-101;
    riot of 1917, 98-101;
    wages, 99;
    demand for labor, 99;
    housing, 100.
    _See also_ St. Louis;

  East St. Louis _Journal_, 101.

  Economic policy of South, change in, following migrations, 87-88.

  Edge, Governor, of New Jersey, 140.

  Educational facilities:
    lack of, cause of migration, 18-19, 81, 83;
    improvement in, 83, 90-91;
    separation in schools, 96.

  Effects on the North:
    increase in crime, 141;
    views of the press, 152-174.

  Effects on the South:
    wages, 86-87;
    change in economic policies, 88-92;
    labor unions, 88, 147-151;
    lessening of prejudice, 88-89;
    welfare work, 88, 92-94;
    increased educational facilities, 83, 90-91;
    land tenure and credit systems, 92-93;
    views of the press, 152-174.

  Efforts of the North to induce migration:
    labor agents, 29, 36-37, 40, 60, 65;
    in Milwaukee, 112, 114;
    in Pittsburgh, 119-120.

  Efforts of the South to check migration:
    suppression of labor agents, 38, 72-74, 76-77;
    through Tuskegee Institute, 81-82;
    through the churches, 83;
    legislation, 72-73, 76;
    increased wages, 79, 83;
    change in policies, 84-85;
    improved educational facilities, 83, 90-91.

  Eiffin, William T., 141.

  Ellis, J.B., 81.

  Emerson & Birmingham:
    employment of negro labor, 106;
    housing of its labor, 107.

  Epstein, Abraham, 18, 119-120, 122-123.

  Erie Railroad, demand of, for labor, 135.

  Factories, negro labor employed in, 51.

  Fairbanks, Morse & Co., employment of negro labor, 111.

  Farm hands, wages of, 86.

  Faulks' Manufacturing Co., employment of negro labor, 114-115.

  Fee system, 20-21.

  Firemen, wages of, 114.

  Floods as cause of migration, 14.

    migrations to, 9;
    migrations from, 38, 43-44, 55, 59, 62-63, 69;
    causes of migration, 14, 22;
    efforts to check migration, 72-73.

  Floyd, William, 54.

  Foundrymen, wages of:
    in Massachusetts, 17;
    in Minnesota, 18;
    in Chicago, 17, 114.

  Fraily, E.J., Jr., 54.

  Free Sewing Machine Co.:
    employment of negro labor, 106;
    housing of its labor, 107.

  Free transportation, 47-48.

  Garment factories, employment of women in, 129.

  Gasselli Chemical Co., employment of negro labor, 109-110.

    migrations from, 38, 59-62, 69, 109;
    causes of migrations, 14, 22, 79-80, 83;
    efforts to check migrations, 72-76, 79, 80-81, 86;
    activities of labor agents, 60.

  _Georgia Enquirer Sun_, 154.

  Glass works, employment of negro labor in, 100.

  Goldsmiths Detinning Co., employment of negro labor, 109.

  Gompers, Samuel, 151.
    _See also_ American Federation of Labor.

  Great Lakes Naval Training Station, 108.

  Great Northern Drive, The, 30, 33.

  Grimke, Archibald H., 150.

  Harrisburg, migrations to, 57, 134.

  Harris, George W., 150.

    migrations to, 56, 58, 141-142;
    wages, 142;
    housing, 142.

  Hartford Baptist Association, 141.

  Hartford Civic Club, Housing Committee of, 142.

  Haynes, George E., 129.

  Hobson & Walkers Brick Yard, employment of negro labor, 109.

  Hoffman Manufacturing Co., employment of negro labor, 114-115.

  Home Missions Council of Churches of Christ in America, 132, 145.

    in St. Louis, 97-98;
    in East St. Louis, 100;
    in Chicago, 102-106;
    in Rockford, 106-107;
    in Waukegan, 108;
    in East Chicago, 109-110;
    in Beloit, 111;
    in Milwaukee, 117-118;
    in Pittsburgh, 120-122;
    in Cleveland, 126-127;
    in Detroit, 131-132;
    in Pennsylvania, 135;
    in Philadelphia, 137-139;
    in New Jersey, 139-140;
    in Hartford, 141-142.

  Howe, Frederick C., 53.

    migrations to, 7, 58, 68, 108-109;
    housing, 108;
    wages, 108;
    prejudice, 109;
    migrations from, 112.
    _See also_ Chicago;
                    East Chicago.

  Illinois Central Railroad, importation of negro labor, 102.

  Immigration Bureau of Social Uplift Work for Negroes, 143.

  Indiana, migrations to, 5, 57, 68.

  Influences on migrations:
    discussion, 26;
    public speaking, 27-28;
    attitude of North, 27;
    reports of opportunities in North, 28-29, 34;
    rumors, 28-29, 40, 78-79;
    activities of _Chicago Defender_, 29-33;
    activities of labor agents, 29, 36-37;
    correspondence, 34, 40, 69;
    circulation of literature and poems, 35, 37.

  Inland Steel Foundry, employment of negro labor, 109.

  Interdenominational Ministerial Union, 137.

  International Lead Refining Co., employment of negro labor, 109.

  Intersectional migration:
    number born in specified divisions and living in or out of these divisions, 10;
    number living in specified divisions, 10;
    migration north to south, south to north and east to west, 11;
    net migration eastward and westward and northward and southward, 12.

  Interstate Mill, employment of negro labor, 109.

  Intoxicants, use of, among negroes in Pittsburgh, 124.

  Invasion, rumors of, 28.

  Iowa, migrations from, to Wisconsin, 112.

  Iron and steel industries, employment of negro labor in, 113.

    in Milwaukee, 114;
    in Pittsburgh, 122.

  Jersey City, migrations to, 57.

  Johnson, Charles S., 23, 128.

  Jones, E.K., 93, 150.

  Jones, Thomas Jesse, 18, 150.

  Joyce, labor agent, 72.

  Kansas, migrations to, 3-6, 58.

    migrations to, 68;
    migrations from, 95.

  Krolick Co., employment of women by, 131.

    Labor agents:
      activities of, 29, 36-37, 40, 60, 65;
      from St. Louis, 96;
      from East St. Louis, 99;
      from Milwaukee, 112;
      from Pittsburgh, 120;
      from Pennsylvania, 135;
      efforts of the South to suppress, 38, 72-74, 76-77;
      inquiry of Council of National Defense, 129.
    Labor Unions:
      prejudice of, 49;
      change in policy, 88, 147-151.
    Suitability of negro labor, 115-116, 123, 130-131;
      demand in North for, 14;
      competition in North, 50-52;
      comparison of negro with foreign labor, 125;
      wages--_see_ Wages.

  Labor, Department of, 53, 78.

  Lancaster, B.S., 150.

  Lancaster, migrations to, 134.

  Land tenure system, improvement in, 92-93.

  Legal aid to negroes in North, 127.

    to check migration, 72-73, 76;
    to aid migrants in North, 141.

  Lindeman-Hoverson Co., A.J., employment of negro labor, 113-115.

  Literature, circulation of, influence on migration, 35.

    migrations from, 4, 59, 68;
    causes of migrations, 14;
    Colonization Council, 5;
    efforts to check migrations, 78.

  Lumber stackers, wages of, 103.

    cause of migrations, 18-19, 22, 79-81, 83, 166-167;
    checking of, 94;
    Anthony Crawford, 47;
    in Georgia, 22, 79;
    in Tennessee, 22.

    in Detroit, 129;
    in Massachusetts, 17.

  Macon _Telegraph_, 156

  Marks Manufacturing Co., wages paid by, 103.

    migrations to, 56;
    wages in, 17.

  Massacres, cause of migration of 1879, 4.

  Maxwell, William H., 140.

  Mechanics, negro labor in, 51.

  _Memphis Commercial Appeal_, 154.

    migrations to, 58, 68, 129-133;
    migrations from, 112.
    _See also_ Detroit.

  Middletown, migrations to, 126.

    to Kansas, 1879, 3-6;
    to Arkansas and Texas, 1888 and 1889, 3;
    of May 15, 1917, 30-33;
    of August 15, 1917, 33;
    chart showing extent and trend of, 71;
    efforts to check--_see_ Efforts;
    effects of--_see_ Effects.

    migrations to, 111-118;
    efforts to secure negro labor, 111-112, 114;
    recreation facilities, 112, 117-118;
    wages, 113-115;
    prejudice, 116;
    housing, 117-118;
    migrations from, 117.

  Milwaukee Coke & Gas Co., employment of negro labor, 113-115.

  Ministers, aid of, sought to check migrations, 83.

    migrations from, to Wisconsin, 112;
    wages in, 18.

    migrations from, 4, 45, 59, 64-68, 95-96, 99, 109, 111;
    Colonization Council, 5;
    causes of migrations, 14-15, 20, 24-25;
    efforts to check migrations, 72, 76-78, 82-83;
    effects of migrations, 87, 89-90.

  Missouri, migrations to, 57.
    _See also_ St. Louis;
                    East St. Louis.

  Missouri Malleable Iron Works, employment of negro labor, 100.

  Mob violence, 79-80, 83, 167.
    _See also_ Riots.

    in Chicago, 17;
    in Detroit, 129.

  Moldsetters, in Pittsburgh, 122.

  Montgomery _Advertiser_, 150, 165, 169-170.

  Moore, Fred R., 150.

  Morris & Co., employment of negro labor, 100.

  Moton, Robert R., 150-151.

  Motormen in Detroit, 28.

  Muckers, wages of, 114.

  Nagel, Charles, 99.

  _Nashville Banner_, 153.

  National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 98, 128, 137, 151.

  National League on Urban Conditions among Negroes:
    aid to migrations, 54, 56;
    welfare work, 93, 143-144, 149;
    conferences, 143-144, 149;
    in St. Louis, 98;
    in Chicago, 69, 104;
    in Pittsburgh, 121;
    in Detroit, 131-132;
    in Philadelphia, 137.

  National Malleable Iron Works, employment of negro labor, 113-115.

  National organizations, remedies for relief by, 143-151.

  Nebraska, migrations to, 58.

  Nelson & Co., employment of negro labor, 100.

  New Orleans _Times Picayune_, 152.

  Newark. _See_ New Jersey.

  New Jersey:
    migrations to, 39, 56-57, 139;
    migrations to Newark, 56-58;
    return of migrants to South from, 139;
    housing, 139-140;
    wages, 140;
    legislation, 141;
    effects of migrations, 141;
    welfare work, 139-141.

  Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., 93.

  New York, migrations to, 39, 56, 58, 67-68.

  New York _New Republic_, 157.

  _New York News_, 54, 164.

  _New York Age_, 43.

  _New York Globe_, 159.

  Norfolk _Journal and Guide_, 160.

    opportunities, 17, 28-29;
    attitude toward migrants, 27, 136, 152-174;
    aids to migrants, 143-151.

  North Carolina, migrations from, 4-5, 39.

  Northwest, migrations to, 69.

  Northwestern Railroad, need of, for labor, 108.

  Oates, W.H., 21.

    migrations to, 7, 57, 125-129;
    housing, 126-127;
    welfare work, 126-128;
    conferences to aid migrants, 128.

  Ohio Federation for Uplift of the Colored People, 128.

  Ohio State Council of National Defense, 128.

  Ohio State and City Labor Bureau, 128.

  Ohio Charter Commission, 128.

  Oklahoma, migrations to, 9.

  Omaha, migrations to, 58.

  Oshkosh _Daily Northwestern_, 158.

  Packing houses, negroes employed in:
    East St. Louis, 100;
    Chicago, 29, 102;
    Milwaukee, 114.

    in Pittsburgh, 122;
    wages of, 86.

  Parker, Judge T.A., 81.

  Parks, Rev., 79.

  Pattern Makers, wages of, 17.

  Pass Riders, 77.

    migrations to, 9, 38-39, 55, 57, 67, 134-139;
    labor agents from, 135;
    returns to former homes from, 135.
    _See also_ Philadelphia;

  Pennsylvania Railroad Co., demand of, for labor, 69, 135.

  Persuasion, use of, to check migrations, 79.

  Pfister-Vogel Co., employment of negro labor, 114-115, 117.

    migrations to, 57-58, 135;
    prejudice, 135;
    attitude of negroes in, toward migrants, 136;
    wages, 136;
    riots, 136;
    housing, 137-139;
    social work, 137-139.
    _See also_ Pennsylvania.

  Philadelphia Academy of Medicine, 137.

  Philadelphia _Christian Recorder_, 164.

    migrations to, 58, 67, 119-125;
    efforts to secure negro labor, 119-120;
    housing, 120-122;
    social conditions in, 121, 124-125;
    prejudice, 123;
    wages, 18, 123-124;
    comparison of negro labor with foreign labor, 125.
    _See also_ Pennsylvania.

  Pittsburgh Associated Charities, 121.

  Pittsburgh _Dispatch_, 160.

  Pittsburgh, University of, 121.

  Plankington Packing Co., employment of negro labor, 113-115.

  Plantation government, 84.

  Poems, circulation of, influence on migration, 37.

  Political prosecution in South, 4.

    in Chicago, 17;
    in Milwaukee, 114;
    in Pittsburgh, 122;
    wages of, 17, 114.

  Pottsville, migrations to, 134.

  Poughkeepsie, migrations to, 56.

    Rockford, 107-108;
    Waukegan, 109;
    East Chicago, 110;
    Beloit, 111;
    Milwaukee, 116;
    Pittsburgh, 123;
    Philadelphia, 135;
    cause of migration, 3, 22, 24-25;
    of labor unions, 49-51;
    decrease in, 91.

  Press, causes and effects of migrations, as expressed through the, 152-174.

  Prisoners, care of discharged, 127.

  Professional men, migration of, 45.

  Public opinion regarding migrations, 152-174.

  Public speaking, stimulation of migration by, 27-28.

  Puddlers, employment of, in Pittsburgh, 122.

    efforts of, to secure negro labor, 38, 120;
    wages, 103;
    in Pittsburgh, 122.

  Raleigh _Independent_, 161.

  Realty Housing and Investment Co., 127.

  Reeves, Alexander, 72.

    in Georgia, 80;
    increased educational facilities, 83, 90;
    through W.P. Thirkfield, 83;
    through Tuskegee Institute, 81;
    conferences, 143-144;
    through churches, 144-147;
    through labor unions, 147-151.

    in Chicago, 105;
    in Cleveland, 126;
    in New Jersey, 139;
    in Hartford, 142.
    _See also_ Housing.

  Republic Rolling Mill, employment of negro labor, 109.

  Returns to South:
    from East Chicago, 110;
    from Pennsylvania, 135;
    from New Jersey, 139.

  Riley, George S., 73.

    in East St. Louis, 98-100;
    in Philadelphia, 136.
    _See also_ Mob violence.

  Robinson, Joe, 72.

  Robinson, William, 107.

    migrations to, 106-108;
    housing, 106-107;
    wages, 106-107;
    prejudice, 107-108.

  Rockford Malleable Iron Company:
    employment of negro labor, 106-107;
    housing of its labor, 106-107;
    wages paid by, 107.

  Rumors, influence on migrations of, 28-29, 40, 78-79.

  St. Louis:
    migrations to, 57, 66-67, 95-101;
    separation, 95;
    efforts to secure migrants, 96;
    wages, 96-97;
    housing, 97-98.
    _See also_ East St. Louis;

  Sanitary conditions:
    improvements in, 92, 94;
    in St. Louis, 98.

  Scarborough, W.S., 128.

  Schwartz, John E., 37.

  Scott, Emmett J., 150.

  Scroggs, William Oscar, 9.

  Segregation, 95-96.

  Servants. _See_ Domestic service.

  Shillady, J.R., 150-151.

  Shoemakers, wages of, 114.

  Singleton, "Pap" (Benjamin), 5-6.

  Skilled workers, 122, 129.

  Smith, Bridges, 59.

  Social conditions:
    in Pittsburgh, 121;
    in Cleveland, 127.
    _See also_ Welfare work.

  Social Service Commission of the Churches of Christ, 121.

  Solvay Steel Castings Co., employment of negro labor, 114.

  South Carolina:
    migrations from, 46-47;
    race conference, 172.

  _Southwestern Christian Advocate_, 144.

  Springfield, migrations to, 126.

  Springfield _Union_, 158.

  Stanton, V.L., 81.

  Steel industry:
    demand for labor, 38, 119;
    negroes employed in Pittsburgh, 122.

  Steel molders, wages of, 114.

  Stimulation of migrations. _See_ Influences.

  Street construction workers, wages of, 114.

  Street tax in South, cause of migration, 20.

  Superstitions of migrants, 40, 45-46.

  Swift and Company, employment of negro labor, 100.

  Tannery laborers, wages of, 114.

  Teachers, wages of, 18.

    migrations from, 4-5, 95-96, 99;
    migrations to, 68;
    lynchings, 22.

  Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Co., 93.

    migrations to, 3;
    migrations from, 4;
    Colonization Council, 5.

  Theater ushers, women employed as, 129.

  Thirkfield, Bishop W.P., 83.

  Tifton _Gazette_, 79.

  Tobacco fields, wages of labor employed in, 17.

  Trakem Pump Co., employment of negro labor, 106.

  Tunnell Construction Co., employment of negro labor, 114-115.

  Tuskegee Institute:
    efforts to check migrations, 81;
    conference of, 82.

  Transfer yards, negro labor employed in, 100.

  Transportation, influence on migration of fears of, 28-29.

  Transportation paid by Northern employers, 135.

  Traveling accommodations, influence on migrations, 21-22;
    effects of migrations, 91.

  Trenton, migrations to, 57.

  Truckers, employment of negro laborers as, 129.

  "Underground Railroad," 68.

  Unemployment, 14-16, 59.

  Union Central Relief Association, 64.

  United States Production Co., 109.

  Unskilled labor, 122, 129.

  _Vicksburg Herald_, 153.

  Virginia, migrations from, 39.

      cause of migrations, 14-18, 29, 34, 83, 171;
      comments of press, 84;
      effects of migrations, 81, 83, 85-87, 91.
      In Pittsburgh, 18, 123-124;
      in Massachusetts, 17;
      in Minnesota, 18;
      in St. Louis, 96-97, 99;
      in Chicago, 17, 102-103, 109-110, 114;
      in Rockford, 106-107;
      in Waukegan, 108;
      in Beloit, 111;
      in Milwaukee, 113-115;
      in Detroit, 129-130;
      in Philadelphia, 136;
      in New Jersey, 140;
      in Hartford, 142.

  Walker, A.P., 37.

  Walla Walla _Bulletin_, 160.

  Warehousemen, wages of, 17.

  Waukegan, migrations to, 108-109.

  Waukegan industries, employment of negro labor, 108-109.

  Wehr Steel and Machine Shops, employment of negro labor, 113.

  Welfare work:
    National League on Urban Conditions among Negroes, 93, 143-144, 149;
    in Chicago, 103;
    in Ohio, 126-128;
    in Detroit, 131;
    in New Jersey, 139-141;
    in Philadelphia, 137-139;
    in Hartford, 141-142.

  Wilberforce University, 128.

  Wilder Tannery Co., employment of negro labor, 108.

  Wills, J. Walter, 128.

  Wilmington, migrations to, 134.

  Wilson Packing Co., wages paid by, 103.

  Winston, Francis D., 153.

    migrations to, 110-111;
    wages, 111.
    _See also_ Milwaukee.

  Women's Health League, 88.

  Woods, J.S., 114.

  Wright, R.R., 171.

  Yard workers, wages of, 17.

  York, migrations to, 134.

  Young Negroes' Progressive Association, 132.

  Youngstown, migrations to, 57, 126.

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