Infomotions, Inc.The New South A Chronicle of Social and Industrial Evolution / Thompson, Holland, 1873-1940

Author: Thompson, Holland, 1873-1940
Title: The New South A Chronicle of Social and Industrial Evolution
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): negro; negroes; south; southern; carolina; north carolina; mills; cotton; industry; south carolina; populist party
Contributor(s): Darwin, Francis, Sir, 1848-1925 [Editor]
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Title: The New South
       A Chronicle Of Social And Industrial Evolution

Author: Holland Thompson

Release Date: August 3, 2004 [EBook #13107]

Language: English

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The South of today is not the South of 1860 or even of 1865. There is a
New South, though not perhaps in the sense usually understood, for no
expression has been more often misused in superficial discussion. Men
have written as if the phrase indicated a new land and a new
civilization, utterly unlike anything that had existed before and
involving a sharp break with the history and the traditions of the past.
Nothing could be more untrue. Peoples do not in one generation or in two
rid themselves entirely of characteristics which have been developing
for centuries.

There is a New South, but it is a logical development from the Old
South. The civilization of the South today has not been imposed from
without but has been an evolution from within, though influenced by the
policy of the National Government. The Civil War changed the whole
organization of Southern society, it is true, but it did not modify its
essential attributes, to quote the ablest of the carpetbaggers, Albion
W. Tourgee. Reconstruction strengthened existing prejudices and created
new bitterness, but the attempt failed to make of South Carolina another
Massachusetts. The people resisted stubbornly, desperately, and in the
end successfully, every attempt to impose upon them alien institutions.

The story of Reconstruction has been told elsewhere.[1] A combination of
two ideas--high-minded altruism and a vindictive desire to humiliate a
proud people for partisan advantage--wrought mischief which has not been
repaired in nearly half a century. It is to be doubted, however, whether
Reconstruction actually changed in any essential point the beliefs of
the South. Left to itself, the South would not, after the War, have
given the vote to the negro. When left to itself still later, it took
the ballot away. The South would not normally have accepted the negro as
a social equal. The attempt to force the barrier between the races by
legislation with the aid of bayonets failed. Without the taste of power
during the Reconstruction period, the black South would not have
demanded so much and the determination of the white South to dominate
would not perhaps have been expressed so bitterly; but in any case the
white South would have dominated.

[Footnote 1: See _The Sequel of Appomattox_, by Walter Lynwood Fleming
(in _The Chronicles of America_).]

Economic and industrial development was hindered by Reconstruction. Men
of vision had seen before the War that the South must become more nearly
self-sufficient; and the results of the conflict had emphasized this
idea. The South believed, and believes yet, that it was defeated by the
blockade and not by military force. According to this theory, the North
won because the South could not manufacture goods for its needs, because
it did not possess ships to bring in goods from abroad, and because it
could not build a navy to defend its ports. Today it is clear that the
South never had a chance to win, so long as the will to conquer was firm
in the North. As soon as the War was over, the demand for greater
industrial development made itself felt and gained in strength when
Reconstruction came; but during that period the people had to devote all
their energies to living day by day, hoping for strength to endure.
When property was being confiscated under the forms of law, only to be
squandered by irresponsible legislators, there was little incentive to
remake the industrial system, and the ventures of the Reconstruction
government into industrial affairs were not encouraging. Farm property
in the South--and little was left except farm property after the
War--depreciated in value enormously in the decade following 1860.
Grimly, sullenly, the white man of the South fought again to secure
domination, this time, however, of his own section only and not of the
nation. When this had been achieved, a large portion of the population
was overcome by that deadly apathy so often remarked by travelers who
ventured to visit the land as they would have visited Africa. The white
South wished only to be let alone.

During this apathetic period there was some talk of the natural
resources of the South; but there was little attempt on the part of
Southerners to utilize these resources. There was talk of interesting
foreign capital, but little effective work was done to secure such
capital. Many men feared the new problems which such development might
bring in its train, while others, more numerous, were merely
indifferent or lukewarm. Many of those who vaguely wished for a change
did not know how to set about realizing their desires. The few men who
really worked to stimulate a quicker economic life about 1880 had a
thankless and apparently a hopeless task.

Yet one must be careful not to write of the South as if it were a single
country, inhabited by a homogeneous people. Historians and publicists
have spoken, and continue to speak, of "Southern opinion" and of the
"Southern attitude" as if these could be definitely weighed and
measured. No one who really knows the whole South could be guilty of
such a mistake. The first difficulty is to determine the limits of the
South. The census classification of States is open to objection.
Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia are included in the South, and so
is Kentucky. Missouri is excluded, but a place is made for the new State
of Oklahoma. As to Delaware and Maryland, there may be a difference of
opinion, though it is difficult to justify the inclusion of the former.
West Virginia is certainly not Southern, socially, politically, or
economically. Kentucky is doubtful, and it is difficult to see why
Missouri should be excluded from any list which includes Kentucky.
Oklahoma is difficult to classify. But, at any rate the South is a
large country, with a great variety of soil, climate, and population. As
the crow flies, the distance from Richmond to Memphis, in an adjoining
State, is greater than from Richmond to Bangor, Maine. From Richmond to
Galveston is farther than from Richmond to Omaha or Duluth. Atlanta is
usually considered to be far down in the South, and yet the distance
from Atlanta to Boston or Minneapolis is less than to El Paso. Again,
New Orleans is nearer to Cincinnati than to Raleigh.

There were, moreover, many racial strains in the South. The Scotch-Irish
of the Piedmont in the Carolinas had, and have yet, little in common
with the French of Louisiana. The lowlander of South Carolina and the
hill men of Arkansas differed in more than economic condition. Even in
the same State, different sections were not in entire accord. In
Virginia and the Carolinas, for example, economic conditions and
traditions--and traditions are yet a power in the South--differed
greatly in different sections.

As the years passed, apathy began to disappear in some parts of the
South. Wiser men recognized that the old had gone never to return. Men
began to face the inevitable. Instead of brooding upon their
grievances, they adjusted themselves, more or less successfully, to the
new economic and social order, and by acting in harmony with it found
that progress was not so impossible as they had supposed. White planters
found that the net returns from their farms on which they themselves had
labored were greater than when a larger force of negroes had been
employed; shrewd men began to put their scanty savings together to take
advantage of convenient water power. Securing the bare necessities of
life was no longer a difficult problem for every one. Men began to find
pleasure in activity rather than in mere passivity or obstruction.

Somehow, somewhere, sometime, a new hopefulness was born and this new
spirit--evidence of new life--became embodied in "the New South." The
expression is said to have been used first by General Adam Badeau when
stationed in South Carolina, but the New South of which he spoke was not
the New South as it is understood today. Many others have used the term
loosely to signify any change in economic or social conditions which
they had discovered. The first man to use the expression in a way which
sent it vibrating through the whole nation was Henry W. Grady, the
gifted editor of the _Atlanta Constitution_. In a speech made in 1886
by invitation of the New England Society of New York City, he took for
his theme "the New South" and delivered an oration which, judged by its
effects, had some of the marks of greatness. "The South," he said, "has
nothing for which to apologize. She believes that the late struggle
between the States was war and not rebellion, revolution and not
conspiracy." He went on, however, to express the feeling that the
outcome had been for the best, and painted a picture of the new spirit
of the South, a trifle enthusiastic perhaps, but still recognizable.

Today a New South may be said to be everywhere apparent. The Old South
still exists in nooks and corners of many States, it is true: there are
communities, counties, groups of counties, which cling to the old ideas.
In the hearts of thousands of men and women the Old South is enshrined,
and there is no room for the new; but the South as a whole is a New
South, marked by a spirit of hopefulness, a belief in the future, and a
desire to take a fuller part in the life of the nation. To trace the
development of the new spirit and to discuss its manifestations is the
purpose of this book.



As the year 1877 was beginning, the carpetbag governments in nine of the
Southern States had been already overthrown. In two other States were
two sets of officers, one of which represented the great mass of the
whites while the other was based upon negro suffrage and was supported
by Federal bayonets. Both sides seemed determined, and trouble was
expected. The Republican contestants in Florida had already yielded to a
decision of the Supreme Court of the State, but in South Carolina and
Louisiana the Republican claimants held on until the orders to withdraw
the troops were given in April, 1877. The withdrawal of the troops
marked the definite end of Reconstruction. The Democratic claimants then
took undisputed possession of the executive and legislative departments
of these States. The native whites were again in entire charge of all
the States which had seceded. They now had the task of rebuilding the
commonwealths shattered by war and by the aftermath of war. A new era
for the South had dawned, and here properly begins the history of the
New South.

The first and most important problem, as the white South saw it, was the
maintenance of white supremacy which had been gained with so much
difficulty. In only three States--South Carolina, Mississippi, and
Louisiana--were there negro majorities. Obviously, if the whites could
be induced or coerced to stand together, they could continue to control
the governments in eight of the seceding States. The negro population,
however, was not distributed uniformly over any of these States, so
that, no matter how great the white preponderance in the State as a
whole, there were counties or other civil divisions where negroes were
in the majority. This meant that the issue of white supremacy was
present in every State, for the negro majorities in such counties could
elect the local officers and control the local governments.

To attain a political consolidation of the white population all other
issues must be subordinated. Differences of opinion and judgment must be
held in abeyance. No question upon which white men might seriously
disagree must be placed in the party platform, if any way to avoid such
insertion could be found. If by any chance the majority adopted a course
obnoxious to the minority, the decision must be accepted loyally if not
cheerfully, and the full white vote must be cast. Objection to a
candidate or measure must not be expressed at the ballot box. Personal
ambition must be restrained, and weakness and even unfitness in a
candidate must be overlooked for the sake of white solidarity.

The task of creating a permanently solid South was not easy. The
Southerner had always been an individualist, freely exercising his right
to vote independently, engaging in sharp political contests before 1861,
and even during the War. The Confederate Congress wrangled impotently
while Grant was thundering at the gates of Richmond. So strong was the
memory of past differences, that old party designations were avoided.
The political organization to which allegiance was demanded was
generally called the Conservative party, and the Republican party was
universally called the Radical party. The term Conservative was adopted
partly as a contrast, partly because the peace party had been so called
during the War, and especially because the name Democrat was obnoxious
to so many old Whigs. It was not until 1906 that the term Conservative
was officially dropped from the title of the dominant party in Alabama.

It is not surprising that men continued to turn for leadership to those
who had led in battle and, to a less extent, to those who had taken part
in the civil government of the Confederacy. But for the humiliations of
Reconstruction, some of these men might have been discredited, but the
bitter experiences of those years had restored them to popular favor. As
the Federal soldier marched out of the public buildings everywhere, the
Confederate soldier marched in. These men had led in the contest against
the scalawags and the carpetbaggers and many had suffered thereby. Now
they came into their own. In some States the organization of voters was
almost military.

During the first years after the downfall of the Reconstruction
governments the task of consolidating the white South was measurably
achieved. As some one flippantly put the case, there came to be in many
sections "two kinds of people--Democrats and negroes." It was the
general feeling on the part of the whites that to fail to vote was
shameful, to scratch a ticket was a crime, and to attempt to organize
the negroes was treason to one's race. The "Confederate brigadier"
sounded the rallying cry at every election, and a military record came
to be almost a requisite for political preferment. Men's eyes were
turned to the past, and on every stump were recounted again and again
the horrors of Reconstruction and the valiant deeds of the Confederate
soldiers. What a candidate had done in the past in another field seemed
more important even than his actual qualifications for the office to
which he aspired. A study of the _Congressional Record_ or of lists of
state officers proves the truth of this statement. In 1882, fourteen of
the twenty-two United States Senators from the seceding States had
military records and three had been civil officers of the Confederacy.
Several States had solid delegations of ex-Confederate soldiers in both
houses. When one reads the proceedings of Congress, he finds the names
of Vance and Ransom, Hampton and Butler, Gordon and Wheeler, Harris and
Bate, Cockrell and Vest, Walthall and Colquitt, Morgan and Gibson, and
dozens of other Confederate officers.

The process of unifying the white South was not universally successful,
however. Here and there were Republican islands in a Democratic or
Conservative sea. The largest and most important exception was the
Appalachian South, divided among eight different States. It is a large
region, to this day thinly populated and lacking in means of
communication with the outside world. Though it has some bustling
cities, thriving towns, and prosperous communities, the Appalachian
South today is predominantly rural. In the 216 counties in this region
or its foothills, there were in 1910 only 43 towns with more than 2500

This Appalachian region had been settled by emigrants from the lowlands.
Some of them were of the thriftless sort who were forced from the better
lands in the East by the inexorable working of economic law. By far the
greater part, however, were of the same stock as the restless pioneers
who poured over the mountains to flood the Mississippi Valley. Students
of the mountain people maintain that so small an accident as the
breaking of a linchpin fixed one family forever in a mountain cove,
while relatives went on to become the builders of new States in the
interior. Cut off from the world in these mountains, there have been
preserved to this day many of the idioms, folksongs, superstitions,
manners, customs, and habits of mind of Stuart England, as they were
brought over by the early colonists. The steep farms afforded a scanty
living, and though the cattle found luscious pasturage during the
summer, they were half starved during the winter. If by chance the
mountaineers had a surplus of any product, there was no one to whom they
might sell it. They lived almost without the convenience of coinage as a
means of exchange. Naturally in such a society there was no place for
slaves, and to this day negroes are not welcome in many mountain
counties. But though these mountain people have missed contact with the
outside world and have been deprived of the stimulus of new ideas, they
seldom give evidence of anything that can fairly be classed as
degeneracy. Ignorance, illiteracy, and suspended or arrested development
the traveler of today will find among them, and actions which will shock
his present-day standards; but these same actions would hardly have
shocked his own father's great-grandfather. These isolated mountaineers
have been aptly called "our contemporary ancestors."

The same people, it is true, had poured out of their cabins to meet
Ferguson at King's Mountain; they had followed Jackson to New Orleans
and to Florida and they had felt the influence of the wave of
nationalism which swept the country after the War of 1812. But back to
their mountains they had gone, and the great current of national
progress swept by them. The movement toward sectionalism, which
developed after the Missouri Compromise, had left them cold. So the
mountaineers held to the Union. They did not volunteer freely for the
Confederacy, and they resisted conscription. How many were enlisted in
the Union armies it is difficult to discover, certainly over 100,000. It
is not surprising, therefore, that these people became Republicans and
have so continued in their allegiance.

Another element in the population having great influence in the
South--in North Carolina, at least--was the Society of Friends. It was
strong in both the central and the eastern sections. Many, but by no
means all, of the Quakers opposed the Civil War and, after peace came,
opposed the men who had been prominent in the War, that is, the dominant
party. In spite of the social stigma attaching to Republicanism, many of
the Quakers have persisted in their membership in that party to the
present day. In all the seceding States there was a Union element in
1861, and, while most of the men composing it finally went into the War
with zeal, there were individuals who resisted stoutly During the War
they were abused without stint, but this criticism had only the effect
of making them more stubborn. They naturally became Republicans after
the War and furnished some of the votes which made Reconstruction
possible. With these may be classed the few Northern men who remained in
the South after the downfall of the Reconstruction governments.

There was another class of people in the South, some of whom had been
rabid secessionists and whose Republicanism had no other foundation than
a desire for the loaves and fishes. The salaries attached to some of the
Federal offices seemed enormous at that time and, before the prohibition
wave swept the South, there were in the revenue service thousands of
minor appointments for the faithful. These deputy marshals,
"storekeepers and gaugers," and petty postmasters attempted to keep up a
local organization. The collectors of internal revenue, United States
marshals, other officers of the Federal courts, and the postmasters in
the larger towns controlled these men and therefore the state
organizations. These Federal officials broke the unanimity of the white
South, and they were supported by thousands of negroes. Some individuals
among them were shrewd politicians, but the contest was unequal from
the beginning. On one side was intelligence, backed by loyal followers
fiercely determined to rule. On the other was a leadership on the whole
less intelligent, certainly more selfish, with followers who were
ignorant and susceptible to cajolery or intimidation.

Before the downfall of the Reconstruction governments, and in the first
few years afterward, there was much intimidation of negroes who wished
to vote. Threats of loss of employment, eviction from house or
plantation, or refusal of credit were frequent. In many sections such
measures were enough, and Democrats were ordinarily chosen at the polls.
Where the negroes were in a larger majority, stronger measures were
adopted. Around election time armed bands of whites would sometimes
patrol the roads wearing some special badge or garment. Men would gallop
past the houses of negroes at night, firing guns or pistols into the air
and occasionally into the roofs of the houses. Negroes talking politics
were occasionally visited and warned--sometimes with physical
violence--to keep silent. On election day determined men with rifles or
shotguns, ostensibly intending to go hunting after they had voted,
gathered around the polls. An occasional random shot might kick up the
dust near an approaching negro. Men actually or apparently the worse for
liquor might stagger around, seeking an excuse for a fight. It is not
surprising that among the negroes the impression that it was unwise to
attempt to vote gained ground.

Less crude but no less effective methods were employed later. As
candidates or party organizations furnished the ballots, the "tissue
ballot" came into use. Half a dozen of these might easily be dropped
into the box at one time. If the surplus ballots were withdrawn by a
blindfolded official, the difference in length or in the texture or
quality of the ballot made possible the withdrawal of an undue
proportion of Republican votes. Usually separate boxes were supplied for
different sets of officers, and it was often provided that a ballot in
the wrong box was void. An occasional intentional shifting of boxes thus
caused many illiterate negroes to throw away their votes. This scheme
reached its climax in the "eight box law" of South Carolina which made
illiterate voting ineffective without aid. Immediately after any
literate Republican, white or black, left the polling place the boxes
were shifted, and the illiterates whose tickets he had carefully
arranged deposited their ballots in the wrong boxes. White boys of
eighteen, if well grown, sometimes voted, while a young negro unable to
produce any evidence of his age had difficulty in proving the attainment
of his majority. In some precincts illiterate Republicans were appointed
officers of elections, and then the vote was juggled shamelessly. A
study of election returns of some counties of the black belt shows
occasional Democratic majorities greater than the total white
population. The same tricks which were so long practiced in New York and
Philadelphia were successful in the South.

Conditions such as these were not prevalent over the entire South. In a
large proportion of the voting precincts elections were as fair as
anywhere in the United States; but it may be safely said that in few
counties where the negroes approached or exceeded fifty per cent of the
total population were elections conducted with anything more than a
semblance of fairness. Yet in some sections the odds were too great, or
else the whites lacked the resolution to carry out such extensive
informal disfranchisement. For years North and South Carolina each sent
at least one negro member to the House of Representatives and, but for
flagrant gerrymandering, might have sent more. Indeed negro prosecuting
attorneys were not unknown, and many of the black counties had negro
officers. Some States, such as North Carolina, gave up local
self-government almost entirely. The Legislature appointed the justices
of the peace in every county, and these elected both the commissioners
who controlled the finances of the county and also the board of
education which appointed the school committeemen. Judges were elected
by the State as a whole and held courts in all the counties in turn. To
this day, a Superior Court judge sits only six months in one district
and then moves on to another. Other States gave up local government to a
greater or less extent, while still others sought to lessen the negro
vote by strict registration laws and by the imposition of poll taxes.

In many sections the negro ceased to make any attempt to vote, and the
Republican organization became a skeleton, if indeed it continued at
all. There was always the possibility of a revival, however, and after
1876 the North often threatened Federal control of elections. The
possibility of negro rule was therefore only suspended and not
destroyed; it might at any time be restored by force. The possibility of
the negro's holding the balance of power seemed dangerous and ultimately
led to attempts to disfranchise him by law, which will be considered in
another chapter.

The relation of the races was not the only question which confronted the
whites when they regained control of the state governments. The problem
of finance was equally fundamental. The increase in the total debt of
the seceding States had been enormous. The difference between the debts
of these States (excluding Texas) in 1860 and in the year in which they
became most involved was nearly $135,000,000.[1] In proportion to the
total wealth of these States, this debt was extremely high.

[Footnote 1: See W.A. Scott, _The Repudiation of State Debts_, p. 276.
Texas had practically no debt when it passed under Reconstruction
government, but added $4,500,000 in the period. The total increase in
the debt of all these Southern States was then nearly $140,000,000.]

Not all of this increase was due to carpetbag government. While, of
course, the debts incurred for military purposes had been repudiated in
accordance with the Fourteenth Amendment, several of the States had
issued bonds for other purposes during the War or immediately afterwards
before the advent of the Reconstruction governments. There were other
millions of unpaid interest on all varieties of debts incurred before or
after 1860. The Reconstruction debts had been incurred for various
purposes, but bonds issued ostensibly to aid in building railroads,
canals, or levees made up the greater part of the total. These bonds,
however, had been sold at a large discount, and only a small part of the
money realized was applied to actual construction.

Some of the States had escaped almost entirely any considerable increase
of debt; others were burdened far beyond their ability to pay,
especially as property valuations had declined nearly one-half.

The wholesale repudiation of their debts injured the credit of all the
Southern States, and they have been loudly denounced for their action.
Their spokesmen have justified their procedure in regard to the bonds
issued by the carpetbag legislatures on the ground that they were voted
by venal governments imposed by military force; that many of the bonds
were fraudulent on their face; and that those who purchased them at a
great discount were simply gambling upon the chance that the governments
issuing them would endure; that the greater part of these bonds were
stolen by the officers; and that little or no benefit came to the State.
Not all of the bonds which were repudiated or scaled down, however,
belonged to this class. Many were undoubtedly valid obligations on the
part of the States. The repudiation of these bonds was excused on the
ground that they were generally issued to aid railroads which had been
practically seized by the Confederate or the United States governments
and had been worn out for their benefit; that interest could not be paid
during the war; and that war and the Reconstruction Acts had so reduced
property values that payment of the full amount was impossible. The last
reason is true of some States, though not of all. The prompt payment of
interest on the reduced indebtedness has done much to restore the credit
of the South, and the bonds of some States now sell above par.

Extravagance had helped to overthrow the carpetbag regime. The new
governments were necessarily forced to be economical. Expenditures of
all kinds were lessened. Government was reduced to its lowest terms, and
the salaries of state officers were fixed at ridiculously small figures.
Inadequate school taxes were levied; the asylums for the insane, though
kept alive, could not take care of all who should have been admitted;
appropriations for higher education, if made at all, were small; there
was little or no social legislation. The politicians taught the people
that low taxes were the greatest possible good and, when prosperity
began to return and a heavier burden of taxation might easily have been
borne, the belief that the efficiency of a government was measured by
its parsimony had become a fixed idea. There was little scandal
anywhere. No governments in American history have been conducted with
more economy and more fidelity than the governments of the Southern
States during the first years after the Reconstruction period. A few
treasurers defaulted, but in most cases their difficulties rose from
financial incompetence rather than from dishonesty, for a good soldier
did not necessarily make a good treasurer. Few fortunes were founded on
state contracts. The public buildings erected were honestly built and
were often completed within the limits of the original appropriations.
So small an amount was allowed that there would have been little to
steal, even had the inclination been present.

The decline in the prices of agricultural products after 1875 made
living harder. The Greenback agitation[1] found some followers, and in a
few scattered rural districts Greenbackers or Greenback Democrats were
nominated. In a few districts the white men ventured to run two tickets,
and in a few cases the Greenback candidate won. This activity was a
precursor of the agrarian revolt which later divided the South. There were
also some Republican tickets with qualifying words intended to catch votes,
but they had little success. Some strong men were sent to Congress, a very
large proportion of whom had seen service in the Confederate army. Their
presence aroused many sneers at "rebel brigadiers" and an immense amount
of "bloody shirt" oratory. They accomplished little for their section or
for the nation, as they were always on the defensive and could hardly
have been expected to have any consuming love for the Union, in which
they had been kept by force. They were frequently taunted in debate in
the hope that indiscreet answers would furnish campaign material for use
in the North. Sometimes they failed to control their tempers and their
tongues and played into the hands of their opponents. They advocated no
great reforms and showed little political vision. They clung to the
time-honored doctrines of the Democratic party--tariff for revenue only,
opposition to sumptuary laws, economy in expenditures, and abolition of
the internal revenue taxes--and they made ponderous speeches upon the
Constitution, "viewing with alarm" the encroachments of the Federal
Government upon the sphere of action marked out for the States.

[Footnote 1: See _The Agrarian Crusade_, by Solon J. Buck (in _The
Chronicles of America_).]

Partly because of constitutional objections, partly because of fear of
Federal supervision of the administration of the measure, a majority of
the Southern representatives opposed the Blair Bill, which might have
hastened the progress of their section. This measure, now almost
forgotten, was much discussed between 1882 and 1890 when it was finally
shelved. It provided for national aid to education out of the surplus
revenues of the Federal Government, the distribution to be made in
proportion to illiteracy. Though the South would have received a large
share of this money, which it sorely needed for education, the
experience of the South with Federal supervision had not been pleasant,
and many feared that the measure might result in another Freedmen's
Bureau.[1] Not all Southerners, however, were opposed to the project.
Dr. J.L.M. Curry, agent of the Peabody Fund, did valiant service for the
bill, and some members of Congress were strong advocates of the measure.
Today we see a measure for national aid to education fathered by
Southerners and almost unanimously supported by their colleagues.

[Footnote 1: See _The Sequel of Appomattox_, by Walter Lynwood Fleming
(in _The Chronicles of America_).]

Though rotation in office was the rule in the representation in the
House, the policy of reelecting Senators was generally followed, and
some of them served long periods. Looking upon themselves as ambassadors
of their States to an unfriendly court, they were always dignified and
often austere. As time went on, their honesty, old-fashioned courtesy,
and amiable social qualities gained for many the respect and
affectionate esteem of their Northern colleagues. Many strong
friendships sprang up, and through these personal relationships
occasional bits of patronage and items of legislation were granted.
Often, it is said, politicians who were accustomed to assail one another
in public sought each other's society and were the best of friends in
private. These Southern men were almost invariably a frugal lot who
lived from necessity within their salaries and used no questionable
means of increasing their incomes.

The election of Cleveland in 1884 gave to the South its first real
participation in national affairs for a quarter of a century. Thomas F.
Bayard of Delaware, L.Q.C. Lamar of Mississippi, and A.H. Garland of
Arkansas were chosen for the Cabinet, from which the scholarly Lamar was
transferred to the Supreme Court. John G. Carlisle of Kentucky was Speaker,
and Roger Q. Mills of Texas became Chairman of the Ways and Means
Committee of the House to succeed William R. Morrison. A fair share, if not
more, of the more important diplomatic, consular, and administrative
appointments went to Southerners. The South began to feel that it was again
a part of the Union. However, though Cleveland had shown his friendliness
to their section, the Southern politicians, usually intensely partisan,
could not appreciate the President's attitude toward the civil service and
other questions, and his bluntness offended many of them. They followed him
on the tariff but opposed him on most other questions, for his theory of
Democracy and theirs diverged, and his kindly attitude was later repaid
with ingratitude.

During the period in which the "rebel brigadiers" had controlled their
States a new generation had arisen which began to make itself felt
between 1885 and 1890. The Grange had tried to teach the farmers to
think of themselves as a class, and the skilled workmen in a few
occupations, in the border States particularly, had been organized. The
Greenback craze had created a distrust of the capitalists of the East.
The fear of negro domination was no longer so overmastering, and the
natural ambition of the younger men began to show itself in factional
contests. Younger men were coveting the places held by the old
war-horses and were beginning to talk of cliques and rings. The Farmers'
Alliance was spreading like wildfire, and its members were expounding
doctrines which seemed rank treason to the elderly gentlemen whose
influence had once been so potent. It is now clear that their fall from
power was inevitable, though they refused to believe it possible.



Practically all the farmers in the South, like those of the West, were
chronically in debt, and after 1870 the general tendency of the prices
of agricultural products was downward. In spite of largely increased
acreage--partly, to be sure, because of it--the total returns from the
larger crops were hardly so great as had been received from a much
smaller cultivated area. The Southern farmer began to feel helpless and
hopeless. Though usually suspicious of every movement coming from the
North, he turned readily to the organization of the Patrons of
Husbandry, better known as the Grange. In fact, the hopeless apathy of
the Southern farmer observed by Oliver Hudson Kelley, an agent of the
Bureau of Agriculture, is said to have determined him to found the
order. In spite of the turmoil of Reconstruction, the organization
appeared in South Carolina and Mississippi in 1871. Tennessee.
Missouri, and Kentucky had already been invaded. During 1872 and 1873,
the order spread rapidly in all the States which may be called Southern.
The highest number reached was in the latter part of 1875 when more than
6400 local granges were reported in the States which had seceded; and in
Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and Missouri there were
nearly 4000 more. The total membership in the seceding States was more
than 210,000 and including the border States, over 355,000. Since
negroes were not admitted, the proportion of the total white
agricultural population in the Grange was perhaps as high in the South
as in any other part of the Union. In the years that followed, the order
underwent the same disintegration in the South as elsewhere.

As a class the Southern Grangers did not take an active part in
politics. The overshadowing question of the position of their States in
the Union and the desire to preserve white supremacy prevented any great
independent movement. In a few instances, men ran for Congress as
Independents or as Greenbackers, and in some cases they were elected;
but the Southern farmers were not yet ready to break away from the
organization which had delivered them from negro rule. There was not at
that time in the South the same opposition to railroads that prevailed
in the West. The need of railroads was felt so keenly that the practice
of baiting them had not become popular. Some railroad legislation was
passed, largely through Granger influence, but it was not yet radical.
Nevertheless the Granger movement was by no means without permanent
influence. It helped to develop class consciousness; it demonstrated
that the Western and the Southern farmer had some interests in common;
and it also implanted in people's minds the idea that legislation of an
economic character was desirable. Heretofore the Southern farmer, so far
as he had thought at all about the relation of the State to industry,
had been a believer in _laissez faire_. Now he began to consider whether
legislation might not be the remedy for poverty. Out of this serious
attention to the needs of the farmer other organizations were to arise
and to build upon the foundations laid by the Grange.

About 1875 there appeared in Texas and other States local organizations
of farmers, known as Farmers' Alliances, and in 1879 a Grand State
Alliance was formed in Texas. The purposes were similar to those set
forth by the Grange. In Arkansas appeared the Agricultural Wheel and
the Brothers of Freedom, which were soon consolidated. The Farmers'
Union of Louisiana and the Alliance of Texas were also united under the
name of the National Farmers' Alliance and Cooeperative Union of America.
This was soon united with the Arkansas Wheel, which had crossed state

A session of the National Alliance was held at St. Louis in 1889 with
delegates present from every Southern State, except West Virginia, and
from some of the Middle Western States. The National Assembly of the
Knights of Labor was also held in St. Louis at this time, and a joint
declaration of beliefs was put forth. This platform called for the issue
of more paper money, abolition of national banks, free coinage of
silver, legislation to prevent trusts and corners, tariff reform,
government ownership of railroads, and restriction of public lands to
actual settlers.

The next year, the annual convention of the Alliance was held at Ocala,
Florida, and the Ocala platform was published. This meeting recommended
the so-called sub-treasury plan by which the Federal Government was to
construct warehouses for agricultural products. In these the farmer
might deposit his non-perishable agricultural products, and receive 80
per cent of their market value in greenbacks. Surely the Southern farmer
had shaken off much of his traditional conservatism in approving such a
demand as this! The explanation is not far to seek.

The high price of cotton in the years immediately following the War was
the economic salvation of the South. Whatever may have been the
difficulties in its production, the returns repaid the outlay and more.
The quantity was less than the world demanded. Not until 1870-71 did the
production approach that of the crops before the War. Then, with the
increase in production and general financial stringency came a sharp
decrease in price. Between 1880 and 1890 the price was not much above
the cost of production, and after 1890 the price fell still lower. When
middling cotton brought less than seven cents a pound in New York, the
small producer got little more than five cents for his bale or two. The
price of wheat and corn was correspondingly low, if the farmer had a
surplus to sell at harvest time. If he bought Western corn or flour in
the spring on credit, the price he paid included shrinkage, storage,
freight, and the exorbitant profit of the merchant. The low price
received by the Western producer had been much increased before the
cereals reached the Southern consumer. The Southern farmer was
consequently becoming desperate and was threatening revolt against the
established order.

While Southern delegates joined the Western Alliance in the organization
of the People's party in 1891 and 1892, the majority of the members in
the South chose an easier way of attaining their object: they entered
the Democratic primaries and conventions and captured them. In State
after State, men in sympathy with the farmers were chosen to office,
often over old leaders who had been supposed to have life tenure of
their positions. In some cases these leaders retained their offices, if
not their influence, by subscribing to the demands of the Alliance.
Perhaps some could do this without reservation; others, Senators
particularly, justified themselves on the theory that a legislature had
the right to speak for the State and instruct those chosen to represent

The feeling of the farmer that he was being oppressed threatened to
develop into an obsession. His hatred of "money-power," "trusts,"
"corners," and the "hirelings of Wall Street" found expression in his
opposition to the local lawyers and merchants, and, in fact, to the
residents of the towns in general. The idea began to grow up that any
one living in a town was necessarily an enemy to the farmer. The
prevalent agricultural point of view came to be that only the farmer was
a wealth producer, and that all others were parasites who sat in the
shade while he worked in the sun and who lived upon the products of his
labor. This bitterness the farmer extended to the old political leaders
whom he had regarded with veneration in the past. These old Confederate
soldiers, he believed, had allowed him to be robbed.

The state Democratic Convention of Georgia in 1890 pledged all
candidates for office to support the demands of the Farmers' Alliance,
including the sub-treasury "or some better system." Senator John B.
Gordon, however, refused to pledge himself and was reelected
nevertheless. The leader of the Alliance was nominated and elected
governor. In Alabama, Reuben F. Kolb, the Commissioner of Agriculture,
almost obtained the Democratic nomination for governor. Two years later,
he again entered the primary and, declaring that he had been cheated out
of the nomination, ran independently as the candidate of the
Jeffersonian Democracy. On the face of the returns, the regular
candidate was elected, but Kolb pointed out the fact that the
Democratic majorities came from the black counties, while the white
counties had given a majority for him. Again in 1894 Kolb entered the
race for governor and again declared that he had been counted out, as he
had not only the Jeffersonian Democracy behind him but also the
endorsement of the Republicans and the Populists.

Undoubtedly the controlling influence in Democratic councils in some of
the Southern States had been exercised by a very small element in the
population. A few men, almost a "Family Compact" either held the
important offices themselves, or decided who should hold them, and fixed
the party policy so far as it had a policy other than the maintenance of
white supremacy. The governments were generally honest, economical, and
cheap. The leaders, partly because they themselves believed in limiting
the function of government and partly because they believed that the
voters would oppose any extension, had prevented any constructive
legislation. Events showed that they had misunderstood their people.
When the revolt came, the farmer legislators showed themselves willing
to vote money liberally for education and for other purposes which were
once considered outside the sphere of government.

South Carolina furnished the most striking example of this revolt. In
that State the families which had governed before the War continued the
direction of affairs. By a rather unusual compromise, the large western
population of the State had been balanced against the greater wealth of
the east. Consequently there was overrepresentation of the east after
the negro had been deprived of the ballot. It was charged--and with some
show of truth--that a small group of men clustering around Charleston
exercised an entirely disproportionate share of influence in party
management. The farmers, with a growing class consciousness, began to
resent this injustice and found a leader ready and anxious to direct

In March, 1890, the delegates of the Farmers' Association decided to
secure the nomination for governor for Benjamin R. Tillman, who had
devoted much of his time for four years to arousing the farmers. The
contest for the nomination was begun in May and, after a bitter
struggle, Tillman won easily in the convention in September. The
"straight outs," dazed and humiliated, ran an independent candidate.
Tillman and his followers accepted the challenge and the conflict took
form as a struggle between mass and class. The farmers' leader, though
not himself illiterate, obscure, or poor, raged up and down the State
frankly and brutally preaching class war. He held up Charleston as a
sink of iniquity, and he promised legislation to cleanse it. Perhaps a
majority of the whites really believed his charges and put faith in his
doctrines. If not, the fetish of party regularity drew the votes
necessary to make up the deficiency. Tillman had been regularly
nominated in a Democratic convention, and South Carolinians had been
trained to vote the party ticket. He was elected by a large majority.

At the end of Tillman's first term two years later, he was again a
candidate, and the convention which nominated him approved the Ocala
platform. Since the party machinery was in control of the Tillmanites,
the opposition adopted the name "Cleveland Democracy" and sought to undo
the revolution. The result was never doubtful. Tillman was reelected by
an overwhelming majority, and on the expiration of his term was sent to
the United States Senate, which he shocked by his passionate utterances
as he had so often shocked his own State. The attitude of the educated
and cultivated part of the population of South Carolina toward Tillman
affords a parallel to that of Tory England toward Lloyd George twenty
years later. The parallel may be extended further. Tillman, in time,
modified some of his extreme opinions, won over many of his opponents,
and gained the respect of his colleagues just as Lloyd George has done;
and South Carolina grew to have pride in her sturdy fighter whose life
ended just as his fourth term in the Senate was almost done.

The election of Tillman as Governor and then as Senator was a real
revolution, for South Carolina had been long represented in the United
States Senate by Wade Hampton and Matthew C. Butler, both distinguished
soldiers and representatives of the old regime. Hampton, under whose
leadership the carpetbag government had been overthrown, had been a
popular idol. Both he and Butler had won the respect of their colleagues
in the Senate and had reflected credit upon their State. But such
services now availed nothing. Both they and others like them were swept
out, to be replaced by the partisans of the new order.

Nothing was omitted by the reformers to humiliate what had been the
ruling portion of the population. The liquor traffic was made a state
monopoly by the dispensary system modeled on the Gothenburg plan: no
liquor was sold to be drunk on the premises, and the amount allowed a
purchaser was limited. It was hoped the revenue thus received would
permit a considerable reduction in the tax rate. These hopes, however,
were not realized, and scandals concerning the purchasing agency kept
the State in a turmoil for years. Other legislation was more successful.
An agricultural and mechanical college for men was founded at the old
home of John C. Calhoun at Clemson. A normal and industrial college for
girls has also proved very successful. The appropriations to the state
university were reduced on the ground that it was an aristocratic
institution, but on the other hand funds for public schools were

Not all the members of the Alliance remained in the Democratic party.
Populist electors were nominated in every Southern State in 1892, except
in Louisiana, where a combined Republican and Populist ticket was named.
In no State did the new party secure a majority, but in Alabama,
Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, the Populist vote was
large. In North Carolina, always inclined to independence, the combined
Republican and Populist vote was larger than that cast for Democratic
electors. It was obvious that Democratic supremacy was imperiled, if
the new party continued its amazing growth.

The politicians, Republican and Democratic, set out to win the
insurgents. Some shrewd political manipulators, scenting future profit
for themselves, had joined the new movement and were willing to trade.
During 1893, 1894, and 1895 the Republicans were generally successful.
In many States there was more or less cooperation in state and county
tickets, in spite of the disfavor with which the Republican party had
been regarded in the South. In North Carolina J.C. Pritchard, a regular
Republican, was elected to the United States Senate, to fill the
unexpired term of Senator Vance, but the Populist state chairman, Marion
Butler, cool, calculating, and shrewd, took the full term to succeed
Senator Ransom. The Democratic party had maintained control for twenty
years, and it was held responsible for all the ills from which the
farmer suffered. Then, too, some of the leaders of the new party felt
that they would have greater opportunities for preferment by cooeperating
with a party in which the number of white voters was small.

The doctrine of free silver had been making converts among the
Democrats, however, and early in 1896 it was clear that a majority of the
Southern delegates to the national convention would favor a silver plank.
The action of the convention in nominating Bryan and Sewall is told in
another volume.[1] Bryan was also endorsed by the Populist convention, but
that convention refused to endorse Sewall and nominated Thomas E. Watson
for Vice-President. A majority of the Populist convention favored a strict
party fight, but the managers were shrewd, and the occasion manifestly
offered great opportunities for trading. In twenty-six States the electoral
tickets were divided between Democrats and Populists. Among these States
were Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and North Carolina. But cooeperation
with Republicans on local legislative and state tickets often occurred. In
North Carolina, a fusion legislature was elected, and a Republican was
chosen governor by the aid of Populist votes, though one faction of the
Populists nominated a separate ticket. The judicial and congressional
nominations were divided. The apparent inconsistency of voting for Bryan
for President and at the same time supporting Republicans who might be
expected to oppose him in Congress was accepted without flinching.
According to the bargain made two years before, when a Republican was
sent to the United States Senate for an unexpired term by the aid of the
Populist votes, Senator Pritchard was reelected.

[Footnote 1: _The Agrarian Crusade,_ by Solon J. Buck (in _The
Chronicles of America_).]

The experience of North Carolina with fusion government was a reminder
of the Reconstruction days. The Republicans had dilated upon "local
self-government" and the Populists had swallowed the bait. The
Legislature changed the form of county government, by which the board of
county commissioners had been named by the justices of the peace, and
made the board elective. This turned over to the blacks counties in
which several of the largest towns in the State were situated. Negro
politicians were chosen to office, and lawlessness and violence
followed. In Wilmington there was an uprising of the whites, who took
possession of the city government by force. The Legislature was again
Democratic in 1898 and began to prepare an amendment which should
disfranchise a large proportion of the 125,000 negro voters of the
State. There was cooeperation between the Republican and Populist
organizations again in 1900, but too many Populists had returned to
their former allegiance. The restrictive amendment, of which more will
be aid presently, was carried by an overwhelming majority at the special
election in the summer, and at the regular election in November the
Democratic ticket was chosen by an overwhelming majority.

The fusion of 1896 and the rising prices of agricultural products killed
the Populist party in the South, but the influence of the movement
remains to this day. It has had some effect in lessening political
intolerance, for those of the Populists who returned to the Democratic
party came back without apology, while others have since classed
themselves as Republicans. The Populist attitude toward public education
was on the whole friendly, and more money has since been demanded and
expended for public schools.

Perhaps the greatest effect of the Populist movement was the overthrow
of the old political organizations. In some States a few men had ruled
almost by common consent. They had exerted a great influence upon
legislation--not by use of the vulgar arts of the lobbyists, but by the
plea of party advantage or by the prophecy of party loss. They had given
their States clean government and cheap government, but nothing more. A
morbid fear of taxation, or rather of the effects of taxation upon the
people, was their greatest sin. The agrarian movement took them unawares.
They were unable to realize that between the South of 1890 and another,
older South, there was a great gap. They could not interpret the
half-coherent speech of the small farmer, who had come to feel that he had
been wronged and struck out blindly at those whom he had previously
trusted. New and unknown men appeared in Washington to take the place of
men whose character, ability, and length of service had made them
national figures. The governorship of the States went to men whose chief
qualifications seemed to be prominence in the affairs of the Alliance or
else bitter tongues.

Though the Populists, for the most part, returned to the Democratic
party, and the suffrage amendments, which will be mentioned presently,
made the possibility of Republican success extremely remote, the "old
guard" has never regained its former position. In all the Southern
States party control has been for years in the hands of the common man.
The men he chooses to office are those who understand his psychology and
can speak his language. Real primary elections were common in the South
years before they were introduced elsewhere, and the man who is the
choice of the majority in the Democratic primary wins.

Some of the men chosen to high office in the State and nation are men of
ability and high character, who recall the best traditions of Southern
statesmanship; others are parochial and mediocre; and some are blatant
demagogues who bring discredit upon their State and their section and
who cannot be restrained from "talking for Buncombe."

The election of a Democratic President in 1884 had stirred the
smoldering distrust of the South on the part of the North. The
well-known fact that the negro vote in the South did not have the
influence its numbers warranted aroused the North to demand a Federal
elections law, which was voiced by bills introduced by Senator Hoar of
Massachusetts and by Henry Cabot Lodge, then a member of the House of
Representatives. Lodge's bill, which was passed by the House in 1890,
permitted Federal officials to supervise and control congressional
elections. This so-called "Force Bill" was bitterly opposed by the
Southerners and was finally defeated in the Senate by the aid of the
votes of the silver Senators from the West, but the escape was so narrow
that it set Southerners to finding another way of suppressing the negro
vote than by force or fraud. Later the division of the white vote by the
Populist party also endangered white supremacy in the South.

In this same year (1890) Mississippi framed a new constitution, which
required as a prerequisite for voting a residence of two years in the
State and one year in the district or town. A poll tax of two
dollars--to be increased to three at the discretion of the county
commissioners--was levied on all able-bodied men between twenty-one and
sixty. This tax, and all other taxes due for the two previous years,
must be paid before the 1st of February of the election year. All these
provisions, though applying equally to all the population, greatly
lessened the negro vote. Negroes are notoriously migratory, and a large
proportion never remain two years in the same place. The poll tax could
not be collected by legal process, and to pay the tax for two years,
four dollars or more, eight months in advance of an election, seemed to
the average negro to be rank extravagance. Moreover, few politicians are
reckless enough to arrange for the payment of poll taxes in exchange for
the promised delivery of votes eight months away, when half the would-be
voters might be in another county, or even in another State. To clinch
the matter, the constitution further provided that after 1892, in
addition to the qualifications mentioned above, a person desiring to
vote must be able to read any section of the constitution, "or he shall be
able to understand the same when read to him, or give a reasonable
interpretation thereof." Even when fairly administered, this section
operated to disfranchise more negroes than whites, for fewer can read and
fewer can understand a legal instrument. But it is obvious that the
opportunities for discrimination are great: a simple section can be read to
an illiterate white, while a more difficult section, filled with
technicalities, may be read to a negro applicant; and the phrase "a
reasonable interpretation" may mean one thing in the case of a negro and
quite another where a white man is concerned. It is perhaps not
surprising that only 5123 Republican votes were reported in 1896, and
hardly more, in 1912, were cast for Taft and Roosevelt together.

South Carolina followed the lead of Mississippi a little more frankly in
1895, by adopting suffrage amendments which provided for two years'
residence in the State, one year in the county, and the payment of a
poll tax six months before the election. Up to 1898 any person who could
read any section of the constitution, or could understand and explain it
when read by the registration officer, could have his name placed upon a
permanent roll and could vote thereafter, provided he satisfied the
other requirements already mentioned. After January 1, 1898, every one
presenting himself for registration had to be able to read and write any
section of the constitution, or else must have paid taxes the preceding
year on property assessed at three hundred dollars or over. The list of
disqualifying crimes is long, including those of which negroes are most
commonly found guilty, such as larceny, false pretence, bigamy, adultery,
wife-beating, and receiving stolen goods. To insure the complexion of the
permanent roll, the registration was conducted in each county by a board of
"three discreet persons" appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice
and consent of the Senate.

It would seem that either of these constitutions would serve to reduce
the negro vote sufficiently, while allowing practically all white men to
vote. Large discretion, however, is lodged in the officers of election,
and Democratic control in these matters is safe only so long as the
white men stick together. Louisiana went a step further in 1898 and
introduced the famous "grandfather clause" into her constitution. Other
requirements were similar to those already mentioned. Two years'
residence in the State, one year in the parish, and six months in the
precinct were preliminary conditions; in addition the applicant must be
able to read and write in English or his mother tongue, or he must be the
owner of property assessed for three hundred dollars or more.

This general requirement of literacy or ownership of property was
waived, however, in case of foreigners naturalized before January 1,
1898, who had lived in the State five years, and in the case of men who
had voted in any State before 1867, or of sons or grandsons of such
persons. These could be placed upon a permanent roll to be made up
before September 1, 1898, and should have the right to vote upon
complying with the residence and poll tax requirements. Practically all
white persons of native stock either voted in some State in 1867 or were
descended from some one who had so voted. Few negroes in any State, and
none in the South, were voters in that year. It is obvious that suffrage
was open to white but barred to negro illiterates. Apparently the only
whites debarred under this clause were the illiterate and indigent sons
of foreign-born fathers.

North Carolina adopted a new suffrage article in 1900 which is much
simpler than those just described. It requires two years' residence in
the State, one in the county, and the payment of poll tax before the 1st
of May in the election year. A uniform educational qualification is laid
down, but the "permanent roll" is also included. No "male person who was
on January 1, 1867, or at any other time prior thereto, entitled to vote
under the laws of any State in the United States, wherein he then resided,
and no lineal descendant of any such person shall be denied the right to
register and vote at any election in the State by reason of his failure to
possess the educational qualifications herein prescribed: _Provided_ he
shall have registered in accordance with the terms of this section prior to
December 1, 1908." In other words, any white illiterate thirteen years old
or over when the amendment was adopted would not be deprived of his vote
because of the lack of educational qualifications. No other State had given
so long a time as this.

The "grandfather clause" here was shrewdly drawn. Free negroes voted in
North Carolina until 1835, and under the terms of the clause any negro
who could prove descent from a negro voter could not be debarred because
of illiteracy. Negroes voted in a few States in 1867, and they or their
descendants were exempt from the educational test. Of course the number
of these was negligible, and the clause accomplished precisely what it was
intended to do--that is, it disfranchised a large proportion of the negroes
and yet allowed the whites to vote. The extension of the time of
registration until 1908, eight years after the amendment was adopted and
six after it went into effect, made the disfranchisement of any
considerable number of whites impossible.

Alabama followed in 1901, combining the South Carolina and the Louisiana
plans and including the usual residence and poll tax requirements, as
well as the permanent roll. This was to be made up before December 20,
1902, and included soldiers of the United States, or of the State of
Alabama in any war, soldiers of the Confederate States, their lawful
descendants, and "men of good character who understood the duties and
obligations of citizenship under a republican form of government." After
the permanent roll has been made up, the applicant for registration must
be able to read and write and must have worked the greater part of the
twelve months next preceding, or he or his wife must own forty acres of
land or real estate or personal property assessed at not less than three
hundred dollars. A long list of disqualifying crimes was added,
including wife-beating and conviction for vagrancy. As if this were not
enough, after 1903 an applicant for registration might be required to state
where he had lived during the preceding five years, the name or names by
which known, and the names of his employers. Refusal to answer was made a
bar to registration, and wilful misstatement was regarded as perjury.

Oklahoma adopted its disfranchising amendment in 1910, without valid
reason so far as any one outside the State could see, as the proportion
of negroes was very small. An attempt was made permanently to
disfranchise the illiterate negro by the "grandfather clause," while
allowing illiterate white voters to vote forever. Other States allowed a
limited time in which to register on a permanent roll, after which all
illiterates were to be disfranchised. Oklahoma sought to keep suffrage
permanently open to illiterate whites, while closing it to illiterate
negroes. This amendment was declared unconstitutional by the United
States Supreme Court in June, 1915, on the ground that a State cannot
reestablish conditions existing before the ratification of the Fifteenth
Amendment, even though the disfranchising amendment contained no
"express words of exclusion" but "inherently brings that result into
existence."[1] What the Court will do with other similar constitutional
amendments when they are brought before it is not so certain. All differ
somewhat, and it is possible that the Court may let the whole or a part
of some of them stand. If not, it is probable that straight educational
and property qualifications will be substituted. In fact, if the Court
disapproves the permanent roll but allows the remainder to stand,
educational and property qualifications will prevail in several States.

[Footnote 1: Guinn _vs._ United States, 238 U.S., 347.]

All these plans for disfranchisement have accomplished the desired
results up to the present time. The negro vote has been greatly reduced
and elections are decided by the votes of white men. In some States,
negroes who could easily pass the tests no longer take the trouble to go
to the polls. The number of white voters also grows smaller. Some fail
to pay the poll tax, and others stay away from the polls because, as a
rule, the result has been decided in the primary elections. Since a
Democratic nomination is practically equivalent to election, many voters
who have taken part in the primaries neglect to vote on election day.
Only in North Carolina is there evidence of the growth of a strong
Republican opposition. In 1908, Taft received over 114,000 votes, and
the Republican candidate for governor 107,000. In 1916 Hughes received
120,000 votes as against 168,000 for Wilson.

What was done with the negro when he was thus rendered politically
helpless? Was there an attempt to take from him other things than the
ballot? The answer must be in the affirmative. Men advocated segregation
in common carriers, in public places, and even in places of residences.
An attempt to confine appropriations for negro schools to the amount of
taxes directly paid by the negroes has been made; men have sought office
on a platform of practical serfdom for the negro. But although some few
have achieved temporary successes--at least they have been
elected--their programs have not been carried out. The "Jim Crow" car is
common and the negro schools do not get appropriations equal to those of
the whites, but little else has been done. In fact, evidences of a
reaction in favor of the negro soon became apparent. The late Governor
Charles B. Aycock of North Carolina at the beginning of this century won
his triumphs on a platform of justice for the negro.

The question of the liquor traffic began to engage the attention of the
Southern people very soon after the end of Reconstruction. The great
problem was the sale of liquor in the unpoliced country districts, and
especially to negroes. By special legislative acts forbidding the sale
of liquor within a given number of miles of a church or a school a large
part of the South was made dry. Local option acts continued the
restrictive work until the sale of liquor outside of the larger
incorporated towns became rare. In some States, acts applying to the
whole State forbade the sale outside of towns. By concentrating their
efforts upon the towns, the anti-saloon forces made a large number of
them dry also, but there was so much illicit sale that employers often
found that Monday was a wasted day.

State wide prohibition began in 1907 with Oklahoma and Georgia, and
State after State followed until, in 1914, ten States were wholly dry,
and in large areas of the other Southern States the sale of intoxicants
was forbidden through local option. Southern members of Congress urged
the submission of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution,
forbidding manufacture or sale of intoxicants in the nation. Every
Southern State promptly ratified the Amendment when it was submitted by

Unfortunately many negroes when deprived of alcohol began to use drugs,
such as cocaine, and the effect morally and physically was worse than that
of liquor. The "coke fiend" became a familiar sight in the police courts of
Southern cities, and the underground traffic in the drug is still a
serious problem. The new Federal law has helped to control the evil, but
both cocaine and alcohol are still sold to negroes, sometimes by pedlars of
their own race, sometimes by unscrupulous white men. The consumption of
both is less, however, than before the restrictive legislation. The South
has traveled far from its old opposition to sumptuary laws. Like State
Rights, this principle is only invoked when convenient. Starting largely as
a movement to keep whiskey from the negro and, to a somewhat less extent,
from the white laborer, prohibition has become popular. On the whole it
has worked well in the South though "moonshining" is undoubtedly
increasing. The enormous price eagerly paid for whiskey in the
"bone-dry" States has led to a revival of the illicit distillery, which
had been almost stamped out.



The end of Reconstruction found the tenant system and the "crop lien"
firmly fastened upon the South. The plantation system had broken down
since the owner no longer had slaves to work his land, capital to pay
wages, or credit on which to borrow the necessary funds. Many of the
great plantations had already been broken up and sold, while others,
divided into tracts of convenient size, had been rented to white or
negro tenants. What had been one plantation became a dozen farms, a
score, or even more. Men who owned smaller tracts found it difficult to
hire or to keep labor, and many retained only the land which they or
their sons could work and rented the remainder of their farms. This
system is still characteristic of Southern agriculture.

Few of the landless whites and practically none of the negroes had
sufficient money reserve to maintain themselves for a year and hence no
capital to apply to the land on which they were tenants. Yet the land was
there ready to produce, the labor was there, more or less willing to work
if it could but live while the crop was growing. The country merchant had
 already assumed the office of banker to the tenant farmer, and this
position he still holds in spite of all efforts to dislodge him. His
customers include not only tenants but some landowners, white or black.
They buy from him, during the months before the crop is gathered, the food,
clothing, and other supplies necessary for existence, and as many simple
luxuries as he will permit. When the crops are gathered, he buys them, or
at least the share of them belonging to the tenant, subtracts the store
accounts, and turns over the surplus, if any, to the farmers.

Unlike other bankers, the merchant charges no interest upon the capital
he advances, but he is paid nevertheless. For every pound of bacon,
meal, and flour, for every gallon of molasses, for every yard of cloth,
for every plug of tobacco or tin of snuff which the customer consumes
during the spring and summer, an advanced price is charged to him on the
merchant's books. With thousands of these merchants selling to hundreds
of thousands of farmers over a wide area, it is of course impossible to
state the average difference between credit and cash prices.
Investigations made in different sections show a wide variation
depending upon custom, competition, the reliability and industry of the
customer, the amount of advances, and the length of credit. Since a large
part of the advances are made during the six, or even four months before
the crops are gathered, the difference between cash and credit prices
amounts often to an interest charge of forty to one hundred per cent or
even more a year. These advanced credit prices, and consequently the high
interest rates, may be paid not only upon food, clothing, and other
personal goods, but also, occasionally, upon tools, farming implements,
fertilizers, and work animals.

The merchant is supposed to be protected against loss by the institution
of the crop lien and the chattel mortgage. By one or the other of these
the farmer is enabled to mortgage his growing, or even his unplanted
crops, his farming implements, his cattle, and horses, if he owns them.
If he is a landowner, the land may be included in a mortgage as
additional security. The crop is conveyed to the mortgagee as in an
ordinary land mortgage, and the tenant cannot hold back his crop for a
better price, or seek a better market for any part of it, until all his
obligations have been settled. Disposing of mortgaged property is a
serious offense and no one not desirous of abetting fraud will buy
property which he has reason to suspect has been mortgaged. As a result
of this system in some sections, years ago, nine-tenths of the farmers
were in debt. Undoubtedly the prices credited for the crops have been
less than might have been obtained in a market absolutely free. If the
crops a farmer raises bring less than the advances, the balance is
carried over to the next year and no other merchant will give credit to
a man whose accounts with his former creditor are not clear. In the past
the signing of one of these legal instruments has often reduced the
farmer to a state of peonage.

Naturally the merchant who has begun to extend credit, sometimes before
the seed is in the ground, has a voice in deciding what crops shall be
planted. The favorite crops in the past have been tobacco and cotton,
particularly the latter. Both contain comparatively large value in small
bulk; both can be stored conveniently, with little danger of
deterioration; neither is liable to a total failure; a ready market for
both is always available; and neither tempts the thief until it is ripe.
Only winter wheat, sown in the fall and reaped in early summer, is grown
in the South, and the crop is somewhat uncertain. A tenant who has secured
advances on a crop of wheat during the fall and winter may easily move to
an adjoining county or State in the spring and plant cotton there. Half a
crop of corn may easily be stolen, eaten by animals, or consumed by the
tenant while still green. A further reason for not encouraging the
production of corn and wheat is the profit the merchant makes by the sale
of imported flour, meal, and bacon. Cotton is therefore almost the only
product of sections admirably suited to the growing of corn or to the
raising of hogs. The country merchant has helped to keep the South poor.

Yet in spite of the apparently exorbitant percentage of profit, few
country merchants become rich. In a year of drouth, or of flood, many of
their debtors may not be able to pay their accounts, even though their
intentions are of the best. Others may prove shiftless and neglect their
fields. Still others may be deliberately dishonest and, after getting as
large advances as possible, abandon their crops leaving both the
landowner and the merchant in the lurch. These creditors must then
either attempt to harvest the crop by hired labor, with the hope of
reducing their loss, or else charge the whole to profit and loss. The
illness or death of the debtor may also prevent the proper cultivation of
the crop he has planted. For these different reasons every country
merchant is likely to accumulate many bad debts which may finally throw
him into bankruptcy. Those who succeed are exceptionally shrewd or very

The relation of the tenant to his landlord varies in different parts of
the South. Many different plans of landholding have been tried since
1865, and traces of all of them may be found throughout the length and
breadth of the South. One was a modified serfdom, in which the tenant
worked for the landlord four or five days in every week for a small
wage. In addition he had a house, firewood, and several acres of land
which he might cultivate on his own account. According to another plan,
the landlord promised to pay a fixed sum of money to the laborer when
the crop was gathered. Both plans had their origin primarily in the
landlord's poverty, but were reenforced by the tenant's unreliability.
These plans, as well as combinations of these with some others to be
mentioned, have now practically died out. There remain the following
alternatives: land may be rented for a fixed sum of money per acre, to be
paid when the crops are sold, or for a fixed quantity of produce, so many
bushels of corn or so many pounds of cotton being paid for every acre; or,
more commonly, land may be rented on some form of share tenancy by which
the risk as well as the profit is shared by both tenant and landowner.

Share tenancy assumes various forms. In some sections a rough
understanding grew up that, in the division of a crop, one-third was to
be allotted to the land, one-third to live stock, seed, and tools, and
one-third to labor. If the tenant brought nothing but his bare hands, he
received only the share supposed to be due to labor; if he owned working
animals and implements, he received in addition the share supposed to be
due to them. This arrangement, modified in individual cases, still
persists, especially where the tenants are white. As various forms of
industrial enterprise have continued to draw labor from the farms, the
share assigned to labor by this form of tenancy has increased until, in
perhaps the greater part of the South and certainly in the
cotton-growing sections, it is usually one-half.

The ordinary arrangement of share tenancy under which the negro in the
cotton belt now works provides that the landowner shall furnish a cabin in
which the family may live and an acre or two for a garden. In addition,
working stock, implements, and seed are supplied by the owner of the land.
Both tenant and owner share the cost of fertilizers if any are used, and
divide equally the expenses of preparing the crop for market and the
proceeds of the sale. This arrangement means, of course, that the
capitalist takes the laborer into a real partnership. Both embark in a
venture the deferred results of which are dependent chiefly upon the
industry and good faith of the laborer. By a seeming paradox it is only the
laborer's unreliability which gives him such an opportunity, for if he were
more dependable, the landowner would prefer in most cases to pay wages and
take the whole of the crop. Because the average negro laborer cannot be
depended upon to be faithful, he is given a greater opportunity,
contrary to all ordinary moral maxims.

When the share tenant lives on the land he may be a part of two
different systems. There are some large plantations over which the
owners or managers exercise close supervision. The horses or, more
generally, the mules are housed in large common stables or sheds and are
properly looked after. Some attempt is made to see that tools and
implements are kept in order. If the tenant falls behind in his work and
allows his crop to be overrun with grass or is unable to pick the cotton
as it opens, the owner hires help, if possible, and charges the cost
against the tenant. In other words, the owner attempts to apply to
agriculture some of the principles of industrial organization. The success
of such attempts varies. The negro tenant generally resents close
supervision; but on the other hand he enjoys the community life of a large
plantation. In the end, in the majority of cases the personal equation
determines whether the negro stays or moves.

At the other extreme is the landowner who turns over his land to the
negro and hopes for some return. If the tenant is industrious and
ambitious, the landowner gets something and is relieved of the trouble
of supervision. Often, however, he finds at the end of the year that the
mules have deteriorated from being worked through the day and driven or
ridden over the country at night; the tools and implements are broken or
damaged; and the fences have been used for firewood, though an abundant
supply could have been obtained by a few hours' labor. Very often the
landlord's share of the small crop will not really compensate him for the
depreciated value of his property, for land rented without supervision is
likely to decrease in fertility and to bring in meager returns.

A more successful arrangement between the two extremes is often seen in
sections where the population is largely white and land is held in
smaller tracts. Here a white farmer who owns more land than he or his
sons can cultivate marks off a tract for a tenant, white or black, who
may be said to work with his landlord. Both he and others of his family
may work an occasional day for the landlord, receiving pay either in
kind or in cash. Relations between such families often become close, and
the tenant may remain on the property for years. In some sections there
are numerous examples of what might be called permanent tenants.
Sometimes such a tenant ultimately purchases the land upon which he has
worked or other land in the neighborhood.

The plantation owner may be a merchant-landlord also and may furnish
supplies to his tenants. He keeps only staple articles, but he may give
an order on a neighboring store for those not in stock or may even
furnish small sums of money on occasion. The tenants are not allowed to
buy as much as they choose either in the plantation store or in the local
store at the crossroads. At the beginning of the year the landlord or the
merchant generally allows a credit ranging from fifty to two hundred
dollars but rarely higher and attempts to make the tenant distribute the
purchases over the whole period during which the crop is growing. If
permitted, many, perhaps a large majority of the tenants, might use up
their credit months before the crop was gathered. In such cases the
merchant or landlord, or both, must make further advances to save what they
have already invested or else must see the tenant abandon is crops and

These relations between landlord and tenant show much diversity, but
certain conditions prevail everywhere. Few tenants can sustain
themselves until the crop is gathered, and a very large percentage of
them must eat and wear their crops before they are gathered--a
circumstance which will create no surprise unless the reader makes the
common error of thinking of them as capitalists. Though the landlord in
effect takes his tenants into partnership, they are really only
laborers, and few laborers anywhere are six or eight months ahead of
destitution. How many city laborers, even those with skilled trades,
could exist without credit if their wages were paid only once a year?
How many of them would have prudence or foresight enough to conserve their
wages when finally paid and make them last until the next annual payment?
The fault for which the tenant is to be blamed is that he does not take
advantage of two courses of action open to him: first, to raise a
considerable part of the food he consumes; and second, to struggle
persistently to become independent of the merchant. Thousands of tenants
have achieved their economic freedom, and all could if they would only make
an intelligent and continued effort to do so.

Nowhere else in the United States has the negro the same opportunity to
become self-sustaining, but his improvidence keeps him poor. Too often
he allows what little garden he has to be choked with weeds through his
shiftlessness. One of the shrewdest observers and fairest critics of the
negro, Alfred Holt Stone, says of the Mississippi negro: "In a
plantation experience of more than twelve years, during which I have
been a close observer of the economic life of the plantation negro, I
have not known one to anticipate the future by investing the earnings of
one year in supplies for the next....The idea seems to be that the
money from a crop already gathered is theirs, to be spent as fancy
suggests, while the crop to be made must take care of itself, or be taken
care of by the 'white-folks.'"[1] This statement is not so true of the
negroes of the Upper South, many of whom are more intelligent, and have
developed foresight and self-reliance.

[Footnote 1: Stone. _Studies in the American Race Problem_, p. 188]

The theory that there is an organized conspiracy over the whole South to
keep the negro in a state of peonage is frequently advanced by ignorant
or disingenuous apologists for the negro, but this belief cannot be
defended. The merchants usually prefer to sell for cash, and more and
more of them are reluctant to sell on credit. In some cotton towns no
merchant will sell on credit, and the landlord is obliged to furnish
supplies to those who cannot pay. The landowners generally would much
prefer a group of prosperous permanent tenants who could be depended
upon to give some thought to the crop of the future as well as to that
of the present. In the South as a whole the negro finds little
difficulty in buying land, if he can make a moderate first payment. It
is true that some are cheated by the merchant or the landlord. Prices
charged for supplies are too high, and the prices credited for crops are
too low, but the debtors are hardly swindled to a greater extent than
the ignorant and illiterate elsewhere.

The condition of the white tenant is sometimes little better than that
of the negro. He usually farms a larger tract, 83.8 acres on the average
(in 1910), as against 39.6 acres for the negro, and he is on the whole
more prosperous; but there are many who live from hand to mouth, move
frequently, habitually get into debt to the merchant or the landlord,
and have little or no surplus at settling time. In the South in 1910
there were 866,000 white tenant farmers who cultivated 20.5 per cent of
all the land, and since that time white tenancy has been increasing. The
increase of land ownership is greater among the negroes than among the
whites, who are in many cases illiterates. This illiteracy is one cause
of their poverty, but not the only cause: a part of it is moral,
involving a lack of steadfast purpose, and a part is physical. The
researches conducted by the United States Government, the state boards
of health, and the Rockefeller Foundation show clearly that much of the
indolence charged to the less prosperous Southern rural whites is due to
the effect of the hookworm, a tiny intestinal parasite common in most
tropical and subtropical regions and probably brought from Africa or the
West Indies by the negro. The Rockefeller Foundation is now spending nearly
$300,000 a year in financing, wholly or in part, attempts to eradicate the
disease in eight Southern States and in fifteen foreign countries.

The parasite enters the body from polluted soil, usually through the
feet, as a large part of the rural population goes barefoot in the
summer; it makes its way to the intestinal canal, where it fixes itself,
grows, and lays eggs which are voided and hatch in the soil. Since most
country districts are without sanitary closets, reinfection may occur
again and again, until an individual harbors a host of these tiny
bloodsuckers, which interfere with his digestion and sap his vitality.
It is now believed that the morbid appetites of the "clay eaters" are
due to this infection. The fact that the negro who introduced the curse
is less susceptible to the infection and is less affected by it than the
white man is one of life's ironies.

There is a brighter side to this picture, however. Of all the cultivated
land in the South 65 per cent is worked by owners (white 60.6 per cent;
colored 4.4 per cent) and this land is on the whole much better tilled
than that let to tenants. It is true that some of the landowners are
chronically in debt, burdened with mortgages and with advances for
supplies. Some of them probably produce less to the acre than tenants
working under close supervision, but the percentage of farms mortgaged is
less in the South than in any other part of the country except the
Mountain Division, and unofficial testimony indicates that few farms are
lost through foreclosure.

For years the agricultural colleges and the experiment stations offered
good advice to the Southern farmer, but they reached only a small
proportion. Their bulletins had a small circulation and were so full of
technical expressions as to be almost unintelligible to the average
farmer. Recently the writers have attempted to make themselves more
easily understood, and the usefulness of their publications has
consequently increased. The bulletins of the Department of Agriculture
are read in increasing numbers, and several agricultural papers have a
wide circulation. The "farmer's institutes" where experts in various
lines speak on their specialties are well attended, and the experimental
farms to which few visitors came at first are now popular.

Two other agencies are doing much for agricultural betterment. One is
the county demonstrator, and the other boys' and girls' clubs. Both are due
to the foresight and wisdom of the late Dr. Seaman A. Knapp, of the United
States Department of Agriculture. As early as 1903 Dr. Knapp had been
showing by practical demonstration how the farmers of Texas might
circumvent the boll weevil, which was threatening to make an end of
cotton-growing in that State. He was able to increase the yield of cotton
on a pest-ridden farm. The idea of the boys' corn club was not new when
Dr. Knapp took it up in 1908 and made it a national institution. The girls'
canning club was soon added to the list, and then came the pig club for
boys and the poultry club for girls.

The General Education Board, which, with its large resources, had been
seeking the best way to aid education in the South, was forced to the
conclusion that any educational development must be preceded by economic
improvement. The farm production of the South was less than that of
other sections, and until this production could be increased, taxation,
no matter how heavy, could not provide sufficient money for really
efficient schools. After a study of the whole field of agricultural
education, the ideas of Dr. Knapp were adopted as the basis of the work
and, by arrangement with the Department of Agriculture, Dr. Knapp himself
was placed in charge. The appropriations to the Department of Agriculture
had been made for the extermination or circumvention of the boll weevil
and could not be used for purely educational work in States where the
weevil had not appeared. A division of territory was now made: the
Department financed demonstration work in those States affected by the
pest and the General Education Board bore the expense in the other States.
Entire supervision of the work was in the hands of the Department of
Agriculture, which made all appointments and disbursed all funds. The Board
furnished funds but assumed no authority. The history issued by the
General Education Board says: "Dr. Knapp endeavored to teach his hearers
not only how to raise cotton and corn, but how to conduct farming as a
business--how to ascertain the cost of a crop, how to find out whether they
were making or losing money. As rapidly as possible the scope was broadened
for the purpose of making the farmer more and more independent. He was
stimulated to raise stock, to produce feed and forage for his stock, and
to interest himself in truck gardening, hog-raising, etc."

The method used was to appoint county, district and state demonstration
agents who would induce different farmers to cultivate a limited area
according to specific directions. As these agents were appointed by the
Department of Agriculture, the farmer was flattered by being singled out by
the Government. In most cases the results of the experiments were far
superior to those which the farmer had obtained merely by following
tradition, and he usually applied the successful methods to his whole farm.
Some of his neighbors, who visited the demonstration plot to scoff at the
idea that any one in Washington could teach a farmer how to grow cotton or
corn, were wise enough to recognize the improvement and to follow the
directions. Every successful demonstration farm was thus a center of
influence, and the work was continued after Dr. Knapp's death under the
charge of his son, Bradford Knapp.

The idea of the boys' corn club was vitalized in 1908 by Dr. Knapp, who
planned to establish a corn club in every neighborhood, with county and
state organizations. Each boy was to cultivate a measured acre of land
in corn, according to directions and keep a strict account of the cost.
The work of his father, or of a hired man, in ploughing the land must be
charged against the plot at the market rate. Manure, or fertilizer, and
seed were likewise to be charged, but the main work of cultivation was to
be done by the boy himself. The crop was to be measured by two
disinterested witnesses who should certify to the result. Local pride was
depended upon to furnish prizes for the county organization, but the most
successful boys in every State were to be taken on a trip to Washington,
there to shake hands with the Secretary of Agriculture and the President.
This appeal to the imagination of youth was a master touch.

Thousands of boys were interested and achieved results which were truly
startling. In every State the average yield from the boys' acres was
larger than the state average, in some cases almost five times as great.
One South Carolina boy produced on his acre in 1910 over 228 bushels,
and in 1913 an Alabama boy reached high-water mark with nearly 233
bushels. Hundreds of boys produced over 100 bushels to the acre, and the
average of the boys in South Carolina was nearly 69 bushels, compared
with an average of less than 20 for the adult farmers. The pig clubs
which followed have likewise been successful and have stimulated an
interest in good stock and proper methods of caring for it. Many country
banks have financed these operations by buying hogs by the carload and
selling to the club members on easy terms.

Girls' canning clubs were organized by Dr. Knapp in 1910. Girls were
encouraged to plant a tenth of an acre in tomatoes. Trained
demonstrators then traveled from place to place and showed them how to
use portable canning outfits. The girls met, first at one house and then
at another, to preserve their tomatoes, and soon they began to preserve
many other vegetables and fruits. Two girls in Tennessee are said to
have preserved 126 different varieties of food. Some of these clubs have
gained more than a local reputation for their products and have been
able to sell their whole output to hotels or to institutions. Though the
monetary gain has been worth something, the addition to the limited
dietary of the homes has been worth more, and the social influence of
these clubs has been considerable. The small farmer in the South is not
a social being, and anything which makes for cooperation is valuable.
The poultry clubs which were an extension of the canning club idea have
been successful. The club idea, indeed, has been extended beyond the
limits of the South. Congress, recognizing its value, has taken over and
extended the work and has supported it liberally. Today market-garden
clubs for the manufacturing cities, potato clubs, mother-and-daughter
clubs, and perhaps others have grown out of the vision of Dr. Knapp.

Though these activities have had a great effect in improving the South,
that section has not yet been transformed into an Eden. In spite of farm
demonstrations, experiment stations, and boys' and girls' clubs, the
stubborn inertia of a rural population fixed on the soil has only been
shocked, not routed. Much land is barely scratched instead of being
ploughed deep; millions of acres bear no cover crops but lose their
fertility through the leaching of valuable constituents during the
winter. Fertilizer is bought at exorbitant prices, while the richness of
the barnyard goes to waste, and legumes are neglected; land is allowed
to wash into gullies which soon become ravines. Farms which would
produce excellent corn and hay are supplied with these products from the
Middle West; millions of pounds of Western pork are consumed in regions
where hogs can be easily and cheaply raised; butter from Illinois or
Wisconsin is brought to sections admirably adapted to dairying; and
apples from Oregon and honey from Ohio are sold in the towns. In several
typical counties an average of $4,000,000 was sent abroad for products
which could easily have been raised at home. In Texas some of the bankers
have been refusing credit to supply merchants who do not encourage the
production of food crops as well as cotton.[1]

[Footnote 1: An illuminating series of studies of rural life is being
issued by the Bureau of Extension of the University of North Carolina.]

Throughout the South there are thousands of homes into which no
newspaper comes, certainly no agricultural paper, and in which there are
few books, except perhaps school books. The cooking is sometimes done
with a few simple utensils over the open fire. Water must be brought
from a spring at the foot of the hill, at an expenditure of strength and
endurance. The cramped house has no conveniences to lighten labor or to
awaken pride. The overworked wife and mother has no social life, except
perhaps attendance at the services at the country church to which the
family rides in a springless wagon. Such families see their neighbors
prosper without attempting to discover the secret for themselves. Blank
fatalism possesses them. They do not realize that they could prosper.
New methods of cultivation, they think, are not for them since they have
no capital to purchase machinery.

On the other hand, one sees more Ford cars than teams at many country
churches, and many larger automobiles as well. Some Southern States are
spending millions for better roads, and the farmer or his son or
daughter can easily run into town in the afternoon carrying a little
produce which more than pays for any purchases. Tractors are seen at
work here and there, and agricultural machinery is under the sheds. Many
houses have private water systems and a few farmers have harnessed the
brooks for electric lights. The gas engine which pumps the water runs
the corn sheller or the wood saw. The rural telephone spreads like a web
over the countryside. Into these houses the carrier brings the daily or
semi-weekly paper from the neighboring town, agricultural journals, and
some magazines of national circulation; a piano stands in the parlor;
and perhaps a college pennant or two hang somewhere, for many farm boys
and girls go to college. In spite of the short terms of the public
schools, many manage to get some sort of preparation for college, and in
the South more college students come from farm homes than from town or
city. This encouraging picture is true, no less than the other, and the
number of such progressive farm homes is fortunately growing larger.

A greater range of products is being cultivated throughout the South,
though more cotton and tobacco are being produced than ever before. The
output of corn, wheat, hay, and pork has increased in recent years, though
the section is not yet self-sufficient. The growing of early vegetables and
fruits for Northern markets is a flourishing industry in some sections
where land supposedly almost worthless has been found to be admirably
adapted for this purpose. An increasing acreage in various legumes not
only furnishes forage but enriches the soil. Silos are to be seen here and
there, and there are some excellent herds of dairy cattle, though the
scarcity of reliable labor makes this form of farming hazardous. The cattle
tick is being conquered, and more beef is being produced. Thoroughbred
hogs and poultry are common.

With the great rise in the price of the farmer's products since 1910,
the man who farms with knowledge and method is growing prosperous.
Farmers are taking advantage of the Federal Farm Loan Act and are paying
off many mortgages. The necessity of asking for credit is diminishing,
and men have contracted to buy land and have paid for it from the first
crop. While the things the farmer must buy have risen in price, his
products have risen even higher in value; and in those sections of the
South suited to mixed farming there need be comparatively little outgo.

One is tempted to hope that the lane has turned for the Southern farmer.
Partly owing to his ignorance and inertia, partly to circumstances
difficult to overcome, his lot after 1870 was not easy, and from 1870 to
1910 is a full generation. An individual who grew to manhood on a
Southern farm during that period may be excused for a gloomy outlook
upon the world. He finds it difficult to believe that prosperity has
arrived, or that it will last. The number who have been convinced of the
brighter outlook, however, is increasing.



Though the Old South was in the main agricultural, it was not entirely
destitute of industrial skill. The recent industrial development is
really a revival, not a revolution, in some parts of the South. In 1810,
according to Tench Coxe's semi-official _Statement of Arts and
Manufactures_, the value of the textile products of North Carolina was
greater than that of Massachusetts. Every farmhouse had spinning-wheels
and one loom or several on which the women of the family spun yarn and
wove cloth for the family wardrobe. On the large plantations negro women
produced much of the cloth for both slaves and family. Except on special
occasions, a very large proportion of the clothing worn by the average
Southern community was of household or local manufacture. Hats were made
of fur, wool, or plaited straw. Hides were tanned on the plantations or
more commonly at a local tannery and were made into shoes by local
cobblers, white or black.

Local cabinet-makers made furniture, all of it strong, and some of it
good in line and finish. Many of the pieces sold by dealers in antiques
in the great cities as coming from Europe by way of the South were made
by cabinet-makers in Southern villages in the first half of the
nineteenth century. Farm wagons as well as carriages with some
pretensions to elegance were made in local shops. In fact, up to 1810 or
1820 it seemed that the logical development of one or two of the South
Atlantic States would be into frugal manufacturing commonwealths. Few of
the thousands of small shops developed into real manufacturing
establishments, however, though many continued to exist. The belief in
the profits apparently to be made from the cultivation of cotton and
tobacco changed the ideals of the people. To own a plantation on which
he might lead a patriarchal existence became the ambition of the
successful man. Even the lawyer, the doctor, or the merchant was likely
to own a plantation to which he expected to retire, if indeed he did not
already live on it while he engaged in his other occupation. As the
century went on, the section began to depend more and more upon other
parts of the country or upon Europe to supply its wants, and general
interest in Southern industries began to wane.

Textile establishments had appeared early in the century. The first
cotton mill in North Carolina was built in 1810 and one in Georgia about
the same time. Much of the machinery for the former was built by local
workmen. Other mills were built in the succeeding years until in 1860
there were about 160 in the Southern States, with 300,000 spindles, and
a yearly product worth more than $8,000,000. The establishments were
small, less than one-third the average size of the mills in New England,
and few attempted to supply more than the local demand for coarse yarn
which the country women knit into socks or wove into cloth. The surplus
was peddled from wagons in adjoining counties or even in a neighboring
State. Little attempt was made to seek a wider outlet, and many of these
mills could supply the small local demand by running only a few months
in the year.

During the Civil War, however, these mills were worked to their full
capacity. At the cessation of hostilities many mills were literally worn
out; others were destroyed by the invading armies; and fewer were in
operation in 1870 than before the War. During the next decade, hope of
industrial success began to return to the South. The mills in operation
were making some money; the high price of cotton had brought money into
the section; and a few men had saved enough to revive the industry. Old
mills were enlarged, and new mills were built. The number in operation
in 1880 was about the same as in 1860, but the number of spindles was
nearly twice as great.

The Cotton Exposition at Atlanta in 1881 and the New Orleans Exposition
in 1884 gave an impetus to the construction of mills. There were
prophecies of future success in the industry, though some self-appointed
guardians of the South proved, to their own satisfaction at least, that
neither the section nor the people were adapted to the manufacture of
cotton and that all their efforts should be devoted to the production of
raw material for the mills of New England. Difficulties were magnified
and advantages were minimized by those whose interests were opposed to
Southern industrial development, but the movement had now gained
momentum and was not to be stopped. Timidly and hesitantly, capital for
building mills was scraped together in dozens of Southern communities,
and the number of spindles was doubled between 1880 and 1885 and continued
to increase.

In developing this Southern industry there were many difficulties to be
overcome, and mistakes were sometimes made. Seduced by apparent
cheapness, many of the new mills bought machinery which the New England
mills had discarded for better patterns, or because of a change of
product. Operatives had to be drawn from the farms and needed to be
trained not only to work in the mills but also to habits of regularity
and punctuality. The New England overseers who were imported for this
purpose sometimes failed in dealing with these new recruits to
industrialism because of inability to make due allowance for their
limitations. Accustomed to the truck system in agriculture, the managers
often paid wages in scrip always good for supplies at the company store
but redeemable in cash only at infrequent intervals. The operatives
therefore sometimes found that they had exchanged one sort of economic
dependence for another. Another difficulty was that a place for Southern
yarn and Southern cloth had to be gained in the market, and this was
difficult of accomplishment for the product was often not up to the
Northern standard.

Managing ability, however, was found not to be so rare in the South as
had been supposed. Some of the managers, drawn perhaps from the village
store, the small town bank, or the farm, succeeded so well in the
broader field that others were encouraged to seek similar industrial
success. As the construction of new mills went on, the temper of the
South Atlantic States began to change. The people began to believe in
Southern industrial development and to be eager to invest their savings
in something other than a land mortgage. An instalment plan by which the
savings of the people, small individually but large in the aggregate,
were united, furnished capital for mills in scores of towns and
villages. In 1890 there were nearly a million and three-quarters
spindles in the South compared with less than six hundred thousand ten
years before.

It seemed as though nearly every mill was profitable, and the occasional
failures did not seriously check the movement, which developed about
1900 almost into a craze in some parts of the South. In these sections
every town talked of building one mill or more. The machine shops of the
North, which had been cold or at least indifferent to Southern
development, woke up, as Southern mills began to double or triple their
equipment out of their profits. Agents were sent to the South to
encourage the building of new mills, and to give advice and aid in
planning them. The new mill-owners were good customers. They had learned
wisdom by the mistakes of the pioneers, and they demanded the best
machinery with all the latest devices. Long credit was now freely
offered by Northern manufacturers of machinery, and some of them even
subscribed for stock--to be paid, of course, in machinery.

The Northern textile manufacturers also woke up. They found that in
coarse yarns the Southern mills were successfully competing with their
products. Some pessimistic representatives of the industry in the North
prophesied that the Southern mills would soon control the market. Some
New England mills built branch mills in the South; some turned to the
finer yarns; and some sought to throw obstacles in the way of their
competitors. It has been freely charged by many Southerners that New
England manufacturers bore the expense of labor organizers in an
unsuccessful attempt to unionize the Southern mill operatives. It has
also been charged that the propaganda for legislation restricting the
hours of labor and the age of operatives in Southern mills was financed
to some extent by New England manufacturers, and that the writers of
the many lurid accounts purporting to describe conditions in Southern
mills received pay from the same source.

The system of paying for stock on the instalment plan permitted the
construction of many mills for which capital could not have been raised
otherwise and had also certain distinct social consequences. According
to this plan, the subscriptions to the stock were made payable in weekly
instalments of 50 cents or $1.00 a share, thus requiring approximately
two or four years to complete payment. Those having money in hand might
pay in full, less six per cent discount for the average time. Since
almost or quite a year was usually necessary to build the mill and the
necessary tenements for the hands, the instalments more than paid this
item of expense. The weekly receipts and the payments in full were kept
in a local bank, which also expected future business and was therefore
likely to be liberal when credit was demanded. Often the officers and
directors of the bank were also personally interested in the new
enterprise. The machinery manufacturers gave long credit and often took
stock in the mill. Commission houses which sold yarns and cloth also
took stock with the expectation of controlling the marketing of the

Many mills built on this plan were so profitable that they were able to
pay for a considerable part of the machinery from the profits long
before the last instalment was paid, and some even paid a dividend or
two in addition. Such mills started operations with many things in their
favor. The ownership was widely distributed, since it was not at all
uncommon for a hundred thousand dollar mill to have a hundred or more
stockholders, some of whom held only one or two shares. Further, since
the amount of money paid in the immediate neighborhood for wages, fuel,
and raw material was large, every one was disposed to aid the enterprise
in every way possible. Town limits were often changed almost by common
consent in order to throw a mill outside so that it would not be subject
to town taxes. Where the state constitutions permitted, taxes on the
mill were even remitted for a term of years. Where this could not be
done, assessors were lenient and usually assessed mill property at much
less than its real value.

Not only did some Northern corporations build branch mills in the South,
but a considerable amount of Northern capital was invested in mills
under the management of Southern men. It is of course impossible to
discover the residence of every stockholder, but enough is known to
support the assertion that the proportion of Northern capital is
comparatively small. The greater part of the investment in Southern
mills has come from the savings of Southern people or has been earned by
the mills themselves. Lately several successful mills have been bought
by large department stores and mail-order houses, in order to supply
them with goods either for the counter directly or else for the
manufacture of sheets, pillowcases, underwear, and the like. Marshall
Field and Company of Chicago, for example, own several mills in North

The mills of the South have continued to increase until they are now
much more numerous than in the North. They are smaller in size, however,
for in 1915 the number of spindles in the cotton-growing States was
12,711,000 compared with 19,396,000 in all other States. The consumption
of cotton was nevertheless much greater in the South and amounted to
3,414,000 bales, compared with 2,770,000 bales in the other States. This
difference is explained by the fact that Southern mills generally spin
coarser yarn and may therefore easily consume twice or even three times
as much cotton as mills of the same number of spindles engaged in
spinning finer yarn. Some Southern mills, however, spin very fine yarn
from either Egyptian or sea-island cotton, but time is required to
educate a considerable body of operatives competent to do the more
delicate tasks, while less skillful workers are able to produce the
coarser numbers.

Southern mills have paid high dividends in the past and have also
greatly enlarged their plants from their earnings. They had, years ago,
several advantages, some of which persist to the present day. The cost
of the raw material was less where a local supply of cotton could be
obtained, since freight charges were saved by purchase in the
neighborhood; land and buildings for plant and tenements cost less than
in the North; fuel was cheaper; water power was often utilized, though
sometimes this saving was offset by the cost of transportation; taxes
were lower; the rate of wages was lower; there was little or no
restriction of the conditions of employment; and there were
comparatively few labor troubles.

With the great growth of the industry, however, some of these early
advantages have disappeared. Many mills can no longer depend upon the
local supply of cotton, and the freight charge from the Lower South is
as high as the rate by water to New England or even higher; the
transportation of the finished product to Northern markets is an
additional expense; wages have risen with the growth of the industry and
are approaching closely, if they have not reached, the rate per unit of
product paid in other sections. The cost of fuel has increased, although
in some localities the development of hydro-electric power has reduced
this item. All the States have imposed restrictions upon the employment
of women and children in the mills, particularly at night. On the other
hand, taxes remain lower, the cost of building is less, and strikes and
other forms of industrial friction are still uncommon. When well
managed, the Southern mills are still extremely profitable, but margin
for error in management has become less.

The Southern mills are chiefly to be found in four States, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, and in the hill country
of these States, though a few large mills are situated in the lowlands.
North Carolina, with over three hundred mills, has more than any other
State, North or South, and consumes more cotton than any other Southern
State--over a million bales.

South Carolina, however, has more spindles, the average size of its
mills is larger, and it spins more fine yarn. North Carolina is second
only to Massachusetts in the value of its cotton products, South
Carolina comes third, Georgia fourth, and Alabama eighth. Virginia and
Tennessee are lower on the list. In quantity of cotton consumed, the
cotton growing States passed all others in 1905; and in 1916 the
consumption was twenty-five per cent greater, in spite of the fact that
New England had been increasing her spindles. Some Southern mills are
built in cities, but usually they are in the smaller towns and in little
villages which have grown up around the mills and owe their existence to
them. There is some localization of industry: a very large number of
mills, for instance, may be found in a radius of one hundred miles from
Charlotte, North Carolina, and one North Carolina county has more than
fifty mills, though the total number of spindles in that county is not
much greater than in some single New England establishment.

In the allied knitting industry the production of the South is
increasing in importance. North Carolina led the South in 1914, with
Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, following in the order named. Though most
of the establishments are small, some are important and are
establishing a wide reputation for their product. Generally they are
situated in the towns where cotton mills have already been located.

The textile industry, though it is the most important, is not the only
great industrial enterprise in the New South. Two others, both in a way
the by-products of cotton, deserve attention. Only a few years ago
cotton seed was considered a nuisance. A small quantity was fed to
stock; a somewhat larger quantity was composted with stable manure and
used for fertilizer; but the greater part was left to rot or was even
dumped into the streams which ran the gins. Since the discovery of the
value of cottonseed products, the industry has grown rapidly. The oil is
now used in cooking, is mixed with olive oil, is sold pure for salad
oil, and is an important constituent of oleomargarine, lard substitutes,
and soap, to name only a few of the uses to which it is put. The cake,
or meal from which the oil has been pressed, is rich in nitrogen and is
therefore valuable as fertilizer; it is also a standard food for cattle,
and tentative experiments with it have even been made as a food for
human beings. The hulls have also considerable value as cattle food, and
from them are obtained annually nearly a million bales of "linters,"
that is, short fibers of cotton which escaped the gin. Since the seed is
bulky and the cost of transportation is correspondingly high, there are
many small cottonseed oil mills rather than a few large ones. Texas is
the leader in this industry, with Georgia next, though oil mills are to
be found in all the cotton States, and the value of the seed adds
considerably to the income of every cotton grower. In 1914 the value of
cottonseed products was $212,000,000.

The industry of making fertilizer depends largely upon cottonseed meal.
More than a hundred oil mills have fertilizer departments. The phosphate
deposits of the South Atlantic States are also important, and the
fertilizer industry is showing more and more a tendency to become
sectional. Georgia easily leads, Maryland is second, and no Northern
State ranks higher than seventh.

From the standpoint of values lumbering is a more important industry
than the manufacture of fertilizers. In this respect Louisiana is the
second State in value of products, and the industry is important in
Arkansas, Mississippi, and North Carolina. The South furnishes nearly
half of the lumber produced in the United States. This industry is, of
course, only one step from the raw material. The manufacture of wood
into finished articles is, however, increasing in some of the Southern
States. The vehicle industry is considerable, and the same may be said
of agricultural machinery, railway and street cars, and coffins. North
Carolina especially is taking rank in the manufacture of furniture, most
of it cheap but some of it of high grade. So far, ambition has in few
cases gone beyond utilization of the native woods, some of which are
surprisingly beautiful. Many small establishments in different States
make such special products as spokes, shuttle blocks, pails, broom
handles, containers for fruits and vegetables, and the like, but the
total value of these products is small compared with the value of the
crude lumber which is sent out of the South.

The iron industry is important chiefly in Alabama, of the purely
Southern States. This State is fourth in the product of its blast
furnaces but supplied in 1914 only a little more than six per cent of
the total for the United States. Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia
produce appreciable quantities of pig iron; no Southern State plays a
really important part in the steel industry, though Maryland, Alabama,
and West Virginia are all represented. Birmingham, Alabama, is the
center of steel manufacture and has been called the Pittsburgh of
the South, but though the industry has grown rapidly in Birmingham, it
has also grown in Pittsburgh, and the Southern city is gaining very
slowly. There are great beds of bituminous coal in the South, but only
in West Virginia and Alabama is the production really important, though
Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia produce appreciable quantities.

In the total value of the products of mines of all sorts, West Virginia
and Oklahoma are among the leaders, owing to their iron, coal, and
petroleum output. Other Southern States follow in the rear. Alabama,
Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Florida, and Louisiana all have a
mineral output which is large in the aggregate but a small part of the
total. The sulphur mines of Louisiana are growing increasingly
important. North Carolina produces a little of almost everything, but
its mineral production, except of mica, is not important. In this State
large aluminum works have been constructed and the quantity of precious
and semiprecious stones found there is a large part of the production
for the United States.

The tobacco industry is growing rapidly in the South. There have always
been small establishments for the manufacture of tobacco, and many of
these during the last three decades have grown to large proportions. New
establishments have been opened, some of which are among the largest in
the world. The development of the American Tobacco Company and its
affiliated and subsidiary organizations has greatly reduced the number
of separate establishments. Many were bought by the combination; their
brands were transferred to another factory; and the original
establishments were closed as uneconomical. Many other small factories,
feeling or fearing the competition, closed voluntarily. But the total
production of tobacco has steadily increased. Plug and smoking tobacco
are largely confined to the Upper South. North Carolina easily leads,
while Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri (if it be classed as a Southern
State) also have factories which are known all over the world. Richmond,
St. Louis, Louisville, and New Orleans, and Winston-Salem and Durham in
North Carolina are the cities which lead in this industry. Winston-Salem
probably now makes more plug, and Durham more smoking tobacco, than any
other cities in the United States, and the cigarette production of the
former is increasing enormously. Some factories supply export trade
almost exclusively. There has been little development of the fine cigar
industry except in Louisiana and Florida, though in all cities of the
Lower South there are local establishments for the manufacture of cigars
from Cuban leaf. Richmond is a center for the manufacture of domestic
cigars and cheroots and has one mammoth establishment.

Twenty years or thirty years ago scattered over the South there were
thousands of small grist mills which ground the farmer's wheat or corn
between stones in the old-fashioned way. These are being superseded by
roller mills, some of them quite large, which handle all the local wheat
and even import some from the West. However, as the annual production of
wheat in the South has decreased rather than increased since 1880, it is
obvious that the industry has changed in form rather than increased in

There are other less important manufacturing enterprises in the South.
The census shows about two hundred and fifty distinct industries pursued
to a greater or less extent. Maryland ranked fourteenth in the total
value of manufactured products in 1914. Only seven Southern States were
found in the first twenty-five, while Minnesota, which is generally
considered an agricultural State, ranked higher in manufactures than any
of the Southern group in 1914. The next census will undoubtedly give
some Southern States high rank, though the section as a whole is not yet
industrial. The manufacturing output is increasing with marvelous
rapidity, but it is increasing in other sections of the country as well.
Although the South was credited in 1914 with an increase of nearly 72
per cent in the value of its products during the decade, its proportion
of the total value of products in the United States as a whole increased
only from 12.8 per cent in 1904 to 13.1 per cent in 1914. The section is
still far from equaling or surpassing other sections except in the
manufacture of textiles.



The laborer employed in the manufacturing enterprises of the South,
whether white or black, is native born and Southern born. Sporadic
efforts to import industrial workers from Europe have not been
successful and there has been no considerable influx of workers from
other sections of the Union. A few skilled workers have come, but the
rank and file in all the factories and shops were born in the State in
which they work or in a neighboring State. Speaking broadly, those
dealing with complicated machines are white, while those engaged in
simpler processes are white or black. We find, therefore, a
preponderance of whites in the textile industries and in the shops
producing articles from wood and iron, while the blacks are found in the
lumber industry, in the tobacco factories, in the mines, and at the
blast furnaces. There are some skilled workmen among the negroes,
especially in tobacco, but generally they furnish the unskilled labor.

The textile industry employs the greatest number of operatives, or at
least concentrates them more. From the farms or the mountain coves, or
only one generation removed from that environment, they have been drawn
to the mills by various motives. The South is still sparsely settled,
and the life of the tenant farmer or the small landowner and his family
is often lonely. Until recently, roads were almost universally bad,
especially in winter, and a visit to town or even to a neighbor was no
small undertaking. Attendance at the country church, which sometimes has
services only once a month, or a trip to the country store on Saturday
afternoon with an occasional visit to the county-seat furnish almost the
only opportunity for social intercourse. Work in a cotton mill promised
not merely fair wages but what was coveted even more--companionship.

During the period of most rapid growth in the textile industry,
agriculture, or at least agriculture as practiced by this class, was
unprofitable. During the decade from 1890 to 1900 the price of all kinds
of farm produce was exceedingly low, and the returns in money were very
small. Even though a farmer more farsighted than the average did produce
the greater part of his food on the farm, his "money crop"--cotton or
tobacco--hardly brought the cost of production. The late D.A. Tompkins, of
Charlotte, North Carolina, a close student of cotton, came to the
conclusion, about 1910, that cotton had been produced at a loss in the
South considered as a whole, at least since the Civil War. Many farmers,
however, were in a vicious economic circle and could not escape. If they
had bought supplies at the country store at inflated prices, the crops
sometimes were insufficient to pay the store accounts, and the balance was
charged against the next year's crop. Men who did not go heavily into debt
often handled less than $200 in cash in a year, and others found difficulty
in obtaining money even for their small taxes. To such men the stories of
$15 to $25 earned at a mill by a single family in a week seemed almost
fabulous. The whole family worked on the farm, as farmers' families have
always done, and it seemed the natural thing that, in making a change,
all should work in the mill.

To those families moved by loneliness and those other families driven by
an honest ambition to better their economic condition were added the
families of the incapable, the shiftless, the disabled, and the widowed.
In a few cases men came to the mills deliberately intending to exploit
their children, to live a life of ease upon their earnings. There were
places for the younger members of all these families, but a man with
hands calloused and muscles stiffened by the usual round of farm work
could seldom learn a new trade after the age of forty, no matter how
willing. Often a cotton mill is the only industrial enterprise in the
village, and the number of common laborers needed is limited. Too many
of the fathers who had come to the village intending themselves to work
gradually sank into the parasite class and sat around the village store
while their children worked.

During the early expansion of the industry, the wages paid were low
compared with New England standards, but they were sufficient to draw
the people from the farms and to hold them at the mills. In considering
the wages paid in Southern mills, this fact must never be forgotten.
There was always an abundance of land to which the mill people could
return at will and wrest some sort of living from the soil. For them to
go back to the land was not a venture full of unknown hazards. They had
been born on the land and even yet are usually only one generation removed,
and the land cries out for tenants and laborers. It must also be remembered
that though the wages measured in money were low, the cost of living was
likewise low. Rents were trifling, if indeed the tenements were not
occupied free; the cost of fuel and food was low; and many expenses
necessary in New England were superfluous in the South.

With the increasing number of mills and the rising price of agricultural
products, the supply of industrial laborers became less abundant, and
higher wages have been necessary to draw recruits from the farms until
at present the rate of wages approaches that of New England. The
purchasing power is probably greater for, while the cost of living has
greatly increased in the South, it is still lower than in other parts of
the country. This does not mean that the average Southern wage is equal
to the New England average. While there is a growing body of highly
skilled operatives in the South, the rapid growth of the industry has
made necessary the employment of an overwhelmingly large number of
untrained or partially trained operatives, who cannot tend so many
spindles or looms as the New England operatives. Again, much yarn in the
North is spun upon mules, while in the South these machines are uncommon.
For certain purposes, this soft but fine and even yarn is indispensable.
Only strong, highly skilled operatives, usually men, can tend these
machines. The earnings of such specialists cannot fairly be compared with
the amounts received by ordinary girl spinners on ring frames. Again the
weekly wage of an expert weaver upon fancy cloth cannot justly be compared
with that of a Southern operative upon plain goods. Where the work is
comparable, however, the rates per unit of product in North and South are
not far apart.

From the standpoint of the employer it may be possible that the wages
per unit of product are higher in some Southern mills than in some New
England establishments. In the case of an expensive machine, an
operative who gets from it only sixty to seventy-five per cent of its
possible production may receive higher wages, or what amounts to the
same thing, may produce at a higher cost per unit than a more highly
paid individual who more nearly approaches the theoretical maximum
production of the machine. There is much expensive machinery in the
Southern mills. In fact, on the whole, the machinery for the work in
hand is better than in New England, because it is newer. The recently built
Southern mills have been equipped with all the latest machinery, while
many of the older Northern mills have not felt able to scrap machines
which, though antiquated, were still running well. However, the advantage
in having a better machine is not fully realized if it is not run to its
full capacity. Both spinning frames and looms have generally been run at
a somewhat slower speed in the South than in the North. This fact was noted
by that careful English observer, T.M. Young: "Whether the cost per unit
of efficiency is greater in the South than in the North is hard to say. But
for the automatic loom, the North would, I think, have the advantage.
Perhaps the truth is that in some parts of the South where the industry
has been longest established and a generation has been trained to the work,
Southern labor is actually as well as nominally cheaper than Northern;
whilst in other districts, where many mills have sprung up all at once
amongst a sparse rural population, wholly untrained, the Southern labor at
present procurable is really dearer than the Northern[1]." This does not
mean that Southern labor is permanently inferior; but a highly skilled body
of operatives requires years for its development.

[Footnote 1: T.M. Young, _The American Cotton Industry_, p. 113.]

In the beginning there were no restrictions upon hours of work, age, or
sex of operatives, or conditions of employment. Every mill was a law
unto itself. Hours were long, often seventy-two and in a few cases
seventy-five a week. Wages were often paid in scrip good at the company
store but redeemable in cash only at infrequent intervals, if indeed any
were then presented. Yet, if the prices at the store were sometimes
exorbitant, they were likely to be less than the operatives had been
accustomed to pay when buying on credit while living on the farms. The
moral conditions at some of these mills were also bad, since the least
desirable element of the rural population was the first to go to the
mills. Such conditions, however, were not universal. Some of the
industrial communities were clean and self-respecting, but conditions
depended largely upon the individual in charge of the mill.

As the years went on and more and more mills were built, the demand for
operatives increased. To draw them from the farms, it was necessary to
improve living conditions in the mill villages and to increase wages.
Today the mill communities are generally clean, and care is taken to
exclude immoral individuals. Payment of wages in cash became the rule. The
company store persisted, but chiefly as a matter of convenience to the
operatives; and in prices it met and often cut below those charged in
other stores in the vicinity. The hours of labor were reduced gradually.
Seventy-two became the maximum, but most mills voluntarily ran sixty-nine
or even sixty-six. The employment of children continued, though some
individual employers reduced it as much as possible without seriously
crippling their forces. This was a real danger so long as there were no
legal restrictions on child labor. Children worked upon the farm as
children have done since farming began, and the average farmer who moved
to the mill was unable to see the difference between working on the farm
and working in the mill. In fact, to his mind, work in the mill seemed
easier than exposure on the farm to the summer sun and the winter cold.

Men who were not conscious of deliberately exploiting their children
urged the manager of the mill to employ a child of twelve or even ten.
If the manager refused, he was threatened with the loss of the whole
family. A family containing good operatives could always find employment
elsewhere, and perhaps the manager of another mill would not be so
scrupulous. So the children went into the mill and often stayed there. If
illiterate when they entered, they remained illiterate. The number of young
children, however, was always exaggerated by the muckrakers, though
unquestionably several hundred children ten to twelve years old, and
possibly a few younger, were employed years ago. The nature of the work
permits the employment of operatives under sixteen only in the spinning
room; the girls, many of them older than sixteen, mend the broken ends of
the yarn at the spinning frames, and the boys remove the full bobbins and
fix empty ones in their stead. The possible percentage of workers under
sixteen in a spinning mill varies from thirty-five to forty-five. In a
mill which weaves the yarn into cloth, the percentage is greatly reduced,
as practically no one under sixteen can be profitably employed in a weaving

Public sentiment against the employment of children became aroused only
slowly. Crusades against such industrial customs are usually led by
organized labor, by professional philanthropists, by sentimentalists,
and by socialistic agitators. The mill operatives of the South have
shown little disposition to organize themselves and, in fact, have
protested against interference with their right of contract. The South is
only just becoming rich enough to support professional philanthropists, and
an outlet for sentimentality has been found in other directions. There has
been as yet too little disproportion of wealth among the Southern whites
to excite acute jealousy on this ground alone, and the operatives have
earned much more money in the mills than was possible on the farms. In
comparatively few cases does one man, or one family, own a controlling
interest in a mill. The ownership is usually scattered in small holdings,
and there is seldom a Croesus to excite envy. This wide ownership has had
its effect upon the general attitude of the more influential citizens and
hindered the development of active disapproval.

The chief reason for the inertia in labor matters, however, has been the
fact that the South has thought, and to a large extent still thinks, in
terms of agriculture. It has not yet developed an industrial philosophy.
Agriculture is individualistic, and Thomas Jefferson's ideas upon the
functions and limitations of government still have influence. Regulation
of agricultural labor would seem absurd, and the difference between a
family, with or without hired help, working in comparative freedom on a
farm, and scores of individuals working at the same tasks, day after day,
under more or less tension was slow to take shape in the popular
consciousness. It was obvious that the children were not actually
physically abused; almost unanimously they preferred work to school, just
as the city boy does today; and the children themselves opposed most
strongly any proposed return to the farm. The task of the reformers--for
in every State there were earnest men and women who saw the evils of
unrestricted child labor--was difficult. It was the same battle which had
been fought in England and later in New England, when their textile
industries were passing through the same stage of development. Every
student of industrial history realizes that conditions in the South were
neither so hard nor were the hours so long as they had been in England and
New England.

The attempt to apply pressure from without had little influence. Indeed
it is possible that the resentment occasioned by the exaggerated stories
of conditions really hindered the progress of restrictive legislation,
just as the bitter denunciation of the Southern attitude toward the
negro has increased conservatism. Every one knew that the pitiful
stories of abuse or oppression were untrue. No class of laborers
anywhere is more independent than Southern mill operatives. It has been a
long while since a family of even semi-efficient operatives has been
compelled to ask for employment. Runners for other mills, upon the
slightest hint of disaffection, are quick to seek them out and even to
advance the expense of moving and money to pay any debts. It is well known
that families move for the slightest reason or for no reason at all except
a vague unrest. Self-interest, if nothing else, would restrain an overseer
from an act which might send a whole family or perhaps half a dozen
families from his mill.

Gradually the States imposed limitations upon age of employment, hours
of labor, and night work for women and children, which practically meant
limiting or abolishing night work altogether. These restrictions were
slight at first, and the provisions for their enforcement were
inadequate, but succeeding legislatures increased them. Mild compulsory
attendance laws kept some of the children in school and out of the mill.
A more or less substantial body of labor legislation was gradually
growing up, when state regulation was stopped by the action of the
Federal Government. Since the first Federal Child Labor Act was declared
unconstitutional, several States have strengthened laws previously
existing, and have further reduced the hours of labor.

Until comparatively recently whatever provision was made for the social
betterment of the operatives depended upon the active manager of the
particular mill. Some assumed a patriarchal attitude and attempted to
provide those things which they thought the operatives should have.
Others took little or no responsibility, except perhaps to make a
contribution to all the churches represented in the community. This
practice is almost universal, and if the term of the public school is
short, it is usually extended by a contribution from the mill treasury.
During recent years much more has been done. Partly from an awakening
sense of social responsibility and partly from a realization that it is
good business to do so, the bigger mills have made large expenditures to
improve the condition of their operatives. They have provided reading
rooms and libraries, have opened many recreation rooms and playgrounds,
and have furnished other facilities for entertainment. Some of the mills
have athletic fields, and a few support semi-professional baseball
teams. At some mills community buildings have been erected, which
sometimes contain, in addition to public rooms, baths, and a swimming
pool, an office for a visiting nurse and rooms which an adviser in
domestic science may use for demonstration. The older women are hard to
teach, but not a few of the girls take an interest in the work. Nothing
is more needed than instruction in domestic science. The operatives
spend a large proportion of their income upon food--for the rent they
pay is trifling--but the items are not always well chosen, and the
cooking is often bad. To the monotonous dietary to which they were
accustomed on the farms they add many luxuries to be had in the mill
town, but these are often ruined by improper preparation. Owing to this
lack of domestic skill many operatives apparently suffer from
malnutrition, though they spend more than enough money to supply an
abundance of nourishing food.

Not many years ago the improvidence of the mill operatives was
proverbial. Wages were generally spent as fast as they were earned, and
often extravagantly. Little attempt was made to cultivate gardens or to
make yards attractive, with the result that a factory village with its
monotonous rows of unkempt houses was a depressing sight. The "factory
people," many of whom had been nomad tenant farmers seldom living long
in the same place, had never thought of attempting to beautify their
surroundings, and the immediate neighborhood of the mill to which they
moved was often bare and unlovely and afforded little encouragement to

The improvident family is still common, and many ugly mill villages yet
exist, but one who has watched the development of the cotton industry in
the South for twenty-five years has seen great changes in these
respects. Thousands of families are saving money today. Some buy homes;
others set up one member of the family in a small business; and a few
buy farms. More than seventy-five families have left one mill village
during the last ten years to buy farms with their savings, but this
instance is rather unusual; comparatively few families return to the
land. Efforts have been made to develop a community spirit, and the
results are perceptible. Many mill villages are now really attractive.
Scores of mills have had their grounds laid out by a landscape
architect, and a mill covered with ivy and surrounded by well-kept lawns
and flower beds is no longer exceptional. In scores of mill communities
annual prizes are offered for the best vegetable garden, the most
attractive premises, and the best kept premises from a sanitary

The Southern operative is too close to the soil to be either socialistic
in his views or collectivistic in his attitude. The labor agitator has
found sterile soil for his propaganda. Yet signs of a dawning class
consciousness are appearing. As always, the first manifestation is
opposition to the dominant political party or faction. This has not yet,
however, been translated into any considerable number of Republican
votes, except in North Carolina. In the other States, the votes of the
factory operatives seem to be cast in something of a block, in the
primary elections. The demagogic Blease is said to have found much of
his support in South Carolina in the factory villages.

Employees in other industries show so much diversity that few general
statements can be made concerning them. The workers in the furniture
factories--who are chiefly men, as few women or children can be employed
in this industry--are few in number compared with the male employees in
the cotton mills and, except in the case of a few towns, can hardly be
discussed as a group at all. Both whites and negroes are employed, but
the white man is usually in the responsible post, though a few negroes
tend important machines. The general average of education and
intelligence among the whites is higher here than in the cotton mills,
and wages are likewise higher. Conditions in other establishments making
articles of wood are practically the same.

Lumber mills range from a small neighborhood sawmill with a handful of
employees to the great organizations which push railroads into the deep
woods and strip a mountain side or devastate the lowlands. Such
organizations require a great number of laborers, whom they usually feed
and to whom they issue from a "commissary" various necessary articles
which are charged against the men's wages. As the work is hard, it has
not been at all uncommon for employees who had received large advances
to decamp. The companies, however, took advantage of various laws
similar to those mentioned in the chapter on agriculture to have these
deserters arrested and to have them, when convicted, "hired out" to the
very company or employer from whom they had fled. Conditions resulting
from this practice in some of the States of the Lower South became so
scandalous about 1905 that numerous individuals were tried in the courts
and were convicted of holding employees in a state of peonage. In 1911
the Supreme Court of the United States declared unconstitutional the
law of Alabama regarding contract of service.[1] This law regarded the
nonfulfillment of a contract on which an advance had been made as _prima
facie_ evidence of intent to defraud and thus gave employers immense
power over their employees. Conditions have therefore undoubtedly
improved since the peonage trials, but the lumber industry is one in
which the labor has apparently everywhere been casual, migratory, and

[Footnote 1: Bailey _vs._ Alabama, 219 U.S., 219.]

The manufacture of tobacco shows as much diversity of labor conditions
as the lumber industry. There are small establishments with little
machinery which manufacture plug and smoking tobacco and are open only a
few months in the year, as well as those which cover half a dozen city
blocks. In the smaller factories the majority of the laborers are black,
but in the larger establishments both negroes and whites are employed.
Sometimes they do the same sort of work on opposite sides of the same
room. In some departments negro and white men work side by side, while
in others only whites or only negroes are found. The more complicated
machines are usually tended by whites, and the filling and inspection of
containers is ordinarily done by white girls, who are also found in
large numbers in the cigarette factories. Not many years ago the
tobacco industry was supposed to belong to the negro, but with the
introduction of machinery he has lost his monopoly, though on account of
the expansion of the industry the total number of negroes employed is
greater than ever before.

In the smaller factories labor is usually paid by the day, but in the
larger establishments every operation possible is on a piecework basis.
These operations are so related in a series that a slacker feels the
displeasure of those who follow him and depend upon him for a supply of
material. In the smaller factories the work is regarded somewhat in the
light of a summer holiday, as the tasks are simple and the operatives
talk and sing at their work. This social element largely disappears,
however, with the introduction of machinery. As might be expected in a
labor force composed of men, women, and children, both white and black,
with some engaged in manual labor and others tending complicated
machines, there is little solidarity. An organized strike including any
large percentage of the force in a tobacco factory is a practical
impossibility. Those engaged in a particular process may strike and in
consequence tie up the processes depending upon them, but any sort of
industrial friction is uncommon. The general level of wages has been
steadily rising, and among the negroes the tobacco workers are the
aristocrats of the wage earners and are content with their situation. Since
the larger factories are almost invariably in the cities, the homes of the
workers are scattered and not collected in communities as around the cotton

Experiments have been made in employing negro operatives in the textile
industry, so far with little success, though the capacity of the negro
for such employment has not yet been disproved. Though several cotton
mills which made the experiment failed, in every case there were
difficulties which might have caused a similar failure even with white
operatives. Negroes have been employed successfully in some hosiery
mills and in a few small silk mills. The increasing scarcity of labor,
especially during the Great War, has led to the substitution of negroes
for whites in a number of knitting mills. Some successful establishments
are conducted with negro labor but the labor force is either all white
or all black except that white overseers are always, or nearly always

An important hindrance in the way of the success of negroes in these
occupations is their characteristic dislike of regularity and punctuality.
As the negro has acquired these virtues to some extent at least in the
tobacco industry, there seems to be no reason to suppose that in time he
may not succeed also in textiles, in which the work is not more difficult
than in other tasks of which negroes have proved themselves capable. So far
the whites have not resented the occasional introduction of black
operatives into the textile industry. If the negroes become firmly
established while the demand for operatives continues to be greater than
the supply, race friction on this account is unlikely, but if they are
introduced in the future as strikebreakers, trouble is sure to arise. In
the mines, blast furnaces, oil mills, and fertilizer factories the negroes
do the hardest and most unpleasant tasks, work which in the North is done
by recent immigrants.

The negroes are almost entirely unorganized and are likely to remain so
for a long time. Few negroes accumulate funds enough to indulge in the
luxury of a strike, and they have shown little tendency to organize or
support unions. However, their devotion to their lodges shows the
loyalty of which they are capable, and their future organization is not
beyond the range of possibility. Generally the South has afforded little
encouragement to organized labor. Even the white workers, except in the
cities and in a few skilled trades, have shown until recently little
tendency to organize. In the towns and villages they are not sharply
differentiated from the other elements of the population. They look upon
themselves as citizens rather than as members of the laboring class.
Except in a few of the larger towns one does not hear of "class conflict";
and the "labor vote," when by any chance a Socialist or a labor candidate
is nominated, is not large enough to be a factor in the result.

During 1918 and 1919, however, renewed efforts to organize Southern
labor met with some success particularly in textile and woodworking
establishments, though the tobacco industry and public utilities were
likewise affected. The efforts of employers to prevent the formation of
unions led to lockouts and strikes during which there was considerable
disorder and some bloodshed. Communities which had known of such
disputes only from hearsay stood amazed. The workers generally gained
recognition of their right to organize, and their success may mean
greater industrial friction in the future.



For a century, the presence of the negro in the United States has
divided the nation. Though the Civil War finally decided some questions
about his status, others affecting his place in the social order
remained unsettled; new controversies have arisen; and no immediate
agreement is in sight. Interest in the later phases of the race question
has found expression in scores of books, hundreds of articles, thousands
of orations and addresses, and unlimited private discussions which have
generally produced more heat than light. The question has kept different
sections of the country apart and has created bitterness which will long
endure. Moreover, this discussion about ten million people has produced
an effect upon them, and the negroes are beginning to feel that they
constitute a problem.

Differing attitudes toward the negro generally arise from fundamentally
different postulates.

Many Northerners start with the assumption that the negro is a black
Saxon and argue that his faults and deficiencies arise from the
oppression he has endured. At the other extreme are those who hold that
the negro is fundamentally different from the white man and inferior to
him: and some go so far as to say that he is incapable of development.
Fifty years ago General John Pope predicted, with a saving reservation,
hat the negroes of Georgia would soon surpass the whites in education,
culture, and wealth. Other predictions, similar in tone, were common in the
reports of various philanthropic associations. Obviously these
prophecies have not been fulfilled; but it is just as evident that the
predictions that the former slaves would relapse into barbarism and starve
have also not been realized. Practically every prophecy or generalization
made before 1890 with regard to the future of the negro has been
discredited by the events of the passing years.

It is perhaps worth while to take stock of what this race has
accomplished in America during something more than fifty years of
freedom. The negro has lived beside the white man and has increased in
numbers, though at a somewhat slower rate than the white. The census of
1870 was inaccurate and incomplete in the South, and in consequence the
census of 1880 seemed to show a phenomenal increase in the negro
population. Upon this supposed increase was based the theory that the South
would soon be overwhelmingly black. From the historical standpoint, Albion
W. Tourgee's _Appeal to Caesar_ is interesting as a perfect example of this
type of deduction, for he could see only a black South. The three censuses
taken since 1880 definitely establish the fact that the net increase of
negro population is smaller than that of the white. This seems to have been
true at every census since 1810, and the proportion of negroes to the total
population of the nation grows steadily, though slowly, smaller.[1]

[Footnote 1: Though the negro increase is smaller than the white,
nevertheless the 4,441,930 negroes in 1860 had increased to 9,827,763 in
1910. Of this number 8,749,427 lived in the Southern States, and
1,078,336 in the Northern. That is to say, 89 per cent of the negroes
lived in the three divisions classed as Southern, 10.5 per cent in the
four divisions classed as Northern and 0.5 per cent in the two Western
divisions. Since 1790 the center of negro population has been moving
toward the Southwest and has now reached northeast Alabama. Migration to
the North and West has been considerable since emancipation. In 1910
there were 415,533 negroes born in the South but living in the North,
and, owing to this migration, the percentage of increase of negro
population outside the South has been larger than the average. Between
1900 and 1910 the increase in the New England States was 12.2 per cent
and in the East North Central 16.7 per cent. The mountain divisions show
a large percentage of increase, but as there were in both of them
together less than 51,000 negroes, comprising less than 1 per cent of
the population, it is evident that the negro is not a serious factor in
the West. The negroes form an insignificant component (less than 5 per
cent) of the population of any Northern State, though in some Northern
cities the number of negroes is considerable. See _Abstract of the
Thirteenth Census of the United States,_ p. 78.]

Between 1900 and 1910, the native white population increased 20.9 per
cent while the negro population increased only 11.2 per cent. This
smaller increase in the later decade is due partly to negro migration to
the cities. It is believed that among the city negroes, particularly in
the North, the death rate is higher than the birth rate. The excessive
death rate results largely from crowded and unsanitary quarters.

Since 1910, the migration of negroes to the North has been larger than
before. The increase was not unusual, however, until the beginning of
the Great War. Up to that time the majority had been engaged in domestic
and personal service, but with the practical cessation of immigration
from Europe, a considerable number of negro laborers moved to the
Northern States. Indeed, in some Southern communities the movement
almost reached the proportions of an exodus. Until the next census there
is no means of estimating with any approach to accuracy the extent of
this migration. The truth is probably somewhere in between the published
estimates which range from 300,000 to 1,000,000. The investigations of
the United States Department of Labor indicate the smaller number.

The motives for this northward migration are various. The offer of
higher wages is the most important. The desire to get for their children
greater educational advantages than are offered in the South is also
impelling. The belief that race prejudice is less strong in the North is
another inducement to leave the South, for "Jim Crow" cars and political
disfranchisement have irritated many. Finally the dread of lynch law may
be mentioned as a motive for migration, though its actual importance may
be doubted. Not all the negroes who have moved to the North have
remained there. Many do not allow for the higher cost of food and
shelter in their new home, and these demands upon the higher wages leave
a smaller margin than was expected. Others find the climate too severe,
while still others are unable or unwilling to work regularly at the
speed demanded.

The overwhelming mass of the negro population in the South, and
therefore in the nation, is still rural, though among them, as among the
whites, the drift toward the cities is marked. The chief occupations are
agriculture, general jobbing not requiring skilled labor, and domestic
service, although there is a scattered representation of negroes in
almost every trade, business, and profession. In 1865 the amount of
property held by negroes was small. A few free negroes were upon the
tax-books, and former masters sometimes made gifts of property to
favorites among the liberated slaves, but the whole amount was trifling
compared with the total number of negroes. In 1910, in the Southern
States, title to 15,691,536 acres of land was held by negroes, and the
equity was large. This amount represents an increase of over 2,330,000
acres since 1900 but is nevertheless only 4.4 per cent of the total farm
land in the South. As tenants or managers, negroes cultivated in addition
nearly 27,000,000 acres. In other words, 29.8 per cent of the population
owned 4.4 per cent of the land and cultivated 12 per cent of it. The total
value of the land owned was $273,000,000, an average of $1250 to the

[Footnote 1: It must be noted, however, that during the decade ending in
1910, the percentage of increase in negro farm owners was 17 as against
12 for the whites, and of increase in the value of their holdings was
156 per cent as against 116 per cent for whites, while the proportion of
white tenants increased. The other property of the negro can only be
estimated, as most States do not list the races separately. The census
for 1910 reports 430,449 homes, rural and urban, owned by negroes, and of
these 314,340 were free of encumbrance, compared with a total of 327,537
homes in 1900, of which 229,158 were free. Further discussion of the
part of the negro in agriculture will be found in another chapter.]

Speaking broadly, the right of the negro to work at any sort of manual
or mechanical labor is not questioned in the South. Negroes and whites
work together on the farm, and a negro may rent land almost anywhere. In
thousands of villages and towns one may see negro plumbers, carpenters,
and masons working by the side of white men. A negro shoemaker or
blacksmith may get the patronage of whites at his own shop or may share
a shop with a white man. White and negro teamsters are employed
indiscriminately. Hundreds of negroes serve as firemen or as engineers
of stationary steam engines. Thousands work in the tobacco factories.
Practically the only distinction made is this: a negro man may work with
white men indoors or out, but he may not work indoors by the side of
white women except in some subordinate capacity, as porter or waiter.
Occasionally he works with white women out of doors. Lack of economic
success therefore cannot be charged entirely or even primarily to racial
discrimination. Where the negro often fails is in lack of reliability,
regularity, and faithfulness. In some occupations he is losing ground. Not
many years ago barbers, waiters, and hotel employees in the South usually
were negroes, but they have lost their monopoly in all these occupations.
White men are taking their place as barbers and white girls now often
serve in dining-rooms and on elevators. On the other hand, the number of
negro seamstresses seems to be increasing. A generation ago, many
locomotive firemen were negroes, but now the proportion is decreasing.
There are hundreds, even thousands, of negro draymen who own teams, and
some of them have become prosperous.

White patronage of negroes in business depends partly upon custom and
partly upon locality. Negroes who keep livery stables and occasionally
garages receive white patronage. In nearly every community there is a
negro woman who bakes cakes for special occasions. Many negroes act as
caterers or keep restaurants, but these must be for whites only or
blacks only, but not for both. A negro market gardener suffers no
discrimination, and a negro grocer may receive white patronage, though
he usually does not attempt to attract white customers. There are a few
negro dairymen, and some get the best prices for their products. Where a
negro manufactures or sells goods in a larger way, as in brickyards,
cement works lumber yards and the like, race prejudice does not
interfere with his trade.

Negro professional men, on the other hand, get little or no white
patronage. No negro pastor preaches to a white congregation, and no
negro teaches in a school for whites. Negro lawyers, dentists, and
doctors are practically never employed by whites. In the past the number
engaged in these professions has been negligible, and that any increase
in the total of well trained negro professional men will make an
immediate change in the attitude of whites is unlikely. The relation of
lawyer and client or physician and patient presumes a certain intimacy
and subordination to greater wisdom which the white man is not willing
to acknowledge where a negro is involved. Negro women, trained or
partially trained, are employed as nurses, however, in increasing

In 1865, the great mass of negroes was wholly illiterate. Some of the
free negroes could read and write, and a few had graduated at some
Northern college. Though the laws which forbade teaching slaves to read
or write were not generally enforced, only favored house servants
received instruction. It is certain that the percentage of illiteracy
was at least 90, and possibly as high as 95. This has been progressively
reduced until in 1910 the proportion of the illiterate negro population
ten years old or over was 30.4 per cent, and the number of college and
university graduates was considerable though the proportion was small.
Since the percentage of native white illiteracy in the United States is
but 3, the negro is evidently ten times as illiterate as the native
white. This comparison is not fair to the negro, however, for illiteracy
in the urban communities in the United States is less than in the rural
districts, owing largely to better educational facilities in the cities;
and 82.3 per cent of the negro population is rural.[1]

[Footnote 1: In New England negro illiteracy is 7.1 per cent in the
cities and 16.9 per cent in the rural communities. Then, too, the great
masses of negroes live in States which are predominantly rural and in
which the percentage of white illiteracy is also high. The percentage of
native white illiteracy in the rural districts of the South Atlantic
States is 9.8 and in the East South Central is 11.1 per cent. Negro
illiteracy in the corresponding divisions is 36.1 per cent and 37.8 per
cent. In the urban communities of these divisions, illiteracy on the
part of both whites and negroes is less. Native white illiteracy is 1.1
per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively, while negro illiteracy in the
towns was 21.4 and 23.8 per cent respectively.]

The negroes along with the whites have suffered and still suffer from
the inadequate school facilities of the rural South. The percentage of
illiterate negro children between the ages of ten and fourteen in the
country as a whole was only 18.9 per cent compared with the general
average of 30.4 for the negroes as a whole. It is evident, then, that as
the negroes now fifty years old and over die off, the illiteracy of the
whole mass will continue to drop, for it is in the older group that the
percentage of illiterates is highest. It must not be concluded from
these figures that negro illiteracy is not a grave problem, nor that
negro ability is equal to that of the whites, nor that the negro has
taken full advantage of such opportunities as have been open to him. It
does appear, however, that the proportion of negro illiteracy is not
entirely his fault.

The negro fleeing from discrimination in the South has not always found
a fraternal welcome in the North, for the negro mechanic has generally
been excluded from white unions and has often been denied the
opportunity to work at his trade.[1] He has also found difficulty in
obtaining living accommodations and there has been much race friction.
It is perhaps a question worth asking whether any considerable number of
white men of Northern European stock are without an instinctive dislike
of those manifestly unlike themselves.

[Footnote 1: The American Federation of Labor in 1919 voted to take
steps to recognize and admit negro unions.]

The history of the contact between such stocks and the colored races
shows instance after instance of refusal to recognize the latter as
social or political equals. Indian, East Indian, and African have all
been subjected to the domination of the whites. There have been many
cases of illicit mating, of course, but the white man has steadily
refused to legitimize these unions. The South European, on the contrary,
has mingled freely with the natives of the countries he has colonized
and to some extent has been swallowed up by the darker mass. Mexico,
Brazil, Cuba, the Portuguese colonies in different parts of the world,
are obvious examples.[1]

[Footnote 1: How much of this difference in attitude is due to lack of
pride in race integrity and how much to religion is a question. The
Roman Catholic Church, which is dominant in Southern Europe, does not
encourage such inter-racial marriages, but, on the other hand, it does
not forbid them or pronounce them unlawful. Yet this cannot explain the
whole difference. There seems to be another factor.]

In the Southern States the white man has made certain decisions
regarding the relation of blacks and whites and is enforcing them
without regard to the negro's wishes. The Southerner is convinced that
the negro is inferior and acts upon that conviction. There is no
suggestion that the laws forbidding intermarriage be repealed, or that
separate schools be discontinued. Restaurants and hotels must cater to
one race only. Most of the States require separation of the races in
common carriers and even in railway stations. The laws require that
"equal accommodations" shall be furnished on railroads, but violations
are frequently evident, as the railways often assign old or inferior
equipment to the negroes. In street cars one end is often assigned to
negroes and the other to whites, and therefore the races alternate in
the use of the same seats when the car turns back at the end of the
line. The division in a railway station may be nothing more than a bar
or a low fence across the room, and one ticket office with different
windows may serve both races.

Some of these regulations are defended on the ground that by reducing
close contact they lessen the chances of race conflict. That such a
result is measurably attained is probable, and the comfort of traveling
is increased for the whites at least. William Archer, the English
journalist and author, in _Through Afro-America says_, "I hold the
system of separate cars a legitimate means of defence against constant
discomfort," and most travelers will approve his verdict. The chief
reason for such regulations, however, is to assert and emphasize white
superiority. Half a dozen black nurses with their charges may sit in the
car reserved for whites, because they are obviously dependents engaged in
personal service. Without such relationship, however, not one of them would
be allowed to remain. It is not so much the presence of the negro to which
the whites object but to that presence in other than an inferior capacity.
his is the explanation of much of the so-called race prejudice in the
South: it is not prejudice against the individual negro but is rather a
determination to assert white superiority. So long as the negro is plainly
dependent and recognizes that dependency, the question of prejudice does
not arise, and there is much kindly intimacy between individuals. The
Southern white man or white woman of the better class is likely to
protect and help many negroes at considerable cost of time, labor, and
money, but the relationship is always that of superior and inferior. If
a suggestion of race equality creeps in, antagonism is at once aroused.

It is the fashion to speak of the "old-time negro" and the "new negro."
The types are easily recognizable. One is quiet, unobtrusive, more or
less industrious. He "knows his place"--which may mean anything from
servility to self-respecting acceptance of his lot in life. The other
resents more or less openly the discrimination against his race, and this
resentment may range from impertinence to sullenness and even to dreams of
social equality imposed by force. Some have a smattering of education
while others, who have been subjected to little training or discipline,
are indolent and shiftless. The thoughtless, however, are likely to
include in this classification the industrious, intelligent negro who
orders his conduct along the same lines as the white man.

This last type, it is true, is sometimes regarded with suspicion. Many
men and women in the South fear the progress of the negro. They do not
realize that the South cannot really make satisfactory progress while
any great proportion of the population is relatively inefficient. Some
fear the negro's demand to be treated as a man. On the other hand, many
negroes demand to be treated as men, while ignoring or perhaps not
realizing the fact that, to be treated as a man, one must play a man's
part. As Booker Washington put the matter, many are more interested in
getting recognition than in getting something to recognize. Many are
much more interested in their rights than in their duties. To be sure
the negro is not alone in this, for the same attitude is to be found in
immigrants coming from the socially and politically backward states of
Europe. The ordinary negro, however, apparently does not think much of
such problems of the future, though no white man is likely to know
precisely what he does think. He goes about his business or his pleasure
seemingly at peace with the world, though perhaps he sings somewhat less
than he once did. He attends his church and the meetings of his lodge or
lodges, and works more or less regularly. Probably the great majority of
negroes more nearly realize their ambitions than do the whites. They do
not aspire to high position, and discrimination does not burn them quite
as deeply as the sometimes too sympathetic white man who tries to put
himself in their place may think.

There are, however, some individuals to whom the ordinary conditions of
any negro's life appear particularly bitter. With mental ability,
education, and aesthetic appreciation often comparable to those of the
whites, and with more than normal sensitiveness, they find the color
line an intolerable insult, since it separates them from what they value
most. They rage at the barrier which shuts them out from the society
which they feel themselves qualified to enter, and they are always on
the alert to discern injuries. These injuries need not be positive, for
neglect is quite as strong a grievance.

These individuals all spell negro with a capital and declare that they
are proud of their race. They parade its achievements--and these are not
small when enumerated all at once--but they avoid intimate association
with the great mass of negroes. They are not at all democratic, and in a
negro state they would assume the privileges of an aristocracy as a
matter of right. It would seem that their demand for full political and
social rights for all negroes has for its basis not so much the welfare
of the race as a whole, as the possibility of obtaining for themselves
special privileges and positions of leadership. They are not satisfied
merely with full legal rights. In those States where there is no legal
discrimination in public places, their denunciation of social prejudice
is bitter. They are not content to take their chances with other groups
but sometimes are illogical enough to demand social equality enforced by
law, though by this phrase they mean association with the whites merely
for themselves; they do not wish other negroes less developed than
themselves to associate with them.

In any city where there is any considerable number of this class, there
is a section of negro society in which social lines are drawn as strictly
as in the most aristocratic white community. To prove that the negroes are
not emotional, these aristocrats among them are likely to insist upon rigid
formality in their church services and upon meticulous correctness in all
the details of social gatherings. Since many of these individuals have a
very large admixture of white blood, occasionally one crosses the barrier
and "goes white." Removal to a new town or city gives the opportunity to
cut loose from all previous associations and to start a new life. The
transition is extremely difficult, of course, and requires much care and
discretion, but it has been made. The greater part of them nevertheless
remain negroes in the eyes of the law, however much they strive to
separate themselves in thought and action from the rest of their kind.
It is this small class of "intellectuals" who were Booker T.
Washington's bitterest enemies. His theory that the negro should first
devote himself to obtaining economic independence and should leave the
adjustment of social relations to the future was denounced as treason to
the race. Washington's opportunism was even more obnoxious to them than
is the superior attitude of the whites. They denounced him as a trimmer,
a time-server, and a traitor, and on occasion they hissed him from the
platform. From their safe refuges in Northern cities, some negro orators
and editors have gone so far as to advocate the employment of the knife and
the torch to avenge real or fancied wrongs, but these counsels have done
little harm for they have not been read by those to whom they were
addressed. Perhaps, indeed, they may not have been meant entirely
seriously, for the negro, like other emotional peoples, sometimes plays
with words without realizing their full import.

On the whole there is surprisingly little friction between the blacks
and the whites. One may live a long time in many parts of the South
without realizing that the most important problem of the United States
lies all about him. Then an explosion comes, and he realizes that much
of the South is on the edge of a volcano. For a time the white South
attempted to divest itself of responsibility for the negro. He had
turned against those who had been his friends and had followed after
strange gods; therefore let him go his way alone. This attitude never
was universal nor was it consistently maintained, for there is hardly
one of the older negroes who does not have a white man to whom he goes
for advice or help in time of trouble--a sort of patron, in fact. Many a
negro has been saved from the chain gang or the penitentiary because of
such friendly interest, and many have been positively helped thereby
toward good citizenship. Nevertheless there has been a tendency on the
part of the whites to remain passive, to wait until the negro asked for

Undoubtedly there is now developing in the South a growing sense of
responsibility for the welfare of the negro. The negro quarters of the
towns, so long neglected, are receiving more attention from the street
cleaners; better sidewalks are being built; and the streets are better
lighted. The sanitary officers are more attentive. The landowner is
building better cabins for his tenants and is encouraging them to plant
gardens and to raise poultry and pigs. The labor contractor is providing
better quarters, though conditions in many lumber and construction camps
are still deplorable. Observant lawyers and judges say that they see an
increasing number of cases in which juries evidently decide points of
doubt in favor of negro defendants, even where white men are concerned.
Socially minded citizens are forcing improvement of the disgraceful
conditions which have often prevailed on chain gangs and in prisons. Nor is
this all. More white men and women are teaching negroes than ever before.
The oldest university in the United States points proudly to the number of
Sunday schools for negroes conducted by its students, and it is not alone
in this high endeavor. Many Southern colleges and universities are studying
the negro problem from all sides and are trying to help in its solution.
The visiting nurses in the towns spend a large proportion of their time
among the negroes, striving to teach hygiene and sanitation. White men
frequently lecture before negro schools. Since the beginning of the Great
War negro women have been encouraged to aid in Red Cross work. Negroes have
been appointed members of city or county committees of defense and have
worked with the whites in many branches of patriotic endeavor. Negroes
have subscribed liberally in proportion to their means for Liberty Bonds
and War Savings Stamps and have given liberally to war work.

The growth of a sense of responsibility for the welfare of the negro
upon the part of the more thoughtful and more conscientious portion of
the white population has reduced racial friction in many communities.
White women are evincing more interest in the morals of black women than
was usual fifteen or twenty years ago. Ostracism is more likely to visit
a white man who crosses the line. There is no means of knowing the
actual amount of illicit intercourse, but the most competent observers
believe it to be decreasing. Though the percentage of mulattoes has
increased since 1890, according to the census, the figures are
confessedly inaccurate, and the increase can be easily accounted for by
the marriage of mulattoes with negroes, and the consequent diffusion of
white blood. An aspiring negro is likely to seek a mulatto wife, and
their children will be classed as mulattoes by the enumerators.

Except for the demagogues, whose abuse of the negro is their stock in
trade, the most bitter denunciations come from those nearest to him in
economic status. The town loafers, the cotton mill operatives, the small
farmers, particularly the tenant farmers, are those who most frequently
clash with both the impertinent and the self-respecting negro. In their
eyes self-respect may not be differentiated from insolence. If a negro
is not servile, they are likely to class him as impertinent or worse.
The political success of Blease of South Carolina, Vardaman of
Mississippi, and the late Jeff. Davis of Arkansas is largely due to
their appeal to these types of whites. The negro on the other hand may
resent the assumption of superiority on the part of men perhaps less
efficient than himself. Obviously friction may arise under such conditions.

The mobs which have so often stained the reputation of the South by
defiance of the law and by horrible cruelty as well do not represent the
best elements of the South. The statement so often made that the most
substantial citizens of a community compose lynching parties may have
been partially true once, but it is not true today. These mobs are
chiefly made up from the lowest third of the white community. Perhaps the
persistence of the belief has prevented the wiser part of the population
from stamping out such lawlessness; perhaps some lingering feeling of
mistaken loyalty to the white race restrains them from strong action;
perhaps the individualism of the Southerner has interfered with general
acceptance of the idea of the inexorable majesty of the law which must be
vindicated at any cost. Yet, in spite of all these undercurrents of
feeling, sheriffs and private citizens do on occasion brave the fury of
enraged mobs to rescue or to protect. Attempts to prosecute participants in
such mobs usually fail in the South as elsewhere, but occasionally a jury

The tradition that, years ago, lynching was only invoked in punishment
of the unspeakable crime is more or less true. It is not true now. The
statistics of lynching which are frequently presented are obviously
exaggerated, as they include many cases which are simply the results of
the sort of personal encounters which might and do occur anywhere. There
is a tendency to class every case of homicide in which a negro is the
victim as a lynching, which is manifestly unfair; but even though
liberal allowance be made for this error, in the total of about 3000
cases tabulated in the last thirty years, the undisputed instances of mob
violence are shamefully numerous. Rape is by no means the only crime thus
punished; sometimes the charge is so trivial that one recoils in horror at
the thought of taking human life as a punishment.

Yet it must not be forgotten that over certain parts of the South a
nameless dread is always hovering. In some sections an unaccompanied
white woman dislikes to walk through an unlighted village street at
night; she hesitates to drive along a lonely country road in broad
daylight without a pistol near her hand; and she does not dare to walk
through the woods alone. The rural districts are poorly policed and the
ears of the farmer working in the field are always alert for the sound of
the bell or the horn calling for help, perhaps from his own home.
Occasionally, in spite of all precautions some human animal, inflamed by
brooding upon the unattainable, leaves a victim outraged and dead, or
worse than dead. Granted that such a crime occurs in a district only once
in ten, or even in twenty years; that is enough. Rural folks have long
memories, and in the back of their minds persists an uncontrollable
morbid dread. The news of another victim sometimes turns men into fiends
who not only take life but even inflict torture beforehand. The mere
suspicion of intent is sometimes enough to deprive such a community of its
reason, for there are communities which have brooded over the possibility
of the commission of the inexpiable crime until the residents are not quite
sane upon this matter. Naturally calmness and forbearance in dealing with
other and less heinous forms of negro crime are not always found in such
a neighborhood. This fact helps to explain, though not to excuse, some of
the riots that occur.

The better element in the South, however, opposes mob violence, and this
opposition is growing stronger and more purposeful. Associations have
been formed to oppose mob rule and to punish participants. Where
reputable citizens are lukewarm it is largely because they have not
realized that the old tradition that lynching is the proper remedy for
rape cannot stand. If sudden, sharp retribution were inflicted upon
absolute proof, only for this one cause, it is doubtful whether much
effective opposition could be enlisted. Yet wiser men have seen defiance
of law fail to stop crime, have seen mobs act upon suspicions afterward
proved groundless, have seen mob action widely extended, and have seen
the growth of a spirit of lawlessness. Where one mob has had its way,
another is always more easily aroused, and soon the administration of
the law becomes a farce. In some years hardly a third of the victims of
this summary process have been charged with rape or intent to commit
rape. As a consequence the sentiment that the law should take its course
in every case is steadily growing.[1]

[Footnote 1: The statistics on lynching do not always agree. Those
compiled at Tuskegee Institute list 38 cases for 1917 and 62 for 1918.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in its
report _Thirty Years of Lynching_ (1919) reports 67 cases for 1918, and
325 cases for the five-year period ending with 1918, of which 304 are
said to have occurred in the South.]

Though mob fury has broken out on occasion in every Southern State,
Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina are measurably
free from such visitations. Over considerable periods of time, Georgia
comes unenviably first, followed by Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana.
These four States have furnished a large majority of the lynchings. The
other States range between the two groups, though in proportion to the
negro element in its population Oklahoma has had a disproportionate
share. It may be said that the lynchings occur chiefly in those sections
or counties where the numbers of whites and negroes are nearly equal.
They are fewer in the black belt and in those counties and States where
whites are in an overwhelming majority.

No man has been wise enough to propose any solution of the negro
question which does not require an immediate and radical change in human
nature. As the proportion of negroes able to read and write grows
larger, they will certainly demand full political rights, which the mass
of the whites, so far as any one can judge, will be unwilling to allow.
Deportation to Africa--proposed in all seriousness--is impossible. Negro
babies are born faster than they could easily be carried away, even if
there were no other obstacle. The suggestion that whites be expelled
from a State or two, which would then be turned over to negroes, is
likewise impracticable. Amalgamation apparently is going on more slowly
now, and more rapid progress would presuppose a state of society and an
attitude toward the negro entirely different from that which prevails
anywhere in the United States. There is left then the theory that, with
increasing wealth and wider diffusion of education, or even without them,
 he negro must take his place on equal terms in the American political
and social system. This theory, of course, requires an absolute reversal
of attitude upon the part of many millions of whites.

Color and race prejudice are stubborn things, and California and South
Africa are no more free from such prejudices than the Southern States.
In fact, South Africa is today wrestling with a problem much like that
of the United States and is succeeding no better in solving it. The
movement of negroes to the North and West, if continued on any large
scale, seems likely to mean simply the diffusion of the problem and not
its solution.



Apologists for Reconstruction have repeatedly asserted that the
Reconstruction governments gave to the South a system of public schools
unknown up to that time, with the implication that this boon more than
compensated for the errors of those years. The statement has been so
often made, and by some who should have known better, that it has
generally been accepted at its face value. The status of public
education in the South in 1860, it is true, was not satisfactory, and
the percentage of illiteracy was high. Any attempt to distract attention
from these facts by pointing out the great proportion of the Southern
white population in colleges and academies is as much to be deprecated
as the denial of the existence of public schools at all.[1]

[Footnote 1: Some States had done little for public schools before 1860,
but others had made more than a respectable beginning. Delaware
established a "literary fund" in 1796, Tennessee in 1806, Virginia in
 1810, Maryland in 1813, and Georgia in 1817. Kentucky and
Mississippi soon followed their example; North Carolina began to create
such a fund in 1825; Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland,
North Carolina, and South Carolina appropriated a part or the whole of
their shares of the "surplus" distributed by the Federal Government
under the Act of 1836 to increase these funds or establish new ones for
the support of schools; and some States levied considerable taxes for
the support of educational institutions.]

In general the public schools of the South began as charity schools, but
this was also the case in several of the older States in other parts of
the country. These schools were generally poorly taught in the early
years, and it has been questioned whether the training which the pupils
received compensated them for the humiliating acknowledgment of poverty
which their attendance implied. The amount of money available was small,
and the teacher was generally inefficient or worse, but these "old field
schools" did help some men on their way. Several States went beyond the
idea of charity in education, and some of the towns and cities
established excellent schools for all the people.

The literary fund in North Carolina, for example, amounted to nearly
$2,250,000 in 1840. The rapid increase of this fund had led to the
establishment of public schools in 1839. To every district which raised
$20 by local taxation, twice that amount was given from the income of the
literary fund. With the election of Calvin H. Wiley as state superintendent
of education in 1852, substantial progress began. In 1860 there were over
3000 schools, and the total expenditure was $279,000. The number of
illiterates had fallen proportionately and actually, and ten years more of
uninterrupted work would have done much to remove the stigma of illiteracy.
The school fund was left intact during the Civil War, and most of the
counties continued to levy school taxes. A part of the fund was lost,
however, through the failure of the banks in which it was invested, and the
remainder was squandered by the Reconstruction government. In spite of all
discouragements, Superintendent Wiley held on until deposed by the
provisional governor in 1865. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that
the schools of this State were better in 1860 than they were in 1880.

During the Reconstruction period a system of schools was established in
every one of the seceding States. On paper these schemes were often
admirable. Usually they were modeled after the system in the State from
which some influential carpetbagger came, and under normal conditions,
if honestly and judiciously administered, they would have answered their
ostensible purposes and would have done much to raise the intellectual
level of the population. Conditions, however, were not normal. The
production of wealth was hindered, and taxes had been increased to the
point of confiscation. In States which had been ravaged by war, and of
which the whole economic and social systems had been dislocated, an undue
proportion of the total social income was demanded for the schools. Under
existing conditions the communities could not support the schemes of
education which had been projected. This fact is enough to account for
their failure, for when an individual or a community is unable to pay the
price demanded, it matters little how desirable or laudable the object
may be.

As if to make failure doubly certain, the schools were neither honestly
nor judiciously administered. Much money was deliberately stolen, and
much more was wasted. Extravagant salaries were paid to favorites, and
unnecessary equipment was bought at exorbitant prices. The authorities
in several States seemed more interested in the idea of educating negro
children with white children than in the real process of education.
Though in but four States--South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, and
Arkansas--were mixed schools the only schools, such an arrangement was
understood to be the ultimate goal in several other States. Several of the
state superintendents were negroes, and others were carpetbaggers dependent
upon negro votes. Before the end of Reconstruction, several of these were
forced to flee to avoid arrest for malfeasance in office. In those States
where mixed schools alone were provided, white children did not attend and
were thus cut off from educational opportunities at public expense. Where
separate schools were provided, the teachers were often carpetbaggers who
strove "to make treason odious." It is hardly surprising that some parents
objected to having their children forced to sing _John Brown's Body_ and
to yield assent to the proposition that all Southerners were barbarians and
traitors who deserved hanging.

Just after the close of the Civil War, thousands of white women went
South to teach in schools which were established for negroes by Northern
churches or benevolent associations. Every one who reads the reports of
such organizations now, fifty years after, must be touched by the lofty
faith and the burning zeal which impelled many of these educational
missionaries; but he must also be astonished by their ignorance of the
negro and their blindness to actual conditions. They went with an ideal
negro in their minds, and at first, they treated the negro as though he
were their ideal of what a negro ought to be. The phases through which
the majority of these teachers went were enthusiasm, doubt,
disillusionment, and despair. Some left the South and their charges,
holding that conditions were to blame rather than their methods; but others
were clearsighted enough to realize that they had set about solving the
problem in the wrong way.

Beginning with the assumption that the negro was equal or superior to
the white in natural endowment and burning with resentment against his
"oppressors," they attempted to bridge the gap of centuries in a
generation. They were anxious to bring the negro into contact with the
culture of the white race and thereby they strengthened the conclusion
to which the negro had already jumped that educational and manual labor
were an impossible combination. Then, too, in order to prove the
sincerity of their belief in the brotherhood of mankind, they entered
into the most intimate association with their pupils and their families.
Some of them, we know, were compelled to struggle hard to overcome their
instinctive repugnance to such intimacy. All of them taught by
implication, and some by precept as well, that the Southern whites who held
themselves apart were enemies to the blacks. That these teachers did some
good is undoubted, but whether in the end a true balance would show more
good than harm is not so certain.

When the native whites resumed control after the days of Reconstruction,
their first thought was to reduce the expenses of the State. Tax levies
were cut to the bone, school taxes among them. The school funds did not
always suffer proportionately, however. In 1870, when the whites secured
control in North Carolina, the expenditure for public schools in that
State was $152,000. In 1874, the school revenue was over $412,000, and
the number of white pupils was almost the same as in 1860; in addition
55,000 negroes were receiving instruction, but the school term was only
ten weeks. The negro seems to have received in the first years of the
new regime a fair share of the school money, but that share was not
large. The reaction from Reconstruction extravagance was long-continued,
and perhaps has not disappeared today.

Though the South was unable properly to support one efficient system, it
now attempted to maintain two, one for whites and the other for blacks.
Necessarily both systems were inadequate. The usual country school was only
a rude frame or log building, sometimes without glass windows, in which one
untrained teacher, without apparatus or the simplest conveniences,
attempted to give instruction in at least half a dozen subjects to a group
of children of all ages during a period of ten to fifteen weeks a year.
Often even this meager period was divided into a summer and winter term, on
the plea that the older children could not be spared from the farms for the
whole time or that bad roads and stormy weather prevented the youngest from
attending during the winter.

Though it seems almost incredible under such conditions, something was
nevertheless accomplished. Many children, it is true, learned little or
nothing and gave up the pretense of attending school. Others, however,
found something to feed their hungry minds and, when they had exhausted
what their neighborhood school had to offer, they attended the academies
which had been reestablished or had sprung up in the villages nearby or
at the countyseat. Between 1875 and 1890, it was not at all uncommon to
find in such academies grown men and women studying the regular high school
subjects. Some had previously taught rural schools and now sought further
instruction; and others had worked on the farms or had been in business.
Men of twenty-five or thirty sat in classes with town children of fifteen
or sixteen, but made such a large proportion of the total attendance that
they did not feel embarrassed by the contrast in ages.

In the eighties there were scores of these academies, institutes, and
seminaries in the towns of the South. They were not well graded; the
teachers may never have heard of pedagogy. Their libraries were small or
altogether lacking, and their apparatus was scanty; but in spite of
these drawbacks an unusually large proportion of the students were
desirous to learn. Many teachers loved mathematics or Latin, and some of
the students gained a thorough if narrow preparation for college. An
examination of college registers of the period shows a considerable
proportion of students of twenty-five or thirty years of age. There is
even a case where a college student remained out a term in order to
attend a session of the Legislature to which he had been elected. The
college students of the late seventies and early eighties were serious
minded and thought of questions as men and not as boys. Though the
clapper of the college bell was sometimes thrown into the well or the
president's wagon was transferred to the chapel roof, these things were
often done from a sort of sense of duty: college students were expected
to be mischievous. Yet the whole tone of college life was serious. There
were no organized college athletics, no musical or dramatic clubs, no
other outside activities such as those to which the student of today
devotes so much of his attention, except, of course, the "literary
societies" for practice in declamation and debating.

Though many towns established graded schools before 1890 by means of
special taxes, the condition of rural education at this time was
disheartening. The percentage of negro illiteracy was falling, because
it could not easily be raised, but the reduction of white illiteracy was
slow. The school terms were still short, and many of the school
buildings were unfit for human occupation. On the other hand, the
quality of the teachers was improving. The short term of the schools was
being lengthened by private subscription in some districts, and new and
adequate buildings appeared in others. Progress was evidently being
made, even if it was not obtrusive, and in that progress one of the
leading factors was the Peabody Fund.

In 1867 George Peabody, a native of Massachusetts but then a banker of
London, who had laid the foundation of his fortune in Baltimore, placed
in the hands of trustees $2,100,000 in securities to be used for the
encouragement of education in the Southern States. The Fund was
increased to $3,500,000 in 1869, though a considerable part consisted of
bonds of Mississippi and Florida which those States refused to recognize
as valid obligations. The chairman of the trustees for many years was
Robert C. Winthrop of Massachusetts, and the other members of the board
were distinguished men, both Northern and Southern. The first general
agent, as the active administrator was called, was Barnas Sears, who at
the time of his election was president of Brown University.

Dr. Sears was an unusual man, who comprehended conditions in the South
and was disposed to improve them in every feasible way by using the
resources at his command. He had no inflexible program and was willing
to modify his plans to fit changing conditions. The income of the Fund
appears small in this day of munificent foundations, but it seemed large
then; and its effects were far-reaching. Sears was not an educational
reformer in the modern sense. He seems to have had no new philosophy of
education but took the best schools of the nation as a standard and strove
to bring the schools of the South up to that standard. Through the aid of
the Fund model schools were established in every State. The University of
North Carolina opened its doors to the teachers of the State for
professional training during the summer and was apparently the first of the
summer schools now so numerous and popular. Direct appropriations in aid of
schools were made out of the Fund, provided the community by taxation or
subscription raised much larger sums. The Peabody Normal College at
Nashville, Tennessee, was founded, and no effort was spared to develop a
general interest in public education. Advice to legislatures, trustees, or
communities was given when asked but so tactfully that neither resentment
nor suspicion was aroused.

Before his death, Dr. Sears had chosen Dr. J.L.M. Curry as his
successor, and the choice was promptly ratified by the trustees. Dr.
Curry was a thorough Southerner, a veteran of both the Mexican and the
Civil War. He had first practiced law and had sat in the House of
Representatives of the United States and of the Confederate States. At
the time of his election to the management of the Peabody Fund he was a
professor in Richmond College, Virginia, and a minister of the Baptist
Church. He had a magnetic personality, an unyielding belief in the value
of education for both white and black, and the temperament and gifts of
the orator. As a Southerner, he could speak more freely and more
effectively to the people than his predecessor, who had done the pioneer
work. During the years of his service, Curry therefore gave himself
chiefly to the development of public sentiment, making speeches at every
opportunity before societies, conventions, and other gatherings. As he
himself said, he addressed legislatures "from the Potomac to the Rio

While the influence of the Peabody Fund and its agents was large, it was
not the only influence upon the educational development of the South.
There were throughout that section men who saw clearly that the main
hope centered in education for black and white. They talked in season
and out, though sometimes with little apparent result, for the opposing
forces were strong. Among these forces poverty was perhaps the
strongest. It is difficult to convince a people who must struggle for
the bare necessities of life that taxation for any purpose is a positive
good; and a large proportion of the families of the rural South handled
little money. This was true even for years after the towns began to feel
the thrill of growing industrialism. It has sometimes seemed that the
poorer a man and the larger the number of his children, the greater his
dread of taxes for education.

Then, too, the Southern people had followed the tradition of Jefferson
that the best government is that which assumes the fewest functions and
interferes least with the individual. Many honest men who meant to be
good citizens felt that education belonged to the family or the church
and could not see why the State should pay for teaching any more than
for preaching, or for food, or clothing, or shelter. There were, of
course, those claiming to hold this theory whose underlying motives were
selfish. They had property which they had inherited or accumulated, and
they objected to paying taxes for educating other people's children. It
must be said, however, that as a class, the larger taxpayers have been
more ready to vote higher taxes for schools than the poor and
illiterate, whose morbid dread of taxation has been fostered by the

There were others who were cold to the extension of public education on
account of the schools already existing. In many towns and villages
there were struggling academies, often nominally under church auspices.
Towns which could have supported one school were trying to support two
or three. In few cases was any direct financial aid given by the
religious organization, but the school was known as the Methodist or the
Presbyterian school, because the teaching force and the majority of the
patrons belonged to that denomination. The denominational influence
behind these schools was often lukewarm toward the extension of public
education, and the ministers themselves had been known to make slighting
references to "godless schools." There was still another class of people
who really opposed public schools because they did not believe that the
masses should be educated. This class was, however, small and is perhaps
more numerous in other sections of the Union than in the South.

Last, but by no means the least, of the obstacles to general public
education was the question of its influence upon the negro. The apparent
effects of negro education were not likely to make the average white man
feel that the experiment had been successful. The phrase that "an educated
negro was a good plough-hand spoiled" seemed to meet with general
acceptance. The smattering of an education which the negroes had
received--it would be difficult to call it more--seemed to have improved
neither their efficiency nor their morals. As a result there were many
white people so shortsighted that they would starve their own children
rather than feed the negro.

To all of these obstacles in human nature were added the defects of the
tax system. Almost invariably the tax was levied by the Legislature upon
the State as a whole or upon the county, and the constitutions or the
laws in some cases forbade the progressive smaller division to levy
special taxes for any purpose. Graded schools began, however, to appear
in the incorporated towns which were not subject to the same tax
limitations as the rural districts, and in time it became easier to levy
supplementary local taxes by legislative act, judicial interpretation,
or constitutional changes.

Gradually public sentiment in favor of schools grew stronger. The
legislatures raised the rate of taxation for school purposes, normal
schools were established, log schoolhouses began to be replaced by frame
or brick structures, uniform textbooks became the rule and not the
exception, teachers' salaries were raised, and the percentage of
attendance climbed upward, though there was still a remnant of the
population which did not attend at all. The school term was not
proportionately extended, since a positive mania for small districts
developed--a school at every man's door. In the olden days large
districts were common, and many of the children walked four or five miles
to school in the morning and back home in the afternoon. No one then
dreamed of transporting the children at public expense. The school
authorities were often unable to resist the pressure to make new districts,
and necessarily a contracted term followed. In 1900 the average school term
in North Carolina was not longer than in 1860, though much more money was
spent, and the salaries were little higher. It must be remembered, of
course, that no appropriations were made for negro education before the
Civil War.

Both during and after the War many schools were opened for negroes by
Freedmen's Aid Societies, various philanthropic associations, and
denominational boards or committees. As public schools were established
for negroes, some of these organizations curtailed their work and others
withdrew altogether. Others persisted, however, and new schools have been
founded by these and similar organizations, by private philanthropy, and
also by negro churches. As a result there are independent schools, state
schools, and Federal schools. The recent monumental report of the Bureau
of Education reports 653 schools for negroes other than regular public
schools[1]. Of these 28 are under public control, 507 are denominational
schools (of which 354 are under white boards and 153 under negro
boards), and 118 are classed as independent. This last group includes
not only the great national schools, such as Tuskegee and Hampton, but
small private enterprises supported chiefly by irregular donations.
These private and independent schools owned property valued at
$28,496,946 and had an income of over $3,000,000. State and Federal
appropriations at the date of the report reached about $963,000.

[Footnote 1. _Negro Education_, Bureau of Education Bulletins 38 and 39
(1916). This work supersedes all previous collections of facts upon
negro education.]

During the first years after the downfall of the Reconstruction
governments the negro received a fair proportion of the pittance devoted
to public schools. Governor Vance of North Carolina, in recommending in
1877 an appropriation to the University for a "professorship for the
purpose of instructing in the theory and art of teaching" went on to
state that "a school of similar character should be established for the
education of colored teachers, the want of which is more deeply felt by
the black race even than the white.... Their desire for education is a
very creditable one, and should be gratified so far as our means will
permit." Instead of establishing the chair of pedagogy recommended by
Governor Vance, the Legislature appropriated the money to conduct the
summer school for teachers at the University. An appropriation of equal
amount was made for negroes and similar allowances have been continued
to the present. Proportionately larger appropriations have been made for
the whites in recent years. Other States have established normal schools
for negroes, but in none of them is the supply of trained negro teachers
equal to the demand.

The negro public schools were organized along the same lines as the
white, so far as circumstances permitted, but the work was difficult and
remains so to this day. The negro teachers were ignorant, and many of
them were indolent and immoral. In only a few places in the South do
whites teach negroes in public schools. The enthusiasm for education
displayed just after emancipation gradually wore off, and many parents
showed little interest in the education of their children. Education had
not proved the "open sesame" to affluence, and many parents were unwilling
or unable to compel their children to attend school. As a contributory
cause of this reluctance the poverty of the negro must be considered. It
was difficult for the negro to send to school a child who might be of
financial aid to the family. To many negro parents it seemed a matter of
little moment to keep a child away from school one or two days a week to
assist at home. It must also be remembered that the negro tenant farmer is
migratory in his habits and that he often moved in the middle of the short
term. Consequently the whole value of the term might easily be lost by the
transfer. It is not surprising that the final product of such unstable
educational conditions was not impressive.

The idea of the first educational missionaries to the negroes of the
South was to turn them into white men as soon as possible by bringing
them into contact with the traditional culture of the whites through the
study of Latin, Greek, mathematics, and sometimes Hebrew, especially in
the case of students for the ministry. The attempt was made to take the
negro, fresh from slavery and with no cultural background, through the
course generally pursued by whites. Numerous "universities" and "colleges"
were founded with this end in view. Hampton Institute with its insistence
upon fitting education to the needs of the race was unique for a time,
though later it received the powerful support of Tuskegee Institute and
its noted principal and founder, Booker T. Washington. The influence of
this educational prophet was great in the North, whence came most of the
donations for private schools. In imitation many mushroom schools have
recently added "rural" or "industrial" to their names, but few of them are
doing work of great value. Where the school appeals chiefly to the negro
for support, liberal use is made of such high-sounding names as "college"
and "university." The negro still thinks that the purpose of education is
to free him from manual labor, and he looks with little favor upon a
school which requires actual industrial training. For the same reason he
is quick to protest when the attempt is made to introduce manual training
into the public schools.

Partly because of this opposition on the part of the negroes themselves,
partly because industrial training is more expensive than purely
academic training, and partly because such training has only recently been
recognized as part of education, the South has made little provision for
the industrial education of the negro at public expense. According to the
_Report on Negro Education_, few of the agricultural and mechanical schools
maintained partly by the Federal land grants and partly by the States are
really efficient. A few state or city schools also give manual training.
About one-third of the private schools for negroes offer industrial
courses, but much of this work is ineffective--either so slight as to be
negligible or straight labor done in return for board and tuition and
without regard to educational value. Hampton and Tuskegee are known to do
excellent work, and a few of the smaller schools are to be classed as
efficient; but in the great majority of negro schools the old curriculum is
still followed, and the students gladly submit to its exactness. Why study
something so plebeian as carpentry when one may study such scholarly
subjects as Latin or Greek?

Most institutions for negroes desire to do work of college grade. Some
with not a single pupil above the elementary grades nevertheless proudly
call themselves colleges. Other so-called colleges have secondary pupils
but none in college classes.

Thirty-three institutions do have a total of 1643 students in college
classes and 994 students in professional courses, but these same schools
enroll more than 10,000 pupils in elementary and secondary grades. Some
of them are attempting to maintain college classes for less than 5 per
cent of their enrollment, and the teaching force gives a
disproportionate share of time to such students. Two of these
thirty-three institutions have nearly all the professional students, and
two have nearly half the total number of college students. Only three
can properly be called colleges--Howard University at Washington, Fisk
University, and Meharry Medical College at Nashville, Tennessee.

While several of the Southern States have greatly increased their
expenditures for schools since 1910, in some cases more than doubling
them, the proportion devoted to negro schools has not been greatly
increased, if indeed it has been increased at all. For example, in North
Carolina, which assigns for negro education much more than the average
of the States containing any considerable proportion of negroes, the
total paid to negro teachers in 1910-11 was $340,856, as against
$1,715,994 paid to white teachers. Five years later, negro teachers
received $536,272, but white teachers received $3,258,352. In other words,
in the former year all the negro teachers received one-fifth as much as all
the whites, while five years later they received about one-sixth; that is,
something less than one-third the total number of children received about
one-seventh of the money expended for instruction. A part of this wide
difference in expenditure may be explained or even defended. The districts
or townships which have voted additional local taxes are usually those in
which there are comparatively few negroes. The average salary paid to negro
teachers, although low, is as large as can be earned in most of the
occupations open to them, and any sudden or large increase would neither
immediately raise the standard of competency nor insure a much larger
proportion of the ability of the race. The percentage of school attendance
of negro children is lower than in the case of white children. Very few
negro children, whether because of economic pressure, lack of ability, or
lack of desire for knowledge, complete even the fifth grade. Among negroes
there is little real demand for high school instruction, which is more
expensive than elementary instruction. Therefore, the proportion of the
total funds spent for negro education might properly be less than their
numbers would indicate. If the proportionate amount spent today for the
instruction of certain racial groups of the foreign population could be
separated from the total, it would be found that less than the average is
spent upon them for the same reasons. However, when all allowances have
been made, it is obvious that the negro is receiving less than a fair share
of the appropriations made by the Southern States for education.

The inadequate public schools for negroes have been excused or justified
upon the ground that private and church schools are supplying the need.
This is true in some localities, for the great majority of negro private
schools, no matter by what name they are called, are really doing only
elementary or secondary work. These schools, however, only touch the
beginnings of the problem and have served in some degree to lessen the
sense of responsibility for negro education on the part of the Southern
whites. Where there is one of these schools supported by outside
philanthropy, the public school is likely to be less adequately equipped
and supported than in the towns where no such school exists. But at
best, these schools can reach only a small proportion of the children.

The difficulty lies in public sentiment. As a rule the tax rate is fixed
by the State but collected by the county, and the county board divides
the amount plus any local taxes levied, among the schools. Districts of the
same number of pupils may receive widely varying amounts, according to the
grade of instruction demanded. Generally, a part of the fund is
apportioned per capita, and the remainder is divided according to the
supposed special need of the districts. A white district which demands
high grade teachers is given the necessary money, if possible. Few colored
schools have advanced pupils, and only sufficient funds for a cheaper
teacher or teachers may be provided. Colored districts are often made too
large. The white districts ask so much that little more than the per
capita appropriation is left for the colored schools. The negroes are
politically powerless and public sentiment does not demand that money be
taken from white children to be given to negroes.

Mention should be made of several funds which have been established by
philanthropists for the education of the negro. The John F. Slater Fund,
founded by a gift of $1,000,000 in 1882, has now reached $1,750,000. The
greater part of the income is devoted to the encouragement of training
schools. No schools are established by the Fund itself, but it cooeperates
with the local authorities and the General Education Board. The Jeanes
Fund of $1,000,000 established by a Quaker lady, Miss Anna T. Jeanes of
Philadelphia, expends the greater part of its income in helping to pay
the salaries of county supervisors for rural schools. These are usually
young colored women, who work under the direction of the county
superintendents and visit the rural schools. They give simple talks upon
hygiene and sanitation, encourage better care of schoolhouses and grounds,
stimulate interest in gardening and simple home industries, and encourage
self help. Their work has been exceedingly valuable. The Phelps Stokes
Fund of $900,000, founded by Miss Caroline Phelps Stokes, is not wholly
devoted to the negroes of the South. It has been expended chiefly in the
study of the negro problem, in founding fellowships, and in making
possible the valuable report on negro education already mentioned. In 1914,
Mr. Julius Rosenwald of Chicago offered to every negro rural community
wishing to erect a comfortable and adequate school building a sum not to
exceed $300, provided that the community would obtain from private or
public funds at least as much more.

The interest of the General Education Board is not limited either to negro
or even to Southern education, but it has done much for both. This great
foundation has paid salaries of state supervisors of negro schools in
several States and has cooeperated with the Jeanes Fund in maintaining
county supervisors of negro schools. It has appropriated over half a
million dollars to industrial schools and about one-fourth as much to negro
colleges. Farm demonstration work, of which more is said elsewhere, is
also of aid to the negroes. The Board has realized, however, that the
development of negro schools is dependent upon the economic and educational
progress of the whites, and has contributed most to white schools or to
objects of a nature intended to benefit the whole population.

All testimony points to the conclusion that there is now real enthusiasm
for education among the Southern whites. The school terms are being
extended, often by means of local taxes levied in addition to the
minimum fixed by the State; the quality of the teaching is improving;
and popular interest is growing. In many sections, the school is
developing into a real community center. Good buildings are replacing
the shacks formerly so common. North Carolina is proud of the fact that
for more than fourteen years an average of more than one new school a day
has been built from plans approved by the educational department. More
and more attention is being paid to the surroundings of the buildings.
School gardens are common, and some schools even cultivate an acre or two
of ground, the proceeds of which go to furnish apparatus or supplies. Many
of the Southern towns and cities have schools which need not fear
comparison with those in other sections.

The crying need is more money which can come only in two ways, by
reforming the system of taxation, and by increasing the amount of
taxable property. All through the South the chief reliance is a general
property tax with local assessors who are either incompetent or else
desirous of keeping down assessments. The proportion of assessment to
value varies widely, but on the average it can hardly be more than fifty
per cent; and, as invariably happens, the assessment of the more
valuable properties is proportionately less than that of the small farm
or the mechanic's home. The South is growing richer, but the conflict
with the North set the section back thirty or forty years, while the
remainder of the country was increasing in wealth. Even today the South
must build two school systems without the aid of government land grants,
which have had so much to do with the successful development of the
schools of the Western States, and without the commercial prosperity
which has come to the East. The rate of taxation levied for schools in
many Southern communities is now among the highest in the United States.

During the past ten years, hundreds of public high schools have been
established, more than half of which are rural. Some still follow the
old curriculum, but a new institution known as the "farm life school" is
now being developed. Many other schools have such a department attached
and usually give instruction in household economics as well. The General
Education Board estimates that $20,000,000 has been spent for improved
buildings since the appointment of professors of secondary education in
Southern universities. This, by the way, is one of the most useful
contributions of the Board. These men, chosen by the institutions
themselves as regular members of the faculty but with their salaries
paid by an appropriation from the Board, may give a course or two in the
university, but their chief duties are to coordinate the work of the
high schools and to serve as educational missionaries. They go up and
down the States, exhorting, advising, and stimulating the people, and
the fruits of their work are present on every hand.

The South has a superabundance of colleges. Some of them have honorable
records; others represent faith and hope or denominational zeal rather
than accomplishment. Some of the older institutions were kept open
during War and Reconstruction but others were forced to close. With the
return of white supremacy old institutions have been revived and new
ones have been founded. The number of students has increased, but the
financial difficulties of the institutions have hardly diminished. Few
had any endowment worth considering, and the so-called state
institutions received very small appropriations or none at all. Good
preparatory schools were few and, since the colleges were dependent upon
tuition fees, many students with inadequate preparation were leniently
admitted. Preparatory departments were established for those students
who could not possibly be admitted to college classes. Necessarily the
quality of work was low, though many institutions struggled for the
maintenance of respectable standards. One college president frankly
said: "We are liberal about letting young men into the Freshman class,
but particular about letting them out." It was not uncommon for half of a
first year class to be found deficient and turned back at the end of the
year, or dismissed as hopeless. Obviously this was a wasteful method of
determining competency.

Vanderbilt University at Nashville, Tennessee, founded in 1873 by the
gifts of "Commodore" Vanderbilt, was the first Southern institution with
anything approaching an adequate endowment and was the first to insist
upon thorough preparation for entrance, though it was compelled to
organize a sub-freshman class in the beginning. Its policy had
considerable influence both upon college standards and upon the growth
of private preparatory schools. The development of public schools, for a
time, had made the work of colleges in general more difficult, because
they supplanted scores of private academies which had done passably well
the work of college preparation and yet were not themselves able to
prepare students for college in the first years of their existence. For
years it was difficult in many localities for a young man to secure
proper preparation, and the total of poorly prepared students applying
for admission to the colleges increased. The number of towns and cities
which have established high schools or high school departments has since
increased rapidly, and today a larger and larger proportion of college
students comes from public schools.

Since 1900, the resources of the colleges have greatly increased. States
which appropriated a few thousand dollars for higher education in the
early nineties now appropriate ten or even twenty times as much to their
universities, agricultural colleges, and normal and technical schools
for women, and have appropriated millions for new buildings. Many of the
denominational colleges have obtained substantial endowments. The
General Education Board up to 1914 had subscribed over $3,000,000 to
Southern colleges and universities on condition that the institutions
raise at least three times as much more. Southern men who have
accumulated wealth are realizing their social responsibility. Several
recent gifts of a million dollars or more are not included in the sum
mentioned above, and many smaller gifts or bequests likewise.

Standards of work have been raised with increasing income. As elsewhere
the effect of the reports of the Carnegie Foundation has been patent.
The stronger institutions have brought up their requirements to the
minimum, on paper at least, and to a great extent in fact. Some of the
weaker institutions have dropped the pretense of doing college
work; others have accepted the position of junior colleges doing two
years of college work and giving no degrees. The States exercise little
or no supervision over the quality of work done for college degrees, and
some institutions continue to grant diplomas for what is really
secondary work, but the fact that they are not up to the standard is
known and the management is generally apologetic.

No other phase of Southern life is more hopeful and more encouraging
than the educational revival. True, judged by the standards of the
richer States, the terms of the rural schools are short and the pay of
the teachers is small; but both are being increased, and no schools are
exercising more wholesome influence. The high schools are neither so
numerous nor so well equipped as in some other States, but nowhere else
is such evident progress being made. There are no universities in the
South which count their income in millions, but the number of
institutions adequately equipped to do efficient work is already large
and increasing. The spirit of faculty and students is admirable, and the
contact of the institutions and the people of the Southern States is
increasingly close and full of promise.



The South of the present is a changing South with its face toward the
future rather than the past. Nevertheless the dead hand is felt by all
the people a part of the time, and some of the people are never free
from its paralyzing touch. Old prejudices, the remembrance of past
grievances, and antipathies long cherished now and then assert
themselves in the most unexpected fashion. The Southerner, no matter how
much he may pride himself upon being liberal and broad, is likely to
make certain reservations and limitations in his attitude. There are
some questions upon which he is not open to argument, certain subjects
which he cannot discuss freely and dispassionately. Some Southerners
have so many of these reservations that conversation with them is
difficult unless one instinctively understands their psychology and is
willing to avoid certain subjects. The past has made so powerful an
impression upon them that it has affected their whole attitude of mind.

Time, travel, association, engrossing work, and economic prosperity have
weakened many of these prejudices and antipathies, however, and the
Southerner is becoming free. There are individuals who will always be
bound by the past; there are some men, and more women, who are yet
"unreconstructed"; there are neighborhoods and villages where men and
women yet live in the past and absolutely refuse to attempt to adjust
themselves cheerfully to changed and changing conditions. This is not
true of the Southern people as a whole. In fact there is danger that the
younger generation will think too little of the past. Much of the Old
South is worthy of preservation, and it is never safe for a country or a
section to break too abruptly with its older life.

Economically the South has prospered in proportion as the new spirit has
ruled. The question of secession is dead, and the man who refuses today
to treat it as past history but grows excited in discussing it is not
likely to be successful in his business or profession. The men of the
New South spend little time in discussing the relative wisdom of
Jefferson Davis and Robert Toombs or the reasons for the failure of the
Confederacy. The Southerners accept the results of the War, and all except
a negligible minority are convinced that the preservation of the Union was
for the best. To be sure they believe, partly through knowledge but more
largely through absorption, that the Confederate soldier was the best
fighting man ever known and that the War might have been won if the
civil government had been wiser, but on the whole they are not sorry that
secession failed. They thrill even today to _Dixie,_ and _The Bonnie Blue
Flag,_ but this feeling is now purely emotional.

All the Southern States have felt, though unequally, the effects of
industrialism. The South Atlantic States have been most influenced by
this movement, but even Mississippi and Arkansas have been affected. In
many sections the traveler is seldom out of sight of the factory
chimney. Some towns, in appearance and spirit, might easily seem to
belong to a Middle Western environment but for the presence of the negro
and the absence of the foreign born. The population in these Southern
towns is still overwhelmingly American. In no States except Maryland and
Texas did the foreign born number as many as 100,000 in 1910, and
Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina each had less than 10,000
at that time. The highest percentage of foreign born was 8.6 per cent in
Delaware, the lowest 0.3 per cent in North Carolina. In the South as a
whole the proportion of foreign born whites was only 2.5 per cent.

The laborers in the Southern shops and mills today are not only native
born but almost altogether Southern born. The South has been a great
loser through interstate migration. Other sections also have lost but
the excess of those departing has been replaced by the immigration of
foreign born. Comparatively few have come to the South from other
sections except in Florida, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, and fewer
foreign born have settled in the South. As a result, the percentage of
increase of population is less for the South, if Oklahoma be omitted,
than for the United States as a whole. Many of the laborers are of rural
origin or are only a generation removed from the farm. They preserve the
individualistic attitude of the rural mind and have learned little of
collective action. Labor unions have made small progress except in a few
skilled trades and class consciousness has not developed in the South.

The important industries have thus far been few and they have kept
rather close to the original raw material. The South does not spin all
the cotton it produces, does not weave all the yarn it spins, and does not
manufacture into clothing any considerable quantity of the cloth it weaves.
The greater part of both yarn and cloth is coarse, though some mills do
finer work. Little bleaching or printing, however, is done. The South is
a land of curious economic contrasts. It produces sugar but buys
confectionery. It produces immense quantities of lumber but works up
comparatively little, and this mainly into simple forms. It produces iron
and steel in considerable quantities but has few machine shops where really
delicate work can be done. It does not manufacture motor cars, electric or
even textile machinery or machine tools, nor does it make watches or
firearms in appreciable quantities. In short, the South carries some of the
most important raw materials only a step or two toward their ultimate form
and depends upon other parts of the country for the finished article.

Years ago the story was told of a Georgia funeral at which that State
furnished only the corpse and the grave. Georgia, and other States too,
can do much more today, if the funeral be not too elaborate. It can
furnish a cotton shroud, each year of finer quality. The knitting mills
of the South are able to supply an increasing proportion of the
population with hose and underclothing, and a number of the mills are
gaining a national trade through advertising. If demanded, Southern-made
shoes may be found, and a Southern-made coffin may be drawn on a
Southern-made wagon by Southern-bred horses and perhaps, though
improbably, in harness of local manufacture also.

The South was once the richest section of the Union. The vicissitudes of
the Civil War rendered it poor, but now it is rapidly growing richer and
since the beginning of the Great War has shown a phenomenal accumulation
of new capital. During this great struggle some of the cotton mills made
in a single month profits as large as they were formerly accustomed to
make in a year. Even though the farmer received for his cotton much more
than usual, the price of cloth would still have yielded a profit to the
manufacturer if cotton had been twice as high. Other enterprises have
likewise been profitable, and when normal conditions are restored this
capital will seek new investment. While prophecy is dangerous it seems
probable that manufacturing in the South will grow as never before; and
new forms of investment must be found, as the rural districts cannot
furnish any greatly increased supply of labor for cotton manufacturing
though the towns can supply some adult labor for other forms of industry.

The labor question is beginning to grow serious in some localities,
though it is difficult to discover whether the problem is chiefly one of
getting labor at all or of getting it at something like the wages
formerly paid. Apparently, however, the industrial growth of the South
has been more rapid than that of population. Heretofore the farmer has
had little difficulty in obtaining some sort of assistance in
cultivating his land, and this abundance of labor has lessened the
demand for agricultural machinery. Now the migration of the negro to the
North has created a shortage of labor which must force the farmer to
purchase machinery. Too much man and horse power has been employed upon
Southern farms in proportion to the results achieved. The South has been
producing a large value per acre but a small value per individual. If
the South is to become permanently prosperous, fewer persons must do the
work and must even increase the production.

A practical cotton-picking machine would help to solve some of the
South's problems, as any family can plant and cultivate after a fashion
much more cotton than it can pick. Many attempts to produce such a
machine have been made, but simplicity, efficiency, and cheapness have
not yet been attained. Like the reaper and binder, a machine of this
sort is needed for only a small portion of the year, but in that short
period the need is extreme. Such a machine would revolutionize the
tenant system, would permit a larger production of food, and at the same
time would set labor free for other occupations. Meanwhile the general
rate of wages in agriculture has risen and must rise still further, as
it has done in other occupations. Any student of economics who draws his
conclusions from observation of life as well as from books realizes how
large a part custom plays in determining wages, and hitherto farm wages
have been very low and labor has been inefficient in the South.

The economic future of the South must rest upon the advance of the
farmer. This thesis has already been developed at length in another
chapter, where the present unsatisfactory organization and conditions of
agriculture were also discussed. Improvement, however, is already
becoming evident. Cotton furnishes two-fifths of the value of all farm
products, with corn, hay, tobacco, and wheat following in the order
named. Gradually the West is ceasing to be the granary and the smokehouse
of the Southern farmer, but the South does not yet feed itself. In 1917
only Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Oklahoma produced a surplus of
wheat, though it is estimated that the South as a whole reduced its
deficiency by more than 35,000,000 bushels. The abnormal prices of
agricultural products since 1915 have brought many farmers out of debt and
set them on the road toward prosperity, but many have not yet realized that
they are no longer objects of commiseration. Though the high prices of
war times have brought prosperity to the farmer, the crying necessity today
is a larger production per man employed.

The political, as well as the economic, condition of the South today is
full of interest. Politically the common man is in control, and as a
rule he selects men of his own type to represent him. The primary was
almost universal in the South when the West was only thinking of it as a
radical innovation. The day of aristocratic domination is over, if
indeed it ever really existed. In many instances descent from well-known
ancestors who have held high positions has proved a positive detriment
to a political candidate of today. Some of the successful politicians,
as might be expected, are demagogues. States differ in the number of
politicians of this type, and the same State may vary from year to year.
It may at the same time send a demagogue and a statesman to the Senate. Men
are permitted to hold offices, both national and state, for longer periods
than formerly, and, as a result, in recent Democratic Congresses Southern
men have held the most important chairmanships.[1]

[Footnote 1: North Carolina, for example, had in the 65th Congress, the
chairmanship of the Committees on Finance and on Rules in the Senate,
and on Ways and Means, Rules, Judiciary, and Rivers and Harbors in the
House, besides other chairmanships of less account. Seldom in the whole
history of the country has the representation of any State been so

That the Southern representation in Congress is equal in ability,
culture, and character to that of the Old South or to that of even
thirty years ago can hardly be seriously maintained. There are in
Congress a few men today who recall the best traditions of Southern
leadership; there are more who are mediocre and parochial. For the most
part they come from law offices in country towns, and have the virtues
and the limitations of their environment. They are honest financially,
if not intellectually, and do not consciously yield to "the interests."
They are correct in their private lives and likely to be somewhat
bigoted. Many are convinced that cities are essentially wicked and
conceive them to be inhabited by vampires and parasites. Few can think
in national terms, and fewer have either knowledge or comprehension of
international relations. For a generation the South was excluded from
any real participation in national affairs and was wholly occupied with
local questions. It is therefore difficult for such men to realize the
present position of the United States in world politics. With much
perturbation of spirit the rank and file followed the President in the
steps leading up to the Great War, though some of the would-be leaders
attempted to rebel. On the other hand, some of the most valuable men in
the great crisis were Southerners.

The dominant party in the South is called Democratic, but the name has
little of its original significance today. The representative is likely
to follow the sentiment of his district if he can discover it. Some of
the Southern Democrats advocate doctrines which are far removed from
traditional democracy, for Populistic ideas have not entirely died out
and some of the farmers still demand special privileges, which, however,
they would be the first to deny to any one else. Democracy in the South
really means the white man's party, and the Democratic doctrines are
those in which it is thought the majority of the white men of the State
or section believe for the time. Though the negro is no longer a voting
power, the malign influence of the negro question persists.

Since the South as a whole favors prohibition of the liquor traffic the
representatives of the people are almost unanimously in favor of
prohibition, forgetting all constitutional scruples and all questions of
state rights. The sentiment for woman suffrage is not yet overwhelming
and consequently, as might be surmised, conscientious scruples prevent
representatives from voting for the extension of the franchise. In two
States, however, the friends of woman suffrage, though not strong enough
to pass a constitutional amendment, have realized their aim by a
brilliant _coup_. Since most elections are practically settled in the
primaries, the legislatures of Texas and Arkansas gave women the right
to vote in such elections. In other words, women were given the right to
help nominate candidates, though they are excluded from the formal
elections. Whether these acts will stand in the courts has not been
determined. Missouri and Tennessee have recently given national suffrage
to women, and Oklahoma has given full suffrage.

The negro has been practically eliminated as a voter, but the decision of
the Supreme Court in the Oklahoma case may make necessary the revision of
some state constitutions. Enough restrictions remain, however, to make
white supremacy reasonably secure for the present. As the aim is one upon
which the white South is practically agreed, some other expedients will be
devised if those now in use must be discarded. There is absolutely no
desire for a wholesale restoration of the negro vote, though, of course,
Republican conventions denounce the disfranchising acts and constitutional
amendments. If the control of the Southern States should be gained by the
Republican party, unlimited negro suffrage would hardly be restored unless
such action were forced by the party in the nation at large. In the last
extremity the South would suffer loss of representation rather than face
the consequences of unrestricted negro suffrage.

Socially the South is in a state of ferment. Old standards are passing,
some of them very rapidly, and the younger generation is inclined to
smile at some of the attitudes of the old. The "typical Southerner" who
nourishes within the pages of F. Hopkinson Smith and Thomas Nelson Page
is extremely rare outside of them. Most of the real Southern colonels
are dead, and the others are too busy running plantations or cotton mills
to spend much time discussing genealogy, making pretty speeches, or talking
about their honor. Not so many colonels are made as formerly, and one may
travel far before he meets an individual who fits the popular idea of the
type. He is likely to meet more men who are cold, hard, and astute, for the
New South has developed some perfect specimens of the type whose natural
habitat had been supposed to be Ulster or the British Midlands--religious,
narrow, stubborn, and very shrewd.

A sense of social responsibility is developing in the South. Kindness
has always been shown to the unfortunate and the afflicted, but it has
been exhibited toward individuals by individuals. If a Southerner heard
of a case of distress in his neighborhood, he was quick to respond. Real
neighborliness has always existed, but the idea of responsibility for a
class was slow to develop. Such an idea is growing, however. More
attention has been given to the condition of jails and almshouses during
the last ten years than in the whole preceding century. To be sure, the
section is now becoming rich enough to afford the luxury of paupers, but
the interest in socialized humanitarian endeavor lies deeper. Perhaps
the fact that negroes formed the larger part of the criminal and
dependent classes had something to do with the past neglect. The Old
Testament doctrine that the criminal should suffer the consequences of his
act has had its effect, and the factor of expense has not been forgotten.
Some of the States still permit county commissioners to commit the care of
the poor to the lowest bidder. On the other hand the poorhouse has been
transformed into a "Home for the Aged and Infirm" in some States, and
inspections of public institutions by the grand jury are becoming more
than merely cursory. State boards of charities are being established,
and men have even attacked members of their own political parties on the
charge of incompetence, cruelty, or neglect of duty as keepers of
prisons or almshouses. Hundreds of towns have their associated
charities, and scores have visiting nurses. Where there is only one
nurse, she visits negroes as well as whites, but many towns support one
or more for negroes as well.

In former days orphans were "bound out," if no relatives would take
them, and in that case they might not always be properly treated. At the
present time not only States and municipalities support asylums, but
religious denominations and fraternal orders manage many well-conducted
institutions. The problem of the juvenile delinquent is being recognized,
as several States already have institutions for his care. So far little
has been done for the young negro offender, whose home training is likely
to be most deficient and who needs firm but kindly discipline; but the
consciousness of responsibility for him also is developing. Increasing
prosperity alone cannot account for the multiplication of these agencies
for social betterment. A new social interest and a new attitude of mind are
revealed in these activities.

There are still some communities where social position is based upon
birth and where the old families still control; but these regions are
becoming less numerous. The Old South was never quite so aristocratic as
the North believed, and today the white South is much more nearly a
democracy than New England. Even in 1860 this was true of some parts of
the South, as compared with some parts of New England. The rural South
was always democratic except in comparatively limited areas, and it is
so everywhere today. In those communities which have felt the new
industrial spirit the question of birth plays little part. Any
presentable young man can go where he chooses. In such communities the
tendency--apparently inevitable in industrial societies--to base social
distinctions upon wealth and business success is beginning to show itself.
The plutocrats, however, are not yet numerous enough to form a society of
their own and must perforce find their associates among their fellow

One does not lose social position in the South by engaging in business
or by working with his hands. It may easily happen that in the afternoon
you may purchase a collar or a pair of shoes from a young man whom you
will meet in the evening at the house of the local magnate. The
granddaughter of a former governor or justice of the Supreme Court comes
home from her typewriter and her brother from the cotton mill or the
lumber yard. Social life in a small town--and most Southern towns are
small--is simple and unpretentious, although here too the influence of
prosperity is beginning to be manifest. Social affairs are more
elaborate than they were ten or fifteen years ago, and there is also
less casual expression of informal hospitality. The higher prices of
food and the increasing difficulties of the servant problem have
doubtless put some restraint upon the spirit of hospitality but perhaps
more important is the fact that more of the men must keep regular hours of
business and that women are developing interests outside the home.

Social affairs are almost entirely in the hands of women. The older men
come somewhat unwillingly to receptions in the evening, but the presence
of a man at an afternoon tea is unusual. The Southerner of the small
towns and cities puts away play with his adolescence. The professional
man seldom advertises the fact that he has gone hunting or fishing for a
day or a week, as it is thought to be not quite the thing for a lawyer
to be away from his office for such a purpose. Golf has gained no
foothold except in the larger towns, and even there the existence of the
country club is often precarious. Few males except college youths will
be seen on the tennis court, if indeed there be one even in a town of
five thousand people. Professional men keep long hours, though they
might be able to do all their work in half the time they spend in their

The theory of the Old South contemplated different spheres of activity
for men and women. The combined influence of St. Paul and Sir Walter
Scott is responsible for a part of this theory, though its development
was probably inevitable from the structure of society in the Old South.
A woman's place was the home. As a girl she might live for enjoyment and
spend her time in a round of visits, but she was expected to give up
frivolity of all sorts when she married. Society in the South was almost
entirely the concern of the unmarried. Women seldom took a prominent
part in any organization, and a woman speaking in public was regarded as
a great curiosity. Not so many years ago the missionary society, and
perhaps the parsonage aid society, were almost the only organizations in
which women took a part. In recent years church and educational
organizations have multiplied, and today there are numerous women's
clubs devoted to many different objects. Southern women are active in
civic leagues, associated charities, and other forms of community
endeavor; they are prominent in various patriotic societies; and there
are many suffrage societies. Where the laws permit, women are members of
school boards; they often head organizations of teachers composed of
both men and women, and at least one woman has been chosen mayor of a

Women have done more than the men to keep alive in the South the
memories of the past. Perhaps because the women of the older generation
suffered more than the men, they have been less willing to forget, and
their daughters have imbibed some of the same feeling. The Daughters of
the Confederacy have been more bitter than the Sons of Veterans or than
the veterans themselves. The effect of recent events upon their
psychology has been interesting. In the Great War their sons and
grandsons were called to go overseas, and the national government was
brought closer to them than at any other time for more than forty years.
It is idle to insist that before this there had been any ardent
affection in the South for the United States. There had been acceptance
of the national situation, perhaps an intellectual acknowledgment that
all may have been for the best, but no warm nationalism had been
developed before the Great War came. Loyalty was passive rather than

The closing of the chasm has been hailed many times, notably at the time
of the Spanish War, but no keen observer has been deceived for a moment.
The recent world crisis, however, seems to have swept aside all
hindrances. Perhaps the people, and particularly the women, were
unconsciously yearning for a country to love and were ready for a great
wave of patriotism to carry them with it. During the week following the
declaration of war more national flags were displayed in the South than
had been shown in the memory of the oldest resident, for except on
public buildings the national flag has not been commonly displayed. At
this time houses which had never shown a flag were draped, and merchants
were chided because they could not supply the demand.

Quite as a matter of course the president of the Daughters of the
Confederacy became president of the Red Cross Auxiliary which was
organized at once. Women were eager to receive instruction in folding
bandages, and knitting became the order of the day. Women threw
themselves with all their energy into various activities. Canteen work
was organized if the town was a junction point, and every instalment of
"selected men"--for the word "drafted" was rejected almost by common
consent--was sent away with some evidence of the thoughtfulness of the
women of their home town. Women have been prominent in raising money for
the Red Cross and the Y.M.C.A. and have done valiant service in selling
War Savings Stamps and Liberty Bonds. There has been some shaking of
heads, and some exponents of the sheltered life have criticized this
invasion of what had been supposed to be the sphere of men, but the women
have gone ahead. Indeed their alacrity has seemed to indicate that they are
glad to have an excuse to throw aside the restraints which have hitherto
bound them. Women and girls have approached men whom they did not know on
the streets to ask for contributions or to urge the purchase of stamps or
bonds, and only those who know the South can realize what a departure from
traditional standards of feminine conduct such actions indicate. The
business woman has been a familiar figure for years, but she was sheltered
by the walls of her office or shop. On the street she was held to a
certain code and was criticized if she failed to observe it. But here also
the old order is changing and giving place to new.

The power of public opinion is very great in the South. While this may
be true of rural or semi-rural communities in any part of the land,
nowhere else does collective opinion exert such overwhelming force as in
the Southern States. Perhaps this phenomenon is a survival from
Reconstruction days and after. Since certain attitudes toward the negro,
for example, were defended on the ground of the necessity of protecting
womanhood, a certain standard must be demanded from women, and every man
claimed a sort of prescriptive right to assist in laying down rules for
such conduct on her part. For a long time the women of the South,
consciously or unconsciously, were subject to these unwritten rules. Today
in increasing numbers the women, particularly the younger women, are
declaring their independence by their conduct. It has not become a feminist
revolt, for many have not thought out the situation and have not recognized
the source of their restrictions. The statutes of some of the Southern
States, moreover, still contain many of the old common law restrictions
upon women's independence of action. More and more women are asserting
themselves, however, and are demanding the right to guide themselves. The
negro woman has been held up as the reason for denying the vote to the
white woman, but this excuse no longer is accepted willingly. Women are
inquiring why the vote of the negro women should be any more of a menace
than the vote of the negro man, and there seems to be no satisfactory
answer. If the women make up their minds and agree, they will gain their

Though women in the South as elsewhere form a majority of the church
membership, they have not had equal rights in church administration.
During 1918, several denominations granted full laity rights, though the
bishops of the Southern Methodist Church referred the action of the
General Conference back to the Annual Conferences. This is of course only
 temporary delay. An unusually large percentage of the adult population
holds membership in one or other of the Protestant denominations. The
Roman Catholics are reported as being in a majority in Louisiana, as might
be expected owing to French descent, and in Kentucky, Delaware, Maryland,
and Texas the proportion is considerable. It is less in Arkansas, Oklahoma,
and West Virginia. In Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia,
Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, the proportion of Catholics is still
smaller, though the latest (1918) official Catholic statistics for the
even States last named show 7 bishops, 415 priests, 635 churches, and
211,000 Catholics. The principal denominational affiliations of the
Southern people, white and black, are with the various Baptist or Methodist
bodies, with a strong Presbyterian influence. In eleven of the Southern
States the Baptists are by far the largest denomination, though the
Methodists lead in two. These two denominations taken together are in a
large majority in every State except Delaware, Maryland, and Louisiana.
Presbyterians and Episcopalians are well distributed throughout the whole
section and have exercised an influence altogether out of proportion to
their numbers. Presbyterianism came in with the great Scotch-Irish
migration of the eighteenth century, and though many of the blood have gone
over to other denominations, the influence of the Shorter Catechism still
persists. In the older States attempts were made to establish the Anglican
Church in the colonial era, and the governing classes were naturally
affiliated with it.

Both these organizations had to give way to the great wave of religious
enthusiasm which swept the section early in the nineteenth century.
Baptist and Methodist missionaries, many of them unlettered but vigorous
and powerful, went into the remotest districts and swept the population
into their communions. They preached a narrow, strait-laced, Old
Testament religion, but it went deep. They believed in the verbal
inspiration of the Bible, and so far as they could they interpreted it
literally, laying emphasis upon the future, the rewards of the
righteous, and the tortures of the damned. Life upon this earth was
regarded as simply a preparation for the life to come. One is sometimes
tempted to believe that these spiritual guides deprecated attempts to
improve conditions here on earth lest men should grow to think less of a
future abode. It is easy to understand why such a doctrine of future
reward should have appealed to negroes, and it is perhaps not surprising
that the poor upon the frontier likewise found comfort and solace in it.
 ears ago the social position of the great majority of the Methodists and
Baptists was distinctly below that of the Episcopalians and Presbyterians.
In recent years many Methodists and Baptists have grown prosperous.
Instead of being bare barns, their church edifices are often the most
ornate and costly in the town or city. A Methodist or a Baptist can have
none of the former feeling of martyrdom now, when in numbers and wealth his
denomination is so powerful.[1]

[Footnote 1: Except these five, other church organizations have few
members. There are a few Congregationalists, almost entirely the result
of post-bellum missions to the negroes. White and negro Lutheran
churches are scattered through the Southern States, and in Kentucky and
Tennessee the Disciples are important. Here and there other
denominations have gained a foothold, but their numbers are
insignificant in the South as a whole.]

Though the evangelical religious teaching of former days has been
modified and softened, it has been softened only and not superseded. The
result of this emphasis upon the other world has been to make men look
somewhat askance at worldly amusement. The idea so prevalent in other
sections that the people of the South are convivial and mercurial in
temperament is erroneous. It would be more nearly correct to say that
gravity, amounting almost to austerity, is a distinguishing mark of
Southerners. In any Southern gathering representing the people as a
whole there is little mirth. There is much more Puritanism in the South
today than remains in New England. The Sabbath is no longer observed so
strictly as twenty years ago, perhaps, but only recently has it been
considered proper to receive visits on Sunday or to drive into the
country. As for Sunday golf or tennis, the average community would stand
horror-struck at such a spectacle. Sermons are frequently preached
against dancing, card-playing, and theater-going, and members have been
dismissed from Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches for
indulging in these forbidden amusements.

The older generation, however, is losing in the fight to maintain the
old standards of conduct and belief. In spite of disapprobation, bridge
clubs flourish and the young people will dance and go to the theater,
though even yet most Southern cities are known as "poor show towns."
Today men go to the post office on Sunday, read the Sunday papers, and
ride on Sunday trains. The motor car makes its appearance on Sunday,
though it would be interesting to know how many of those riding really
feel conscience free, for many who have liberal ideas still have
Calvinistic nerves. Young ministers occasionally preach sermons for which
they would have been charged with heresy not many years ago and openly
read books which would have been considered poisonous then. Men speak of
evolution now and show familiarity with authors who were anathema to the
older generation.

Lately some of the town and city churches have been developing the
social and humanitarian side of religious work, but the greatest number
manage to collect only enough money to keep the organization alive. They
are like engines which can get up enough steam to turn the wheels slowly
and painfully but lack sufficient power to do effective work. In fact,
there is strong opposition to any pastor who attempts to influence the
decision of the congregation on any social question. Many towns and
rural communities have several churches, though their population and
wealth may be hardly large enough to support one properly. This
condition, however, is not peculiar to the South. Here and there in the
country districts a new type of pastor has appeared. He is a good farmer
himself, interested in better farming and able to discuss fertilizers and
methods with his parishioners. He is not afraid that prosperity will turn
his members away from their church duties but considers that improving
the economic conditions of the neighborhood is quite as vital a part of
his work as ministering to their spiritual needs. Largely because of the
work of some of these men the exodus to the towns has slackened in some
neighborhoods and contributions to the work of the church have been greatly

This movement from country to town has become a serious matter in some
localities. The social level of neighborhoods once attractive because of
the presence of families of intelligence and character has fallen. The
land of the families which have moved to towns has been turned over to
tenants, either whites of a lower status or negroes, the standards of
the community have suffered in consequence, and the atmosphere of some
of these communities has become depressing. Such conditions, however,
are not peculiar to the South but have been observed in central New York
and in New England. Better roads, the motor car, and improvement in
communications have helped to check this cityward movement, and, on the
whole, the educational, economic, and social standards of the country
districts generally are higher than they were ten years ago.

Generally speaking, the South is a law-abiding section. This is true
even when the negroes are included, and as the prohibitory laws are
enforced more strictly, it is becoming increasingly true. The chain gang
which was so common years ago has been discontinued in hundreds of
counties, chiefly for lack of convicts, though partly for humanitarian
reasons. The offenses of the negro were, for the most part, petty
larceny, gambling, and offenses against public order. Affrays are
certainly less frequent since the spread of prohibition, and larceny
seems to be decreasing, though statistics of crime are few and
unreliable. The gambling is usually nothing more than "craps," or
"African billiards" as they call it now. Among the whites, offenses
against property are few. In many rural counties a white man is seldom
charged with theft, fraud, or forgery. A white man is occasionally
arraigned for "disposing of mortgaged property," or for malicious
mischief, including the destruction of property.

The homicide rate, however, is high. Generally the figures given include
the negro, and he is somewhat more homicidal than the white, but the white
rate is among the highest in the world. Blood feuds actually exist in the
Southern Appalachians, though perhaps their number is not so large as is
commonly believed. The moonshiner's antipathy to revenue officers leads
him to use firearms upon occasion, but homicide occurs also in intelligent
communities where the general tone is high. Individuals of excellent
standing in business or professional life sometimes shoot to kill their
fellows and in the past have usually escaped the extreme penalty and often
have avoided punishment altogether. It would seem that life is held rather
cheaply in many Southern communities.

Until recently much of the South has remained a frontier, as some of it
is to this day, and in frontier communities men are accustomed to take
the law into their own hands and are reluctant to depend upon inadequate
or ineffective police protection. Despising physical cowardice, the
individual prides himself upon his ability to maintain his rights and to
protect his honor without calling for assistance. Frontiersmen are quick
to resent an affront, and when their veracity is impugned they fight.
The word "lie" is not considered a polite mode of expressing dissent. All
over the South, in every class of society, one finds this sensitiveness to
an accusation of lack of veracity. Such a theory of life dies hard. The
presence of a less advanced race is perhaps not conducive to self-control.
The dominant race, determined to maintain its position of superiority,
is likely to resent a real or fancied affront to its dignity. A warped
sense of honor, a sort of belated theory of chivalry, is responsible for
some acts of violence. A seducer is likely to be called to account and the
slayer, by invoking the "unwritten law," has usually been acquitted. Such
a case lends itself to the display of flamboyant oratory, and the plea of
"protecting the home" has set many murderers free. Perhaps the South is
becoming less susceptible to oratory; at all events this plea now
sometimes fails to win a jury. Defendants are occasionally convicted,
though the verdicts are usually rendered for manslaughter and not for

Public sentiment is not yet ready, however, to declare every intentional
homicide murder. Some point to the low rate of white illegitimacy as a
justification of the deterring force of the "unwritten law," not
realizing that such a defense it, really a reflection upon womanhood.
Others allow their detestation of physical cowardice to blind them to the
danger of allowing men to take the law into their own hands. The
individualism of the imperfectly socialized Southerner does not yet
permit him to think of the law as a majestic, impersonal force towering
high above the individual. It is true that the Southerner is law-abiding
on the whole, but he usually obeys the laws because they represent his
ethical concepts and not because of devotion to the abstract idea of law.

There is danger, however, in the attempt to state dogmatically what the
Southerner thinks or believes. There is much diversity of opinion among
the younger Southerners, for many questions are in a state of flux, and
there is as yet no point of crystallization. There is no leader either
in politics or in journalism who may be said to utter the voice of the
South. In the earlier part of this period Henry Watterson, of the
Louisville _Courier-Journal_, spoke almost with authority. The untimely
death of Henry W. Grady, editor of the Atlanta _Constitution_, deprived
the South of a spokesman and he has had no successor. There is no
newspaper which has any considerable influence outside the State in
which it is published, and few have a circulation throughout even their
entire State. There are several newspapers which are edited with
considerable ability, on the political side at least, but none has a
circulation sufficiently large to make it a real power. All are more or
less parochial. The country papers, which are frankly and necessarily
local, exercise more influence than the papers of the cities, though the
circulation of the latter is increasing.

The Southerner is reading more than he once did. Some of the national
weeklies have a considerable circulation in the South, and the national
magazines are read in increasing numbers. Good bookstores are not
common, for the people generally have not learned to buy many books
since they have been able to afford them. The women's clubs, however,
interest their members in the "best-sellers" and pass these books from
one to another. Some members may always be depended upon to purchase
serious books as their contribution to the club. The number of public
libraries in the South is considerable, and the educational
administration of several of the States is striving to put a
well-selected library into every public school[1].

[Footnote 1: North Carolina has established over five thousand of these
school libraries. The State pays one-third of the cost, the county
one-third, and the patrons of the school the remainder. Additional
volumes are furnished by the same plan.]

The Southerner is not only reading more books, but he is also writing
more. A man or woman who has written a book is no longer a curiosity. In
the closing decade or two of the nineteenth century the work of a group
of Southern writers led a distinguished critic to rank them as the most
significant force in American letters. Such a high valuation of the
writers of the present day could hardly be made, but there is a much
larger number than formerly whose work is acceptable. Members of college
faculties, and others, produce annually numerous books of solid worth in
science, history, biography, economics, and sociology. Volumes of
recollections and reminiscences interesting to the student of the past
appear, and much local and state history has been rescued from oblivion.
Some theological books are written, but there is little published on
national questions. The output of verse is small, and few essays are
published. As few Southerners are extensive travelers, there are
necessarily few books of travel and description. Though most of the
people live in a rural or semi-rural environment, very little is printed
dealing with nature. There are many writers of fiction, though few can
be called artists.

The New South is full of contradictions and paradoxes. It is living
generations of social and economic changes in decades, and naturally all
the people do not keep an even pace. One may find culture that would
grace a court alongside incredible ignorance; distinguished courtesy and
sheer brutality; kindness and consideration of the rights and feelings of
others together with cruelty almost unbelievable. In some sections are to
be found machines belonging to the most advanced stage of industry, while
nearby are in operation economic processes of the rudest and most
primitive sort. One who knows the South must feel, however, that its most
striking characteristic is hopefulness. The dull apathy of a generation ago
is rapidly disappearing, and the South lifts up its eyes toward the


The debt of Mississippi was small and that of Texas was not excessive,
and neither made any attempt to repudiate the obligations. The
$4,000,000 issued in Florida for state aid to railroads was large for
the small population and the scanty resources of that State, but this
issue was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Florida. The
Reconstruction debt of Alabama was large, about $20,000,000, besides
accrued interest which the State could not pay. In 1873, the carpetbag
government attempted to fund these bonds at twenty-five cents on the
dollar. The Funding Act of 1876 repudiated $4,700,000 outright, reduced
the bonds loaned to one railroad from $5,300,000 to $1,000,000, gave
land in payment of $2,000,000 more, scaled other bonds one-half, and
funded still others at par excluding interest. About $13,000,000 in all
was repudiated and the State was left with a debt of less than

[Footnote 1: W.A. Scott, _The Repudiation of State Debts_, p. 63, but
see also W.L. Fleming, _Civil War and Reconstruction in Alabama_, p. 580

During 1868 and 1869 bond issues to the amount of nearly $28,000,000
were authorized in North Carolina, but not all of this amount was
issued. From the $13,313,000 which was outstanding at the end of the
carpetbag regime, the State had received little or no benefit. Interest
was not paid upon this sum or upon the previous issues, and the total
debt increased rapidly. Unsuccessful attempts to compromise with the
creditors were made in 1874 and 1875, but not until 1879 was the matter
settled. The Reconstruction bonds were repudiated outright, and the
legitimate debt of the State was funded at from fifteen to forty cents
on the dollar. No provision was made for the unpaid interest. This
compromise did not include the pre-war bonds issued to aid the North
Carolina Railroad. This corporation was a going concern, and as the
result of a suit the stock had been sequestrated. A compromise with the
holders of these bonds was made at eighty per cent of par and interest.
As a result of this wholesale repudiation the debt of the State was so
reduced that it could be carried. In all over $22,000,000 besides other
millions of accrued interest were repudiated.[1]

[Footnote 1: J.G. de R. Hamilton, _Reconstruction in North Carolina_,
pp. 448-449, 659-661.]

Not all of the creditors of the State accepted the compromise at once,
but the offer was left open and, as the years went on and the State
showed no signs of a change of intention, the bondholders gradually
recognized the inevitable. In 1893, nearly fifteen years after this
offer had been made, more than $1,000,000 of the old bonds were still
outstanding. In 1901, a New York firm presented to the State of South
Dakota ten of the class which had been made convertible at twenty-five
cents on the dollar. That State brought suit in the Supreme Court of the
United States and collected the amount sued for.[1] No progress has been
made in collecting the special tax bonds issued during Reconstruction
though some New York bond houses hope against hope, and the Council of
the Corporation of Foreign Bondholders in its annual reports plaintively
regrets the perversity of this and other Southern States.

[Footnote 1: South Dakota v. North Carolina, 192 U.S. Rep., p. 286]

South Carolina presented such a carnival of incompetence and corruption
that the total amount of bonds issued has never been accurately
determined. Apparently there was a valid debt of about $6,666,000 in
1868, which was increased to about $29,000,000 within three years. The
carpetbag Legislature of 1873 repudiated $6,000,000 of this debt, and
attempted to compromise the remainder at fifty per cent, but the State
could not carry even this reduced amount. Judicial decisions destroyed
the validity of some millions more, and finally the debt, reduced to
something more than $7,000,000, was funded. The debt of Georgia was
increased directly and by indorsement of railroad bonds. The Legislature
of 1872 declared $8,500,000 void and in 1875 repudiated about $600,000

Louisiana suffered most from excessive taxation. At the beginning of the
carpetbag period the debt was about $11,000,000, but railroad and levee
bonds were issued rapidly. Though a constitutional amendment in 1870
forbade the State to contract debts in excess of $25,000,000, the
Legislature went steadily on until in 1872 the debt was variously
estimated at from $41,000,000 to $48,000,000. In 1874, when W.P. Kellogg
was Governor, the State began to fund valid obligations at sixty cents
on the dollar. By action of the courts the debt was reduced to about
$12,000,000 bearing interest at seven percent. The State could not pay
the interest on this sum, and the constitutional convention of 1879 made
drastic reductions in the interest rate. Both New York and New
Hampshire, acting ostensibly for themselves but really in behalf of their
citizens, brought suit, but the Supreme Court threw out the cases on the
ground that the actions were attempts to evade the constitutional
provision forbidding a citizen to bring an action against a State. The
bondholders still refused to accept the reduction, and the Supreme Court
in 1883 described the ordinance as a violation of the contract of 1874
but a violation without a remedy. Meanwhile the Legislature, after
consultation with the bondholders, had agreed to a slight increase in the
rate of interest; and in 1884, this compromise was ratified by an
amendment to the constitution.

The debt of Arkansas was not so difficult to settle. The issue of about
$7,500,000 for railroads and levees during Reconstruction was declared
unconstitutional in 1877-78, and the so-called Holford bonds, issued in
aid of banks, were repudiated by the constitutional convention of 1884.
The total amount repudiated and declared void by the courts was nearly
$13,000,000. Tennessee also struggled with a debt which it was unwilling
and perhaps unable to pay. The amount, which in 1861 was about
$21,000,000, incurred principally in aid of railroads and turnpikes, was
largely increased under Republican rule, and most of the money received
for the bonds was stolen or wasted. No interest had been paid during the
War, and the accrued interest was funded in 1865, 1869, and 1873. The
debt was somewhat reduced by permitting the railroads to pay their debt
in state bonds which they purchased cheaply on the market. Other
defaulting railroads were sold, but the State still could not meet the
interest. Many discussions with the creditors were held, but the people
had the idea that much of the debt was fraudulent and they consequently
voted down proposals which they thought too liberal to the creditors. The
question temporarily split the Democratic party, but after much
discussion a long act was passed in 1883 which finally settled the matter.
A part of the debt, with interest, was funded at 76 to 80 cents on the
dollar. The major part was funded at 50 cents on the dollar with interest
thereafter at three per cent.

The financial difficulties of Virginia excited more interest than did
those of any other commonwealth, for this State had the largest pre-war
debt. Its $33,000,000 with accrued interest had amounted to about
$45,000,000 in 1870. In 1871 the question of settlement was taken up;
one-third of the debt was assigned to West Virginia, and the remainder
was funded into new bonds bearing interest at five and six per cent. The
coupons were made receivable for taxes and other debts due the State.
The amount recognized was beyond the ability of the State to pay, and
many members of both parties felt that some compromise must be made. So
many of the coupons were paid in for taxes that money to keep the
Government going was found with difficulty. Various attacks on the
privilege were made, but these "coupon killers" were usually declared
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States. Meanwhile
the contest had split the State. Some were in favor of paying the whole
debt according to the agreement of 1871; others wished to reduce the
interest rate; while the radicals wished to repudiate part of the debt
and reduce the rate of interest upon the remainder. The last named
faction, under the leadership of H.H. Riddleberger, organized a
political party known as the Readjusters and in 1879 captured the
Legislature. Riddleberger then introduced a bill which scaled down the
debt to less than $20,000,000, but it was vetoed by the Governor. Two years
later the new party captured both Governorship and Legislature and sent
General William Mahone to the United States Senate, where he usually voted
with the Republican party.

The Legislature repassed the Riddleberger bill, which the creditors
refused to accept, and an ingenious "coupon killer." Similar acts were
passed in 1886 and 1887. The United States Supreme Court, before which
these acts were brought, pronounced them unconstitutional in that they
impaired the obligation of contracts, but the Court also stated that
there was no way in which the State could be coerced. Meanwhile the
credit of the State was nonexistent, and all business suffered. In 1890
a commission reported in favor of compromising the debt on the lines of
the Riddleberger Act and, in 1892, $19,000,000 in new bonds were
exchanged for about $28,000,000 of the older issue. Interest was to be 2
per cent for ten years and then 3 per cent for ninety more.

West Virginia steadfastly refused to recognize the share of the debt
assigned to her on the ground that the principal part had been incurred
for internal improvements in Virginia proper, and that one-third was an
excessive proportion. The matter dragged along until the Supreme Court
of the United States decided in March, 1911, that the equitable
proportion due by West Virginia was 23.5 per cent instead of one-third.
West Virginia, however, made no move to carry out the decision, and in
1914 Virginia asked the Court to proceed to a final decree. A special
master was appointed to take testimony, and on June 14, 1915, the Supreme
Court announced that the net share of West Virginia was $12,393,929 plus
$8,178,000 interest. The State, by a compromise with Virginia in 1919,
assumed a debt amounting to $14,500,000.


Many of the references for the period of Reconstruction are also
valuable for the subject of this volume, as it is impossible to
understand the South today without understanding the period which
preceded it. Much enlightening material is to be found in W.L. Fleming's
_Documentary History of Reconstruction_ (2 vols., 1906-07) and in the
series of monographs on Reconstruction published by the students of
Professor W.A. Dunning of Columbia University, among which may be
mentioned J.W. Garner's _Reconstruction in Mississippi_(1901); W.L.
Fleming's _Civil War and Reconstruction in Alabama_ (1905); J.G. de R.
Hamilton's _Reconstruction in North Carolina_ (1914); C.M. Thompson's
_Reconstruction in Georgia, Economic, Social, Political, 1865-1872_


Some of the older books are interesting from the historical standpoint,
but conditions in the South have changed so rapidly that these works
give little help in understanding the present. Among the most
interesting are A.W. Tourgee's _Appeal to Caesar_ (1884), based upon
the belief that the South would soon be overwhelmingly black. Alexander
K. McClure, in _The South; its Industrial, Financial and Political
Condition_ (1886), was one of the first to take a hopeful view of the
economic development of the Southern States. W.D. Kelley's _The Old
South and the New_ (1887) contains the observations of a shrewd
Pennsylvania politician who was intensely interested in the economic
development of the United States. Walter H. Page's _The Rebuilding of
Old Commonwealths_ (1902) is a keen analysis of the factors which have
hindered progress in the South.

No recent work fully covers this period. Most books deal chiefly with
individual phases of the question. Some valuable material may be found
in the series _The South in the Building of the Nation_, 13 vols.,
(1909-13) but not all of this information is trustworthy. The _Library
of Southern Literature_ (16 vols., 1907-1913), edited by E.A. Alderman
and Joel Chandler Harris, contains selections from Southern authors and
biographical notes. Albert Bushnell Hart's _The Southern South_ (1910)
is the result of more study and investigation than any other Northerner
has given to the sociology of the South, but the author's prejudices
interfere with the value of his conclusions. The late Edgar Gardner
Murphy in _Problems of the Present South_ (1904) discusses with wisdom
and sanity many Southern questions which are still undecided. A series
of valuable though unequal papers is _The New South_ in the _Annals of
the American Academy of Political and Social Science_, vol. 35 (1910).
Another cooperative work which contains material of value is _Studies in
Southern History and Politics_, edited by J.W. Garner (1914). _Why the
Solid South_, edited by H.A. Herbert (1890), should also be consulted. A
bitter arraignment of the South as a whole is H.E. Tremain's _Sectionalism
Unmasked_ (1907). The best book on the Appalachian South is Horace
Kephart's _Our Southern Highlanders_ (1913). William Garrott Brown's _The
Lower South in American History_ (1902) contains some interesting matter.


There are several excellent works on cotton and the cotton trade, chief
among which are M.B. Hammond's _The Cotton Industry_ (1897) and C.W.
Burkett and C.H. Poe's _Cotton, its Cultivation, Marketing, Manufacture,
and the Problems of the Cotton World_ (1906). D.A. Tompkins, in _Cotton
and Cotton Oil_ (1901), gives valuable material but is rather
discursive. J.A.B. Scherer, in _Cotton as a World Power_ (1916),
attempts to show the influence of cotton upon history. Holland Thompson
in _From the Cotton Field to the Cotton Mill_ (1906) deals with the
economic and social changes arising from the development of
manufacturing in an agricultural society. With this may be mentioned A.
Kohn's _The Cotton Mills of South Carolina_ (1907). M.T. Copeland's _The
Cotton Manufacturing Industry of the United States_ (1912) has some
interesting chapters on the South. T.M. Young, an English labor leader,
in _The American Cotton Industry_ (1903), brings a fresh point of view.
The files of the _Manufacturer's Record_ (Baltimore) are indispensable
to a student of the economic progress of the South.


The number of books, pamphlets, and special articles upon this subject,
written by Northerners, Southerners, negroes, and even foreigners, is
enormous. These publications range from displays of hysterical
emotionalism to statistical studies, but no one book can treat fully all
phases of so complex a question. Bibliographies have been prepared by
W.E.B. Du Bois, A.P.C. Griffin, and others. W.L. Fleming has appended a
useful list of titles to _Reconstruction of the Seceded States (1905)_.

F.L. Hoffman, a professional statistician of German birth, in _Race
Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro (1896)_, has collected much
valuable material but all his conclusions cannot be accepted without
question. Special _Bulletins_ on the negro are published by the United
States Census Bureau, of which the issues for 1904 and 1915 should
especially be consulted. Some of the _Publications_ of Atlanta
University contain valuable studies of special localities or

Several negroes have written histories of their race. George W.
Williams's _History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880, 2
vols. (1883)_, is old but contains material of value. William H. Thomas,
in _The American Negro (1901)_, is pessimistic as to the future
because of the moral delinquencies of his people. Booker T. Washington's
_The Story of the Negro, the Rise of the Race from Slavery (1909)_, on
the other hand, emphasizes achievements rather than deficiencies and is
optimistic in tone. Of this writer's several other books, the _Future of
the American Negro (1899)_ is the most valuable. Kelly Miller has
written _Race Adjustment_ (1908) and _An Appeal to Conscience (1918),
besides many articles and monographs all marked by excellent temper. On the
other hand, W.E.B. Du Bois, in _The Souls of Black Folk_ (1903) and in his
other writings, voices the bitterness of one to whom the color line has
proved an "intolerable indignity."

Ray Stannard Baker in _Following the Color Line_ (1908) gives the
observations of a trained metropolitan journalist and is eminently sane
in treatment. William Archer, the English author and journalist
expresses a European point of view in _Through Afro-America_ (1910).
Carl Kelsey's _The Negro Farmer_ (1903) is a careful study of
agricultural conditions in eastern Virginia. A collection of valuable
though unequal papers is contained in the _Annals of the American
Academy of Political and Social Science under The Negro's Progress in
Fifty Years_, No. 138 (1913) and _America's Race Problem_ (1901).

One of the first Southerners to attack the new problem was A.G. Haygood,
later a Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, who published
_Our Brother in Black, His Freedom and His Future_ (1881). P.A. Bruce,
in _The Plantation Negro as a Freeman_ (1888), has done an excellent
piece of work. Thomas Nelson Page, in _The Negro, The Southerner's
Problem_ (1904), holds that no good can come through outside
interference. William B. Smith's _The Color Line_ (1905) takes the
position that the negro is fundamentally different from the white.
Alfred Holt Stone, in _Studies in the American Race Problem_ (1908), has
given a record of his experiences and reflections as a cotton planter in
the delta region of Mississippi, while Patience Pennington (_pseud._) in
_A Woman Rice-Planter_ (1913) gives in the form of a diary a naive but
fascinating account of life in the lowlands of South Carolina. Edgar
Gardner Murphy, whose _Problems of the Present South_ has already been
mentioned, discusses in _The Basis of Ascendancy_ (1909) the proper
relations of black and white. The title of Gilbert T. Stephenson's _Race
Distinctions in American Law_ (1910) is self-explanatory.


No complete history of education in the South has been written. The
United States Bureau of Education published years ago several monographs
upon the separate States. Edgar W. Knight has written an excellent
history of _Public School Education in North Carolina_ (1916). Carter G.
Woodson, _The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861_ (1915), E.A.
Alderman's _J.L.M. Curry, a Biography_ (1911), and R.D.W. Connor and
C.W. Poe's _Life and Speeches of Charles Brantley Aycock_ (1912) are
illuminating. J.L.M. Curry's _A Brief Sketch of George Peabody and a
History of the Peabody Education Fund through Thirty Years_ (1898) gives
an excellent idea of the situation after Reconstruction. _The General
Education Board; an Account of its Activities, 1902-1914_ (1915)
contains interesting facts on the educational situation of today. The
reports of the state Departments of Education, of the United States
Bureau of Education, of the Conference for Education in the South, and
of the Peabody, Slater, and Jeanes Funds should be consulted. The two
volumes on _Negro Education_, United States Bureau of Education Bulletins
Nos. 38 and 39 (1916) are invaluable. There are also histories of
some of the state universities and of the church and private schools.


Some of the best historical material on the changing South is in the
form of fiction. A number of gifted writers have pictured limited fields
with skill and truth. Mary Noailles Murfree (_pseud._, Charles Egbert
Craddock) has written of the mountain people of Tennessee, while John
Fox, Jr. has done the same for Kentucky and the Virginia and West
Virginia mountains. George W. Cable and Grace King have depicted
Louisiana in the early part of this period, while rural life in Georgia
has been well described in the stories of Joel Chandler Harris, better
known from his Uncle Remus books. In _The Voice of the People_ (1900)
Ellen Glasgow has produced, in the form of fiction, an important
historical document on the rise of the common man. In _The Southerner_
(1909) Nicholas Worth (understood to be the pseudonym of a distinguished
editor and diplomat) has made a careful study of conditions in North
Carolina between 1875 and 1895, while Thomas Dixon in _The Leopard's
Spots_ (1902) has crudely but powerfully drawn a picture of the campaign
for negro disfranchisement in that State.

In his _Old Judge Priest_ stories, Irvin S. Cobb has described the rural
towns of Kentucky; and Corra Harris from personal experience has given
striking pictures of the rural South principally in relation to
religion. The short stories of Harris Dickson portray the negro of the
Mississippi towns. The stories of Thomas Nelson Page and of Ruth McEnery
Stuart should also be mentioned. Owen Wister has drawn a striking picture
of Charleston in _Lady Baltimore_ (1906), while Henry Sydnor Harrison in
_Queed_ (1911) and his later stories has done something similar for


Agricultural Wheel, 34

Agriculture, farmers' revolt, 31 _et seq._; farmer and the land, 60 _et
seq._; county demonstrators, 75-77, 184; Farm Loan Act, 84; influence on
labor, 116; economic future of South in, 198-99

Alabama, Conservative party in, 12; Kolb in, 37-38; Populist party, 42;
suffrage amendments, 54-55; boys' corn club, 79; cotton mills, 97; iron
industry, 101; mines, 102; bituminous coal, 102; school fund, 158
(note); Catholics in, 214; repudiation of debt, 227

American Tobacco Company, 103

Archer, William, _Through Afro-America_, quoted, 141

Arkansas, hill men of, 6; Agricultural Wheel in, 34; election (1896),
44; lumbering, 100; mixed schools, 161; industrialism, 193; migration
to, 194; woman suffrage, 202; Catholics in, 214; repudiation of debt,

Atlanta (Ga.), Cotton Exposition (1881), 89

Aycock, C.B., Governor of North Carolina, 57

Badeau, General Adam, and expression "New South," 7

Baptist Church, 214, 215-16

Bayard, T.F., of Delaware, 28

Birmingham (Ala.), steel center, 101-02

Blair Bill, 27

Blease, C.L., of South Carolina, 122, 150

Boys' and girls' clubs, 76, 78-81

Brothers of Freedom, 34

Bryan, W.J., presidential nomination, 44

Buck. S.J., _The Agrarian Crusade_, cited, 25 (note), 44 (note)

Butler, Marion, of North Carolina, 43

Butler, M.C., of South Carolina, 13, 41

Calhoun, J.C., agricultural college founded on plantation of, 42

Carlisle, J.G., of Kentucky, 29

Carnegie Foundation and college standards, 189

Carolinas, differing economic conditions, 6; Scotch-Irish in, 6; _see
also_ North Carolina, South Carolina

Carpetbaggers' rule overthrown, 9, 12

Catholic Church, 214

Charleston (S.C.), party management in, 39; Tillman and, 40

Child labor, state restrictions, 97, 118; in cotton mills, 109, 114-15,
117; Federal Child Labor Act, 118

Civil service, Cleveland and, 29

Civil War, blockade as reason for South's defeat, 3; effect on South,

Cleveland, Grover, election (1884), 28; and the South, 29

"Cleveland Democracy," 40

Congregational Church, 216 (note)

Congress, ex-Confederate soldiers in, 13, 26; negroes in, 20; reelection
of Senators, 28; "Force Bill" (1890), 48; Southern representation,

_Congressional Record_, cited, 13

Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment, 22

Corn, price in South, 35; as crop in South, 64; boys' corn clubs, 78-79

Cotton, price and production, 35; favorite crop, 63, 197; mills, 88-98,
108-21, 195; cottonseed products, 99-100; "linters," 100; need of
cotton-picking machine, 197-98

Coxe, Tench, _Statement of Arts and Manufactures_, cited, 86

Curry, Dr. J.L.M., 27, 169-70

Daughters of the Confederacy, 210

Debt, _see_ Finance

Delaware as Southern State, 5; Grange in, 32; school fund (1796), 157-58
(note); foreign born in, 194; surplus of wheat (1917), 199; Catholics
in, 214; churches, 214

Democratic party, at end of Reconstruction period, 9; called
Conservative party, 11-12; and political consolidation, 12; Farmers'
Alliance and, 36; Georgia convention (1890), 37; controlling influence
of, 38; Populist party and, 42-43, 47, 201; nature of, 201; split in
Arkansas, 231

Disciples' Church, 216 (note)

Durham (N.C.), tobacco industry in, 103

Education, Blair Bill, 27; in South Carolina, 42; Populist attitude
toward, 46; negro schools, 57; agricultural colleges and experiment
stations, 75; county demonstrators, 75-77, 184; boys' and girls' clubs,
76, 78-81; General Education Board, 76-77, 183-84, 186, 189; college
students, 83; mills aid schools, 119; progress, 157 et seq.; country
schools, 164; academies, 164-65, 171; colleges, 165-66, 187; graded
schools, 166; taxation for, 170, 172, 185, 186; opposition to public
schools, 171-172; normal schools, 172; better buildings, 172; small
districts, 173; length of school term, 173, 184; funds for negro,
182-83; secondary schools, 186; preparation for college, 188;
bibliography, 240-41; _see also_ Negroes

Education, Bureau of, _Report on Negro Education_, 174, 178

Elections, intimidation of negroes, 18-19; frauds, 19-20; North
threatens Federal control, 21; (1896), 44; (1900), 45-46; primaries, 47,
199; "Force Bill" (1890), 48

Episcopal Church, 215

Farm Loan Act, 84

Farmers' Alliance, 30, 33

Farmers' Union of Louisiana, 34 Fiction on the South, bibliography of,

Field, Marshall, and Company own mills in North Carolina, 95

Finance, problem in South, 22; repudiation of state debts, 22, 227-33;
economies of new state governments, 24-25; platform of National Alliance
and Knights of Labor on, 34; subtreasury plan, 34-35; merchants as
bankers, 61-65; crop lien, 62-63; Farm Loan Act, 84; see also Tariff,

Fisk University, 179

Fleming, W.L., _The Sequel of Appomattox_, cited, 2 (note),27 (note);
_Civil War and Reconstruction in Alabama_, cited, 227 (note)

Florida, end of carpetbag rule in, 9; mines, 102; cigar industry, 104;
bonds as part of Peabody Fund, 167; migration to, 194; debt, 227

Freedmen's Aid Societies, schools for negroes opened by, 173

Freedmen's Bureau, 27

French in Louisiana, 6

Friends, Society of, influence in South, 16

Garland, A.H., of Arkansas, 28

General Education Board, 76-77, 183-84, 186, 189

Georgia, Democratic convention (1890), 37; Populist party (1892), 42;
cotton mills, 88, 97; knitting industry, 98; cottonseed oil industry,
100; fertilizer industry, 100; lynchings in, 155; school fund (1817),
158 (note); imports, 195; Catholics in, 214; repudiation of debt, 229

Girls' canning clubs, 80

Gordon, J.B., 13, 37

Grady, H.W., uses expression "New South," 7-8; editor of Atlanta
Constitution, 223

Grange movement, 29, 31-33

Great War, negroes in knitting mills during, 126; migration of negroes
to North during, 132-33; negro women in Red Cross work, 149; and capital
in South, 196; South and, 201; and nationalism, 210-11

Greenback movement, 25, 29-30

Hamilton, J.G. de R., Reconstruction in North Carolina, cited, 228

Hampton, Wade, 13, 41

Hampton Institute, 174, 177, 178

Hookworm disease, 73-74

Howard University, 179

Hughes, C.E., North Carolina vote for (1916), 57

Industries, vegetable growing, 84; industrial development, 86 _et seq_.;
textile, 88-98, 106-21, 126-27; manufacture of cottonseed products,
99-100; fertilizers, 100; lumbering, 100, 123-24; iron, 101; wood, 101;
steel, 101-102; mining, 102; tobacco, 102-04, 124-26; roller mills, 104;
close to raw material, 194-95; see also Agriculture, Cotton.

Jeanes, Anna T., 183

Jeanes Fund, 183, 184

Kelley, O.H., 31

Kellogg, W.P., Governor of Louisiana, 229

Kentucky, as Southern State, 5; Grange in, 38; mines, 102; bituminous coal,
102; tobacco industry, 103; free from lynchings, 155; school fund, 158
(note); Catholics in, 214; Disciples in, 216 (note)

Knapp, Bradford, son of S.A., 78

Knapp, Dr. S.A., 76-77, 78

Knights of Labor, meeting at St. Louis (1889), 34

Kolb, R.F., 37-38

Labor, conditions in South, 106 _et seq_.; native, 106, 194; negro,
106-07, 126-27; in textile industry, 106-21; state restrictions, 118; in
furniture factories, 122-23; in lumber mills, 123-24; contract, 123-24;
tobacco manufacture, 124-26; organization of, 127-28; recent problem,
197; see also Child labor

Lamar, L.Q.C., of Missouri, 28, 29

Land, demand for restriction to settlers, 34; tenant system, 60 _et
seq_., 219; different plans of landholding, 65-69; relation between
landlord and tenant, 70; white tenancy, 79; tilled by owners, 74-75;
cultivation, 81; food crops, 81-82

Liquor traffic, made State monopoly, 41-42; problem after
Reconstruction, 57-59; see also Prohibition

Louisiana, negro majority in, 10; Farmers' Union of, 34; election
(1892), 42; election (1896), 44; "grandfather clause" in constitution,
51-52; lumbering, 100; mines, 102; tobacco industry, 103; cigar
industry, 104; lynchings in, 155; mixed schools, 160-61; Catholics in,
214; churches, 214; repudiation of debt, 229-30

Lumbering, 100, 123-24

Lutheran Church, 216 (note)

Mahone, General William, 232

Manufactures, _see_ Industries

Maryland, as Southern State, 5; Grange in, 32; fertilizer industry, 100;
manufactures, 104; free from lynchings, 154-55; school fund (1813), 158
(note); foreign born in, 193; surplus of wheat (1917), 199; Catholics
in, 214; churches, 214

Massachusetts leads in cotton products, 98

Meharry Medical College, 179

Methodist Church, 214, 215-216

Mills, R.Q., of Texas, 29

Mining, 102

Minnesota, manufactures, 104-05

Mississippi, negro majority in, 10; new constitution (1890), 49;
suffrage, 49-50; lumbering, 100; lynchings in, 155; school fund, 158
(note); mixed schools in, 160--61; bonds as part of Peabody Fund, 167;
industrialism, 193; foreign born in, 193-194; Catholics in, 214; debt,

Missouri, not included in South, 5; Grange in, 32; election (1896), 44;
tobacco industry, 103; woman suffrage, 202

Missouri Compromise and sectionalism, 16

Morrison, W.R., 29

Mountaineers. 14-16

Nashville (Tenn.), Peabody Normal College, 169; Me-harry Medical
College, 179; Vanderbilt University, 188

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, _Thirty
Years of Lynching_ (1919), 154 (note)

National Farmers' Alliance and Cooperative Union of America, 34

Negroes, suffrage, 2, 18-19, 21,45, 48, 49, 50-55, 202-03; distribution
of, 10; in mountain counties, 15; support Federal officials, 17; sent to
Congress, 20; relation of races, 22, 129 _et seq_.; fear of domination
wanes, 30; not admitted to Grange, 32; politics in North Carolina, 45;
segregation, 57; use of drugs, 59; as share tenants, 67; opportunity for,
71; in furniture factories, 122; in tobacco factories, 124-25; in
textile industry, 126-27; personal characteristics, 126-127,135;
occupations, 127, 133-37; unorganized, 127-128; increase in
numbers, 130-32; migration to North, 132-33, 156,197; farm owners, 134;
illiteracy, 137-139, 166; treatment in North, 139-40; treatment in
South, 140 _et seq_.; "old-time negro," 142-43; "new negro," 142, 143-44;
educated, 144-47; and Great War, 149; mulattoes, 150; and lower classes
of whites, 150-51; lynchings, 151-55; plans for solution of problem,
155-156; problem in South Africa, 156; education, 160-63,
164, 171-72, 173-84; criminals and dependents, 204-05, 220-223;
bibliography, 238-40

New England, mill machinery from, 90; mills build Southern branches, 92;
Southern wages compared with, 110-111

New Orleans, Exposition (1884), 89; tobacco industry, 103

New York, election frauds, 20

Newspapers, 223-24

North, negroes in, 139; migration of negroes to, 132-33,156, 197;
treatment of negroes in, 139-40

North Carolina, Friends in, 16; negroes sent to Congress from, 20: gives
up local self-government, 21; Populist party, 42; revolt from Democratic
party, 43; election(1896), 44; election(1900), 45; fusion government, 45;
suffrage, 52-54; Republican opposition in, 56-57; textile products
(1810),86; first cotton mill (1810),88; Marshall Field and Company owns
mills in, 95; cotton mills, 97; knitting industry, 98; lumbering, 100;
furniture manufacture, 101; minerals, 102; tobacco production, 103;
Republican party, 122; free from lynchings, 155; school fund, 158-159;
public schools, 163,184-185; school term, 173; negro education, 179-81;
school expenditures, 179-81; foreign born in, 193-94; chairmanship of
committees in 65th Congress, 200 (note); Catholics in, 214; school
libraries, 224; repudiation of debt, 227-29

North Carolina, University of, 168

Ocala (Fla.), Alliance convention, 34

Oklahoma, as Southern State, 5-6; disfranchising amendment, 55-56;
mines, 102; disproportionate number of lynchings in, 155; migration to,
194; surplus of wheat (1917), 199; woman suffrage, 202; Catholics in,

Page, Thomas Nelson, and "typical Southerner," 203

Patrons of Husbandry, _see_ Grange movement

Peabody, George, 167

Peabody Fund, 167

Peabody Normal College, 169

People's party, 36; _see also_ Populist party

Phelps Stokes, Caroline, 183

Phelps Stokes Fund, 183

Philadelphia election frauds, 20

Plantations, system discontinued, 60; in the Old South, 87

Politics, consolidation of South, 10-12; Confederate soldiers in, 13;
_see also_ names of parties

Pope, General John, prediction as to negro development, 130

Populist party in South, 42 _et seq._; _see also_ People's party

Presbyterian Church, 214, 215

Prices, decline, 25, 31; of cotton, 35; Populist party and rising, 46;
Southern credit system and, 72; rise of, 84; (1890-1900), 107

Pritchard, J.C., 43, 45

Prohibition, South and, 58, 202; _see also_ Liquor traffic

Quakers, _see_ Friends, Society of

Railroads, government ownership, 34

Ransom, M.T., 13, 43

Readjusters, political party in Virginia, 231-32

Reconstruction, 2-4; end of, 9; Union element makes possible, 17; debt,
22-23; and schools, 157, 159-61; bibliography, 235

Red Cross, 149, 211

Religion, 213 _et seq_.

Republican party, and end of Reconstruction, 9; called Radical party,
11; and mountaineers, 16; Quakers and, 16; Union element in South,
16-17; organization discontinued, 21; failures, 26; success (1893-95),

Richmond (Va.), tobacco industry, 103, 104

Riddleberger, H.H., 231-32

Roads, 107

Rockefeller Foundation, researches, 73-74

Roosevelt, Theodore, Mississippi vote (1912), 50

Rosenwald, Julius, and negro education, 183

St. Louis, session of National Alliance at (1889), 34; tobacco industry,

Scalawags, Confederate soldiers against, 12

Scotch-Irish in South, 6; and Presbyterianism, 215

Scott, W.A., The Repudiation of State Debts, cited, 227 (note)

Sears, Barnas, General Agent of Peabody Fund, 167-68

Secession, past issue, 192

Sewall, Arthur, candidate for Vice-President, 44

Silver, free coinage, 43-44

Slater, John F., Fund, 182-83

Slavery among mountaineers, 15

Smith, F. Hopkinson, and "typical Southerner," 203

Social conditions, 82-83, 203 _et seq_.; in mill towns, 119-21

Sons of Veterans, 210

South, New as distinguished from Old, 1-8; geographical limits, 5-6;
beginning of New, 10; political consolidation, 10-12; character of
people, 11; Republicanism in, 13 _et seq_.; mountaineers, 14-16;
election frauds, 19-20; debt, 22-24; and agrarian revolt, 26;
participation in national affairs, 28; Grange in, 31-33; social
conditions, 82-83, 119-21, 203 _et seq_.; Socialist vote in, 128;
growing sense of responsibility for negro, 148; education, 157 _et
seq_.; of today, 191 _et seq_.; population, 193-94; present political
condition, 199-203; jails and almshouses, 204-05; orphanages, 205-06;
juvenile delinquents, 206; democracy, 206-07; hospitality, 207;
amusements, 208, 217; power of public opinion, 212-13; churches, 213-17;
crimes, 220-21; leaders, 223; newspapers, 223-24; books and libraries,
224-25; contrasts in, 226; bibliography, 235-42

South Carolina, inhabitants, 6; negro majority, 10; "eight box law," 19;
negroes sent to Congress from, 20; political revolt, 39; representation
in Senate, 41; suffrage amendments, 50-51; boys' corn club, 79; cotton
mills, 97; Blease in, 122; school fund, 158 (note); mixed schools,
160-61; foreign born in, 193-94; Catholics in, 214; repudiation of debt,

Stokes, _see_ Phelps Stokes

Stone, A.H., on Mississippi negro, 71-72

Suffrage, _see_ Negroes, Women

Supreme Court, Oklahoma disfranchisement amendment, declared
unconstitutional, 55-56, 203; Bailey vs. Alabama, 123-24; South Dakota
vs. North Carolina, 228; cases against Louisiana, 230; and Virginia
debt, 231, 232; debt of West Virginia, 232

Taft, W.H., Mississippi vote (1912), 50; North Carolina vote (1908), 56

Tariff, South and Cleveland agree on, 29; platform of National Alliance
calls for reform of, 34

Taxation, Mississippi, 49; for education, 170, 172, 185, 186

Tennessee, Grange in, 31-32; Populist party in, 42; girls' canning club,
80; cotton mills, 98; knitting industry, 98; iron industry, 101;
bituminous coal, 102; mines, 102; school fund (1806), 157 (note); woman
suffrage, 202; Catholics in, 214; Disciples in, 216 (note)

Texas, Farmers' Alliance, 33, 34; Populist party (1892), 42; boll
weevil, 76; encouragement of food crops in, 82; cottonseed oil industry,
100; mines, 102; lynchings in, 155; foreign born in, 193; migration to.
194; woman suffrage, 202; Catholics in, 214; no attempt made to
repudiate debt, 227

Tillman, Benjamin R., 39-41

Tobacco, a favorite crop, 63; industry, 102-04; labor conditions in
factories, 124-26

Tompkins, D.A., on cotton production, 108

Toombs, Robert, and New South, 192

Tourgee, A.W., 2; _Appeal to Caesar_, 131

Tuskegee Institute, 174, 177, 178; statistics on lynching, 154 (note)

Vance, Z.B., of North Carolina, 13, 43; and teaching of pedagogy, 174-75

Vanderbilt University, 188

Vardaman, James K., of Mississippi, 150

Virginia, differing economic conditions, 6; cotton mills, 98; knitting
industry, 98; iron industry, 101; mines, 102; tobacco production, 103;
school fund (1810), 157-58 (note); surplus of wheat (1917), 199;
Catholics in, 214; repudiation of debt, 231-32

Wages, in cotton mills, 109, 110, 113; in tobacco factories, 126

Washington, Booker T., cited, 143; "intellectuals" enemies of, 146; and
Tuskegee, 177

Washington (D.C.), Howard University, 179

Watson, T.E., 44

Watterson, Henry, of the Louisville _Courier-Journal_, 223

West Virginia, as Southern State, 5; Grange in, 32; iron industry, 101;
bituminous coal, 102; mines, 102; free from lynchings, 154-55; Catholics
in, 214; Virginia assigns debt to (1871), 231; settlement of
controversy, 232-33

Wheat, winter, 63-64; roller mills, 104

Whig party dislikes name Democrat, 12

Wiley, C.H., superintendent of education in North Carolina, 159

Wilmington (N.C.), uprising of whites in, 45

Wilson, Woodrow, North Carolina vote (1916), 57

Winston-Salem (N.C.), tobacco industry, 103

Winthrop, R.C., of Massachusetts, and Peabody Fund, 167

Women, in mills, 97; suffrage, 202, 213; position in South, 208-10; and
Great War, 211-12; independence, 213; and churches, 213-14

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