FOR THE INVESTIGATION
Boll Weevil and Cotton Crop Failure
THE BOLL WEEVIL IN PICTURE
Photographs of the boll weevil.
THE BOLL WEEVIL IN SONG
Lyrics to a folk song in which a Boll
Weevil is taunting a
Tennessee Farmer who is struggling unsuccessfully to grow enough cotton. Two recorded performances by other artists
can be heard online: A
“WHEN WE WORKED ON
SHARES, WE COULDN’T MAKE NOTHING”: HENRY BLACK TALKS ABOUT
THE CIVIL WAR
An interview with an African-American farmer born in 1863,
conducted for a New Deal oral history project about ex-slaves. Henry Blake shares his experiences helping
his parents gin cotton and struggle to make a living under the early
“THE SERFS OF RUSSIA…WERE
GIVEN THREE ACRES OF
speech, given many years after Reconstructions
ended, Frederick Douglass laments the development of sharecropping in
South, and links it to the failure of land confiscation in
"DRUG HIM THROUGH THE STREET": HUGHSEY CHILDES DESCRIBES
Here Hughsey Childes,
by historian Charles Hardy in 1984, described what seems like a matter
of fact exchange in which a white landowner cheated a black
sharecropper. But when the sharecropper got "a little wise" and
some of the crop from the landlord, the punishment was swift and final.
"STILL LIVIN' UNDER THE BONDS OF SLAVERY": MINNIE WHITNEY DESCRIBES
SHARECROPPING AT THE TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY
interview done by
historian Charles Hardy in 1984, Minnie Whitney, born in 1902,
described the determined efforts of more progressive farmers like her
father, who along with her mother struggled to maintain some
self-sufficiency in the face of white determination to enforce
African-American dependence on the sharecropping system.
NOT FREE YET
A freed slave describes the violence he lived
through after Emancipation.
A SHARECROPPING CONTRACT
Many ex-slaves were compelled to sign unfair labor contracts like this
GOOD AND KIND TREATMENT IS REQUIRED
A model contract reveals some of the injustices typical of
SHARECROPPING: PBS RECONSTRUCTION VIDEO CLIP
Freedmen seek rights as workers, and landowners seek control over their
labor. (8:33 length)
Definition of Lynching
The NAACP's legal definition of what constitutes a "lynching."
BURNED AT THE STAKE
This 1893 article, written by a white New York
Sun reporter who gives an eye-witness account of the
brutal lynching of a black man in Texas,
is notable for its odd mixture of fascination and disgust in relating
BURNED INTO MEMORY: AN AFRICAN AMERICAN RECALLS MOB VIOLENCE
IN EARLY 20TH CENTURY FLORIDA
This excerpt from a 1985 interview on a radio talk program
details a black Southerner’s memory of witnessing a lynching in
when he was just 5 years old. He can
still vividly recall the smell of burning flesh.
IDA B. WELLS ANTI-LYNCHING ARTICLE (Newspaper)
A newspaper image and column that appeared in the Richmond
Planet on August 26, 1893, as part of Ida B. Wells’ work as an
anti-lynching journalist and advocate for Human Rights.
IDA B. WELLS PAMPHLET INTRO
The introduction to a publication by Ida B. Wells called
Lynch Law in Georgia
that included reports on the burning of Samuel Hose, the torture and
a colored preacher, and the lynching of nine men for alleged arson.
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE ANTI-LYNCHING
letter, dated 1901, to the members of the
Anti-Lynching Bureau from Ida B. Wells, who urges them to donate more
order to strengthen the organization.
“LYNCH LAW NATIONAL DISGRACE”
A newspaper column from a 1920 issue of the Cleveland
Advocate, citing and condemning national statistics on the number
African Americans lynched since 1889, and urging that the law be
protection against mob violence.
sobering list of 538 names of people (the vast
majority of whom were black) lynched in Mississippi
from 1882 to 1930. Included in the table
is the offense for which the person was supposedly brought to justice.
“THEIR OWN HOTHEADEDNESS”: SENATOR BENJAMIN R. ‘PITCHFORK
BEN’ TILLMAN JUSTIFIES VIOLENCE AGAINST SOUTHERN BLACKS.
In this blatantly racist speech before the U.S. Senate in
1900, Senator Benjamin R. “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman of South Carolina
white violence against black Southerners.
OPINION: NOV 11, 1910
A white supremicist opinion column from the Baltimore Sun, quoted in
The Crisis in order to highlight continued racism in Baltimore.
THE SOUTHERN VIEW
This statement illustrates the extreme racist sentiments that were
common in the South in the first half of the 20th century, propelling
many African-American citizens to the North.
AFRO-AMERICANS MUST KEEP ON ONE SIDE OF SIDEWALK
An article that appeared in a 1915 issue of the Chicago
Defender which describes an incident in Virginia in which a mayor
order to arrest any “Negro child” who “obstructed the sidewalks where
children were passing.”
ORIGIN OF THE TERM JIM CROW
A short description of the origin of the term Jim Crow in 19th century
minstrel shows, with a link to an audio file of the song, "Jump Jim
THE ‘JIM CROW’ CAR
An article that appeared in a 1911 issue of The Crisis
which convincingly criticizes railways for providing separate but
accommodations to African American passengers.
JIM CROW LAWS
sampling of Jim Crow law excerpts from various
ALONG THE COLOR LINE: POLITICAL
A 1910 update by The Crisis on the proposed amendment
to insert a “grandfather clause” into the Arkansas Constitution.
READING THE FINE PRINT: THE GRANDFATHER CLAUSE (LOUISIANA)
Excerpts from a very confusing (purposely so) Article in the
Constitution of the State of Louisiana restricting the voting rights of
Americans with techniques such as literacy, property ownership, and the
CODE: UNLAWFUL MARRIAGES
A series of three sections from the 1927 Mississippi Code
detailing which marriages are unlawful.
Interesting for its implication of equivalence between biracial
marriages and incest.
CODE OF ALABAMA:
JIM CROW LAWS
A series of sections from the 1923 Alabama Code detailing
prohibitions against biracial marriage, requirements of a poll tax, and
for establishing separate schools for whites and blacks.
AN ACT TO PROHIBIT THE CO-EDUCATION OF THE WHITE AND COLORED
A series of sections from the 1901 Laws of Tennessee
detailing various rules regarding the prohibition of “white and colored
from attending the same…places of learning.”
the Defender and
Other Northern Newspapers
“SIR I WILL THANK YOU WITH ALL MY HEART”: SEVEN LETTERS FROM
THE GREAT MIGRATION
Seven letters written to the Chicago Defender
requesting various sorts of aid in migrating and finding employment in
LETTERS OF THE GREAT MIGRATION
Two letters written to the Chicago Defender
requesting aid in migrating and finding employment in the North.
LETTERS FROM MISSISSIPPIANS, 1916-1918: ASKING FOR
INFORMATION ABOUT THE NORTH
Three letters which ask for information about employment in
LETTERS FROM THE GREAT MIGRATION
Three letters, two of which were written to the North in
search of transportation and employment in Chicago, and one which was
from Philadelphia by a successful migrant sharing the good news about
DEFENDER: CHECKING MIGRATION
A short column published in 1919 that criticizes the South’s
hypocrisy for wanting the labor but not the citizenship of blacks, and
praises migration to the North as a way of escaping brutal treatment
exposing the South’s dependency on black labor.
OUTWARD MIGRATION OF AFRICAN AMERICANS FROM ALABAMA
(If link is broken, click here for PDF)
A bar graph showing, in tens of thousands, the increasing
outward migration of African Americans from Alabama from the 1900s to the 1960s.
NUMBER AND PERCENT OF NEGROES IN UNITED STATES… 1890-1920
An interesting series of tables charting the increase of
African Americans living in urban communities, and their decline in
communities and in the South from 1890 to 1920.
From The Negro Yearbook, an Annual Encyclopedia of the
THE EXTENT OF NEGRO PROGRESS
This table charts the “remarkable progress” of African
Americans in terms of economic, educational, and religious variables,
homes owned, percent literate, and value of church property. From The Negro Yearbook.
“DON’T HAVE TO MISTER EVERY LITTLE WHITE BOY…”: BLACK
MIGRANTS WRITE HOME
Four letters written by African American migrants in 1917,
and published in 1919 in the Journal of Negro History. The letters describe what it feels like to be
out of the South and provide insights into the diverse experiences
in the North.
“WE THO[UGH]T STATE STREET WOULD BE HEAVEN ITSELF”: BLACK
MIGRANTS SPEAK OUT
In 1917, Charles Johnson, research investigator for the
Chicago Urban League, began interviewing migrants in Chicago
and Mississippi. Johnson’s summaries of his interviews
conveyed a sense of migrants’ diverse responses to life in Chicago.
“CAN I SCRUB YOUR WHITE MARBLE STEPS?”: A BLACK MIGRANT
RECALLS LIFE IN PHILADELPHIA
A interview by Charles Hardy with black migrant Arthur
Dingle, who served in the Great War and worked with the Pennsylvania
DEFENDER’S LEGAL HELPS: DISCRIMINATION
A message published in a 1914 issue of the Chicago
Defender encouraging any black person who is discriminated against
Northwestern or Polk Railway Stations to report “the facts” to the
ALONG THE COLOR LINES: ECONOMIC
A brief, matter-of-fact report by The
Crisis on housing discrimination in Baltimore.
“THE NEGRO AND THE WAR”: REPORTS IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN
Five different reports from the Norfolk Journal and Guide,
and one from the New York Call, arranged chronologically from
September of 1917. These documents deal
primarily with race issues within the labor force, detailing especially
organization and challenges that faced colored unions.
“EXPERIENCES OF A ‘HIRED GIRL’” AN EARLY TWENTIETH-CENTURY
DOMESTIC WORKER SPEAKS OUT
An anonymous African American domestic worker argues that
there are insufficient wages, unreasonable hours, and intrusive
the field of domestic service. Published
in 1912 in Outlook magazine.
“SADIE’S SERVANT ROOM BLUES”: 1920S DOMESTIC WORK IN SONG
The struggles of domestic workers were recorded in songs
such as this one, by Hattie Burleson in 1928.
The song criticizes the long hours, low pay, and lack of privacy
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
MANUAL TRAINING & INDUSTRIAL
SCHOOL FOR COLORED
A scanned advertisement page from a 1919 issue of The
Crisis that describes various courses for “colored youth” in the
Training and Industrial
School’s fall term.
OCCUPATIONS. NEGROES PITTSBURGH
INDUSTRIAL CONCERNS, 1916-1917
A table that charts the various types of occupations held by
African Americans in industrial Pittsburgh in 1916-1917, in terms of
“per cent doing unskilled labor. From The
OCCUPATIONS OF NEGRO WOMEN IN NEW
A table that charts the various trades in which African
American women worked in New
York. From The
The Great War
"NO NEGROES ALLOWED": SEGREGATION AT THE FRONT IN WORLD WAR I
This account commemorated and celebrated
African-American participation in the war, even as it noted segregation
and discrimination within the effort to “save the world for democracy.”
"THE NEGRO AND THE WAR": REPORTS IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS
Five different reports from the Norfolk Journal and Guide,
and one from the New York Call, arranged chronologically from
September of 1917. The last piece is
notable for it’s analysis
of the Great War’s beneficial effects for African American labor.
"TO THE COLORED SOLDIERS OF THE U.S. ARMY"
This propaganda leaflet was dropped by German airplanes behind American
lines during World War I. Nearly 370,000 African Americans were drafted
into the U.S. Army starting in the fall of 1917 (they were not allowed
to join the Marines, and the Navy took African Americans only as cooks
and kitchen help). Although more than half of the black troops were in
combat units, they remained segregated from white troops. Subjected to
racist harassment (including demeaning insults from white officers),
black troops were continually reminded of their second-class
citizenship. By stressing racist conditions in the United States,
leaflets such as this attempted to destroy morale and encourage
desertion among African-American troops.
W.E.B. DU BOIS, "RETURNING SOLDIERS"
This impassioned article in The
Crisis was written by W.E.B. DuBois, calling for African
American soldiers returning from war to continue their fight for
democracy at home.
"THE NEW NEGRO": "WHEN HE'S HIT, HE HITS BACK!"
In the years immediately following World War I, tens of thousands of
southern blacks and returning black soldiers flocked to the nation’s
Northern cities looking for good jobs and a measure of respect and
security. Many white Americans, fearful of competition for scarce jobs
and housing, responded by attacking black citizens in a spate of urban
race riots. In urban African-American enclaves, the 1920s were marked
by a flowering of cultural expressions and a proliferation of black
self-help organizations that accompanied the era of the “New Negro.”
Many black leaders, including religious figures, embraced racial pride
and militancy. This 1921 article by Rollin Lynde Hartt, a white
Congregational minister and journalist, captured well what was “new” in
the New Negro: an aggressive willingness to defend black communities
against white racist attacks and a desire to celebrate the
accomplishments of African-American communities in the North.
W.E.B. Du Bois
"THE TALENTED TENTH", 1903
NIAGARA'S DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES, 1905
THE TENTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE NAACP, 1919
THE SOCIAL EQUALITY OF WHITES AND BLACKS, 1920
THE NEGRO MIND REACHES OUT (EXCERPTS), 1925
Poetry of the
"ONE WAY TICKET" BY LANGSTON HUGHES
"BOUND NO'TH BLUES" BY LANGSTON HUGHES
"THE LAND OF HOPE" BY WILLIAME CROSSE
"TIMES IS GETTIN' HARDER" BY LUCIOUS CURTIS
"IT'S GREAT TO BE A PROBLEM" BY J.J.WORK
Images of the
GREAT MIGRATION PHOTO GALLERY
GREAT MIGRATION MAP GALLERY
EMIGRANTS WAITING FOR A MISSISSIPPI RIVER BOAT
<>THE 1891 GRAIN DEALERS AND SHIPPERS GAZETTEER – ILLINOIS
CENTRAL R.R. MAP
"A CROWD OF HOWLING NEGROES": THE CHICAGO
DAILY TRIBUNE REPORTS THE CHICAGO RACE RIOT, 1919
The Chicago Daily Tribune, long considered
the most antagonistic of all the city’s papers toward African
Americans, detailed the day’s violence, the good deeds of white
policemen who were sent to Chicago’s South Side, and the injuries they
sustained at the hands of black rioters.
"GHASTLY DEEDS OF RIOTERS TOLD": THE CHICAGO DEFENDER REPORTS
Like white newspapers, the city’s leading black
newspaper, the Chicago Defender, helped foment the escalating
racial violence that gripped the city. This article recounted the
unsubstantiated beating of an “unidentified [black] woman” and her
SEEKING THE CAUSE
Another article from the Chicago
Defender about the race riot.
"30 RACE MEN INDICTED IN CHICAGO RIOT PROBE; ONLY
A newpaper column appearing in the Cleveland
Advocate decrying the unjust indictment of a disproportionate
number of blacks in connection with the Chicago race riot of 1919.
THE CAUSES OF THE CHICAGO RACE RIOT
An article published in The Crisis
seeking to analyze the causes of the race riot.
"SAYS LAX CONDITIONS CAUSED RACE RIOTS": CHICAGO DAILY NEWS AND CARL
SANDBURG REPORT THE CHICAGO RACE RIOT OF 1919
An article by noted poet Carl Sandburg, who, unlike
most white reporters, relied on black sources in researching his
articles. The Chicago Daily News's reporting on the riot was
generally considered the most evenhanded of the city’s daily newspapers
"THE PROBLEM" and "FAMILY HISTORIES":
CHARLES JOHNSON ANALYZES THE CAUSES OF THE CHICAGO RACE RIOT
A detailed and sober reporting of the causes of the
1919 Chicago race riot, written retrospectively by the interracial
Chicago Commission on Race Relations.
"LET US REASON TOGETHER": WEB DU BOIS DEFENDS BLACK RESISTANCE
In an editorial
immediately following the Chicago race riot of 1919, Crisis
editor W. E. B. Du Bois argued in favor of acts of self-defense and
armed resistance, despite the editorial’s conciliatory title, "Let Us
"THE ONLY CURE": POLITICAL CARTOON
Published shortly after the Chicago riots, this political cartoon from
the Defender shows a black
and a white riot ringleader both waiting by the gallows.
HISTORICAL US CENSUS DATA BROWSER
The data presented here describe the population and economy of U.S.
states and counties from 1790 to 1960. From University of
Virginia Library's Geostat Center.
INFORMATION ON US CENSUS ENUMERATION
Questions and Forms http://ipums.org/usa/voliii/tEnumForm.html
; Instructions http://ipums.org/usa/voliii/tEnumInstr.html
This site contains facsimile copies of the enumeration questions,
forms, and instructions used in the decennial census of the United
States from 1860 through 2000.
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