Page images
PDF
EPUB

DIAGRAM No. 7.- Distribution of occupations by sex and sections of the country.

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed]

DIAGRAM No. 8.- Proportions of males and females among the negro wage-earner.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Here also we see that agriculture and personal service occupied nearly all wage earners—91 per cent in the Northeastern States, 96 per cent in the Southeastern States, 89 per cent in the North Central States, 97 per cent in the South Central States, and 95 per cent in the Western States. Occupations were slightly more diversified in the North and West than in the Southern States, as was the case with the males.

OCCUPATIONS BY STATES.

It will now be of interest to extend this study in detail by States, but in doing so the study will be confined to the Southern, the former slave States, which are in a sense the home of the negro and in which moro than nine-tenths of them live. In most of the Northern States tho number of negroes is so small that any conclusions drawn from statistics regarding them are worthless and are likely to bo misleading.

Diagram No. 8 shows tho distribution by sex of the negro wage earners of these Southern States. The total length of the bar represents in eacli caso all the wago earners, the white portion representing the males and the shaded portion the females.

This diagram shows that the greatest proportion of female wago earners is in the District of Columbia, where it is nearly one-half of all negro vage earners, and the least in West Virginia, where it is less than one-fifth of all. In most of the cotton States it ranges from one-fourth to one-third of all negro wage oarners.

Diagrams Nos. 9 and 10 present the proportion of male and of femalo negro wage earners who are engaged in agriculture, personal service, and other occupations in the Southern States.

Tho first of these diagrams, representing male wage earners, shows that agriculture and personal service accounted for from 63 to 94 per cent of all male wage earners. Indeed, excluding the District of Columbia from consideration, from 73 to 93 per cent were accounted for by these two occupations.

Again, excluding the District of Columbia, which is not a farming community, the malo wage earners who were farmers constituted in the different States proportions varying from 36 per cent in Missouri to 85 per centin Mississippi. The proportion of farmers was highest in the cotton States and decidedly less in the border States. On the other hand, the proportion of males engaged in personal service was least in the cotton States and increased decidedly in those farther north.

The second diagram, illustrating the occupations of female wage earners, has certain features in common with that relating to males, but these features are moro accented. In the cotton States a large proportion of the female wage earners worked in the fields and was therefore reported as engaged in agriculture, while in the border States but a small proportion was found there. On tho other hand, domestic service claimed nearly all female wago earners in the border States, but in ihe cotton States a relatively small proportion.

Both the diagrams, and especially the first, slow an important feature. In tho cotton States wage earners were almost entirely either farmers or those engaged in personal service, but in the States farther north these classes were relatively smaller and occupations wero somewhat more varied.

OWNERSHIP OF FARMS AND IIOMES.

The statistics of farm and home ownership and of mortgago indebtedness tho Eleventh Census throw some light upon the pecuniary condition of the negro race.

The total number of farms and homes in the country in 1890 was 12,690,152, of which the negroes occupied 1,410,769, or 11.1 per cent. The proportion of negroes to the total population was at that time 12.20 per cent, showing a deficiency in tho proportion occupying homes and farms when compared with the population.

The number of farms in the country was 4,767,179. Of these 549,642, or 11.5 per cent, were occupied by negroes, being a proportion greater than that of farms and homes combined.

The number of homes, as distinguished from farms, in the country was 7,922,973, of which 861,137, or 10.9 per cent, were occupied by negroes, being a proportion less than that of farms and homes combined.

Of the 549,632 farms in the country occupied by negroes 120,738, or 22 per cent, wero owned by their occupants. The corresponding proportion for whites was 71.7 per cent. Of course, as regards tenants, tho reverse was the case, the proportions being for whites 28.3 per cent and for negroes 78 per cent. More than three-fourths of the farms occupied by negroes were rented; in other words, more than threefourths of the negro farmers were tenants, while less than one-fourth of the white farmers were tenants.

Of tho farms owned by negroes 90.4 per cent were without incumbrance. Of those owned by whites 71.3 were without incumbrance, showing a much larger proportion incumbered than among those owned by negroes.

Of 861,137 homes occupied by negroes in 1890, 143,550 were owned by their occupants and 717,587 were rented, the proportions being 19 per cent and 81 per cent. DIAGRAM No.9.- Proportions of male negro rage-earners engaged in agriculture, personal

serrice, and other occupations.

[ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed]

DIAGRAM No. 10.—Proportions of female negro wage-earners engaged in personal service,

agriculture, and other occupations.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][subsumed]

Corresponding proportions for whites were 39.4 per cent and 60.6 per cent. Of the houses owned by negro occupants 126,264, or 87.7 per cent, were free, and 12.3 incumbered. Corresponding figures for whites were 71.3 and 28.7 per cent, showing, as before, a much greater proportion of free holdings among negroes than among whites,

Diagrams Nos. 11 and 12 summarize the above facts in graphic form. The total areas of the squares represent the number of farms and homes, respectively, those occupied by whites and negroes, respectively, being represented by the rectangles into which the squares are divided by horizontal lines. The verticallines subdivide these rectangles into others proportional to the numbers occupied by owners without and with incumbrance, and by renters.

The male negroes occupied in agriculture numbered, in 1890, 1,329,581. Of these 510,619 occupied farms, the remainder, 818,965, being presumably farm laborers. The negro farmers—i. e., occupants of farms—constituted 38.3 per cent of the male negroes engaged in agriculture, leaving 61.7 per cent of the number as laborers. The corresponding figures for whites were 60.4 per cent and 39.6 per cent. The proportion of negroes engaged in agriculture who were farmers-i. e., occupied farms—was, therefore, much smaller than that of the whites. In spite of this low comparative showing, however, it must be agreed that, considering all the attendant circumstances, the proportion of negro farm occupants—more than one-third of all negroes engaged in agriculture—is unexpectedly large.

Summing up the salient points in this paper, it is seen that in the matter of occupations the negro is mainly engaged either in agriculture or personal service. He has, in a generation, made little progress in inanufactures, transportation, or trade. In these two groups of occupations males are in greater proportion engaged in agriculture and females in domestic service. They have, however, during this generation, made good progress toward acquiring property, especially in the form of homes and farms, and, in just so far as they have acquired possession of real estate, it is safe to say that they have become more valuable as citizens. The outlook for them is very favorable as agriculturists, but there is little prospect that the race will become an important factor in manufactures, transportation, or commerce.

IV.

A STATISTICAL SKETCH OF THE NEGROES IN THE UNITED STATES.

[By IIenry Gannett, of the United States Geological Survey.) From the time of the earliest settlement upon these shores the United States has contained two elements of population, the white raco and the negro race. Theso two races have together peopled this country, increasing partly by accessions to their numbers from abroad and partly by natural increase, until to-day (1894) tho white race numbers probably 61,000,000 and the negroes 8,000,000. The history of the latter race, thus brought into close association with a more civilized and stronger people for two and three-fourths centuries, is one of surpassing interest. Unfortunately, however, this history, for the earlier part of tho period, is, with the exception of a few fragments, ntterly lost. For the last century, however, since tho year 1790, the date of the first Unitel States census, we have, at ten-year intervals, pictures of the distribution of the race and considerable information regarding its social condition.

SLAVE TRADE.

The slave trade flourished actively up to the close of the last century, and indeed it did not entirely cease until the year 1808. It was mainly in the hands of the English, including their North American colonies. It was a largo and flourishing business for the shipowners of New England.

Of the number of slaves brought from Africa to this country, either directly or by way of the West India Islands, we have very little information. Prior to 1788 thero are no records, and since that time the records of tho slave trade do not distinguish between the slaves brought to the United States and those to other parts of America.

Of the number of slaves in this country in colonial times the information is almost equally scanty, consisting of little more than estimates by different historical writers. of these, Bancroft's are perhaps as reliable as any. His estimates of the number of negroes at different times are as follows: 1750. 220,000 | 1770.

462, 000 1754. 260, 000 1780.

562, 000 1760.

310, 000

[merged small][graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][graphic]
« PreviousContinue »