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Racial movements to, and displacements in, the bituminous coal-mining industryPeriod of residence in the United States of foreign-born employees and members of their households-Racial classification of employees at the present time-[Text Tables 16 to 22 and General Tables 4 and 5].


Considering the bituminous coal industry as a whole, the history of the movements of the different immigrant races to the coal mines corresponds roughly to the period of immigration of each race to the United States. The time of employment of any given race in different coal fields, however, is conditioned upon the length of time each field has been developed and upon the period of its greatest expansion. The bituminous fields of Pennsylvania have had their chief development since 1870. From that year to the present time the majority of bituminous mining employees have been of foreign birth. During the decade 1870 to 1880 the operating forces of the mines were made up of native whites and representatives of the English, Scotch, Irish, Welsh, and German races, the miners from Great Britain and Germany usually being trained men who had had practical mining experience before coming to this country. English-speaking and northern European miners continued to arrive in large but decreasing numbers during the next ten years, but after 1890 comparatively few came to the Pennsylvania fields.

Immigrants from southern and eastern Europe were first employed about 1880. The Slovaks were the first to arrive, followed by the Magyars. Both of these races continued gradually to increase up to 1890, after which year they entered the mines in constantly increasing numbers. Scattered representatives of the Polish, Italian, and Croatian races were also employed before 1890, but the steady immigration of the Poles did not begin until 1890, of the Italians until 1895, and of the Croatians until 1900. During the past ten years practically all labor for the mines has been secured from southern and eastern Europe, and has included Russians, Bulgarians, Roumanians, Ruthenians, Syrians, Armenians, Croatians, Servians, Poles, North and South Italians, Magyars, and Slovaks. At the present time the operating forces of the mines are composed largely of races of recent immigration.

During the past twenty years the older employees of native stock and of races of Great Britain and northern Europe have been increasingly displaced by the races of southern and eastern Europe. The expansion of the mining industry after 1880 opened many positions requiring responsibility and training, which have been filled by natives and the races of older immigration. Many of the pioneer

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operatives and races of older immigration also left the Pennsylvania field and sought work after 1890 in the coal-mining localities of the Middle West and Southwest. Others found employment in industries other than coal mining. At the present time practically no natives, nor English, Irish, Scotch, Welsh, or Germans of the first or second generation, are entering the Pennsylvania bituminous coal mines. Those employed outside of positions of responsibility are principally inefficient survivors of the large numbers employed before


The bituminous coal-mining industry in the Middle West, and especially in Illinois, has also assumed remarkable proportions since 1870. Prior to 1890 very few representatives of immigrant races, except those from Great Britain and Germany, were in the field. During the decade 1890 to 1900 there was a change in the racial composition of the mine workers due to the development of two additional sources of labor supply: (1) An influx of mine workers from other coal fields of the United States; (2) the arrival of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe. The migration from other fields in this country was made up principally of the English, Irish, Scotch, Welsh, and Germans who left the mines of Pennsylvania and West Virginia because of labor disputes and the pressure of races of more recent immigration who were entering the industry in the localities mentioned. The European races which at the time were securing employment in the Middle West were North and South Italians, Lithuanians, Poles, Russians, French and French-Belgians, and a few Magyars. The races of older immigration, however, maintained the ascendancy in numbers, the immigrants from northern Europe and Great Britain constituting about three-fourths of the total number of mine workers in 1900, while the remaining one-fourth was composed of the more recent arrivals from the south and east of Europe.

During the past ten years, there has been an increase in the proportion of employees of the newer immigration in the mines of the Middle West. This tendency has been especially marked in the more recently developed sections of Illinois and Indiana. A movement of the races of older immigration out of the mines of the Middle West to other mining localities, especially those of Kansas and Oklahoma, under the pressure of the recent arrivals, has also been noticeable. At the present time, it is estimated that slightly more than one-half of the total number of employees in the coal mines of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are of foreign birth, and that almost three-fourths of those foreign-born belong to races of southern and eastern Europe.

The racial movements to the Southwest are unique as compared with those to other coal-mining sections, for the reason that both Kansas and Oklahoma were sparsely settled about 1880, when mining on a considerable scale was begun, and the first employees were brought by special car or train loads from the mining localities of Pennsylvania and the Middle West. These pioneer operatives included representatives of all races, with English, Irish, and Scotch predominant, and the Germans, Poles, Lithuanians, French, and Croatians next in order of successive numerical importance. The movement of English, Scotch, Welsh, and Irish from Pennsylvania and the Middle West mining localities to the Oklahoma (then Indian Territory) mines was very strong until 1890, and to the Kansas mines until 1895. The period from 1890 to 1898 in Oklahoma was marked by labor disputes

and an exodus of the English, Scotch, Irish, and Welsh from Oklahoma to Kansas.

The number of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe at work in Kansas and Oklahoma was very small prior to 1895. Since that year, they have arrived in constantly increasing numbers and have largely filled the places left vacant in Oklahoma by the departure of the English-speaking miners, and have supplied the labor necessary to the expansion of the industry in both Kansas and Oklahoma. More than 30 races of foreign birth are now employed in the mines of the Southwest, the races of recent immigration which are present in largest numbers being the North and South Italians, Poles, Slovenians, and Slovaks. Employees belonging to races originating in Great Britain and northern Europe constitute about one-fourth, and those belonging to races of southern and eastern Europe about three-fourths, of the total number of mine workers of foreign birth.

The employment of immigrant labor in the South has been of more recent date than in other sections. Native whites and negroes were principally used in developing the coal resources of that section, and it was not until the decade 1890 to 1900 that mine workers of foreign birth in considerable numbers made their appearance in the coalproducing area of the South.

Immigration to the coal mines of Alabama began more than twenty years ago with the coming of the Scotch, English, and Welsh miners. Soon afterwards Slovaks, Poles, French, Irish, and a few Italians arrived. Within the past ten years immigration into the coal-mining communities has been of mixed character, the larger portion of it consisting of Italians, Bulgarians, French, Scotch, and a very considerable number of Russians, Croatians, and other races. About 30 different foreign races are at present employed in the mines of the Birmingham district.

The greatest expansion of coal mining in West Virginia has taken place since the year 1893. Prior to that time, although English, Irish, Scotch, Welsh, and German miners were employed in considerable numbers, native white and negro labor was principally used by the coal operators. When this supply of labor became inadequate, employees of foreign birth were secured from the Pennsylvania fields and through labor agencies in the eastern cities. These new men included North and South Italians, Poles, Slovaks, Magyars, Russians, Croatians, Lithuanians, and scattering representatives of other races. During the past fifteen years the mine workers have been recruited from races of southern and eastern Europe, and during the past twenty years there has been a steady movement of native whites, together with English, Irish, Scotch, and Welsh, from the West Virginia mines to the coal-mining localities of the Middle West and Southwest. More than one-half of the mine workers at present are of foreign birth, and are principally of races of southern and eastern Europe.

The Virginia coal fields were developed at an even later date than those of West Virginia. Immigrants in small numbers were employed during the period 1893 to 1900, but it was not until after the year 1900 that any considerable numbers arrived. The Virginia fields are located in a sparsely settled territory, and almost all the labor used has been secured from the outside. Negroes and native

whites from other sections of the South were at first employed, but during the past ten years they have been gradually displaced by employees of foreign birth who have come from abroad and from other mining localities in this country. Magyars, North and South Italians, and Slovaks are in the majority among the mine workers of foreign birth. Poles, Roumanians, Šervians, Ruthenians, Germans, Macedonians, and Lithuanians are also employed, in comparatively small numbers.


Original information was obtained from 54,300 bituminous coalmining employees as to the number of years each had been in the United States. These data were also secured from the members of the households studied who were born abroad. Although some of the employees had probably had employment after reaching this country and before they entered the bituminous coal industry, the number of such cases is small, and the facts put forward in the following tables may be considered as representative of the racial movements to the bituminous coal mines.

As regards period of residence in the United States of individual employees, the number and per cent who have been in the United States each specified number of years are shown, by race, in the following tables and the accompanying chart:

TABLE 16.-Per cent of foreign-born male employees in the United States under 1 year, 1 year, 2 years, etc., by race.


[By years in the United States is meant years since first arrival in the United States. No deduction is made for time spent abroad. This table includes only races with 40 or more males reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign-born.]

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