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TABLE 480.- Number of foreign-born male employees in West Virginia who have been in the United States each specified number of years, by race.
(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.)
[By years in the United States is meant years since first arrival in the United States. No deduction is made for time spent abroad.]
The number of employees furnishing complete data is 2,910. Of this number, 1,059, or 36.4 per cent, have been in the United States from five to nine years; 419, or 14.4 per cent, have been in the United States two years; 399, or 13.7 per cent, have been in the United States three years; 271, or 9.3 per cent, have been in the United States four years; 226, or 7.4 per cent, have been in the United States from ten to fourteen years; 167, or 5.7 per cent, have been in the United States under one year; 134, or 4.6 per cent, have been in the United States from fifteen to nineteen years; 131, or 4.5 per cent, have been in the United States twenty years or over; 104, or 3.6 per cent, have been in the United States one year.
More South Italians entered in any one given period than did any other race represented. Of the South Italians, 439 have been in the United States from five to nine years. Those that have been in the United States one year and under one year, however, are fewer in numbers than are those in any other period of residence. It is noticeable that very few of the Croatians have been in the United States over nine years, and that more have been in the United States from five to nine years than appear in any other period. The North Italians, like the South Italians, predominate in the period of from five to nine years' residence. Those that have been here ten years and over are few. The Magyars, Poles, and Slovaks appear mostly in the five to nine year period.
HISTORY OF IMMIGRATION TO THE COAL FIELDS OF VIRGINIA.
BIG STONE GAP FIELD.
The first bituminous coal area to be developed in the United States was in the Richmond basin of Virginia. În 1822 this area is reported to have produced 54,000 short tons and ten years later, in 1832, the production is reported to have reached 132,000 short tons. Within a short period this area began to fall off in production, as other fields more favorably situated as to quality of coal and ease of mining were developed. Not until 1882, when the Norfolk and Western Railroad was constructed and opened the Pocahontas region, did Virginia resume any importance as a coal-producing State. In 1880 the production of the State was only 43,079 short tons, but in the calendar year 1889 it had increased to 865,786 short tons; more than 600,000 tons of this output came from the recently developed Pocahontas mines in Tazewell County. From the opening of the Pocahontas field until the construction of the Clinch Valley division of the Norfolk and Western Railroad, and the Cumberland Valley division of the Louisville and Nashville Railway in 1891 the greater part of the coal mined in Virginia was from the Pocahontas field in Tazewell County.
At present there are three important coal fields in Virginia-the Big Stone Gap field, the Pocahontas, and the Lee County or Black Mountain field. Only the Big Stone Gap and the Pocahontas fields are significant in connection with the employment of immigrant labor. The Black Mountain field was not opened until 1905, and in 1908 reached a production of over 460,000 tons."
The Big Stone Gap coal field is of striking importance because of the production of a fine quality of coke, which rivals that of the famous Connellsville coke of Pennsylvania. This field was not opened until 1891. Nine new mines were started in that year alone, and 124,088 tons of coal were mined during the ensuing year. From 1893 to 1902 the annual coal production of Wise County greatly increased. It exceeded 1,000,000 tons in 1899 and in 1902 the output was 2,422,417 tons. By comparing the output of 1892 with that of 1902 it will be seen that the production was increased nearly twenty times. This field reached its highest mark in 1907, with a production of 3,145,845 short tons, while in 1908, owing to the financial depression, the output was reduced to 2,558,874 short tons. The growth in coke production has kept pace with the coal mined, more than 60 per cent of the total output being made into coke.
Owing to the topography of the Big Stone Gap region, the opportunities for agriculture are meager, and it was accordingly very sparsely settled when the mines began to be developed. This fact made the question of labor important from the beginning. To develop the mines almost all the labor had to be brought in from other parts of the country. This labor was procured from three sources: (1) The negroes from other sections of Virginia, (2) white
• The Pocahontas field has been treated under West Virginia. That part of the Virginia territory discussed at this point is the Big Stone Gap coal field or Wise County.
laborers from the same section, and (3) immigrants from the softcoal regions of Pennsylvania, reinforced by friends and relatives from abroad.
All the coal companies operating in the district in its early development were comparatively small, and the number of immigrants employed prior to 1900 was small. The first immigrants to come into the field were Magyars from the Pocahontas region. They arrived in 1893 in small numbers and did not have much influence on future immigration to the field. In 1896 one company brought about 50 men from the Connellsville coke region of Pennsylvania. About 15 of the 50 were accompanied by families, the remainder either being single or having families in Europe. This force of employees was composed entirely of Magyars and Slovaks in about equal numbers.
The Slovaks and Magyars gradually increased in numbers, while the arrival of scattered representatives of other races of southern and eastern Europe soon became noticeable. The following table gives the number of immigrants employed in mines and at coke works in the Big Stone Gap field in September, 1908:
It will be seen that immigration to this region began in 1900, and the number employed has increased with the coal and coke production of the district. A brief history of immigration, by races, will be
Magyars and Slovaks.-These two races will be treated together, as they entered the field at the same time. The first important influx of immigrants of these races occurred in Stonega, Va., în 1896. Prior to 1900 several coal mines had been started in the Big Stone Gap field, but most of them were small and only two employed more than 300 men. The employment of immigrants was confined to these two mines almost entirely during this period and the numbers employed were small, comparatively speaking, consisting principally of the two races under discussion.
From 1900 to 1906 many more mines of more or less importance were opened and the original companies were constantly increasing their production. More men were therefore required. The proportion of immigrant labor employed necessarily increased both at the old and new mines, because the increase of production caused a constant demand for labor. The numbers of Magyars and Slovaks at work, especially the former, kept pace with the production of coal and coke, and as new mines were opened they began to enter all of the region. Friends and relatives of the earlier arrivals came from Europe and members of the same races were secured, by advertising and other inducements, from the coal fields of the
North and West. The maximum number of men belonging to these races employed was reached in 1907, when about 900 Magyars and 450 Slovaks were employed in the Big Stone Gap field. Italians.-The Italians employed in the Big Stone Gap field are for the most part from southern Italy. The first Italians to come to Big Stone Gap came to Norton in 1900. They were not employed in any considerable numbers, however, until about 1902. Since that time they have been arriving steadily and in large numbers, the greatest numbers coming during the years 1905 to 1907. There has been direct immigration from Italy to the locality and some have been diverted from railway construction camps in different sections of the South. As in the case of the other races, the greatest numbers were employed in 1907, when it is estimated that fully 650 were at work in and about the mines. The Italians employed in the Big Stone Gap field have been migratory and a very small proportion of the adults have families with them.
Poles. A few Poles have been employed since 1898, but they have never been numerically important. Those employed have always been more or less migratory, and not more than 75 to 100 have been employed at any one time. The majority are men who were secured during the month of August, 1908. They were employed because of a sudden increase in production at a time when great numbers of other laborers had left the field because of slackness of work. None of them were accompanied by families, and they may all be considered migratory.
Industrial condition abroad of members of immigrant households studied-Principal occupation of immigrant employees before coming to the United States-General occupation of women at the present time in the households studied-General occupation of males at the present time in the households studied-Occupations entered in the bituminous coal-mining industry-Daily earnings in the South-Daily earnings in West Virginia-Monthly earnings in representative coal mines in southern West Virginia-Relation between period of residence and earning ability-Annual earnings of male heads of families studied-Annual earnings of males 18 years of age or over in the households studied—Annual family income-Wives at workAnnual earnings of females 18 years of age or over in the households studiedRelation between the earnings of husbands and the practice of wives of keeping boarders or lodgers-Sources of family income-Relative importance of the different sources of family income-[Text Tables 481 to 509 and General Tables 205 to 217].
INDUSTRIAL CONDITION ABROAD OF MEMBERS OF IMMIGRANT HOUSEHOLDS STUDIED.
Before proceeding to a consideration of the present occupation of the foreign-born races, both males and females, it will be instructive to ascertain what were their occupations prior to their arrival in this country. That a clearer understanding of their previous occupations may be had, the males and females will be considered separately.
Of the 224 females who were 16 years of age or over at the time of coming to the United States, 206, or 92 per cent, were without some prior occupation; 6.3 per cent had worked for wages; while the others had worked without wages. A detailed showing of the industrial condition of each race is made in the following table:
TABLE 481.—Industrial condition before coming to the United States of foreign-born females who were 16 years of age or over at time of coming, by race of individual.
(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.)
[This table includes only races with 20 or more females reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign