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Number of male employees for whom information was secured, by general nativity and race. [This chart shows only races represented by 100 or more employees.]
History of immigration to Pennsylvania bituminous coal mines-Period of residence in the United States of foreign-born employees and members of their householdsRacial classification of employees at the present time-[Text Tables 158 to 167 and General Tables 54 and 55].
HISTORY OF IMMIGRATION TO PENNSYLVANIA BITUMINOUS COAL MINES.
The developments in bituminous coal mining in Pennsylvania during recent years have been very extensive. In 1870 the output of the mines of the State was 7,798,518 short tons, and in 1880 the production was 18,425,163 tons. During the next two decades the figures for 1880 were more than quadrupled, and by the year 1907 Pennsylvania bituminous mines were annually producing 150,143,177 tons. This extraordinary increase in production, as might be expected, required a large and constant increase in operating forces, the average number of persons employed in the mines in 1909 being 185,921 as compared with 16,851 in 1870, an increase of nearly 1,000 per cent during the period. As the native labor supply was insufficient and the natural increase in population was too slow to meet the increasing demand for mine workers at the same time that other industries were expanding and creating a demand for labor, operating forces for the mines had to be secured from sources of supply outside the State. Under the existing conditions the most available supply was found in the various races of northern, southern, and eastern Europe which immigrated to the United States during the period 1870 to 1907.
It is safe to say that from 1870 until the present time the greater part of all the employees in the bituminous mines of Pennsylvania have been of European birth. All of the immigrant races of recent and former years have been represented in greater or less numbers. Among the older English, Scotch, German, and Welsh immigrants there were many individuals who had followed the occupation of mining before coming to the United States, and who naturally sought similar work in the Pennsylvania mines on their arrival in this country. On the other hand, the immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, who constitute the bulk of latter-day immigration, have been in their own countries largely farmers, farm laborers, and unskilled laborers, but coming to this country have been attracted by the inducements to labor held forth by the expansion of the coal industry and have in increasing numbers entered the Pennsylvania bituminous mines.
The proportional representation of the different races among bituminous mine employees during past periods can not be exactly determined. With the exception of very recent years, all estimates must be based upon general observation or upon fragmentary and inaccurate reports. Definite figures are not to be had. The federal census for 1890 classifies all the mine employees of Pennsylvania according to nativity, but the figures given include the workers in anthracite and iron-ore mines as well as those in the bituminous mines. It is believed, however, that the racial composition of the several groups of miners was, and is, sufficiently alike to make the census report valuable as an indication of the proportional representation of the different races among the bituminous mine workers, and that report may be presented to indicate roughly the racial composition and changes during the past twenty years.
The returns for the Eleventh Census as to the general nativity of mine workers in Pennsylvania in the year 1889 are given in the following table:
Table 158.- Number of miners 10 years of age or over in the State of Pennsylvania in 1889.
[Compiled from United States Census, 1890; Part II, Occupations, pp. 602-603. ]
a Includes persons of negro descent, Chinese, Japanese, and civilized Indians.
It is unfortunate, as mentioned above, that no distinction is made between bituminous and anthracite coal miners or between these and other miners in the State; but assuming that the racial composition in bituminous mining followed the same general lines of division as other forms of mining enterprise in the State, it will be noted that out of a total of 116,756 miners in Pennsylvania in 1889, about 19 per cent only were native white of native parents, 21 per cent were native white of foreign parents, and 58 per cent were foreign white. Of the foreign-born 67 per cent were English, Scotch, Irish, Welsh, Germans, and Scandinavians, showing conclusively that the races of Great Britain and northern Europe were dominant in the mining industry in that year.
In the census of 1900, as will be noted in the next table, which gives figures for the year 1899, a change as compared with the census of 1890 is made in the classification. Place of birth is given for foreignborn parents, but not for the foreign-born. ,, Quarrymen are also included in the report, as well as miners of all classes. The figures are, however, of considerable value as indicating the relative increase in the number of miners of parentage assigned to southern and eastern Europe, and the decrease in the racial element of northern European parentage among the mine workers. The native white of native parents and the native white of foreign parents in the mines in 1899 maintained about the same proportions (20 per cent each) of the total number of employees as in 1889. The foreign white miners in 1899 constituted about 58 per cent of all miners in the State, as they did ten years before. The general situation as regards the proportions of native white and those born of foreign parents, therefore, had not changed materially during the period 1889 to 1899. The significant feature of the situation, however, in 1899, as contrasted with 1889, was the large additions to the number of persons engaged in mining in the State whose parents were born in southern or eastern Europe. Of the miners and quarrymen reported, 40,076 were of Austro-Hungarian, 8,972 of Italian, 10,999 of Polish, and 5,327 of Russian parentage. The table showing in detail the various divisions follows:
Table 159.— Number of miners and quarrymen 10 years of age or over in the State of
Pennsylvania in 1899.
(Compiled from United States Census, 1900; Occupations, pp. 374-375. ]
Since the last census period more direct information regarding the situation has been afforded by the action of the secretary of internal affairs of Pennsylvania, who has attempted to classify the mining employees of the State by nationality. The information secured, however, has not been satisfactory for two reasons: (1) The usual defects of an attempt to classify by nationality have been aggraVated by a loose use of designations; (2) in none of the years covered have all the mines in operation reported as to the nationality of the men employed. The proportion reporting has varied from year to year.
While the showing is deficient in these respects, the figures given by the Pennsylvania state authorities indicate at least the general situation as regards the nationality of the persons employed in bituminous mining and add a sanction to the changes in racial composition of mine workers which have been inferred from the more general showing of the federal census reports of 1890 and 1900. From the figures available a table has been compiled for the period 1903 to 1907 and is here submitted. In this table the nationalities reporting have been divided into two groups, the first comprising Americans and all nationalities of Great Britain and northern Europe, and the second the nationalities of southern and eastern Europe.
TABLE 160.- Nationality of bituminous coal miners in Pennsylvania, 1903 to 1907. (Compiled from the Annual Reports of the Secretary of Internal Affairs, Pennsylvania, Part III,
Industrial Statistics: 1903, p. 433; 1904, pp. 402, 403; 1905, pp. 474,475; 1906, pp. 65, 66; 1907, pp. 95,96.)
In referring to the foregoing table, it should be carefully borne in mind that the number of each nationality reporting, or the total of each group, is not indicative of the proportion of each nationality or of each group employed in the mines, for the obvious reason that the information received is very incomplete and inaccurate. The only value of the table consists in supplementing the returns of the census of 1900 by showing in the five years, 1903 to 1907, the presence among the mine workers of a large number of Slavic, Hungarian, Polish, and Italian employees, and by indicating the presence in the industry after 1900 of the English, Irish, Scotch, Welsh, and German immigrants of former years. If to the evidence furnished by this fragmentary statistical material be added information from original sources, a general history of racial movements to the bituminous mines of the State may be given.
During the decade beginning with 1870, the greater part of the employees in the bituminous regions of Pennsylvania were Americans or representatives of the English, Scotch, Welsh, German, and Irish races. Of the foreigners, many, perhaps the majority, had been in this country for some years previous to the great expansion of the coal-mining industry. English-speaking miners continued to immigrate and to find employment in the mines in large numbers until about the year 1890. Since that year comparatively few immigrants from Germany and Great Britain have entered the industry. Swedes and other Scandinavians have been constantly employed since the early eighties.
The employment of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe began in about 1880. The Slovaks were the first arrivals and immi