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As the result of the investigation of individual employees, 7,495 miners in the Birmingham district, as can be seen from the preceding table, furnished complete data as to their nativity and race. Of the total number thus reporting 6,408 were native-born of native father, 118 were native-born of foreign father, and 969 were foreign-born. This division by nativity does not afford a basis for a hard and fast classification of the mine workers by general nativity and race, but it does corroborate the preceding estimates as to the different elements in the population and indicates the proportionate racial distribution in the operating forces at the mines. This is especially noticeable in the smallness of the proportion of foreign-born as compared with the total number reporting, and also in the fact that 69 per cent of the native-born of native father are negroes.
In connection with those native-born of foreign father, it will be observed that this group of 118 employees is almost entirely composed of English, Scotch, Irish, and German, with the addition of 14 miners of Austro-Hungarian parentage. The entire number of nativeborn of foreign father only constitutes about 1.6 per cent of the total number reporting as to race.
The number of foreign-born furnishing information constitutes about 13 per cent of the total. In this group, as in the second generation, the English, Irish, Scotch, and German make an important showing, numbering, together with the French and Welsh, 250 and forming 25.8 per cent of all foreign-born. Of the more recent immigrants from southern and eastern Europe the largest representation is furnished by the South Italians, followed, in the order of their numerical showing, by the Bulgarian, Montenegrin, North Italian, Slovak, Slovenian, Russian, Greek, and Magyar races. These races compose 63 per cent of the total foreign-born. The remaining 12 per cent of foreign-born persons are scattered among 16 different races.
PERIOD OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES OF FOREIGN-BORN EMPLOYEES IN ALABAMA COAL MINES.
As regards the period during which foreign-born persons have resided in the United States the table below affords a detailed exhibit, by general nativity and race:
TABLE 471.-Number of foreign-born male employees in Alabama 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.]
TABLE 471.-Number of foreign-born male employees in Alabama who have been in the United States each specified number of years, by race—Continued.
The races of most recent arrival in the United States, as shown in the table above, are South Italian, Bulgarian, and Montenegrin. The majority of the two latter races have been in the country less than one year and almost all under three years. About 3 per cent of all foreign-born persons employed have been in the United States less than one year and 14.5 per cent one year only. On the other hand, of the 46.5 per cent of the total who have been in the United States more than five years, about 44 per cent are immigrants from Great Britain and northern Europe, the greater part of whom have been in the United States for a period longer than twenty years. Eliminating the English, Irish, Scotch, Germans, French, and a few Italians, the larger part of the immigrants employed in the Birmingham mines have been in the United States less than five years.
HISTORY OF IMMIGRATION TO THE COAL FIELDS OF WEST VIRGINIA.
West Virginia has been of more or less importance as a coal-producing State since it was formed in 1863. The industry's most striking growth, however, has been made since the year 1893. In its first year as a State, the total production was 444,648 short tons. From 1863 to 1893 the production was gradually increased, and almost every year showed an increase over the one immediately preceding it. In the year last mentioned the production was 10,708,578 short tons, and since then the increase has been rapid
• Production of Coal in 1908, p. 193. E. W. Parker, United States Geological Survey, Mineral Resources of the United States.
and constant. For the past twenty-seven years there have been only two instances in which production has shown a decrease in one year as compared with the one preceding. These exceptions were in 1895 and 1908, both years of financial depression. The highwater mark was reached in 1907, when 48,091,583 short tons were mined.
When the mining industry began to be developed, the State as a whole was sparsely settled, and the expansion of the industry was further hampered by the fact that topographically the sections containing the best coal were rugged and transportation facilities were slowly developed. Because of these conditions, and the lack of sufficient capital for many years, the operations were scattered and rather small, and practically all labor to operate the mines was secured from the immediate vicinity. As more coal was mined each year, and new mines were opened up, the available numbers of native people, always small, began to decline and the negroes, principally from Virginia, began to be attracted to the coal fields, while some white native miners from adjoining States also appeared. Within more recent years the mining industry has been consolidated more and more and many very large companies have been formed. The greatest development has been going on in four well-defined fields. In presenting a history of immigration and a discussion of the conditions resulting therefrom, only these four fields will be discussed. They do not contain all the counties within the State which produce coal, but they contribute more than 90 per cent of the total output. They are also clearly defined and have certain distinguishing geographic and physiographic features. Practically all the immigrant laborers employed in coal mines within the State are in mines included in these sections.
Two of these fields are located in the northern part of the State and two in the southern. Those in the northern are the Fairmont, or Upper Monongahela, and the Elk Garden, or Upper Potomac, districts. Those in the southern are the New and Kanawha rivers district, which includes what are usually popularly divided into the New and Kanawha river fields, and the Pocahontas or Flat Top district, which also includes Tazewell County in Virginia.
Although conditions in many respects are very similar in all these districts, there have been certain elements entering into the development of each which make it different in some respects from the others, and for this reason the divisions above referred to will be treated separately.
FAIRMONT AND ELK GARDEN COAL FIELDS OF WEST VIRGINIA.
The Elk Garden field, as compared with the other coal-producing districts of the State, is small. Owing to this, and to the fact that it adjoins the Fairmont field and that conditions are very similar in both, they will be treated together. The Elk Garden field is made up of Tucker, Grant, and Mineral counties. Tucker County, which produces 51 per cent of the coal of the district and employs 72 per cent of the immigrant labor, is bounded on the north and west by counties included in the Fairmont field. The Fairmont coal field is composed of Barbour, Harrison, Marion, Monongahela, Preston, and Taylor counties, and in 1908 the field had a production of 9,581,436
short tons and employed a total of 11,470 men. The most extensive development in this field has been in Harrison and Marion counties. In 1908 these two counties produced 7,185,036 short tons, or 74.9 per cent of the entire output of the field and employed 7,440 men, or 66.3 per cent, of all the labor.
The first mines opened were operated exclusively by native white labor from the immediate vicinity, but when development became extensive operators had to bring in men from other communities to work the mines.
This condition of affairs prevailed from 1889 to 1892. About 1892 or 1893, not being able to secure sufficient numbers of American whites or negroes, some of the larger operators began to bring in immigrants. These were secured from two sources: First, a few came with the Americans from the soft-coal region of southwestern Pennsylvania; and, second, from labor agencies in New York-the greater number from the latter source.
The numbers secured, however, were comparatively small, and until 1897 the immigrant labor employed was not in excess of 10 per cent of the total operating forces. The first immigrants to come to the field were Poles, Slovaks, and Italians (principally North Italians), and within a very short period Magyars began to arrive. As the production of coal began to increase and additional mines were opened the demand for labor increased, and these first immigrants formed a nucleus for the attraction of additional numbers of their races. The following brief discussion will give some idea of the coming of the most prominent races to the field:
Italians.-The Italians have been an important race in this field almost since their introduction, and have outnumbered any other single immigrant race. The first to be employed in numbers of any consequence arrived about the year 1892. They were first induced to come to mines along the Monongahela River in Marion County, and were only employed at two or three mines for the first few years. As the new mines were developed and those already in operation increased their output, they kept pace with this progress, and are now found practically all over the field. This race has centered along the Monongahela River in the mining towns in the vicinity of Fairmont and Clarksburg, and of the 2,100 employed in and about mines in 1908 about 75 per cent were in Marion and Harrison counties.
Slovaks and Poles.-The Slovaks and Poles entered the field at about the same time as the Italians, and, like the Italians, were first brought to mines along the Monongahela River in Marion County. At the time when immigrants were first induced to come to the field, the largest mines and the greatest development were found in this section. Their numbers were comparatively small until 1897. When the industry was extended these races increased in number and became more and more scattered. The town of Monongah has always been a center for Slovaks and Poles, more of these nationalities being found there than in any other locality. At present, these two races are employed in about equal numbers in the field, the number of each race being about 650. Fully 80 per cent of the total number are in Marion and Harrison counties.
Magyars.-The Magyars first secured employment about 1893, at first only in small numbers, but as in the case of other races, they
have been constantly increasing in numbers and spreading out to new mines. The first members of this race came from the neighboring coal fields of Pennsylvania, and have been added to by emigration from that section, by recruits drawn from labor agencies in New York, and by the coming of friends and relatives from Europe to join the men already located in the Fairmont district. Some also came into this field in search of work from the Connellsville coke region of Pennsylvania during the strike of 1894.
Croatians.-The Croatians are of recent arrival, the advent of the race dating back not more than five years. They came in largest number to the town of Monongah where, in 1907, an explosion killed between three and four hundred men. Since then, the Croatians employed there have increased from about 25 to 225. They are not present in such great numbers in other mines of the region, as there have been no such disasters to create vacancies. It is also worthy of note that the majority of all immigrants coming into the field after the financial depression of 1907 were Croatians. They very often came in bands in search of work, and in some instances have been known to walk from the bituminous regions of Pennsylvania to this field.
Other races of recent immigrants have been employed in the field in varying numbers for the past seven or eight years, but have been as a rule an unsettled class rarely accompanied by families. The most prominent races among these recent immigrants are Russians, Lithuanians, Slovenians, and Ruthenians. They represent about 3 per cent of all labor in the field.
The general strikes of 1894 and 1895, which affected the bituminous coal fields more or less throughout the country, were felt in this field. In all these strikes the operators were, as a whole, victorious, and since then the field has been nonunion. The strikes affected the production of the field to a considerable extent. There was no general bringing of immigrants or natives as strike-breakers, but some immigrants came in from other fields where the strikes were more severe. Immediately after the labor difficulties were over, the field entered upon an era of unprecedented growth, which called for more men. Moreover, many of the better class of American miners left the field and moved to the organized regions of the Middle West and Southwest. This made two immediate causes for the employment of immigrants, and great efforts were put forth on the part of employers to secure their services.
At many of the mines no immigrants are employed, and as a rule the companies employing immigrants follow a policy of mixing the From the best information obtainable the racial classification of the total number employed in the district is about as follows: