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PREPARATION OF DATA.
In preparing this study for publication it was considered advisable to set forth, as in other localities, the salient facts relative to the immigrant iron and steel workers in a general survey based upon the information received from employees. To this has been added a detailed study of the Birmingham district, setting forth the economic and other effects of immigration upon the southern iron and steel center.
History of immigration-Period of residence in the United States of foreign-born
employees-Racial classification of employees at the present time-[Text Tables 634 to 639 and General Table 363).
HISTORY OF IMMIGRATION.
Data showing in detail the history of immigration to the iron and steel industry in the South according to race are not available. Information of considerable value in this connection is supplied, however, by the reports of the United States Census, showing in a general way the composition of the working forces of the furnaces and steel mills in the years 1880, 1890, and 1900. These statistics are presented in the following tables: TABLE 634.— Number of iron and steel workers in the South, by nativity and State, 1900.a
351 18 27 583 48 600 10 12 9 82 178 126 2,044 4, 439 39 281
370 36 645 48 90 40 1, 242 107 1.173 8,510 6,879 180 922 3,881 571' 3,654 154 457 196 2,550 745 3,509 23, 698
Total native, White....
Persons of mired parentage..
58 5 2 81 26 46 2
7 20 12 10 271 6,151 134 849 1,820 261 2,248 128 432 162 2,300 441 3,185 18,111
e This table does not include the small number of females employed in unimportant positions in connection with the iron and steel manufacturing industry.
TABLE 635.— Number of iron and steel workers in the South, by nativity and State, 1890.
TABLE 636.— Number of iron and steel workers in the South, by nativity and State, 1880.
It will be noted that the classification of workers is different for each census. The census report of 1880 presents data showing the country of birth of the workers, both race and parentage being disregarded, and the census of 1890 indicates country of birth and, in addition, the number of colored workers and the general parentage of the native-born whites. In the census of 1900, on the other hand, the principles of presentation followed in both the preceding censuses have been abandoned, and the workers have been classified according to general nativity and color and country of birth of parents. Because of this difference in classification it is impossible to make an exact comparison between the returns for the several periods, but country of birth of parents, in connection with the figures showing the number of native whites of foreign parentage, doubtless indicates origin with a precision sufficient for the purposes of a general study.
In studying the table further it will be noted that none of the countries of southern or eastern Europe were included in the classifications of the censuses of 1880 and 1890, any employees born in the countries referred to being classified under the caption "Other countries." The figures of the tables show that the States of the South leading in the manufacture of iron and steel are, at the present time, Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, and Virginia. In the composition of the working force according to color and nativity, Alabama and Maryland are seen to be representative of conditions in the section, and for this reason, as already pointed out, have been selected for detailed study.
In 1880 the development of the iron and steel industry in Alabama had hardly begun. The total number of employees reported for the State was 352 as against 1,800, the returns for Maryland. All but a very few of the Alabama employees were native-born, while over 15 per cent of the Maryland employees were of foreign birth. Of the foreign-born employees reported for Maryland the largest number were of German and the second largest number of Irish birth. Only 12 individuals were reported under the caption “Other countries.” The classification of this census supplies no information as to color. Undoubtedly, however, a few of the native-born employees in Maryland and a very large proportion of those in Alabama were negroes.
In the decade from 1880 to 1890, while the number of employees in Alabama increased tenfold as against an increase of only about one-third in Maryland, there seems to have been but little change in the composition of the working force in either State. The figures of Table 634 show that in 1890 considerably more than one-half of the employees in Alabama were negroes and that only about 10 per cent were foreign-born. Among the foreign-born, natives of Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany had, in the order mentioned, the largest representation. Of the Maryland employees, slightly over one-sixth were foreign-born persons from Germany, Ireland, and Great Britain, while between 2 and 3 per cent were negroes. Neither in Alabama nor in Maryland were there more than a very few individuals of southern or eastern European nativity.
Between 1890 and 1900 the number of employees in Maryland increased about 50 per cent and the number in Alabama increased more than 100 per cent. At the same time the composition of the working force changed to a certain degree in Maryland, but hardly at all in Alabama. The proportion of negroes increased very materially. Among the foreign-born the proportion of individuals of southern and eastern European nativity was still very small. In Alabama almost two-thirds of all the employees were negroes and only a little over 5 per cent were of foreign birth, a percentage considerably lower than the corresponding percentage for 1890. The proportion of persons of southern and eastern European parentage was even smaller than in Maryland. The figures of the tables presented show that the tide of recent
up to 1900 the South had not received any considerable proportion of the tide of recent immigration which has become so material a factor in the iron and steel industry in other sections of the country. Since 1900, however, the number of southern and eastern Europeans employed has materially increased, the operating forces of the furnaces and mills in Alabama and Maryland being largely recruited from the labor supply from this source.
OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES OF FOREIGN-BORN
The period of residence in this country of foreign-born iron and steel workers does not afford as satisfactory an insight into racial movements to the South as in the case in other localities, for the reason that direct immigration to the South is comparatively small, the incoming immigrant usually living for a short time at least in other sections before migrating to the southern States.
The following tables, however, are of value in showing by race the percentage of foreign-born male employees for whom information was received who had been in the United States each specified number of years.
The columns showing proportions in the United States under five
years in the first table are grouped in one column in the second table.
TABLE 637.-Per cent of foreign-born male employees in the United States under 1 year,
1 year, 2 years, etc., 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. This table includes only races with 40 or more males reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign-born.)
Num- Per cent in United States each specified number of years.
10 to 15 to
20 or 2. 3. 4. 5 to 9. plete der 1.
14. 19. over. data.