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number, 348,265 belonged to the first generation and 426,910 to the second; about two-thirds (63.7 per cent) were farmers, and the remainder were classified as agricultural laborers. a
The Germans, with some exceptions, assimilate readily with other immigrants from northern Europe and with persons of native parentage. They have won their place in agriculture by thrift, industry, and frugal living; they have prospered
in almost every form of agriculture, and statistics point toward the persistence of the native born Germans in agriculture in the States where their parents settled. In Texas, where colonies of them were established before 1850, they have been long reputed as among the most intelligent and prosperous farmers in the State.
More than 50 per cent of the male breadwinners of Norwegian parentage are in agriculture, and practically 97 per cent of those in agriculture are in the North Central States and the State of Washington. The total number engaged in agriculture is not quite 140,000, less than one-fifth of the number of Germans on farms, but the percentage (54.2) in agriculture is greater than that of any other race group. Sixty-three per cent of the Norwegians of the second generation live in rural communities. a
The first goals of immigration for the Norwegians seem to have been Iowa, northern Illinois, and southern Wisconsin, and from the first they have generally avoided industrial pursuits and chosen farming. They took up unbroken land, in many cases forested, and often selected narrow valleys rather than the broader, forested valleys or open prairies. Later Norwegian immigrants, however, have gone direct to the prairies of Minnesota and the Dakotas, where they now carry on a diversified agriculture—hay, grain, live stock, and dairying-emphasizing one or the other according to natural and economic conditions.
The rural Swedes, as a whole, have settled in the same States as the Norwegians, but a larger percentage are in industries, and the concentration by States is not quite so marked. Of the entire number of farmers and farm laborers almost exactly five-sixths were living in the ten States that contain the largest number of Scandinavian farmers. Minnesota reported very much the greatest percentage both of the first and of the second generation, or about 30 per cent of all.. Slightly more than one-half (50.4 per cent) of the first-generation farmers are in Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa. The percentage of agricultural laborers in each of these States is less than the percentage of farmers; in fact, this is true in every State but Illinois and North Dakota. In Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa 42.6 per cent of the farm laborers of the first generation were reported.
The American-born Swedes who operate farms constitute a little more than one-third of the number of that generation working as farm
u See Reports of the Immigration Commission, vol. 28. Occupations of the First and Second Generations of Immigrants in the United States. (S. Doc. No. 282, 61st Cong., 2d sess.)
hands. The percentage of farmers in the second generation is perceptibly greater than that of the first in Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas, but less in Minnesota and in most of the remaining States. The entire number of second-generation farmers is so small, however, that the fact may have very little significance. It may be significant that the percentage of farm laborers is greater in the first than in the second generation in every State except Illinois and North Dakota.
In addition to the Swedes and Norwegians the Danes belong to the Scandinavian group of immigrants. There were but 105,749 males of Danish parentage engaged in gainful occupations in 1900; 82,652 were foreign and 23,097 were native-born. Of this number, not quite onehalf, 44 per cent, were engaged in agricultural occupations, a comparatively high percentage, ranking the Danes next to the Norwegians as agricultural immigrants. The Danes are settled in the north central prairie States also and, like all Scandinavians, have proved excellent pioneers, efficient farmers and live-stock husbandmen, and very satisfactory citizens. Of the agriculturists, 34,951 are foreign-born and 11,622 are native-born; distributed by occupations 28,286, including both generations, are farmers and 16,117 are agricultural laborers.
Of the 95,142 males of swiss parentage engaged in all gainful pursuits in 1900, about two-fifths (39.3 per cent) were on the land. The largest numbers of Swiss are found in Ohio, California, and Wisconsin, with somewhat smaller numbers in Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas, or about three-fifths of all Swiss on farms, but they are scattered in small groups over many States in all parts of the Union, there being no great concentration. The greatest number in agricultural pursuits in any State is 4,406. The farmers of the first generation numbered 14,267 and the native-born 7,713. The 12,978 farm laborers were almost equally divided between the first and second generations. In all, 37,428 Swiss were engaged in agricultural occupations in 1900. The great majority of the Swiss agriculturists are farm owners, and many of them are engaged in dairying or stock raising.
Perhaps the most notable of the Swiss settlements is that in Green County, Wis., founded by former inhabitants of the canton of Glarus, Switzerland, in 1845, and now the home of perhaps 8,000 persons of Swiss lineage. The Swiss really originated the cheese industry in Wisconsin about the year 1868–69, when grain raising began to fail, and by 1880 the neighboring farmers in the State had begun to take notice of their success and follow in their footsteps. From one little village, New Glarus, nearly 3,000,000 pounds of cheese were shipped during the year ending September 1, 1909. In 1907 there were 180 cheese factories in Green County.
a For more detailed information see Reports of the Immigration Commission on Occupations, vol. 28 (S. Doc. No. 282, 61st Cong., 2d sess.).
• By Swiss is meant natives of Switzerland; the Commission classified them racially as German, French, or Italian; the census defines them by nationality, i. e., country of birth.
Wherever they are found, the German-Swiss make excellent farmers, and while the immigration from Switzerland has been insignificant in numbers, several new Swiss colonies composed of emigrants from the older settlements have been established in northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and the Dakotas, and are working a favorable influence on agriculture at several points.
In some respects the Russians, most of whom are Russian Hebrews, are treated under the discussion of the Hebrew agricultural colonies. But there are increasing numbers of Russian peasants from certain Russian provinces who are engaging in agricultural pursuits chiefly in the Central West between the Great Lakes and the Rocky Mountains and in western Canada. The census figures are not very satisfactory and mean only that those enumerated gave Russia as their birthplace or the birthplace of their parents, without regard to race. These are, however, the only available statistics. .
The Russians are mostly grain farmers. They purchased cheap land, settling in rather compact rural groups, and in general have been fairly successful and prosperous. No purely Russian colonies other than those of Russian Jews were investigated, but a number of farmers of Russian nativity were met with, usually intermingled with Poles and other Slavs.
OTHER RACE GROUPS.
All the other important races in rural settlements except the French and Austrians are dealt with in general or in detail elsewhere in this report and need not be summarized here. According to the census of 1900, of the 106,583 male breadwinners of French parentage, 24.6 per cent were in agricultural pursuits. The foreign-born reported 11,355, or 22.1 per cent, in agriculture, 7,415 being farmers and 2,356 farm laborers. The second generation had 14,845, or 26.9 per cent, in agriculture, 9,047 of whom were farmers and 5,145 farm laborers. Of the 167,620 Austrians in gainful occupations, 9.6 per cent were in agriculture, the foreign-born reporting 12,314, or 8 per cent, and the native-born 3,812, or 26.1 per cent. The foreign-born had 8,016 farmers and 3,487 farm laborers, the native-born 1,071 farmers and 2,667 farm laborers. In the present study the Austrians
. in part are treated under the head of Poles.
a For detailed information see Reports of the Immigration Commission on Occupations, vol. 28 (S. Doc. No. 282, 61st Cong., 2d sess.).
b As is the case with other races of recent immigration, the number of Americanborn Austrians of breadwinning age is comparatively small.
SCOPE AND METHOD OF INVESTIGATION.
The Immigration Commission's investigation of recent immigrants in agriculture was planned to comprehend a study of all the important agricultural groups of certain selected races east of the Mississippi River and a general survey of Texas, Arkansas, and southern Vissouri.
Racially, the study includes only those races which come from southern or eastern Europe, and the Japanese. Specifically, North and South Italians, Hebrews, Poles, Slovaks, Bohemians and other Slavs, Portuguese, Japanese, and a few colonies of German-Swiss and Belgians were investigated. With a few exceptions, every important immigrant rural settlement in the States east of the Mississippi River was visited or taken into consideration.
The study is for several reasons confined to the races mentioned. First, most of these immigrants have been on the land a comparatively short time. Second, they belong to the class of immigrants whose success in agriculture in the United States is not fully assured or recognized. Third, so far as their previous occupations in the United States are concerned, they are of the nonagricultural races, although in Europe they belonged to the peasantry. The agricultural fitness of the north European immigrants who migrated early to the West is so well known, and their capacity for Americanization and assimilation has been so fully proved, that an investigation of such rural settlements would resolve itself into a study of farming conditions and American rural life rather than an inquiry into immigration. Finally, the agricultural immigrant of the future in all probability will be recruited from the above-mentioned and kindred races from southern and eastern Europe.
In respect to occupations, the study logically divides itself into two rather unequal parts: (a) Colonies, settlements, communities, and rural groups, composed of farmers having a permanent abode in the country; (b) seasonal agricultural laborers, usually having a permanent residence in cities or towns, who migrate to the country in groups or gangs to supply the seasonal demand for farm laborers.
of the seasonal laborers only a few of the many groups east of the Mississippi were studied. “Black Portuguese” cranberry pickers in the East, Polish and Indian cranberry pickers in Wisconsin, Italian berry pickers in New Jersey, Italians and Poles engaged on farms and in canning factories in New York State, and Japanese, Belgians, and Bohemians in sugar-beet culture in Ohio and Wisconsin, are the groups included under this inquiry.
a Data concerning the Belgians and German-Swiss have not been tabulated by the Commission.
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COMMUNITIES INVESTIGATED, BY RACES.
The Italian rural groups considered include both North and South Italians and were found in 13 States-5 Northern States, 5 Southern States east of the Mississippi, and Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas. It is believed that practically every important colony or settlement east of the Rocky Mountains was considered, and nearly all of them were visited by the agents of the Commission. The report gives somewhat detailed accounts of 20 rural groups, and treats summarily of 23 others, chiefly in Texas. The majority of the Italian settlements are racially homogeneous, and their boundaries are rather well defined. In the 43 groups a there are approximately 4,142 families of Italian origin, most of them exclusively engaged in agricultural pursuits.
An effort was made to take note of all the important Hebrew colonies in the States included in the inquiry. Perhaps three-fourths or more of all Hebrews engaged in agriculture in the United States were reached. By far the greater number of Hebrew farmers are located in New Jersey, New York, and southern New England, in well-defined districts. Adopting the classification of the Jewish Agricultural and Industrial Aid Society, the rural colonies visited numbered 25. The approximate number of rural families in these colonies was 1,470, and the total number of persons approximately 7,767. This report combines these communities or colonies under seven titles, and deals more or less in detail with each large group. There are no Hebrew rural colonies of any significance in the South or Southwest, although there are a few colonies in the Dakotas.
The Poles have engaged in agriculture more extensively than any other race studied except the Bohemians, and many Polish settlements have been established too long to be called recent. Nevertheless, the Poles are a new element in eastern agriculture, and the immigration of Poles to the rural communities of the West and Southwest is steady, if slow. No colonies of importance were found in the South east of the Mississippi River, and but few in the North Atlantic States. Except those in Michigan (which State was not visited), few large Polish settlements in the North Central or North Atlantic States were omitted from the inquiry. In Wisconsin, where Polish farmers are comparatively numerous, four rather large settlements, typical of different varieties of Polish agriculture, were studied.
The summarized account of Poles in the Southwest treats of 13 parishes in 3 States and includes only a part of the Polish farmers there settled. In the North 34 Polish parishes in 6 States are represented in the report. In all, 47 rural (church) parishes, numbering approximately 6,219 families, most of them on farms, were reached by agents of the Commission.
a See Table 1, p. 10.
See p. 10.