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Occupation until living could be None.......
made from land.
Number of years..
Earnings per day..
Acres of land now owned..
Number of peach trees..
Live stock now owned:
Tools and implements.
Gross value of all property.
Earnings of son..
from previous savings.
Agents of the Commission secured detailed schedules from 21 North Italian and 28 South Italian families. Some of these families came to Vineland with the early immigration and some were comparatively recent arrivals. Of the heads of North Italian families only 2 came to the colony direct from Italy while 15 came from New York City, 2 from Illinois, and 1 each from Colorado and Pennsylvania. Of the South Italians 2 came direct from Italy, 13 from New York, 8 from Philadelphia, 2 from other parts of New Jersey, 1 from Colorado, and 1 from Brooklyn.
Of the North Italian heads of households from whom information was secured, 4 had been farmers in Italy, 1 had been a farm laborer, and 3 were reported as engaged in work on their fathers' farms. Of the South Italian heads of households 8 were farmers in Italy, 5 were farm laborers, and 6 worked on their fathers' farms. Others reported various occupations or no occupation. It will be noted that 8 of the 21 heads of North Italian families, and 19 of the 28 heads of South Italian families had been engaged in agricultural pursuits in their native land.
Two-thirds of the North Italians from whom information was secured bought land at once. The South Italians who came later were not so well able to buy. Only one-third purchased at once; one-third worked at various occupations for periods ranging from one to ten years; and, a significant fact-showing one method of meeting the rising land values-one-third of these South Italians rented land until they acquired sufficient means to purchase. Three have not yet been able to buy.
One-third of the North Italians came to Vineland without money or property of any kind, nearly 30 per cent had between $100 and $1,000, nearly 25 per cent came with $1,000 and under $5,000. Only one was reported bringing more than $5,000 with him.
The South Italians from whom schedules were secured were in more straitened circumstances. Nearly 29 per cent came with nothing, and nearly 70 per cent had less than $250. Tables 8 and 9 show that the entire number of North Italians investigated have purchased land. Fifty-seven per cent made an average first purchase of 26 acres of uncleared wild land, costing on the average of $727, or $28 an acre. Nearly 20 per cent bought cleared land, three-fourths or more tillable, 24 acres each, at an average cost of $2,313 per farm, or $96 an acre.
TABLE 8.-Condition of land and size of farms first rented or purchased.
BLE 8.-Condition of land and size of farms first rented or purchased-Continued.
TABLE 9.-First purchase of land, condition, size of farms, and price paid.
of acres per farm.
a $511 1,4 .438
a Not including 3 farms not reporting complete data.
The South Italians, who came later, for the most part purchased land at least half of which was in cultivation. Twenty-five of the 28 are now landowners. The 32 per cent who bought an average of 20 acres of uncleared land paid $30 an acre for it, or $606 a parcel. The same number made first purchases of land three-fourths or more in tillage. These parcels averaged the same in area, but cost an average of $1,333 each, $67 an acre, or more than twice the cost of the uncleared land. Some of these last purchases (including land reported one-half and more tillable) represent sales of old farms previously owned by Americans and sold because they were not returning a surplus over expenses."
The median farm first purchased by a North Italian was 24 acres, five purchases only being between 40 and 80 acres. The South Italian purchased a farm of 20 acres and only two purchases-one of 55 and one of 86 acres exceeded 40 acres. While the land was being cleared or paid for, 11 of the 21 North Italians engaged in some supplementary occupation. The rest were able to make a living from the
a See report on Malaga and Newfield, pp. 88-93.
land immediately, either because they had bought partially cleared land or because they had savings or other income to fall back upon Nine of the 11 above referred to found work as farm laborers for part of each year until a living could be made from the farm, a period varying from one to five years.
Only 7 of the 28 South Italians studied did any outside work after buying land. Most of them were laborers in the vicinity before buying and more of them bought or leased improved land. It is scarcel true that, taking the community as a whole, 70 per cent of the Italians who are now buying have no supplementary occupation. A considerable number near Minatolo work in the glass works part of the year to help pay for the small parcels of ground they are buying.
SOIL, CLIMATE, TOPOGRAPHY.
Physiographically the region belongs to the "pines" or "pine barrens" of south Jersey. Originally the whole tract east and south of a line drawn from Long Branch through New Egypt, Mullica Hill, and Salem was covered with a heavy growth of pine, oak, chestnut, and, along the rivers, cedar. Within the memory of men now living the whole triangular section was clad in second or third growth timber and much of the area is still a wilderness.
The uplands of this region, once an old sea bottom, slope gently toward the sea on the south and east. Much of the land is to the eye a dead level, but a more careful survey or drive over the now cultivated portions shows that there are noticeable undulations, quite sufficient for good drainage. A topographical map shows that Vineland and the greater portion of Landis Township lie on the divide between the Great Egg Harbor River, on the northeast, and the Maurice River, which bounds the tract on the southwest. Nowhere is the elevation more than 150 feet above sea level. A surveyor's bench mark on the First Baptist Church, Vineland, records an elevation of 118 feet, and there are low spots barely 50 feet above mean tide. Speaking of the elevation of the "pines," the New Jersey Geological Report says: "Of 44,000 square miles south of the Red Sandstone plain not more than 1,200 square miles rise above 100 feet elevation; one-third of the surface is less than 50 feet above sea level. Between the Great Egg Harbor and Maurice River watersheds the ground rises above 100 feet to beyond (i. e., southeasterly) Landisville and Vineland." Speaking in comparative terms, then, the region about Vineland is high, dry, and salubrious.
Geologically, the pine region is classified as of Tertiary and postTertiary formation, except the recently deposited and accumulating alluvium along the rivers and bays.
Three or four types of soil appear, often within the space of a few hundred yards. The better soils are a sandy or gravelly loam, running into heavy clay in spots, with a sandy or gravelly subsoil, which gives evidences of marine deposits to a great depth. This soil was covered with white oak and hard woods and is found in large bodies in and around Vineland borough. It is considered the most fertile and durable soil in south Jersey.
a From report of State geologist, New Jersey, 1888.