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the Italian farmer in the South, he seems to have made a permanent place for himself on the Louisiana sugar plantations and as a truck farmer on the coast and in the Mississippi Valley. It is certain that many of the present-day tenants and farm laborers will purchase land and become independent farmers.
In the State of New York there are two classes of Italian farm laborers. First, those who live in agricultural localities and are employed more or less regularly by their fellow countrymen who are engaged in farming by neighboring American farmers or by canning factories; second, those who go to the country for the farming season, returning in the fall to other occupations in the cities. Laborers of this second class are generally employed by large canning companies. The men are worked in gangs under control of padrones and are usually quartered on the farm of the company.
In Albion, New York, and its vicinity, there are about three hundred and fifty Italians, including men, women and children, who depend upon agriculture for part of their yearly income, and three hundred farm laborers of this race are brought in each summer from Buffalo, New York, for the canning season. About four hundred and seventy-five come from the cities to Oneida for the canning season, and in Geneva and its vicinity there are about fifteen hundred Italians, including men, women and children, who depend upon farm work for their livelihood during the agricultural season. Most of these enumerated are engaged in some other kind of labor during the winter. At Canastota, New York, there are about fifty Italian families depending entirely upon agriculture for their support. Of these, twenty own farms, the rest being either ten
ants or farm laborers.
In Lyons and Clyde and vicinity there are approximately one hundred families deriving an income from agriculture; forty own farms, about twenty are renters, and about forty live in the towns and work on farms in the summer. In Port Byron and its vicinity thirty-five Italian families are engaged in some form of agriculture; ten own farms, ten are tenants, and fifteen are farm laborers. Near almost all the larger cities in New York may be found Italians who own or work in market gardens, and in one or two localities Italian owners or laborers in orchards or vineyards are recorded, there being a considerable settlement thus engaged near Fredonia. Very few Italians in the other Middle States are engaged in general farming or employed as farm laborers.
HEBREW AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITIES
Hebrew rural communities in the United States are confined very largely to Hebrews from Russia, Rumania and Galicia. The reason is evident. Most Hebrew farmers were established on the land directly or indirectly through the influence of an immigrant aid society of some sort. Nearly all of these organizations were founded for the purpose of assisting Russian Hebrews. The greatest of all such organizations was the Baron de Hirsch Fund, incorporated in 1891 to administer the trust funds of the banker and philanthropist, Baron de Hirsch, which he devoted to the amelioration of the economic condition of Russian Hebrews. Other Hebrews have been and are being aided, but most assistance has been given to those from Russia.
Very few Hebrews found their way to rural dis
tricts until 1882, when, following the Russian persecutions culminating in the "May Law" of that year, great numbers of Hebrews fled from Russia. It was the period of western immigration, and loyal philanthropic Hebrews felt that the way upward for the refugees was by the same path that thousands of hardy pioneers, as penniless as the Russians, were climbing with success. Consequently, under the leadership of fellow countrymen, from 1882 to 1886, a dozen or more rural colonies were established in Oregon, the Dakotas, Kansas, Louisiana, New Jersey, Michigan, and elsewhere where land was cheap and procurable in large tracts. All were given material aid and encouragement, all met with unforeseen obstacles and discouragements, and every one except the New Jersey colonies dragged out an unsuccessful existence.
These failures caused discouragement and brought rural settlements into disfavor with the Hebrews. It was about 1882 that the first successful colony was established, in Southern New Jersey. This colony, at first founded on a communistic basis, located on most unpromising, uncleared land in the pine barrens, was kept going from 1882 to 1890 only by the generosity and material assistance of fellow countrymen, and finally, just as the project seemed about to be abandoned, relief came through the Baron de Hirsch Fund. The thousand or more Hebrew farmers in New England and New York, with a few exceptions, either speculate in real estate or provide a market for part of the fruits of their fields by keeping summer boarders or lodgers, or depend to a greater or less extent on some other outside enterprise-peddling, cattle trading, junk buying, etc.-for a material part of their incomes. To all appearance the colonies
located near Vineland, New Jersey, are permanently established on the basis of commercial and successful farming.
POLISH AND BOHEMIAN FARMERS
Polish farming communities are located in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Texas. The largest body of Bohemian farmers are found in the prairie States of the upper Mississippi Valley and in Nebraska and Texas, where large and flourishing Bohemian settlements have been long established. None of the Texas colonies are large, the most populous being one of some four hundred families in McClellan County. In all of the colonies there are farmers who came to Texas with their parents when small children. There are also young farmers of the second generation. The settlements are now growing from within, and so thoroughly American are many of them that no one speaks of them as foreign. or immigrant. Since 1890 the influx of immigrants from abroad to the older settlements has been small and apparently not increasing.
There has been, however, an increased Bohemian immigration to Texas since 1905. The breaking up of the large cattle ranches has put many acres of good land on the market in small tracts and foreigners of several races have taken advantage of the opportunity to buy unimproved land. How many Bohemians have purchased land or become tenant farmers since 1900 there is no means at present of ascertaining. The Bohemians, now settling, not only in Texas but in other States, are men with more money than those who came three decades or more ago. They have more
capital to start with and are more immediately successful than those who came when the Southwest was almost entirely wild and untilled.
The Texas Bohemians have engaged in several lines of agriculture, but nearly all have had something to do with cotton raising. In contrast to the native Texans, the Bohemians, like the Germans and Poles, raise sufficient produce on their cotton farms to sustain their families and their work stock, and by this means lessen their store account. As is usual in cotton districts, tenancy is common in almost all settlements.
The Bohemians are faithful supporters of schools and churches. Very few are illiterate. Almost none of the second generation over ten years of age are unable to read and write English. The young women are teachers in the schools and the young men not on farms engage largely in clerical pursuits.
There are a few Slovak farmers in New England, a very small number in Pennsylvania and Virginia, a colony of about fifty families in Arkansas, and perhaps a few small scattered groups in other States, but the aggregate is not large. The Slovaks are manufacturing and mining laborers rather than farmers. In a general way they differ little from the Polish rural settlers. There seems to be little movement of Slovaks to agriculture, either directly from abroad or from industrial pursuits in the United States. The Slovaks began their settlements in Connecticut very recently, and can not fairly be compared with other foreigners in that State. A whole group of Slovaks of Slovaktown, Arkansas, was recruited by a colonization company from the coal mines of Illinois and