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Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.

1899VA-State-Hampton_Proceedings (24).pdf

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Over 88 per cent of the colored wage earners are engaged in agriculture, mining and personal service, to 58 per cent, for the total population; 47 per cent of the colored wage-earners are engaged in trade and transportation, to 14.63 per cent for the total population, and 5.6 per cent in manufactures to 22.39 per cent, for the total population. This shows that in order to bring the colored people up to the average of the white population there must be about four times as many engaged in trades and transportation, manufacturing, and the professions as were engaged in those occupations in 1890. Agriculture and personal service in the Northeastern States occupy but 71 per cent of all colored wage-earners; in the North Central States 75 per cent; in the Western States 81 per cent; in the in the Southeastern 84 per cent, and in the South Central 88 per cent of all

These figures show that the occupations of colored wage-earners are more diversified in the North than in the South.


As a rule each trade or calling has a separate national organization. Some of these affiliate with the Knights of Labor, but by far the greater number affiliate with the American Federation of Labor, with headquarters at Washington, of which Mr. Samuel Gompers is President. The various orders of railway employees engineers, conductors, firemen, trainmen and telegraphers do not affiliate with any other organization. They are independent.

They are all organized very much on the plan of our national and state government. The local unions owe a certain allegiance to the National Union and to the Federation, yet they have the right of local self government the right to manage in their own way their own local affairs, subject always to the Constitution of the higher body.


Your committee visited and had interviews with as many of the leaders of the labor movement as could be reached. One and all they gave us the most cheering words. Mr. Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor wrote that the Federation was now making extra exertion to organize all laborers without regard to race sex, or creed, and that the Federation had three extra organizers in the South with instructions to organize all laborers. He also quoted for us a resolution adopted and several times confirmed at their conventions, as follows:—

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