North Carolina. Dept. of Mines North Carolina. Dept. of Labor and Printing.

Annual report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the State of ..., Volume 9 online

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Online LibraryNorth Carolina. Dept. of Mines North Carolina. Dept. of Labor and PrintingAnnual report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the State of ..., Volume 9 → online text (page 15 of 32)
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correctly your question, I should say the need here is more energy and in-

ustry. Possibly if their labors were more remunerative, this might be a
s ufficient stimulant to arouse the farming classes from their present sloth.
Pew read, and if our farmers bulletins were more generally distributed this
would have a favorable influence. Labor here is almost worthless; and that
that will work is almost beyond the reach of the farmers pocket, as they
get an easy living by flshing, clamming, etc. Small farms, high cultivation
diversified crops, making of home supplies needs to be impressed upon the
farmers everywhere, and especially here.

As to him that hath shall be given, so the farmers want better markets
for their produce in order to stimulate them to labor and make improve-
ments.

The only plan that I can see that will prevent the full enslavement of the
farmer is to reduce his acreage to his own household force. Live without
hiring, make everything his land will produce toward supplying the
various necessities of laundry and kitchen. Fertilize his land by a system
of green manuring and live strictly within his income, educate his children
at home in the common English branches of the three R^s and be content
until a better system of finance shall bless his efforts and encourage his in-
dustry. Jno. W. Sanders.



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Condition of Farmers in the State. - 189



ABOLISH the homestead LAW.

GOLDSTON, Chatham County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir: — In regard to any information, I am incompetent to attempt
it. The farmers do not use as much exertion as they should; lose too much
time and not as economical as they should be. I believe the homestead
law has been one of the main causes of the indebtedness of the average
farmer by following the mortgage system, hence the extravagance id trading.
And how to better our condition is a question. The agricultural station
has done well and been useful in regard to fertilizers and experiments.
Think it ought to be continued. It may be that something in the way of
cheap literature, well distributed, encouraging more industry, more perse-
verence, less time-killing, and more practical modes of cultivation, etc.,
and a higher standard of good morals. Every neighborhood has 25 per
cent of consumers and not producers, colored worse than the white race.
I hope to see some change and reaction by this fall to the farmers' interest;
if not, it will be impossible for them ever to get out of debt.

J. J. GoLDSTON, Employer.



WANTS sheep protected— SHEEP-KILLING DOGS AND WILD CATS

EXTERMINATED.

TusQUiTTE, Clay County, N. C.
B. R. IjACY, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir: — I am confident our farmers would do well to take some steps
to protect the sheep industry of our country.

Kill up the sheep-killing dogs. Take some steps toward getting rid of
wild cats. Bring in some improved stock, (cattle, horses and sheep).

Sow clover and raise an abundance of peas. And above all, work more
and take care of the odds and ends. Prepare and sow more small grain.

J. W. Johnson.



ABOLISH THE CHATTEL MORTGAGE SYSTEM.

Fayetteville, Cumberland County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir: — One of the greatest curses of our section in the past has
been the chattel mortgage system under the allurement of a hope that is
never realized. Many that are not calculated to do anything but labor,
have been induced to purchase houses, rent land and buy supplies all at a
ruinous per cent, and in the end, find themselves on the wrong side of the
balance sheet. I note, however, a decided decrease in that mode of opera-
tion.

We have in the eastern section of our county large areas of swamp land
that is very productive when properly drained, that is lying idle for want



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190 North Carolina Labor Statistics.



of a united e£fort on the part of the owners. I think if a law could be en-
acted that would allow each county to utilize a limited amount of convict
labor on a reasonable basis to work the roads and ditch swamps, etc., that
it might be of advantage to the people. In order for the bureau, which
you represent, to benefit the masses it must be brought close to them, and
I would suggest the appointment of some suitable person in each township
as agent to correspond with and furnish data to the commissioner. I will be
glad at any time to serve you or give any information that will be of inter-
est to your department. Yours truly,

Cyrus Murphy, Employer.



no cotton or wheat raised in the county— fishino entirely.

Manns Harbor, Dare County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir:— It is almost impossible for me to give you any information
as to farming, for the County of Dare is almost entirely exempt from farm-
ing. Fishing is the main occupation, and therefore we know nothing
about farming. One reason why farmiug has been abandoned, is on account
of the **Stock Law." I don't suppose that there is a bale of cotton or a
bushel of wheat raised in the county.

S. L. Fulcher, Employee.



MAKE COMPOST— sow PEAS, CLOVER, ETC.— THE CREATION OF THE BUREAU
A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

Yadkin College, Davidson County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commisjsioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir :— The farmers should improve their farms by making compost
and sowing peas and clover and other crops, to be turned under to improve
their land, and then make everything they need on the farm, as near as
possible. We should make every pound of meat we use, instead of sending
our money out of the State to buy it. We need a larger volume of money
in circulation, to increase the prices on farm products, and enable the far-
mers to give higher wages, and improve the farms and raise more of our
supplies at home. By these means the farmer would give employment the
year round to all his labor. At present, we only employ labor a few months
in the year, because the products raised on the farm at the present wages,
will not bring enough to pay the employer for his investment. If the
farmers of the South would only produce one half as much cotton and
tobacco as they do, it would double the amount of money, in consequence
of making a good demand for them, and give the farmers more time to
make their bread and meat and improve their farms.

I think the creation of the bureau is a step in the right direction, for
information in this line is very much needed.

G. Walser, Employer.



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Condition of Farmers in the State. 191



KEEP THE FREE SCHOOLS OPEN FOUR MONTHS IN EACH YEAR— REVENUE
FROM STOCKS AND EXEMPT LAND.

Jerusalem, Davie County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir : — Homestead laws changed so as to give the homestead abso-
lute title in place of life estate, for himself, wife and minority of the chil-
dren, so that it would be an inducement to improve. Let the State get its
revenue from personal property, railroads, bank stock, corporation tax, etc.
Leave the land entirely to each county, where the valuation can be uniform
for county and school purposes, so that the people will have better educa-
tional advantages, which is the beginning of all prosperity. Legislature
require the taxes to be levied so as to keep the free schools open four
months each year, if the constitution has to be altered. The people,
through the tax assessors, for fear that their county will pay too much
State tax, value their lands for about half what they would sell for, with
land assessed at its true value, notwithstanding the constitutional limit
would afford revenue enough to carry on the county government and increase
the school tax. The balance of taxable property is uniform all over the State.
My idea would be for the property for State purposes to be listed and a
State board to value and fix the per cent, tax that would be needed.

J. N. Charles, Employer.



'*FREE RAW MATERIAL"— A DISCRIMINATION IN FAVOR OF THE MANUFAC-
TURER.

JoFORD, Duplin County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir :— We think that the farmer might be benefited by better facili-
ties for destributing his products to central markets and consumers, and
by getting his necessaries by same means. We also think that tariff regulated
strictly on a revenue basis, would be materially to his advantage, as it
would tend to give him the advantages of the markets of the world. We
think that a **free raw materials" tariff, with well protected finished pro-
ducts, is a discrimination in favor of manufacturers and to the detriment
of farmers, because it tends to shut him out of the markets of the world.

We think that something to lessen the centralization of the currency and
to increase the same, would also benefit the farming interests, because it
might enable him to run his business on a cash basis. The credit system,
as is largely practiced in many localities, is highly injurious to farmers.

The bureau should collect reliable information from all classes of our peo-
ple and distribute same to all classes of our people, and better enable them,
intelligently, to solve the questions, social and political, which continually
arise, without injury, detriment or injustice either to corporate wealth
and capital or private rights. Maury Ward, Employer.



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192 North Carolina Labor Statistics.



EDUCATION, EDUCATION.

South Lowell, Durham County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir :— Education generally — education in the avocation and fair
treatment by the government, and it is only by education that fair treat-
ment can be had.

If farmers could be pursuaded that theirs is the noblest avocation among
men — to look upon education, not as an avenue of escape from farm
life, but rather the means of enhancing its profits and pleasures— the
problem would be solved. I wish 1 could tell you how this could be done.

I once hoped to see this effected through the Alliance, and until its
mission was perverted it was the grandest educator we ever had. It seems
now that our main chance is in pushing forward the public schools. We
must make them as good as the best if we intend to retain them. As it is
now, I doubt if the **game isjworth the candle.'' This certainly is the
one thing, if worth doing at all, is worth doing well.

R. G. Russell, Employer.



IT REQUIRES CAPITAL TO IMPROVE THE PROSPERITY OF THE COUNTRY.

DoEHEAD, Edgecombe County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir:— The work of the bureau seems to be well managed, its use-
fulness is, perhaps, felt by many and of great benefit to some who little
appreciate it. However, let the beneficial work go on to enlighten them
that are at present in the dark.

Our main object is to make agricultural products pay enough to lay aside
enough for the future, and improve the prosperity of the country. To do
this it requires capital (cheap; and money), for the purchasing power to
consume the products made. Increased value of products means increase
in labor value. Both can be accomplished. One always governs the other
and should be done for each others benefit.

Respectfully,
D. H. Barlow, Employer.



WANTS FRUIT CROP UTILIZED— SIXTY NEW SCHOOL HOUSES IN THE
COUNTY THAT COST FROM $1,500 TO $4,000— LAST LEGIS-
LATURE GAVE EDUCATION A BLACK EYE.

Kernersville, Forsyth County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir:— If some arrangements could be made by which farmers could
utilize their fruit crop it would help them considerable. It seems that ex-
press companies and commission merchants get all the profits of our crop.



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Cnodition of Farmers of the State. 193



Our county is in a very good condition. As for education and morality, in
the last ten years the board of education of this county has built sixty
good and comfortable schoolhouses; four of them cost from $1,500 to $4,000.
I am told by the chairman that the average attendance has been very
good. Our farmers own too much land. Small farms would pay better.
We have plenty to eat, but not much money in our pockets. Labor is
plenty and cheap. Our labor is mostly colored, and they have left the
farms and congregated in the towns, which gives farm hands an advantage.
The last legislature gave education a black eye for the present. Our pub-
lic roads are worked by convict labor, which is doing a great deal in build-
ing up business in our county. Though the roads are not yet perfect, they
have been greatly improved, which helps our towns, farms and business
generally. B. J. Sapp, M. D.



THE FARMER MUST BR FAIR IN HIS DEALINGS WITH LABOR, THE LABORER
INDUSTRIOUS AND HONEST, AND THUS AVOID FRICTION.

' LouiSBURG, Franklin County, N. Q.

B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir :— It is diflRcult to give correct answers to foregoing questions,
as a whole. The farmer that is frugal and industrious, fair in his dealings
with labor, and not too exacting in charging for every little item or hour
lost by sickness, etc., has no trouble in getting plenty of labor, and that
the best. And the laborer who is industrious, honest, and works to his
employer's interest, by pressing at unuusual hours and overtime to save
and house crops, finds no trouble in getting employment at highest prices,
and many little favors and kindnesses from best people without charge or
question, and enjoys many advantages, and even luxuries, free, where the
careless and indifferent can't get them. H. C. Kearney.



NEED 1,000 western FARMERS IN THIS STATE— WOULD NOT RETURN TO

IOWA FOR A COUNTY.

Mt. Holly, Gaston County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir : — I think smaller farms would be a benefit, and I am in favor
of making strong efforts to get in a good class of Northern and Western
people. I am a Northwestern man ; came from Iowa eight years ago next
fall. I like the country, the climate, the people, and I would not go back
to Iowa to live if they would give me a county ; and how a man could
stay in Nebraska, Kansas or Minnesota, where cyclones, blizzards, grass-
hoppers, drouth, sand-storms, etc., etc., make life miserable, when he can
get a farm for the same money here, is more than I can understand. We
need ten thousand Western farmers in this State right now, and five times
13



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194 North Cabolina Labob Statistics.



that number would be better. Too much land and too poor farming is
what^s the matter with old North Carolina. Small farms and good farm-
ing is what pays, here as well as North. We are hundreds of miles nearer
the large Northern cities, and have good railroads, quick transportation
and fair rates. This State could be made to boom if the right men would
use the right means. M. R. Dewstob, Employer.



CONTINUE THE GOOD WORK OF THE BUREAU— GOLD STANDARD HAS
LOWERED THE PRICE OP PROPERTY.

Chowder's Creek, Gaston County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir : — As requested, I will say that I think the greatest need of
the farmer is a fair price for his farm products, especially cotton. It strikes
a f artner very forcibly that when he gets four to seven cents for cotton and
buys it back in shirtings at fifteen cents a pound and calicoes at thirty-five
to forty cents a pound, that something is wrong. The manufacturer seems
to be getting all the profit and the farmer none. The farmer is impover-
ished by paying too high for supplies on credit during summer. Payiog
fifty to seventy-five per cent, profit will ruin anybody doing a business
with no profit in it. Farmers believe that the gold standard has lowered
the price of their property, destroyed thieir profit, doubled their debts and
enriched the creditor. Pernicious legislation may have had some-
thing to do with it. Cotton mills and banks borrow about all the money
in the country ; other enterprises languish. It would certainly benefit
farmers to place money in their reach, at low rates of interest, so they
could buy supplies at cash rates. Repeal all class legislation on finances,
give us state banks with circulation properly secured, kill oflf political
demagogues and elect honest men to make laws. Continue your good
work ; write to more men— good men— and give the people all the informa-
tion you can. N. D. Glknn, Employer.



FIRST find what YOUR SOIL WILL BEST GROW, AND GROW IT— LITE
WITHIN YOUR INCOME.

Stecoah, Graham County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir : — The farmers of this county can improve their condition in
various ways :

1. Thorough and systematic farming.

2. Every farmer should know what to grow upon his farm. Some soils
are susceptible of producing some particular varieties of staple products
that would be more remunerative to the owner than anything that can be
grown upon his farm; hence, the necessity of fully knowing what his soil
is, and then grow upon the farm that that will be the most remunerative.
In this county some soils are adapted to the growth of wheat and clover,



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Condition of Farmebs in the State. 195



etc. Other soils will grow fruits of various kinds, to- wit : apples, pears,
grapes (the Concord and Ives' seedling grow fine in this county), and
grasses grow luxiuriantly on certain soils. In a word, let every farmer
grow upon his farm that article which his farm is especially adapted to, and
above everything, live within his income ; avoid debt as he would a con-
tagious disease ; be economical in all things, and a better day will soon
dawn. W. D. Crisp.



BUY A HOME AND PUT IN YOUR SPARE TIME IMPROVING IT— PATRONIZE

HOME INDUSTRY.

Homestead, Graham County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir : — I think there are too many of our people depending on
daily wages for a support for themselves and families. My advice to them
would be to secure for themselves a place called home, and own it, be it
ever so small, rough or mountainous. Put in all their spare time on
improving their little homes, plant out orchards of fruits of various kinds,
scatter all the manure obtainable on their lands, and cultivate small farms,
raise a variety of crops, enex>urage the building of good mills all over the
country, patronize home industry. Buy as little of that you do not raise
as possible. Get in a position to pay down for all supplies that have to be
bought, and let the mortgage system go to the wall. Say I am a man and
not a slave to be used as a tool by the speculators, and gradually year by
year times will get better, and one by one the fetters of oppression will
drop oflf. W. H. Crisp, Employer.



HARD times caused BY TOO MANY LOAFERS— THOSE THAT TRY TO RUN

THE GOVERNMENT.

Lyons, Granville County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir : — Ask them to stick to their farms and let politics alone, stop
loafing at towns, cross-road stores and railroad stations. I know it to be
the cause of hard times to many in the southern part of Granville county,
as but few men that stick at their work, and hold and drive the plow and
wagon, but can say, I have lived as well as ever the past year ; but
find the farmer that can run the government, and you will find one who
has nothing to sell and crying hard times. Would it not be hard times to
him if money was plentiful and produce high, and he nothing for sale ?
Many of our energetic and pushing farmers never have felt the present
panic, and to-day have plenty around them, while those who have been
running the government are short on everything the first day of June
when the tax-listers call on them. A. A. Lyon, Farmer.



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196 North Carolina Labor Statistics.



THE BUREAU OF GREAT GOOD TO THE STATE.

Appletree, Greene County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir : — I have no suggestions to make as to what would increase
the usefulness of your bureau.' I am willing to leave it in your hands,
only wishing you the same success in the future as you have had in the
past. I have just read your report for 1894. It is a great work for the
State. Now, as to suggesting anything for the farmers, I am sure it is per-
fectly useless, as they will hear to nothing until the money problem is
settled— which may have, and I think has, something to do with the hard
times we are now experiencing, but do not believe it is the sole cause ; and
am sure they lose more by looking over other things than they gain by
the study of finance. What we need is fewer politicians, more farmers ;
fewer lawyers, and more true statesmen ; fewer pensions, and more
markets opened up for our produce, and fewer financiers and more finance.
Then if we will stay at home and board at the same place, make less cot-
ton and more hog, in my opinion we will in a very short space of time be
one of the most prosperous and happy people on earth.

W. R. Bryan, Employer.



THE BUREAU OF LABOR OF GREAT GOOD TO THE FARMER—NEED REFORM
IN THE LINE OF EDUCATION.

Guilford College, Guilford County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir : — I think the Bureau of statistics and information is doing a
grand work for the farmers of North Carolina, if they would only utilize
and appreciate it more than they do. We certainly need a reform in the
line of education, and it is not so much the need of more money and longer
school terms, but that every child in the State should have the benefit of
the schools as they now exist, by compelling them to attend ; and see that
we have efficient teachers, and teach them temperance and political econ-
omy, which I think would do more to advance the condition of the
laboring class and make them good and useful citizens than anything that
could be done for them. For we are bound to admit that extravagance in
governmental affairs, and extravagance in living, and the terrible curse of
the licensed saloon have done more to debase the laboring man and make
him a restless citizen and the ready tool to be used by unprincipled poli-
ticians and leaders of strikes than all other things combined. Let us all
use our influence in this direction, utilize our convict labor in building
good roads, make our own supplies instead of wasting our time and
exhausting our land raising tobacco ; and see to it that we do not send
unprincipled ignoramuses to legislate for us again, as was the case the
last Legislature, and the farmers will be happy and independent in the Old
North State. A. T. Millis, Employer.



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Condition of Farmers in the State. 197



PROTECT YOUR LAND FROM WASHING INTO GULLIES.

AuRELioN Springs, Halifax County, N. C.
B. R. Lacy, Esq., Labor Commissioner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir : - There can scarcely be two opinions as to the fact that in
this section of the State, where the lands are undulating, the soil is being
washed oflf, as a general thing, and in such instances becoming more sterile.
In very many instances they are rented to negroes or white men without
any stipulation as to how they are to be cultivated, and whose only care is
to produce the largest yield from the manure and labor expended on it,
without any regard to protection against washing, which undoubtedly
ie the greatest cause of deterioration. Unfortunately, many owners of
land pursue the same course. The plowing is up and down hill, without
guard ditches or terraces, or if these are used, they are so abominably run
as to be worse than none. The land is put under one crop year after year,
and in many cases, becomes so washed in a few years as to be abandoned
as too poor to yield a support for the thriftless tenant. But for the spring-
ing up of second-growth pines, a large portion of the State's area would
have become a blowing sand. The course above indicated has produced
the yawning gullies which deface and ruin our once beautiful and product-
ive slopes and which send down their red, honey sub-soil to cover our once
fertile valleys. Every one of these gullies might have been prevented by
properly located guard ditches or terraces and the plowing done parallel
with and not across them. This matter seems of the utmost importance
to prevent any more devastation, and the land-owner may feel sure that it
can be done so as to prevent washing and that he can afford to pay a good



Online LibraryNorth Carolina. Dept. of Mines North Carolina. Dept. of Labor and PrintingAnnual report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the State of ..., Volume 9 → online text (page 15 of 32)