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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Black History: Colored laborers paid more in South than North five years after Civil War

Alfred R. Waud, artist. (Illus. in: Harper's weekly, 1868 - public domain)
“Gen. C. H. Howard, Assistant Commissioner of the Freedman’s Bureau for the District, is continually receiving applications from all parts of the Union for colored labors, and thus far has found no difficulty in filling all requisitions. Within the past month several hundred have been furnished transportation to different points, both North and South, and the demand for colored labors particularly from the South, seems constantly increasing, former slaveholders universally preferring imported labor, instead of that of their late slaves. Previous to transportation of colored laborers to the South, their employers are required to sign a contract binding themselves, beside paying reasonable wages to their own employees, to furnish them with comfortable quarters, fuel, and medical attendance. The wages of the freemen sent South average about $15 per month for able bodied males, while the wages of the females are in proportion.  No contracts are made for freedmen sent North, who generally receive less compensation for their labors than those sent to the late insurrectionary States.”
April 10, 1866…Front Page, New York Tribune

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