Skip to Content
North Carolina Newspapers

The University of North Carolina news letter. online resource (None) 1914-1944, April 11, 1923, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation of this newspaper page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

The news in this publi cation is released for the press on receipt. THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA NEWS LETTER Published Weekly by the University of North Caro lina Press for the Univer sity Extension Division. APRIL 11, 1923 CHAPEL HILL, N. C. VOL. DC, NO. 21 Editorial Boards B. C. Branson, S. H. Hobbs, Jr„ L, R. Wilson, E. W. Knight, D. D. Carroll, J. B. Bnllitt, H. W. Odum. Entered as second-class matter November 14,1914, atthePostofficeat Chapel Hill, N. C., under the act of August 24, 1912 CRY OF OUR CROPPER CHILDREN THE FARM TENANT’S CHILD The white farm tenants in North Ca rolina number sixty-three thousand families of three hundred thousand souls. Which is nearly one-fifth of the entire white population of the state. Almost exactly one-fourth of these white tenant families are croppers—a type of farm tenant almost unknown outside the South. These white cropper households in North Carolina contain twenty-eight thousand bright-faced children of school age, and they are being hardened day by day by the conditions in hopeless homes. It may be that little can be done for the grown-ups in these poverty-stricken homes, but surely much can be done for their children. What can be done for them is a prob lem for teachers and preachers, Sun day-school teachers and superintend ents, home and farm demonstration agents, state university and state col lege extension services. Here is the most insisteht home-mission problem in this state and the South. The cry of the children of the crop per cannot go unheard in North Caro lina. Twin-Born Social Ills White illiteracy and farm tenancy are twins at birth and boon companions throughout life. Tenancy breeds illit eracy as in the cotton-tobacco counties, and illiteracy breeds tenancy as in the foothill and' mountain counties where the ownership of farms was al most universal in the earlier days. As long as we have farm tenancy we shall have illiteracy. Neither can be cured without curing the other. To gether they spell farm poverty, and farm poverty menaces the country chiK^ch and the country school, country community enterprise and common- j wealth progress as a whole. Ninety percent of the white illiteracy of North Carolina is in our country regions. Of the 105,000 white illiterates of the state only 10,000 are in our towns and cities. White illiteracy is almost entirely a country problem, and it cannot be cured by schools alone, of any grade or type. Its cure lies (1) in better coun try schools, (2) in re-directed country churches, and at the same time (3) in better chances to rise into farm owner ship—these three together. Apart they will fail. Under the best circum stances, the cure of farm illiteracy, farm tenancy, and farm poverty is a complicated difficult social problem, and it calls for well directed effort throughout long years. It was so in Denmark and it will be so in North Carolina. The Farm Child’s Friend And if only we can hear the feeble cry of the 28,000 children in the white cropper homes of North Carolina, we will set ourselves to the task of jacking- up the bottommost levels of life in this state, with the same fervor that we give to the same problem in Korea and China and the far-away lands of the East. ' No man In America has heard the cry of country children with any keener sympathy than Mr. Charles E. Gibbons, the rural research worker of the Na tional Child Labor Committee. His studies have taken him into the country regions of Michigan, Ohio, West Vir ginia, Kansas and Nebraska, Okla homa, Texas, and North Carolina in recent years. And no man better knows that child labor is not mainly a city problem or a factory problem. North or South, but that it is mainly a farm problem, the bulk of it con sidered—a problem of the beet fields of the West, the cranberry bogs of the North and East, the cotton fields and tobacco patches of the South, and the trucking areas everywhere; that farm children are an economic asset and in tenant homes an economic necessity.; that the children in cropper homes must work if they would live, no matter l»w little they go to school; that the tenant child in the South and the street rat in the cities of the North and East sre the largest and most difficult of all the problems of child labor. His chapter on Child Labor on Farms, in Rural Child Welfare, is the very best chapter on this subject in print. This chapter and this book ought to be read by every man and woman of heart in North Carolina. Gibbons in Carolina When the State Farm Tenancy Com mission settled down to the critical task of determining in detail the field schedules of its three county surveys in 1922, Mr. Gibbons was called in as an expert by the ^tate University. He rendered invaluable service in perfect ing the schedules so as to yield the data that gave heightened social signi ficance to the University bulletin on How Farm Tenants Live in Mid-State Carolina. He gave a month or more to the task of making field schedules, exploring the field to be surveyed by the University representative, and in schooling Mr. Dickey the surveyor. He gave his time and genius to this work without a cent of extra compensation, and for this superb service he was released to us by the National Child Labor Com mittee without cost to the university and the state. It was fine and generous on part of Mr. Gibbons and his organi zation. I celebrate him as The Lover of Country Children. —E. C. Branson. THE FARM LOAN COMMISSION Several members of the Farm Loan Commission appointed by the General Assembly of 1923 will probably go to Oklahoma and North and South Dakota to study state-aid projects now on foot in those states, and one member of the commission will make extensive invest igations in Europe, it was decided at the initial meeting of the commission in Raleigh on March 16. The commission organized by the election of Senator D. F. Giles, of McDowell, as chairman, and Repre sentative R. M. Cox, of Forsyth, as i secretary. R. C. Chappell, of Raleigh, [ was appointed clerk to the committee. ; Dr. E. C. Branson was appcunted pub-' licity director, but will be in Europe for the next year and during that time ! the publicity will be handled by Dr. j C. C. Taylor. The full commission is composed of Senators D. F. Giles, of McDowell, and Charles U. Harris, of Wake; Representatives W. H. S. Bur- gwyn, of Northampton; R. M. Cox, of Forsyth; and T. L. Gwynn, of Haywood; Dr. E. G. Branson, of the University of North Carolina; and Dr. C. C. Tay lor, of State College. The commission was appointed after defeat of the Giles bill, which provided for a bond issue of $2,600,000 for farm aid. The original bill called for aid of the individual tenant, but a substitute was later offered embodying a plan of farm colonies and a committee from the General Assembly was sent to Wil mington to inspect the Castle Hayne development, promoted by Hugh Mac- Rae. The amount of the bond issue pro posed in the Giles bill was successively reduced to $1,600,000 before defeat of the measure and Senator Giles stated yesterday that in his opinion the com mission will recommend an even small er sum, to be divided into four or five settlements with a combination of the plan for aid to the individual tenant farmer. Plan of Investigation The commission yesterday adopted a comprehensive plan of investigation which was divided into four divisions, (1) the study of land settlement in foreign countries, (2) in the United States, (3) land settlement policies of the several states, and (4) land develop ment in North Carolina. The report to be made to the General Assembly will contain an analysis of the condition of tenants and Croppers in North Caro lina and recommendations for state aid to landless farmers. The study of conditions in other coun tries will be made by Dr. Branson who will leave next Saturday for a year’s stay in Holland, Denmark, and Ger many, where he will study land settle ments in those countries, the reasons for undertaking the same, their practi cal operation, and the extent to which the various governments have partici pated. The study of the various federal land KNOW NORTH CAROLINA A Georgia Verdict Mr. J. A. Hollomon, the tax ex pert of the Atlanta Constitution, has just delivered an address at the University of Georgia Chapel in Athens in which be called atten tion to the fact that the amount al lowed the Georgia institution for maintenance is something like $80,- 000, while last year the State Uni versity in North Carolina was given $440,000, and under a new budget program, $650,000 is being asked by that institution for its maintenance this year. “Negro normal schools in North Carolina receive more than the State University of Georgia does,’’ he said. When asked what form he thought the tax changes in the state should take, Mr. Hollomon said that he sees a classification tax with segregation of funds for particular departments like the University, the Normal School, State Asylum, etc. He be lieves that the property tax in Geor gia will never be abolished, but he does see in the future a modification bf this tax. M. Holloman did not say so, but in 1921 the State of North Carolina built four great dormitories and made improvements at her State University costing $1,400,000, push ing the University of North Caro lina equipment ahead of the Univer sity of Virginia, so that the institu tion of the Old North State stands today as the strongest in the coun try. They made room for 600 more students. There''are now nearly 2,000 students at Chapel Hill. At the same time, the state enlarged the normal schools at five places. The same day that Mr. Hollomon made his speech in Athens the At lanta Constitution said: “And yet Georgia is doing less for education, less for the maintenance of her higher institutions, less for good roads, less for the develop ment of her state properties than any other state in the South in pro portion to resources and population —a condition that is as regrettable as it is inexcusable.’’—The Savan nah Press. ers, those who own their work stock and implements, have for themselves and families an average daily cash in come of 12 cents per person. The 8- cent men are the croppers, who are staked to everything by their landlords. Walter Page called them “the forgot ten men.’’ Those astounding and pitiful facts are brought out in a recent University of North Carolina Extension Bulletin, “How Farm Tenants Live,’’ by Mr. J. A. Dickey and Dr. E. C. Branson, based on investigations by Mr. Dickey in Baldwin and Williams townships in Chatham County, conditions there be- ing typical of the whole state. It shows that the Tarheel white farm renter has an annual cash income of $261, the crop per $163! Says the bulletin: “The average income per person in the 329 farm families investigated, white and black owners and tenants, was only 23 cents a day! How could anybody live on less money and live at all? How can white tenants on a daily cash income of 12 cents a day per per son ever buy and pay for farms of their own? They do it—57 of the white farm owners of this particular territory have done it during the last 20 years. They do it, but how they do it passes under standing. And moreover they have done it by self-effort alone. Can this record be beat in any other state of the Union? This is what I have in mind when I say that God Almighty made North Carolina to be a paradise for poor folks—that is to say, for the average poor man content with merely keeping soul and body together.’’ But that is not enough. All North Carolina, empire in size and fairyland in fertility, must be made a paradise where the poor rise up and cast off for ever the fetters of their poverty. In a word, the white tenant of North Caro lina must be educated into the wisdom of buying land. What is more, the state must make it as easy as possible for him to accomplish that which makes a man a sovereign being, ownership of home and soil.—Asheville Citizen. projects in this country from the time of the disposal of the public domain down to and including the present sys tem of federal farm loans will be made by Dr. Taylor. Group settlement projects in Cali fornia and other states will be studied by correspondence but members of the committee plan to visit in person the states of North Dakota, South Dako ta, and Oklahoma, where plans similar to that embodied in the original Giles bill are now in operation. If assur ances can be obtained from the various states that the investigations can be made under favorable conditions the members of the commission will prob ably visit the three western States in June of this year. Present conditions in North Carolina and public and private attempts to solve the problem of the tenant and the cropper will be studied by the full committee while the Agricultural Ex tension service will be asked to gather figures on the number of applications that will be made by tenants in the state. THE FORGOTTEN MEN While we are building more good roads, why not build more good peo ple? There are in this state 317,000 persons who, if they are not to be an insupportable weight on the advance ment of North Carolina, have got to have better bodies and better equipped minds. They are the families of the 63,000 white farm tenants in the state, some of whom live on a cash income of 8 cents per person per day. The rent- powered, if the new law is adopted, to levy on industries in order to finance the scheme, and the government will augment these levies pound for pound. It is calculated that one penny on 100 pounds of butter would be sufficient for the dairy industry. For sugar, a levy of one half penny, per ton is sug gested.—News and Observer. SELF-FEEDING FARMERS Farmers should grow more of the food they consume and buy less of food produced outside their immediate locality is the consensus of opinion of 26,000 farmers in all parts of the coun try recently questioned on the subject by the Agricultural Department. The survey showed that of the food con sumed by farmers and their families 70 percent is produced locally, and nearly 30 percent is brought in by rail road. In the judgment of the farmers 79 percent of the food they consume could be economically produced locally. In a general way the survey indica ted that the more isolated farmers pro duce more of their foodstuffs than the less isolated, and that the more pros perous sections seem to buy more than the less prosperous. The thought back of the survey was that inasmuch as high freight rktes have had a tendency to reduce the prices of .products which farmers sell and to increase the prices (.f the things they buy, they might eco nomically produce more of their home requirements and thus become less de pendent upon the railroads and the out side world. In comparison with the rest of the country, it will probably be of interest to those who have been unjustly criti cizing the South for not producing more foodstuffs to know that the East South Central States including Ken tucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Miss issippi led in the volume of production for home consumption with 75.2 per cent. The smallest volume of home production is in the New England States with 68.1 percent.—Manufactur ers Record. A SUBSIDY TO FARMING The Legislature of Queensland, Aus tralia, is considering legal assistance and financial backing to the Queensland Primary Producers’ Association, formed for the marketing of Queensland pro ducts at home and abroad. Under the proposed law the state would be divi ded into 19 agricultural districts, each of which would elect a district council. District councils would elect a member of the Council of Agriculture which would be the executive of the associa tion. The State would appoint six members, making the full board 26. The Council of Agriculture will be em- THE BADGE OF THE GREAT The gifted man bears his gifts into the world not for his own benefit, but for the people among whom he is placed; for the gifts are not hi§, he himself is a gift to the community. That is the way Life gives gifts to the people; it wraps them up in men, and sends them forth. If then the bearer purloins the gifts for his own use, and turns his ability to serve into an excuse for over-lordship and exploitation of those who need him, he is a traitor to the Universe. Every kind of ability or superiority is an obligation. Here is the solution of all racial, national, class, and indi vidual problems. Service is the badge of the great. There is no greatness without it.—Dearborn Independent. ILLITERATE NATIVE WHITES Ten Years Old and Over in 1910 and 1920 Based on the 18th and 14th Censuses. Average of white illiteracy in tha United States, 8 percent in 1910 and 2 percent in 1920. Average in North Caro lina 12.8 percent in 1910 and 8.2 percent in 1920. Only two states made a poorer showing—Louisiana and New Mexico. The white illiterates in Denmark are only 2 'per thousand inhabitants; in North Carolina they number 82 per thousand, or forty-one times as many. Almost nobody but the feebleminded are illiterate in Denmark. Illiteracy does not mean feeblemindedness in North Carolina as in Denmark—not yet at least, but someday in the early future it may have some such significance i« this state. Department of Rural Social Economics, University of North Carolina Rank States 1920 1910 Rank States 1920 1910. Perct. Perct. Perct. Perct. Illit. Illit. Illit. Illit. 1 Montana .. 0.3 0.4 26 Ohio .. 0.9 1.5 1 Idaho .. 0.3 0.3 26 Indiana ... 1.3 2.1 1 Wyoming . 0.3 0.3 27 Colorado ... 1.4 1.6 1 Utah .. 0.3 0.4 28 Vermont ... 1.6 1.9 1 Washington.... .. 0.3 0.3 29 Maine ... 1.6 2.0 6 Massachuse,tts. .. 0.4 0.6 30 Delaware ... 1.8 2.9 6 Connecticut... .. 0.4 0.6 30 Maryland ... 1.8 2.6 6 North Dakota.. .. 0.4 0.5 32 Missouri ... 2.0 2.9 6 South Dakota.. .. 0.4 0.4 33 Arizona ... 2.1 4.2 6 Minnesota .. 0.4 0.6 34 Oklahoma.... ... 2.3 3.8 6 Nebraska . 0.4. 0.6 36 Florida ... 2.9 .6.0 6 Nevada . 0.4 0.4 36 Texas ... 3.0 4.3 6 Oregon . 0.4 0.4 37 Mississippi.... ... 3.6 6.2 6 California .. 0.4 0.6 38 Arkansas ... 4.5 7.0 16 New York .. 0.6 0.8 39 W. Virginia.. ... 4.6 6.4 16 Iowa .. 0.6 0.8 40 Georgia ... 5.4 7.8 17 New Jersey.... .. 0.6 0.9 41 Virginia ... 6.9 8.0 17 Kansas .. 0.6 0.8 42 Alabama ... 6.3 9.9 19 N. Hampshire. .. 0.7 1.1 43 S. Carolina ... ... 6.5 10.3 19 Rhode Island... .. 0.7 1.3 44 Kentucky.... ... 7.0 10.0 19 Michigan .. 0.7 1.1 46 Tennessee .,.. ... 7.3 9.7 19 Wisconsin .. 0.7 0.9 46 N. Carolina.... .... 8.2 12.3 23 Pennsylvania... .. 0.8 1.3 47 Louisiana ...10.6 13.4 23 Illinois .. 0.8 1.3 48 New Mexico . ...11.6 14.9

North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.

Digital North Carolina