Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
The Negro emerging from slavery after the Civil War was faced with the problem of making a living as a freeman. The only salable asset he had was his labor. In certain areas of the South, the Negro had turned by 1870, to mining bituminous coal. In the last decade of the nineteenth century, conditions in the coal mines of greater Birmingham, Alabama, reached such a state that a number of Negroes felt it imperative to remove themselves.
In 1899, a number of these Negroes migrated to Crawford and Cherokee counties of Southeastern Kansas to mine coal. Their arrival was clouded by the local labor conditions. By mid 1900, the Negro miner who stayed in Southeast Kansas had become an integral part of the local mining community. The memory of their arrival and of their lives is both universally and locally incomplete. The purpose of this investigation and of the writing of this thesis is to discover and to present the Negro miner of Southeast Kansas from the perspective of sixty-six years.
Because of the general lack of knowledge on this subject there was a dearth of information, a handicap overcome by nine months of perusing and collecting isolated accounts from official records, court records, collections of letters, and from the local newspapers from the period January 1, 1899, to January 1, 1902.
Robb, John M., "The Migration of Negro coal miners from Alabama to southeast Kansas in 1899" (1965). Electronic Thesis Collection. 107.