The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973 Page: 462
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
southerner was becoming more acclimated to the reality that slavery
died with defeat and could not be resurrected by state law. It did not
mean, however, that white farmers ever considered their black counter-
parts equal to them in farming ability. They always maintained that to
leave a Negro farmer unsupervised guaranteed land exhaustion through
unscientific agricultural techniques and inefficient and sloppy labor.
Consequently the farmers of the New South feared that they would for-
ever till worthless land with shiftless laborers.2
Texans, as typical southerners, approached the problem of a shortage
of agricultural workers in two principal ways: immigration and labor
contracts. Eventually they hoped to replace black laborers, whom they
considered potential failures, with white immigrants. Immediately after
the war, for example, local groups, the press, and the legislature urged
the state to actively promote immigration. The legislature responded by
passing a resolution inviting foreign and domestic capital and settlers to
come to Texas. Counties, cities, the state, immigration associations,
agricultural organizations, and railroads offered inducements, sent
agents to the far corners of the globe, and propagandized for immi-
grants well into the 188o's. The immigration advocate did not expect
the new arrivals to be only wage slaves. By settling on the land immi-
grants would ultimately increase real estate values and throw the bal-
ance of elective power to the white man, bringing to their benefactors
both material and political rewards. But all understood the immediate
impact of immigration upon black laborers. As one writer for the Texas
Almanac for 1870 stated, "Competition will dissipate many of the freed-
men's conceited notions and lower their growing pretentiousness."3 The
same writer added that Texas and the South were beginning to look to
China, too, for new settlers to work the land. That suggestion never re-
ceived much endorsement. A decade later, when it was rumored that
Chinese coolies might be imported to replace blacks, a Grange news-
paper warned that "to bring chinese [sic] into the South will be to
2Vernon L. Wharton, The Negro in Mississippi, 1865-189o (New York, 1965), 117-120;
Charles William Ramsdell, Reconstruction in Texas (reprint; Austin, 1970), 70-71; Carl
N. Degler, Out of Our Past (New York, 1959), 212; Henderson H. Donald, The Negro
Freedman (New York, 1952), 1-3, 5, 9-'o; Harold D. Woodman, King Cotton and His Re-
tainers: Financing & Marketing the Cotton Crop of the South, 18oo-1925 (Lexington,
1968), 338. For general attitudes toward blacks see Claude Hunter Nolen, "Aftermath of
Slavery: Southern Attitudes toward Negroes, 1865-1900" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of
Texas, Austin, 1963).
3 Texas Almanac for 187o, as quoted in W. C. Nunn, Texas Under the Carpetbaggers
(Austin, 1962), 254.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973, periodical, 1973; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101202/m1/518/: accessed February 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.