The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000 Page: 18
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The McFaddin-Ward House in Beaumont, c. 1909. The carriage house, where some of the
domestic employees lived, is in the background.
in the hands of the employer. For the employee, the only recourse was
paternalism, the predominant social system in early-twentieth-century
America in which the employer took responsibility for employee welfare
in return for employee obedience and loyalty.
In the South, paternalism was reinforced and further defined by rigid
segregation, since the overwhelming majority of domestic employees
were African American. As whites left domestic work for better working
conditions and pay in the early part of the twentieth century, they aban-
doned the field to blacks, who had fewer options. Thus, even though the
total percentage of domestic employees in the nation's work force began
to decline after 191o, the percentage of those who were African Ameri-
can rose, especially in the South. In 1900, blacks constituted 77 percent
of all Southern domestic employees; by 1920, that number had in-
creased to 82 percent.'
Segregation was the foundation of the Southern racial social struc-
ture, ultimately limiting the best intentions of employers and the best ef-
forts of skilled and energetic employees. Statistics were compiled along
ethnic lines; classified ads for housing and employment specified race.
African Americans were segregated from whites in living and work areas,
Sutherland, Americans, 57-59; David M. Katzman, Seven Days A Week: Women and Domestic Ser-
vice in Industrializing America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), 62-63, 184-189.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000, periodical, 2000; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101220/m1/44/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.