The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992 Page: 466
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Southwestern Hzstorzcal Quarterly
dred granite tradesmen to be lured away from the city each spring to
the American quarries and stoneyards." Some settled down perma-
nently, perhaps establishing their own businesses after a time, while
others preferred to invest the money they earned in the subsequent
opening of a yard back in Aberdeen. But many continued to commute
annually across the Atlantic, returning home temporarily in the winter,
then re-emigrating in spring at the opening of each succeeding season.
Although the American employers wanted to exploit the Scots' skills
in order to develop their own native granite industry, the arrival of
these foreign tradesmen was not universally welcomed. Edmund Ste-
venson, one of the emigrant commissioners at New York, criticized
the parasitic attitude of many transient immigrants when he wrote in
hundreds and thousands of skilled mechanics-stone-cutters, stone-masons,
glass-blowers, locomotive engineers-come regularly to this country every
spring, year after year, and stay here until about November. They pay no taxes
for our schools, they perform no jury duty, nor are they liable to; they do not
perform any of the duties of citizenship, except the protection they get from
the city or the state wherever they reside. During all the working season, they
are sending their money back home to their wives, their children, and their
parents, and at the end of the working season they pack their grip sacks and go
back to Europe, spend the winter, and the next year come back here again, and
repeat the same thing over and over again. They come into direct competition
with American labour; they drive out American labour by their coming here,
skilled workmen that they are, and they generally work under the price of
American labour. But they earn much more money here, and they can afford
to go back there and live for a few months until the working season, and then
come back here.'
The way in which employers used immigrants to repress wages,
break strikes, and destroy attempts at union organization was most
bitterly resented by many branches of American labor. In 1885 the
growing hostility took legislative form when Congress, largely at the in-
stigation of the Knights of Labor, passed the Alien Contract Labor
Law. This act was designed to prevent the introduction into the U.S.A.
of foreign contract workers to perform work that was the prerogative
of native labor. As a result it became
SSee, for Instance, [Aberdeen] Granite Cutters' Journal, I-IX (1901-1910) (Aberdeen Univer-
sity Library, Dept. of Manuscripts and Archives, MSS 2655/2/1 /1--9; cited hereafter as Aber-
deen GCJ); Aberdeen Daily Free Press, Aberdeen Evening Express, Aberdeen Evening Gazette,
Aberdeen Journal (various dates, 1880-1914), House Misc Doc No. 572, 5oth Cong , ist Sess ,
1888 (serial 2579), 149 evidence of David Dawson (recorded as "Dorson")
'W H. Wdlkims, "Immigration troubles of the United States," Nineteenth Century, XXX (Oct,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992, periodical, 1992; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117153/m1/542/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.