Why Did Immigrants Shun the Reconstruction South? A Richmond Newspaper Knows Why


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Pat Young

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#3
Before the Civil War, only one in twenty immigrants went to live in the states that became the Confederacy. Thatg ratio did not improve during Reconstruction. The Richmond Whig opined that immigrantgs were scared off by the Radical press. What do you think?
 

John Hartwell

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#4
I don't know if it was a deliberate policy of "South-hating Radical journals," but reports of KuKluxism and social unrest in the South may well have had some such effect. I should expect the availability of inexpensive land (as opposed to agricultural peonage on someone else's land), might have had more influence on the decision. Also the relative scarcity of non-agricultural jobs. They were also more likely to be influenced by the opinions of established immigrant communities in the North and West -- of which there were very few in the South.
 

CSA Today

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#6
Before the Civil War, only one in twenty immigrants went to live in the states that became the Confederacy. Thatg ratio did not improve during Reconstruction. The Richmond Whig opined that immigrantgs were scared off by the Radical press. What do you think?
Radical Reconstruction wasn't a good time to be white in the South unless you were a carpetbagger or scalawag and they were unlikely to share the spoils with folks just off the boat.
 
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#9
From my reading about immigrants to Oregon and California before, during, and after the war I can say that many said they wanted to leave the east and it's disagreements behind; newspapers reported the same. Oregon didn't want to participate in the war or reconstruction politics which were both viewed by a majority as being problems endemic to the eastern states best left there. I don't know much about what immigrants to other states and territories thought but in Oregon and California that was definitely the majority feeling.

There were quite a few immigrants from Missouri in Oregon and they were particularly tired of the divisions in their home state and didn't think the war would really settle it (and they were right pretty much) so they just got as far away as they could. Also, many didn't want to live amongst freed blacks and Oregon was clear that blacks weren't welcome and was close to lily white.

So, they wanted to really start over and leave the problems of the old states behind.
 

Championhilz

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#10
My G-G- Grandfather was killed in a train accident at Water Valley, Mississippi, in February 1870 while bringing a group of Irish and Scottish immigrants to Mississippi from Chicago. His home county (Rankin) had formed an Immigration Society to encourage European immigrants to settle in Mississippi, and my G-G Grandfather, Alexander Speer, was chosen to go North and recruit Immigrants, probably because he was a Northerner himself, having moved to Mississippi in the late 1840's to work on the railroad.
 

Pat Young

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#11
My G-G- Grandfather was killed in a train accident at Water Valley, Mississippi, in February 1870 while bringing a group of Irish and Scottish immigrants to Mississippi from Chicago. His home county (Rankin) had formed an Immigration Society to encourage European immigrants to settle in Mississippi, and my G-G Grandfather, Alexander Speer, was chosen to go North and recruit Immigrants, probably because he was a Northerner himself, having moved to Mississippi in the late 1840's to work on the railroad.
There were a number of former Confederate states that formed immigration societies to encourage the resettlement of European immigrants to their regions. I have seen them in South Carolina and Virginia.
 
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#12
I have to wonder if before or when coming here, hearing the South "lost" the war perhaps may have had an influence on some. Images in the press of war torn cities, carpetbaggers etc. Not quite the image of "streets paved with gold"
 
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#13
I have to wonder if before or when coming here, hearing the South "lost" the war perhaps may have had an influence on some. Images in the press of war torn cities, carpetbaggers etc. Not quite the image of "streets paved in gold"
Jack Hurst's biography on NBF mentions that post Civil War NBF among others did try to encourage immigrants to settle in Mississippi. I don't recall NBF' s effort being particularly successful.
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#14
I have to wonder if before or when coming here, hearing the South "lost" the war perhaps may have had an influence on some. Images in the press of war torn cities, carpetbaggers etc. Not quite the image of "streets paved in gold"
Jack Hurst's biography on NBF mentions that post Civil War NBF among others did try to encourage immigrants to settle in Mississippi. I don't recall NBF' s effort being particularly successful.
Leftyhunter
 

Pat Young

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#15
In an interesting article in this week’s New York Review of Books, there is a discussion of Jim Crow Era Italian Immigration to Louisiana. As many as 20,000 Sicilians immigrated there during the 1880s, largely recruited by planters hoping to replace black workers who had moved North.
 
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#17
Iowa attracted many immigrants in the period 1865-1880. Missouri many less immigrants. Texas attracted many fewer immigrants, on a percentage basis, than Colorado. https://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0029/tab13.html Virginia not only did not attract immigrants, but I believe it had trouble retaining native whites.
The down trodden conditions of the oppressed black population seems to have discouraged immigration. Virginia, Mississippi and South Carolina had been particulary damaged by the Civil War.
This paper is writing about the situation in 1868 in which the cotton market had collapsed in Manchester, England, and since owners could no longer force blacks to leave Virginia, the entire southern economy was stagnant.
With the cotton economy staggering, and with northern investors having bad experiences in trying to buy a farm in Virginia, and the Republicans unwilling to loan private or public money to the southern areas, there was nothing to attract immigrants.
Unfortunately for the secessionists, most of their desire to separate themselves economically from the Yankees, was successful.
 

uaskme

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#18
Had plenty of Northerners settle here in Tennessee. Tennessee actively recruited Northern Immigrants. John T Wilder became Mayor of Chattanooga. TN escaped Military Reconstruction, and carpetbagger Rule. We didn’t need it. We had Brownlow.

MO was a Southern Slave State and had many Immigrants. Germans in West Texas, and others. Most Negros who immigrated to the U S Antebellum, came South. Creole’ settled South.

South probably hadn’t escaped the Abolitionist Propaganda that was spewed for 30 yrs. also, it was a War torn Land. Free Land was available West. Capital Expenditures exploding West. A lot of Competition.
 
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#20
Before the Civil War, only one in twenty immigrants went to live in the states that became the Confederacy. Thatg ratio did not improve during Reconstruction. The Richmond Whig opined that immigrantgs were scared off by the Radical press. What do you think?

William Seward stated to the US Senate in 1860 that the reason immigrants avoided the South was not only because the South was a region of Capital States, but also because European immigrants despised Africans: “Let the European immigrant, who avoids the African as if his skin exhaled a contagion, answer. You find him always in the State where labor is ever free.”

917B91B7-4D66-4BBD-ACDF-41D9E47AF4B0.jpeg
 



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