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various sizes cultivated by owners, rented for money, aud rented on shares in 1850 and 1890:
TENURE OF FARMS IN PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, 1880 AND 1800.
Less than 2 per cent of these farms are encumbered, but the liens on crops amount to a considerable per cent each year.
Agriculture is the chief occupation of the inhabitants of the county, tobacco being the leading product. Corn, wheat, oats, and potatoes are also raised, together with dairy products and poultry. The following table shows the principal products of the county at each census, 1850 to 1890:
PRINCIPAL PRODUCTS OF PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, 1850 TO 1890.
In addition to this agricultural exhibit there is a little manufacturing (a), and there are three lines of railway crossing the county and bringing it into touch with the markets. (1)
The total assessed valuation of real estate and personal property in the county was $2,397,007 in 1890, and on this was raised by taxation the sum of $24,281, making a tax rate of $10.13 per $1,000 of valuation, The money raised was distributed as follows: To the State, $7,192; to the county, $7,191; to the towns, $5,104; to the schools, $4,794. (c)
a In 1890 there were 39 manufacturing establishments in the county, with a capital of $113,285 and an annual output worth $183,362.
b The Norfolk and Western, running cast and west through Farmville, the Richmond and Danville, running north and south and crossing the southeastern part of the county, and a narrow-gauge road connecting Farmvillo and the James River.
• The county received $8,343 as its share of the State school fund. It spent $2,058 for charity and $429 for roads and bridges. For schools it spent in all $13,567, distributed as follows: Salaries for teachers, $10,891; construction and care of buildings, $770; libraries and apparatus, $10; miscellaneous, $1,891. The county has no debt. There were, in 1890, 20 paupers in the county almshouse, 4 white and 16 black See Eleventh Census.
Turning to the Negroes of the county, we find that in 1895 the 9,924 Negroes therein owned 17,555 acres of land, which, together with buildings, was assessed at $132,189. The whites of the county, in the same year, owned 202,962 acres, and the assessed value of their lands and buildings was $1,064,180.
The following table, compiled from records in the county clerk's office at Farmville, shows the number of acres of land owned by Negroes in Prince Edward County and the assessed value of their land and buildings for each year from 1891 to 1895:
ACRES OF LAND OWNED BY NEGROES IN PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY AND ASSESSED
VALUE OF LAND AND BUILDINGS, 1891 TO 1895.
Situated in the geographic center of an historic slave State, near the economic center of its greatest industry, tobacco culture, and also in the black belt of the State, i. e., in the region where a decided majority of the inhabitants are of Negro blood, Prince Edward County is peculiarly suited to an investigation into Negro development. The few available statistics serve to indicate how vast a revolution this region has passed through during the last century. They show the rise and fall of the plantation-slave system; the physical upheaval of war in a region where the last acts of the great civil war took place (a), and the moral and economic revolution of emancipation in a county where the slave property was worth at least $2,500,000. They indicate, finally, , the ensuing economic revolution brought about by impoverished lands, changes in the commercial demand for tobacco and the methods of handling it, the competition of the West in cereals and meat, the growing importance of manufactures which call workers to cities, and the social weight of a mass of ignorant freedmen.
The present study does not, however, concern itself with the whole county, but merely with the condition of the Negroes in its metropolis and county seat, Farmville, where its social, political, and industrial life centers, where its agricultural products are marketed, and where its development is best epitomized and expressed.
Farmville is in the extreme northern part of Prince Edward Couty. It is thoroughly Virginian in character-easy-going, gossipy, and con
a The operations in the Grant campaigns of 1864 and 1865 took place near and in Farmville, and Lee surrendered in a neighboring county.
servative, with respect for family traditions and landed property. It would bardly be called bustling, and yet it is a busy market town, with a long, low main street full of general stores, and branching streets with tobacco warehouses and tobacco factories, churches, and substantial dwellings. Of public buildings there is an opera house, a normal school for white girls, an armory, a court-house and jail, a bank, and a depot. The air is good, and there is an abundance of lithia and sulphur waters, which now and then attract visitors.
Farmville is the trading center of six counties. Here a large proportion of the tobacco of these counties is marketed, and some of it manufactured into strips; here are a half-dozen or more commission houses which deal in all sorts of agricultural products; and here, too, is the center for distributing agricultural implements, clothing, groceries, and household wares. On Saturday, the regular market day, the town population swells to nearly twice its normal size from the influx of country people—mostly Negroes—some in carriages, wagons, and ox carts, and some on foot, and a large amount of trading is done.
Naturally such a town in the midst of a large farming district has a great attraction for young countrymen, on account of its larger life and the prospect of better wages in its manufacturing and trading establishments. A steady influx of immigrants thus adds annually to the population of the town. At the same time Farmville boys and girls are attracted by the large city life of Richmond, Norfolk, Baltimore, and New York. In this manner Farmville acts as a sort of clearing house, taking the raw country lad from the farm to train in industrial life, and sending north and east more or less well equipped recruits for metropolitan life. This gives the town an atmosphere of change and unrest rather unusual in so small a place, and at the same time often acts as a check to schemes of permanent prosperity.
The population of Farmville has grown steadily since 1850. Since 1890, however, the Negro population appears to have fallen off--a fact due doubtless to the large emigration to Northern cities. The following table, compiled from files in the Census Office and from schedules, shows the white and black population of Farmville for each census year from 1850 to 1890 and the black population in 1897:
POPULATION OF FARMVILLE, 1850 TO 1897.
1850. 1860 1870 1880. 1890. 1897
599 683 598 872
1, 443 61,350
1, 447 1, 536 1,543 2. 058 2, 404 (a)
a Not reported.
• There are possibly more omissions in an investigation of this sort than in a census, where the primary object is to count the population. No attempt was made in this investigation to reach nerv. ants living entirely in wbite families, and persons habitually absent, although calling Farmville their home, were omitted. Making all allowances, however, the Negro population seems to havé žalle 'off.
In 1880 the population of Farmville district, including Farmville town, was 3,310, of whom 1,120 were whites and 2,190 blacks; and in 1890 tho population of the district was 3,684, of whom 1,246 were whites and 2,438 blacks.
The chief industries of the town are: The selling of tobacco and its storage in warehouses, which is done by stock companies composed of Negro as well as white stocklolders; the manufacture of tobacco into strips, carried on by 7 white firms in 16 tobacco factories; woodworking by the Farmville Manufacturing Company; coopering by a firm; fruit canning by the South Side Canning Company; grinding of feed by the Farmville mills, and the running of 57 retail stores, etc., divided as follows: Eight clothing stores, 12 grocery stores, 4 general stores, 4 commission merchants with stocks of harness and lardware, 4 drug stores, 3 dry-goods stores, 3 meat stores, 3 millinery stores, 2 restaurants, 2 book and stationery stores, 3 hardware stores, 2 furniture and undertaking stores, 1 jewelry store, 1 confectionery and toy store, 1 stove and tinware store, 1 wagon store, 1 steam laundry, and 2 saloons. (a)
The total valuation of the town for 1890 was $661,230—real estate $511,230, personal property $120,000—on which a total tax of $9,855 was raised, and distributed as follows: To the State $1,983, to the county $1,983, to the town $3,906, to the State school fund $661, and to the county and town school fund $1,322. In 1880 the town had a debt of $11,200, and in 1890 this had increased to $65,000. The following table gives the assessed valuation of real estate and its division between whites and blacks in Farmville, as shown in the records at the conuty clerk's office, for the years 1891 to 1895:
ASSESSED VALUATION OF FARMVILLE REAL ESTATE, 1891 TO 1895.
About three-fifths of the inhabitants of Farmville, August 1, 1897, were of Negro descent, and it is with this part of the population that this study has to do. The investigator spent the months of July and August in the town; he lived with the colored people, joined in their
a There was also a “bucket shop” in full blast during the summer of 1897, where considerable gambling in stock “futures” was indulged in.
social life, and visited their homes. (a) For the inquiry he prepared the following schedule of questions for each family and individual:
1. Number of persons in the family!
21. Church attendance ? There was usually no difficulty experienced in getting the Negroes to answer these questions, o far as they could. The greatest uncertainty in the accuracy of answers was in connection with the first and fourth questions; the first on account of members of the family temporarily absent, and the fourth because in so many cases the age is unknown. Answers as to wages were of course more or less indefinite, although fairly good returns were obtained. The fifteenth question could be answered only when the mother lierself was present, and then not always with sufficient accuracy. Only a few answers to this query were recorded. On the whole, the answers seem to approach the truth nearly enough to be of some considerable scientific value, although a large possible margin of error is admitted.
AGE, SEX, AND BIRTHPLACE OF NEGRO POPULATION.
The total number of Negroes in Farmville who reported as to age and sex was 1,225. If 250, estimated as not reporting, be added to this number, the total in and about Farmville is found to be about 1,475. Subtracting from this total 125 who lived outside the corporation, we find that the Negro population of the corporation of Farmville was approximately 1,350 in 1897. As the corporation line, however, cuts off somewhat arbitrarily a considerable number of Negroes who really sbare
a Letters of introduction and sono personal acquaintances among the people rendered intercourse easy. The information gathered in the sehedules was supplemented by conversations with townspeople and school teachers, by general observation, and by the records in the county clerk's office.