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A New York Times article from 1889 describes another instance of racially-based labor unrest on the railroads. In Chattanooga, Tennessee, a group of African-American railroad laborers spontaneously strike to protest the dismissal of a black brakeman. In response, they were summarily fired and replaced with white workers.

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Item Type: Newspaper/Magazine
Date: 1889

This New York Times article from September 1885 makes reference to the tensions that existed between organized labor and Chinese immigrant workers on the Union Pacific and other railroad lines. According to the article, the Knights of Labor, the foremost labor organization of the time, were threatening to strike if Chinese laborers, whom white…

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Item Type: Newspaper/Magazine
Date: 1885

This worksheet helps students to undertake a close reading of a section (pages 4-7) of the 1877: The Grand Army of Starvation Viewer's Guide, which accompanies the 30-minute ASHP documentary of the same name.
In 1896 Congress passed a bill which would require all immigrants to be able to read at least 40 words in any language in order to enter the country. The bill was supported by the Immigration Restriction League. They worried that the increasing number of immigrants from Italy and Eastern Europe would drive down wages and not be able to become…

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Item Type: Pamphlet/Petition
Date: Circa 1896

In 1896 Congress passed a bill which would require all immigrants to be able to read at least 40 words in any language in order to enter the country. The bill was supported by the Immigration Restriction League. They worried that the increasing number of immigrants from Italy and Eastern Europe would drive down wages and not be able to become…

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Item Type: Pamphlet/Petition
Date: 1896

Although he had received a rare scholarship to attend middle school, Andrés Héctor Quezada Lara dropped out to become a bracero. His work took him to many places in the United States, including South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas. First he worked on the railroads, but later worked cutting lettuce and sugar beets in…
George Pullman, owner of the Pullman Palace Car Company, exemplified the paternalistic "welfare capitalist." Believing that labor unrest was caused by poor pay and living conditions, he initially paid his workers high wages and housed them in a company town (named Pullman) on the outskirts of Chicago, complete with company-owned houses, stores,…

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1894

Harriet Hanson Robinson began work in Lowell at the age of ten, later becoming an author and advocate of women's suffrage. In 1834 and 1836, the mill owners reduced wages, increased the pace of work, and raised the rent for the boardinghouses. The young female workers went on strike (they called it “turning out” then) to protest the…

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Item Type: Biography/Autobiography
Date: 1898

Harriet Hanson Robinson began work in Lowell at the age of ten, later becoming an author and advocate of women's suffrage. In 1834 and 1836, the mill owners reduced wages, increased the pace of work, and raised the rent for the boardinghouses. The young female workers went on strike (they called it “turning out” then) to protest the decrease…

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Item Type: Biography/Autobiography
Date: 1898

In this "Workingmen's Address," published in 1878, Dennis Kearney of the Workingman's Party of California appeals to racist arguments against Chinese immigrants. After excoriating the fraud, corruption, and monopolization of land by the "moneyed men" of the Gilded Age, Kearney claims that the Chinese are being "imported" as a source cheap labor,…