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Child Labor - CHILDREN IN THE FIELDS

As he traveled around America, Lewis Hine photographed children performing all sorts of manual labor. Hundreds of his pictures are now part of a collection at the U.S. Library of Congress.

  • Five-year-old Dovey Kirkpatrick (with her family in Comanche, Oklahoma) picked cotton at the average rate of fifteen pounds a day in October, 1916. Her mother told Hines: "She jess works fer pleasure."
  • Harold Walker, also five, worked in the same field while Edith (last name unknown) picked cotton near Denison, Texas.
  • Slavin Nocito, picking cranberries with other children in New Jersey, carried two pecks of cranberries to "the bushel man." He walked the "long distance," in 1910, without shoes.
  • Alex Reiber, seven years old in 1915, topped sugar beets near Sterling, Colorado. He observed: "I hooked me knee with the beet- knife, but I jest went on a-workin."
  • On "rush days," children (aged 8-10) worked in the Sterling fields from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Five weeks after school started, in the fall of 1915, only one student showed up for class in Ft. Morgan, Colorado. There had been room for nineteen more.
  • Similarly, twelve (out of twenty-six) students missed class at Twombley School in Bush, Colorado.
  • When she wasn't working in the Sonora, Kentucky fields, 11-year-old Demetra Jones, helped to knit clothes.
  • In Connecticut, 1917's tobacco crop stood taller than some of its youthful pickers.

America's children did not just work in the fields. They also worked along the seashore and in canneries. The results of their labor were shipped around the country and to other parts of the world.

 

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5139stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Dec 14, 2013


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"CHILDREN IN THE FIELDS" AwesomeStories.com. Apr 01, 2004. Dec 17, 2017.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/CHILDREN-IN-THE-FIELDS-Child-Labor/1>.
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