Juvenile Instructor » Southwestern States Mission: The Number of African Americans
 


Southwestern States Mission: The Number of African Americans

By: Edje Jeter - February 10, 2013

What follows is a very short, simple post, with one idea: in 1900, more African-Americans lived in eastern Texas than lived in the Mormon Culture Region. The missionary diaries often note the presence of African-Americans, but do so less frequently than the proportion of African-Americans in the population would suggest. This post will briefly describe the population sizes; later posts will analyze interactions involving missionaries and African-Americans.

Three months after his arrival in Texas, Elder Brooks wrote in his diary:

“We stopped overnight with a man by the name of Hopkins. His wife was dead. Left him with a family of small children. He had a couple of Negro girls doing his house work. I was by this time getting used to Negros and did not notice that much.” (1900 Jan 24 Wed)

One of the reasons Brooks and his fellows were not “used to” association with African-Americans was that vanishingly few African-Americans lived in the Mormon Culture Region. The 1900 Federal Census tabulated population by counties in three racial categories: “White,” “Negro,” and “Indian.” According to the census, the travelling missionaries, their home counties, and those counties’ respective racial compositions are as follows:

SWSM RacialComp HomeCounties 20130210a

Consider the racial profile of each travelling missionary’s first area:

SWSM RacialComp FirstArea 20130210a

In the forty-eight counties where the travelling missionaries worked, approximately 20% of the population was Black. Of these missionaries’ areas, the highest concentration of African-Americans was in Brazoria County (Folkman, south of Houston), with 55.3% of the population identified as African-American.

In next week’s post I hope to discuss ways missionaries and African-Americans interacted.

 


The “Southwestern States Mission” series (homepage) examines mission life in (mostly) Texas around 1900.



11 Comments

  1. Do you happen to have the first name for the Elder Duffin referenced in your post? Just curious.

    Comment by Brian — February 10, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

  2. James Gledhill Duffin. You’ll find more posts about him at http://www.juvenileinstructor.org/southwestern-states-mission-home-page/

    Comment by Edje Jeter — February 10, 2013 @ 10:01 pm

  3. Thanks. James was the brother of my great grandfather, Richard Hyrum Duffin. Who knew Toquerville could be the source of so much historical excitement.

    Comment by Brian — February 10, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

  4. Going by the one diary in your group with which I am familiar, I’m looking forward to your next post with more than usual anticipation.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 11, 2013 @ 12:16 am

  5. Thanks, Ardis and Brian.

    Comment by Edje Jeter — February 11, 2013 @ 6:37 pm

  6. Edje, This is great stuff. I too am looking forward to the next post.

    Comment by Paul Reeve — February 11, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

  7. As always, great stuff, Edje.

    Comment by Ben P — February 11, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

  8. Looking forward to this, ed.

    Comment by Christopher — February 11, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

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