6 THE HERD, THE FARM, AND THE MINE

INTRODUCTION

AFTER THE CIVIL WAR Southern capital had vanished; bank stocks and deposits had lost all value. Many plantation owners were unable to continue their operations.

In Texas, farm stock in general decreased 20 per cent from 1860 to 1866, although sheep showed a gain of about 20 per cent.1 Land was valued at from one-tenth to one-fourth of its 1860 price. Mortgage sales were numerous, and a large percentage of East Texas land changed hands. In the cotton region labor problems proved to be critical. After a year or two of trial, planters concluded that the recently freed Negroes, having a tendency toward shiftlessness, could not be depended upon as day laborers, and they advocated increased white immigration from other states and from Europe.2 Nevertheless, the Texas Negro population increased during the years 1860-1870 by 35 per cent,3 for during the war thousands of slaves had been sent in from Louisiana, Arkansas, and other Southern states to keep them away from the Union army. After peace came most of them stayed in Texas.

To aid the Negro the Freedmen's Bureau, a division of the War Department, was created. Its duties were to provide for the administration of confiscated property, to distribute supplies to the poverty- stricken freedmen, and to aid in regulating their labor problems. But in Texas the work of the Freedmen's Bureau did not prove satisfactory because the organization, through its Bureau agents, interfered with

____________________
1
Texas Almanac and Emigrants Guide, 1867, p. 107.
2
Ibid., 1869, p. 96.
3
U. S. Bureau of the Census, Ninth Census of the United States, 1870, I. 5; Seth S. McKay, "Texas under the Regime of E. J. Davis," p. 3, MS.

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