Walking to Work: Tramps in America, 1790-1935

By Eric H. Monkkonen | Go to book overview

Then followed the age of the industrial tramp, until World War I. And finally came our modern era, with the marginal, defeated, and ill as tramps, and with migrant workers most closely reflecting the economic roles of the earlier tramps. It is most important to remember that the tramps really were the builders of what has become our late twentieth-century world.


Notes
1.
For the early relationship between social reformers and tramps, see Paul T Ringenbach , Tramps and Reformers, 1873-1916: The Discovery of Unemployment in New York ( Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1973). For an accurate and useful description of the urban consequences of the demise of industrial tramping, see Alvin Averbach , "San Francisco's South of Market District, 1850-1950: The Emergence of a Skid Row," California Historical Quarterly 52 (Fall 1973), 197-223.
2.
A sentimental view of tramp history, accompanied with the excellent photographs of the J. J. McCook Collection, may be found in Roger Bruns, Knights of the Road: A Hobo History ( New York: Methuen, 1980).
3.
For a sensitive and sensible study of contemporary tramping, see James T Spradley , You Owe Yourself a Drunk: An Ethnology of Urban Nomads ( Boston: Little, Brown, 1970). For a perceptive photo essay, see Michael Mathers, Riding the Rails ( Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974).
4.
On the strikes of 1877, see Robert Bruce V, 1877: Year of Violence ( Indianapolis: Bobbs, Merrill, 1959); for Coxey's Army, see Donald L. McMurry, Coxey's Army: A Study of the Industrial Army Movement of 1844 ( Boston: Little, Brown, 1929).
5.
For a discussion and refinement of the literature on mobility, see Michael B. Katz , Michael Doucet, and Mark Stern, "Migration and the Social Order in Erie County, New York: 1855," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 7 (Spring 1978), 669- 701.
6.
Frederick Jackson Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," in The Frontier in American History ( New York: Holt, 1921), 1-38.
7.
The Minneapolis Tribune ( July 30, 1878, 3) echoed the hostility of the Chicago Tribune towards tramps in reprinting an article discussing a Minnesota farmer's murder of two tramps. Although one may question whether the editors sincerely meant to murder all tramps, it is clear that their hostility to tramps knew no bounds. The article cited with vigorous approval the intent of a group of farmers to "fertilize their land with their [the tramps'] dead bodies . . . as a radical and permanent cure for the evil complained of. . . . Not that we put a low estimate on

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