Reconstruction Period Research Forum
Peonage & Share cropping, one banker's view
"Don't ask me whose fault it is. I don't know. I don't even know anybody who thinks he knows. All I know is that one man out of ten makes a living, and more, out of cotton, and the other nine poor devils get the short end of the stick. It's my business to sit here in the bank and make it a rule to be in when that one farmer shows up to borrow money, and to be out when the other nine show up. Some nights I can't sleep at all for lying awake wondering what's going to happen to all those losing tenant farmers. A lot of them are hungry, ragged, and sick. Everybody knows about it, but nobody does anything about it. If the government doesn't do something about the losing cotton farmers, we'd be doing them a favor to go out and shot them out of their misery. "
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