Jim Crow laws & railroads

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, April 20, 2006 4:23 AM
The streamliners did not necessarily run "divided" cars, except diners. All the East Coast trains mentioned had sufficient Black patronage as to assigne whole cars, and these are the ones for which I had personal experience.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, April 20, 2006 8:04 AM
Our town was 90 some miles south of Chicago. A Pullman porter moved his family there and their children attended the same schools that I and my siblings attended.. One of the boys was in the band as I was.
The father would have to 'dead-head' to Chicago where he would work a train from there to St. Louis, then work a train back to Chicago, and finally 'dead-head' back home.
Always admired a man who worked those long hours just so his family would have a better life than what they would have had iif they lived in Chicago.
Art
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Posted by csmith9474 on Thursday, April 20, 2006 7:44 PM
Pne of the Santa Fe streamlined "Jim Crow" cars was a Pullman built 56 seat partitioned coach. I also read that at one time when the Sunset arrived in El Paso, Texas Rangers would roam the train making sure that those required to ride in Jim Crow cars did so. I guess that once outside of Jim Crow stated, everyone rightfully sat where they wanted.
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Posted by BR60103 on Thursday, April 20, 2006 10:39 PM
In the 50s, Toronto Transit bought 48 PCC cars from Birmingham, Al. According to story, these cars arrived with "White" and "Coloured" signs in them. The cars finished out their careers with holes in the handrails on the backs of the seats that signs could be put. I don't know if the signs were put on every seat or if there was a dividing line, or if the designated sections were variable.

--David

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Posted by mountainrailroad on Friday, April 21, 2006 9:07 PM
My home state of West Virginia did not have Jim Crow laws. However, our neighboring states of Virginia and Kentucky did. Therefore, when the C&O passenger trains crossed the VA-WV border, black folk were free to sit wherever they wanted. However, unless they got off at Huntington, they would have to move to the Jim Crow section to fini***heir trip to Cincinatti or wherever. (West Virginia was the only state to secede from the Confederacy in the Civil War.)
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Posted by palallin on Wednesday, May 31, 2006 4:15 PM
Among the surviving Jim Crow cars is one in Rolla, MO. It's an old, open-vetibule heavyweight car under a canopy coupled to Frisco 4-8-2 #1501.
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Posted by egmurphy on Thursday, June 01, 2006 6:43 PM
I recently saw another "Jim Crow" car at the Age of Steam Museum in Dallas. It's a day coach, Frisco #759. It's the first one I've actually seen in person at a museum. The plaque said it ran on the 'Firefly", which was one of the trains mentioned by passengerfan in his post.

Regards

Ed
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Posted by Tim Burton on Friday, June 09, 2006 12:55 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by easter

Somehow the words,"One nation, under God ,indivisible ,with liberty and justice for all," didn't apply here.Easter.


That's because that was a saying made up by a socialist well after all death of the Founding Fathers.

Jim Crow would have never been an issue if the North would have let the South free the slaves in the same manner that the North did. One that wouldn't economically destroy the South. The North was hypocrites, they allowed years to remove slaves from the population and send them south before the Slaves were freed, but instead they wanted the South to dump it ASAP regardless of the cost to whites or blacks.

A great example is the Seccesion Papers by MS.

It isn't until 2/3 of the way through that they start really complaining about slavery (only the abuse of the agreements of the North), and they say.

QUOTE: It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.

It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.


The Abolition movement wasn't peaceful in the slightest and in the second part they complain that the North had no response on how to release them fairly to benefit everyone.

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/Mississippi_causes.htm

Pretty much, ever Seccesion complained about the double standard or the lack of compassion about how to justly free the slaves.

I personally believe that the North and the South would have been much better if the North would have looked to help the South Emancipate the slaves rather than force them to free them.

Had the freed them like Britain did, there would have been disaster. Had Britain not paid off both owners and slaves it would have been utter chaos rather than just the mess it was.

Georgia's biggest complaint in it's declaration is the lack of enforcement of the "full faith and credit" clause.

And let's not forget the free states passed laws in order to keep blacks out of their states, they didn't want them, whereas the south treated free blacks well. So much so, that even Tocqueville commented about the racial tranquility in the south.
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Posted by PBenham on Friday, June 09, 2006 4:38 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Tim Burton

QUOTE: Originally posted by easter

Somehow the words,"One nation, under God ,indivisible ,with liberty and justice for all," didn't apply here.Easter.


That's because that was a saying made up by a socialist well after all death of the Founding Fathers.

Jim Crow would have never been an issue if the North would have let the South free the slaves in the same manner that the North did. One that wouldn't economically destroy the South. The North was hypocrites, they allowed years to remove slaves from the population and send them south before the Slaves were freed, but instead they wanted the South to dump it ASAP regardless of the cost to whites or blacks.

A great example is the Seccesion Papers by MS.

It isn't until 2/3 of the way through that they start really complaining about slavery (only the abuse of the agreements of the North), and they say.

QUOTE: It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.

It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.


The Abolition movement wasn't peaceful in the slightest and in the second part they complain that the North had no response on how to release them fairly to benefit everyone.

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/Mississippi_causes.htm

Pretty much, ever Seccesion complained about the double standard or the lack of compassion about how to justly free the slaves.

I personally believe that the North and the South would have been much better if the North would have looked to help the South Emancipate the slaves rather than force them to free them.

Had the freed them like Britain did, there would have been disaster. Had Britain not paid off both owners and slaves it would have been utter chaos rather than just the mess it was.

Georgia's biggest complaint in it's declaration is the lack of enforcement of the "full faith and credit" clause.

And let's not forget the free states passed laws in order to keep blacks out of their states, they didn't want them, whereas the south treated free blacks well. So much so, that even Tocqueville commented about the racial tranquility in the south.
Tim, this posting is chilling! Please re-consider what you have posted here. You misquoted some of your sources,and /or misinterpreted what you read!
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, June 10, 2006 10:11 AM
Since secession led to rebellion against the United States, this rebellion was "levying war against the United States", which is part of the Constitutional definition of TREASON.
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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, June 11, 2006 10:38 AM

This matter will never be settled. There was some virtue and some evil on both sides, even if I consider the North's position to be somewhat (but certianly not completely) more virtuous. There are very good arguments that:

1. The North did not want the South to be able to choose manufactured products from both Great Britain and the North, but wanted the economy to link the mostly agraculturual south exclusively (almost) to an industrialized north.

2. If the North's treatment of south had proceded as planned by Lincoln and not gone into a more retrubitive mode after his life was ended, the lives of the black in the South would have been far better, and Jim Crow would probably not have existed or not have existed in as virulent a form.

The arguments about right and wrongs in the "Civil War" or "War between the States" will go on forever. I think we should be friends and concentrate only on the effect on railroading.
e
Ever visit Newfoundland on July 14th, Loyalty Day, where the great George Washington is a traitor and Benedick Arnold a hero. But USA people are still welcomed there in friendship.

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, July 03, 2006 4:09 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I was born in 1932 and have a first hand knowledge of the period prior to the end of segregation in the 1960's. Railroads in the South (below the Mason-Dixon Line) followed state laws of the time which dictated that trains, waiting rooms, rest rooms, drinking fountains, etc. be racially segregated.

I spent a lot of time in the late 1940's around the ACL's Bradenton, Florida station and vividly remember there was a wall down the waiting room, White only on the trackside and "Colored" on the opposite side. There were separate restrooms and even separate ticket windows. The only passenger train through there at the time was the Tampa-Sarasota section of the West Coast Champion. This train ran with a combine baggage coach which was the "Jim Crow" car, and a streamlined White only coach and Pullman. Dining cars on trains in the South had a small partioned off dining area, typically two tables on either side of the aisle next to the kitchen, for Black diners.

At Central Station in Chicago the Illinois Central had "Passenger Service Agents" on the station platforms whose job ostensibly was to assist the boarding of trains. In reality they segregated the Chicago-New Orleans and Birmingham Line coach passengers. Passengers were asked their destinations and Blacks who where going south of Cairo, IL were directed to the front end coaches and whites to the rear coaches. Intrastate Illinois passengers could sit in any coach they desired. Passengers boarding at points south of Chicago were similarly segregated by the train crew. All other ralroads operating in the Southern states employed some scheme to racially segregate their trains.

Discrimination by race was not always confined to the deep south. I remember that the Rock Island had a crew turnaround point somewhere in Oklahoma. I could easily be wrong but Enid comes to mind as the location. Black coach porters worked the trains from Chicago to this point where they were relieved by a new porter crew for the rest of the Southwest run. This required the Chicago porters to wait several hours during the night for their return northbound train and vice versa for the Southwest crew. They were not welcome on the streets or in any of the town's businesses (bars and cafes) so the Rock Island built them a small shelter alongside the depot platform. All of the black porters knew it was wise to stay in this shelter awaiting their train and not venture onto the town streets after dark.

Contrary to what some of you have said I was not aware of any any segregation of Black Pullman passengers. I always assumed the logic was that if Blacks were affluent enough to afford Pullman acommodations they were "high class" enough to associate with White passengers.

All of this seems quite alien to us today but at the time these practices were understood and tolerated (but not always accepted) by both Blacks and Whites alike.
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Posted by Amtrain on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 11:02 AM

Can someone point me to this issue of TRAINS in which this article appeared? 

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, July 26, 2018 11:40 AM

What is now called the Pledge of Allegiance was first written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister.

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

It was changed several times, the first being when "to" was added before "the Republic" later in 1892; the last being in 1954 when it was officially codified into US law. That is when "under God" was added, under President Eisenhower's request, to differentiate the U.S. from the "godless Communists" in the USSR and China.

Pullman and the railroads were not exempt from state and local laws. If a state had a statute that people of different races couldn't ride in the same car, trains going through that state had to obey that law.

 

Stix
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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, July 28, 2018 6:38 AM

Do we really want to take up discussion on this 'zombie walks among us' thread, which was getting contentious in 2006 and promises to become so again now?

Just a heads-up, and in fair disclosure I personally would like to see more discussion.  Moderators will likely disagree, perhaps strongly.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, July 28, 2018 10:57 AM

Overmod-- Cannot argue with that, it's a minefield and invites all sorts of wrong people. The 'revived' thread poster is 'one of' guy 1st time and asking for a reference year. Reading quickly through the posts from 12 years ago the best I can ascertain is 1967. 

Not being American and totally unable to understand in any meaningful way, peering through the glass from outside, the only question I have is 'to what end?'

There is history here, real history involving railroads. I don't know if a site exists somewhere out there where a decent conversation can take place. 

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, July 28, 2018 1:49 PM

I do not recall just when segregation on board was forbidden; it may well been at the same time that segregated station facilities were forbiddem, which was in 1963 or 1964.

Johnny

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, July 28, 2018 2:13 PM

The wacky segregation laws came after the Supreme Court decision in Plessey v. Ferguson that established the (now overturned) doctrine of 'separate but equal'.  Most of them, a bit amusingly, are 14th Amendment issues where states reserved the right to make "public" facilities ... including common-carrier transportation ... separated.

The precedent barring interference with Pullman passengers was a cause celebre in the latter 40s, and it led almost directly to the effort over Brown v. Board of Ed. in 1954 that overturned separate but equal in education, and the subsequent logic in the Heart of Atlanta case that led to use of the "interstate commerce clause" to impose Federal principle over state mandate. 

The point being made in 2006 about "Northern" prejudice being worse in some respects has a great deal of validity (although that can't be used to justify the 'lost cause' rhetoric very far) -- it needs to be remembered that the 'revived' Ku Klux Klan started up and initially flourished in the upper Midwest (from 1921 on), and was a nativist anti-Catholic organization long before it acquired its reputation for anti-black racism.  Google "Pekin, Illinois" for more nauseating detail than you want.  Or consider the need for the Green Books or other ways to avoid unanticipated sundown town activities... not just in the Deep South, but in areas that would now bend over backward to claim they never had them.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, July 29, 2018 3:57 PM

It wasn't just "Jim Crow" laws railroads had to worry about.  Plenty of long-distance trains had to shut down the "bar cars"  when passing through "dry" states, both before and after Prohibition.  Although, I suppose if you packed your own "refreshment" and were discreet about it nothing was said.Whistling

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, July 30, 2018 10:04 AM

Yes. Once the westbound B&O trains crossed the Potomac into West Virginia, the bars were closed until almost into Maryland--ecept for a very short strecth where the trains crossed into Maryland and back into West Virgnia. If you were quick, you could get an alcoholic drink.

The KCS advertised, in its passenger timetables, that the bars were open in Missouri and Louisiana.

Johnny

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 8:59 AM

Just to follow-up my earlier post, I might be wrong about Pullman cars. I did find a 1950 Supreme Court case that said that dining cars couldn't be segregated. What I found did mention that the issue had already been settled earlier re Pullman cars - in fact, when the black gentleman was denied dining car service because the alloted spaces for blacks were occupied, he was told that they would bring his meal to him in his Pullman if he desired.

Stix
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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 12:36 PM

wjstix
What I found did mention that the issue had already been settled earlier re Pullman cars

This is Henderson v. United States.  The earlier 'settlement' is probably Mitchell v. United States (1941).

(An interesting 'aside' in Mitchell is that drawing rooms in Pullmans were considered adequate 'segregation' under applicable Jim Crow statutes, and it was not unusual at the time for blacks to travel that way without difficulty)

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 12:53 PM

Amazing how much effort we as a society devoted to something completely pointless.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 5:20 PM

It was a different time 'Dude, some of it better, some of it worse, some of it understandable and some of it incomprehensable.

A mental exercise I do from time to time is step back (figurativly) take a long look at society as it is today, and wonder what they're going to say about us in 100 years time.   Will they think us backward, overly obsessed with things of no consequence, or so open-minded our brains fell out? 

Who knows?

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, August 12, 2018 4:46 PM

A parallel subject to all this.

With the demise of steam and passenger service post war on a transformative scale over a short period of time an awful lot of African Americans must have been laid off, lost their jobs forever, in roundhouses, yard jobs, track gangs, on board services as cooks and waiters and of course legions of Pullman Porters in the sleeping cars. 

Roundhouse jobs were dirty, labour intensive, actually poorly paid and a person ws sort of stuck with what they did forever. Dieselization provided jobs for skilled military men, ( ahem,,cough cough,,mostly non black) coming back from the war. Deferred track maintainence  meant a lot less track workers.  

The railroads were a major employer of African Americans and continued to be so in the ensuing years but the loss of jobs must have been enormous and I think they took the brunt of it. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, August 13, 2018 5:47 AM

Miningman

......The railroads were a major employer of African Americans and continued to be so in the ensuing years but the loss of jobs must have been enormous and I think they took the brunt of it. 


I believe they did. On the other hand, the total Civilian and Military casualties of the States and UK in World War II were 418,500 and 450,700 respectively. Causalities of Korean war of US was 49,000 (including soldiers who were missing). More than 3% of US's population (Compare to 1941) was sacrificed in both war, many of our soldiers were still young and at working age. A lot of Jobs were available during this period, especially from Automobile manufacturers, but I agree that African Americans who never received any professional training, not to mention basic education might affected by the decline of Railroad.


Respect! Thumbs Up

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