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This article, which illustrates the Populists' belief that capitalists and businessmen exploited American workers, relates the story of African-American laborers employed by the Wilkes Barre and Eastern Railroad in Pennsylvania. These workers were mistreated, and when they tried to leave they were forced to return to work. The author asks, "What is this, but slavery?... Laborers wholly at the mercy of masters who have no interest in their welfare."

Creator: Topeka Populist
Date: September 24, 1892

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This concise article succinctly describes a powerful example of the mistreatment of American workers; it is one of the few Populist sources that relates to African-American labor in particular. While this situation did not occur in Kansas, it could nevertheless be used within the Kansas history course to discuss workers' dissillusionment and the corruption of business.

KS:7th:4.2:Populism (2005)

Item Number: 210884
Call Number: Microfilm: T2735
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 210884

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