9 They left because the boll weevil had ravaged the cotton crop.
FORT GAINES, GEORGIA, October 9, 1916.
Dear Sir: Replying to your letter dates Oct. 6th the situation here is this: Heavy rains and Boll weavel has caused a loss of about 9,000 bales of cotton which together with seed at the prevailing high prices would have brought $900,000.00 the average crop here being 11,000 bales, but this years' crop was exceptionally fine and abundant and promised good yeald until the two calamities hit us.
Now the farmer is going to see that his personal losses are minimised as far as possible and this has left the average farm laborer with nothing to start out with to make a crop for next year, nobody wants to carry him till next fall, he might make peanuts and might not, so taking it alround, he wants to migrate to where he can see a chance to get work.
I have carpenters, one brick mason, blacksmith, etc., wanting to leave here, can send you their names if definate proposition is held out.
Selected Transcribed Letters of Negro Migrants of 1916–1918; Collected under the direction of Emmett J. Scott. Library of Congress, Manuscripts Archives, Carter G. Woodson Collection and National Urban League Collection