Letter from A. Worley Brown to Pilgrim Black (May 21, 1962)

Dublin Core

Title

Letter from A. Worley Brown to Pilgrim Black (May 21, 1962)

Alternative Title

Letter from Brown to Black (May 21, 1962)

Subject

Sanford (Fla.)
Upstate New York (N.Y.)
Migrant workers
Farm laborers

Description

Letter of correspondence from A. Worley Brown, chairman of the Florida Industrial Commission, to Pilgrim Black written on May 21, 1962. In the letter, Brown informs Black that he has been scheduled for summer agricultural labor outside of Florida, as approved by the Florida State Employment Service.

Pilgrim Black was born in 1905, although some records list 1907 as his birth year. Pilgrim and Lula Mae Haynes Black were migrant crew leaders, and thus migrated to Wayne County in Upstate New York in the summers and back to their home in Sanford for the rest of the year. Pilgrim was the son of Harry Black (d. 1911) and Maggie Benjamin Black (ca.1870-ca.1934), who migrated to Sanford from South Carolina in the 1800s. Harry and Maggie had several children: Leckward Black, Mustar Black, Malachi Black, Leatha Black Walker (1889-1976), Pilgrim Black, Margaret Black Jones (1889-1976), and Harriett Black Lawson. In 1911, Harry owned a grocery store at 206 South Sanford Avenue. One day, he came home from work with pneumonia and passed away shortly thereafter. Pilgrim was nine years old when his father passed away. Maggie was the daughter of former slaves, Isaac and Roseanna Benjamin, and the sister of Nathan Benjamin, Pledge Benjamin, Sam Benjamin, Loui Benjamin, Chainey Benjamin, Lara Benjamin, Melvina Benjamin, and Katie Benjamin.

Pilgrim had to quit school at age eleven in order to provide for his mother, originally working in a mill house until he was 18n years old. After declining a management position, he traveled to Wayne County to pick cherries, apples, pears, and other crops. He broke a bone after falling from an apple tree his first year and decided to try farm labor on a potato farm in Red Creek, New York, instead. Don Holdridge, the farmer who owned the land, noted Pilgrim's high rate of productivity and offered him a management position supervising up to thirty workers at once, which he accepted.

While in Sanford, Pilgrim also worked as a foreman in Sanford for Chase & Company for over 30 years. He married Lula in 1937 and they had several children together, including Vivian Louise Black (1940- ); Lula Yvonne Black (1942- ); Charles Samuel Black (1945- ); Pilgrim Black, Jr. (ca.1947- ), and Patricia Ann Black (1956- ).

Creator

Brown, A. Worley

Source

Original letter from A. Worley Brown to Pilgrim Black, May 21, 1962: Private Collection of Patricia Ann Black.

Date Created

1962-05-21

Contributor

Black, Patricia Ann

Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original letter from A. Worley Brown to Pilgrim Black, May 21, 1962.

Is Part Of

Patricia Black Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.

Format

image/jpg

Extent

112 KB

Medium

1-page typewritten letter on Florida Industrial Commission letterhead

Language

eng

Type

Text

Coverage

Tallahassee, Florida
Sanford, Florida

Accrual Method

Donation

Mediator

History Teacher
Civics/Government Teacher
Economics Teacher
Geography Teacher

Provenance

Originally created by A. Worley Brown and owned by Pilgrim Black.
Inherited by Patricia Ann Black in 2002.

Rights Holder

Copyright to the resource is held by Patricia Ann Black and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project

Curator

Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

Source Repository

Private Collection of Patricia Ann Black

External Reference

Coles, Robert. Uprooted Children: The Early Life of Migrant Farm Workers. [Pittsburgh]: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1970.
Piore, Michael J. Birds of Passage: Migrant Labor and Industrial Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.

Transcript

FLORIDA INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION
TALLAHASSEE

STATE OF FLORIDA
FARRIS BRYANT
GOVERNOR

A. WORLEY BROWN
CHAIRMAN

BURNIS COLEMAN
GENERAL COUNSEL

5-21-62

Dear Pilgrim

You are just completing, or have completed, the 1961-62 agricultural harvest season here in Florida. The efforts by you and your crew members working in agriculture have assisted our florida growers in completing another harvest season.

Through the recent pooled interviews, arranged by the Florida State Employment Service, summer work has been scheduled for you outside of the State.

In your work associations this summer it is hoped that you will be a Florida ambassador and carry our story of agricultural labor needs to other fellow crew leaders who do not have work commitments in our State this winter. Encourage them to contact their nearest State Employment service or the Florida State Employment Service for florida harvset work during the 1962-63 harvest season.

Sincerely,

A. Worley Brown
Chairman

Document Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1-page typewritten letter on Florida Industrial Commission letterhead

Locations

Categories