Letter from Robert D. Moran to Pilgrim Black


Dublin Core


Letter from Robert D. Moran to Pilgrim Black

Alternative Title

Letter from Moran to Black


Sanford (Fla.)
Upstate New York (N.Y.)
Migrant workers
Farm laborers
Agricultural laborers--New York (State)
Agricultural laborers--Florida
United States. Department of Labor
Fair labor standards act
Wages--United States
Minimum wage--United States


A letter of correspondence from Robert D. Moran, administrator of the Workplace Standards Administration in the United States Department of Labor, to Pilgrim Black. In the letter, Moran informs Black that the minimum wage for nonfarm employees was to be raised from $1.45/ per hour to $1.60 per hour effective February 1, 1971 and that the minimum wage for farm workers would remain unchanged at $1.30 per hour.

Black was born in 1905, although some records list 1907 as his birth year. Pilgrim and Lula Mae Haynes (1917-2007) 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 11 in order to provide for his mother, originally working in a mill house until he was 18 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-).


Moran, Robert D.


Original letter from Robert D. Moran to Pilgrim Black: Private Collection of Patricia Ann Black.

Date Created

ca. 1968-1971


Black, Patricia Ann

Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original letter by Robert D. Moranfrom Robert D. Moran to Pilgrim Black.

Is Part Of

Patricia Black Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




112 KB


1 envelope and 1-page typewritten letter on U.S. Department of Labor Workplace Standards Administration letterhead






Washington, D.C.
Sanford, Florida

Accrual Method


Audience Education Level


History Teacher
Civics/Government Teacher


Originally created by Robert D. Moran 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


Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

Source Repository

Private Collection of Patricia Ann Black

External Reference

Nordlund, Willis J. The Quest for a Living Wage: The History of the Federal Minimum Wage Program. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1997.

Document Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1 envelope and 1-page typewritten letter on U.S. Department of Labor Workplace Standards Administration letterhead


Moran, Robert D., “Letter from Robert D. Moran to Pilgrim Black,” RICHES, accessed July 14, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2998.