Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Housing Disparity

On April 7, 1904, two articles were printed side-by-side in the Fullerton Tribune, the local newspaper.

One was an anonymous letter signed “One of the Laborers.” It was basically an appeal to Charles C. Chapman, local orange tycoon, for fair treatment of his workers. This laborer calls the conditions and wages of the workers a “regular outrage” and “slavery.” He ends with this appeal: “We are not permitted to sleep in the house after a hard days work. We are brothers in Christ Jesus, born of one flesh and blood, and we ought to have a tender feeling for all. But after all of that the cold-hearted rancher sends his hired man to the barn to sleep with the living creatures that inhabit therein.”

The second article was called “The Chapman’s Entertain Their Friends and Neighbors,” and describes a lavish dinner party at the three-story, thirteen-room Chapman mansion. The article reads, “the guests were given the opportunity to inspect the beautiful rooms on the first floor, consisting of library, reception hall, music room, dining room, breakfast room and kitchen. The rooms on the second floor were then shown. The guests were then invited to the third story which proved to be a hall strictly in keeping with the rest of the house.”

Here, on one newspaper page, is summed up power relationships in Chapman’s Citrus Industry.


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