WJ Harris to the Secretary of Commerce




Director of the Bureau of the Census writes that African-American men are to work on the black census report.


US National Archives and Records Administration 570/1/12/2 box #96 file #67001.42


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum




Requires proofreading.


Digital copy acquired from federal archives by previous WWPL Archivist, Heidi Hackford.


The Secretary of Commerce:

I am in receipt of your communication of April 13th, inclosing a letter from Oswald Garrison Villard, with accompanying letters from Dr. DuBois and Mr. Sweet, Acting Secretary. You will perhaps remember that several months ago I had some correspondence with several prominent negroes in the United States concerning matters relative to the statistics of their race. It had been my intention all along to have Dr. Willcox, of Cornell University, who was in charge of the preparation of the previous bulletin on the subject, take charge of the bulletin we expect to issue some time before the close of the present year. At a recent conference with Dr. Willcox, he stated that on account of the pressure of other work, he found it impossible to give any of his attention at this time to the preparation of our negro bulletin, and suggested that the bulletin be prepared in the office.

Our funds for employing expert special agents have become very limited, and I have decided to accept the advice of Dr. Willcox in this matter. Dr. Joseph A. Hill, of New Hampshire, a graduate of Harvard University, will have charge of the preparation of the bulletin on negroes. He will have the assistance of other statisticians in the Bureau along certain lines of the work. On account of the request of a number of negro leaders and the further request of several negro clerks in this Bureau, I have also decided to give these clerks the opportunity to work on a publication in which their people are so greatly interested. At this time there is certain preliminary work to be done, to which I have already assigned three high-grade negro clerks. These clerks, now doing this preliminary work, who will give their time and personal attention to the preparation of the bulletin until its completion, are all college graduates and have been employed in the Bureau of the Census for twelve or fourteen years, and have always rendered satisfactory service. At the first opportunity I will discuss this matter with you personally.

Wm J Harris



Original Format





Harris, William J. (William Julius), 1868-1932, “WJ Harris to the Secretary of Commerce,” 1914 April 15, CB041514a-b, Race and Segregation Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.