Article by A.J. McKelway on "Child Labor in the Carolinas," 30 January 1909

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Document Description:

Looking at textile mills is a great way learn more about South Carolina history. This document deals specifically with the topic of child labor. Children of all ages were often employed by mills and they worked long hours at dangerous jobs. In the early twentieth century, movements to stop child labor developed and articles like this one helped to push for stronger laws and stricter enforcement. You can use this document to help your student understand the lives of their historical peers.


McKelway, A.J.  “Child Labor in the Carolinas.”  Charities and the Commons: A Weekly Journal of Philanthropy and Social Advance. Vol. xxi, no. 18.  (January 30, 1909): p. 743-757. (accompanying photographs by Lewis Hine).

Correlating SC Social Studies Academic Standards:

Standard 5-3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of major domestic and foreign developments that contributed to the United States’ becoming a world power.

Indicator 5-3.5 Explain how building cities and industries led to progressive reforms, including labor reforms, business reforms, and Prohibition.

Note: Although this document was originally posted as part of a lesson specifically designed to teach the above standard, other Social Studies Standards may apply.

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Lessons Using This Document:

Images from South Carolina Cotton Mills

Child Labor in the Carolinas

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