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The Great Migration
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Florida State Archives [RC09666]

Waiting for the Train

In 1918 it would have cost $22.52 for one adult to travel from New Orleans to Chicago, or over $90 for a family of six. A relatively short trip of six hundred miles, from Norfolk to Pittsburgh, would have cost $8 for one adult or $48 for a family of six. It was not easy to get to "the Promised Land." Because of the expense of the journey, migrants usually traveled alone. After settling in the North, men would often send money home to help the family left behind. Women migrants, more often than not, would have to leave their young children with family members. Some waited years to be reunited. Families that were able to travel together were privileged. Single men, women, and families were waiting for the train north at the Union Railroad Depot in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1921.

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