chapter  2
13 Pages

A Tale of Two Camps

Shafter was an unhappy camp, the victim of stresses from within and without. In June 1938, manager Robert Hardie wrote to Fred Soule, Regional Information Adviser of the FSA,1 with a copy to Edward Rowell, the FSA’s Regional Labor Adviser, enclosing a copy of a petition got up at a meeting in the camp to protest the local citizenry’s lobbying of Congress to shut down all aid from the FSA to California migrants. “WHEREAS: The Farm Security Administration is a step in the direction of caring for nonresident agricultural workers who through no fault of their own lost their farms and were forced to migrate,” the petition read, and “WHEREAS: The banker-monopoly control of United States agriculture . . . ha[s] made impossible for these workers to fi nd employment in their home states, BE IT RESOLVED: That this meeting . . . go[es] on record to petition President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Congress of the United States to continue and extend the Farm Security program, and . . . to equalize relief and W.P.A. standards throughout the United States.”