Exhibit Menu

Give and Take: Contractual Commodities

This contract agreement between Issac Nelson, J. Harris, and Tony Baly, freedmen, and plantation owner John Mitchell is one of the earliest examples of contracts that facilitated the continuation of agricultural production after emancipation. In exchange for “cultivating the usual crop of cotton and corn”, “working diligently”, caring for livestock, and maintaining their own living quarters, the newly freed persons receive half of the crop, two mules, two plows, hoes, and corn for bread as compensation for their labors.

Courtesy of South Carolina Historical Society