South Carolina Freedmen’s Labor Contracts

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South Carolina Freedmen’s Labor Contracts

The regulation of written labor agreements between planters and freedmen was a major concern of the Freedmen’s Bureau. In South Carolina, some 8,000 contracts were signed, and nearly 130,000 freedmen worked under labor contracts between the years 1865 and 1866.

Under the terms of the contracts, Freedmen were entitled to housing, rations, medical attention, fuel, and a portion of the crop. Freedmen who worked for wages were generally paid between $8 and $12 per month and were responsible for supplying their own rations [1].

Please read below to view individual labor contracts as they are posted. You can click on document images to view them larger, or in full screen mode.

References Cited

[1] Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872 (NARA Micropublication M1910)

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