Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, About the Series

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 2-7

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-x

Publication of Land and Labor, 1866–1867, the second volume of series 3 of Freedom, provides an occasion to thank the men and women whose labors have left their mark on this volume and on the work of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project more generally. ...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xviii

No event in American history matches the drama of emancipation. More than a century later, it continues to stir the deepest emotions. And properly so. In the United States emancipation accompanied the military defeat of the world’s most powerful slaveholding class. It freed a larger number of slaves than did the end of slavery in all other New World societies combined. ...

read more

Editorial Method

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xix-xxvi

The rendition of nineteenth-century manuscripts into print proceeds at best along a tortuous path. Transcribing handwritten documents into a standardized, more accessible form inevitably sacrifices some of their evocative power. ...

Symbols and Abbreviations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xxvii-xxxiv

read more

Land and Labor, 1866–1867

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-60

A new year promises new beginnings, and the winter of 1865–1866 presented a broad field of possibilities in the erstwhile slave states. On the South’s plantations and farms, crops had been harvested, and former slaves and former slaveholders were making arrangements for the next year’s work. ...

read more

Chapter 1. Enforcing Free Labor

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 61-210

Throughout 1866 and early 1867, the ground rules that governed the South’s nascent free-labor system were in flux. Emancipation had destroyed the personal sovereignty of slaveowners over slaves, and a struggle ensued to define the authority that the state and its agents would wield over newly liberated freedpeople. ...

read more

Chapter 2. Possession and Dispossession

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 211-360

In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, both former slaves and a good many Northerners had expected a redistribution of at least some of the defeated rebels’ property. Large quantities of land had come under federal control during the conflict, either abandoned by disloyal owners, confiscated from them, or seized for nonpayment of a federal direct tax. ...

read more

Chapter 3. Labor on Plantation and Farm

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 361-491

Possessed of few economic resources other than their ability to work, the great mass of former slaves in the rural South could gain a livelihood only by working for a planter or farmer. Compelled of necessity to sell their labor, they did, however, enjoy the right to choose an employer, to negotiate the terms of work, and to move about in search of the best bargain— ...

read more

Chapter 4. Nonagricultural Labor

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 492-552

While the vast majority of freedpeople earned a subsistence tilling the soil, a minority worked in nonagricultural employments. Their experiences, both on and off the job, differed significantly from those of laborers on plantations and farms, whose lives followed the rhythm of the seasons and the demands of particular crops. ...

read more

Chapter 5. Labor and Family Life

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 553-641

For former slaves, one of the most tangible and welcome fruits of emancipation was the chance to unite with spouses, children, and other kin from whom they had been separated and to shape their family relations free of the constant oversight and intrusions that had characterized slavery. Some took their first steps toward those goals during the Civil War, ...

read more

Chapter 6. Commerce, Credit, and Debt

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 642-707

Credit was fundamental to the emergent free-labor economy of the postwar South. Relations of borrowing and lending shaped the lives of all the region’s inhabitants, whatever their color or social standing. While dependence on credit was not new, the prewar system was in tatters. Confederate bonds and currency were worthless, banks had collapsed, ...

read more

Chapter 7. Dependency and Relief

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 708-787

Emancipation conferred on former slaves one of the most cherished prerogatives of free laborers: the right to move where they chose. Forced migration had been a hallmark of life in bondage, from the Middle Passage that brought Africans to mainland North America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, through the Second Middle Passage ...

read more

Chapter 8. Workers on the Move

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 788-873

Emancipation conferred on former slaves one of the most cherished prerogatives of free laborers: the right to move where they chose. Forced migration had been a hallmark of life in bondage, from the Middle Passage that brought Africans to mainland North America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, through the Second Middle Passage ...

read more

Chapter 9. In Search of Landed Independence

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 874-982

Across the South, former slaves aspired to determine for themselves how they worked and lived. The best way to “be their own masters,” they almost universally believed, was to gain access to land.1 Possessing land, even as renters or squatters, could enable freedpeople to separate themselves from former owners, ...

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 983-1070