Report of Planters Who Had Sent Their Freedmen Away Unpaid, St. Simons Island, GA, 1865

One of the duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau in the former slaveholding states where it operated, was to oversee labor contracts between Freedmen and planters. Labor contracts stated the terms and obligations of planters and Freedmen. Freedmen agreed to plant, tend and harvest a crop, most often receiving a share of the crop when it was harvested. If a planter turned a Freedman away from the plantation before the crop was harvested and the contract was fulfilled, the Freedmen’s Bureau could intercede to enforce the terms of the labor contract1.

The document abstracted below2 was a report of planters on St. Simons Island, Georgia who had turned Freedmen away before the contract was fulfilled. You may view the microfilmed images of this document on FamilySearch.

The table below is searchable. You may also choose how many rows to display per page.

This file was transcribed by Alana Thevenet.

Names of PlantersResidenceNames of FreedmenWhen DischargedWhen LaborRemarks
Asa BurneyGlen CountyDaphney BurneyJuly 1stJan 1st
Thomas B. KingTebeauville No. 9Pylus KingJuly 13thJan 1st
Hamilton CooperTebeauville No. 9Bonny Gibon's wifeJune 1stJan 1st
and Daughter
Dempsey PalmerWayne Co.Elizabeth PalmerJuly 1stJan 1stThis company are among the most destitute upon the island. They brought absolutely nothing, not even clothes to cover their nakedness. Several half grown persons landed as innocent of clothing as Adam and Eve before they used fig leaves. 
Jack Palmer " "
Lilly Palmer " "
Maria Palmer " "
Nellie Palmer " "
Abigail Palmer " "
Katie Palmer " "
March Wade " "
Margaret Wade " "
Hugh F. GrantWaynesboroughMatcher GrantJuly 1stJan 1stThese people all were encouraged in the spring to plant themselves crops but when sent away nothing was matured and Mr. Grant swore he would shoot them if they appeared to claim them. They must suffer greatly if means are not supplied to them from some quarter.
Richard Grant " "
Andrew Grant " "
Mary Grant " "
Sipeo Grant " "
Abbie Grant " "
Nancy Grant " "
Priscilla Grant " "
Amelia Grant " "
Harely M. StaffordWayne co.Thomas StaffordJuly 1stJan 1stThis man returned to me some of the most obscene, insulting, and profane language in reply to a letter informing him officially that he would be required to pay these hands And swears he will shoot any one who may attempt to collect it.
Alexander Stafford " "
Emerline Stafford " "
Lena Stafford " "
Sylvia Stafford " "
George Stafford " "
Daniel L. KingMayfield CamdenTim SaundersJuly 15thJan 1st
Adam Tatnell " "
Alexander CouperAlatanna Ware Co.Elizabeth CouperAug 1stJan 1st
Sandy Couper " "
Peggy Couper " "This woman was a 3/4 hand
James PostellNo. 9Tonny FarmJuly 1stJan 1st30 dollars a month was paid to his master for his labor
Hannibal RobinsonJune 1st "
Charles RobinsonAug 1st "
Saunders White " "
Robinson PostellJuly 15th "
Martin MillerTebeauvilleRebecca CountJuly 1stJan 1st
Alexander Edwards " "
James SweatTebeauvilleSarah AndrewsJuly 1stJan 1st
Robert StaffordWaynesvilleEmerlilne GillJuly 1st "
Wm A. CouperNo. 9Peter PitmanJuly 1stJan 1st
Abram Coupler " "
Middleton Tyson " "A Mechanic
Sarah CouperAug 15th "This woman was driven away violently without clothing, food &c.
Martha WigginsWaynesvilleWm CollinsJuly 1stJan 1stSinclair Wiggins Agent for M. Wiggins
Dr. Henry TroupWare Co. No. 9Cyrus TroupJuly 1stJan 1st
Robert B. CrumClinch Co. No. 11Clara Coen &July 15th "This man brags that he has out-witted the government and got a good crop out of the very Negroes which he has turned over destitute upon its hands
two children
full hands
Caroline ArmstrongJuly 1stJan 1st
and four children
full hands
Frank DannonAug 21st "
Martin BradleyJune 1st "
Nancy HuttoWaynesvilleEliza Aiken & her
daughter (full hands) "Jan 1st
Wm ArnetWayne Co.March AikensJuly 1stJan 1st
James H. CouperNo. 9Betsey MurryJuly 1stJan 1st
Prince Taylor " "
Elsie Tatnell " "
Delia Ramsey " "
Allie Sams " "
Mitchel Filtzson & " "
his wife " "
Samuel Lockwood " "
Mallory KingWaresboroughBonny KingJuly 1stJan 1st
Robert Murphy " "
Gabriel Merchant " "
James PilesGlen Co.James Piles (col'd)July 1stJan 1st
Daughter of the above " " "
Cornelia Piles (Field) " "
Mary Piles " "
Polly Burns " "
Cornelia Piles (House) " "
George Piles " "
(half hand)
Margaret CatoWare Co. No. 9Robert WhiteJune 1stJan 1stThis man was hired out by Mrs. Cato at 30.00 per month
Wm MurpheyJuly 15th "
Cassius Murphy " "
Col. Robert Du BinionBuffaloMargaret Du BinionJuly 1stJan 1st

References Cited

[1] United States, Bureau of Freedmen, Refugees and Abandoned Lands, NARA RG 105, M1903, Roll 77, Descriptive Pamphlet. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. 

[2] “Georgia, Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872,” images, FamilySearch ( : 9 December 2014), Saint Simons Island (agent) > Roll 77, Land report and report of planters who had sent their freedmen away unpaid, Aug-Sep 1865 > image 1 of 11; citing NARA microfilm publication M1903 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

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