We have now completed the final of the expense books. Although this book wasn’t as interesting as some of the others, it was certainly the biggest. Hmm…both expense books were large, this leads us to wonder of the magnitude of business back in the day and the amount of economic activity that was taking place.
NEWTON PLANTATION EXPENSE BOOK 1842- 1867
This is an overall general journal for accounts held between Newton plantation and other plantations, individuals and companies. This book was one of the bigger ones and a bit more fragile. Due to its size, it was a bit challenging to get a high quality picture. One had to be conscious of the need to preserve the book and the scanning had to be carried out carefully as the book was literally falling to pieces.
Slave List 1828
Working with this book is proving to be somewhat of a challenge. The book has clearly not withstood the test of time as good as some of the others have. The leaves are torn, very tattered, brittle and falling apart. Thus making it very hard to scan since you want quality scans, while preserving the book as best as you can.
Interesting…and some new names!
So, a few of the plantation workers were caught stealing, hmmm big deal on one part but on the other one wonders why they were stealing.
Some stole potatoes and few stole cane. Were they stealing for food or to make a few extra dollars on the side?
NEWTON PLANTATION DAY BOOK 1865 & NEWTON RENT BOOK 1862
After a bout of sickness with dengue fever I’m happy to be back here gaining details and bits and pieces into the lives of the Newton Plantation owners and their daily recordings of what’s happening on the plantation.
This leaves us to wonder how they dealt with sickness on the plantation. Since so far there have been no major recording of any sickness. Also one may wonder how they categorized these illnesses. Did these workers or plantation owners get sick back in the day? One really wonders! Hmmm…
“Brandy, Whiteface, Blossom…” the plantation owner must love his cattle. He has spent the time to name all of his cattle as opposed to his horses, sheep and mules for which he only takes into account increases or decreases. His list of cattle is extensively detailed.
“They must have been producing some really good milk!”
It’s amazing to see the accountancy skills of the managers or owners of this plantation back in the day. They left no stone (or on this case, no cent) unaccounted for.
It still blows my mind the meticulous way in which they documented every single transaction. They even made extra notes, which may be considered mental notes, to themselves. E.g. the intention to Shift a worker from one area to another and the poor performance of worker.
Everything on this plantation seems to have been documented, even something as simple as where tools are to be kept.
Today August 24th, 2012 we completed the final check through of the inventory book, which proved to be hilarious. It took so long because we were checking and re-checking and re-checking as we thought that a mistake was made somewhere along the way as the number of tiffs was one more that what we had in the metadata.
So, upon doing all these checks and finding nothing we, meaning Harriet and myself, thought “What could the problem possible be?” “We are not crazy”…
Upon starting much care had to be given to this book in particular as its pages were very brittle, torn and falling apart. On many occasions two persons had to be on hand to turn pages and also to help in deciphering the writing.
After analyzing the document Harriet and I realized that this was in fact two books contained in one. One book/section detailed the rents and wages of Stock keepers and watchmen and the other looked at what was described as money renters.
Labor historian Michael Thompson will address a gathering of scholars, students, and Lowcountry workers at 6 p.m. on April 19, 2012, when he delivers “Working on the Dock of the Bay: Charleston’s Waterfront, 1783-1861” at the ILA Local 1422 Union Hall, 1142 Morrison Drive.
Thompson, a history professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, will explore life and labor among antebellum dock workers in Charleston.
The Thompson lecture is free and open to the public.