170. James B. Heyward to (unknown) -- November 12, 1861

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    Combahee Nov 12th 1861 My dear Sir This will be handed to you by Overseer Mr. C. R. Hains. He informs me that he is compelled by his engagement with you and the order of his captain to return to camp. I beg that you will excuse the liberty I take of protesting against the withdrawal of the Overseers from this neighborhood. They all have large numbers [End Page 1] of negroes under their charge who though an orderly set are very dependent upon their Overseers for direction and care. In his absence the timid become panic struck and the bold mischievous. I think in a short time not only individual interests but the whole community will suffer evil consequences. It is necessary that these people should be looked after either in civil or military way. I recommend this former [End Page 2] as the best for both parties, and the Overseer system as the best civil police system that can be invented. Overseers who have lived long over plantations know the individual character of the negroes and by means of a system of espionage know every thing that is going on. Let us not interfere with this if it can be avoided and by all means spare men who are unsuited by age and bodily infirmity for active military duty. [End Page 3] I will also mention that the plantations will be able to render more effect aid in the way of supplies for the army if this direction is at [home?]. Hoping that you will excuse the liberties I have taken in this and my former notes I remain Very Respectfully Your Obdt. Jas. B. Heyward [End Page 4]
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    Combahee Nov 12th 1861 My dear Sir This will be handed to you by Overseer Mr. C. R. Hains. He informs me that he is compelled by his engagement with you and the order of his captain to return to camp. I beg that you will excuse the liberty I take of protesting against the withdrawal of the Overseers from this neighborhood. They all have large numbers [End Page 1] of negroes under their charge who though an orderly set are very dependent upon their Overseers for direction and care. In his absence the timid become panic struck and the bold mischievous. I think in a short time not only individual interests but the whole community will suffer evil consequences. It is necessary that these people should be looked after either in civil or military way. I recommend this former [End Page 2] as the best for both parties, and the Overseer system as the best civil police system that can be invented. Overseers who have lived long over plantations know the individual character of the negroes and by means of a system of espionage know every thing that is going on. Let us not interfere with this if it can be avoided and by all means spare men who are unsuited by age and bodily infirmity for active military duty. [End Page 3] I will also mention that the plantations will be able to render more effect aid in the way of supplies for the army if this direction is at [home?]. Hoping that you will excuse the liberties I have taken in this and my former notes I remain Very Respectfully Your Obdt. Jas. B. Heyward [End Page 4]
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    Combahee Nov 12th 1861 My dear Sir This will be handed to you by Overseer Mr. C. R. Hains. He informs me that he is compelled by his engagement with you and the order of his captain to return to camp. I beg that you will excuse the liberty I take of protesting against the withdrawal of the Overseers from this neighborhood. They all have large numbers [End Page 1] of negroes under their charge who though an orderly set are very dependent upon their Overseers for direction and care. In his absence the timid become panic struck and the bold mischievous. I think in a short time not only individual interests but the whole community will suffer evil consequences. It is necessary that these people should be looked after either in civil or military way. I recommend this former [End Page 2] as the best for both parties, and the Overseer system as the best civil police system that can be invented. Overseers who have lived long over plantations know the individual character of the negroes and by means of a system of espionage know every thing that is going on. Let us not interfere with this if it can be avoided and by all means spare men who are unsuited by age and bodily infirmity for active military duty. [End Page 3] I will also mention that the plantations will be able to render more effect aid in the way of supplies for the army if this direction is at [home?]. Hoping that you will excuse the liberties I have taken in this and my former notes I remain Very Respectfully Your Obdt. Jas. B. Heyward [End Page 4]
  • Image 01
    Combahee Nov 12th 1861 My dear Sir This will be handed to you by Overseer Mr. C. R. Hains. He informs me that he is compelled by his engagement with you and the order of his captain to return to camp. I beg that you will excuse the liberty I take of protesting against the withdrawal of the Overseers from this neighborhood. They all have large numbers [End Page 1] of negroes under their charge who though an orderly set are very dependent upon their Overseers for direction and care. In his absence the timid become panic struck and the bold mischievous. I think in a short time not only individual interests but the whole community will suffer evil consequences. It is necessary that these people should be looked after either in civil or military way. I recommend this former [End Page 2] as the best for both parties, and the Overseer system as the best civil police system that can be invented. Overseers who have lived long over plantations know the individual character of the negroes and by means of a system of espionage know every thing that is going on. Let us not interfere with this if it can be avoided and by all means spare men who are unsuited by age and bodily infirmity for active military duty. [End Page 3] I will also mention that the plantations will be able to render more effect aid in the way of supplies for the army if this direction is at [home?]. Hoping that you will excuse the liberties I have taken in this and my former notes I remain Very Respectfully Your Obdt. Jas. B. Heyward [End Page 4]
Title:
170. James B. Heyward to (unknown) -- November 12, 1861
Creator:
Heyward and Ferguson families, 1806-1923
Date:
1861-11-12
Description:
Letter from James B. Heyward to an unknown recipient carried by one of his overseers, C. R. Hains, who is reporting for duty. In his letter, James protests the conscription of plantation overseers into the Confederate army claiming they "have large numbers of negroes under their charge" and that "in his absence the timid become panic struck and the bold mischievous." He also argues that the overseers "by means of espionage know every thing that is going on" and that well run plantations can better provide supplies to the war cause. 4p. November 12, 1861.
Collection:
Heyward and Ferguson Family Papers, 1806-1923
Contributing Institution:
College of Charleston Libraries
Media Type:
Manuscripts
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Heyward family
Topical Subject:
Plantation overseers--South Carolina, Slavery--South Carolina
Geographic Subject:
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Shelving Locator:
MSS 0092
S.C. County:
Charleston County (S.C.)
Internet Media Type:
image/jpeg
Digitization Specifications:
700 ppi, 24-bit depth, color, Epson Expression 10000XL scanner, Archival Master is a tiff.
Copyright Status Statement:
Digital image copyright 2009, The College of Charleston Libraries. All rights reserved. For more information contact The College of Charleston Library, Charleston, SC 29424.