This diary, written by an unnamed member of the McLeod family, contains entries throughout 1927 and October 1931. Most entries concern the weather, the author's health, and author's interactions with various friends and family members.
Letter from Fannie Heyward to her father (father-in-law?) asking him to send a recipe for "putting up butter for winter use." Fannie comments on aftershocks of the 1886 Charleston earthquake and writes that she is happy to hear "the Legare St. house pronounced safe." 4p. September 27, 1886.
Letter from James B. Heyward to Joseph Daniel Pope concerning a recent monetary judgment against him. Heyward asks Pope to look into the matter and thinks it may have something to do with an ongoing dispute with Frank Myers concerning property Heyward rented during the war. 4p. December 27, 1870.
Letter from James B. Heyward to William C. Bee seeking a partner in planting Myrtle Grove Plantation. Heyward alludes to an 1854 hurricane that has damaged the long term rice yield at Myrtle Grove but hopes with sufficient capital and his one year of "experience in management under the present system" that a profitable crop of rice could be realized. 4p. November 11, 1866.
Letter from James B. Heyward to William Henry Heyward about their business agreement with John Chadwick at Fife Plantation. James dislikes the terms of the agreement and doesn't want it extended beyond the one year. He would rather sell Fife "than go into these extortionate bargains for cultivating it." 2p. March 16, 1866.
William McBurney to Thomas B. Ferguson concerning operations at Dean Hall Plantation. McBurney describes two different kinds of rice he is sending to Dean Hall and suggests that Ferguson plant the better rice "in a field by itself" for next year's seed crop. He is sending more laborers and supplies to Ferguson, remarking that "Bacon is up in price today." 4p. May 28, 1866.
Letter from Thomas B. Ferguson to William Smitts, miller at the Dean Hall Plantation saw mill. Ferguson outlines the rules of employment for the saw hands, their pay (more money for firemen and white hands) and the work whistle system he would like Smitts to use. 3p. June 21, 1866.
Letter from William McBurney to Thomas B. Ferguson concerning operations at Dean Hall Plantation. McBurney writes that he is sending more mill hands that he contracted in a similar condition as previous laborers. He suggests to Ferguson, however, that instead of charging 75¢ for absences he could take some rations away as punishment and, conversely, up the rations for particularly good service. 2p. May 5, 1866.
Letter from T. Linard (?) of the Freedmen's Bureau to Thomas B. Ferguson at Dean Hall Plantation. Linard is responding to a complaint from Dennis Cash, a freedman in Ferguson's employ, about the destruction of his private crops by Ferguson's hogs and mules. 2p. September 5, 1866.
Letter from William McBurney to Thomas B. Ferguson concerning a shipment of supplies that arrived without an invoice. McBurney wants Ferguson to inventory the contents of the shipment to compare later to the invoice. 2p. March 7, 1866.
Letter from William Henry Heyward at Savannah to James B. Heyward at Combahee. William Heyward has come to the conclusion that the destruction of slave labor will prevent them from ever turning a profit again on the scale seen in the past. He claims that the bargaining power exercised by the freedmen "makes the Planter a slave, far worse than his slave used to be." Because of the scarcity and high price of labor he believes that he and James should sell most of their properties and concentrate all their efforts on a few. 4p. April 17, 1866.
Letter from William McBurney to Thomas B. Ferguson at Dean Hall Plantation. McBurney writes about supplies for Dean Hall and the best strategy of repairing a dam on one of the mill ponds. He claims that they will be able to get enough labor to keep the mill running but reports difficulty in securing "rice hands." He comments that someone has offered to buy Dean Hall or takeover management after Ferguson's agreement to do so expires. 3p. April 20, 1866.
Lengthy contractual agreement between Thomas B. Ferguson and the freedmen and women workers at Dean Hall Plantation. The contract, approved by the Freedmen's Bureau, outlines the conditions of employment for the freedmen including, "comfortable quarters" and one acre of land, monetary penalties for unexcused absences, ten hour work days, and rules concerning tools, work animals and plantation upkeep. One term in the contract, crossed out, specified that the freedmen were to receive one-half of the entire crop though it was amended later to one-third. 4p. February 20, 1866. (oversized)
Letter from William McBurney in Charleston to Thomas B. Ferguson at Dean Hall Plantation concerning the hiring of freedmen. McBurney writes that after a survey of other Cooper River plantation owners he finds that most are offering a share of the crop instead of monthly pay "whether from a want of ability to pay wages or because they believed an interest in the crop would secure a more steady course of labor and prevent stealage." McBurney informs Ferguson that he has written up a contract and submitted it to General Scott at the Freedmen's Bureau for acceptance. He fears the general will alter his submitted contract in favor of the former slaves and writes that officials in the bureau think the "freedman and the white northern laborer" are the same. 2p. February 1, 1866.
Letter from William McBurney to Thomas B. Ferguson concerning supplies for Dean Hall Plantation and a mix up with an order for a mill through Cameron Barkley & Co. He also writes about the labor contract created with the freedmen at Dean Hall and tells Ferguson he should be the first to sign the contract kept at the Freedmen's Bureau and that "the one to be retained should be signed by the Darkies first." 4p. February 21, 1866.
Letter from Capt. H. S. Hawkins to the Asst. Adjutant General of the Military District of Charleston regarding the freedmen at Thomas B. Ferguson's Dockon Plantation. Capt. Hawkins writes that Ferguson had come to Dockon to inquire if the freedmen living there would contract to work the plantation and the freedmen replied, according to Hawkins, that they "would not work for any rebel son-of-a-bitch." Since the time for the freedmen to legally reside there has elapsed and the Freedmen's Bureau has sanctioned their removal, Ferguson wants them evicted and Capt. Hawkins, in his letter, is requesting explicit authority to "put off the objectionable negroes by force." 2p. January 5, 1866.
Article of agreement between James B. Heyward, William Henry Heyward and John Chadwick to replant Fife Plantation. John Chadwick, from New York, agrees to provide $15,500 in capital for two-thirds share in the resulting rice crop. 4p. March 14, 1866.
Letter from William McBurney to Thomas B. Ferguson concerning operations at Dean Hall Plantation. McBurney relates that he has been approached to provide lumber for building houses in town and asks Ferguson if the mill can provide it. 2p. April 26, 1866.
Letter from William McBurney to Thomas B. Ferguson concerning operations at Dean Hall Plantation. McBurney writes about a mix up in an order for a saw blade and mentions that he visited a laborer in the hospital who had been injured at Dean Hall. 2p. May 2, 1866.
Letter from E. Barnwell Heyward to his cousin James B. Heyward informing him of the death of E. Barnwell Heyward's father. E. Heyward also comments briefly on the state of affairs in South Carolina since the end of the war. 2p. March 27, 1866.
Second letter of May 5, 1866, from William McBurney to Thomas B. Ferguson. McBurney asks Ferguson to finish the tax returns on Dean Hall and sends him a mill worker. The laborer has agreed to the $15 per month salary with rations "consisting of one peck corn, or ten quarts of meal and three lbs of bacon pr week and one quart of Salt and one quart of molasses pr month." 2p.
Third letter of May 5, 1866, from William McBurney to Thomas B. Ferguson. McBurney discusses the ongoing struggle to obtain a saw blade of the correct dimensions claiming the company he ordered it from cannot forge one because the proper sized plate "is on board the colera (sic) ship and cannot be had until she is permitted to discharge cargo." 2p.
Letter from William McBurney to Thomas B. Ferguson concerning supplies sent to Dean Hall Plantation. McBurney apologizes for sending articles on the sloop "Bird" instead of the "R E Lee" and returns a butter tin sent to him by Ferguson. He writes, "I think your dairy maid needs instruction,..., Mrs. McB thanks you for the butter but thinks there is room for improvement." 1p. July 21, 1866.
Letter from William McBurney to Thomas B. Ferguson informing him that he is sending payroll money to Dean Hall Plantation. The payment of the wages has left McBurney without any money and he fears that the saw mill on the plantation will not generate any profit. 1p. July 5, 1866.
Letter from William McBurney to Thomas B. Ferguson concerning supplies sent to Dean Hall Plantation. McBurney writes that this is an unplanned trip up the river to Dean Hall for "Cap Christian" and he might expect Ferguson to have something to ship back to town to make it worth his while. 1p. July 2, 1866.
Second letter of June 12, 1866, from William McBurney to Thomas B. Ferguson. McBurney writes that Ferguson's brother thinks the mule thief will cross the river at "Bacon Bridge" and head towards Adams Run and suggests that Ferguson go to "the neighborhood of the 18-mile" house to offer "John Donnelly" a reward if he can capture the thief. 1p.
Letter from William McBurney to Thomas B. Ferguson concerning supplies for Dean Hall Plantation. Included among the supplies is a barrel of whiskey that is to be mixed with quinine and taken as a prophylactic and McBurney hopes this "judicious use of the preventatives will aid in keeping off sickness." 1p. June 21, 1866.
Notice affirming the charges made by Thomas B. Ferguson against freedmen at Dean Hall Plantation. The military command in Charleston agrees that the freedmen have forfeited their contract with Ferguson and gives them ten days to leave the plantation. 1p. July 13, 1866