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.
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 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.
Letter from William McBurney affirming Thomas B. Ferguson's authority to manage Dean Hall Plantation. He encourages Ferguson to show patience "in dealing with the negroes" and fears that any other treatment "may cause the buildings to be laid in ashes, as was the case in my late brothers place." He informs Ferguson that "Mr. Whaleys negroes have the right to remain on the place until January if he does not remove them before, or they do not remove of their own accord." 2p. October 23, 1865.
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.
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 William Whaley to William McBurney instructing him that "the negroes planting at Dean Hall" should repair a broken floodgate and permitting the manager (Thomas Ferguson) to use his former slaves, "such of mine as are [still] on the plantation," to assist. 2p. October 25, 1865.
Letter from Freedmen's Bureau agent F.M. Montell to Lt. James Hann concerning the former slaves still residing at Dean Hall Plantation. Montell writes that Thomas Ferguson wants the freedmen removed "as they have no rights to reside on the plantation after the division of their crops" and that he doesn't want "to have the bad example of idle men" influencing his future hires. Montell also writes of several cases of small pox on the plantation and asks the lieutenant for military help to resolve the situation and provide the "care and attention which the Freedmens Bureau have not the means of affording them." 2p. November 21, 1865.
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