Contract between D.T. Crosby and 5 Freedmen, ("Free Labor Contract"), 14 April 1867

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Following the Civil War the newly freed African Americans in the south found themselves in need of work. Often, they contracted with former masters to work the plantations in exchange for place to live and a share of the crops. This system is known as sharecropping. In 1867 D.T. Crosby contracted with five freedmen to provide farm labor. This contract details the conditions of work and payment expected by both the employer and employees.


D.T. Crosby, Freedmen’s Contract, 14 April 1867, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.


This document was transcribed in:

Jessie Melville Fraser, ed., "A Free Labor Contract, 1867," Journal of Southern History (Nov. 1940), pp. 546-548.

Correlating SC Social Studies Academic Standards:

Standard USHC-4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the causes and the course of the Civil War and Reconstruction in America.
Indicator USHC 4-4 Summarize the effects of Reconstruction on the southern states and the roles of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments in that era.
Indicator USHC 4-5 Summarize the progress made by African Americans during Reconstruction and the subsequent reversals brought by Reconstruction’s end, including the creation of the Freedmen’s Bureau, gains in educational and political opportunity, and the rise of anti–African American factions and legislation.

Indicator 4-6.3 Explain how specific events and issues led to the Civil War, including the sectionalism fueled by issues of slavery in the territories, state’s rights, the election of 1860, and secession.

Note: Although this document was originally posted as part of a lesson specifically designed to teach the above standard(s), other Social Studies Standards may apply.

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Lessons Using This Document:

Kensington Mansion: Plantation, Sharecroppers, Tenants


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