Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Alabama
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865 - 1870
National Archives Publication M809 Roll 23
Pike Co., Alabama
Feb. 25th, 1867
Case between Jas. T. Bean and E. A. Raborn about Freedwoman Eliza, both claiming to have a contract
Magistrate Court Held at Union Church, Pike County, Ala. Feb. 25th, 1867
Eliza says that she has never signed her hand on a written contract, that she stayed there from 3 or 4 weeks before Christmas until last Monday. She went into the house and asked Mr. Bean what he would give her - he (Mr. Bean) said he would like to have her but could not feed her two little children - he (Mr. Bean) said to me (Eliza) that I could stay there or I could go to my son's or go anywhere else. All this was on or about the middle of January. Abraham bought the provisions - she had nothing to do with provisions. Mr. Bean fed her for her services. Abraham (her husband) made a contract for himself and not for her. He (Abe) told Mr. Bean that he intended for his wife to stay in the house and spin.
W. B. Salter, witness for plaintiff says that sometime about the last of January he went to Mr. Bean's to hire Eliza's son, Mr. Bean told her that he was still willing to feed her and one child, Eliza made no reply to this, she told Mr. Salter that she was to get fifty cents a day for every day she worked in the field. Second time he went also. She would send the boy but if I (Eliza) want him to go to my son's anytime in the Fall will you give him up? That she would stay there - Mr. Bean has weighed us out two weeks rations. Eliza called, on oath, again says that she told Mrs. Mary Ann and Mrs. M. A. Raborn that she had become dissatisfied and was going to Barbour to her son's to stay with him. That Mas Jim had told her she could go to her son's if she wanted to, and she thought if she could go away when Mr. Bean was at home she could go when he was absent and she told Mrs. E. A. Raborn she had quit and was going off and Mrs. E. A. Raborn told her if she was going or quit, she wanted her and would feed and clothe her and her two children which she agreed to. Says that her reasons for being dissatisfied was that she heard Mr. James Bean, Mr. W. B. Salter, and Mr. E. A. Raborn were going to take her son off and sell him; also that she and the freedmen did not get along well together, the reason was that the black women would not help her bring wood or water when her child was not a week and two or three days old.
Witness Henry (a freedman) says that Eliza said she was going to stay all the year - said she was satisfied there - that "Mas James" would give her victuals and clothes and that was as well as she could do anywhere. Some time ago, she said she was dissatisfied - a short time since, she said she was satisfied.
Witness Philip says that "Mas James" said he wanted her and she was going to stay - she was satisfied - said Mr. Raborn passed by her when she was lying out in the woods and would not take her up and she thought it was right to stay with "Mas James."
Philip says Eliza told him that she went in the house and asked "Mas James" what he was willing to give her - he told her he was not willing to give her more than what she would eat and milk extra. Defendant's witness, Mrs. E. A. Raborn says that Eliza said to Mr. Bean "Mas Jim" you told me that I could go to my son or get me a home anywhere else and Mr. Bean said "Eliza, I told you you could go to your son's after a while," also that Eliza told her (Mrs. R.) that she had left Mr. Bean's and if she did not take her she was going to start to her son's in Barbour County the next day, and she hired her from Mr. Bean's statement at his house. She thought Eliza was at liberty to get her another home when she became dissatisfied.
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