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Freedmen's Bureau Labor Records

Records Relating to Freedmen's Labor

The freedmen's labor contracts, which the bureau assisted in drawing up, consist of agreements between freedmen laborers and planters stating terms of employment, such as pay, clothing, and medical care due the freedman; the part of the crop to be retained by him; and whether a plot for growing subsistence crops was to be provided. The reports of contracts made were submitted by subordinate officers. Some reports are tabular statements that show the number of contracts approved by the bureau; others are narrative reports that give the name of the employer, the number of employees, and the terms of the contracts approved. Indentures of apprenticeship are preprinted or handwritten forms giving pertinent data concerning the contracted parties, dates of apprenticeship, and include a statement of the obligations and responsibilities of each party. Registers of indentures provide the date, name of the person indentured, name of the officer who officiated, and name of the custodian to whom the person was indentured. Some of the monthly reports of indentures are narrative, while others list persons apprenticed, to whom apprenticed, date of indenture, when the indenture was recorded, and when it was approved by probate court.



  • Work Contract between Freedmen in Wilkes County, Georgia and Clark Anderson & Co. in Mississippi

North Carolina