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Black History Featured

Black History

I found this contract between Hamilton Bryan and some freed slaves while doing some other research on the Bryan estate. I am including a typed copy that is done as the best I can read it.

One Service of a copy of the within is hereby admitted
Emos F Little
Capt. 161st

State of Florida Jackson County
This indenture made this day (August 1, 1865) and entered into between Hamilton G. Bryan, Executor of estate of Elijah Bryan, of the 1st part, and the former slaves of said estate, of the 2nd part. Witherforth. That they said Bryan (Party of the 1st part) do hereby agree to furnish food + clothing and medical attendance as usual and the said laborers (parties of the second part) also agree to faithfully and diligently perform all labor required as here to fore, by said Bryan or his agents until the 1st day of August 1866. And that the laborers as aforesaid sign this instrument willingly and without any expectations of regard further than food clothing and medical attendance (as mentioned above) for themselves their children (now on the plantation) and the aged and infants formally slaves and above.
H.G. Bryan, Executor of Estate
Elijah Bryan
Daniel wife & 5 children
Bos Nancy eight children
Jean wife & eight children under 8 Sarah four children
Matilda & child Ellis
Hannah & child Gilbert
Louisa four children Rachel
Sally Ann two children Polly
Grace & her six children Tilvy
Thomas wife & three children Martha four children
Jack Barclay wife and their six children Bella two children
Jack Bryan mother & father
Homer mother sister & brother

We the undersigned certify that the within was signed in our presence this day Aug 1st. 1865
C.H. Askew

You will notice the slaves could not read or write, so, signed by their mark. They had to trust the reader or be compelled to make this agreement. I expect Hamilton was pressured to do this by the Union forces who were occupying this area at this time as it was admitted by a Captain Little. My count is 88 slaves so I expect it is most all those who were here, although some may have left. When his father, Elijah died in 1852 he had 52 slaves. Notice this contract was admitted Aug 3, 1865 just 4 months after the war ended Apr 9, 1865.

I hope this will be of some benefit to all who are making a special study of Black History this month.

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Last modified onThursday, 02 January 2014 18:41
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