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    [Slavery]. Thomas S. Falconer Plantation Account Ledger Book with Journal of Slave Financial Accounts and Family Records. 4to, 100 pages. Produced by Thomas Affleck in Mobile, Alabama, and published in 1859 specifically for use on cotton plantations "...suitable for a force of 40 hands, or under..." The ledger, used on the Wayne County, Mississippi, plantation of Silver Lake, was kept for year 1861, though records in the back are recorded for the years 1864 and 1865.

    Designed for use over the course of one year, the book is divided up into quarters and at each quarter year mark is found a "Quarterly Inventory of Stock and Implements." Each page has listed the days of the week and on each is an account of the work performed and the conditions of the weather. The plantation housed upward of sixty-four slaves and labor is recorded daily. Activities include ditching, clearing ground, plowing, splitting rails for fencing, burning brush, slaughtering hogs, planting Bermuda, and planting Irish potatoes (February), cotton (early March), and corn (early March). In September, the cotton planted earlier in the year is ready for harvesting and is recorded on every other page, noted as "Daily Record of Cotton Picked." Each page records the name of the slave and the amount (in pounds) of cotton per day each hand has picked. The total amount of cotton pulled for the entire week is recorded as well as the total amount picked to date. The daily account ends sometime around October 1861, the month when Falconer enlisted in the Confederate army.

    The end of the book is comprised of record sheets including: Record of Physicians visits to the Sick, including the name of the visiting physician, name of the patient, date, and ailment; record of clothing given to each slave throughout the year; Overseer's Record of Births and Deaths of Negroes (for the years 1861-1865); Record of the Weight of each Bale of Cotton Made; The Planter's Annual Record of his Negroes; The Planter's Annual Record of the Stock; The Planter's Record of the Sales of Cotton; etc.

    Included in this edition is "The Duties of an Overseer," found on the last two pages, with quotes from "Washington's Instructions to his Overseers." According to the guide, the overseer should refrain from "...taking up your own time and that of the servants..."; avoid unnecessary expenses; maintain the " of the negroes..."; care for the livestock and farm tools; take care in exercising "...judgment and consideration in the management of the Negroes..." by being "...firm, and at the same time gentle...even if inflicting the severest punishment..." The guide recommends that "Whenever an opportunity is afforded you for rewarding continued good behavior, do not let it pass...," but cautions to "Never be induced by a course of good behavior relax the strictness of your discipline...."

    Also included is a handwritten book of financial accounts for the years 1857 through 1866 containing "Accounts with Negroes," each of which lists the slave's name, dates, goods given (tools, livestock, paper, etc.), and value of each with a grand total of the dollar amount given; list of slaves, including names, ages and dollar value of each for slaves belonging to Thomas Falconer, Rebecca Falconer (his wife), and the children. At the beginning of the journal is a lecture on "Electricity" that Thomas Falconer recorded while a student at Princeton College.

    With a four page, 5.25" x 7" booklet of family records giving the dates of birth, marriage, and death and places of birth, beginning with Thomas S. and Rebecca Falconer, through 1926. Thomas Sterling Falconer was born in Alabama in 1836. He married Rebecca Clara Ann Creagh, herself the daughter of a successful planter, in 1857 and the couple had five children. When the Civil War erupted, Falconer enlisted as a second lieutenant in Company "A," Gaines' Invincibles, 46th Mississippi Infantry. He was wounded sometime in 1863 (the place and nature of his wounds are unknown) and returned home to Silver Lake where he died November 17, 1863. Some reports indicate that he died from complications from pneumonia or typhoid fever.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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