Richard Brown gets 40 acres… for a while, at least.

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#1
Richard Brown gets 40 acres… for a while, at least.

40-acres-to-richard-borwn.jpg

Land Order for Richard Brown, April 1, 1865: “permission is hereby granted to Richard Brown to take possession of and occupy forty acres of land,” situated in St. Andrews Parish, Island of James. South Carolina, Berkley District.
Image Source: National Archives, Labor Contracts M1910, roll 62; from the Archive’s Freedmen’s Bureau records.


In 1865, US General William Tecumseh Sherman issued Field Order 15. As discussed in the New Georgia Encyclopedia, "On January 16, 1865, during the Civil War (1861-65), Union general William T. Sherman issued Field Order No. 15 calling for the redistribution of confiscated Southern land to freedmen in forty-acre plots..."

Richard Brown was one of those fortunate freedmen who received 40 acres, as shown by the above certificate. The land was in St. Andrew’s Parish, SC. (Until the late 19th century, the South Carolina Lowcountry was divided into parishes which in turn were subdivided several “districts”; the Berkley and Charleston Districts were in St. Andrew.) The land was on James Island, which is south of Charleston on the other side of Charleston Harbor, from one of the Heyward plantations. The owner, whom I believe to be Charles Heyward, had several plantations. This website identifies several of the 491 enslaved people who were freed from his plantations in July 1865.
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The rest of the article is here.

- Alan
 
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Carronade

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#3
I wonder if No. 118 denotes a particular plot or if there was some other delineation of Brown's new land. Just saying that someone is entitled to forty acres would seem to invite conflict with other freedmen. Or was it like homesteading, where the first person to get to Heyward's plantation could stake out his forty acres, followed by the next, and the next??

The actual text of F.O. 15 reads "not more than forty (40) acres" but the printed form gives the full forty to each recipient.

p.s. just looked back at the original post and noticed that Heyward owned several plantations - not to mention that there might be other Heywards! Again I have to hope that there was something besides this form to determine who had a claim to what, where.
 
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