In 1865, Jeptha Harris 1818-1899 made a Labour Contract with Free People in Lowndes County, Mississippi.
J V Harris was born in Georgia abt. 1818 as was his wife Mary.
In 1850, Jeptha Harris had 200 enslaved people. The enslaved population (as per the 1850 Slave Schedule) in Lowndes County, Mississippi was 12,996.
In 1860 he had 91 enslaved people.
The 1865 contract is punitive.
What makes this document valuable is that the 51 Free People who agreed to the contract did so in family groups. The following list gives the Head of Household first, if there is a single name then that person was not recognised as part of a family group. Children too young to work are not listed, however it is clear from the terms of the contract that at least some of these families had very young children.
Jim's family;Jim, Julia Anne & William
Emerson's family; Emerson, Susan, Willis & William
Randall's family; Randall, ?? & Betty
Daniel's family; Daniel & Delia
Henry Moore's family; Sam & Bill
Sampson's family; Sampson, Jane, Indiana, Bill, Cornelius, Savannah & Ivory
Solomon's family; Solomon & Julia
Mack;s family; Mack, Julia Anne, Emily & Milicent?
Cloe's family; Granville & Elijah
Adam's family; Adam & Gus
Crockett's family; Crockett & Georgia Anna
Andrew's family; Andrew & 2 sons
Jesse's family; Jesse & Jane (Jesse and/or Jane signed the paper themselves)
I cannot find a return for the 1870 US Federal Census online. I had hoped to be able to find at least some of the families if they remained in the area. I wondered if they retained the family names as described in the contract or if they changed them.
This research was undertaken as a contribution to the #SlaveNameRollProject
Jeptha V Harris 1850 Slave Schedule
Labour Contract 1865/6
Family search number for Jeptha Vining Harris LH2W-785
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Find A Grave Memorial# 12915199