Emanuel Alexander Durr's Freedman Bureau Labor Contract

"When the war ended we stayed several years wid marse. Everything was up sot an' had to be built back. An' so many changes it was hard for everybody to git along." Simon Durr, ex-slave of Michael Durr in Simpson County, Mississippi

Field Workers

Transcribed by Linda Durr Rudd

Agreement with Freedmen
July 14, 1865

This agreement made this 14 day of July, A.D. 1865 by and between E. A. Durr of the Lauderdale County and the State of Mississippi of the first part and herein named and undersigned Freedmen of the same place hereto of the second part.

Witness, that for the purpose of cultivating the plantation known as Durr Plantation in the county aforesaid, during the year commencing on the first day of July A. D. 1865 and terminating on the first day of January 1866. The said E. A. Durr party of the first part, in consideration of the promise and conditions hereinafter mentioned on the part of the parties of the second part, agrees to furnish to the said laborers and those rightfully dependent on them, free of charge, food of good quality and sufficient quantity; good and sufficient quantities; medical attendance when necessary, and kind and humane treatment. Also one fourth part of all the corn raised on said farm or plantation when housed or gathered to be equally divided between those that labors in said farm and said party of the first part agrees to furnish the parties of the second part cotton to spin their clothes and to allow them in the on times between the delaying by said crops and gathering to spin and weave their clothes as they have always done.

And it is further agreed, that in case the said E. A. Durr shall fail, neglect, or refuse any of the obligations assumed by himself, or shall furnish said parties of the 2nd part with insufficient food or be guilty of cruelty to he shall besides the legal recourse left to the party or parties aggrieved render this contract liable to annulment by the Provost Marshall of freedmen. And it is agreed on the part of the parties of the second part that they will each well and faithfully perform such labor as the said E. A. Durr may require of them for the time aforesaid, not exceeding ten hours per day in summer and nine hours in winter, and in every respect be...dutiful and faithful servants...and in case any laborer shall voluntarily absent himself or herself from or shall neglect or refuse to perform the labor herein promised and the fact shall be proven to the satisfaction of the proper officer, the party so offending shall be punished in such manner as the Provost Marshall shall deem proper and forfeit his or her contract and be entitled to no part of said crop.

Jack, Susie, Rindy, Eddy, Sharlott, Seah, Aley, Charles, Barsh, Surah, Sovison, Jane, Chi, Mary, Seley, Emma, Cot, Mary, Rich, Wetthy, Witt, Robin (All Freedmen signed with an X.)

In testimony, whereof, the said parties have affixed their names to this agreement at Durr Plantation, State of Mississippi, on the day and date aforesaid.

E. A. Durr (Signed)

Executed in presence of
Charles Gordon
G. B. Gordon

Notes: Emanuel Alexander Durr was born November 26, 1806 in Colleton County, South Carolina, and died October 8, 1885 in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. He was the son of Jacob Durr and Ann Carr. He married Elizabeth H. Griffith January 24, 1839 in Colleton County, South Carolina. Their children were Thomas Jefferson Durr, b. 1841; Emanuel Ascass Durr, b. 1844; William Washington Durr, b. 1844; Sarah Ann Durr, b. 1846; Emanuel Alexander Durr, Jr., b. 1849; Robert Durr, b. 1851; Barbara Elizabeth Durr, b. 1852; Laura Clara Durr, b. 1853; James Basccomb Durr, b. 1856; Ida Carry Durr, b. 1862 were all born in Marion, Lauderdale County, Mississippi.

In 1850, Emanuel owned 52 slaves, and in 1860 he owned 99 slaves and was the guardian of the minor heirs of William Rhodes 29 slaves in Lauderdale County.


Freedmen Bureau Labor Contracts ~ #44-071
Microfilm Number: 3448
Subject File ~ E. A. Durr
All Sources found at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Remembering Their Names

Mississippi Death Index ~ Durr