Princess Anne [Va.] April 19, 1866
Captain In obedience to instructions “Hd Qrs Asst Com. Richmond April 16 1866” to “furnish without delay information of any demand there may be for labor in your (my) District, and for how many freedmen there is such demand &c” I have the honor to report–that in the part of Princess Anne most distant from Norfolk there is much enquiry for farm labor and $12 per month is offered for first class farm hands. In most or perhaps rather in many cases the farmers have not the means at command, to pay wages monthly; but are willing to work the land on shares or secure partial deferred payments– There is however a decided indisposition on the part of the freedmen to go any distance from the city and the season is rapidly passing for planting so that if the labor is not furnished now, little will be wanted to take care of the crop– Nearer the city there is an ample supply of labor and $10 per month is the general rate of pay for good farm hands, Few however are willing to make contracts for the year preferring to do job work by the day, waiting I expect for revival in the business of Woodchopping, and still more expending their labor on wild ground, which the owners, for the purpose of having cleared and grubbed without expense, have allowed them to settle on rent free for one to three years.
As to the number of Freedmen who could find employment I cannot report definitely, and it would depend entirely upon the terms on which they would be willing to work through the season– There is much enquiry for steady women for cooking &c but in most cases those with families are not wanted– Respectfully submitted Yr obt servt
Thos P Jackson
Thos P Jackson to Captain A. S. Flagg, 19 Apr. 1866, Letters Received, series 4153, Norfolk VA Superintendent of the 1st District, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives. The instructions to which Jackson was responding had been sent to each district superintendent in the state. (Lieut Col. Garrick Mallery to Capt. A. S. Flagg [and to “each Superintendent”], 16 Apr. 1866, vol. 13, p. 169, Letters Sent, series 3791, VA Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives.)
Published in Land and Labor, 1866–1867, p. 414.