The Carter Farm

The Carter Farm (HM2L44)

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N 35° 54.949', W 86° 52.363'

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Rebuilding Southern Farms

Emancipation created a novel problem for cash-poor white Southern farmers as well as the newly freed slaves, or freedmen. Land was abundant, but the labor force was largely dispersed, and there was little money to hire available black or white workers. The freedmen, like poor whites, had labor to offer, but little or no land to farm

Sharecropping proved to be an effective if unsatisfactory solution. It was similar to renting land, but freedmen and poor whites lacked the cash to pay rent. Instead, they tilled, planted, cultivated, and harvested crops, then gave the landowner as much as half of the harvest as rent. The landowners and laborers thus "shared the crop," an arrangement theoretically beneficial for all.

The landowner wrote contracts with strict guidelines for payment, including percentages of the profit distribution and interest rates. These contracts were notorious for being unfair, however, especially in regard to freedmen, many of whom were uneducated and unable to comprehend the guidelines to which they agreed. Congress created the Freedmen's Bureau in 1865 to provide assistance, but it had limited success and Congress abandoned it in 1872.

Landowners often provided clothing, housing, seed, and farm implements to laborers at a cost taken from the sharecropper's part of the harvest.

If a laborer could furnish his own plow or mule, for instance, his share would be larger. otherwise, his meager profits often vanished before they were ever received. For many freedmen, sharecropping created a system of dependency not unlike slavery.
HM NumberHM2L44
Placed ByHistoric Franklin Parks
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 23rd, 2019 at 11:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 511483 N 3974618
Decimal Degrees35.91581667, -86.87271667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 54.949', W 86° 52.363'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 54' 56.94" N, 86° 52' 21.78" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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