Sharecropping Documents + Questions Textbook Excerpt



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Sharecropping Documents + Questions
Textbook Excerpt:

“The most common new farming arrangement was known as sharecropping. A sharecropping family, such as the Holtzclaws, farmed some portion of a planter’s land. As payment, the family was promised a share of the crop at harvest time, generally one third or one half of the yield. The planter usually provided housing for the family.”


A Sharecropping Contract: 1882 (Modified)
To everyone renting land, the following conditions must be agreed to:

For every 30 acres of land (rented by sharecroppers), I will provide a mule team, plow, and farming tools. The sharecroppers can have half of the cotton, corn, peas, pumpkins, and potatoes they grow if the following conditions are followed, but--if not—they are to have only two-fifths.

For every mule or horse furnished by me there must be 1000 good sized rails (logs) hauled, and the fence repaired if I so direct. All sharecroppers must haul rails (logs) and work on the fence whenever I may order. The wood must be split and the fence repaired before corn is planted. No cotton must be planted by sharecroppers on their home patches of land. No sharecropper is to work off the plantation when there is any work for them to do for me.

Every sharecropper must be responsible for all farming gear placed in his hands, and if not returned must be paid for unless it is worn out by use. Nothing can be sold from their (sharecroppers’) crops until my rent is all paid, and all amounts they owe me are paid in full.

I am to gin & pack all of the cotton and charge every sharecropper an eighteenth of his part, the cropper to furnish his part of the bagging, ties, & twine.

The sale of every sharecropper's part of the cotton to be made by me when and where I choose to sell, and after taking all they owe me.



Source: Grimes Family Papers (#3357), 1882; Held in the Southern Historical Collection,

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


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