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MANUSCRIPTS COLLECTIONS

Addition to the Wallace, Rice, and Duncan Family Papers

Seven manuscripts, 1823, 1867-1872, added to the papers of the Wallace, Rice, and Duncan families further document the ties between these interrelated upstate South Carolina families with the state of Mississippi. The earliest item, 2 August 1823, the will of Robert Duncan, is accompanied by six letters, 29 July 1867 - 15 February 1872, written from Como, Miss., by J.M. Wallace and addressed to South Carolina residents Mary A. Wallace and Benjamin H. Rice of Union.

Two of the letters provide significant information on agricultural and labor conditions in post-Civil War Mississippi. The first, 28 January 1868, speaks of the former planters' undiminished expectations. "...not withstanding what I have written you of the condition of the country," Wallace reports, "they manifest as much anxiety as ever to get negroes & try to farm on as large a scale as ever, & the most of those who have them I am certain cannot obtain supplies or purchase the team. I am attempting it upon a diminished scale suited to my team & means; & without having to purchase any corn & the negroes to feed themselves or to pay for the supplies furnished them--hope at the end to come out at least even--or to have some clear profit." The second, 13 July 1868, concerns issues political and economic--"The papers will have informed you, that our negro constitution has been defeated. Public speaking & demagogue appeals to the negroes, together with barbacues, liquor & money--have demoralized them as laborers, & I am afraid put such consequential notions into their heads, that it may crop out in the future. But we are rejoiced that we have defeated the greater evil....Emigration schemes are much discussed here. I am in hopes they will spring up & succeed over all the south. My negroes have worked worse than ever since I tried them as freedmen & I am getting tired & sick of working or rather trying to get them to work. But we are so poor that I have but faint hopes of our being able to prepare for, or import better labor."

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