Manuscript volume, 1856-1873, Laurel Hill plantation (Charleston County, S.C.) account book kept by J. Thomas Hamlin White constitutes a record of the planter’s business activities, which included agricultural production, livestock, produce, and cotton as well as the production of seeds for sugar cane and other plants. White also operated a brickyard on his plantation which produced bricks of various types by the thousands, and he had a schooner and wharf used for freighting and transport of various articles.
The probable location of Laurel Hill plantation was Mt. Pleasant, S.C. White also maintained a residence in Charleston. He is identified in the 1860 slave census as the owner of one hundred twenty-one slaves.
The ledger records the various expenses of White’s plantation and brickyard. Among those recorded are expenditures for wharfage, repair and maintenance of a schooner, hardware and tools, food and provisions for himself and his slaves, guano, medicine, brick molds, and dry goods and articles of clothing for his slaves. The account book contains entries for the sale of livestock, produce, cords of various types of lumber, seed, and bales of sea island cotton, generally shipped to Liverpool. In addition, there are numerous sales recorded for large amounts of various types of brick. Often the name of the purchaser and the place where the bricks were to be used is given.
While plantation accounts end in 1862, the account book recommences following the Civil War when White appears to have become a merchant and includes records of purchases of miscellaneous general merchandise, 1868-1873.