27 January 1863: “…he heard that there was 100 negroes to hire out in Winston…”"

Item description: Letter, 27 January 1863 from Emanuel Fisher to a member of the Pettigrew family, presumably Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, reporting on the condition of the slaves hired out by the addressee through Mr. Fisher for work in the Winston, NC area.  It indicates that the slaves are well cared for and that their labor is in demand, specifically describing the birth of a daughter to a slave named Patience and the local demand for the hire of a slave named John.

Item citation: From folder 261 in the Pettigrew Family Papers #592, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

[Addressed to a member of the Pettigrew Family, believed to be Charles Lockhart Pettigrew]

Winston January 27th 1863

Dear Sir,

I was requested to write you a few lines by your servants in order to let you know how they are geting along they are all well at this time except Patiene She has a a young daughter it was born last Sunday night She is is well as can be expected I have been looking for a letter from you every day Mr Campbell told me that you would ship your property to High Point he told me to engage about 10 waggons & have them ready to haul from high Point he told me it would be about 2 weeks it may be that you made other arangements have you any more hands to hire out if you have bring them you here there has been several here to see me about hands Hireing there was a man here last week he told me that he heard that there was 100 negroes to hire out in Winston & that I was your agent to hire them out he wanted 2 or 3 of them I told him that he must wait utill you can come & then I would let him know your boy John I suppose he is to hire there been some 2 or 3 for him they said the price was too high for him John says the price for him is $40 & his clothing you can get that for him John says he wants a good master he does not want to go to any one John works about in town such as choping wood & [?] earning a little something for himself

The women the wash about about where ever they can get jobs the have plenty to eat such as meat & bread the say if the can get enough of that the wont complain Patience she has to have something extra being that she is sick I let her have some molasses and other rations suitable to her appetite if you have not started your propperty you may done so before you get this letter if you have not started it yet, please to write to me shortly

Yours truly

Emanuel Fisher

More about the Pettigrew Family:

William and Charles Lockhart Pettigrew, fearing imminent invasion by northern forces, took the precaution of marching their slaves out of the swamps and into Chatham County in central North Carolina. This move is vividly described in a letter from Jane Caroline North Pettigrew to her mother (22 March 1862). Other correspondence, some of it written/dictated by the slaves themselves, shows that, from their temporary residence about 50 miles from Raleigh, they were hired out as laborers in the region.

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