Alexander Telfair, "Plantation Rules," from Ulrich Phillips, ed., Plantation and Frontier, Volume 1 (New York, Burt Frantlin, 1910).

Rules and directions for my Thorn Island Plantation by which my overseers are to govern themselves in the management of it.

(The directions in this book are to be strictly attended to.)

1 The allowance for every grown Negro however old and good for nothing, and every young one that works in the field, is a peck of corn each week, and a pint of salt, and a piece of meat, not exceeding fourteen pounds, per month.

2 No Negro to have more than Fifty lashes inflicted for any offence, no matter how great the crime.

3 The sucking children, and all other small ones who do not work in the field, draw a half allowance of corn and salt.

4 You will give tickets to any of the negroes who apply for them, to go any where about the neighborhood, but do not allow them to go off it without, nor suffer any strange negroes to come on it without a pass.

5 The negres to be tasked when the work allows it. I require a reasonable days work, well done ­ the task to be regulated by the state of the ground and the strength of the negro.

6 The cotton to be weighed every night and the weights set down in the Cotton Book. The product of each field to be set down separately ­ as also the produce of the different corn fields.

7 You will keep a regular journal of the business of the plantation, setting down the names of the sick; the beginning, progress, and finishing of work; the state of the weather; Births, Deaths, and every thing of importance that takes place on the Plantation.

8 You are responsible for the conduct of all persons who visit you. All others found on the premises who have no business, you will take means to run off.

9 Feed every thing plentifully, but waste nothing.

10 The shade trees in the present clearings are not to be touched; and in taking in new ground, leave a thriving young oak or Hickory Tree to every Five Acres.

1 l When picking out cotton, do not allow the hands to pull the Boles off the Stalk.

12 All visiting between this place and the one in Georgia is forbidden, except with Tickets from the respective overseers, and that but very seldom. There are none who have husbands or wives over there, and no connexions of the kind are to be allowed to be formed.

13 No night­meeting and preaching to be allowed on the place, except on Saturday night & Sunday morn.

14 Elsey is allowed to act as midwife, to black and white in the neighborhood, who send for her. One of her daughters to stay with the children and take charge of her business until she returns. She draws a peck of corn a week to feed my poultry with.

15 All the Land which is not planted, you will break up in the month of September. Plough it deep so as to turn in all the grass and weeds which it may be covered with.

16 If there is any fighting on the Plantation, whip all engaged in it ­ for no matter what the cause may have been, all are in the wrong.

I7 Elsey is the Doctoress of the Plantation. In case of extraordinary illness, when she thinks she can do no more for the sick, you will employ a Physician.

18 My Cotton is packed in Four & a half yard Bags, weighing each 3oo pounds, and the rise of it.

I9 Neither the Cotton nor Corn stalks to be burnt, but threshed and chopped down in every field on the plantation, and suffered to lie until ploughed in in the course of working the land.

2o Billy to do the Blacksmith work.

2o [sic] The trash and stuff about the settlement to be gathered in heaps, in broken, wet days to rot; in a word make manure of every thing you can.

21 A Turnip Patch to be planted every year for the use of the Plantation.

22 The Negroes measures for Shoes to be sent down with the name written on each, by my Raft hands, or any other certain conveyance, to me, early in October. All draw shoes, except the children, and those that nurse them.

23 Write me the last day of every month to Savannah, unless otherwise directed. When writing have the Journal before you, and set down in the Letter every thing that has been done, or occurred on the Plantation during the month.

24 Pease to be planted in all the Corn, and plenty sowed for seed.

25 When Picking Cotton in the Hammock and Hickory Ridge, weigh the Tasks in the field, and hawl the Cotton home in the Wagon.

26 The first picking of Cotton to be depended on for seed. Seed sufficient to plant two Crops to be saved, and what is left, not to be thrown out of the Gin House, until you clean it out before beginning to pick out the new Crop.

27 A Beef to be killed for the negroes in July, August and September. The hides to be tanned at home if you understand it, or put out to be tanned on shares.

28 A Lot to be planted in Rye in September, and seed saved every year. The Cow pens to be moved every month to tread the ground for this purpose.

29 When a Beef is killed, the Fifth quarter except the hide to be given to Elsey for the children.

3o Give the negroes nails when building or repairing their houses when you think they need them.

31 My Negroes are not allowed to plant Cotton for themselves. Every thing else they may plant, and you will give them tickets to sell what they make.

32 I have no Driver. You are to task the negroes yourself, and each negro is responsible to you for his own work, and nobodys else.

33 The Cotton Bags to be marked A. T. and numbered.

34 I leave my Plantation Shot Gun with you.

35 The Corn and Cotton stalks to be cut, and threshed down on the land which lies out to rest, the same as if it was to be planted.