Setting up a Plantation

Excerpts from the papers of Paul Cameron, detailing the costs of setting up a new plantation in Greene County, Alabama. Includes historical commentary.

Memorandom of Expenses to Alabama

November 1844

1st This Book 1/- .10
[illegible] & Tanners Oil 12/6 1.25
2 1/4 BushelsA bushel is a unit of measurement for corn, fruit, or vegetables. A bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds. corn at Tates (?) 4/1 .90
FodderFodder is food for cattle. 6/6 .65
Cabbage 2/6 .25
2nd Coffee mill at Boon 6/6 .65
220 lbs Hay 5/- 1. 10
Cabbage 3/- .30
3rd Tin Buckets for Caroline 3/9 .37 1/2
4 tin pans 18 3/4 & .75
wash pans 2/6 .25
Bushel turnips 2/6 .25
2 1/2 Bushels Corne 5/- 1.25
8 dozen fodder 2/1 1.60
mending mule collor 2/6 .25
2 gallons whisky 6/- 1.20
4 3 Bushels Corne 5/1 1.50
200 lbs hay 5/- 1.00
5 poper shoe tacks 1/- 10
3 1/2 bushels corne 5/- 1. 75
    15. 47
8 dozen fodder 2/6 2.00
Crosing bridge at Atkin 4 waggons   3.00
75 footWhen Cameron crosses a river, there are usually two entries: one for the wagons and one for a single horse. This is probably what he paid for a single horse to cross at this river. The wagons were driven by slaves and Cameron was on his own horse. It was a symbol of status to ride your own horse.   3.75
6 5 bushels corne 5/- 2.50
7 dozzen fodder 2/6 1.75
1 1/2 gallons whisky 5/- 75
7 5 Bushels corne 5/- 2.50
7 dozen fodder 2/6 1.75
8 Ferry at Catawba 64 foot 6/4& c 4.00
25 bushels mazeMaize, or corn. 5/- 12.50
9 5 bushels corne 5/- 2.50
7 dozen fodder 2/6 1.75
10 Ferry at Broad RiverThe Broad River runs southwesterly through Rutherford, Polk, and Cleveland counties in North Carolina and into South Carolina. 4 waggons   3.00
70 foot single horse   4.43 3/4
5 bushels corne 5/- 2.50
7 dozen fodder 2/6 1/75
cabbage 2/6 .25
11 5 bushels corne 6/3 12 1/2
200 lb fodder 7/6 2.50
      73.28 3/4
12th 5 bushels corne 5/- 2.50
200 lb fodder 7/6 1.50
13 3 barrels corn    
25 dozen fodder 1/3 3.12 1/2
14 25 bushels mealCornmeal, probably as food for slaves. 2/6 8.75
15 whisky to drench muleTo drench a mule or other livestock is to force medicine down its throat, but Cameron may have used the phrase simply an expression -- "enough whiskey to drench a mule," as we might say "enough food to feed an army." 1/3 12 1/2
16 5 bushels corne 5/- 2.50
7 dozen fodder 2/- 1.40
ferry at Sennica River The Seneca River is formed by the confluence (joining) of the Keowee River and the Little River in northern South Carolina, then joins the Tugaloo to form the Savannah River.   4.72 1/2
17 Ferry at Tugalow RiverThe Tugaloo River runs along the border between South Carolina and Georgia.   4.72 1/2
8 dozen fodder 2/- 1.60
18 5 bushels corn 4/- 2.00
85 bunches fodder .85
5 bushels corne 4/- 2.00
5 quarts brandy 2/6 1.25
19 5 bushels corn 4/- 2.00
95 bunches fodder 1 ¢ .85
20 5 bushels corne 3/6 1. 75
170 bch fodder 5/- .85
2 bushels cleaned oats 2/6 .50
      127.78 3/8

List of Property on the Plantation Greene Co Alabama Dec 1846

  • 110 Slaves. Men 31 Boys. 12. Women. 28 – Girls 10 – children 29
  • 4 Horses
  • 25 Mules
  • 160 hogs
  • 10 2 horse ploughs
  • 22 1 horse ploughs
  • 10 1 horse Bull [illegible]
  • 3 Wagons and gear
  • 7 Doz weeding hoes
  • 8 Sythe BladesA scythe is a tool used for cutting grass or grain. It has a long neck, a handle half way down, and a curved blade. A person would swing the scythe up into the air and then sweep it through the grass or grain in a long stroke. & cradlesA grain cradle is a light wooden frame with a row of long curved teeth parallel to the blade that can be attached to a scythe. It is used to catch corn or other grain that has been cut by the scythe.
  • 9 cutting knives
  • 16 axes out. 6 in
  • 10 MattocksA mattock is similar to a pick but has a blade on one end and a chisel on the other. It is used for cutting up hard ground. and cane hoes
  • 24 pair trace chains
  • 21 halterA halter is a rope or a series of straps which is placed over the head and neck of a cow or horse. Halter chains attach to the halter. The chain is then fastened to a machine or cart that the animal pulls. chains
  • 21 head cattle
  • 1 piece of bagging 5 coil rope
  • 57 hats 5 caps 25 pair shoes q old stock on hand-over

P. L. Cameron, Memorandum of Cash Received and Disbursements on account of Plantation in Greene Co. Alabama for 1846

November 1846 Cash advanced by D. Cameron $1000.00
December 1845 Cash advanced by Jasst. Stewart & Co 325. 00
My draft to Char. Lewellly on Jastt Stewart & Co 100. 00
My order to Jastt. Stewart & Co, in favor Jas H. Ruffin 50.00
Cash advanced by P. C. Cameron 125.20
  $1600.20

*The order for $50 in favor of Jas H. Ruffin is cash loaned in June to Lewelly an is accounted for as cash to me, and makes a part of the disbursements

Money paid by Paul C. Cameron in Connection with the plantation in Greene Co. Ala winter of 1845 & 6

Expenses out to Columbia $ 10. Augusta $16. 75 Atlanta $7 Cheraw [?]13 Montgomery $2.50, Selma $3. Greensboro $8  
Plantation $1 Meals, lodging and PorterageA charge for carriage or transportation. $12 - $69.00
Cash Paid collector of Green Co. Taxes on Land & Slaves 1845 87.47
Cash  Paid Garner & Whitel Negro Clothing 47. 83
Cash Paid Barrow and Mead 2 bills Groceries  57. 75
Cash Paid O Mazange 2 bills Hard ware / see bills 37. 66
Cash Paid Carter & Robinson Medicines 3. 55
Cash Zigs and Barney. Hard ware 52.43
Cash Paid W. C. Oliver freight and S. B. Victoria 5.50
Cash Paid Toal bridge 5$ cabbage sud $ 1 Candles & blacking $2
Cash Paid for a Coru Negroes for good work $1 Part of / 2 9.05
Cash paid  5ty Shoe Thread – $2.50 S B Warrion freight $6.87
Cash Paid Charly Lunellzen oversees for 1845  600.00
Cash Paid Dr. Wm Pricy his bill  126.75 
Expenses at Mobile $20 Expenses horse - $60 80.00
  $1142.40