The Resource Strawberry Hill plantation journal, (manuscript)

Strawberry Hill plantation journal, (manuscript)

Strawberry Hill plantation journal, 1861-1898
Strawberry Hill plantation journal
Inclusive dates
  • The Strawberry Hill journal is kept in a copy of J.W. Randolph's "Plantation and farm instruction, regulation, record, inventory and account book" (RIchmond, 1861?), book which contains pre-printed forms for records. The title page and first 10 pages have been reused as a commonplace book and are mostly covered with news clippings containing recipes and home remedies and cures; of interest is a clipping, ca. 1898, concerning Winnie Davis's will
  • Edmond records a "List of things we receive from town and buy there", Jan. 21-May 21, 1861, which includes nails, molasses, hoes, rakes, clover seed, and flour. A list of 25 slaves (18 men, 5 children, 2 women) includes each slave's name, occupation, the number of pairs of shoes received in 1861, and the dates on which they were distributed. Edmond records an 1861 inventory of stock and farm implements in ink and on the same form in 1864 in pencil. Daily entries begin 1861 Jan. 14 and continue through May 25. Tasks include clearing new ground, burning stumps, shucking and shelling corn, hauling gravel, killing rats, plowing, burning brush, grubbing, cockling wheat, cutting and hauling wood, dressing oats, washing and mending bags, and, planting corn and watermelons. Each Sunday is recorded as a "day of rest on the farm."
  • Entries of interest include April 10: a flood on the Chickahominy River on April 10 that is "up all over the low grounds. Running over the dike to the lower house field." April 21-28: "I went too [sic] town to stay all week." May 17: the slaves "Dandridge, Albert & Jack went up the country to see their wives."
  • Journal entries cease after May 21, 1861 and resume on the following page with a single entry dated May 29, 1865. The journal then continues with individual records of time worked and lost for 17 workers listed with given and surnames. Five of the workers are former slaves at Strawberry Hill. These lists are followed by a short, undated [1865?] inventory of farm implements and stock
  • Entries for Strawberry Hill conclude with nine "Rules on Strawberry Hill Farm" in manuscript. Hired hands "will be expected to stand well up to his work" and "will not be permitted to stop work whenever they think best." Further, "[a]ny hand going off to Richmond & staying over the working hours will not be permitted to remain on the farm any longer, unless I wish it and think it best to let him stay." The rules also ban liquor, fighting and quarreling and requires hands to "rub & curry his team when he arrives at the stable" at the end of a work day. Finally, the rules state that when "hands are discharged they will be paid up to the time of their discharge."
  • Of interest is a letter, Richmond 1865 April 29, (with envelope bearing a 3 cents U.S. stamp) to Walter from his father and mother who suggest he remain in Danville if "it is in your own interest in a pecuniary way to stay there." His father explains their situation at Strawberry Hill: "We have been since the evacuation unmolested by the Yankees and have thus far gone on very smoothly as I expected and I hope we shall continue to do so and I see no reason why we should not ... You will want to know something about the fire in the regard to the injury it has done us. We have suffered seriously but we ought not to say one word when we look at the loss of others. Many of them have lost all we have some little left if we are allowed to retain it. By the fire we lost the two tenements opposite the Columbian. At Strawberry Hill we have [former slaves] Caleb, Old Betsy, Lelah, Dandrg [sic], Jack, Ananais, Albert Cooper and Harry & Phil, the rest are off. Those who have stayed all want you to come home. They are pretty tired of Mr. Robinson not liking him at all. I have hired another hand and shall hire more as I want them ... George is here with Gypsy he was with Gen Lee when he surrendered." Edmond's mother closes the letter with comments on her health, Edmond's grandmother's health and family news
  • There is also a letter, 1865 Oct. 1, from Edmond's father in which he discusses daily work at Strawberry Hill
Biographical or historical data
Son of owner of Strawberry Hill, Henrico County, Va.; private, 4th regiment Virginia Cavalry.
Cataloging source
Strawberry Hill plantation journal, (manuscript)
  • Special Collections
  • 1
  • 2
Type of unit
  • vol.
  • items.

Library Locations

    • Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections LibraryBorrow it
      160 McCormick Road, Charlottesville, VA, 22904, US
      38.0364566 -78.5053683
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