1836 Stampless Letter Trenton Ky Slave Hiring, Sharecropping, Benjamin P. Hinch
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1836 Stampless Letter Trenton Ky Slave Hiring, Sharecropping, Benjamin P. Hinch:
Traveling the Paper Trails of American History
"I am living with granmother and get a part of the crop."
(See below for scans)
2 page stampless letter written by G. G. Hinch on May 29, 1836, at his grandmother's farm at Todd County, Ky, and mailed the following June 18 at nearby Trenton, KY, to his brother Benjamin P. Hinch and his aunt Jemima Gorin at Mt. Vernon, Posey County, IN. Letter measures approx. 7 3/4" x 9 3/4".
Interesting letter that describes an early sharecropping arrangement in southern KY and an elderly widow's hiring out of four of her six slaves.
Gladden is living on the Todd County farm of his widowed grandmother Sarah Pell Gorin and writes his brother Benjamin that he had suffered from "the chills & fevers" for seven months, but is now well. He then describes his sharecropping arrangement with his grandmother: "I am living with granmother and get a part of the crop. I have in about 75 acres of corn 25 oats small crop of wheat 5 acres of tobaco all the tobaco is mine and 10 acres of corn and get a part of the oats crops look very promising this spring corn is worth from $2.00 to 2.50 pr barrel wheat worth $1.00 Doller pr bushel oats 50 cents if I have luck this year I shal make the rise [profit] of Two Hundred Dollars."
His grandmother apparently owned six slaves in 1836. She had hired out four of the slaves, leaving "old Hary" and Hence to work on the farm. Gladden writes, "Theire is no White person here but Granmother & my self & 4 of the Negros hired out no on[e] on the farm this year but Old Hary & Hence." Gladden writes his aunt Jemima that he has received her recent letter informing him of the death of his sister Eliza and that he has not heard from his brothers Samuel or Henry since last fall.
Gladden Gorin Hinch (c.1814-1852) and Benjamin Pell Hinch (1813-1861) were the sons of John Hinch (1785-1819) and Amy Gorin (1788-1815), who were married in Bowling Green, Warren County, KY, in 1803. Amy Gorin was the daughter of Henry Gorin (1768-1830) and Sarah Pell (1771-1840). Amy's sister Jemima Gorin (1799-?) was born in Warren County and married Thomas Moss. Jemima was living in Hart County, KY, in 1850 and had moved to MO by 1860. Sarah Pell Gorin lived on her farm in Todd County and owned 12 slaves by 1830.
Gladden Gorin Hinch, who worked as a painter, married Eliza J. Grant (1827-1852) in 1845 at Montgomery County, TN. Benjamin Pell Hinch was born in Christian County, KY, and had moved to New Haven, Gallatin County, IL, by 1839. He was a successful merchant and became one of the most prominent figures in New Haven and Gallatin County. He served as Postmaster of New Haven 1845-1855, Justice of the Peace, and County Judge. He married Rebecca S. Barger in Gallatin County in 1843. See History of White County, Illinois (1883).
Postal History: Manuscript town mark, "Trenton Ky," with manuscript 18 3/4 cents rate mark.
Condition: ink smears, fold split repaired with archival tape, holes in folds, wrinkles, age toning, soiling.
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