The College hires enslaved worker Aaron Edmonson, 1859-1862

Dublin Core

Title

The College hires enslaved worker Aaron Edmonson, 1859-1862

Subject

Slaves
Slave labor
Hire
Leases
Master and Servant
Jesuits--History--19th century
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--War work

Description

In November 1859, Georgetown College hired an enslaved man named Aaron Edmonson to work in the dormitories as a domestic servant. Edmonson belonged to a local Catholic woman named Ann Forrest Green, who had inherited him from her mother, Rebecca Plater Forrest, in 1843 when Edmonson was around ten years old.

Rebecca Forrest's will stipulated that Aaron Edmonson was to remain a slave until he turned thirty-five. This condition meant that Ann Green would have had a legal property claim in Edmonson until around 1867 had Congress not abolished slavery in the District in 1862.

Edmonson labored at Georgetown for more than two years while the country fell apart around him. Ann Green's son, Osceola, collected his wages. In Spring 1861, Edmonson would have tended to Union Army soldiers who boarded at the College on their way south. He was, for those weeks, a hidden cost to the federal government.

Edmonson remained at Georgetown until March 1862, one month before Congress's compensated emancipation scheme liberated the capital. In June 1862, Ann Green petitioned the government for $500, which she suggested was the value of eight years of Edmonson's unrealized labor.

In September 1862, five months after emancipation, Georgetown College paid Ann Green nearly $40 in back wages for the work that Aaron Edmonson had performed earlier that year when Green still held him in bondage.

The young man was likely the last slave to work at the school. He greeted freedom at the age of thirty.

Creator

Georgetown University Archive

Publisher

Georgetown Slavery Archive

Date

November 3, 1859 through September 26, 1862

Contributor

Cory Young

Rights

Georgetown University Library

Relation

Format

PDF, XLSX

Language

English

Type

Accounts

Identifier

GSA99

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

Aaron Edmundston:- Dr Cr
1859 A Colored man of Mrs Ann Green
Nov 3 Commen'd this afternoon to work in dormity @ $12 pr mo.
" "
" "
Dec 7 To cash for 1 month's wages ending 3rd inst 12.00
" " By 1 months wages . . . . . . " " 12.00
" "
1860 Jan 3 By 1 months wages ending this date at . . . $10.00
Feb 3 By 1 mos wages ending this date @ . . . : 12.00 . . . . . . . 22.00
" 4 To cash Pd Oceola Green for above wage . . . 22.00
May 4 " chk " " " " 3 mos wages 36.00
" " By 3 months wages ending 3d inst @ . 12.00 . . . . 3600
" " 5800 5800
July 3 By 2 mos wages ending this date . . . . . . . 2400
" " To cash Pd Oceola Green . . . . . 2400
" " 2400 2400
Sep 5 To cash Pd Do Do . . . . . . 2400
Nov 7 " " " " Do Do . . . . . 24.00
Dec 5 " 10 days absence at sundry times to date 4.00
" 14 " 1 day absent .40
1861 Jan 3 By 6 months wages ending date . . . . . . . 7200
" 4 To cash Pd Oceola Green . . . . . 1960
" " 7200 7200
Feb 5 To cash Pd O. Green 9.20
" " " absence from work . . . . 2.80 12.00
Mar 6 " cash Pd O Green . . . . . 12.00
Apr 6 " cash $10.80 " " Absence $1.20 12.00
" " Left May 4/61
May 3 Cr By 4 months wages ending this date . . . . . . . . . 48.00
" " Dr To cash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1200
" " Note, Aaron Left College this date 4800 4800
June 3 Returned this day @ $12. pr mo:-
" 12 To 1 pr shoes 2.75 (15) 1 hat 1.25 4.00
July 10 " 4 shovels @ 1.50 2 do. @ 2.00 10.00
Aug 10 " 2 undershirts 2.00 2 Pr drawers 2.00 3 pr socks 75 475
" 29 " mending shoes . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Nov 13 " 1 pr shoes . . . . . . . . 250
Dec. 16 " 1 pr gloves 60 (19) 1 suit, 23.00 1 coat 10.00 . . . . . 3360
1862 Jan 16 " 1 pr shoes 2.75 + mending .75 . . . . . . . 350
Feb 14 " 1 hat 3.00, absent time, 5.82 . . . . . . . . . 8.52
Mar 3 Cr By 9 mos wages @ $12. pr mo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108.00
Sep 26 Dr To cash paid Mrs Anne Green . . . . . 3958
Left College Mar 3/62 10800 108.00

Original Format

Manuscript

Files

Citation

Georgetown University Archive, “The College hires enslaved worker Aaron Edmonson, 1859-1862,” Georgetown Slavery Archive, accessed September 23, 2017, http://slaveryarchive.georgetown.edu/items/show/108.

Geolocation