From the Richmond Examiner, 1/11/1866, p. 3, c. 2
THE JAMES RIVER FARMERS AND THE NEGROES.
On the 5th instant, a meeting of the James River farmers was held at Turkey Island, Henrico county, for the purpose of adopting some fixed rules and regulations for the government alike of the farmers themselves and the freedmen employed by them. Colonel Hill Carter, of Shirley, was called to the chair, and Major Charles Pickett appointed secretary. After mature deliberation, the following resolutions were adopted:
1st. That towards all freedmen in our employ we will act justly, and that we consider the following rates of wages fair and liberal, and that we pledge ourselves not to exceed them:
2d. A first-class field hand shall be paid by the year $130, a first-class field hand shall be paid by the month $10, a second-class field hand shall be paid by the year $105, a second-class field hand shall be paid by the month $8, a third-class field hand shall be paid by the year $70, a third-class field hand shall be paid by the month $5, a first-class woman (field hand) per month $5, second-class woman (field hand) per month $3.
3d. The classes are described as follows: First-class field hand, plowman; second-class field hand, good general farm hand; third-class farm hand, boy or old man.
4th. Each hand hired by the year shall have deducted a “per diem” (pro rata) for sickness, holidays or absence by leave of the employer.
5th. Each hand hired by the month shall be subject to the same deduction as those hired by the year, and in addition shall be charged one dollar a month for their fuel during the months of December, January, February and March.
6th. For disobedience of orders or insubordination, each hand will be charged one dollar.
7th. For leaving the farm without permission, one dollar will be charged each hand, in addition to the loss of time.
8th. Each hand will be held responsible for injury or loss to the stock and farming utensils, if occasioned by negligence, and the amount deducted from his wages.
9th. All of the hands will be required to submit to such rules, and work in such way, and at such times, either night or day, as was formerly customary in this section of the country. By this it is not meant that the farmers are to make a regular habit of requiring night work, but that they shall require such work only as it has been usual to have done at night.
10th. Twenty-six working days shall be considered as a month.
11th. The usual attendance on mules, horses and all other stock will be required on Sundays and holidays.
12th. Three quarters of an hour will be allowed for breakfast, and an hour for dinner, except during the months of June, July and August, when an hour will be allowed for breakfast and an hour and a half for dinner.
13th. No hand will be employed who has been discharged for misconduct or violation of contract.
14th. Each hand employed by the month shall give his employer ten day’s notice of his intention to leave, or forfeit one-third of his month’s wages.
15th. Each hand hired by the year shall be paid quarterly, the employer always keeping the hand one month’s wages in arrears.
16th. The rations shall be as follows: For men, three pounds of meat per week; for women and boys, two pounds of meat per week, or its equivalent. For men, fifteen pounds of meal per week; for women and boys, twelve pounds of meal per week.