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|Size||1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 20 items)|
|Abstract||George Jones Kollock (1810-1894) of Savannah, Ossabaw Island, and Clarksville, Ga., was a white lawyer, plantation owner, and enslaver. The enslaved people who provided the labor at Kollock's three Georgia plantations--Retreat, Rosedew, and Ossabaw Island--are documented in plantation journals that include births, deaths, sick days, tools given out, articles received, articles delivered, and records of their daily work. The journals, 1837-1861, contain detailed information about planting and farming using forced labor and overseers, and are mostly devoted to Ossabaw Island. Kollock's cash crop was Sea Island cotton, and he also planted corn.|
|Creator||Kollock, George Jones, 1810-1894.|
|Curatorial Unit||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.|
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George Jones Kollock (1810-1894) was born 20 April 1810 in Savannah, Georgia, the son of Dr. Lemuel and Maria Campbell Kollock. He attended schools in Germantown, Pennsylvania, Northampton, Massachusetts, and Yale University although he had no known degrees. He married Priscilla Augusta Johnston (d. 1836) in 1836 and had one child, Augusta Johnston. In 1840 he married Susan Marion Johnston and had seven children: George Jones, John Fenwick, William Waring, Susan Marion, Mary Fenwick, Annie Houstoun, and Louisa Belle.
George Kollock practiced law in Savannah from 1832 to 1836. After the death of his first wife, Priscilla, he moved to Retreat Plantation, located near Savannah on the Little Ogeechee River at Coffee Bluff. Retreat was a 309-acre tract which his infant daughter, Augusta, had inherited from her aunt, Priscilla Houstoun. Kollock purchased thirteen enslaved people and hired six, and also hired an overseer to commence planting Sea Island cotton at this site. The following year (1838), Kollock came into possession of Rose Dhu (Rosedew), an adjoining 550-acre tract which, like Retreat, was land originally granted to Priscilla Houstoun's grandfather Sir Patrick Houstoun. In 1848 Kollock sold the Coffee Bluff and Rose Dhu tracts. He then purchased 800 acres on the south end of Ossabaw Island and moved his enslaved people to this new site, where they again cultivated Sea Island cotton. Kollock estimated the value of his cotton crop for the year 1850 at six thousand dollars. At this point Kollock enslaved 72 people. By 1860 Kollock was an absentee coastal Georgia plantation owner who visited Ossabaw Island at regular intervals; however, most of his time was spent at his permanent home, Woodlands, near Clarkesville, Habersham County, Georgia, where his family resided. He made regular trips to Savannah and his plantation to appraise the value of his crops and the condition of the enslaved people and to check over the journals kept by his overseers.
The staple crops produced on Kollock's plantation were cotton and corn. Rice, sugar cane, peas, potatoes, and oranges were grown as subsistence crops for the enslaved; also cattle and hogs were raised for this purpose. A portion of these foods was sent to the Kollock family for home use in Habersham County.
(Excerpts taken from the sketch of George Jones Kollock in the Dictionary of Georgia Biography, pages 585-586)Back to Top
George Jones Kollock (1810-1894) of Savannah, Ossabaw Island, and Clarksville, Ga., was a white enslaver, cotton plantation owner, and lawyer. The enslaved people who provided the labor at Kollock's three Georgia plantations--Retreat, Rosedew, and Ossabaw Island--are documented in plantation journals that include births, deaths, sick days, tools given out, articles received, articles delivered, and records of their daily work. The journals, 1837-1861, contain detailed information about planting and farming using forced labor and overseers, and are mostly devoted to Ossabaw Island. Kollock's cash crop was Sea Island cotton, and he also planted corn.Back to Top
Three plantation journals beginning with the year 1837. The first journal starts with the day George J. Kollock took possession of Retreat Plantation, located near Savannah on the Little Ogeechee River at Coffee Bluff. In his entries he described in narrative form his daily activities, mostly concerning planting and farming. There are descriptions of the labor performed by enslaved people did each day, the progress of planting cotton, corn, and other crops, and purchases of animals and equipment for the plantation. In his later entries he described storms in August and September of 1837 that damaged his cotton crop. In the beginning of the volume is a list of the people he enslaved and those he had hired.
The later two journals are organized into various lists to record daily activities. There are lists of births and deaths of enslaved people, and a list of dates when enslaved people were sick. There are also lists of allowances made, which presumably were supplies given to the enslaved people, and lists of articles received and articles delivered which included supplies purchased for the plantation and produce sold. The remainder of the journal consists of entries of daily work. The number of enslaved people assigned to each task, and the tasks completed were noted.
There is no direct indication that the third journal is for Retreat Plantation. It has been placed here because it dates from the same time period and mentions the same enslaved people.
Three plantation journals for Rosedew Plantation owned by George J. Kollock. Rosedew was located next to Retreat Plantation. These journals also document the lived experience of enslaved people in lists of births, deaths, sick days, articles received, articles delivered, allowance lists, and records of daily work. A list of enslaved people at the plantation, including their rate of work, i.e., "full hand" or "half hand," has been added in the front of each volume. An additional list, "general statement of work," notes the beginning and completion dates for planting various crops.
Volumes 4 and 5 include rules for punishment and work that were imposed on enslaved people at the plantation. In 1840-1841, for example, enslaved people had to be at work by sunrise, and were allowed an hour for lunch in the winter and two hours in the summer. The entries for daily work are extremely brief. Each task is listed with a number preceding it indicating the number of enslaved people assigned to that task. An apparent reference to self-emancipated slave appears in the entries for daily work from 29 January 1840 to 2 March 1840.
There is no direct indicator that the sixth journal is for Rosedew Plantation. It has been placed here because it dates from the same time period and mentions the same enslaved people.
Thirteen plantation journals for Ossabaw Island Plantation covering the years 1849 to 1861. The majority of these journals appear to have been kept by various overseers rather than by George Kollock.
The first plantation journal for 1849 follows the same format as the previous journals, beginning with information about the enslaved people, including births, deaths, sick days, tools given out, articles received, articles delivered, and records of their daily work. It was apparently kept by J.W. Gillam, overseer, until 12 July 1849. The next entry, on 13 July 1849, is in a different hand, and states that J.W. Gillam was arrested and carried to Savannah. After this date all the plantation journals are in chart format to record the daily work. The charts are set up to show work done both by the hands, who primarily planted and harvested the crops, and also by the jobbers who did various jobs around the plantation. Some of the daily tasks included moting cotton, rolling and burning logs, clearing brush, listing cotton land, ditching, plowing, grubbing, planting and hoeing corn and cotton, picking cotton, whipping cotton, and operating the gin.
Cotton appears to have been the major crop on Ossabaw Island Plantation. Included in some of the volumes are charts showing how much cotton each enslaved person picked or packed. Corn was also planted.
There is an occasional mention in the charts for daily work of self-emancipation by enslaved people.
This volume contains lists of clothes, shoes, and blankets given to people enslaved at Rosedew, Retreat, and Ossabaw Island Plantations between the years 1846 and 1861. Also included, on the last page, is an undated list of the enslaved families who had children.
Microfilm (M-407/1)Back to Top
Processed by: Shonra Newman, June 1990
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008
Updated by: Nancy Kaiser, November 2020
Conscious Editing Work by: Nancy Kaiser, July 2020. Updated abstract, subject headings, biographical note, scope and content note, and container list.
Since August 2017, we have added ethnic and racial identities for individuals and families represented in collections. To determine identity, we rely on self-identification; other information supplied to the repository by collection creators or sources; public records, press accounts, and secondary sources; and contextual information in the collection materials. Omissions of ethnic and racial identities in finding aids created or updated after August 2017 are an indication of insufficient information to make an educated guess or an individual's preference for identity information to be excluded from description. When we have misidentified, please let us know at email@example.com.Back to Top