Collection Number: 03574-z

Collection Title: Ben Sparkman Plantation Journal, 1848-1859

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.

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Size 1 item
Abstract Collection includes plantation journal, dated 1848 and 1853-1859, of Ben Sparkman, a white man, who owned or managed at least three plantations, likely located in the Georgetown District of South Carolina that were based on a workforce of enslaved people. The journal includes descriptions of the activities of enslaved workers at the plantations, as well as daily weather conditions, and also includes descriptions of the planting, cultivating, and processing of rice and food crops such as potatoes and corn for local consumption.
Creator Sparkman, Ben, fl. 1853-1859.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Ben Sparkman Plantation Journal #3574-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of the Records of ante-bellum southern plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J.
Acquisitions Information
Purchased from Charles E. Tuttle Co., Inc. of Rutland, Vermont, in April 1962.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Collection includes plantation journal, dated 1848 and 1853-1859, of Ben Sparkman, a white man, who owned or managed at least three plantations, likely located in the Georgetown District of South Carolina that were based on a workforce of enslaved people. Most of this journal (about 110 pages) is devoted to a "Memorandum of Planting" (1853-1859), noting enslaved workers roles in planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops, and in various other farm-related duties. Brief descriptions of these activities usually distinguish labor performed by men from that of women. Shorter entries (about 15 pages) include a "Memorandum of the Weather" and accounts showing the rice crop for 1853 through 1858. Places mentioned in the journal include "Wilson's Place," "Black Ground," and "Home Place," all presumably in Georgetown District, South Carolina. One page of an account labelled "George Town, April 25, 1848" has survived. About 20 other pages that apparently bore a "George Town" heading have been cut out of the volume.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Lisa Tolbert, June 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Conscious Editing Work by: Patrick Cullom, July 2020. Updated abstract, subject headings, and scope and content note.

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

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