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Collection Number: 00407

Collection Title: George J. Kollock Plantation Journals, 1837-1861

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 FAQ section for more information.


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Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 20 items)
Abstract George Jones Kollock of Savannah, Ossabaw Island, and Clarksville, Ga., was a lawyer and cotton planter. The collection consists of plantation journals for Kollock's three Georgia plantations--Retreat, Rosedew, and Ossabaw Island--from 1837 to 1861, with most of the journals devoted to Ossabaw Island. The journals contain detailed information on the management of planting and farming on plantations using overseers and slave labor. Kollock's cash crop was Sea Island cotton, and he also planted corn. The journals also provide a record of the lives of the slaves on Kollock's plantations: their births and deaths, sick days, and daily tasks are noted.
Creator Kollock, George J., 1810-1894.
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 George J. Kollock Plantation Journals #407, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy available.
Additional microfilm: All or part of this collection is also 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
Unknown
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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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

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 slaves 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 slaves 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. Kollock's slave population had increased to 72. By 1860 Kollock, as a slaveholding planter of coastal Georgia, was an absentee owner who visited his plantation on 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 his slaves 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 his slaves; 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)

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

This collection consists entirely of plantation journals. Most of the journals are for Ossabaw Island Plantation. They provide a detailed record of how planting and farming was managed on a plantation using slave labor.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Retreat Plantation, 1837-1840.

3 items.

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 work the slaves 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 slaves who belonged to him and of 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 slaves, and a list of dates when slaves were sick. There are also lists of allowances made, which presumably were supplies given to the slaves, 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 slaves 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 slaves.

Folder 1

Volume 1. 8 April 1837-30 June 1838 #00407, Series: "1. Retreat Plantation, 1837-1840." Folder 1

Folder 2

Volume 2. 5 Feb 1838-23 Nov 1838 #00407, Series: "1. Retreat Plantation, 1837-1840." Folder 2

Folder 3

Volume 3. 1 Jan 1839-9 Jan 1840 #00407, Series: "1. Retreat Plantation, 1837-1840." Folder 3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Rosedew Plantation, 1840-1849.

3 items.

Three plantation journals for Rosedew Plantation owned by George J. Kollock. Rosedew was located next to Retreat Plantation. These journals are also organized into lists of births, deaths, and sick days for slaves, articles received, articles delivered, allowance lists, and lists of daily work. A list of the slaves at the plantation and 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, on their respective first pages, which were imposed on the plantation. In 1840-1841, for example, a slave could not receive more than ten lashes unless the master was present. Slaves had to be at work by sunrise, and were allowed an hour for lunch in the winter and two hours in the summer. In the journal dated 1842-1843, a slave could receive up to twenty lashes before the master had to be present. The entries for daily work are extremely brief. Each task is listed with a number preceding it indicating the number of slaves assigned to that task. An apparent reference to a runaway 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 slaves.

Folder 4

Volume 4. 1840-1841 #00407, Series: "2. Rosedew Plantation, 1840-1849." Folder 4

Folder 5

Volume 5. 1842-1843 #00407, Series: "2. Rosedew Plantation, 1840-1849." Folder 5

Folder 6

Volume 6. 1844-1849 #00407, Series: "2. Rosedew Plantation, 1840-1849." Folder 6

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Ossabaw Island Plantation, 1849-1861.

13 items.

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 with lists of births and deaths of slaves, etc., followed by entries of 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.

These journals also contain lists in the front of each volume of births, deaths, and sick days for slaves, tools given out to slaves, all slaves on the plantation, articles received, and articles delivered.

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 slave picked, and also charts showing how much cotton was packed by various slaves. Corn was also planted.

There is an occasional mention of a runaway slave in the charts for daily work.

Folder 7

Volume 7. 1849 #00407, Series: "3. Ossabaw Island Plantation, 1849-1861." Folder 7

Folder 8

Volume 8. 21 January 1850-4 March 1852 #00407, Series: "3. Ossabaw Island Plantation, 1849-1861." Folder 8

Folder 9

Volume 9. 1 January 1851-21 Jan 1852 #00407, Series: "3. Ossabaw Island Plantation, 1849-1861." Folder 9

Folder 10

Volume 10. 1852-1853 #00407, Series: "3. Ossabaw Island Plantation, 1849-1861." Folder 10

Folder 11

Volume 11. 1854 #00407, Series: "3. Ossabaw Island Plantation, 1849-1861." Folder 11

Folder 12

Volume 12. 1855 #00407, Series: "3. Ossabaw Island Plantation, 1849-1861." Folder 12

Folder 13

Volume 13. 1856 #00407, Series: "3. Ossabaw Island Plantation, 1849-1861." Folder 13

Folder 14

Volume 14. 1857 #00407, Series: "3. Ossabaw Island Plantation, 1849-1861." Folder 14

Folder 15

Volume 15. 1858 #00407, Series: "3. Ossabaw Island Plantation, 1849-1861." Folder 15

Folder 16

Volume 16. Jan-11 Nov 1859 #00407, Series: "3. Ossabaw Island Plantation, 1849-1861." Folder 16

Folder 17

Volume 17. 12 Nov-Dec 1859 #00407, Series: "3. Ossabaw Island Plantation, 1849-1861." Folder 17

Folder 18

Volume 18. 1860 #00407, Series: "3. Ossabaw Island Plantation, 1849-1861." Folder 18

Folder 19

Volume 19. 1861 #00407, Series: "3. Ossabaw Island Plantation, 1849-1861." Folder 19

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Slave Clothing List, 1846-1861.

1 item.

This volume contains lists of clothes, shoes, and blankets given to slaves at Rosedew, Retreat, and Ossabaw Island Plantations between the years 1846 and 1861. Also included, on the last page, is an undated list of slave families who had children.

Folder 20

Volume 20. 1846-1861 #00407, Series: "4. Slave Clothing List, 1846-1861." Folder 20

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Processed by: Shonra Newman, June 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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