Cotton Plantation, Alabama, 1867

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Image Reference

Harper's Weekly, Feb. 2, 1867, pp. 72, 73.

Caption, "Scenes on a Cotton Plantation," based on sketches "mainly taken upon the Buena Vista plantation, Clarke County, Alabama." The four illustrations in the center show "the principal operations of cotton culture;" others show the cotton gin, the cotton press (which compresses the ginned cotton into bales), "the morning-call, performed on a cow-horn"; weekly distribution of rations, the weekend dance; also the "plantation burying-ground . . . [where] the defunct negroes are buried, a rail-fence being raised above the graves to keep off marauding hogs, calves, etc. It is customary . . . to place upon each new-made grave a mattock and a spade . . . to remain fourteen days from the date of the burial, a safeguard against the premature resurrection of the corpse." The article contains a detailed description of cotton cultivation and the economics of cotton production.