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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Franklin in Williamson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Carter Farm

Rebuilding Southern Farms

 
 
The Carter Farm Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 16, 2019
1. The Carter Farm Marker
Inscription.  Emancipation created a novel problem for cash-poor white Southern farmers as well as the newly freed slaves, or freedmen. Land was abundant, but the labor force was largely dispersed, and there was little money to hire available black or white workers. The freedmen, like poor whites, had labor to offer, but little or no land to farm

Sharecropping proved to be an effective if unsatisfactory solution. It was similar to renting land, but freedmen and poor whites lacked the cash to pay rent. Instead, they tilled, planted, cultivated, and harvested crops, then gave the landowner as much as half of the harvest as rent. The landowners and laborers thus “shared the crop,” an arrangement theoretically beneficial for all.

The landowner wrote contracts with strict guidelines for payment, including percentages of the profit distribution and interest rates. These contracts were notorious for being unfair, however, especially in regard to freedmen, many of whom were uneducated and unable to comprehend the guidelines to which they agreed. Congress created the Freedmen’s Bureau in 1865 to provide assistance, but it had limited
The Carter Farm - Rebuilding Southern Farms Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 16, 2019
2. The Carter Farm - Rebuilding Southern Farms Marker
The marker is furthest from the camera, nearest the house.
success and Congress abandoned it in 1872.

Landowners often provided clothing, housing, seed, and farm implements to laborers at a cost taken from the sharecropper’s part of the harvest. If a laborer could furnish his own plow or mule, for instance, his share would be larger. otherwise, his meager profits often vanished before they were ever received. For many freedmen, sharecropping created a system of dependency not unlike slavery.
 
Erected by Historic Franklin Parks.
 
Location. 35° 54.949′ N, 86° 52.363′ W. Marker is in Franklin, Tennessee, in Williamson County. Marker can be reached from Columbia Avenue (Business U.S. 31) near Cleburne Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Cotton Gin Site and Park, Franklin TN 37064, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named The Carter Farm (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named The Carter Farm (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Carter Farm (within shouting distance of this marker); Carter's Cotton Gin (was within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing. ); a different marker also named The Carter Farm
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 16, 2019
3. Inset
Fleming family, Williamson County sharecroppers
(within shouting distance of this marker); Carter Gin House (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Carter Farm (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Carter Farm (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Franklin.
 
Categories. African AmericansAgricultureWar, US Civil
 
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 16, 2019
4. Inset
Baptizing in the river
The Cotton Gin Site and Park image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 16, 2019
5. The Cotton Gin Site and Park
 

More. Search the internet for The Carter Farm.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 23, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 22, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 51 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 22, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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