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South Carolina African Americans – Wage Labor Gives Way to Tenancy

Also see: African-Americans - Reconstruction - 1865-1900 Main Page

Written by Michael Trinkley of the Chicora Foundation

Two kinds of tenancy – sharecropping and renting – gradually replaced wage labor. While quite different from each other, both succeeded in making land ownership difficult, if not impossible, for the vast majority of blacks.

Tenancy TypeLandlord ProvidesTenant ProvidesLandlord Receives
Cash RenterLand, house, fuelLabor, animals, equipment, seed, fertilizerFixed amount of cash or crop
Share TenantLand, house, fuel, 1/4 or 1/3 fertilizerLabor, animals, equipment, 3/4 or 2/3 fertilizer1/4 or 1/3 of crop
Share CropperLand, house, fuel, equipment, animals, seed, 1/2 fertilizerLabor, 1/2 fertilizer1/2 of crop


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