Two 1866 Texas Land Use Agreements
Texas - CSA Veterans' Land Use Agreements. Two manuscript agreements signed on December 4, 1866 in Freestone County, Texas by former Confederate soldiers regarding renting farmland. Each agreement is written on one side of a piece of 9 1/2 x 7 3/4 ruled paper with a revenue stamp affixed at the bottom left of each document. The first agreement was “entered into by A.J. Wynne, A. H. Carter and J. S. Payne relative to the term of rent of seventy acres of landing a part of the plantation of the said A.J. Wynne. The said A.H. Carter & J.S. Payne agrees to pay one fourth of the cotton they rase [sic] on fifty acres of land and one third of the corn and fodder. We furthermore agree to put up four log cabins – one good hewed log cabin – the others to be scalped down for which the said A.J. Wynne is to pay to the said A.H. Carter and J.S. Payne one thousand pounds of pork. We further agree to repair such fencing as he said Wynne may want repaired by paying the said Carter and Payne $1.00 per hundred for rails split and put up.” Signed by all three men: A.H. Carter, James S. Payne, and A.J. Wynne. The second agreement, signed that same day, was entered into by A.J. Wynne, acting as an agent for Mrs. M. Childers, and Carter and Payne, “relative to the terms of rent of the plantation belonging to the said Mrs. M. Childers. A.H. Carter and J.S. Payne to take the place and agree to pay one fourth of all that they raise on the place, they making all reasonable efforts to cultivate the hole [sic] place in corn and cotton, reserving fifteen acres for oats, with the privilege of the gin mill and screen. I, A. J. Wynne, agent for the said Mrs. M. Childers pays to the said A.H. Carter and J.L. Payne fifty cents per hundred for boards to recover the gin house and four Negro cabins. The said Carter and Payne will be allowed $1.00 per hundred for rails split and put up necessary to secure he crop. The said Carter and Payne further agree to take care of all on the place and see that nothing is destroid [sic]. The pastures are reserved by A.J. Wynne, Agent.” Signed by A.H. Carter and James S. Payne. On-line research indicates that all three men involved in the documents were former Confederate soldiers. Alfred H. Carter (circa 1837-1904) and A. John Wynne (1816-1878) both served in the 12th Regiment, Texas Infantry, Companies I & L (known as Young’s Regiment) in the Confederate Army. The regiment saw action from March through May 1864 in the Red River Campaign in Louisiana and the Camden Campaign in Arkansas. They were discharged on May 26, 1865. Carter had come to Texas with his parents, circa 1852. He was the son of Thomas Carter, a successful farmer in the county, who was often referred to as the “Baron of Freestone County” or “Colonel Carter”. James S. Payne (1827-1899) served as a sergeant in Co. B of the CSA. Payne and Wynne are buried in Cotton Gin Cemetery in Freestone County, nine miles west-northwest of Teague, Texas. Carter is buried in the Carter Family Cemetery, Freestone County, Texas, six miles west of Fairfield, the county seat. That cemetery was provided for in the will of “Colonel” Carter, A.H.’s father. The two signed agreements are interesting documents relating to the productive reestablishment of CSA veterans who had returned home the prior year. Both documents have been folded and are wrinkled at several corners; some toning and foxing evident, as well as several nicks along the edges. Both are very readable and, overall, are in VG to VG+ condition.