May 07, 2020 - Sale 2534

Sale 2534 - Lot 378

Price Realized: $ 562
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(RECONSTRUCTION.) Froneberger, D. Draft of an agreement by North Carolina ironmakers not to compete for labor. Document Signed, one page, 9 1/2 x 7 inches, with docketing on verso; paper toned, a few ink burns, folds, apparently lacking integral blank. [Near Shelby, NC], 7 July 1865

Additional Details

This document attempts to keep in place a key aspect of slavery, suppressing the right of freedmen to move freely from employer to employer by refusing to hire workers from other "owners" without permission. While this may have been an informal standard practice among many employers in the months following the Civil War, it is quite unusual to see it set to paper. Only one manufacturer has actually set his name to the agreement, which was likely in violation of the law. David Froneberger & Co. operated one of the many iron foundries in Cleveland County, in western North Carolina.
"On condition that the other iron manufacturers will not hire negroes who leave their owners or former places of work in the iron business, we pledge ourselves not to employ any hand from any person who will sign a similar agreement to this, except the negro has a written permission from his master or former employer to go and hire. We think under the existing state of affairs in the country this is but a just agreement and we have heretofore expressed and complied with the principles set forth, and no other."