Historic Markers Across Tennessee

A Dream Postponed

Marker ID:  
Location: 1345 Eastern Flank Cir, Franklin, TN
County: Williamson
Coordinates: N 35° 54.345    W 086° 51.615
  35.90575    -86.86025
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: None


A Dream Postponed
The Struggle of Freed People in Williamson County

To assist the newly freed with court cases, education, and housing, Congress formed the Freedmen’s Bureau in 1865. An additional goal of the Bureau was to help create labor contracts between white landowners and the formerly enslaved. In October 1865, contract negotiations began for residents in Williamson County. The results were disappointing.

Workers were usually paid in food and shelter. Some received small monthly or yearly cash payments. Laborers who left the area before the contract was over or were sick during planting or harvest time were often given harsh penalties, including the loss of any pay. In addition, the cost of medical care and blacksmith fees were mainly placed upon the laborer.

The workday was sunrise to sunset. Most contracts allowed half of Saturdays off and all Sunday except for the feeding of livestock or spring planting and fall harvest when the work was essential continuous. Many contracts restricted an African American’s right to travel or receive visitors.

Erected by Franklin's Charge.