1923 Autograph Letter Detailing the Terms of a Lease for an African American Farmer in New Jersey

Somerville, New Jersey: 1923.

Price: $850.00

Autograph letter addressed to “Mr. Griggs” from an unidentified correspondent at Somerville, New Jersey, dated January 30, 1923. Octavo. 2pp. Neatly written in pencil on one sheet of lined note paper. The sheet is lightly toned, with three tiny stains, very good. A detailed letter setting forth the terms for “a colored man” to be engaged as a farmer in Somerville, New Jersey: “Mr. Griggs / Dear Sir, My brother Irving was here yesterday with a colored man that wanted to work my farm for one third of everything but chickens. Those for one half. We thought it would be better than having help. So I would like you to write out leases, I suppose two for us to sign when we come down as he wants to move about the middle of Feb. He is to occupy half the Farm House … To have one third of the harvest for gathering and selling it and each of us to pay half the threshing bill …” Several additional terms between the “Owner” and “Farmer” are set forth.

The letter is most likely addressed to former New Jersey Governor and U.S. Attorney General John W. Griggs (1849-1927). Having returned to his private practice, Griggs had gained a reputation for siding with “the little guy” in conflicts between workers and their employers; and he was known as a fierce advocate of civil rights for African-Americans. A scarce primary source letter, documenting the terms of a sharecropping agreement in New Jersey.


Item #570145

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Item #570145 1923 Autograph Letter Detailing the Terms of a Lease for an African American Farmer in New Jersey
1923 Autograph Letter Detailing the Terms of a Lease for an African American Farmer in New Jersey