The Cotton plantation record and account book is a blank ledger presenting accounts of W.F. Stansbury for the year 1857. This one-of-a-kind book contains handwritten records that include inventories of stock and implements, daily records of events and of cotton picked, expenses, physician’s visits, births and deaths of slaves. It also names the overseer as an A. A. Porter and may be from a plantation in Mississippi, though more research needs to be conducted on the owner and location.
The creator of the book, Thomas Affleck (1812-1868), was born in Scotland and studied agriculture at the University of Edinburgh before coming to the United States in 1832. He established one of the earliest nurseries in the South and became a well-known agricultural reformer whose widely-circulated Southern Rural Almanac and Plantation and Garden Calendar was published from 1845 until his death in 1868.
More importantly, for historical and genealogical purposes the names of slaves are preserved, with records of daily happenings that may shed more light on the lives of forgotten people during one of the most dishonorable periods in American history.