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African-American Tenant Farmer Photographs, Clarksville, Virginia

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-2009-110

Scope and Contents

These photographs depict the conditions of a tenant farmer known as Aaron working a piece of land on the John T. Lewis, Jr., estate in Clarksville, Virginia. These photographs, taken around 1930, show the conditions in which tenant farmers lived and worked during the Great Depression. President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to improve the conditions of farmers around the country with his New Deal legislation, making parity payments to landowners who were then expected to share these payments with their tenants; however, some of these landowners took the opportunity to keep the money for themselves. By the late 1930s, nearly forty per cent of all farmers were tenant farmers.

Dates

  • c.1920-1930

Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (specref@vt.edu or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Historical Note

Tenant farming was common after the abolition of slavery. Agriculture in many parts of the United States had been built upon the work of enslaved people. Once enslaving people was no longer legal, landowners had to find another method to farm their land. At the same time, former enslaved people needed homes and jobs. Tenant farming was the solution chosen by many landowners and former enslaved people. A landowner would rent a portion of their land to a tenant for a price that was, many times, half of the crop or a significant amount of money. Farming was unpredictable and this type of arrangement often proved problematic for tenant farmers if their crops failed.

Extent

0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Abstract

This collection contains six black and white photographs of a tenant farm in Clarksville, Virginia.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically.

Source of Acquisition

The African-American Tenant Farmer Photographs, Clarksville, Virginia, were purchased by Special Collections in 2009.

Alternate Form Available

This collection has been digitized and is available online.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the African-American Tenant Farmer Photographs, Clarksville, Virginia by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the African-American Tenant Farmer Photographs, Clarksville, Virginia, commenced and was completed in August 2009.

Title
A Guide to the African-American Tenant Farmer Photographs, Clarksville, Virginia, c.1920-1930
Status
Completed
Author
Lora Settle
Date
2009 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English

Revision Statements

  • 2020-11-06: Finding aid updated to new department standards. juliags

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Contact:
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US
540-231-6308