Freedom Status
Work Location
University of Alabama campus and dormitories
Basil Manly Diary IV (1848-1855) image 133, May 31, 1851 (Trustees' furniture)
"William Pratt and William Drysdale began to work on a piece of furniture intended for the use of the room occupied by the trustees in my house. - The former works at $40 a month. The latter works at $24. Finished it mond evening June 23 whole time of work – William Pratt 20 days William Drysdale 20 days
Cost of the article – in work $49.23
[Cost of the article] (estimate) materials [H] 15.77
[Total] $65.00"
Basil Manly Diary IV (1848-1855) image 137, June 16, 1851 (Boxes for Prof. Tuomey)
"At 2 o’clock on Mond. June 16. William and his assistant William Drysdale, went to work on Prof. Tuomey’s outfit; making boxes – for provisions, and fixtures. - Both worked on that till tues. about 2 o’clock...

The whole time occupied by William Pratt and William Drysdale, in working on the furniture of the Trustees, in 26 days for the former, 25 days for the latter. From this is to be deducted 1 ½ days for each, employed at observatory, for Prof. Tuomey, and at the Rotunda. Say that William Pratt’s time is 24 ½ days, and William Drysdale’s is 23 ½ to be charged to that account.
William Pratt’s wages, at $40 a month – 24 ½ days = $37.70
William Drysdale’s wages, at $24 [a month] - 23 ½ days = $21.70
Whole cost of work on furniture $59.40"
Basil Manly Diary IV (1848-1855) image 139, June 24, 1851 (repairs to Tuomey's out buildings)
"This morning William Pratt and William Drysdale commenced to work on the repairs of the out buildings of Prof. Tuomey’s premises. One day and a half heretofore employed on this account by each of them are to be added to the next account, dating from this day.
This day and a half were taken out of the time in which they were employed about the furniture of the Trustees and not paid for in that account....

William Drysdale was absent from his work on Thurs. June 26 1851 – sick – and came to work again on tuesday morn. July 1 – lost 4 days of work."
Basil Manly Diary IV (1848-1855) image 142, 1851
"William & William closed their work at University on Sat. evening – July 12th...
William Drysdale’s work runs from mond. May 26th
deduct 4th July and 4 days sick – 37 days – at $24 $34.15
Paid on account of furniture of Trustees’ room 11.67
Due $22.48"
Faculty Minutes Record Book, Vol. 4, 1842-1854, image 5, Jan 28, 1842
"The servants last year employed about the dormitories have been hired for the present year, at the rates before paid – namely $137.50, for the services of Peter, and $162.50 for those of William, from the 1st Jan. 1842, till the 1st Jan. 1843"
Task Performed
RG010, Acc 20061831, Box 001, President's Reports 1838-1864, Fourth Annual Report, 1841

“Two servants have been obtained, one from Mrs. Pratt, and one from Miss Drysdale, at the aggregate expense of $300: viz, Peter, from Mrs. Pratt at $137.50; and William, from Miss Drysdale, at $162.50. This difference of hire was caused by the fact, that the latter is a jobbing Carpenter, as well as a good house-servant. His ready use of tools has been termed to good account, and in various little jobs has saved the University more than the excess of his hire. The rate of wages for neither of them was fixed when they were engaged. It was only understood that, in no event, could the hire of both exceed $300; while it was agreed that if the average rate for such servants in this neighborhood should be less, the price to be paid for these should be [?] accordingly....” It states that along with their daily work, “they have some two or three hours a day for other work” and that “until the improvements about the new building was completed, their labor was employed chiefly there.” They planted trees and white washed “all the rooms and passages in the dormitories.” William painted some too.
Manly continues stating “that they do less than they might do is but an inevitable consequence with slaves, whom employment and position as of such a nature as not to admit constant and rigid supervision.” He mentions providing his own servants and the use of his wagon or cart and horses as well as mentioning he employed his servants in private business.
Mary Drysdale, sister-in-law to Horace S. Pratt (Professor of English Literature 1837-1840)
Order to submit payment from The University of Alabama to Miss Drysdale and Mrs. Pratt, December 1842

"Be it ordained by the Trustees of the University of Alabama; that the sum of one hundred and twenty one 97/100 be appropriated to pay Miss Drysdale for the hire of her servant William during the past year; and that the sum of eighty two 62/100 dollars be appropriated to pay Mrs. Pratt for the hire of her servant Peter during the past year."
The University of Alabama
Faculty Minutes Record Book, Vol. 4, 1842-1854, image 4, Jan 17, 1842 ("management" of enslaved people)
"The management of the College servants for the year [5] was committed to Messeres Brumby, Stafford, and Dockery; Mr. Brumby to have the direction of Sam, Mr. Stafford of William, and Mr. Dockery of Peter."
Contract Terms
Faculty Minutes Record Book, Vol. 3, 1848-1841, image 127, Jan 1, 1841
"The faculty agreed to take for the present year the two following named man servants, to attend on the colleges: William, belonging to Miss Mary Drysdale, and Peter, belonging to the estate of the late Professor Pratt, the rates to be determined after the ordinary rates of hire for this year shall have been estimated."
Faculty Minutes Record Book, Vol. 3, 1848-1841, image 141, Feb 12, 1841
"After the regular business was over, the President exhibited a draft of the contract he proposed to enter into, in regard to the college servants for the 1841. The agreement proposed to give Mrs. Pratt for Peter $137.50 and to Miss Drysdale for William $162.50. The owners severally furnishing them in clothes. To this the faculty agreed and thought the proportion of price equitable in agreement in as much as the servant of Miss Drysdale is a carpenter and may be useful to the university in that way. "
RG001, Acc 19801776, Box 003, Folder 18, Labor: Slaves. 1850s, item 29

29. Receipt for $22.48 payment to Mary S. Drysdale, through Isabel A. Pratt, on July 12, 1851 for “the work of Carpenter, William, from May 26th to date omitting 4th of July, and 4 days sick.” There appears a discrepancy between how many days he worked as it says both “37 days of work” and that the rate was “at $24 for 26 days” amounting in total to $34.15. However, there is also a credit on the account of $11.87 “for work done on the furniture of the session room of Trustees.”
RG010, Acc 20061831, Box 001, President's Reports 1838-1864, Fifth Annual Report, 1842

“Two servants have been hired, for the service of the Dormitories; the same that were employed last year, and at the same rates; viz, $162.50 for William, the servant of Miss Drysdale; and $137.50 for Peter, the servant of Mrs. Pratt. The hire for the first quarter of this year was paid out of the Contingent Fund in the hands of the faculty. When the second Quarter’s hire became due, it was apparent that, after procuring the requisite amount of fuel for the Winter, the contingent fund could not pay the residue of the hire. To miss Drysdale, therefore, is now due $121.87; and to Mrs. Pratt $103.12."
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