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A blog of Nineteenth Century history, focusing, but not exclusively, on the American Civil War seen through the prism of personal accounts, newspaper stories, administrative records and global history.
A thousand tales. A miscellany. A maze of historical tangents.

A Capitol View

A Capitol View
Images of 1861 juxtaposed- Union Square, New York vs. Capitol Square, Richmond

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Hiring Season

 Local Matters.
The hiring season
is at hand, when families must employ servants for the incoming year, and farmers and others needing labor must prepare to procure it. As most of the "hiring out" in this city is done by agents, prices will not become fixed till after new year's day, consequently many families will be deprived of assistants during the holidays. Servants rarely ever desire to retain the same home more than one year, and for that reason the annoyance to hirers is greatly increased. Despite the exorbitant prices of food and clothing, hiring will advance from 20 to 50 per cent., thus putting it out of the power of many families to obtain help for 1864.

-The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, Va.) December 23, 1863.

The Hiring Season commences next Friday, will be attended with unusual annoyances. The great demand for labor, the high prices of all the necessaries of life, and the depreciated currency, all combine against the hirer, who, before the end of the year, may find a new and more valuable currency in circulation, and money much harder to get at. Regardless of these facts, families must secure their servants at once. Entirely without assistants for the Christmas week — for the hiring period universally ends with Christmas eve, when slaves are all free — with household matters deranged, and everything to put to rights for the beginning of a new year, cooks and chambermaids must be had, and those who can afford it will agree to almost any terms to secure what they need. Negro women will command from $150 to $300, and men will proceed by the $300, that being then as they wish. As the Governor to lead and clothe and pay the tax on each servant hired, he will find that each man will cost him from $1,000 to $1,200 per year, provided the necessaries of life maintain their present prices.

-The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, Va.) December 30, 1863.

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