Charles and Winnie Tally (dual tenure)

Written By Jessica Lee Thompson

From Oxford Township, Charles and Winnie Tally were among many freedmen using dual tenure to make ends meet.

Charles rented five acres on which they planted crops, and Winnie owned two acres.  The couple never owned (or probably could afford) a horse or a mule and likely entered a sharecropping contract that allowed them access to the landowner’s draft animal.  In 1879, the tax assessment of the two-acre plot doubled, and the Tallys more than likely sold livestock to keep their land (the 1880 census reveals a loss of a two cows and three pigs).   The cash earned from selling crops harvested on rented land enabled the family to keep the two-acre plot, but increasing taxes undoubtedly prevented them from buying more.