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Onj offer is a super, and significant archive of nine [9] manuscript diaries dated 1925 through 1957 handwritten by W.S. Green of Nottoway County, Virginia. While the group as a whole detail a hard working Virginia farmer's life in detail of particular interest to historians and researchers of the place and time was that in 1945 and 1946 Mr. Green used German prisoners of war to work on his farm. Virginia was the prime location for interned Prisoners of War in ten major camps, with up to seventeen smaller satellite camps under their direction. The highest reported POW population throughout Virginia reached 22,131. Camp Lee, three miles east of Petersburg, was in operation the longest at 27 months, and Fort Eustis in Warwick County held the most POW's at 4,345. In Virginia, prisoners engaged in forestry, agriculture, or food processing work, and in 1945 & 1946, our author, Mr Green needed help on the farm. All other areas of hiring had been exhausted and POW's were being used on numerous farms in Virginia, almost as a last resort. For the most part, the German prisoners were hard workers; appreciated the work; and many were missed by the farmers when they were sent back to Germany at the end of the war. The first prisoners arrived on June 13, 1945 and left on Nov. 16 that same year. During those five months, an average of 150 prisoners put in 111,000 hours for 198 local farmers and husked 3,500 shocks of corn. For their efforts, they received a symbolic amount of $1 a day in canteen coupons. Green writes of WWII and Germany surrendering; Japan surrendering. His son got a Purple Heart, etc. Mr. Green grew tobacco, cotton, corn, potatoes, prize winning cows, alfalfa, grasses of all kinds, etc. Here are some notes and snippets: 1925 Diary: Smallest of the diaries begins on Feb. 12 and ends on Dec. 2. Mr. Green was busy in numerous farm related organizations, worked 24-7 on his farm, traveled to conventions and meetings and all in all was a very busy man. Handwritten entries include: "Petersburg for Sue Ellis about District Programs; Attended Board Meeting in Nottoway; Feb. 28, Attended Pine Grove local meeting; March 7, Worked 6 men on Morgan's farm hauling wood off new ground; Taught class inoculation of clover and alfalfa seed; Pruned school orchard; April 2nd, Went to Petersburg to teachers meeting; April 7, Worked judging corn; Farmers Meeting at Bigleys Chapel-20 present; May 1st, Went to meeting put vote to tobacco; May 12, Planted cotton. Plenty of cotton; May 16, Meeting of delegates at Blackstone to elect director; We planted tobacco; July 3, We are plowing cotton; Sept. 8, Faculty meeting; Sept. 9, Went to Farmville to meeting and school opened; Sept. 11, Traded interest in cotton with Wirt for his interest in tobacco; Oct. 5 & 6, Men are cutting tobacco; Oct. 24, I conducted a mass meeting at Blackstone. Peter spoke and 110 present; Nov. 24, Teachers meeting in Norfolk. Then to Richmond and home." Mr. Green is very active in politics, school affairs, farm affairs, town meetings and definitely is very involved with the Farm Bureau, all the while keeping his own huge agricultural farm up and running successfully. He also appears now to be in the tobacco business. 1938 Diary: "Jan. 2, Took junior back to college; Came from Chatham and made plans for January; Went to Danville to a meeting. Left Danville for South Hill and P.C.A. meeting; Jan. 15, Attended Electroral School Board meeting, Nottoway. Bellefonte district. Jan. 20, Met Rd P.C.A. board directors for reorganization. All directors were present. Secretary's work not entire satisfactory. Improvements need to be made. No work of any consequence going on due to the weather. Roads very slippery due to freezing rain." Mr. Green traveled a lot in 1938, to different groups, meetings, business, cattle purchases, etc. He appears to be quite an impressive business man with hundreds of acres in Nottoway County. He travels all over the county giving exams. "Nov. 7, Dr. Elliot came to bleed the cows. I watched the 11:30 unloading. Dec. 1, Work - Bolt - 44 miles. Conference with Bolt officials. Stayed at hotel. $2.00 for my meals. Dec. 13, Met at home building on tenant house; Board meeting in Chatham; Dec. 14, South Hill met directors and then on to Richmond." There is no mention of Thanksgiving or Christmas, however on Dec. 26 he went hunting with his son, whom he calls Jr., and who apparently was home from college and they killed 5 birds and rabbits. Green appears to be a member of the Protection Credit Association (P.C.A.), which was formed in 1933 to give farmers (after the depression) decent loans with decent interest. 1945 Diary: "Jan. 4, Men worked in the pasture and I let Lester have the car to go to Farmville for his wife. Letter from Jr. he is getting along okay; Jan. 7, Lester did not return to care for the stock; Jan. 11, Men worked in the shop in the A.M & hauled logs in the P.M.; Jan. 12, Attended meeting of school board, Nottoway, P.M. Dix in from the State Dept. was here re: new type of school consolidation. Good plan & would be supported. Jan. 22, Had letter from Jr. in Augusta Hospital. Also received his Purple Heart; Jan. 25, Wrote to see Jr. with this family. Took train 9:30 P.M. Up all night; Jan. 26, In Augusta in P.M. Saw Jr. He is doing well. Feb. 14, Lee hauled Croke truck & mired trailer at Memphis. Went tonight to get him and haul it back; March 13, Motley quit. No one on pruner now other than Lee. Have only 1/3 of orchard pruned. Turned cows on rye first time; May 8, Observed surrender of Germany at school in P.M. & at church tonight. Large crowd. May 13, Conference in Kansas City for the next 6 days. Returned home on May 19; June 2, Went to home of Dr. Bahewrth (sic) & saw many old friends. Had both my boys with me; July 7, Drought ruined 166 bales; July 13, Finished cutting in third field & made about 350 bales. Drought ruined it. Lots of trouble; July 23, Began picking peaches; July 30, Finished picking peaches & sold about 900 bushels. Brown rot bad-clear of worms All sold locally; August 7, Election day - Waldorf beat Birad, 1140 to 620; August 9; Working Germans in the orchard (5); Aug. 10, Used 5 Germans today. Bill arrived from NY today. Negroes threw him out." 1945 Diary; "August 12, Report came at 9:40 That Japan has accepted terms!! Someone reported out of order. Not official yet... NO! Aug. 13, Many rumors about Jap surrender. Did not get Germans to work for me today. Aug. 14, Japan officially surrendered today; Aug. 15, Germans not back today on account of Jap surrender; Aug. 16, Got 5 Germans on the job. Picked up rocks, hauled, preparing land. Used Germans to clear pasture. Aug. 24, Used Germans in the pasture. Baled hay. Used Vaughn & Herman & Germans; Aug. 30, Baled hay at Austins & used Germans; Sept. 10, New ground work for Germans & baled hay with Jim. Sept. 25, Used Germans to saw logs & help drill; Sept. 26, Sowed pasture. Used Germans to cut logs. Not much done; Sept. 27, Turned Germans in. No good for cutting. Not ready yet for hay; Oct. 1, Bill Metcalf began work at $80 a month; Oct. 8, Used Germans again to cut logs and one on holier; Oct. 10, Took Germans back to Blackstone to Parker-Board of Trade Commerce; Nov. 3, Clarence left-I think for good. Bill Metcalf quit. Not willing to work in barn on Sunday; Nov. 10, Had car accident & ruined my car. Arranged to get more Germans; Nov. 11, In bed due to car accident; Nov. 12, Used Germans, they are treating the peach trees; Nov. 15 & 16 I used Germans. Showed Germans how to prune; Nov. 23 & 24, Used Germans to cut logs. Looking for help to build barn; Nov. 27, School let out early for Bond Sale; Dec. 23, Jr. and I went to see papa this P.M. He looks very old, but his mind seems clear." 1946 Diary; "Jan. 9, Truck broke down at about 11 o'clock stayed at Anderson Hotel; Jan. 10, Moved Caldwell in & moved Lee to orchard house. Harvey Smith began laying foundation to barn with cinder blocks; Jan. 20 My Birthday, rain & snow; Jan. 23, To Bolts board meeting. Jr. & I came with Monroe to Rd at 9 P.M. Took men back and got hauler out. Feb. 21, Used Germans, pruning & cutting logs, etc. Feb. 22, Used Germans; March 1, Lady had heifer calf - born dead; March 5, Pruned - used Germans. Nina had well calf; March 9, Peach buds swelling fast & will be in full bloom by next Sunday. Used Germans; March 25, Warmer. Used Germans, 3 of them, around the barn getting ready to pour cement; March 30, Used Germans & 2 helped Lee spray peaches. 2 others dug post holes in the pasture. One helped me in the barn. Took all the Germans back around 3 P.M. Now working on apples." This is a full-out, enormous hard working farm with usually as many hands working as possible. He uses Germans quite a bit and always mentions how many, what they did, etc. The full time hands on this huge agricultural homestead are often sick, not willing to come to work on certain days, out of town, etc. and thus the Germans really helped tremendously. At one point Green writes; "June 12, Picking peaches & using little Negroes. Finished peaches with Arimistead (sic) little boys & girls. June 13, Today we are dusting peaches with 14 Negro boys & girls." Workers are baling hay, alfalfa, barley, sowing clover, etc."December 1, Went to Washington, D.C. for national F.C.A. Conference; December 20, Rain & sleet. No work other than dairy. Began analyzing farm business. Dec. 25, Both boys here, Jr. & Carl. Very pleasant." 1948 Diary: Very busy farming; has a whole crew now and each man is assigned a job; nothing written about Thanksgiving or Christmas. More travel, etc. This farm has to be quite large as he has apple orchards, peach orchards, tobacco, corn, barley, oats, etc., and every day is a work day. He does go to church on Sunday, but the farm is always waiting. Cows need to be milked; beef to be delivered; animals to be fed, it is never ending. As usual with farmers, Mr. Green does not complain. 1950 Diary; More farming; Sowing & reaping; harvesting corn, apples, peaches, barley, rye, alfalfa, etc. Sick with pneumonia. More travel to attend conferences and meetings, really involved in all the affairs of agriculture. He is very concerned as the cold is now hitting his peach orchard; and he is into repairing his house, due to all the attention the farm demands, his home is starting to fall into disrepair. This diary is full. 1955 Day Book Diary - Almost all days have entries. Listened to Rose Bowl game; Travel to Farm Credit Administration meetings, (F.C.A.); More heavy duty farm work; Father's death and funeral (but still did farm work). He is going to Ruritan meetings and is busy every day of the year unless it rains. Then most of the work comes to a halt outside for a day or two, but work continues in the barns. 1956 Day Book Diary - Almost all days have entries. Ruritan meetings; 70th birthday; farm work almost around the clock. It appears that his only form of "entertainment" if you would call it that is traveling to attend meetings of the Farmers Bureau, School Board, P.C.A., & F.C.A. He makes notations as to hotels and charges as it appears he get reimbursed by whatever group he is acting for as their agent. Mr. Green is a farmer's best friend in terms of going to bat for all things agriculturally. 1957 Day Book Diary - begins March 13 and almost all the rest of the days have entries. "March 27, Having trouble with Spencer. Not looking after herd as agreed to do. Does not want to do much work apparently. April 3, Finished reseeding sod pasture with 6A grass seed of two types. Rain light. Hauled out manure. Ruritan club meeting tonight; April 9, Left for Alexandria at 3 P.M. Attended U.S.L.C. at Alexandria. April 15, Attended meeting Nottoway. People in town meeting school district defeat auto tax.; April 16, Left for Bolt board meeting. I am a day late this time because of the ball game; April 17, Bolt's office had Jr. & family down to Conners for supper;April 19, Dissected land for Mr. Norton. Pollinated apples with 4 men. May 20, Left for Bolt sick with cold; May 21, At Bolt office with cold. Very sick with cold. Men working on land in effort to prepare for rain. Very dry. Drought; July 2, Finished plowing silage corn around Ramsey's place; July 22; Went to Richmond on milk conference. No meal on the train. Rain tonight will help the crops; Aug. 5, Had trouble with Richard. Shorty says he will leave. Peaches going very slow - too small - hot & dry; Sept. 21, Lumbago, sick. Supposed to leave with the Bolts group for Omaha. Can't go, lumbago too bad; Sept. 22, Will try to go to Omaha by plane. Left home at 5 A.M. for airport for Omaha. Lumbago very bad; Oct. 9, We are still selling apples at the stand." He continues to haul, dig, plow, sow, and work with nothing written about Thanksgiving or Christmas. This diary is full. Condition: All 9 diaries are in good condition, internally fresh. They are all tight with the exception of one or two loose; but present; pages. Front cover of 1948 diary shows soiling and others show light wear. One or two are partly full while the rest are full. The dates are; 1925; 1938; 1945; 1946; 1948; 1950; 1955; 1956; 1957. This is a fantastic collection of how hard a farmer works and how difficult their lives can be, all from the perspective of one hard working farmer; W.S. Green of Crewe Virginia. ; Manuscript; 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall; KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF; W.S. GREEN, NOTTOWAY COUNTY, CREWE VIRGINIA, WW2, WWII, WORLD WAR TWO, GERMAN PRISONERS OF WAR, POW LABOR, CAMP LEE, PETERSBURG, FORT EUSTIS, PRISONER LABORERS, FARMING, RURAL LIFE, TOBACCO FARMS, COTTON FARMING, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL


Author Name: W.S. GREEN

Categories: 20th Century Diary, Books and Manuscripts General Overview, All, 20th Century Manuscript,


Book Condition: Good+

Seller ID: 0002598

Keywords: Keywords: History Of; W.s. Green Nottoway County Crewe Virginia WW2 WWII World War Two German Prisoners Of War Pow Labor Camp Lee