Peg Leg Williams

Robert A. “Peg Leg” Williams was a post-Reconstruction labor agent in the South who “recruited” black laborers from Southern states to relocate to other states. Labor agents like him paid the transportation costs for workers in southeastern states like Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina and convinced them to relocate to Mississippi Valley areas, where they then often found themselves bound by debt to prominent planters who were in cahoots with the labor recruiters. See Zebulon Ward for evidence that he was one of the planters Williams worked with.

On Williams himself, see holmes1980; barnes2004; Ayers, Promise of the New South, 150-151; Karl Jacoby on Ellis; William Cohen, At Freedom’s Edge; William Pickens memoir.