"I was born June 10, 1835 in Combahee, S.C. My father was Geo Broten [later changed to Hamilton] . . . I was born a slave to Mr. McKinklin of Combahee, but he died and Mr. Nichols married his widow, that is how I came to belong to him.
... about 1860 I took the name of Hamilton."
I enlisted [in the Civil War] at the age of 26 in Beauford, S.C. on June lst 1863 in Co G-34 U.S.C. Vol Inf. Col. James Montgomery remited me, he also swore me in to the service.. . . I served three years." More
Following the war, Friday Hamilton remained in Colleton County. Most of his life, he was a farmer. Most former slaves (all were uneducated) became sharecroppers, a small step up from being a slave and, ironically, for a period Joshua Nichols (his former slavemaster) was his employer.
He outlived three wives. He last wife, Henrietta Broten (Broughten), was the mother of his children. She was a mulatto and died in 1898. In 1900, at the age of 65, according to the census, he was raising four children (ages 2 - 14). At this time he owned his own home and had learned to read and write. He moved to New York around 1920 where he lived with his daughter, Irene, until he died on 22 September 1923 at age 88.
Click on image to enlarge
For more information:
Dying for Freedom African Americans after the war
40 Acres and A Mule, what happened?