February 12, 1812, Congress set apart a tract of land 6 square miles to support the
works, and leased the Springs to Phillip Trammel, one of the 1st legislators from Gallatin County.
The work was performed mostly by negroes from Kentucky and Tennessee to which a reference is made in the Constitution of 1818, Article VI, Sec, 2:
"No person bound to labor in any other state shall be hired to labor in this state, except within the tract reserved for the Salt Works near Shawneetown: nor even at that place for a longer period than 1 year at a time; nor shall it be allowed there after the year 1825. Any violation of this Article shall ellect the emancipation of such person from his obligation to service."
Many negroes who worked her, by doing extra labor, saved enough money to buy their freedom and were progenitors of the large number that lived in Gallatin and Saline Counties before the war.
The salt manufactured here under the Government leases were sold at $5 per bushel and found a ready market in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Missouri.
*taken from : "History of Gallatin, Salin, Hamilton, Franklin, and Williamson counties, Illinois from the earliest time to present with sundry andinteresting biographical sketches... " Author Unknown, original published by Goodspeed Pub. Co. 1887 - Submitted by Deanna Heneghan
© Genealogy Trails