John, an enslaved man, was listed alongside another enslaved man named Squash in an 1856 list of proctor drafts appearing in the Journal of the Board of Trustees, which is held in Archives and Special Collections, J. D. Williams Library, University of Mississippi. On September 11, 1856, the University paid $62.60 for services performed by John and Squash.
Rather than the typical description of moneys paid to a slaveholder for slave hire, John and Squash received payment directly from the University for making repairs. In such circumstances, enslaved people would have been expected to carry and deliver the money they received to their masters for the work they themselves had performed at the University.
See Journal of the Board of Trustees, 1845–1860, Florence E. Campbell Transcription, 322. Archives and Special Collections, J. D. Williams Library, University of Mississippi.