Simon was an enslaved man hired by the Phi Sigma Society, one of the antebellum literary societies students at the University of Mississippi were required to join. Simon was one of three slaves employed by Phi Sigma before the Civil War. He worked for the society from approximately December 1852 to June 1854.
The meeting minutes maintained by Phi Sigma indicate that the enslaved men the society hired performed a variety of tasks, including attending the hall, sweeping the floor, cleaning the spittoons, disposing of trash, bringing water for the meeting, and making fires when necessary.
More information about the work enslaved laborers did on behalf of the Phi Sigma Society can be found here.
See Phi Sigma Debate Society Meeting Minutes, December 11, 1852, January 14, 1854, June 10, 1854. Archives and Special Collections, J. D. Williams Library, University of Mississippi.