SLAVE SALES IN VIRGINIA EXCEEDED THOSE OF ALL OTHER UPPER SOUTH STATES, WITH RICHMOND, VIRGINIA DOING THE MOST BUSINESS OF ANY CITY: THIS RARE MULTI-SIGNED, 1842, DOCUMENT DIRECTS THE SALES OF THE NEGRO MAN TOM.
[SLAVERY] Rare Richmond, Virginia Manuscript Document Signed With Multiple Signatures, King William County, City of Richmond, Virginia, January 5, 1842, 1 p., 8 x 6
In full: "We do hereby authorize and direct John Powell, the with in named Trustee, to sell in the City of Richmond, (either privately or publickly (sic) as he may deem best,) the Negro man Tom, named in the within deed, & the net proceeds, after paying expenses of Sale, to be accounted for to us, Given under our hands & seals the date above."
Endorsements: Randolph Turner, Eldred W. Satterwhite, the sellers; John L. Sweet, the witness; Ro: Pollard, King William County Court Clerk
Historic Background: The rise of cotton production in the Lower South and the end of the transatlantic slave trade in 1808 also created a market for Virginia slaveholders, who rushed to sell enslaved people to meet the increasing demand for labor. Throughout Virginia and the Upper South, a large network of traders purchased slaves and transported them to urban centers, where they were confined to so-called jails, usually located on the grounds of large firms. After being held in these facilities, sometimes for weeks at a time, slaves were auctioned, often to another trader.
Slave sales represented an intricate and economically vital activity in Virginia from late in the eighteenth century through the American Civil war (1861-65), ending only with the abolition of slavery. Sales in Virginia exceeded those of all other Upper South states, with Richmond doing the most business of any city. Between 1790 and 1860, more than 1 million enslave men, women, and children were from the Upper South – mostly Virginia – to the Lower South. Two-thirds of those were the result of sales taking place in hubs such as Richmond, Virginia. Auctions in Virginia facilitated the sale of enslaved men, women, and children to buyers from all over the South. In smaller cities and villages, slaves were auctioned on courthouse steps, while in larger cities such as Richmond auctioneers sold slaves at their offices.
A few months later in 1842 slavery was very much in the news of America. The Webster–Ashburton Treaty, signed August 9, 1842, among other things, called for a final end to the slave trade on the high seas, and resolved a long-standing dispute with England regarding slavery. The treaty was signed under John Tyler's presidency by United States Secretary of State Daniel Webster and British diplomat Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton.
Condition: In fine condition, with tiny fold separation at left & right edge and usual age toning.
$695 #11944 (Please note we have also listed an 1841 companion slave document. Together they trace an interesting story of the business of slave sales in Richmond, Virginia in the 1840's)