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Summer Fine Art & Antiques Auction - Day 1

Sat, Jul 8, 2023 09:00AM EDT
Lot 605

Archive of 9 East TN Slave Related Documents, incl. Bills of Sale, Letters & Estate Inventories

Estimate: $1,200 - $1,400
Sold for

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
1st item: Handwritten slave bill of sale between John Gibson and Thomas Whitsed for a nine-year-old girl named Sarah for two hundred twenty-five dollars, dated February 13, 1841. 2nd item: Handwritten slave bill of sale between R. H. Armstrong and Albert Sullenbarger on behalf of Eliza Brewster for an eleven-year-old girl named Ann for eight hundred dollars, dated December 13, 1861. 3rd item: Handwritten slave bill of sale between David Noe and farmer K. McCaually for an eighteen-year-old woman named Nancy Lucy for eight hundred dollars, dated August 24, 1858. 4th item: Letter dated March 11, 1853, Roane County, TN from Jas. D. Gibson to C. C. Smith, Esq. The letter is a reply to Mr. Smith who recently bought a woman Martha from Gibson. Gibson explains that he did not want to keep Martha's young son when he sold her but Martha repeatedly entreated he and his wife to keep her son and raise him. They agreed and immediately "dedicated him to the Lord in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism since when he has entwined himself around both our hearts by his winning & precocious little ways - indeed there is I believe not such another boy of his age white or black of such a fine intellect in the whole country". He goes on to say that if Martha "retracts her gift to me of him" that he would consider selling him but not for a price of less than three hundred dollars. Gibson then explains that he sold Martha because she was "not a fine cook, nor a good ironer but my wife thought her an excellent washer & plain cook, we have no family & would gladly have left her on account of her two sweet children". He also states "With regard to the age of her boy Wade I really cannot say precisely. He was sold to me for two years old...". He ends the letter with "He waits at table & to us, is very useful, he is a mullatto". 5th item: Letter written by M. L. Lathem to Mr. C. C. Smith, Esq. asking him to purchase shoes for a woman named Aneka. The letter states that "she is too old to go out during the present cool mornings in the dew bare footed, without prejudice to her health. Please purchase a pair of shoes for this negro and this price of the same shall be deducted from her wages". Dated Set. 30, 1857, Rutledge. 6th item: January 2, 1855, Grainger County, TN report of the slaves belonging to the estate of Joseph Ore valued by W. Galbraith & B. F. McFarland for the executors of the estate. Slaves listed are: John $750, Jim $750, Maria $582.5, Rich (Maria's son) $675, Alice (Maria's daughter) $300 and Catherine (infant daughter of Maria) $130. The prices listed represent "25 percent below what they would bring". 7th item: September 10, 1849, Grainger County, TN 4-page personal property listing and sale of the Estate of Thomas Johnson. The list includes all items sold, the purchaser, and the grand total of $1435.16 which includes "1 Negro Man Tack $440" and "1 Negro Girl Martha - $565.05". 8th item: One-year lease agreement, with the privilege of three years, dated March 4, 1856, between Daniel Whiteside and D. Alexander for the Bean Station brick Tavern House. The lease includes the building along with "the stabling, stock lots, meadows, gardens and all other appurtenances of thereunto....also two black women named Mira and Lucinda and one black man named Sam". Note: Bean Station, TN was one of Tennessee's earliest settlements. The valley you see was a warpath for the Cherokees, led Daniel Boone to Cumberland Gap and was traveled by Davy Crockett. Across Highway 11W to the right stood Bean Fort, built by William Bean, first permanent white settler in Tennessee. In front of the fort stood Bean Station Tavern, built circa 1825, the largest tavern between Washington, D.C. and New Orleans. It housed Presidents Polk, Johnson and Jackson. During the Civil War, the Battle of Bean Station was fought around the tavern.(Source: The Historical Marker Database). 9th item: Three page court document filed in the Chancery Court of Rutledge in Grainger County, TN dated November 2, 1867, for the case Mahala Rucker & others vs. R. P. Moore et al. The case revolves around the death of John Rucker, husband of Mahala, who dies in Sept. 1861 intestate (without a will). This document was part of an ongoing suit brought against R. P. Moore (the court-appointed executor of John Rucker's estate), under the order of the County Court, who sold six slaves of the estate of John Rucker, to Mahala, his widow. She purchased the slaves for $3,590.60 and subsequently the sale was deemed void by the County court due to the absence of a will and clear title for the sale. Ms. Rucker then initiated a suit in the Chancery Court at Rutledge, to enforce the sale of the slaves to her, charging that the prior proceedings in the County Court were void.


1st item: Vertical fold lines with some separation at edges, overall toning. 2nd item: Vertical and horizontal fold lines, minor toning at folds, minor loss right corner. 3rd item: Horizontal fold lines with some toning. 4th item: One vertical and several horizontal fold lines, some toning at folds, otherwise overall good condition. 5th item: Overall toning with vertical and horizontal fold lines. 6th item: Horizontal fold lines with toning and some separation, chipping to the edges. 7th item: Horizontal fold lines with toning, one area of loss at fold line and some minor chipping to edges. 8th item: Horizontal fold lines, overall good condition with some minor spotting to right margin and brown spotting to the back. 9th item: Overall good condition. Horizontal fold lines with some toning

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