Mar 21, 2013 - Sale 2308

Sale 2308 - Lot 401

Price Realized: $ 5,040
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
RARE EMANCIPATION BEFORE THE OFFICIAL EMANCIPATION (MILITARY--CIVIL WAR.) The Bearer, "Hard Times Middleton late claimed as a slave, having been employed in hostility to the United States is hereby. . .Declared to be free. His wife and children are also free." Partially printed document, accomplished by hand. 4to sheet, with the American eagle at the top; creases where folded, some soiling. signed by major general david hunter. Port Royal, S.C., Aug 4, 1862

Additional Details

A rare military issued emancipation for a slave named "Hard Times Middleton," signed by the commander of the Department of the South General David Hunter. The coast of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and portions of Louisiana all fell to the Union early in the war. Middleton, must have come into the Union camp, where he was "officially" emancipated by General Hunter, who had unilaterally "emancipated" the slaves of the three gulf states. The Emancipation Proclamation, however had not as yet been issued, and an embarrassed Lincoln had to "officially" declare Hunter's emancipation of the slaves of those three states to have been precipitous, and not official after all. However, as a curious footnote to history, Lincoln was on this day August 4th, 1862, preparing to issue the first draft of the Proclamation to members of his cabinet. this is the first example of one of general hunter's emancipation documents that we have handled in seventeen years of these sales.