Mar 10, 2011 - Sale 2239

Sale 2239 - Lot 2

Price Realized: $ 1,920
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
THE INFAMOUS VERNON FAMILY SLAVERS (SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.)--NEWPORT TRIANGLE TRADE, VERNON, SAMUEL & PETER DORDEN. Group of Three Manuscript Accounts from notorious Newport merchants Samuel Vernon and Peter Dorden, listing four ships, numerous individuals including several African Americans, and relating to Virginia and Hispaniola, sales of indigo and corn, and ship's provisions of cloth, rum, etc. 12 pages, Various Sizes. Newport, 1764-1771

Additional Details

According to Rawley's "Transatlantic Slave Trade," "The Vernons procured almost all their slaves on the Gold Coast. In the period 1754-74 [they] sent most of their slaving vessels to Barbados, Jamaica, and Virginia." These remarkable accounts show a few of their ships returning to Newport from Hispaniola and Virginia with trade products of corn and indigo.
First item. Small octavo sheets folded to form 8 pages, written on all sides. Beginning with a four page, February-April 1765 "Account of Corn recd. out of the Sloop Lydia[,] John Luke M[as]t[er] from Virginia," detailing 1,962 bushels either in "Taylor's Upper Store," Lower Store, or "sold … out of the Vessel." Over 35 individuals are listed, including Francis Brindley, customs collector Joseph Wanton, slave ship captain Joseph Tillinghast, "Venter [i.e. Venture] Child Negro Man of Jerre Child," Cain Carpenter, "Widow Rodman's Negro," and "Widow James's Negro," providing a fascinating cross-section of Newport society. The Vernon brothers list themselves simply as "S.V." and "W.V." Page 5 references the Brigantine Liberty, with "Libertalia" totals of "[£]19,361." Pages 6-7 list various expenses for the Sloop Lydia's voyage, December 1764-February 1765, including "Cash pd. for Feirce Bread," beef, rum, beans, custom house duties, labour, etc. On the last page, in a possible reference to Africa's Gold Coast, Samuel Vernon has doodled "Gold / Nan: Well Liza She's Got the Histericks / Liz: Lord Not the Histericks[,] We'll Shake her Out of them[,] Come Nance Less Go At It / So We Will / SamlV / Argile / SaV … L. Goldy." Nine figures are added to [£]7,717.
Second item. Quarto sheet, dated June 1765, "Sales of Indigo -- the Sloop Nancy[,] Peter Dordin from Hyspaniola," shows Rowland Robinson, Samuel Ward, Esq., Lewis Ginedo, and others; "the parcell for the Boat:" cash, Samuel Ward, Esq.; "Peter Dordin for 14 yds Tow Cloth[,] at 14 pistereens;" and Samuel Vernon Jr. buying indigo. In addition to running slaves for the Vernon brothers, Dordin was also employed by Aaron Lopez.
Third item. a small octavo sheets folded to form 4 pages, written on 3, titled "People of the Sloop Adventure's Accts., Feb 7, 1770," appears incomplete only listing debits for William Howard, for sugar, tea, etc., from December 1770 - October [1771]. On the final page, "Newport Is[land]" is written twice, along with a draft for a legal document relating to John Tanner.