Mar 10, 2011 - Sale 2239

Sale 2239 - Lot 20

Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Affidavit sworn by Hannah Goodall (white) before a justice, swearing to the free status of Sarah Hughes, "a light mulatto person, now of the age of seventeen years." Single folio leaf, folded twice, creased at the folds; two tiny holes at the conjunction of the folds, not affecting the content. Signed by the Justice of the Peace and bearing the blind-stamp seal of Washington, D.C. with the American eagle; docketed on the reverse. Washington, D.C., 1842

Additional Details

A sworn affidavit wherein Hannah Goodall, "a very respectable and credible person" swears on the "Evangely of Almighty god (God sic)" that she has known Olly Hughes, Sarah's mother "for many years, as a free woman, residing in the City of Washington and that the said Sarah Hughes was "free born from before." There follows a long statement from the court clerk, William Brent, that the above statement is indeed a fact and that Sarah Hughes is a free person. The District of Columbia was a known slave mart, where many free people were kidnapped and sold into slavery. While a document such as this was no guarantee if a slave-catcher kidnapped you, it might protect you if you could present it to a lawyer or a judge.