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(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Bilingual emancipation notice for a family of six posted in New Orleans. Partly printed document, 7 3/4 x 12 1/2 inches, completed in manuscript and signed by sheriff, with 3 signed certifications in manuscript on verso; repaired on verso along center fold; mounted in a double-sided glass frame. New Orleans, LA, 22 January and 6 March 1848
By this notice, New Orleans slave owner Pierre Martel announced his decision to emancipate 7 enslaved people, including an extended family consisting of grandmother Perinette, aged 54; her daughters Louise and Agatha, described as negroes, aged 25 and 23; and their 3 small children, all described as mulattoes. The suspicion with emancipations of young children is often that the slave owner might be the father. If true in this case, he may have fathered children by both of Perinette's daughters. On deciding to emancipate this family (plus a "negro man named Assindor aged about 40 years"), Martel was required to post this notice in English and French in the city courthouse, requesting "every person having any legal opposition to said emancipation" to register their complaint within 40 days. On verso, after the 40 days had passed, Judge Alexander McKenzie Buchanan notes "It appearing that no opposition was made . . . it is ordered that the deed of emancipation of the slaves herein mentioned be passed." The entire family--Martel, Perinette, the two daughters, and the three grandchildren--all remained together in Martel's household as of the 1850 census. Martel was French-born and recorded as 82 years old. Perinette was born in Saint-Domingue (Haiti), and the daughters and grandchildren were all born in Louisiana.