Mar 25, 2021 - Sale 2562

Sale 2562 - Lot 8

Price Realized: $ 1,430
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) David Mathews. Deed of a newborn girl sold by the future mayor of New York. Autograph Document Signed by Mathews as grantor with his wax seal, also signed by witness Amy Smith. One page, 8 x 6 1/2 inches, plus half of an integral blank, the remainder being excised; moderate wear and foxing, short tape repair. New York, 29 November 1770

Additional Details

This deed reads in part "I David Mathews of the city of New York, attorney at law as well for and in consideration of the sum of five shillings . . . do give and grant unto Joseph Meeks of the said city cartman a certain female negro child named Dinah aged seven days."

Much is known about David Mathews (1739-1800), who soon after this 1770 deed became a notorious Loyalist upon the outbreak of the American Revolution. He was arrested by the rebels in 1776 for his involvement in a plot to assassinate George Washington, escaped, and was soon appointed mayor of British-held Manhattan. He fled to Canada in 1783 at the conclusion of the war.

On the other hand, nothing else is known of Dinah, who was sold to a laborer when just a week old.