Mar 31, 2016 - Sale 2408

Sale 2408 - Lot 32

Price Realized: $ 5,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,500 - $ 3,500
WITH A LETTER FROM A SLAVE (SLAVERY AND ABOLITION) FRAZIER FAMILY. Small but rich collection of material relative to the plantation and slave owner Benjamin Frazier of Edgefield, SC. Letters, wallets, cased photographs, and documents, including a letter written by one of frazier's slaves, accused of having taken money at the time of frazier's death. condition varies, should be seen. Vp, circa 1830's-1850's

Additional Details

a small but exceptional group of papers from the marshall frazier family of edgefield, south carolina, with a great deal relative to slaves. most interesting is a letter by Hal Frazier, a slave who had belonged to Colonel Marshall Frazier. He writes "Allow me to address a few lines for the purpose of showing Colonel Frazier of Edgefield. A few days ago, Mr. Montgomery read to me a letter he had received from Col. Frazier in which I am accused of having the money which it is alleged that disappeared at the death of my old master Colonel Benjamin Frazier and that the law will be pushed on me if I do not send Col. Frazier $1000. It is true I am a colored man, born a slave. But by industry and economy have saved enough to pay (purchase freedom for) myself and my wife. When old master died it is [known ?] and provable that I had $800. I owned one half of a mill which has done in the course of time of these twelve years a considerable business as the books will shaw. Two or three years ago the legislature of Louisiana passed an act in my favor which I was made a free man, authorized to do business. That act has not nor can not make me say more than an humble unpresuming man. Knowing and feeling my situation, I have always been honest, have labored with great care to keep and maintain a good character, and be respected for my prompt attention to business. . . " The letter was clearly written for Hal, but obviously by someone who respected him.

Nothing more appears on Hal in the other letters, but there is an 1837 letter from "Ben" Frazier to a family member in which he makes some rather strange statements regarding slaves, Speaking of someone else, possibly another plantation owner, "James is ded and Jhon Loften and the boys is at law about the negrous that James left wich is 20 in number, 10 likely fellows and [a] grate dele of warmth between them and [the] ould woman [James widow?] seems in grate dele of trobil about it. I find [Shawn?] to be one of the best kind of men and I am as will pleased with him as can be, and brother, negrous is the best that I have ever seen in my life and behave well and manage well as such I could be no better pleased with no body of men. I must return you my thanks my sunns for your kind visit to see me at Roshells . ." He goes on a great length about them and something about shipping out of Charleston. A fascinating group of paper that suggest a better than normal relationship between the slaves and the widow of James Loften. A very interesting group of documents etc, showing the doings of a mid-century South Carolina plantation. The letter from Colonel Frazier's slave is remarkable, even if dictated as is the letter regarding the purchase of 20 slaves.