Mar 28, 2019 - Sale 2503

Sale 2503 - Lot 33

Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,500
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Family Bible of the Rixey family of Culpeper, Virginia, including 4 pages listing the births of their slaves. 2 maps and 9 (of 10?) plates. [1070 of 1094?], 58 (of 72?) pages. 4to, later 19th century calf, moderate wear, with contemporary limp calf wrapper over it; this copy bound with the 1806 New Testament, without the "Table of Proper Names" preceding the Concordance, and an 1810 Mathew Carey printing of "A Brief Concordance to the Holy Scriptures," worn and lacking numerous leaves (leaf A4 from introduction, 11 leaves from New Testament, and approximately 7 leaves at the end of the Concordance), several plates worn or defective, heavy early conservation and silking to many leaves; manuscript notes including 7 pages of birth and death registers. See Hills 142. New York: Collins, Perkins & Co., 1807[-10], with manuscript entries through 1884

Additional Details

The family and slave register is recorded in an 1807-1810 printing of the Holy Bible. It can be found just before and after the New Testament title page, starting with two pre-printed "Family Record" leaves as issued, and continuing on the verso of the New Testament title and of two engraved plates. The record begins with the family of Samuel Rixey (1780-1866), and continues over 3 pages through the children of Samuel Rixey Jr. (1836-1883), with entries through 1884. The Rixeys owned "Hilly Farm," a plantation near Culpeper, VA.
After the Rixey family entries come the slaves--4 pages of first names and birth years extending through 1862. The first 14 entries date to before 1810, so probably represent the family holdings at the time the Bible was acquired. Of these, the oldest was Thomas Chinn, born 1743. After these original names, 59 births are recorded chronologically from 1810 through 1862, with a few older dates mixed in--"Jory about 1780" and "Saul about 1776" were apparently purchased shortly after 1818, for example. Parentage is not generally given, but the children of Harriet or Heriot seem to be exceptions. Heriot's birth was recorded in 1820, and seven later births are noted "Harriet's child" from 1833 through 1858, most of them with full birth dates listed. Death dates are not generally given, but many of the names are crossed out, suggesting that they died or were sold before the end of slavery. The birth register extends for three pages, followed by one more page of 32 slaves who appear to be recorded separately, possibly from a different plantation owned by the Rixey family.
The Rixey name may sound familiar to serious baseball fans. Samuel Rixey's great-grandson Eppa Rixey (1891-1963) was a Hall of Fame pitcher for Philadelphia and Cincinnati in the early 20th century. Though Eppa does not appear in the register, the birth of his grandfather Presley Morehead Rixey is recorded in 1812. Provenance: estate of Jean Rixey Pitzer (born 1878), granddaughter of Samuel Rixey (her birth was the last recorded in the family register), via her niece and executrix Frankie Rixey Keyser (1902-1981).