May 07, 2020 - Sale 2534

Sale 2534 - Lot 12

Price Realized: $ 585
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Henry, J.L. "List of Negroes on hand at beginning of trade and afterwards acquired & sold & prices." Manuscript Document Signed, 2 pages, 12 1/2 x 7 3/4 inches, plus integral blank with docketing, on one folding sheet; minimal wear at folds. [Tennessee, circa 1857?]

Additional Details

This document was prepared as an exhibit for a lawsuit, and lists 36 enslaved people in table form, showing their purchase price (total $32,037), their sale price (total $36,084), and the net profit ($4,047). It does not show the profit made on their labor. Some family groups are indicated: "Mariah & child'n Chalrly, Jane" were sold as a group, as were "Jim & John" and "Sarah & 2 child'n."
This document does not bear a date or place, and we have not determined the place with any certainty. It was acquired from a dealer who cited a western Tennessee provenance. 4 different men named J.L. Henry appear in the 1850 and 1860 census schedules as slave owners, and only one of them on a scale approaching the 32 names listed here: lawyer James Love Henry (1835-1884) of Asheville NC, who owned 12 slaves in 1860. Some of his family's papers have been preserved, and the family was the subject of the book "Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journals and Letters of the Henry Family" in 2008. The estate of James's mother Dorcas Bell Love Henry extended into western Tennessee (a legal announcement can be found in the Memphis Daily Appeal, 26 April 1857). The pale blue paper used for this document was typical for the 1850s.