FORCED TO BUY HER HUSBAND'S PROPERTY (SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Manuscript document for the sale of the estate of James Beauford, including 6 slaves. Bi-folium folded to form four pages, written on three sides and docketed on the fourth; paper evenly toned; creases at the folds with a couple of short closed tears. Scott County, KY, 1798
An 18th-century estate sale, itemizing six slaves, followed by "one dark bay mare," etc; etc. Because of the nature of early inheritance laws, property did not immediately pass to widows. Instead, "Bird Beauford," James's widow had to buy whatever she wished to salvage of the meager estate that once represented her home. She was able to buy three of the six slaves, a steer and a prayer book---an infinitesimally small portion of the remainder of the estate. Other relatives and presumably neighbors bought the rest.
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