May 07, 2020 - Sale 2534

Sale 2534 - Lot 7

Price Realized: $ 1,375
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Pair of slave bills of sale to the same Massachusetts owner. Documents Signed, each about 13 x 8 inches; folds, minor wear and foxing. Littleton, MA, 1772 and 1778

Additional Details

In the first, John Foster of Andover, MA sells to his son Solomon of Littleton, MA, "a negro woman named Elisabeth of about twenty-eight years of age," 25 April 1772. In the second, Peter Bulkley of Littleton sells "a negro woman named Elizabeth" and "the last child the sd Elisabeth had," 15 June 1778. It is quite possible that both of these documents refer to the same Elizabeth, with Foster reacquiring her. Littleton did not have large plantations; a 1770 survey found eight slave-owning households, each with only one or two slaves. The institution was effectively ended in Massachusetts by a 1781 court case, though of course profits from the triangle trade and textile industry continued long after that.