Mar 28, 2019 - Sale 2503

Sale 2503 - Lot 46

Price Realized: $ 2,340
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 400 - $ 600
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Petition by an unlawfully enslaved Maryland woman. Manuscript Document, 9 x 7 1/4, drafted by H.R. Warfield and L. Belt for the petitioner, with added note signed by J. Dorsey, docketed on verso "Mr. Ritchie please to file this"; moderate wear with slight loss of text. Frederick County, MD, circa 1795?

Additional Details

The main body of this petition reads: "The petition of negroe Phebe humbly complaining begs leave to represent that your petitioner is held in slavery by a certain Daniel Dorsey of Frederick County, tho she is advised she is entitled to her freedom by an instrument of writing executed by said Daniel Dorsey, and this your petitioner humbly prays may be enquired into." It would appear that Phebe continued to be held in slavery after receiving her manumission papers. Below is a response: "The said Daniel saith that the said Phebe her petition aforesaid to have and maintain ought not because he saith that she is the slave of Deborah Dorsey, without that she is free as above set forth." The only appropriate Maryland Daniel Dorsey we can trace lived from 1757 to 1823, and moved to New York circa 1796-1800. His mother-in-law was Deborah Dorsey (1722-1806), widow of Eli Dorsey who died circa 1794. Apparently, Daniel Dorsey manumitted Phebe, then claimed that his mother-in-law was actually the legal owner.