Mar 28, 2019 - Sale 2503

Sale 2503 - Lot 48

Price Realized: $ 1,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,200 - $ 1,800
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Receipt for a slave committed to Bruin's Slave Jail. Document Signed by William Hodges as slave owner and Joseph Bruin as jailer. One page, 7 1/2 x 8 inches, with docketing on verso; a portion of the document removed at bottom (possibly the original return receipt), folds, minor wear. Washington, DC and Alexandria, VA, 25-26 September 1851

Additional Details

A rare document from the infamous Bruin's Slave Jail in Alexandria, where Joseph Bruin and Henry P. Hill held large numbers of slaves awaiting sale or discipline. Harriet Beecher Stowe discusses the jail at length in her Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin. The first part of this document reads "I hereby authorize and empower Mr. A.E.L. Kease to take possession of my servant man named John and place him in confinement in Alexandria, Virginia for me. William Hodges." The next day, the jailer wrote "Received . . . of Messers Con & Kees for safekeeping a Negroe man named John to be delivered to them or their order when called. Joseph Bruin." The only William Hodges we find in Washington during this period was an Episcopalian minister who lived from 1806 to 1881. He may have sent John to the jail as a way-station pending a sale to a plantation further south, or more likely for punishment.