Mar 21, 2013 - Sale 2308

Sale 2308 - Lot 28

Price Realized: $ 960
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) SIMPSON, COLONEL JOHN. A True and Perfect Inventory of the Goods, Chattel and Personal Estate of Colonel John Simpson, Late of Belfast in the District of Laurens, Deceased. . . Four long folio leaves, sewn; written in ledger form with appraised values in a column to the right. Laurens County, South Carolina, 1816

Additional Details

'Colonel' John Simpson was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1751. He came to the United States around 1785 and settled in Laurens County where he built a beautiful two-and-one-half story manor home, naming it after his native Belfast. The present 'Inventory' is actually a detailed will with values of every item, including slaves, probably for the purpose of taxation. This will includes all 22 slaves of various ages, their family relationships apparently not kept intact. But this is far more interesting than simply a list of a wealthy South Carolina farmer's slaves. The estate is quite complex and the distribution among family members is fascinating. William Simpson for example, inherited two slaves named Rosy and Betsy, an eight day clock and a Bible. 'To Jane and her husband John Nickles, two volumes of Pool's Annotation on the Bible and Testament,' 'To Mary and her husband Captain Anthony Griffin, one Negro man named Buford, one Negro man named Noah.' Betsy and her husband received two slaves as well. It seems as though Jane and her husband John were not in favor, receiving only two books, valued at $11.50. The will continues: John W. Simpson received 10 slaves and a cotton gin. Others everything from soap to nails. One of the most detailed early 19th century wills we have seen, covering seven pages, signed by the appraiser and executors on the last page. The Belfast mansion is still standing and is maintained today by the Champion International Corporation, as a 'hunting lodge and recreational retreat.'