May 07, 2020 - Sale 2534

Sale 2534 - Lot 13

Price Realized: $ 438
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Spencer, James Leake. Letter to the town of Blacks and Whites regarding the sale of a carpenter. Autograph Letter Signed to father-in-law John Fitzgerald of Blacks and Whites, VA. 2 pages, 8 x 6 1/2 inches; mailing folds, minimal wear. With original stamped envelope bearing inked Farmville postmark. [Farmville, VA], 11 October 1859

Additional Details

The bulk of this letter discusses the possible purchase of an enslaved carpenter named Robin from a Mr. Caldwell: "He is a #1 workman. I do not know your purposes in the future as to building, but think from the way negros as carpenter are hiring, twould be best to buy one at a high figure & have his life insured, if you have much work to do, especially fine work. . . . Matthews had told him if Robin was taken to Richmond & represented as a mechanic he would bring $2000. I rather doubted it, as his fingers were somewhat injured & some of his teeth were gone." Spencer notes almost in passing, "Mr. C. will not sell Robin's wife."