Mar 28, 2019 - Sale 2503

Sale 2503 - Lot 30

Price Realized: $ 1,375
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Two letters and a receipt relating to a West Virginian's acquisition of enslaved people. Various sizes; worn with tape repairs. Vp, 1836-39

Additional Details

These papers were all addressed to William Allen Crow (circa 1794-1870) of Charles Town, VA (now West Virginia). The first letter offers a detailed description of a slave auction in Richmond, VA by Robert Gallaher, apparently at Crow's request, 8 March 1836: "They was a sale today of nine which I thought brot very good prices. The first man that was set up was a ruff carpendter (29 years old) which brot 1,500. The second was a young fellow about the size of your Lewis which brot 1,015. . . . They set up a girl 8 or 10 years old but not at all likely, brot 375. . . . A little boy 4 or 5 brot 290, also a girl twelve years old brot 490."
The second letter is from John Boyer, the county jailor in Martinsburg, WV, on 1 June 1836: "There has been this day committed to the jail of this place a negro woman named Julia, the property of Mr. Abraham Vanmeter of this county. He says she has shown a disposition to run away and has become quite unmanageable. He will sell her to any person who will give him the best price. . . . She is a very valuable woman. She is about 30 years of age . . . and is a stout and healthy-looking woman." The final document is an 1839 bill of sale from Adam Link, selling "a negro man Solomon about twenty two years old" to Crow for $612.50. Provenance: found by the consignor's father hidden in the wall of an old building in Salisbury, MD in the mid-20th century. As far as we can tell, Crow had two surviving daughters who spent their lives in Charles Town and no grandchildren.