Feb 26, 2009 - Sale 2171

Sale 2171 - Lot 10

Price Realized: $ 10,200
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
RARE INSURANCE POLICY (SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) VERNON, SAMUEL AND WILLIAM. Insurance policy for a slave ship. Partially printed document, accomplished by hand, 13x8 inches; matted and framed. Newport, Rhode Island, 1795

Additional Details

an extremely rare insurance policy for the slave ship "lily." This very detailed policy covers the voyage of the ship "Lily" on its third and last leg of the classic Atlantic triangle from Port au Paix in "Hispaniola" (Santo Domingo) to Charleston, South Carolina: "On Merchandize laden on board the sloop Lily." Careful not to name the "merchandize," the contract stipulates that the "Lily" was to be moored in Charleston for 24 hours only. A handwritten clause adds: "NB: If said Merchandize should arrive safe and without loss in said port of Charleston, then one half of the premium to be returned." The cost of this policy was 240 pounds, or $1200, a large sum for such a short voyage. The premium was shared by Samuel Vernon, Caleb Gardner (Vernon''s captain) and James Robinson, presumably a business partner. Caleb Gardner additionally paid a share for another well-known slave-dealer Peleg Clark; and James Robinson paid an additional share for George Champlin. The Vernons were among the most notorious slave dealers. Contrary to popular belief, many slave dealers lived in the Northeast, and a good number in Newport, Rhode Island.