Mar 26, 2015 - Sale 2377

Sale 2377 - Lot 136

Price Realized: $ 4,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
WATKINS, WILLIAM J. Autograph Receipt Signed for monies spent for Underground Rail Road activities. Single 4to leaf, written on one side only; creased where folded. Rochester, 24 July, 1857

Additional Details

An accounting of money given him: "Miss Porter, $29.00 (including $4.00 brought me by Mrs. Rhoads. This has been thus expended: 5 Men to London. C. M. sundry times $17.50, 4 Men and one Boy to Toronto $13.50, 1 Woman to Hamilton, $3.50 and 1 Man to Chatham $4.00 . . . Rochester July 24 (22 crossed out) 1857, W.J. Watkins." Watkins was a black UGRR conductor who moved from Toronto to Rochester in 1853 to become an associate editor of Frederick Douglass's Newspaper. A free black, active in abolitionist politics in Baltimore, Watkins first moved to Canada in 1852, where he had a successful grocery. It is not clear how the money was spent. $17.50 would not pay for passage for 5 men.