Thursday, September 27, 2012

Receipt for slave named Archer Marshall to be sold UPDATE: Buyer identified

I've mentioned in this space a time or two that I'm helping an old friend (actually, my old boss) dispose of some of his lifelong collection of checks, stocks, bonds and historical ephemera. I've been putting the stuff up on eBay for him, and learning a great deal in the process.

A fascinating item that has just come to the top of the pile is a receipt for the purchase of a slave in 1857. Taken in its historical context, this is merely a surviving relic of a property transfer in Antebellum days. 

What I find slightly disturbing is that this is not some hand-written receipt, but that the slave-trading business was so prolific at that time and place that efficiency demand that pre-printed forms be created to facilitate the  sale of human beings.

The 7-5/8" x 3" receipt is dated at Richmond, Va., on January 7, 1857. The receipt is signed by L.D. Bradley and conveys the slave Archer Marshall to a man named Yarbrough for $800. For the life of me, I cannot make out the first name or middle initial of the buyer Yarbrough. Any thoughts?

Sept. 27 UPDATE: A person who saw the listing for this item on eBay wrote to say that the buyer of the slave was Turpin & Yarbrough, a tobacco manufacturer in Richmond. The correspondent said some of the firm's warehouses were used as hospitals in the Civil War.

The pre-printed body of the receipt reads:

                                     "Received of ------------------------------------ 
--------------------------- Dollars, being in full for the purchase of ------
Negro Slave named -----------------------------------------------------
the right and title of said Slave ----- warrant and defend against the claims
of all persons whatsoever, and likewise warrant ------ sound and healthy."

I've spent considerable time google-searching the names of the seller, L.D. Bradley, and the slave, Archer Marshall, with no success in determining more about them. 

I'm going to put this receipt up for auction on eBay early next month. How it is valued in today's market will be interesting to discover. 

Oct. 4 UPDATE: The receipt sold on eBay for $132.50 on Oct. 3, 2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments, criticism, additional information, questions, etc., are welcome . . . as long as they are germane to the original topic. All comments are moderated before they are allowed to appear and spam comments are deleted before they ever appear. No "Anonymous User" comments are allowed.