Account book, 1856-1858, kept by the prominent slave trading firm of Bolton, Dickens & Co. of Lexington, Kentucky, with branches in Memphis, Charleston, Natchez, and New Orleans. It chiefly records slaves purchased and sold by the firm, with entries giving the name of the slave, purchase and selling price, profit, names of suppliers, and occasional remarks. Some persons involved in the firm's recorded transactions were Washington Bolton, Isaac Bolton, Samuel Dickens, and the slave trader G.L. Bumpass. Of additional note is a copy of an 1857 letter to Isaac Bolton, probably written by his brother Washington Bolton while Isaac was in prison awaiting trial for the murder of slave dealer James McMillan of Kentucky following a dispute in Memphis concerning McMillan's sale to Bolton of a 16-year old slave who was later revealed to be a free man, and other related documents. The volume was later employed as a day book by "B.B.W." (possibly B.B. Wadell) and contains accounts for the year 1865.
Charles Sumner (1811-1874) was a United States senator from Massachusetts and a campaigner against slavery. This is a draft, ca. 1855, of a version of the speech delivered in New York on May 9, 1855, and published that year under the title "The anti-slavery enterprise." Internal evidence indicates that it was to be delivered to a Boston audience, probably on May 15, 1855.
The collection includes three volumes, correspondence, and documents, 1768-1803, related to English abolitionist and reformer Granville Sharp. The first volume contains copies of letters and related documents, 1768-1773, sent to Granville Sharp, transcribed in his own handwriting and concerning such matters as slavery, the slave trade, its evils, legal and social aspects, etc. It includes letters from Joseph Banks, Anthony Benezet, William Blackstone, Jacob Bryant, John Fothergill, Francis Hargrave, Arthur Lee, Michael Lort, and Benjamin Rush. The second volume contains Granville Sharp's copy of proceedings in the Court of King's Bench, London, February and June, 1771, in the case of Thomas Lewis, a black man, against his alleged owner, Robert Stapylton, along with John Maloney and Aaron Armstrong, for assault and imprisonment. Proceedings include trancripts of testimony given by Lewis and others. Also included are tipped in copies of Granville Sharp's remarks on the case and transcripts of the 1st and 2nd motions for judgement against Stapylton. The third volume consists of Granville Sharp's copy of part of the court proceedings in the 1772 case of James Sommersett, a slave from Virginia belonging to Charles Stewart. The case was heard in the Court of King's Bench, London, before Lord Chief Justice Mansfield and three other Justices. Granville Sharp involved himself in the case, and it was the subsequent decision of the court that a slave became free upon entering England. The volume contains the arguments for Sommersett of William Davy and John Glynn, and ends with Mansfield adjourning the proceedings to the following term. In addition, the collection includes miscellaneous documents and letters, 1772-1774 and 1784-1803, including extracts from letters of Anthony Benezet, and letters written by Granville Sharp to correspondents such as Benjamin Franklin, Campbell Haliburton, Rufus King, Joseph Reed, William White, and John Witherspoon.
James F. Brown (1793-1868) was the ex-slave gardener of the Verplanck family at Mount Gulian, Fishkill, New York. Brown was a runaway slave from Maryland, and the Verplancks purchased his time after he was found by his master. The collection consists of 8 diaries, 1829-1866, during which time Brown was gardener for the Verplanck family; 1 receipt book, 1832-1857, recording some personal and household expenses, although most entries are unspecified; and 1 memorandum book, 1827-1843. Entries in the diaries are brief, with little elaboration, and pertain to such matters as the weather, local deaths, his gardening activities, the passage of boats on the Hudson, etc. The diaries are not entirely chronological, as in several instances the entries for a year have been copied into a later volume.
John Clarkson (1764-1828) was an English abolitionist, agent for the Sierra Leone Company, and lieutenant in the British Royal Navy. The collection consists of Clarkson's manuscripts, written in journal form, of his involvement with the settlement of free African-American loyalists from Nova Scotia to Sierra Leone, Africa. The loyalists had been evacuated from New York when the British pulled out at the end of the Revolutionary War and initially settled in Nova Scotia. Vol. 1, entitled "Clarkson's Mission to America," covers Aug. 6, 1791-Mar. 18, 1792 as Clarkson arranged for the transportation of the settlers; it provides a detailed account of his activities in Nova Scotia, persons he met there, and the problems fitting out the ships (478 p.). Vol. 2, entitled "Clarksons Mission to Africa," covers Mar. 19, 1792-Aug. 4, 1792. Clarkson's account of the founding and first months of Free Town, Sierra Leone gives numerous details of the difficulties met, relations with the native population, attitudes of the Nova Scotia settlers, and supplies (422 p.).
Joseph Goodwin was a plantation manager in Cuba originally from Hudson, N.Y. This diary was presumably kept by Goodwin, although it may have been kept by his brother. After leaving home in Hudson, N.Y., Goodwin worked for Gen. George De Wolf, first in Bristol, Rhode Island for a few months and then on De Wolfs plantations near Matanzas, Cuba as a manager or overseer. The plantations grew mainly coffee although other crops are mentioned. The crops were worked by slaves. The diary entries are mainly routine and record weather, plantation activities, people met, and local news. Mentioned often are George and William De Wolf. While in Cuba, Goodwin stayed first at the home of John Line and later at the plantations Buena Esperanza and Arca de Noe. Some pages of the diary are missing.
Mahlon Day (1790-1854) was a Quaker, publisher of children's books, printer, and bookseller in New York City. This is a contemporary copy of a diary kept by Day while on a tour of the West Indies (Nov. 1839-Apr. 1840) in the company of Joseph John Gurney, the English Quaker philanthropist, minister, and writer. In most of the places they visited, they did considerable sightseeing, held religious services for all faiths, and were entertained by many residents. They were particularly interested in education, religion, and the condition of the Black population, especially on the free islands as compared to those that still permitted slavery. Day also includes many rhymes composed by Gurney to commemorate particular occasions. Persons whom they visited include: Sir W.M.B.G. Colebrooke and Nathaniel Gilbert of Antigua, and John and Maria Candler of Jamaica.
Correspondence, 1844-1886, including letters received and copies of letters sent by Boston lawyer and abolitionist Lysander Spooner. Many of the letters pertain to Spooner’s activities as an abolitionist and author of works opposing slavery. Included are 100 letters to or from George Bradburn, 106 letters to or from Gerrit Smith, 7 pieces of correspondence with Charles D. Cleveland, 7 with Daniel Drayton, 19 with Richard Goodell, 10 with Charles D. Miller, 9 with John A. Thomson, 11 letters from Daniel McFarland, and 4 letters from Lewis Tappan.
New-York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves (1785-1849), commonly known as the New-York Manumission Society, was established to publicly promote the abolition of slavery and manumission of slaves in New York State. The society provided legal and financial assistance to manumitted slaves in need of protection, slaves seeking manumission and supported legislation and efforts to enforce laws banning the sale of slaves in New York State. The records include meeting minutes, commission reports, financial records, indentures, and registers from the year of its organization to its dissolution in 1849. Subjects covered include appointments, elections, political activities, finances, reports on individual cases, the sponsorship and operation of the African Free School and African American houses of refuge. Among its active members were: Robert C. Cornell, W. W. Woolsey, Nehemiah Allen, Melancton Smith, William T. Slocum, Samuel Bowne, Adrian Hegeman, Willet Seaman, Thomas Burling, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, James Duane, John Murray, Jr., William Dunlap, Alexander McDougall, Noah Webster, and Egbert Benson.
The Association for the Benefit of Colored Orphans was founded in 1836 and was originally located on Fifth Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets in Manhattan. The Colored Orphan Asylum was among the earliest organizations in the country to provide housing, training, and employment specifically for African-American orphans. During the Draft Riots of July 14, 1863, the Colored Orphan Asylum was attacked by a mob. At that time, it housed some 600 to 800 homeless children in a large four story building surrounded by grounds and gardens. The crowd plundered the Asylum, then set fire to the first floor. The building burned to the ground. The records of the Colored Orphan Asylum document the activities of the institution from 1836 to 1972, with the bulk of the records falling between 1850 and 1936.
The Slavery Collection contains correspondence and legal and financial documents related to the North American slave trade, slave ownership, abolition, and political issues pertinent to slavery. The Slavery Collection is called an "artificial" collection because a third party placed unrelated items together according to subject matter. Researchers who have used this collection in the past, or those following citations in published sources, should be aware that it was rearranged in 1999 in order to facilitate intellectual and physical access. Certain material that formerly was not arranged, or was arranged chronologically, is now arranged by format. For example, depositions are now grouped together, rather than being interfiled with accounts, receipts or deeds of manumission.
Birth records and deeds of manumission for African American children in the town of Castleton, Staten Island, N.Y. between 1799 and 1827., Castleton is a former town in New York State. It was located in the northeastern part of Staten Island, prior to the incorporation of Staten Island into New York City in 1898., New-York Historical Society