February 13, 1844
Laurens County, SC
Original Manuscript Document
EXTENSIVE BILL OF SALE OF PROPERTY
SOLD FROM THE ESTATE OF ISABELLA MASON
Deceased December 27, 1843
With Names of the Buyers
And Prices Paid
- Booklet formed of 3 sheets of lined paper folded and stitched at the fold, forming 6 leaves (12 pages) - measures 8 x 12.5" folded.
- Document has three horizontal creases where it was once neatly folded for filing.
- Bill of sale hand-written in black ink on 7 pages, 3 pages blank, and a record of the filing and recording of the document on the remaining page, dated February 13, 1844, and labeled as "Recorded on pages 350-358".
- The filing page also has old penciled inscriptions identifying the location as Laurens County, SC, and reiterating the date as Feb 13, 1844.
- The document is attested as "Calculated by H. G. Metts" (who also bought some of the goods at the sale, including a loom and its apparatus, 64 bushels of cotton seed, and 2 steers).
This was an extensive sale, and some 50 or so names of buyers are recorded, along with the goods they purchased and subtotals for their individual accounts.A wide variety of household goods, farm tools and equipment, animals, crops out of the ground, and crops in the ground were sold (see below).
Also sold were 13 slaves, including two groups in family units:
- 1 Negro Boy George ($598) to John Langston
- 1 Negro Girl Nancy ($260) and 1 Negro Boy Lukins ($415) to Rebecca Corny(?)
- 1 Negro Man Ruben & Wife Jinny & 2 Children ($1,210) to Dorothy Davis
- 1 Negro Boy Joe ($600) to Naomi Tomig(?)
- 1 Negro Girl Adella ($600) to John McKitneck
- 1 Negro Man Sam & Hannah ($100.00) [presumably a couple],1 Negro Boy Charles ($835) and 1 Negro Boy Abe ($890.00) [presumably a family unit sold together] to John Mason
The most expensive single item was a wagon and its complete harness ($4,000). Examples of other of the material goods sold include: cows, hogs, shoats, steers, heifers, horses (some with names), a pickling tub, axes and maddoxes, a "Family Bible", a dictionary and Bible, a cow trough, a large boiler, bedsteads and bedding, chairs and other furniture, a spinning wheel, bushels of wheat, eating potatoes, seed potatoes, jugs and their contents, a fine clock, straw stacks, pails, 13 pounds of tallow, augers, baskets, cotton in the field, cutting knives, pots and a pot rack, a large wash pot, 119 pounds of sugar, 3 bales of cotton, and so forth.
This is a fascinating snapshot of the material things necessary to run a farm in 1843. The slave account give testimony to the often-stated view that the wealth of the South at the time was in the value of slaves, and not so much in the value of crops, livestock, farm equipment, (or even land or buildings). The values for some of the individual slaves were among the highest in this sale.
It is also an interesting record of what many named people in the area bought that should be of interest to people doing genealogy for Laurens County, SC in the 1840s. Some of the family names here include, as best we could decipher them: Martin, Dahlrymple with variant spellings), Adams, Metts, Meadow, Horton, Braddock, Little, Jones, Ray, Demkin(?), Langston, Williams, Speak, Craddock, Wells, McKitneck, Ray, Boya, Stark, Mason, Adair, Vetsten, Dannall (plus others more difficult to make out).
We spot-checked the 1850 census records to verify that this document is in fact from Laurens County SC, since the penciled inscription on the back is the only written documentation of that. We easily found the first seven of the most clearly written and decipherable names we tried in Laurens County: George Metts, James Braddock, John Horton, Thomas Little, R[e]uben Ray, and William Boya[e], and Edmund Adair. We also found one of the most unusual surnames in the bill of sale, which appears to read: Entrekin; in the census, the entry is also a bit hard to decipher and the indexers had trouble with it too, but it appears cross-indexed as: "Entrican, "Entrycan", and "Entzcan". There is no doubt whatsover in our minds that the county attribution for this document is correct.
CONDITION: Very Good Plus or better. The paper has uniform light yellowing. It is crisp and not at all brittle. The edges and folds are slight worn. There are ink spots from the time of the original writing, as well as a few grayish stains. The original string binding is sturdy. The document has apparently been stored flat for a long time. Overall the preservation is excellent for a document now over 160 years old. See the detail photos we have provided, which show all the pages except the three blank ones.
We use accepted bookseller's grading standards: Fine, Near Fine, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor. We grade items conservatively.
SHIPPING: Document will be shipped flat, as it has been stored for a long time. We do our best to combine shipping for orders with multiple items. To discuss international shipping options, please contact us.