Lengthy Autographed Letter Signed Indicating Traffic in Slaves


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Price: $400.00

Place Published: Pelham
Date Published: 1850

Description: 4 pages, each two-page spread measuring 7.75 x 9.75 inches, Pelham, New York, January 30, 1850. Written by "Helen" (Morris) to brother Jacob, the children of Staats Morris, about having to sell their plantation and slaves, in small part: "...Poor Richard, he has had his hands full. The Plantation and the Negroes are sold and as usual...he has fared the worst, he thinks Lewis has not acted honorably. Richard wished to buy the Plantation but I dissuaded him from it. The General presented his claims and has been beaten...Richard ordered a bid up to $12,000...fearing it would be sold too low. The Negroes all sold well but his, for which he blames Lewis...Judge Harper bought Sabinos and Richard Lewis...so they all have good Masters..." Page three of this letter lists the extensive properties that the Morris family disposed of and who acquired the said parcels. The sale price totaled $122,825.00. It is quite possible that the family was convinced that secession was a possibility, panicked and sold large holdings, believing they would cut their losses if the Civil War was inevitable. Several folds and creases; partial tear along the center fold; tiny pink stains on the last page. Very good(-) condition.

Signed: Y
Binding: unbound
Language: English
Type: Autographs

Book ID: 219255

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I thought you'd find this interesting: I learned of Argosy by reading a bit of "bad" publicity in the book "Used and Rare" by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone; no doubt you're familiar with it. (It was unfortunate that the authors had to grind their ax in print in what was an otherwise enjoyable book.) But I had never heard of Argosy before and my curiosity was piqued, so negative comments notwithstanding, I decided to pay a brief visit to the store. I reserved a book (long sought-after) ahead of time because I knew I'd be on an extremely tight schedule with several stops to make in just a few hours' time. Calling to reserve the book was a pleasant, very efficient experience, with a prompt return call to confirm availability. When I stopped in to purchase the book, the greeting (by one of the sisters, I'm not sure which) was extremely pleasant, the service so prompt and also she informed me of a signed letter by the subject I was interested in (unfortunately, I was unable to purchase the letter that day). I found the photo of Lawrence Olivier and Vivien Leigh as Caesar (or Antony?) and Cleopatra which hangs over the register very interesting-- had seen it before in a book. My only disappointment was that I was unable to actually spend time in the store-- it looked so inviting! But I will make it a point to spend time there on my next visit. So you see, even bad publicity can be very beneficial! Thank you for an enjoyable, if brief, experience! - Teri McDowell
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