Friday, September 27, 2013

Moses and Sarah, bought and sold by Joseph Duncan ~ A Friend of Friends Friday

I recently spent a couple days at the library in Jonesborough, TN reviewing some of their microfilm records. I was startled to find two bills of sale recorded at the same November 1810 Session that involved a Joseph Duncan buying and selling two slaves. Duncan (either the Joseph born in 1751 or his son, Joseph, born 1788) purchased a man, Moses, and and woman, Sarah, in November 1809 and sold them two months later to Elias Bowman. The Duncans were closely associated with the Allison family, though I do not have Frank Allison listed in my database. Joseph the younger was married to Polly Allison, a daughter of Robert Allison.  

It is not a surprise the Duncans owned slaves. They appear in census records as slave holders. But they also signed a petition around the same time as these sales asking the State Legislature to abolish or reform the slave laws. Here they appear more as slave traders. 



November Sessions 1810

A Bill of Sale from Joseph Duncan to Elias Bowman for a Negro man named Moses and a Negro woman named Sarah, dated the 22d day of January 1810  Acknowledged in open court by Joseph Duncan & recorded            50  





November Sessions 1810

A Bill of Sale from Frank Allison to Joseph Duncan for two negroes a man named Moses and a woman named Sarah, dated 23 day of November 1809  Acknowledged in open court by Frank Allison & recorded          


Sources
      Washington, Tennessee, Quarterly Court Minute Books Minute Feb 1809-Jan 1826: 90, Joseph Duncan Bill of Sale, 22 Jan 1810; Washington County Library Roll No. 130_Washington. 

      Washington, Tennessee, Quarterly Court Minute Books Minute Feb 1809-Jan 1826: 93, Frank Allison Bill of Sale, 23 Nov 1809; Washington County Library Roll No. 130_Washington. 

1 comment:

  1. Makes your eyebrows raise, doesn't it? Odd. Unsettling because of their petition signing action, as well. Makes my tummy and my heart feel weird about owning people as chattels.

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