Letters From 
Forgotten Ancestors

A Slave Buyer on a Shopping Spree
Hawkins County Tennessee
~ 1836 ~

© 1997, George E. Webb, Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Red Circular Postmark:
Rogersville Te Mar 8 1836
Manuscript rate:
Mr. Jasper Meeks, New Orleans La
Care of Messrs N & J, Diche [?] & Co.
Speaks of the hire of Fletcher at $550 a year

Dear Sir,
I arrived home on the 23rd of last month found all well &c. Since that time I have been riding all most constantly and have bot sevaral negros all of the right kind. Men generally at 800 and 825 none higher as yet and women from 5 to 6. I find a good many here can be bot the people are of the opinion that they have a father in Mi: [Mississippi] and at present are willing to take the above prices. I have nearly laid out all our funds. I shall write this by mail to Mr. Hill to cash the bill of Punchard and send me a check. J. M. Preston has no funds at this time.
I shall endeavor to buy every one I possibly can here during the present month. There is no opposition here at present -- Hickman has not got home and is not expected till the 1st of April - I bot 2 negros the other day of Gammons Mitchel [?] at Blountville who had purchased them for Hickman but they wanted to marry to go north &c.
After my money gives out I shall buy and promise the money in a month or 2. Under expectations that you will send me 20 or 3,000$ in checks as soon as convenient as I think it probable I can buy that amt. here during this month and will then go to old Va. They promised to take out for you any negros I might wish to send you on the return. Which will be about the 1st of May. Write me how you think that will do to send by them &c. I suppose you will want mostly men. I have hired Fletcher 12 mos he finds his own horse for $550. This letter I send to N. O. thinking doubtful wether it will get there in time. I send another of the same to Nashville.
I am respectfully yrs. Write to me in Abdingdon [VA]

C. Haynes

C. Haynes autographed letter. Rogersville Tennessee. This letter was apparently written by an agent of the New Orleans merchant, who was traveling in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia buying slaves. Interesting comments and insights into not only the value and availability of slaves, but local attitudes toward slaves and from slaves themselves.

From the Collection of George E. Webb, Jr.
Provenance: Robert Seigel Auctions, 1994

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