Lot 7 of 517:
1852 Legal problem of slave woman   

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$300
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Legal problem of slave woman brought from Virginia to Washington DC by future Confederate Postal executive – Autograph Letter Signed

Offutt, Henry St. Geo.

Washington, DC


October 27, 1852


Autograph Letter Signed. Washington DC, Oct. 27, 1852 2pp. + stampless address leaf.  To his father-in-law, Washington G. Singleton, Wincheseter, Virginia

About the legal status of a slave woman being brought from Virginia into the District of Columbia, threatened by the “jealousy” of “free negroes” - who greatly outnumbered the enalved in the nation’s capital before the Civil War.

"....hasten to write you of the necessity of furnishing me with some form of writing by which in case of difficulty with regard to bringing her into the District I can appear as her proper master. This is important if she remains, for as difficulty has occurred with Hackney on account of some negroes he has in his employ from Winchester originating in information given to the authorities by some free negroes discharged from his service causing him to be fined etc, the same jealousy will in all probability occur with Evelina. Please attend to the above and save expense and trouble, for I can then register her and pay her tax and that will be an end of it… in regard to the Presidential contest…the struggle will soon be upon us but I have a strong and abiding faith in the success of the terrible and unterrified democracy..."

During the Presidency of Democrat Franklin Pierce, elected that year, Virginia slave-owner Henry St. George Offutt was the Treasury Department official who audited the Post Office Department.  When the Civil War began and the new Confederate Government began to organize it own Postal system, Offutt became the top deputy of Confederate Postmaster General John Reagan.


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