Lot 2 of 382:
Virginia slave-trader's letter on eve of Civil War  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,320
$800 - $1,200

Virginia slave-trader's business letter on the eve of Civil War

Taylor, William

Brownsburg, Virginia


Aug. 21, 1860


Autograph Letter Signed. 2pp.  To Davis, Deupree Co., Richmond, Virginia.

Chilling in his business-as-usual tone, offering to be the slave auctioneers' scout and agent, Taylor had just received a letter from the Richmond firm, “revoking all letters of credit heretofore given me to draw on your firm for the purchase of negroes”. Robert H. Davis and William S. Deupree opened their “Negro Bazaar” auction rooms in Richmond’s Odd Fellows Hall in 1859 and briefly thrived until bankrupted early in the Civil War. Deupree then became an officer of the Confederate Torpedo Bureau and died in 1864 in a land-mine explosion. The short-lived firm is remembered by philatelic collectors because their advertising envelopes are among the few to survive with the motto, “[We] Sell Slaves”.

He objected that he had already “made arrangements to move to Lewisburg [200 miles each of Richmond] for the purpose of representing the interest of your house and employed three agents there to let me know where negroes were for sale and paid them in advance for work; but I intend to buy negroes now any where I can get them and ask no firm in Richmond no favours for money and as to my competitors I do not ask them no favours only an alliance to trouth which if it have been informed Right they have [messed?] and furthermore I intend to bring you the first lot I take down which will be as soon as the market gets better…please inform me of the prices and the tendency etc. and what you have done with the family I left at Mr. Johnstons….”


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Very good.

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