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Appraisal Document for Five Slaves by Noted Slave Trader George Davis, Refered to in <i>Uncle Tom's Cabin</i>, 1862, From the Law Firm of James & Alexander Donnan Papers
Lot # - Appraisal Document for Five Slaves by Noted Slave Trader George Davis, Refered to in Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1862, From the Law Firm of James & Alexander Donnan Papers
Lot of 2. A 1 pp. ALS from Field A. Clay to James Donnan, dated November 1, 1862 and a 1 pp. appraisal written by slave dealer, George Davis. Dated November 1862. 

The first document reads: 

Mr. Alexander Donnan,
Dear Sir,

You will be pleased to try and ascertain and find out what such Negroes was worth and the value of such
as I describe below of both sexes both male and female. The value of them in the first of the spring in the year Eighteen Hundred and Forty Two, that being the time my wife’s father give them to her and be certain to bring a certificate from some trader to prove the same. Sworned to before a Justice of the Piece. When you come up on the day of the division. I don’t know now what time it is, but brother James Clay say he heard that it is to be sometime in this month. Now I will give you the name of the Negroes and their ages and sexes:

Edly twenty-one years old
Archer her child one year old
Dick her child one month old
Bob ten or twelve years old. Badly ruptured.
Mariah four years old

Mr. Donnan Dear Sir, 
You will be pleased to certain to come upon the day of the division and write me word what time to meet you at this depot and by so doing you will much oblige your friend,

November the 1st 1862

Field A. Clay

The appraisal reads: 

I think that in the months of March and April 1842 Negroes as described below were worth as follows:

Edly – 21 years old – worth $500

Archer her child – one year old – worth $75

Alexander her child – one year old – worth $75

Bob – ten or twelve years old – badly ruptured – worth $250

Mariah – four years old – worth $150

Able bodied men were worth in New Orleans in the month of March & April 1842 about six hundred dollars only.

Given under my hand at Petersburg Virginia this 20th day of November 1862
Geo. Davis


GEORGE DAVIS and his brothers Ansleym, Benjamin, Solomon, & Henry(?) were reputed to be the largest Jewish slave dealers. They travelled throughout the South selling gangs of Black men, women and children, including infants, starting in 1838. Based in Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, the four brothers advertized their supply throughout the South. They were even mentioned in HARRIET BEECHER STOWE'S 'A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin,' published in 1853. She wrote, "The Davises, in Petersburg, are the great slave-dealers. They are jews, who came to that place many years ago as poor peddlars, and I am informed, are members of a family which has its representatives in Philadelphia, New York, &c... It might not be unprofitable to inquire how much Northern capital, and what firms in some of the Northern cities, are connected with this detestable business." 

George Davis, Sr., called himself "the Original George Davis." He was an auctioneer and property speculator. 



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