E. L. McGlashan collection of documents concerning slavery in the United States
Scope and Contents
The E. L. McGlashan Collection of Papers Concerning Slavery in the United States consists of bills of sale, receipts, estate records, and other material documenting slave ownership and the slave trade in the United States. The papers span the dates 1770-1862, and predominantly document transactions in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky, and Alabama. There are also records which document legal actions involving slaves in Maine, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana.
Series I. Bills of Sale is arranged chronologically and consists of 13 documents. The folder titles consist of transcribed information, and include the names of sellers, buyers, and slaves, as well as the dates of sales. The jurisdiction of sales has been transcribed when recorded. These documents also typically include the amount for which the slaves were sold; a witness statement; and the date of the sale's recording at the country clerk's office or other official registry. Some sales include description of the skills, age, physical condition and family relationships of the slaves. In many cases, annotations on the verso record subsequent transactions. Some records also provide information about the seller. The 1840 bill of sale for slaves sold by Antoine Lacour of Iberville Parish, Louisiana (folder 11) notes that the Lacour is a "free man of color."
Series II.Receipts is arranged chronologically and consists of 11 documents. The receipts usually include information about the sale, including the amount of money paid, the name of the slave, and the date of the sale. Some receipts also include a description of the physical condition and family relationships of the slaves being sold. Several of the receipts in this collection are recorded on preprinted forms completed in manuscript (folders 13, 14, 17, 18).
Series III. Estate Records is arranged chronologically and consists of property appraisals and inventories of the estates of deceased individuals in various Alabama counties between 1843 and 1860. Inventories typically list the names of slaves and their valuation, as well as descriptions and valuation amounts for other personal property owned by the deceased. The records are annotated with witness statements, attestations, and often bear notes regarding the administration of the estate and the final division of property.
Series IV. Other Documents is arranged chronologically and consists of 17 manuscript and printed items related to slavery in the United States. The series includes deeds gifting slaves to relatives (folders 32, 36, 39, 41, 44), contracts for hiring out slave labor (folders 33, 35), and manumission statements, including one document that records the registering of three mulatto boys and their slave mother shortly after Pennsylvania's 1780 Gradual Abolition of Slavery Act (folder 31).
Documents in this collection were already numbered using a three character alphanumeric code when the materials were acquired by the Beinecke Library in 2005. The Gilder Lehrman Center used these codes in citations for items from this collection that were digitized for the Center's workshop "Sound as a Dollar: The Paperwork of Chattel Slavery." The codes have been retained in this finding aid and are listed in parentheses following the folder description.
- 1770 - 1863
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The E. L. McGlashan Collection of Documents Concerning Slavery in the United States is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Scott McGlashan to the Gilder Lehrman Center of Yale University. Gift of the Gilder Lehrman Center of Yale University, 2005.
0.42 Linear Feet (1 box)
Language of Materials
This collection of 49 documents consists of manuscript bills of sale, receipts, estate appraisals, deeds of gift, manumission statements, promissory notes, and other papers documenting slave ownership and the slave trade in the United States between 1770 and 1863. The bulk of the material documents slavery in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky and Alabama. There are also legal documents recording slavery transactions in Maine, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana.
E. L. MCGLASHAN (1911-1978)
Everitt Lynn McGlashan was born in Perth, New York in 1911. A collector of Americana, his focus was on antiquarian books, archives, and ephemera documenting the American South and West. Most of the documents in McGlashan's collection of slavery material were purchased from secondhand bookstores in the nineteen sixties during family vacations in Richmond, Atlanta, New Orleans and other southern cities. McGlashan died in North Tarrytown, New York in 1978.
- African Americans -- History -- To 1863
- Estate inventories
- McGlashan, E. L. (Everitt Lynn), 1911-1978
- Receipts (financial records)
- Slave trade -- United States
- Slaveholders -- United States
- Slaveholders -- United States
- Slavery -- United States
- Slaves -- Emancipation -- United States
- Slaves -- United States
- Guide to the E.L. McGlashan Collection of Documents Concerning Slavery in the United States
- Under Revision
- by Kathleen T. Burns
- October 2006, updated February 2022
- Description rules
- Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
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