Monday, January 7, 2013

Buying to Give Freedom

It is true that some African Americans owned other African Americans as slaves, but in the vast majority of these rather rare cases it normally involved family relatives. In other words, one family member that happened to be free would save and then purchase another family member, most often with the clear intent of setting the purchased member free though an agreement of manumission.

One such manumission is in the special collections of the Kentucky Historical Society and was dated from October 1860.

The document states:
"Know all men by these presents that I Harry Richardson (free man of color) do by this instrument of writing manumit and forever set free from servitude to me and my heirs or assigns my son & servant, Isaac Richardson of mulatto complecsion, aged about thirty nine years 6 ft 1 1/2 inches in height with boots on, scar on his under lip from fighting in a fight. Purchased by me from Wesley Lair of Harrison County Ky

Witness my hand this 15th day of Oct. 1860
attn: R. J. Brown

Harry x Richardson

Bourbon County Court Oct. called term
Oct. 15 1860
The forgoing deed of Emancipation was produced and acknowledged in open court by Harry Richardson a party thereto to be his act & deed I ordered to record
Witness RJ Brown clerk of said Court the date above
RJ Brown Clerk"

Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society

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