21 June 2005
[SLAVERY]. ROCHESTER, Daniel. Autograph document, Kent Co., Maryland, 12 January 1819. 1 page, oblong (162 x 207mm).
A SLAVE GIRL IS BEQUEATHED TO A FREE BLACK. A bequest, from Daniel Rochester to "Freeborn Dodson Rochester" of "my negro girl Hester," in testimony "for the love and affection I have for him. I do desire that my heirs may not attempt to dispossess him of the said negro Girl, because it is my will that he may quietly possess my donation in remembrance of my good will towards him." A startling artifact of the strange relationships forged within the institution of slavery: a gift to a free black man of a black slave, with the departing master's blessing.
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