it may be added that in 1822 Medford
had 1,474 inhabitants; in 57 years it had failed to double its population.
As the ratio of whites to blacks in the colony at large was 45:1, it is seen that Medford
had an unusually large negro population.
So far as I have found records, a strong, able-bodied negro was worth, in 1700, about £ 18. In the inventory of Maj. Jonathan Wade
's property appears the following asset:
and elsewhere in his papers is the record: ‘2 negroes that died appraised @ £ 35.’
Still, it is impossible to generalize from such insufficient data.
After the beginning of hostilities in 1775 Colonel Royall
departed for Nova Scotia
, and Dr. Tufts
for a while managed his property.
Under date of March 12, 1776, Royal writes: ‘Please to sell the following negroes; Stephen and George; they each cost £ 60 sterling; and I would take £ 50, or even £ 15, apiece for them.1 Hagar
cost £ 35 sterling, but I will take £ 30 for her. I gave for Mira
£ 35, but will take £ 25. If Mr. Benjamin Hall
will give the £ 100 for her which he offered, he may have her, it being a good place.
As to Betsey and her daughter Nancy, the former may tarry, or take her freedom, as she may choose; and Nancy you may put out to some good family by the year.’
The range of prices is here much higher, averaging about £ 40.
References to slavery in the Town
-meeting Records are very few. The first is in the meeting of Aug. 18, 1718, when it was ‘Put to Vote whether every inhabitant of this Town Shall when they buy any Servant Male or Female Be obliged to acquaint and inform the Selectmen
of Sd. Town for their approbation;’ the motion was carried.
Inasmuch as a rather close