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March 12th, 1776 AD (search for this): chapter 11
tion. 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: 5 negroes£ 97; 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. George had died the day before this letter was written. 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
no person was ever born into legal slavery in Massachusetts. In the Constitution of Massachusetts, adopted in 1780, it is declared that all men are born free and equal. This was the doom of slavery; and the interpretation of this clause in the case of Commonwealth v. Jennison settled finally the freedom of the negro in this State. In proportion to its size Medford seems to have had a large number of slaves. Out of 114 towns returning the number of negro slaves Medford ranks 12th. In 1755 the number of slaves sixteen years old and upwards was 34, of whom 27 were males. There was no return from Charlestown; but the only other town in Middlesex county returning a larger number was Cambridge, which reported a total of 56. One of the most valuable bits of statistics, however, relating to Medford is contained in the Columbian Centinel of Aug. 17, 1822. It is entitled an Account of the Houses, Families, Number of White People, Negroes & Indians, in the Province of Mass. Bay, t
June 8th, 1768 AD (search for this): chapter 11
w light on the question of slave-holders in Medford. About 40 deaths are recorded between 1745 and 1780. It is rather curious that three of Colonel Royall's slaves died within a year, at the outbreak of the Revolution. Perhaps they were heartbroken at his departure. A few entries are given here by way of illustration: Peter, Son of Worcester & Flora, Negroes of Rev. Mr. Turell and Stephen Hall, Esq., Dyed Jan. 9, 1762. Plato, a Negro Servant of Hon. Isaac Royall Esq., drowned June 8, 1768. London, A Negro Man of the Widow Mary Bradshaw's Died Oct. 15, 1760. Caesar, Negro Servant of Ebenezar Brooks of Medford and Zipporah negro Servant of Nathl Brown of Charlestown, married June 23, 1757. As would be inferred, the number of slave owners was not large, and they were the leading men of the town: the Halls, Brookses and Willises, Dr. Simon Tufts, Rev. Mr. Turrell, and, above all, Col. Isaac Royall. This first Royall brought with him from Antigua a number of slaves a
notoriously unpopular, it was either unfinished or at least not published. A copy of it came into the possession of the Centinel and was published as an interesting source of local history. That portion relating to Medford is here given in full: Houses.Families.Males under 16.Females under 16.Males over 16.Females over 16.Negroes.Total 10414716115020722349790 The negroes thus constituted one-sixteenth of the population of the town in 1765. By way of comparison 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: 5 negroes£ 97; and elsewhere in his papers is the record: 2 negroes that died appraised @ £ 35. Still, it
r 16.Males over 16.Females over 16.Negroes.Total 10414716115020722349790 The negroes thus constituted one-sixteenth of the population of the town in 1765. By way of comparison 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: 5 negroes£ 97; 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; th
the servants. Although the slaves were a small minority of the population, there was danger in allowing them to run at large; and, like other property, if found straying abroad were, in a manner, impounded, as the following vote of the town in 1734 discloses: All Negroes Indians and Mulattoes—Servants That are found abroad without Leave and not on Their master's business shall be Taken up and whiped Ten Stripes on Their Naked back by any freeholder of This Town and be carryed To Their Respeco sit in the meeting house. The same meeting, it is to be noticed in passing, declined to make the School house more comfortable for the winter. In 1745 the question of straying negroes again came up. The vote of this year differs from that of 1734 in three respects: (1) a specific part of the day is named; (2) the punishment is not inflicted by the person finding the slave; (3) the money fine is omitted. The vote is as follows: Any person of said Town That shall Se any Negro Servant belong
August 18th, 1718 AD (search for this): chapter 11
l 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 scrutiny was made of all freemen who were newcomers into the town, it is not surprising that this was extended to include the servants. Although the slaves were a small minority of the population, there was danger in allowing them to run at la
August 17th, 1822 AD (search for this): chapter 11
e Medford seems to have had a large number of slaves. Out of 114 towns returning the number of negro slaves Medford ranks 12th. In 1755 the number of slaves sixteen years old and upwards was 34, of whom 27 were males. There was no return from Charlestown; but the only other town in Middlesex county returning a larger number was Cambridge, which reported a total of 56. One of the most valuable bits of statistics, however, relating to Medford is contained in the Columbian Centinel of Aug. 17, 1822. It is entitled an Account of the Houses, Families, Number of White People, Negroes & Indians, in the Province of Mass. Bay, taken in the year 1764 and 1765. Evidently a census had been undertaken and, as such inquiries were notoriously unpopular, it was either unfinished or at least not published. A copy of it came into the possession of the Centinel and was published as an interesting source of local history. That portion relating to Medford is here given in full: Houses.Fami
tistics, however, relating to Medford is contained in the Columbian Centinel of Aug. 17, 1822. It is entitled an Account of the Houses, Families, Number of White People, Negroes & Indians, in the Province of Mass. Bay, taken in the year 1764 and 1765. Evidently a census had been undertaken and, as such inquiries were notoriously unpopular, it was either unfinished or at least not published. A copy of it came into the possession of the Centinel and was published as an interesting source of portion relating to Medford is here given in full: Houses.Families.Males under 16.Females under 16.Males over 16.Females over 16.Negroes.Total 10414716115020722349790 The negroes thus constituted one-sixteenth of the population of the town in 1765. By way of comparison 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 lar
aves sixteen years old and upwards was 34, of whom 27 were males. There was no return from Charlestown; but the only other town in Middlesex county returning a larger number was Cambridge, which reported a total of 56. One of the most valuable bits of statistics, however, relating to Medford is contained in the Columbian Centinel of Aug. 17, 1822. It is entitled an Account of the Houses, Families, Number of White People, Negroes & Indians, in the Province of Mass. Bay, taken in the year 1764 and 1765. Evidently a census had been undertaken and, as such inquiries were notoriously unpopular, it was either unfinished or at least not published. A copy of it came into the possession of the Centinel and was published as an interesting source of local history. That portion relating to Medford is here given in full: Houses.Families.Males under 16.Females under 16.Males over 16.Females over 16.Negroes.Total 10414716115020722349790 The negroes thus constituted one-sixteenth of the
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