Bill of Sale by mcsiegle

Bill of Sale

Bill of Sale
Wm Rhodes to John Cross
on the 20th Day of October 1799
for the sum of One Hundred and twenty-five dollars
“one negro girl by the name of Lucy about ten years old"
Page 217 in Deed Book S of Bertie County, North Carolina

TEN years old!

Lucy, little one, my heart aches for you — and for your mother. Is it too much to hope for that your mother might already be with John Cross and you will be with her? Probably so, too much to hope for... and it is too late for prayers to help you at all.

On the same page a grant by the state of North Carolina of 480 acres to John Watson.

No photography employed for this image.

I cannot tag this for my get pushed challenge of "contrasts", because, sadly, both these transactions were considered equally appropriate to record in the county deed book. Land as property, people as property.

Found as I was searching for persons with the surname of Cross in Northampton County NC and surrounding, in the hopes of solving one piece of the puzzle of Frank's ancestry.
I think we all know it happened but when we come across tangible evidence such as this it becomes so much more real and so much more horrifying.
August 15th, 2020  
We know it happened and important to remember.
August 15th, 2020  
Whether we like it or not, it is a part of our history. Let's not deny it but learn from it.
August 15th, 2020  
@randystreat @grammyn @shutterbug49
I strongly echo Kathy's sentiments. We cannot change the past, but only learn from it.
I wonder what our civilization will be horrified with 200 years from now. What are we doing that is considered normal practice that will be shameful in the future?
August 15th, 2020  
@randystreat Agree... Every country has good and bad history. Build on the on the good history and learn from the bad history and end it.
August 15th, 2020  
@grammyn @shutterbug49 @randystreat @farmreporter @seattlite I agree with what you all have said. History cannot be changed, and the good, the bad, and the in-between should all be acknowledged and learned from. And yes, there are plenty of things today that I hope our descendants will have learned from and changed for the better.

I debated whether to put this up, hoping it would not be considered inappropriate or offend anyone. If I have, I sincerely apologize. I just couldn't get Lucy's name out of my mind and her age -- about ten years old; I didn't want Lucy to be just another bit of possibly useful data in my genealogical research.

By no means did I intend to imply that anyone here, including myself, was not already aware of this part of our country's history. Nor was I surprised by this record's existence -- only surprised to find it in the county deed book among the land records, never having researched eighteenth and early nineteenth century records in a slave state before. In the index it said B of S and when I realized it meant Bill of Sale, I did naively wonder why a land sale would be marked that instead of Deed as the others on that index page were. I was familiar with Warranty Deed, Quit Claim, Mortgage, Sheriff's Deed, etc

Before finding this Bertie County record I had looked at 1823 probate records of another person with the last name of Cross, found in the 1820 federal census in Northampton County, as also was the man we speculate is Frank's ancestor. The probate records included pages and pages of inventory and division of property between the man's heirs -- including slaves. Listed by name, as was Lucy, and apportioned out to this son or that one. Yes, it shocked me, as does the human trafficking and slavery that still exist in this world today. Sadly, it didn't surprise me.
August 15th, 2020  
Thank you for posting this. To find tangible evidence of such an abhorrent act is extremely unsettling but one we can't ever deny nor forget.
August 16th, 2020  
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