The AfriGeneas SlaveData Collection




"Offered here is an opportunity to own the "RAREST SLAVE DOCUMENT
IN AMERICA"---FREE MAN OF COLOR DESIRES TO BECOME A SLAVE. This
is a petition by a free man of color to relinquish his freedom
and enter into slavery. Printed document, folded folio, District
of Marlborough, Dec.14,1859. The General Assembly of the South
Carolina Legislature formally accepts the petition of one William
Bass, "a free person of color....desirous of entering into the
condition of slavery. That his condition as a free person of
color, a negro, is more degrading, and involves more suffering in
this State, than that of a slave who is under the care,
protection and ownership of a kind and good master. That...he is
preyed upon by every sharper with whom he comes in contact....he
is very poor, though an able bodied man, and is charged with and
punished for every offence, guilty or not, committed in his
neighborhood; that he is without house or home, and lives a
thousand times harder, and in more destitution, than the slaves
of many of the planters of this district; for these reasons,and
many
others...your humble petitioner prays...to become a slave of, and
be owned by Mr. Phillip Pledger, who has consented to receive him
if he can do so lawfully,
and who your petitioner is confident will make him a humane
master and protector, and who owns his stepfather and some other
relations..." Attested by
S.C. official and consented to by P.W.Pledger. Integral leaf
addressed in ink to
Bass' attorney, "B.M.Brodie, Mailbeth & Bush Esq, Charleston, So;
Ca;" Postmarked at Columbia Dec.17, 1859, with stamp (early
Franklin blue type). Normal folds professionally reinforced.
Attractively presented in leather folio cover. Documented in The
Police Control of the Slave in South Carolina by H.M. Henry,
M.A., Emory VA. 1914, pages 196--197, of the Appendix. Included
is an article from The New York Tribune dated Nov.11, 1847,
involving P.W.Pledger in a legal suit against a 3rd party for
illegally selling one of his slaves. This is an excellent one of
a kind document NEVER SPOKEN OF IN SLAVERY ARTICLES !!! except
mentioned book above. An interesting slave document showing the
good side of bondage,and one time opp."


contributed by: JoChurchD@aol.com
reviewed by: vkn on 7/25/99