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    [George Washington - Mount Vernon] Partly Printed Certificate of Freedom for Norman Washington, a Black man born in Mount Vernon about 1784 and residing in New York City. Document Signed "Charles Dickinson" as Alderman of the City of New-York, one page, 7.75" x 6.5". New York City, April 24, 1811. In part: "That on this day Norman Washington Residing in the said city a Black man exhibited proof before me, reduced to writing, of the freedom of him the said Norman and being satisfied with such proof, I am of opinion, and do adjudge that the said Norman is free according to the laws of this state, and I Do Further Certify, that the said Norman is a person about five feet seven inches high, has dark eyes & dark Hair, that he is about the age of Twenty Seven years, that he was born at Mount Vernon in the State of Virginia and that he was born free in or before as nearly as the same can be ascertained." This document is the certificate of freedom, signed by a Judge, which Norman Washington, "a Black man ... born free ... as nearly as the same can be ascertained," was required to present to vote at an election in New York City. Nicks at edges of fold; reinforced at mid-horizontal fold. Light browning at edges and fold. On watermarked laid paper. Fine condition.
    According to MountVernon.org George Washington became a slave owner upon the death of his father died in 1743. He inherited ten slaves and 500 acres of land. Eleven years later he began farming Mount Vernon, at the age of 22, he had a work force of about 36 slaves, and by 1799, when George Washington died, there were more than 300 slaves on the estate. According to this document, Norman Washington was "about the age of Twenty Seven years" which means he was born at Mount Vernon about 1784, a year after Washington arrived to resume his personal affairs at the close of the Revolutionary War. Mount Vernon records show that there were free blacks who worked for the Washington family during the 18th century. Norman Washington may have been the son of a freed slave who gave him the last name of her employer.


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    Auction Dates
    February, 2010
    11th-12th Thursday-Friday
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