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    A midwife receives payment for attending to George Washington's slaves

    (George Washington) A wonderful manuscript Document Signed with the mark of midwife Dorcas Parker, "P" one page, 8" x 6.25", no place given, December 23, 1790. Parker, the wife of Washington's neighbor Lawson Parker, helped deliver children for slaves on Mount Vernon -- as well as Washington's surrounding plantations. The document reads in most part: "Recd. 23d Decr 1790 of George Washington eight pounds for the following Women the property of the President of the United States from the 22d Decr. 1789 to this date at which time a final settlement was made as p[e]r rec[eip]t. and statement on the Cornelia Agnus Alice at River plantation- Dollars [word missing] Lucy at the Torry Grace, Charity, Tillie & D. Run- Molly, Peg & Nancy at Muddy hole - Kitty[?] at the Mansion House - in all 16. at 10 S[hillings] each..." At the time of his death in 1799, there were 316 slaves living at Washington's Mount Vernon estate. Dorcas Parker appears several times in Washington's ledgers detailing her services as a midwife. (Washington's vast land holdings required a small army of people to help sustain them and were not limited to slaves.) Washington's papers reveal that he hired several different people to serve as midwives, both white and free black. Often they were the wives of men in his employment. Significant losses from exposure to fire resulting in the loss of a few words of text, entire document backed with archival tissue for stability, else still legible, paper bright and in overall Good condition. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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