Description[Moses Austin] and [Slavery]. Elias Bates Slave Emancipation Document Signed. One page, 7.75" x 12.5", [Jefferson County, Missouri], June 14, 1827. In this document, Elias Bates, the nephew of Moses Austin, liberates "a certain negro woman Slave by the name of Lucy," who was formerly owned by Austin. This may be the only extant document associating Austin with the ownership of one of his slaves. Age toned paper with smoothed folds. Minor foxing. Docketing on the reverse. The document reads in part as written:
"I Elias Bates of the County of Jefferson and State of Missouri have this day liberated, emancipated and set free forever a certain negro woman Slave by the name of Lucy of a yellow complection aged about forty five yrs, and was formerly the property of Moses Austin Deceased. For the consideration of three hundred dollars which I acknowledge to have received. . . . [Signed] Elias Bates."
Moses Austin (1761-1821) lived in Missouri, then part of Upper Spanish Louisiana, until 1820, when he left Missouri for better financial possibilities in Texas. After receiving a grant to bring 300 colonists to Texas, he returned to Missouri to make preparations for the new Texas colony. Just two months after arriving back, however, he died, but not before requesting his son Stephen to carry out his plan to begin a colony in Texas. Lucy, who was thirty-nine at Austin's death, might have passed to Bates through Austin's will. This document is countersigned by a witness. Below the document is an affidavit regarding the emancipation signed by Chauncy Smith, the court clerk.
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