Description

    George Wythe Rare Autograph Letter Signed "G. Wythe," one page, 9.5" x 15". [Williamsburg, Virginia], June 11, 1771. Addressed by Wythe on verso "To/The hon. Robert Carter, esq;" Docketed in unknown contemporary hand: "Mr G. Wythe's letter to R. Carter/Dated 1771 but it is appre-/hended this letter was written in/1772." In full, "The executor of mr. Henry Randolph came to town this day, and we agreed to refer the affair of his slave, Moses Flood, to the arbitrament of mr Treasurer and mr. Blair who value the man to 100L and awarded us to pay that sum with 37..10..0, for interest, which I have paid accordingly. Perhaps you may hear of the fellow in Maryland, wither, it seems, he fled, and reclaim him for the benefit of the estate. John and Fidas tell me Anthony Hay, who I believe left not estate enough to pay his debts, had one of the horses; and John says he thinks a mr. Tabb of Amelia had the other, which I suspect he is mistaken in. do you recollect any thing about them? With the best wishes for the family at Nomini." George Wythe represented Williamsburg in the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1755 until it was dissolved by the royal governor in 1774. Wythe represented Virginia in the Continental Congress in 1775 and 1776 and signed the Declaration of Independence. A slaveholder, George Wythe became an abolitionist. He freed his slaves and supported them until they could earn a living by themselves. In his will, Wythe left property to his former slaves. Knowing this, his great-nephew, George Wythe Sweeney set out to poison the slaves and accidentally poisoned his 80-year-old great-uncle. Before he died, George Wythe disinherited his murdering nephew. Wythe ALsS are rare and this one is in fine condition with folds and frayed edges, and minor mounting remnants at edges on verso. It is particularly desirable because of its content. Wythe's emerging abolitionist views are apparent in this letter when, referring to a slave, he writes, "Perhaps you may hear of the fellow in Maryland, wither, it seems, he fled." Slaves were property, not "fellows."

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
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