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    Salmon P. Chase Docketed Manuscript Circular Soliciting Funds to Set Free Two Slaves Unjustly Returned to Slavery. A manuscript letter in an unknown hand sent on behalf of Gamaliel Bailey. Three pages, 7.75" x 9.75"; Washington D.C.; October 25, 1847. Bailey's letter requests a donation of five or ten dollars to be used to regain the freedom of a mother and daughter that had been unjustly returned to slavery. Beneath, is a copy of a letter from John Wilson recounting the details of the ill-fated mother and daughter named Elizabeth and Caroline Herbert. Elizabeth and Caroline belonged to a master that had lost all his means and was in poor health after being abandoned by his family. The mother and daughter took care of their master, and upon his death, were granted their freedom. Their manumission papers were not filed with the courts as required by law, and their master's son reclaimed ownership. Although the courts initially ruled in favor of Elizabeth and Caroline on the basis that the intent of their master was made clear at his death, the ruling was overturned and the son, as executor, was given ownership. Wilson's letter relays the story in all its tragedy and convolution; clearly exemplifying the randomness and injustice of the "peculiar institution" of slavery. Chase's docket on the verso indicates that he responded to the solicitation, enclosing five dollars for the cause.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
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