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    Receipts for Slaves Purchased by Jefferson Davis' Cousin

    [Jefferson Davis]. Sale Receipts for Public Purchase of Slaves by Alfred Ward Grayson Davis. Five receipts on single sheets, ranging in size from 8" x 10" to 7.75" x 4.75"and ranging in dates from May 10, 1828 to August 3, 1844. Four of the five receipts are for slaves sold to Davis. The earliest dated receipt is for a slave sold to Zenos Bronson.

    Alfred Ward Grayson Davis (1806-1865), cousin of Jefferson Davis, entered Point Military Academy in 1824 and roomed with his cousin. While he did not graduate from West Point, he did have a brief military career, commanding a Texas Militia unit in the Mexican-American War. He studied law and entered the legal profession and also occupied several political offices. In 1827 Alfred Davis was appointed attorney general of Arkansas Territory. In 1831, he moved to Mississippi and became a cotton planter. He lived for a time in various places besides Mississippi, including Texas, Tennessee, and Virginia. In 1861, he was appointed Major, Quartermaster's Department in the Confederate Army. He was released from this post in 1863 due to poor health. He died of a stroke in 1865.

    Condition: Except for fraying around the edges of the May 10, 1833 receipt and minor staining on the 25 November 1833 receipt, the five receipts are in good condition.

    More Information:

    The first of four Davis receipts is from George P. Johnson and dated May 10, 1833 at Natchez, Mississippi: "Recd. of A. W. G. Davis Three Hundred Dollars in full for a negro woman aged about thirty five years named Matilda. Said woman I warrant sound both in body & mind, a slave for life, and free from all claims whatever."

    On 25 November 1833, Davis purchased a slave from A. W. Garber. "I A. W. Garber have this day bargained & sold to A.W. G. Davis a negro man slave named William aged about 38 of the dark color. Sound of body & mind for the sum of six hundred dollars in cash the receipt of which I have hereby acknowledged."

    Davis bought a slave boy in Manchester, Tennessee, on February 4, 1834. "Received of A. W. G. Davis four hundred & fifty Dollars for negro boy Jim aged about 12 years-slave for life and sound to the best of my knowledge & Belief."

    On August 3, 1844, Davis bought two slaves from a Charles Taylor, with two receipts recorded on one sheet of paper. "Received of A. W. G. Davis seven hundred dollars for Isaac a mulatto man a slave for life whom I warrant to be sound & do hereby undertake to warrant and forever defend the title to said slave unto said Davis." [And] "Received of A.W. G. Davis the sum of seven hundred dollars for a negro to slave for life whom I warrant to be sound in constitution & do hereby undertake to warrant and forever defend the title to said slave unto said Davis.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    5th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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