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    An early reference to slavery in Maryland

    [Penn vs. Baltimore Dispute] and [Slavery]. Letter from Maryland Governor John Seymour. Six page folio, docketed on the verso, 7" x 11.75", duplicate, Maryland, March 10, 1709. Especially noteworthy manuscript from John Seymour, governor of the Maryland Colony from 1704 to 1709, to one of the Lords of Trade, detailing the tumult in the colony in need of addressing at the beginning of the eighteenth century, namely the conflicting attitudes of Catholics and Protestants, and the famous border dispute between William Penn and Lord Baltimore.

    Of the Catholics and Protestants, the governor writes in part: "The first by his Lordships favour in lands not only - makes a considerable Interest with many of ye Inhabitants& Delegates, but also gains many Proslites, their Priest being encouraged and supported on all Occasions so that One of them had the Confidense to tamper with One of my Domestiques; and when they checked for these Abuses, the whole party is in a flame, and ready to raise a considerable Contribution for their Defense & Protection & with the extreamest Spite and Malice exclaimed against the severity, as they terme it, of her Majesty's Instructions..."

    On the Penn-Calvert Boundary Dispute: "My Lord I should be glad to have her Majesty's Command about running the Northern Lyne of this Province, or to heare my Lord Baltimore and Wm. Penn had adjusted that Difference between themselves...the Borders in both Provinces being hardly restrayned from committing violence on each other...in the mean tyme take the best Care I can to prevent it."

    Finally the letter makes a rare early mention of slavery; as to the Lords of Trade he sent "a general account of all Negro Slaves imported into this Province Since the year 1698," then stating that the Royall Affrican Company had not imported any. Signed, "Jo: Seymour." The Royal African Company loses its monopoly on the slave trade in 1698. With a growing number of merchants now engaging in the slave trade, there is a marked transition in the economic development and population of Maryland. In 1700 the population of Maryland was around 25,000. By 1750, the population had grown to about 130,000 and was wholly dependent on slavery to fuel its plantation economy.

    Condition: Few spots of scattered foxing, even toning, smoothed folds.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
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