Skip to main content
Go to accessibility options


    [Slave Labor in the United States Army]. Joseph Wilkinson Autograph Letter Signed. One blue page, 7.75" x 10", Grande Prairie, January 25, 1853, to Lieutenant Thomas Ruger of the U. S. Corps of Engineers at Fort St. Philip, regarding the punishment and dismissal of a slave. The use of slave labor was not confined to the southern plantation in the early to mid nineteenth century. The U. S. Army was known to "borrow" slaves for the construction and repair of fortifications and other manual labor. Light staining of the upper right corner. Damage with minor paper loss at upper left.

    More Information:

    He writes, in full:

    "I have sent back the negro Sam who left the Fort today, but before doing so I have administered such punishment as he deserved. The negro is not at all vicious in his disposition, altho' occasionally he is impudent in his demeanor. I wish that you would inquire into the matter (if it falls within your province to do so) and take such action as your judgment dictates. The boy says that he will hereafter conduct himself properly, and I doubt not but that the correction he has received from me will produce more propriety of behavior."

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    11th-12th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 332

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Apr 12, 2012 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2022 May 1 Spring Luxury Accessories Signature® Auction .

    Learn about consigning with us

    This was my first time dealing with an auction house, and I am 100% completely impressed with Heritage. There is not an aspect of this process that I have a critique for.
    Darryl S.,
    Stuart, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search