Bill of Sale for two slave children (a boy named Limus and a girl named Sue) to Lewis O'Bryan, Jr., of Colleton District, June 1835
The Bill of Sale above documents the purchase of two African American slave children by Lewis O'Bryan, a rice planter in Colleton County, South Carolina, in June 1835. During the antebellum period in the southern United States, children were born into bondage in great numbers and were considered a valuable commodity by slaveowners. Family separations were routine, as members of slave families could be bought and sold from one area of the country to another at any time, including children. The significance of African American slave children to the southern economic system is illustrated by their numbers; between 1820 and 1860 more than two-fifths of those enslaved were younger than fifteen, and one-third were less than ten years old (Marie Jenkins Schwartz. (2000) Born in Bondage, p5).
Bill of Sale, 13 June 1835. Murphy and O'Bryan Family Papers, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.
Standard 3-4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the events that led to the Civil War, the course of the War and Reconstruction, and South Carolina's role in these events.
Indicator 3-4.1 Compare the conditions of daily life for various classes of people in South Carolina, including the elite, the middle class, the lower class, the independent farmers, and the free and the enslaved African Americans.
Standard 3 4.2 Summarize the institution of slavery prior to the Civil War, including reference to conditions in South Carolina, the invention of the cotton gin, subsequent expansion of slavery and the economic dependency on slavery.
Bill of Sale
Printed and Sold by W. Riley, 110 Church-st.}
State of South Carolina
Know all Men by these Presents, That
J. William S. Price of the State aforesaid
for and in consideration of the sum of Five hundred and
to me in hand paid, at and before the sealing and delivery of these
presents, by Lewis O’Bryan Junior of Colleton District
and State aforesaid.
(the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge) have bargained and sold,
and by these presents do bargain, sell and deliver to the said Lewis
O’Bryan Two Negro Slaves. (namely, a Boy
named Limus aged about twelve years &
a girl named Sue aged Ten years
To have and to hold the said
Lewis O’Bryan the said two
Negro slaves together with the future issue &
increase of the female
Unto the said Lewis O’Bryan Jr. his to______________________________
Executors, Administrators and Assigns: to him and his only proper use and
behoof forever. And I the said William J Price---- my
Executors and Administrators, the said bargained premises, unto the said Lewis
O’Bryan Jr his
Executors, Administrators, and Assigns, from and against all persons, shall and will
Warrant and forever Defend by these presents.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal Dated
at Walterborough on the thirteenth day of June
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirtyfour—
and in the fortyninth year of the Independence of the United States
SEALED AND DELIVERED
IN THE PRESENCE OF
Daniel Moorer [?]