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John H. Scheide Collection on Slavery in North America

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Held at: Princeton University Library: Rare Book Collection [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Rare Book Collection. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Scheide, John Hinsdale, 1875-1942

John Hinsdale Scheide (Princeton Class of 1896) was an American businessman and collector.

Consists of a group of around forty documents, primarily from the 18th and 19th centuries, that were assembled by collector John H. Scheide on the topic of slavery. Most materials were created by European colonists in regions of North America that were or later became part of the United States, but there is also one document pertaining to a plantation in Antigua. States represented include New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Louisiana, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Documents consist of financial and legal documents pertaining to enslaved and formerly enslaved people, and to a lesser extent, to free people of color. Bills of sale, estate appraisals and inventories, tax receipts, advertisements, legal complaints, an insurance policy, a ship manifest, and other materials document the enslavement of African American and Afro-descendent people. There are also several manumissions or deeds of emancipation, as well as legal documents certifying the free status of two Black men living in New York City in the early 19th century. Of note is a document pertaining to Lilpha, a free Black woman living in Connecticut who purchased her own daughter from her former enslaver as a means of extracting her family from slavery. Also present are manuscript copies of the Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's "An Act for the gradual Abolition of Slavery" (1780) and a 1788 amendment.

Materials were acquired by collector John H. Scheide from various sources. Many original documents are accompanied by description cards created by manuscript dealers. This collection was formerly referred to within the Scheide Library as "Slavery Documents" (Scheide 68.7).

This collection forms part of the Scheide Library, which was bequeathed by William H. Scheide to Princeton University in 2015.

A previous catalog record and inventory were updated and converted into a finding aid by Kelly Bolding in September 2020. At this time, descriptions were enhanced to improve the description of enslaved people. Item numbers correspond to a scheme specific to the Scheide Library; materials with no item numbers listed in this finding aid are those that did not have existing item numbers at the time of 2020 descriptive work.

Finding aid updated by Faith Charlton in 2023 to correct information regarding the collection creator.

No material was removed from the collection during 2020 processing.

Publisher
Rare Book Collection
Finding Aid Author
Kelly Bolding
Finding Aid Date
2020
Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use Restrictions

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Collection Inventory

James Arden Certificate for the Abandonment of Harry and Peter, Children of Enslaved Mothers, City of New York, 1802 July 30. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

The document notes that Harry's mother was Nan, and Peter's mother was Jane. Harry was born on January 17, 1802, and Peter was born on July 30, 1802.

Physical Description

1 item

A.G. Blanchard Receipt for "labor in the Chain Gang" Performed by Delia, Enslaved Woman, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1845 December 1. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

Richard Fisher Deposition Attesting that he was "Born free" and Paid Taxes in the Fifth Ward, City of New York, 1821 June 13. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

The document describes Fisher as 35 years old, born in Africa, and having lived in New York City for 30 years.

Physical Description

1 item

State of Alabama Order of Extradition from the State of Georgia for Edward Vann, 1851 January 21. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

The document notes that Vann was charged with "stealing and carrying away a slave named Jim." Signed by Alabama Governor H.W. Collier and Secretary of State W. Garrett.

Physical Description

1 item

Hugh Bone and Joseph C. Dunn Promisory Note for the Hire of an Enslaved Person, Petersburg, Virginia, 1865 January 2. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

William Lux Receipt for Payment to James Cox in Part for a "Servant bought of Stewart Lux", 1766 June 19. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

Bill of Sale of Grace, Enslaved Woman, from Gilbert Livingston to Valentine Baker, 1795 November 7. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

Grace was about eighteen years old at the time the document was written.

Physical Description

1 item

Receipt for Hopkins Nowlin Payment to Matthews and Cochran for the Sale of Hannah, Enslaved Woman, Richmond, Virginia, 1841 August 11. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

D. A. Sayre Promise to Sell Charles, Enslaved Man, to Richard F. Connor, 1844 March 8. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

Bill of Sale for Jenny, Enslaved Child, from Joseph Strong to Her Mother Lilpha, Norwich, Connecticut, 1794 April 2. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

Jenny, who is described in the document as a "Negro or Mulatto Child" was born on December 19, 1792, to Lilpha, who is described as a "free Negro woman of said Norwich." The arrangement described involves Strong "selling" Jenny to her mother in exchange for two month's of Lilpha's labor but under the condition that Jenny remain in "the service" of Strong "as his own Property" until she reaches the age of 25.

Physical Description

1 item

T. B. Johnson Agreement to Hire Samuel, Enslaved Man, from David A. Sayre and W. L. Breckenridge, Lexington, Kentucky, 1809 August 1. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

Nat Weadon and Clayton Smith Agreement for the Hire of Lyd, Enslaved Woman, from John Turner, Virginia, 1785 January 15. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

Abraham Kittyill Complaint Against Peter Gaile for Failure to Pay for Hire of Elias, "Servant Man," City of New York, 1688. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

Justice of the Peace Henry Duncan Order for Thomas Carrico to Pay Debts to Mathias Rose, Jefferson County, Kentucky, 1798 January 29. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

A note on the document indicates that a "Negro boy" enslaved by Carrico was taken possession of by the process server.

Physical Description

1 item

Deed of Sale of Julius, Abraham, and James, Enslaved Men, from James M. Macom to John H. Lee, 1834 September 24. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

James and Hans Wilson Bond for Suse Naw, Enslaved Child, Jefferson County, Ohio, 1815 April 19. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

The document notes that James Wilson brought Suse Naw, who was nine years old at the time the document was written, from Virginia to Steubenville, Ohio.

Physical Description

1 item

Philip Church Statement Certifying that Lucy was Born to Liana, Enslaved Woman in the City of New York, 1815 September 12. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

The document notes that Lucy was ten years and seven months old at the time of writing.

Physical Description

1 item

Manifest of Enslaved People on Board the Ship Mard of Orleans Bound from Port of New Orleans to Port of New York, 1855 May 9. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

Only one person is listed, Sam, who is described as a 60-year-old Black man. E. P. Dennis is noted as the ship's captain.

Physical Description

1 item

Louisiana Insurance Company Policy for William Kenner and Co. on One Hundred Enslaved People to be Shipped on the Brig Fame from Savannah, Georgia, to New Orleans, Louisiana, 1822 February 18. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

Joseph Fields Certificate of Status, City of New York, 1814 April 28. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

Certificate from the City and County of New York attesting that Joseph Fields, a twenty-seven-year-old man described as "mulatto," was "born free" in Belleville, New Jersey, and resides in the Fifth Ward of New York City. Also signed by T. R. Smith, Alderman.

Physical Description

1 item

Lawrence Posey Newspaper Clipping Advertisement for the Apprehension of Madison, Charles County, Maryland, 1856 May. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

Posey's advertisement notes that Madison, a man who was enslaved by Posey and liberated himself, was about twenty-one or twenty-two years old and had a mother living in Prince George County, Maryland, and a sister living in Washington, D.C.

Physical Description

1 item

Affidavit Concerning the Identification of Dick Price, Washington, D.C., 1862 March 24. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

Affidavit by Charles Walter, Justice of the Peace, that Richard Anderston made an oath that Dick Price, a "Negro man" who was then in confinement in the Washington, D.C., jail was a "runaway slave" enslaved by Eliza Anderson of Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Physical Description

1 item

Receipt for Payment from William Corke to William W. Lovett for the Return of John Gray, 1775 October 21. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

John Gray is described as a "servant man" who was enslaved by Corke. Gray is also listed as a witness.

Physical Description

1 item

Deed of Emancipation for Lewis from the Coonce Family, St. Louis County, Missouri, 1831 June 28. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

Lewis is described as a "Mulatto" man about twenty-eight years old. The document is signed by several members of the Coonce family, including Felix, Phillip, Elizabeth (Williams), Polly (Votaw) and references the will of Elizabeth Coonce, their deceased mother.

Physical Description

1 item

Certificate of Manumission of Nancy Armstrong by Joseph Graff, Wyandot County, Ohio, 1853 December 31. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

Nancy Armstrong (formerly Nancy Magruder) is described as a "colored woman aged about fifty-three, formerly owned and held by [Graff] as a slave" in both Frederick County, Maryland, and Ohio.

Physical Description

1 item

Charles Hill Petition to the Confederate States of America for Payment for Labor of Enslaved People Impressed to Work on Fortifications at Fort Pemberton, Mississippi, 1864 July 19. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

Appraisal of the Estate of Penelope Vassal, Antigua, 1791 August 19. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

Refers to a sugarcane plantation called Royal Vassals Plantation and includes documentation of enslaved people. Appraisal by Bertie Entwisle, Henry B. Lightfoot, Elias Ferris, and Daniel Hill, with additional notes by Langford Lovell.

Physical Description

1 item

Receipts for Taxes Paid by James Stubbs and Thomas and James Bayton, 1825-1827. 2 items.
Scope and Contents

Includes taxes on enslaved people.

Physical Description

2 items

Receipts for Taxes Paid by Robert Yates, 1831. 2 items.
Scope and Contents

Includes taxes on enslaved people.

Physical Description

2 items

Receipts for Taxes Paid by Lewis C. Amos, 1846. 2 items.
Scope and Contents

Includes taxes on enslaved people.

Physical Description

2 items

Receipts for Taxes Paid by Jefferson Stubbs, 1851. 2 items.
Scope and Contents

Includes taxes on enslaved people.

Physical Description

2 items

Receipts for Taxes Paid by Thomas Smyth, 1855. 2 items.
Scope and Contents

Includes taxes on enslaved people.

Physical Description

2 items

J. Hampton Agreement Related to Jack, Enslaved Child, 1811 January 16. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

Agreement with William Copeland regarding the use of an enslaved child to pay a debt.

Physical Description

1 item

Bill of Sale of Patsy and Anderson, Enslaved People, from Johnson Bell to Wells Deem, Lynchburg, Virginia, 1862 July 16. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

Patsy and Anderson's ages are listed as 45 and 11 respectively in the document.

Physical Description

1 item

Bill of Sale of Mildred, Enslaved Woman, from H. D. Burruss and Hill Dickerson to E. H. Stokes, Richmond, Virginia, 1863 June 18. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

Nicholas Fletcher Complaint against Michael Martel Concerning the Illegal "Harboring" of an Enslaved Man, Mayor's Court of the City of New York, 1799 April 2. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, "An Act for the gradual Abolition of Slavery", 1780 March 1. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, "An to explain and Amend An Act Entitled 'An Act for the gradual Abolition of Slavery'", 1788 March 29. 1 item.
Physical Description

1 item

Inventory and Appraisement of the Estate of George Cuthbert, Deceased, Georgia, 1792 March 14. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

Contains a list of fifty-seven people enslaved by Cuthbert, including their names.

Physical Description

1 item

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