Bill of lading for slave, 1719

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Bill of lading for slave, 1719

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The document records a "Negro woman" who was being transported to be sold as an enslaved person to William Pepperrell for 50 shillings. The document noted the woman was, "markd with a Y on ye right sholder." Captain John Morris of the ship Sarah created the bill of lading, dated April 1719, from Barbados.

Some sources suggest that this person died shortly after arriving and others Bullard attempted to import from Barbados did not survive the passage, either.

William Pepperrell (1696–1759) of Kittery was a merchant, military officer, Governor of Massachusetts, and the most prolific slave owner in Maine. He bought and sold slaves throughout his life and left four slaves to his wife in his will. In 1705 William Pepperrell advertised in the Boston News-Letter about a runaway slave,
…named Peter, aged about 20, speaks good English, of pretty brown Complexion, middle Stature, has'on a mixt gray home-spun Coat, white home spun Jacket and Breeches, French fall Shoes, fad coloured Stockings, or a mixt worsted pair, and a Black Hat. Whosoever shall take up said Negro, and bring or convey him safe to his said master, or secure him and send notice of him either to his Master, or to Andrew Belcher Esqr. at Boston, shall be well rewarded for his pains, and all reasonable charges paid besides.

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About This Item

  • Title: Bill of lading for slave, 1719
  • Creator: John Morris
  • Creation Date: 1719
  • Subject Date: 1719
  • Locations:
    • York County, ME
    • Barbados
    • NH
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Local Code: Coll. 35, Box 1/13
  • Collection: Sir William Pepperrell papers
  • Object Type: Text

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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