Members of the northern Virginia Society of Friends – Quakers -- attempted to mediate the spiritual demands of their faith, including egalitarianism, pacifism and the hierarchical nature of the slave society. This was difficult for Quakers deeply embedded in the slave economy, especially merchants residing in the port of Alexandria.
People like WILLIAM HARTSHORNE (1742-1816), a Quaker and a merchant who were dependent on slavery for their businesses, were forced to oppose slavery and yet prosper within the slave trade. Some research states that Hartshorne did not own or hire slaves.
The document offered here presents clear evidence that Hartshorne was involved in slavery. As is typical with Quakers, the document uses the numeric month of the year. In this case, the designation is August.
One page, 8 month 4, 1798, 3 ¼ x 8, Alexandria, Virginia, signed by Mango Dykes. Dykes promised “to pay $21.00 to William Hartshorne on order Twenty-one dollars value received by wages of Negro Sam belonging to Eliza Donaldson. Mango Dykes” Verso contains docketing “Mango Dykes 21$ during 8 mo, 4, 1798...”
Very nice embossed revenue stamp on the left side.
A few minor chips at the edges. Otherwise in very good condition and quite rare.
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