• Virginia Pioneer Benjamin Rust Leaves Slave Children To Granddaughter

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    BENJAMIN RUST (1749-1834) owned 500-600 acres in Fauquier County and a large tract of land on the Kanawha River.  In 1799, he rented from George Washington part of the tract of land now in the Cromwell’s Run Historic District of Fauquier County. He was acquainted with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, who also lived in the vicinity. In the 1820 census, his household included eight adult slaves and eight slave children.


    We’re offering an 8 ½ x 8 ¼ deed of gift, executed December 18, 1828, giving two slaves, Samuel, aged between six and seven, and Nancy, aged about six, to his granddaughter, Ann Sophia Rust (1824-1898), daughter of Benjamin Rust, Jr.


    Rust prepared the above deed plus three others on June 13, 1826, through which he left his land to his children. At one point, Rust’s daughter, Catharine, and her husband Lemuel Hutchinson, challenged the legality of the deeds, claiming that Rust had expressed other intentions in conversations those intentions were not included in the deeds. Catherine as well as her brothers were included in the legacy.  The court ruled, in part, “…It was clearly the intention of Benjamin Rust, Sr. that his acknowledgement of these deeds should…give them validity, though he retained them in his possession. The signing, sealing and acknowledgement are sufficient evidences of a perfect execution…”  [Research included]


    There’s no immediate evidence that the slave deed was ever legally challenged.  The deed states, “…I bear to my granddaughter Ann Sophia Rust, the child of my son Benjamin Rust, Jr. as well as for the consideration of one dollar to me in hand paid by the said Ann Sophia Rust at or before the…delivery of them…have given & granted…unto the said Ann Sophia Rust…two young Negro slaves, viz, Samuel, aged between six & seven ears and Nancy, aged about six years…”  The deed is witnessed by Josiah Tidball, Sheriff of Fauquier County, and Josiah Greene.


    Expected folds, toning, minor paper loss, affecting one word.


    Everything we sell is guaranteed authentic forever to the original buyer. We also offer a 30-day return policy. If you discover a problem or are dissatisfied with an item, please contact us immediately. Our goal is to please every customer.  We are pleased to be members of The Manuscript Society, Universal Autograph Collectors Club and The Ephemera Society. [BL 124]