Also included with the 1787 Bill of Sale are three other Cumming's family documents, two measuring approximately 2"L x 8" W, and one 14"L x 8"W (see photos for condition). They are: an 1815 Receipt from Thomas Cumming to Richmond County, GA, for a $25 payment in taxes; a Dec 8, 1848, Receipt from Henry Cumming of Augusta, GA, a son of Thomas Cumming and a very prominent figure in 19th century Georgia politics, to George W. Crawford, Agent of the Bank of Augusta and Henry's law practice partner, a promise to pay on "the first day of January, 1849,"..."one hundred and three dollars for value received in house rent"; a 28 page 1812 Land Dispute document, Superior Court of Chatham County, GA, executed by Thomas Cumming btwn J. Knowle Fanning and the Joseph Clay Sr estate (Thomas Cumming's father-in-law).
The 1787 Bill of Sale is a single page, 7.5" wide x 12" long document, with text written on both sides of the document. Condition is quite remarkable given its 235 years of age!(see photos) Expected age-related discoloration of paper and some very slight paper loss in center of document ONLY noticeable when doc is held up to light.
The text of the 1787 document reads as follows, Paragraph one:
“Know all Men by these Presents that Ephraim Willard of Fairfield and State of Connecticut for and in Consideration of one Hundred and Sixty Eight Pounds Lawful Money Rec. (Received) to my full Satisfaction Of Eben,, (the double comma “,,”representing an abbreviation for Ebenezer) Whiting of Savannah of the State of Georgia & Bradford Whiting of Fairfield and the State of Connecticut do give, grant, bargain sell & Deliver unto them the said Eben,, Whiting and Bradford Whiting One Negro Man Named Peter Aged about Twenty one Years old, and his Wife Named Cate about Twenty Six years old, and her Two Children one a Girl about Five Years old, and the other a Boy about Eighteen Months old, and one other Negro Woman Named Vilot about Twenty One Years old.”
“To have and to hold the above granted the Bargainer Premises with the appurtenant thereof unto them the Said Eben,, & Bradford Whiting their Theirs Executors And Administrators and the Said Ephraim Willard do for myself my heirs Executors and Administrators Covenant with the Said Eben,, & Bradford Whiting their heirs Executors and Administrators that I am Now the Soul and Lawful Owner of the above Granted and Bargained Premises, and That I have said Right to Sell the Same as aforesaid, and that the same are free of all Incumbrances whatsoever -and I do by these Presents bind myself my Heirs Executors and administrators and assign forever against all claims and Demands whatsoever in Witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and Seal in Fairfield this Twenty first Day of Nov,, (November) in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Seven~ Ephraim Willard”
“Savannah, February 23 1788. I have Sold the five Negroes, mentioned in this Bill of Sale to Thomas Cumming of Savannah, for which I have received a consideration to my satisfaction~”
A bit of History-
Slavery in Connecticut:Connecticut, in 1848, was the last New England state to abolish slavery. The state's city of New London was one of the New England port cities that was an integral trading partner in what is generally referred to as “The Triangle Trade”- between New England, the West Indies, and the African Gold Coast. In this triangular trade, molasses produced in the West Indies from sugar cane was sent to New England, New England sent rum made from this molasses to Africa in exchange for enslaved people, and the enslaved were sent to the West Indies to work the sugar cane plantations that produced the molasses, maintaining the prosperity of the northern colonies through the 18th century and into the 19th.
Thomas Cumming: Thomas Cumming, to whom the above five slaves were sold in Savannah, Georgia, in 1788, was born in Frederick, Maryland, having moved to Georgia as an adult. In 1787, the year before this purchase, he married Ann Clay, the daughter of Joseph Clay, a wealthy owner of multiple Savannah-area rice plantations. It is hypothesized that Thomas purchased these slaves in conjunction with or for his father-in-law. At some point in the 1790s, he moved his wife and children to Augusta, and served as Augusta’s first mayor upon its incorporation in 1798. From 1819 until his death at age 68 in 1834, Thomas Cumming was President of the Bank of Augusta.
This document is quite unusual in that it was generally atypical that slave families were permitted to remain together when a slave sale was conducted, regardless of the age of any children involved.
The single page, 15.5" wide x 19" long document was folded in half by its author, and the bill of sale is written out on one side of the folded page (see photos). The folded page was then flipped over, folded into thirds, and the title of the document was written out: "Bill of Sale John Woolfolk, Edgefield District. S.C. (South Carolina) for Judy- a Seamstress Edward (and) Eliza her children".
The text of the Bill of Sale reads as follows, First Paragraph:
"Augusta the 8th June 1809, Received from Thomas Cumming, Six hundred Dollars, being the consideration money infull for the following negro slaves sold and delivered to him this day. Judy a woman of about 21 years old Edward a Boy of about three years old and an infant female, named Eliza, Both Children of the said Woman Judy, which Said three negroes, Judy, Edward and Eliza, I do hereby warrant and defend against the claims of all persons whomsoever"
"Given under my hand and seal the day and date first above written."
Condition of this slavery document is quite remarkable given its 213 years of age! Expected age-related discoloration of paper and slight (approx 3/4 inch)paper split at one end of one fold only. (see photos)
George Thompson’s missionary service to Africa occurs approximately 7 years after the MENDI natives of the AMISTAD were accompanied by missionaries on their return to Africa. He serves this very same mission, now in the of colony Sierra Leone, a colony which was established to serve as refuge for the liberated Africans taken from slave ships.
356 pages long, this journal provides a fascinating account of all aspects of the Mendi culture seen through the eyes, however biased in his mission to convert the Africans to Christianity, of a genuinely well-meaning gentleman of his time. Condition: complete, tight binding, foxing throughout, spine wear as shown in picture.
Thompson states, “It is hoped that the following narrative may, in the hands of GOD, awaken a desire in many hearts to go to Africa, for the purposes of preaching, teaching, farming, building houses, mills, manufactories, etc., and thus assist in making long despised and neglected AFRICA, what it is capable of becoming, THE GARDEN OF THE WORLD.”
Condition of the litho is considered very good given the rich coloration that remains. Some minor wear does exist: 2 small tears measuring less than 1/2 inch each on either side border edge-- one in the trees on the right side and the other on the left side in the water. There are several teeny holes in the sky to the right of the bearded gentleman's fishing pole as well as one single hole in the black gentleman's hair. (Please see photos.) Some wear to the border at top as shown in photos.
Despite the noted imperfections, this lithograph displays beautifully, with rich color and crisp lines. It presently resides in an early 1920's frame; ideally from a conservation point of view, it would benefit from a re-framing with acid-free materials to continue to preserve its historic importance.
This particular estate document is extraordinarily unique and atypical in comparison to other estate documents of this period as it lists 15 SLAVES among the articles of property, and it actually labels these individuals as SLAVES as opposed to the much more common and typical practice of listing "Slaves" as "Negroes". The slaves are listed on the back side of the document with all other inventory listed on the front side.
Each slave is listed by first name with the corresponding current market value written to the left of the name, with the total market value of the 15 slaves named at $8600-- quite a hefty sum when one considers that the remainder of the estate (furniture, livestock, transportation and work vehicles, tools, etc) is valued in total at $980.75. Also listed in the inventory was 13,000 pounds of seed cotton, indicating that Lewis Mattair owned a sizable cotton plantation, clearly farmed by the slaves.
Lewis Mattair is noted in the 1860 Federal Census as a resident of Suwanee County, Florida; the 1860 Federal Census- Slave Schedules references Lewis Mattair owning 28 male and female slaves, ranging in age from 4 to 58. Lewis Mattair is listed in the 1865 Florida Tax records, but his name does not appear in any archived state or federal records after that year. Thus, it is presumed that this document dates from or just prior to 1865, the year that the Civil War ended.
The Middle Passage Museum was the dream of Jim and Mary Anne Petty of Mississippi as well as that of an anonymous Georgian benefactor who had together compiled a collection of slave artifacts numbering over 15,000 pieces and who had hoped to find a permanent site in Mobile, Alabama, for their museum. While they formed a non-profit organization to raise funds for their hoped-for museum, their dream was never realized.
In a 2003 statement, Jim Petty remarked, "The importance of the exhibit of these artifacts is to understand the harshness of what slavery and segregation was all about. The items in the exhibit remind us of the terrible heinousness of slavery. Viewing the collection can be very emotional, but it is a tool through which we can understand, honor and respect a great culture. We want to realize that out of slavery, a great culture emerged, and carried on, and continued to strive for a better life regardless of the adverse conditions that were placed upon them."
The litho was executed by John Karst with his signature appearing in the lower left hand corner. Highly detailed, the litho reproduces a bustling New Orleans' dock scene featuring numerous slaves at work.
This litho was professionally re-framed using museum-quality, acid-free materials in 2004. The frame is a classic styled, black painted, beaded, hardwood accented with a dark rose, acid-free mat.
A fascinating glimpse into life on the docks of the Mississippi River at New Orleans!
Please note that any white spots or streaking appearing in photos are the result of light reflection and are not damage to the litho.
The needlework measures approximately 15 by 14 inches and is in good condition overall, given its 120+ years of age! The central design is superb with no problems, but the two upper corners show evidence of some unraveling, particularly the upper right, which has a small hole. This little hole could be repaired, or if the piece was framed, it could be visually eliminated; however, it truly does little to detract from the central focal point of the children on the seesaw, when viewed in its entirety. The piece does show subtle evidence of typical, age-related discoloration.
An utterly wonderful and scarce example of 19th century Black Americana themed Needlework!
A trademark label affixed to the bottom of a sour mash whiskey barrel, "ICMCo" stands for the Ithaca (New York) Cigar Manufacturing Co. for whom the label was made.
Interestingly, this cigar label was based on a racial parody book featuring a fictitious fraternal organization of African-Americans, titled 'Brother Gardner's Lime-Kiln Club' by "M. Quad". Quad, in actuality, was noted newspaper columnist and satirist, Charles Bertrand Lewis, of the Detroit Free Press.
Framed in an 8.75" x 10.75" silver-toned wood frame, this Lime Kiln Club lithographed label is extraordinarily scarce and highly sought after. It is listed as one of the top 100 blue chip cigar labels by "InStone 100" (a cigar label rating organization). The lower right hand corner notes the US Patent Office Registry date of May 22nd 1883. This 19th century piece would benefit from professional framing using archival, acid-free materials to enhance its life for many more years to come.
Condition: The color remains as brilliant as the day this 140 year old label was produced! Four unobtrusive and minor tears are noted: two in the lower left corner area, one at the center top near the moderator's gavel, and one between the K and I in Kiln. A crease is noted in the white margin above the label title, and a water mark is present in the lower right side of the white margin. However, none of these blemishes detract from this highly intricate lithograph! Take a few moments to carefully study all of the activity and detailing in this colorful piece!
Marked "Pat Applied For" on its base, this darling match holder features two small black boys playing around a rather large cotton bale (the bale is labeled "COTTON").
Well-executed detail! A lovely piece seldom found in today's collectible market!
Measuring 4 inches wide x 3 3/4 inches high, the black color-toned set was manufactured by A.D. Handy, Stereopticon & Supplies, Boston.
The four slides tell the story, through drawings and southern black dialogue, of a black boy attempting to steal a watermelon (slide 1). Four other black boys hiding behind a fence and watching, spook him, making the boy think there is a ghost behind him (slide 2)! Dropping the watermelon in fright, he dashes off for safety (slide 3). The shattered watermelon is then left on the ground, already broken into bite-sized pieces for the 4 other boys to enjoy!
This offering is truly an exceptionally scarce Black Americana collectible!!
This pleasant die cut is in excellent condition and comes protected in an attractive, walnut-tone decorative frame! Likely originally produced to advertise a specific, product, store or location, but then was never utilized for that purpose.
A sweet piece, perhaps, one-of-a-kind!
From 1901-1924, Bruckner produced this original, 12" Topsy Turvy doll for Horsman's Babyland Rag Doll line that features Caucasian, "Betty", on one end and African American, "Topsy", on the other. The inspiration for this doll is based on the character of Topsy in Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic 1852 novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin".
The Bruckner Topsy Turvy doll was advertised in a 1907 Babyland Rag Doll catalog as follows:
"TOPSY-TURVY---What is this?
Looks like just a pretty miss.
But turn her over and you'll find,
She is quite another kind.
First she's White and then she's Black,
Turn her over and turn her back.
Topsy that side--Betty this--
Yet complete, each little Miss."
The detail on this hard to find classic doll is lovely. Both heads indeed have the pressed, molded mask faces with lithographed features. Topsy's face is in mint condition! Betty's face is also in excellent condition with no superficial rubs to the flesh-toned coating of her mask; her lithographed facial features remain just beautiful!! (Such rubs are not unexpected as these particular doll masks are, unfortunately, very prone to rubbing. To find one of these 100+ year old dolls without such rubbing is quite rare!)
Grinning Topsy has red bows tied to her black mohair braided pigtails which are tucked into her red headscarf. Her red blouse, which matches her head scarf, is trimmed with cream banding around the sleeve and neck edges. The cream scarf she wears around her shoulders tucks into her very full, red/cream checked, gingham skirt. Topsy’s cream banding is lightly soiled and there is also some subtle fading to her red head scarf, most notably in the back. Flip her over, and....
Betty's more subtle Anglo face and her hair are lithographed. She wears the same red/cream checked gingham fabric of which both her dress and ruffled bonnet are constructed. Over her very full gingham dress, Betty should also wear a sheer, ruffled, white pinafore, however, it has been lost over time. Betty’s cream banding around each sleeve is also lightly soiled as are her hands.
Both dolls have the typical "mitten" hands of the stuffed rag dolls of this era. There are no other difficulties to report other than some tiny, stray (original) glue spots here and there. No rips, tears, or odors, and she has been stored in a smoke-free home. The 1901 Patent Bruckner Topsy Turvy doll typically carries a $650+ dollar price tag, but deductions to price have been levied to account for the minor imperfections that are noted in this doll.
The photos show it all- these two girls are a charming pair! A very difficult to find doll in such wonderful condition!
Also offered for sale is a COMPLETE 1901 Patent Bruckner Topsy Turvy doll with absolutely no soiling or fading. To view, simply type Bruckner into the SEARCH box on our homepage.
Measuring 8.5" wide x 6.6" long, the original frame is unusually embellished in the lower left hand corner with a very detailed, three-dimensional image of a wicker baby carriage fashioned from an unidentifiable medium. The carriage is missing part of the handle, part of one carriage wheel, and a teeny bit has also been lost on the upper part of that same wheel, but these missing pieces do little to take away from this embellishment's unique character. This is a unique and interesting piece, indeed!
The lithograph measures 5.5" wide x 3.5" long and is signed "Wall" in the grass under the toddler's left foot. The copyright date, 1906, and the publisher, The Ullman Mfg. Co. of New York, appear in the lower right corner. The original backside paper liner is missing.
Measuring 9 by 11 inches framed, this litho retains its vibrant colors! A delightful piece which features the accompanying text on the reverse side.
The frame is a temporary and inexpensive one to allow the potential buyer to view the story on the backside, but the piece should be properly framed to enable its continued conservation once purchased.
Please ignore any white streaks seen in photos; these are the result of light reflection off of the glass.
The character of Rastus was based on an actual person- a black waiter from Chicago- who was paid $5 for the use of his image by Colonel Mapes, the General Manager of the Nabisco Company, the owner of Cream of Wheat. The company began using the waiter’s image in the early 1900’s, replacing the original woodcut of a black chef that appeared on the packaging from 1894 until that time. Interestingly from a social and historical perspective, the depiction of the ever-pleasant, always-smiling Rastus was both a subtle yet positive departure from the extremely derogatory advertising much more typical of the era- advertising that nearly always featured blacks with wildly contorted and exaggerated features most often in very undignified poses and predicaments.
This beautiful, rarely-found puzzle, which is in excellent condition, is attractively framed in a hardwood molding colored in walnut, ebony and gold. The puzzle frame is original to the puzzle, and it is contemporary to the production date of the puzzle as it still retains its original wood panel backing, a framing technique not typically found after 1910. The puzzle pieces, themselves, are very finely and delicately cut, and are of a much smaller size than what is typically found in puzzles dating from the 1920’s and beyond.
A phenomenal piece that would be a centerpiece to any serious Black Americana, Advertising, or Cream of Wheat collection!
PLEASE NOTE: Any discoloration, white spots, or other unnatural variances in color are due to the unavoidable light reflections caused by the glass in the framing. The presence of the glass made photography quite a challenge!
A note to collectors: vintage Black Memorabilia puzzles from the pre-WWII era are a VERY rare find. Many were given out as "premiums" for utilizing a given product, and did not stand the test of time. Happy collecting!
This die cut was manufactured to advertise a specific item, store or location but was never used for that purpose or otherwise personalized. Likely, this vintage advertising piece was discovered and then framed so that it could be enjoyed despite its anonymity.
This pleasant die cut is in excellent condition and comes protected in an attractive, walnut-tone, oval decorative frame! The frame bears some minor veneer loss that does not impact the frame integrity, nor is it immediately noticeable.
A sweet piece!
Her interesting and expressive face is completely hand-stitched and bears a tiny hole in the center of her chin. A similar teeny hole may also be seen (see photo) on her back. Mammy wears a lacy bonnet detailed with tiny pleats and 2 ribbon flowers. Her pink skirt and blouse, also hand-stitched, is presented in various shades of pink as Mammy's outfit has been subjected to light over the years and is in places, quite faded. Although now clean, Mammy's clothing is speckled here and there with teeny dark pinpoint size spots, most particularly in the bust area. Her white apron is pristine and is accented with a small, non-functional pocket. Her lace bonnet is fragile and must be handled with care as it can tear easily.
Although her bottle frame is covered by a black stocking, the stocking has opened slightly under her skirt revealing her sand-filled milk bottle.
This wonderful, early bottle doll is one of 3 currently offered bottle dolls --- all priced separately.