A bill of sale detailing the sale of a “negro boy by name of Lewis about eight years old.” Two page letter, bound together as one and previously folded. Dated September 1846, in “South Memphis.” The sale price was documented as $300. The seller closes the letter with: “I also warrant him sound and healthy and a slave for life.”
Comments: A slave bill of sale was a contract between a slave owner and buyer. They served as legally enforceable documents, detailing the price of the slave, the given name and a brief description of their condition at the time of sale. The recipient of these slaves, Buckley Kimbrough of Shelby County Tennessee, was a prominent attorney and landholder in Memphis, Tennessee. He operated one of the largest cotton plantations in western Tennessee, He was politically connected with Governor and future President, James K. Polk of Nashville.