A one page bill of sale detailing the sale of a “boy slave named Willis, aged eight years.” Document is dated February 29th, 1840. Document in delicate condition, some separation at fold along bottom edge, previously mounted. In this document, the owner, Jeremiah Echo, sold the slave for three hundred and thirty dollars to Buchly Kimbrough. Mr. Echo closes the letter noting the boy is: “… healthy, sensible 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.