Receipt for Purchase of Slave

Receipt for Purchase of Slave American History African American History Civil Rights Nineteenth Century Life Social Studies Slaves and Slave Owners

This document depicts a receipt for the purchase of three slaves in 1864.  The transaction took place on September 20, 1864 during the U.S. Civil War.  Two children were part of the deal.

The original receipt was found on a Southern blockade runner known as the Mary. When the USS Mackinaw, a Northern naval vessel, intercepted the Mary, investigators found thirteen slave receipts.

Those receipts show that within a three-month period Captain George A. Johnson, of the Mary, had purchased eighteen slaves. Their total price was $64,200 (in 1864 dollars). That translates into $929,383 in today’s U.S. dollars.

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Receipt for the Purchase of Slaves, dated September 20, 1864; Records of District Courts of the United States. Image online, courtesy U.S. National Archives.



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