VCU Libraries Gallery

Manuscript account of a slave sale and
Receipt for newspaper advertising of a slave sale


Title: Manuscript account of a slave sale and
Receipt for newspaper advertising of a slave sale
Creator: William Tench
Date: 1858
Source: African Americana Collection, L. Douglas Wilder Library, Virginia Union University, Richmond, VA
Publisher: Unknown
Rights: This material is in the public domain in the United States and thus is free of any copyright restriction. Acknowledgement of Virginia Union University Archives & Special Collections as a source is requested.

Manuscript account of a slave sale (front and back)

manuscript; 6 x 9 in; one of two leaves. The manuscript is written and signed by the auctioneer, William Tench. This is an account of the sale of a slave, named Jim, at auction on January 29, 1858, to W. P. Davis for $250. Jim was sold by his master, Reuben Ragland, Esq., with William Tench as the auctioneer. This document states that $242.50 was paid in cash to Ragland, and that the balance included a $5 city fee, a city tax of $1.25, and advertising costs of $1.25. A clip of the ad for the sale, which appeared in the Petersburg Daily Express on January 26, is affixed to the manuscript. Reuben Ragland was a wealthy Petersburg banker, railroad president, and planter. He owned two tobacco factories in Petersburg, one of which was used as the Confederate hospital during the Civil War.

Transcript of manuscript

Account-Sale of a Slave Man
named Jim, sold at auction this 29th day of January 1858_
for account - of whom it might
By order of R. Ragland Esq.
To W. P. Davis His purchaser at $250.00
Comm [[?]] 5.00
City Tax [[prepaid?]] 1.25
Advertising Sale of said slave 1.25

Clerk paid over to R. Ragland 242.50


Wm Tench

BY WM. TENCH, Auctioneer,
Bolligbrook Street
TION. on FRIDAY, the 20th January, 1858,
At 12 o’clock M., in fornt of William Tench’s
Auction Store, a NEGRO BOY, SLAVE, named
JIM, lately purchased of Baker Mann, Esq. Said
Slave will be sold on account of whom it may con-
cern. R. RAGLAND.
Ja 26 - 1t WM. TENCH, Auct’r

Receipt for newspaper advertising of a slave sale

manuscript; 4.875 x 7.125 in; one of two leaves. This is a receipt for a newspaper ad in the Daily Express, Petersburg, VA, purchased on January 26, 1858 by auctioneer William Tench, for the sale of a slave boy, named Jim, at auction. The ad was to run four times and the payment of $1.25 for advertising was received H. H. Harris. The Daily Express newspaper was located at No. 15 Bank Street, Petersburg, VA.

Transcript of receipt

Petersburg, Va. Jany 26 1858

Mr Wm Tench

To A. F. Crutchfield & Co. Dr.
Daily and Weekly Express

[[?]] ad a Boy for Sale named Jim
One [[?]] 4 times 1.25
Jan 30 / 58 Recd Pay H H Harris

Subject: Slavery--Virginia; Slave trade--Virginia;Auctions--Virginia
Contributor: L. Douglas Wilder Library, Virginia Union University
Language: Eng
Type: Text
Identifier: Acc.07.0007.01
William Tench, “Manuscript account of a slave sale and
Receipt for newspaper advertising of a slave sale,” VCU Libraries Gallery, accessed January 23, 2020,