icon for Home page
icon for Kid's Home page
icon for Digital Collection
icon for Activities
icon for Turns Exhibit
icon for In the Classroom
icon for Chronologies
icon for My Collection

Online Collection

For and in Consideration of the Sum of Two hundred and
twentyfive pound, old Tenr to me Ephraim Williams jr , well and
truly paid by Israel Williams of Hatfd Esqr I do hereby assign Sell
& Convey to him a Certain Negro Boy Named Prince aged about
nine years, a Servant for life do hold to him his heires agt ye
Claims of any Person whatsoever as Witness my hand this 25th
day of Septembr anno Dom 1750
Eph Williams junr

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Contact us for information about using this image.

label levels:

Slavery existed throughout the North American colonies before and immediately following the American Revolution. Although slaveholding patterns differed from colony to colony and region to region, few if any colonists challenged the practice and its underlying beliefs. Slaves made up about four per cent of the population of 18th century New England. Those who owned them generally held one or two "negroe servants" in bondage. Slaves often worked alongside their masters and mistresses and resided in the same house but they were not considered equal household members. Even in church, slaves sat separately from the rest of the congregation. New slaveholders often preferred to purchase children rather than teenagers or adults. Prince was about nine years old when he became the property of Israel Williams. Slave owners believed that slave children would learn English more easily, adapt more quickly and develop stronger loyalties to a master and his family. This bill of sale records the transaction that made young Prince the "Servant for life" of Williams.


top of page

Bill of sale for slave named Prince

creator   Ephraim Williams, Jr. (1715-1755)
date   Sep 25, 1750
location   Hatfield, Massachusetts
height   5.5"
width   8.0"
process/materials   manuscript, paper, ink
item type   Legal Documents/Invoice
accession #   #L00.074

Look Closer icon My Collection icon Interactive Activity icon Interactive Activity icon Document Image icon Detailed info icon

ecard icon Send an e-Postcard of this object

See Also...

Advertisement in "The Boston Weekly Post-Boy" newspaper

Bill of sale for slave named Kate

Complaint against slave Caesar for stealing

"Negro Slavery in Massachusetts"

Pages from Rev. Jonathan Ashley's account book

Pages from Elijah Williams (Old Soldier's) account book, Vol. 2

Bill of sale for slave named Prince

button for Side by Side Viewingbutton for Glossarybutton for Printing Helpbutton for How to Read Old Documents


Home | Online Collection | Things To Do | Turns Exhibit | Classroom | Chronologies | My Collection
About This Site | Site Index | Site Search | Feedback