November 30 1815: Sale of Sally Goodman


On November 30 1815, Sally Goodman is sold by Thomas Jefferson to Jeremiah A. Goodman.  The  sale price is $150. She is three years old. Her mother is Aggy, a slave in Jefferson’s Poplar Forest estate. Her grandparents are Dick and Dinah.

Jefferson is to retain “possession” of Sally until Goodman decides to take “possession” of her. In fact, the sale was cancelled two years later.

Goodman is one of Jefferson’s plantation overseers at Poplar Forest. It appears that Jefferson owed Goodman substantial amounts. Even after the sale of Sally, Jefferson records that he owes him $413 plus $200 in final wages.

Sally was still at Poplar Forest in 1823. An 1870 census for Abermarle county also lists a “a fifty-five-year-old mulatto woman named Sallie Goodman”. This raises the possibility that Sally is in fact Goodman’s daughter.

The conveyance of Sally Goodman reads:

Conveyance of Sally Goodman to Jeremiah A. Goodman

Know all men by these presents that I Thomas Jefferson of the county of Albemarle do hereby sell and convey to Jeremiah A. Goodman now of the county of Bedford a certain negro girl slave named Sally, being the daughter of Aggy one of the slaves of the sd Thomas, which said Girl Sally is about three years of age in consideration of the sum of one hundred and fifty Dollars to me the sd Thomas, by the sd Jeremiah in hand paid: to hold & to own the sd girl Sally in absolute property free of all uses, trusts, or other incumbrances: and the said slave Sally I do hereby warrant to the sd Jeremiah A. Goodman his executors, administrators & assigns for ever.

Witness my hand this 30th day of November one thousand eight hundred and fifteen.
Th: Jefferson
Rolin Goodman

The sd girl Sally remains in my possession by agreement in the care of her mother until either the sd Jeremiah Goodman or myself chuses that she shall be taken into his possession

Th: Jefferson

The above information is derived from Founders Online, an invaluable and extraordinary depository of original documents.

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