Receipt issued to Colonel John Neilson recording the sale of an enslaved black man who was taken from the enemy in war

Neilson B2 F4A Bullman receipt front.jpg
Neilson B2 F4A Bullman receipt back.jpg

Title

Receipt issued to Colonel John Neilson recording the sale of an enslaved black man who was taken from the enemy in war

Creator

Description

In this Revolutionary War era document, Thomas Bullman records that he received 55 pounds from Colonel John Neilson (1745-1833) for the sale of an enslaved black man. The name of this black man is not recorded here, but the receipt mentions that the man was “taken from the enemy” and then sold at public vendue (or auction) on November 30, 1777. The receipt was issued in Elizabethtown.

This receipt does not clarify who purchased the black man at the auction. Colonel Neilson may have purchased the man for himself personally or he may have helped arrange the auction for other bidders.

During the war, New Jersey Patriots routinely captured enslaved men and women who belonged to Loyalist slaveholders in New York and New Jersey. The Patriots typically sold these enslaved persons to the highest bidder at a public auction to raise money for the war effort.

Date

1777-11-30

Language

English

Text (Transcript)

[front:]

Elizth Town }

Novr 30th 1777 }

Receiv’d of Col John Neilson Fifty=five Pounds for a negro Man taken from the the Enemy & Sold Of Publick Vendue this Day —

Thos. Bullman



Rec-d 30th Novr. 1777 of Col Neilson Four pounds four Shillings for 2 Handkerchiefs. bougt. at Vendue by Col Runyon

Thos. Bullman


[back:]


Bullman’s [undecipherable] 

For Negro & handks

30 Nov 1777

Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries

Archival collection

Neilson Family Papers, 1768-1908 (MC 933)

Archival location

Box 2, Folder 4A: Correspondence, etc. 1774 (1777-8)

Citation

Bullman, Thomas, “Receipt issued to Colonel John Neilson recording the sale of an enslaved black man who was taken from the enemy in war,” Scarlet and Black Digital Archive, Rutgers University, accessed May 17, 2022, https://scarletandblack.rutgers.edu/archive/items/show/107.