Raynors HCA 2019-01
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/21/2019
Manuscript Document Signed, Bill of Sale for “Wester” to Cape Fear Navigation Company, June 23, 1817. 2 pp., 8” x 14”. In full, “ Know all men by these Presents that I Isaac Holt of Orange County in North Carolina for and in Consideration of the sum of six hundred Dollars to him in hand paid by the Cape-Fear Navigation Company, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, hath bargained and sold and by these Presents do bargain & sell to the said Cape-Fear Navigation Company a certain Negro Fellow named Wester aged about twenty two years: To Have and To Hold the said Negro Fellow, Wester, to the said Cape-Fear Navigation Company for ever, and I will warrant and defend the Title to the said Negro Fellow Wester to the said Cape-Fear Navigation Company for ever. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and affixed my seal this 23d June A.D. 1817. c Holt {seal}” In 1815, the North Carolina legislature amended the charter of the Deep and Haw River Navigation Company to change the corporation’s name to the Cape Fear Navigation Company. Its purpose was to “work Cape Fear River from Wilmington to Fayetteville” and “clear the river of logs and shoals” so that steamboats could navigate the 100 miles between Fayetteville in south-central North Carolina and Wilmington on the coast. Using slave labor, the company began construction of canals to bypass Smiley’s Falls and Buckhorn Falls in Harnett County, north of Fayetteville. In 1818, the president of the company reported that 45 miles of the river had been cleared of snags. The Company regularly employed slave laborers both to dig canals and to make improvements in river navigation. Many tasks, including removing cypress stumps by underwater diving or building and repairing locks, required considerable skill. The company maintained a flotilla of barges, steamers, and a shanty boat for slave quarters and a workshop, which moved among worksites along the river. The Company also recruited free laborers, mainly Irish and Slavic immigrants from northern cities. Free labor, however, never really met the Company’s need for labor. The Company’s workforce often reached 200, of whom approximately 40 were slaves owned by the Company and 15 were slaves hired from their masters. Eventually, the company created a 27-mile canal that, along with continual maintenance to ensure the river’s navigability, allowed an increase in traffic during the 1840s and 1850s. The Cape Fear Navigation Company was the first internal improvement project funded by the state that returned a dividend. However, the Company went bankrupt in 1860, and most of its slaves were sold at auction in Fayetteville.
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Sale of Slave to Help Clear the Cape Fear River in North Carolina

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $400.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0.00
Estimate: $600 - $800
Auction closed on Thursday, February 21, 2019.
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