"You may sell Isaac": The Jesuits arrange the sale of Isaac Hawkins, an enslaved man jailed in Baltimore, 1843
Isaac was sold to the owner of his wife for $250. Before his sale, a Jesuit planned to meet with Isaac, and asked the Bailiff in Baltimore to assure Isaac, in "the name of his lawful masters...that no violence at all, although the most legal, will be used in this regard."
The 1838 bill of sale lists two enslaved men named Isaac. Both of them were members of the Hawkins family. Isaac Hawkins' fourth son ran away before the sale was completed. This series of letters probably refers to him.
These letters are part of the Addenda of the Maryland Province Archives, an addition to the existing records of the Province.
Text Item Type Metadata
Letter Book 1 p. 405-406.
[August 14, 1843, to Bailiff Samuel H. Redgrave in Baltimore at 114 Sharp St]
On next wednesday morning 16th. inst. I intend to go to Baltimr, & wish to speak with you about the affair you have communicated to me in yr late visit here. But since the morning cars arrive at the ticket office
at 8.½ & you told me that you leave yr house at 8., I wish you could call at the Washington ticket office on wednesday morning at the arrival of the Wash. cars, where I shall also wait for sometime after the arrival of said morning cars in order to meet you there. Meanwhile plan to arrange things in such a manner, that after our meeting I may have an opportunity of speaking with Isaac, in yr company, or not, it is immaterial. You may assure him that no violence at all, although the most legal, will be used in his regard. I give this assurance in the name of his lawful masters. Please therefore, if convenient, to arrange the affair in the above manner, in order that shortly after my arrival, I may conclude something, & have my time free for other affairs, having to return home by the evening cars”
Letter Book 1 p.410.
[September 4, 1843, to Bailiff Samuel H. Redgrave in Baltimore]
Owing to a temporary absence of the Superior I could not acknowledge sooner your letter of augt. 25th.
You may sell Isaac, if we can agree on the price; of this However I shall speak with you, as I may also enter in some arrangement concerning ten other Servants, fugitive Since the fall 1838. I wish therefore to know if you will be in Baltimr. next monday 11th. inst. On yr answer in the affirmative you may expect me at the ticket office on said day at the arrival of the morning Cars from Washington
Letter Book 2, p. 3- 4.
[September 17, 1843, to Bailiff Samuel H. Redgrave in Baltimore at 114 Sharp St]
About the affair of which we spoke together on my last visit to Baltimore, on the 11th. inst. yr. Request of a Commission of 20% [Page 4] will be allowed to you; but it is well understood, as I told you, that we shall be cleared, not only from expenses of any kind, but also from any step & trouble whatever in a legal, or in any other way. Observing also from yr. part the various recommendation I specified to you.”
Letter Book 2 p. 7 -8
[November 14, 1843, to Bailiff Samuel H. Redgrave in Baltimore]
The temporary absence of our Superior has prevented me from answering sooner yr letter of the 5th. inst. From its content it seems that the best to be done is to accept the offer of $250. for Isaac as made by the owner of his wife. Send me therefore a model of the bill of conveyance of said Servant including of course the receipt of the $250. : it will be signed by the [Page 8] Presidt of the board of Trustees of the Incorporated Catholic Clergy of Maryland; I shall return it to you Signed, & retaining $50. for all your management in this affair, you will be pleased to pass the balance of $200. to Messrs. Edd. Jenkins & Sons market St. near the Bk of Baltime.