Bills of Sale/Manumissions - Magdalena Manumission
The Manumission of Negro Beulah, others Magdelena
To the faithful in Christ Jesus our Lord God, & all other people I Charles Brockden of the City of Philadelphia in the Province of Pennsylvania Gentlemen send greeting.
Whereas many years ago I bought & purchased with my own monies a certain Negroe Girl, which I think is of her Kingdom or Country of Angola in Africa, & which I called Beulah, but at her baptism at Bethlehem in the County of Bucks in the said Province received the name of Magdalena. The cause of which purchase of her was not with any intention of worldly gain by continuing her in Slavery all the days of her life but partly for the service of my dear wife Susanna, who is since deceased, & partly in mercy to prevent other persons from buying her for filthy sucre's sake without any regard to her everlasting interest[.] I therefore as soon as I well could sent the said Negroe to the Congregation of the United-Brethren at Bethlehem aforesaid who were so kind as to take her under their care which was five years ago or thereabout, where she hath abode with my good-likeing[sic] ever since & I hope & believe hath by the Brethren's care & instruction received Faith in our blessed Saviour Christ Jesus & an interest & nearness to & in the merits of his death & sufferings[.] I have nevertheless always declined making any Sale or Alienation of my Right & Property to her personal services even with any of the Brethren aforesaid from this consideration viz. I have consider'd my Property in her by the Providence of God to be only a deposition or trust committed to my care & as the members of the aforsd. United-Brethren frequently travel abroad by land & sea & one cannot foresee all events & as the poor Negroes or Africans are generally made Slaves of by every Nation & Religion of the Europeans into whose hands or power they fall therefore should I part with my Right & property absolutely. I should thereby put it out of my power to reclaim her and on the other sides I would for the cause above setforth, prevent my Heirs, Execor. or Adms. after my decease as well as other to infringe the liberty of my said Negroe Woman Beulah now called Magdalena or of her Children, if please God she shall have any, I have therefore devised the expedient of manumising [sic] her & her Children absolutely. With & under the power of my revocation & making null & void that manumission if I myself shall think fit to revoke it in my life time & not else.
Now therefore know ye that for the causes & considerations so amply set forth as above said & for & in consideration of good-service of my said Negroe Woman Magdalena/ formerly called Beulah/ performed unto my said first wife Susanna & therefore unto me I have manumised emancipated & released & by these presents to all intents & purposes in the law whatsoever do manumise emancipate & release her my said Negroe Woman Magdalena together with all her offspring or Children which by the good providence of God she may happen to have & bear after her Marriage (Which marriage I fully leave to the discretion of the Congregation at Bethlehem aforesaid) and all my estate, right, title, property or interest of in & to her the said manumised Negroe Slave Magdalena & her Posterity or children for ever so that my Heirs, Executors or Administrators nor any of them shall not nor may or can by any way or means have claim challenge or demand her the said Negroe Magdalena or her Children or any of them or their or any of their service but thereof & therefrom shall be utterly excluded & debarred for ever by virtue hereof Provided always neverthless that if I the said Charles Brockden shall at any time hereafter during my life time revoke this Manumisison Emancipation & Release by my Deed or Writing under my Hand & Seal duly executed in the presence of two or more credible witnesses then this present Writing, Manumission, Emancipation, & Release shall become utterly null, void, & of none effect as if the same had never been made. In witness whereof I the said Charles Brockden have hereunto & unto one other Writing or Duplicate of the same tenor & date, set my Hand & Seal dated the third day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & fifty two 1752. I added the words, marriage -- discretion of the, with my own Hand before Sealing & Delivery.
Sealed & delivered in the presence of
What shall I render unto thee fro they mercies O! Lord
I Charles Brockden in the foregoing Deed named for the considerations therein mentioned and for divers [sic] others do hereby Remise and Release unto the herein named Negroe Woman & her Children which she may happen to have the Power of Revocation in the same Deed mentioned and express'd an all my Right & Title in & to the same premisses. As witnesseth my Hand & seal the twentieth day of Frebruary in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & fifty eight.
Sealed & Deliverd in the Presence of Us
Otto Chirstian Krogstrup