Livingston, Philip (1716-1778) [Witnessing 200 pound bond for manumission of slave]
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03943
Author/Creator: Livingston, Philip (1716-1778)
Place Written: New York, New York
Type: Document signed
Date: 4 May 1757
Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 30.9 x 20.8 cm.
Summary of Content: Legal document for the posting of a bond for the manumission of the slave Ann. Signed as witnesses by the Aldermen and Justices of the Peace for the City and County of New York: John Cruger, Simon Johnson, Francis Gilpin, Philip Livingston (the Declaration of Independence signer), Leonard Lispenard, and William Coventry. Ann was previously owned by Eve Scurlock, a tavern keeper, who had recently died. Her will freed Ann. John Vanduersen, a cordswain, and Peter Burger, a cooper, paid the bond necessary to manumit her. Posting a bond was a condition of freedom for slaves after the revolt in New York of 1741. Embossed seal of New York at top of recto.
People: Livingston, Philip
Historical Era: Colonization and Settlement, 1585-1763
Full Transcript: [draft], City of New York Memorandum that on the fourth day of May in the thirtieth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second of Great Britain, France and Ireland King Defender of the [strikeout] Faith &c at a General Quarter sessions of the Peace of our said Lord the King for the City and County of New York Held before John Cruger Esqr Mayor Simon Johnson Esqr [illegible] Francis Gilpin, Philip Livingston, Leonard Lispenard and William Coventry Esq aldermen & Justices of the peace for the City and County of New York……….., Personally came John Vanduersen of the City of New York, Cordwainer and - Peter Burger of the same City, coopper -, and acknowledged themselves [inserted: Indebted] unto our Sovereign Lord the King his Heirs and Successors in the sum of Two Hundred pounds -, Current money of the Colony of New York to be Levied of their Respective goods & Chattels Lands & Tenements for the use of our said Lord the King his Heirs & successors if Default shall be made in the conditions underwritten. , The Condition of this Recognizance is such That whereas Eve [strikeout] Scurloch, Late of the City of New York [Victualer] & Tavern keeper Widow Deceased by & of her Last will & testament made & Published in writing under bond & seal dated in November in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty - among other gifts and requests in the same will mentioned did manumit set at Liberty and made free a woman Slave called Ann -, who in the lifetime of the said Testatrix and at the time of her Death was her proper slave as by the said recited will remaining of record Duly proved approved in the prerogative office of the province of New York AND WHEREAS by an act of his Excellency the Governor the Coucil and the General Assembly of this province entitled an Act for the [more] Effectual preventing and punishing the Conspiracy and Insurrection of Negroes and other slaves, for the better regulating them and for the repealing the acts therein mentioned relating thereto passed the Twenty Ninth day of October Seventeen hundred & Thirty it was thereby Enacted among other matters and things thereby Enacted that if any master of Mistress should Manumit or Set at Liberty any Negro Indian or Mulatto slave, & such Master or Mistress so manumitting or seting at liberty or any other sufficient person for or on behalf of such Ngreo Indian or Mulatto slave should enter into Bond unto his Majesty his heirs & successors with two sureties in the sum of not less than two Hundred pounds at the general sessions of the Peace for the County where such Negro ,  Negro Indian or Mulatto slave should Live or Reside to and save such Negro Indian or Mulatto slave from becoming or being any Charge to the City, town, parish, or place within this Colony where he she or they should at any time after such Manumission live, the said Negro, Inidan or Mulatto Slave, should be free according to such Manumission, And if any Negro, Indian or Mulatto slave should have been made free or after making the said act should be made free by the will or Testament of any person Deceased that then if any Executor or Executors of any person or persons Deceased or on their Neglect or refusal any other [sufficient] person for and on Behalf of any such Negro, Indian or Mulatto slave should Enter into such security as aforesaid to keep and save such Negro Indian or Mulatto slave from becoming or being any charge to the City, town, parish or place within this Colony where he she or they should at any time after such Manumission live, the said Negro, Indian or Mulatto slave should be free according to the true Intent and Meaning of the will or Testament of any person or persons Deceased as aforesaid and if security be not given in manner aforesaid such Manumission or Devise as before mentioned should be void of none Effect as by the said Recited act in the Tenth Section thereof doth more fully appear, If Therefore the above Bounden John Van Duerson and Peter Burger, their Heirs, Executors or Administrators or Either of them shall and do well and truly keep and save the [strikeout] said Negro woman - Slave called Ann - from becoming and being any charge to any City, town parish, or place within this colony ”wherein she the said Negro woman slave called Ann shall hereafter live or Reside according to the tenor Effect and true Intent and meaning of the said Recited act then the above bond or Recognizance shall be Void and of none Effect or Else to remain in full force and Virtue. , , Taken and acknowledged the Day and year first within written , John Cruger, Wm. Coventry , L. Johnson , Fras, Gilpin , Phil. Livingston , Leonard Lispenard, [docket], [illegible]
Keywords/Subjects: African American History;, Slavery;, Women’s History;, Freedom and Independence;, Manumission;, Emancipation;
Sub Era: Slavery
Background: In her will, Eve Scurlock manumitted her five slaves ”in consideration of [their] extraordinary fidelity, faithful service, and good behavior...” In addition to manumitting her slaves, she left them cash and some of her belongings, as well as some of their own tools, enabling them to continue in their trades. She left her slave Ann, to whom this document applies, three pounds sterling, ”and some household utensils, and my homespun clothes, and the cupboard I put my clothes in.” Peter Burger was Eve’s brother, and John Vanduersen was her nephew.Order Image