Letter, 1858, of William Daniel Cabell of "Benvenue," [Nelson County, Va.], to his wife (i.e., Elizabeth Nicholas (Cabell) Cabell), concerning the sale of African American slaves.
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Bonvenue Feb. 11, 1858. My Beloved Wife. A more precious letter never came to me than the one received on yesterday and I will never tire of reading it, so full of love, so pure and so deep. I wish I was with you, but your letters will be my guide and support in your absence. Your Aunt Sallies' letter, too, which came with it, showed such love for me and such deep interest in your welfare that I could not help thinking that you were in the best hands in my absence. Another bright day has come, the sun is now just throwing his bright rays over the top of the mountain eastward of us and I am anxious and impatient to commence the last days sale. Three days consecutively we have strained every nerve to sell everything to the best advantage and I assure you that but for this great effort I would have suffered much more than I have done in going where my dear Sister has been and in handling those things which she has so long used. But Bettie, I prepared myself for the worst and I hope I have gone thro' with it manfully.
I wrote to you in regard to the sales on Monday and Tuesday and I have snatched this scrap of time to inform you of our work on yesterday (Wednesday). The corn we sold yesterday brought 3.15$ per barrel. We sold all the negros 43 in number at astonishingly large prices--the whole amounting to $32016. Nearly every one of the negros were satisfied as they were bought by people in the country mostly, going ahead of the prices given by the traders. Tom is most dissatisfied though he affirmed before the sale that he did not care where he went to, if he was forced to go out of the family. My father ran Mr. Hobson, near Richmond, up to $1960. and allowed him to take him as the price was so great. Miss Peggy Rives promises to let his wife be sold to go with him.
Jane and three children brought $2795. and Mimy and three children $2505. My Father gave $25. to Mr Agee and then allowed Mr. Turner to take Mimy as he owned her husband. Old Mr. S. Turner bought Jane and children. Jane's husband exclaimed just as she was knocked out to his master "Glory to God on high, peace and good will to men on earth" and it seemed to pop from his very soul. Betsy brought $1400. and was bought for Miss Perking of Buckingham.
It is time for me to be at work Bettie so you must excuse for writing so short a letter. I will be forced to remain here during the week but will try and get off certainly on next Monday. Mr. Brent no doubt gave you some news from us.
I will certainly be down on next Monday if it is possible for me to get off. Bless my wife, bless my child, bless all my near and dear friends and relations ! Your Aunt Sallie is so good; much love to all.
(Signed) Yr. loving husband, Will'm D. Cabell.