South Carolina Archives
Bills of Sale, 1843-1872
CALL NUMBER: S 213050
CREATOR: Secretary of State. Recorded
The Miscellaneous Records series contained a
wide variety of documents, but in 1732 the secretary began to record
mortgages, inventories, wills, and commissions and instructions in
separate volumes by type. Most of these became separate series of
volumes. In 1773 the secretary began to use separate volumes of printed
forms for bills of sale, but these volumes continued to bear letter
designations within the sequence of the Miscellaneous Records (Main
Series) until 1843. After 1843 the Bills of Sale volumes were designated
in a separate sequence (volumes 6A through 6F), the designations of
which duplicate other volumes in the Miscellaneous Records (Main
Series). The department's archivists have therefore considered these
volumes a separate series.
The bills of sale for slaves include the names of the sellers, buyers, and slaves; the amount for which the slaves were sold; a witness statement; and the dates of the sale and of its recording. Some sales include descriptions of the skills, age, physical condition and family relationships of the slaves. Sales that were involved with mortgages contain endorsements as to the satisfaction of the mortgage. Sales of other types of property contain descriptions of the property and its location. The bulk of all documents seem to record sales in Charleston and the lowcountry.
INDEX/FINDING AID: Names of buyers and sellers and slave names in this series are included in the repository's On-line Combined Index to Multiple Record Series, 1675-1929. The topical terms "blacks, free" and "mulattoes" were used when persons were so identified. The term "slaves, skilled" was entered when such skills were mentioned and "estate disposition" was used for transactions involving estates. Names of boats and ships, hotels, theatres, and the like are indexed as topics, and topical terms like "stock in trade," "grocery stores," "household goods," "bars and taverns," "tobacco shops," and "restaurants" were also used. Street names where businesses were located were indexed as geographic locations. Plantation and barony names were indexed as topics, not as geographic locations. Names of witnesses were not indexed.
These index terms are also in a three-reel
computer output microfilm (COM) index produced by the repository in 1980
that includes this series and the separate bills of sale volumes in the
main series of the Miscellaneous Records. They are also in the Combined
Alphabetical Index produced by the repository on computer output
microfilm in 1991. The numeric code 0002 026 was used to designate this
series in the computer output microfilm indexes. A nineteenth
century manuscript index to bills of sale volumes 5A, 5D, 5G, 5K, 5O,
5T, and 5W in the Miscellaneous Records (Main Series) and to Volume 6A
of this series is available in the repository. The individual volumes
also contain internal indexes.