See all finding aids in this repository

Table of Contents

Print / View Finding Aid as Single Page

© 2011 New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the Slavery Collection
1709-1899
 MS 569

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Megan Hahn. Machine-readable finding aid created by Melissa Haley, March 2002, and Alex Poole, August 2009. Entered in Archivists' Toolkit by Jefferson Bailey, October 2010.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 14, 2013
Description is in English
using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Series I - Samuel and William Vernon, 1756-1799, 1756-1799

Scope and Contents note

Brothers Samuel and William Vernon were business partners involved in the triangular trade that sent rum from Rhode Island to Africa, bought slaves in Africa to sell in the West Indies or in the southern colonies, and brought molasses back to Rhode Island. See the Dictionary of American Biography entry on William Vernon for further information about his role in American politics and other business interests.

Subseries 1 - Correspondence, 1756-1796, 1756-1796

Scope and Contents note

Most of the letters in this series are addressed to the Vernons in Newport, Rhode Island, from the masters of their slave ships and from slave dealers in the West Indies, Virginia, South Carolina and Massachusetts. Some frequent correspondents were the firm of Adams and Griffin in Richmond, Va., Charles Bolton of Barbados, Samuel Brown of Boston, John Thornton and Charles Yates of Fredericksburg, Va., Capt. Caleb Godfrey, Capt. John Duncan, Capt. Thomas Rogers, and Capt. William Taylor. The letters of these and other men to the Vernons report shipboard incidents, progress of sales in the South and plans for return of ships to Newport. The series also contains letters from the Vernons to their business partners or the masters of their ships and frequently include instructions for the sale of slaves or cargo.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Letters received A #1-12, 14-39, 47
1756-1772
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Letters received B #6-7, 10, 13-25, 28 and 1 unnumbered item
1755-1795
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Letters received C #5, 7, 19 and 1 unnumbered item
1752-1798
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Letters received D #9-10, 14-36
1754-1771
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Letters received E #1-2
1771-1772
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Letters received G #1, 3-15
1754-1756
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Letters received H #5, 20
1769, 1774
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Letters received K #11-12
1774, 1775
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Letters received M #12-16
1754-1755
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Letters received N-O-P #1, 12-16
1751-1796
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Letters received R #3-5, 7-13, 16, 22-23 and 2 unnumbered items
1764-1775
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Letters received S #26, 44, 56-57 and 1 unnumbered item
1758-1799
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Letters received T #5-14, 16-26, 31
1756-1774
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Letters sent and received V #34-50 and 14 unnumbered items
1755-1793
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Letters received W, Y #19-20, 24, 28-30
1756-1773

Subseries 2 - Business Papers, 1756-1799, 1756-1799

Scope and Contents note

Arranged alphabetically by name of ship, then by format for those not attributed to a particular ship. This subseries contains crew lists, accounts of sales and purchases of slaves, invoices, bills of lading, records of wages to ship crews, ship expenses, accounts of sales of goods in Africa, cargo manifests and trade books of the Vernons' slave ships.

The voyages of the Othello are the most well-documented in the collection; papers relating to this ship include accounts, receipts, memoranda, copies of correspondence, trade books and account books. A 45-page trade book of  Othello, 1764-5 is housed in Box 7, an oversize box. In folder 11, "Depositions and Memoranda re: Vernon vs. Rogers," are papers dated 1766 regarding the Vernons' legal action against Thomas Rogers, captain of the  Othello, for disobeying their orders to sail directly to Georgia or South Carolina after leaving Barbados. Instead Rogers sailed to St. Christopher's where there was an insurrection, which resulted in the death of 11 slaves. The Vernons sought redress regarding the loss of revenue from unsold slaves.

The ship Royall Charlotte is represented by accounts, receipts, memoranda and a 16-page trade book. In addition to an account, there is one deposition, dated April 4, 1799, related to the ship  Orange, which refers to damage to the ship when it hit a reef off the coast of the Bahamas during a return voyage. There are accounts and an 86-page trade book of the ship Venus housed in this subseries. This subseries also includes accounts for the ships  Adventures, Ascension, Casada Gardin, Hare, Little Sally, Lydia, Marigold, Nancy, Pacific, and  TittBitt.

A 24-page trade book of an unidentified vessel and a 20-page fragment of an account book for an unidentified vessel were placed in this series because they were originally kept with the other volumes specifically attributed to the ships of the Vernons and the format and handwriting match the others.

Folder 20 houses fragments of letters and accounts, and a clipping of a three-page article entitled, Account of a late Publication intitled 'The Origin of the Negroe Slave Trade,' By Matthias Christian Sprengel.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Schooner Active Trading Book, Sloop  Adventures accounts
1769-1770
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Ship Ascension accounts
1796-1800
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Ship Casada Gardin accounts
1759-1760
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Sloop Hare accounts
1754-1756, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Schooner Little Sally accounts, Sloop  Lydia accounts
1763- 1765, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Brigantine Marigold accounts, Sloop  Nancy accounts
1759-1764, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Brigantine Orange account and deposition
1799
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Brigantine Othello Papers (1 of 2) accounts, receipts, memoranda, letters
1763-1775, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Brigantine Othello Papers (2 of 2)
1765-1775, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Brigantine Othello Volumes
1769-1774, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Papers re: Vernon vs. Rogers
1766, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Ship Pacific
1789
Box: 2 Folder : 13 Brigantine Royall Charlotte accounts, receipts, memoranda and book of trade
1761-1775, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Sloop TittBitt
1756, 1757
Box: 2 Folder : 15 Snow Venus, Trade Book
1756-1757
Box: 2 Folder : 16 Trade book of vessel (unidentified)
1774-1775
Box: 2 Folder : 17 Account Book Fragment (unidentified)
1767
Box: 2 Folder : 18 Accounts
1754-1799, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 19 Bills and Receipts
1754-1787, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 20 Clippings and fragments
1755, 1784, undated
Box: 7 Brigantine Othello trade book

Return to Top »