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5 Scrapbooks maintained by former slave, 1876-1892

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5 Scrapbooks maintained by former slave, 1876-1892
Item Details
Description
5 Scrapbooks created by David F. Nelson. Nelson was born a slave in Newborn, NC, in a plantation near the Neuse River. As a child in 1862, he heard adult slaves discussing their impending move out of the way of "Yankee invaders." He escaped and joined the Union Army, was assigned to the gunboat Chasseur, and worked in various capacities with the Army until 1864. He made his way north after the war and found office work as a "doorkeeper" for the NYC Postmaster. In 1877, Nelson was appointed Post Office Clerk in NYC, a position he held for 20 years. Entirely self-taught, Nelson was known to maintain scrapbooks containing articles clipped from newspapers and magazines, with printed illustrations, letters and other items. The March 27, 1877 New York Graphic wrote an article about his Post Office appointment and noted, "A scrap-book in his possession contains, besides a mass of valuable statistics concerning his race, a large selection of miscellaneous literature culled from the writings of Whittier, Alice Gary, and other writers of equal merit.”
This collection consists of a series of 5 scrapbooks maintained by Nelson, dating from 1869-1892, with items almost always mounted to the scrapbooks’ leaves. 4to. 4 in varying contemp quarter leather, 1 without covers, several partly/fully disbound. Sold with all faults. ++ Scrapbook covering June 18, 1869 to July 1875. Newspaper clippings. Page 72 has clipped article from the Hamilton Democrat & Volunteer telling the story of David F. Nelson’s escape from slavery in 1862 and his subsequent career. On the inside of the front cover is a clipped offer of $5000 in rewards for the capture of runaway slaves. P. 98 has an article titled “Colored Children ejected from an Indiana School” and many other articles relate to slavery and freedmen. Ruled paper, printed page numbers beginning with page [52]. ++ Dates penciled in upper margin June 9, 1876 to Nov. 1, 1879; volume of newspaper clippings related to the condition of black people, Rutherford B. Hayes, Tilden, and Senator Roscoe Conking (1829-1888), a vehemently anti-slavery and pro-Union officeholder from New York. Short tears/chips to edges of leaves. ++ Scrapbook covering 1876-79, mostly 1878. Pencil captions indicate clippings are from the “Herald,” “Graphic,” “Puck,” “Times,” etc. Includes “A Remarkable Speech by John Swinton to the Communists Last evening,” election news, “Slaves in All But Name," black suffrage, poems, etc. ++ Scrapbook with label on inside of front cover “Presented to Miss Cassie E. Day/ By/ D. H. Nelson/ August 19th. 1878.” Most newspaper clippings May-Aug. 1878. Mostly newspaper, magazine, and book clippings including illustrations, probably from Harper’s Weekly. Some articles relate to slave auctions, abolition, the Civil War, anecdotes, poems, etc. Quarter leather and cloth, “Cassie E. Day.” in gilt on front cover. ++ Personal and Private Letters/ David F. Nelson/ May 1, 1890. Title on inside of front cover. Includes at least 2 ALSs and 2 autograph notes by relatives of Roscoe Conkling. Also a handwritten note, unsigned, on printed “Mrs. Roscoe Conkling” card. Most other items in this scrapbook are letters, some receipts and printed items mounted to leaves, primarily 1883-1890. Last few leaves have newspaper clippings which include 1890 census, the Civil War, Rutherford B. Hayes, and lynching. Quarter leather, “Scrap Book” on front cover. A unique record of an escaped slave’s perspective on the last decades of the 19th Century.
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5 Scrapbooks maintained by former slave, 1876-1892

Estimate $120 - $240
Feb 22, 2018
See Sold Price
Starting Price $60
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Ships from Falls Church, VA, United States
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0344: 5 Scrapbooks maintained by former slave, 1876-1892

Sold for $800
6 Bids
Est. $120 - $240Starting Price $60
Quinn's Black History Month Auctions
Feb 22, 2018 5:30 PM EST
Buyer's Premium 25%

Lot 0344 Details

Description
...
5 Scrapbooks created by David F. Nelson. Nelson was born a slave in Newborn, NC, in a plantation near the Neuse River. As a child in 1862, he heard adult slaves discussing their impending move out of the way of "Yankee invaders." He escaped and joined the Union Army, was assigned to the gunboat Chasseur, and worked in various capacities with the Army until 1864. He made his way north after the war and found office work as a "doorkeeper" for the NYC Postmaster. In 1877, Nelson was appointed Post Office Clerk in NYC, a position he held for 20 years. Entirely self-taught, Nelson was known to maintain scrapbooks containing articles clipped from newspapers and magazines, with printed illustrations, letters and other items. The March 27, 1877 New York Graphic wrote an article about his Post Office appointment and noted, "A scrap-book in his possession contains, besides a mass of valuable statistics concerning his race, a large selection of miscellaneous literature culled from the writings of Whittier, Alice Gary, and other writers of equal merit.”
This collection consists of a series of 5 scrapbooks maintained by Nelson, dating from 1869-1892, with items almost always mounted to the scrapbooks’ leaves. 4to. 4 in varying contemp quarter leather, 1 without covers, several partly/fully disbound. Sold with all faults. ++ Scrapbook covering June 18, 1869 to July 1875. Newspaper clippings. Page 72 has clipped article from the Hamilton Democrat & Volunteer telling the story of David F. Nelson’s escape from slavery in 1862 and his subsequent career. On the inside of the front cover is a clipped offer of $5000 in rewards for the capture of runaway slaves. P. 98 has an article titled “Colored Children ejected from an Indiana School” and many other articles relate to slavery and freedmen. Ruled paper, printed page numbers beginning with page [52]. ++ Dates penciled in upper margin June 9, 1876 to Nov. 1, 1879; volume of newspaper clippings related to the condition of black people, Rutherford B. Hayes, Tilden, and Senator Roscoe Conking (1829-1888), a vehemently anti-slavery and pro-Union officeholder from New York. Short tears/chips to edges of leaves. ++ Scrapbook covering 1876-79, mostly 1878. Pencil captions indicate clippings are from the “Herald,” “Graphic,” “Puck,” “Times,” etc. Includes “A Remarkable Speech by John Swinton to the Communists Last evening,” election news, “Slaves in All But Name," black suffrage, poems, etc. ++ Scrapbook with label on inside of front cover “Presented to Miss Cassie E. Day/ By/ D. H. Nelson/ August 19th. 1878.” Most newspaper clippings May-Aug. 1878. Mostly newspaper, magazine, and book clippings including illustrations, probably from Harper’s Weekly. Some articles relate to slave auctions, abolition, the Civil War, anecdotes, poems, etc. Quarter leather and cloth, “Cassie E. Day.” in gilt on front cover. ++ Personal and Private Letters/ David F. Nelson/ May 1, 1890. Title on inside of front cover. Includes at least 2 ALSs and 2 autograph notes by relatives of Roscoe Conkling. Also a handwritten note, unsigned, on printed “Mrs. Roscoe Conkling” card. Most other items in this scrapbook are letters, some receipts and printed items mounted to leaves, primarily 1883-1890. Last few leaves have newspaper clippings which include 1890 census, the Civil War, Rutherford B. Hayes, and lynching. Quarter leather, “Scrap Book” on front cover. A unique record of an escaped slave’s perspective on the last decades of the 19th Century.

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