SOLD! for $4,320.00.
(Note: Prices realized include a buyer's premium.)
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- Low Estimate: $1,000.00
- High Estimate: $1,200.00
- Realized: $4,320.00
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Archive of over three hundred (300) items primarily pertaining to Colonel William Little Vance (1815-1888), early Memphis, Tennessee businessman, slave trader, and witness to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Includes slave receipts, inventory lists, and other documents related to Vance and members of his prominent family including his wife Letitia Hart Thompson Vance (1826-1896), his father Samuel Vance (1784-1823), his mother Elizabeth Little Brown Vance (1792-1854), his son George Thompson Vance (1852-1926), and other family members. 1st item: Governor of Tennessee Samuel Houston (1793-1863) secretarial signed land document, granting Joseph Kerr one thousand eight hundred fifty-four acres in Obion County "…by virtue of Warrant No 93–dated the 17th of September 1808.." dated May 1, 1828. Secretarial signatures for Houston and Daniel Graham, below. Encapsulated (not laminated) in a plastic archival sleeve. Document: 16" H x 10 3/4" W. Sleeve: 18" H x 12 1/2" W. 2nd-4th items: Three (3) ledgers and date books belonging to William L. Vance, detailing personal and business expenses, such as the buying and selling of slaves, including one (1) group of unbound pages comprising a slave inventory including names, ages, and the amount the slaves were sold or purchased for, dating circa 1847-1859, one (1) brown leather book with business and personal expense records, including a record of expenses related to a trip to Washington, D.C., indicating that Vance purchased a ticket to Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865, where he witnessed Lincoln's assassination, dating from circa 1857-1885, and one (1) black leatherette date book for the year of 1864. Ranging in size from 6" H x 3" W x 1/2" D to 12 1/2" H x 7 3/4" W x 1 1/2" D. 5th-7th items: Three (3) slave receipts, including one (1) detailing the temporary hiring of a "…negro girl named Fanny…" belonging to William L. Vance, stating that "…she is to be well treated in sickness and in health, and not transferred to the possession of any other person, or removed out of Mercer County, unless by Vance's consent…" It additionally states that she is to be returned at Christmas and that she is to be given several items of clothing. Twice signed by William Simpson and dated January 1, 1862. Also includes two (2) blank receipts. 6 1/4" H x 7 5/8" W. 8th item: Civil War era ALS. Two page handwritten bifolium letter on Thirty-Seventh Congress, House of Representatives, Washington City, United States of America stationary pertaining to William Little Vance, Esquire, stating that "…(the bearer) is a true and loyal citizen and a citizen of Ky…" and that Vance wishes to travel behind Federal lines during to conduct business, dated November 7, 1862. Encapsulated (not laminated) in a plastic archival sleeve. Document: 8 1/8" H x 10" W. Sleeve: 9 1/4" H x 12" W. 9th item: Hamilton Fish signed document stating that "…all whom is may concern to permit and freely to pass William L. Vance, accompanied by a minor son, a Citizen of the United States, and in case of need to give him all lawful Aid and Protection…" with a description of Vance's physical characteristics, dated July 10, 1873. Hamilton Fish signature below (Fish was a New York Governor and U.S. Senator who, during the Civil War, served on Lincoln's presidential commission that made successful arrangements for Union and Confederate prisoner exchanges; he later became U.S. Secretary of State from 1869-1877). Encapsulated (not laminated) in a plastic archival sleeve. Document: 18 1/4" H x 12 1/8" W. Sleeve: 19 1/2" H x 13 3/4" W. 10th item: Governor of Tennessee Albert H. Roberts signed commission naming George T. Vance a Notary Public in Shelby County, TN, dated January 17, 1920. Roberts and Ike B. Stevens, Secretary of State, signatures below. 15 3/4" H x 9 3/8" W. 11th-30th items: Twenty (20) land documents pertaining to land primarily in Shelby County, TN, including indentures and plat maps, dated from March 5, 1795 to June 12, 1873. 31st item: Civil War era copy of a letter from President Abraham Lincoln and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Ulysses S. Grant regarding "…James Hughes of Indiana…a worthy gentleman, and a friend…" originally dated October 22, 1864 and February 25, 1864. Encapsulated (not laminated) in a plastic archival sleeve. Document: 8 1/4" H x 6 1/2" W. Sleeve: 8 3/4" H x 7 1/2" W. 132nd-134th items: Approximately one hundred and two (102) tax receipts, inventory lists, promissory notes, checks, a ledger, and other legal and business related documents, dated February 12, 1848 to March 17, 1909. 135th-338th items: Approximately two hundred and four (204) letters, dated June 1770 to November 12, 1933, pertaining to members of the Vance family and others, including letters from the Civil War era (1861-1865) and the World War I era (circa 1917-18) from Corporal John Vance, Headquarters Company 120 Infantry, Sevier Branch, Greenville, South Carolina. The letters discuss personal matters and business, including the operation of his farm. Also includes approximately forty (40) envelopes, primarily addressed to William Vance. 339th-378th items: Approximately forty (40) souvenir postcards, blank or addressed to various members of the Vance family, advertisements, and other paper ephemera items, dated circa 1917 to 1923. Many of the documents, postcards, letters, and other paper ephemera items are encapsulated (not laminated) in plastic archival sleeves. Biography: Colonel William L. Vance, was born in Clarksville, TN, November 26, 1816, and educated in Nashville. He landed in Memphis, February 6, 1835, more by accident than design. He was en route home from New Orleans by steamer, among the passengers on board being three agreeable gentlemen, merchants in the then new town of Memphis. They prevailed upon him to stop here and accept a business engagement, and he was promptly installed as clerk in a store on Winchester street, between Main and Front row. In the fall of that year he was one of a party of Nashville gentlemen forming a horseback expedition to the then Mexican Territory of Texas. There he found an opportunity for investment in lands, and did so, a few years later selling at an advance that formed a nucleus for his future fortune. While in that State he was present at the meeting called to declare its independence of Mexico, and was appointed to the secretaryship of the legation to the United States, headed by his brother-in-law, George C. Childress, Minister. He took a prominent part in the erection of many landmarks of the city, some of which still stand and are ornaments. The most prominent of these is the Gayoso Hotel, which was the result of his enterprise and that of his brother-in-law, Robertson Topp. In 1844, Col. Vance was married to Miss Letitia Thompson, daughter of George C. Thompson, of Kentucky. When the war broke out Col. Vance, who was then engaged in farming in Kentucky, deposited upward of $100,000 with the Barings, of London, and awaited the cessation of hostilities, though he took no active part in them, being beyond the age for military service. On the evening of April 14, 1865, he was in Washington, and attended Ford's Theater and witnessed the assassination of President Lincoln. Col. Vance was the first who reached Willard's Hotel with the news. In 1867 he went with a commission from Gov. Bramlette, of Kentucky, to the World's Exposition at Paris, France, accompanied by his daughters, Misses Bettie and Sue. In 1868 he sold his Kentucky property and returned to Memphis, where he resided until his death in 1888. (source: THE MEMPHIS APPEAL obituary, November 14, 1888). Condition: All items in overall good, legible condition with expected toning, scattered tears, stains and small losses, 1st item: Separated along center fold line with dampstaining, toning, and foxing spots. Houston signature with 1" area of loss to first name. 2nd-4th items: Covers in fragmentary condition, pages in overall good, legible condition with some fading and foxing.