“Negro” Woman and Child, Valued At at £900

“Negro” Woman and Child, Valued At at £900

Birth & Death Dates Unknown — Appears in a 1713 Record

Occasionally a Little Compton man of modest means would own an enslaved person. John Briggs, a tavern owner, purchased an enslaved “Negro” woman to help keep up with all the work running a tavern entailed. The woman, whose name is not known, was expensive. Purchasing her was a risk, and John borrowed money to complete the sale, but it was a risk he willingly took as an investment for the future. John never imagined he would die an early death leaving his widow Margaret with his debts. Inventory takers assigned the enslaved woman and her child a combined value of £900 indicating they were John’s most valuable possessions besides his real estate. Margaret was compelled to sell the woman and child quickly in order to satisfy her husband’s creditors.[1]


[1] Little Compton Town Council Probate Book 1, 252-7(2) Back of book.  Little Compton Town Council Probate Book 2, 15-16, 23, 63.

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