BURR, AARON. 1756-1836.
Autograph Letter Signed (A. Burr), 1 p (with integral leaf), 4to, n.p., October 25, 1815, leaf creased and toned, some waterstaining, separation, and loss to center vertical fold; with Autograph Letter Signed of Joseph Skinner on integral leaf, 1 p, 4to, New York, 1815, to Jacob Gurby, forwarding on Burrs instructions regarding a suit against the manumission society.
After his duel with Alexander Hamilton and the misappropriations of western lands that led him to be accused of treason, Aaron Burr spent the final decades of his life quietly practicing law in New York. In this letter Burr, who always paid lip service to abolitionism while in politics, counsels a client on the best way to pursue a case to recover a lost slave. In part: The sole object of the testimony
is to show the condition of Srimius (?), that is, that he was born a slave & was sold by Chapel to Skinner at New London. If a Slave be brought from another state to the state of N York & there sold, such slave is by the laws of N York declared free. It is therefore of Moment to establish that the sale was made at New London or at least, not in N York. Before taking the deposition of Chapel therefore, it is requested that you would confer with him & if this fact cannot be clearly established, it would be preferred that the commission should be altogether suppressed.