Official Records | Newspaper Materials | Slaveholder Records | Literature and Narratives
Slaveholder Records - Charles Yates' Letterbook
Yates to Samuel and William Vernon, Aug 24, 1773
A note about a cargo of slaves from the brig Othello and other business. Yates indicates slave sales were very slow on the Rappahannock River.
Yates to Samuel Martin, Sept. 20 1773
A note regarding Stafford Lightburn. Lightburn was a ship captain who regularly sailed for Yates and his partners and also advertised for the company's runaways. Yates asks one of his commercial contacts to inquire about a legacy Lightburn believes he is due from his father, who had been shipped to the Chesapeake as a servant when he was thirteen years old.
John Thornton to Samuel and William Vernon, Dec. 20 1773
Another note regarding Othello's cargo of slaves.
Yates to the Rev. John Dixon, Jan 11, 1774
Yates is not happy with the health of a slave, Harry, he purchased from Reverend Dixon, and asks for his money back.
Yates to Hector Ross, Jan. 18, 1774
A note regarding a very accomplished servant named Dick.
Yates to George Abyvon, Feb. 17 1774
Abyvon was Norfolk merchant with West Indian connections whom Yates sometimes asked to ship recalcitrant slaves. Yates informs him of his attempt to sell Abyvon's slave Edie, and in return asks Abyvon to sell a slave named Cesar, "a scabby sheep," whom Yates could not sell.
Yates to Rev Dixon, Feb 27 1774
Another note to Dixon regarding slave Harry, whom Yates asserts was sold to him under false pretences.
Yates to John Tazewell, March 7, 1774
A note regarding a runaway named Emanuel. This letter shows that ship captains actively recruited runaways (at least in Yates' view). Emmanuel was advertised several times, and may have gotten clean away to London.
Summary of Yates to Felix Gilbert, March 10, 1774
A note regarding Abyvon's slave Edie.
Yates to J.H. Norton, March 22, 1774
Yates complains to Norton about being sent servants to sell: "as I have ever since the unfortunate Bargain I made with Capt. Goosley determined never more to have any concerns with such cattle."
Yates to Capt. John Duncan, July 12, 1774
A note regarding the sale of Vernon's unnamed slave.
Yates to Henry Ellison, July 21, 1774
A letter regarding the sale of an estate and servants and events in Boston.
Yates to Capt. John Duncan, Oct. 11, 1774
A note that details an attempt to auction a slave.
Yates to Samuel Martin, May 11, 1775
Yates describes Governor Dunmore's removal of gunpowder from the magazine in Williamsburg, the planters' fears of slave insurrection, and news of fighting in Massachusetts.
Yates to Benjamin Grymes, May 13, 1775
A note about a dispute over adjoining property.
Yates to George McCall, Jan. 30, 1776
Yates complains about his letters to and from British correspondents being opened and writes of the destruction of Norfolk.
Yates to George McCall, Sept. 2 1776
Yates writes to a British correspondent that he has given up mercantile business to become a farmer.
Yates to Collins, Wilson, and Ponsonby, merchants in St. Kitts, March 1780
The letter deals with Yates' young slave Robin. Yates planned to train Robin as his own personal valet, and sent him to serve in an English household. The young man, however, was caught stealing and sent to the West Indies where Yates wrote to have him shipped back to Virginia. See below, Yates to Thomas Gordon, October 20, 1780.
Yates to ?, March 28th 1780
Yates describes a trusted slave, Harry.
Yates to Thomas Gordon, October 20, 1780
A note that Yates is sending Harry to retrieve Robin, and directs Gordon to tell Harry what the best route was from Blandford (near Petersburg) to Fredericksburg. See above, Yates to Collins, Wilson, and Ponsonby, merchants in St. Kitts, March 1780.
Yates to Collins, Watson and Ponsonby, Oct. 20 1780
Another note about Robin.
Yates to Forster Webb (Richmond) Nov 14th 1780
A note regarding Cottin, a slave of Capt. John Willis who was imprisoned in New York. As noted, the letter was probably not sent because Capt. Willis was exchanged.