While transfer of slaves as property was often achieved through auction, like any form of property, slaves could be passed on through inheritance. This document divides the slaves of a deceased slaveowner between two legatees, giving each approximately the same "value." The auction as a method of property transfer was ably used by abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher of the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn to buy freedom for several slaves and to gain support for the abolitionist cause.
For more about Beecher's "auctions" see Documents 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15.
Citation - Document 3
December 20, 1847
Courtesy of Tom and Angela Sarro