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Althought the language in the article below is considered politically incorrect by today's standards, it offers a glimpse into the household of a Virginia planter as he prepared to head West in 1849 and what many of our ancestors may have had in their homesteads.

Grand River Local
Grand River, Decatur County, Iowa
March 3, 1927


After having read many of the sale bills about town a person saw and handed the following article in for publication which tells of a sale in 1849.

“Having sold my farm and I am leaving for Oregon Territory by ox-team, will offer on March 1, 1849, all my personal property to—wit---

“All ox teams except two teams, Buck, Ben, Tom and Jerry; one pair of oxen and yoke; baby yoke; 2 ox carts; one plow and wood model board attached; 80d to 100 three-foot clap boards; 1500 ten-foot fence rails; 85 sugar trouges, made of white ash timber; 10 gallons of maple syrup; 2 spinning wheels; 30 lbs. mutton tallow; one large loom made by Jerry WILSON; 300 poles; 100split hoops; 100 empty barrels; 1 32-gallon barrel of Johnson MILLER whiskey, 7 years old; 200 gallons apple brandy; 1 40-gallon copper still; one dozen reap hooks; 3 scythes; 2 handle hooks; one dozen wood pitch forks; 1-2 interest in a tan yard; 32-calibre rifle made by Ben MILLS; 50 gallons soft soap; 40 gallon sorghum molasses; 6 head of fox hounds, all soft mouthed except one.

“At the same time I will sell my 6 negro slaves, 1 men, 30 and 50 years old; 2 boys, 12 and 18 years old; 2 mulatto wenches 40 and 30 years old. Will sell all together to same party as will not separate them.

“Term of sale: cash in hand or note to draw 4 percent interest with Bob McCONNELL as surety.

“My home is 2 miles south of Versailles, Kentucky, on the McCouns ferry pike, Sale will begin at eight o’clock a.m. Plenty to drink and eat.”

Written & Submitted by Sharon R. Becker, 2008

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