Bill of Sale for Charity, Caroline, Jim, Joe, Sally, Arch, Margth, Bill, Charles, Mary, Henry and Lydia Cleage

This is a copy of a companion Bill of Sale to the one that conveyed my 2 X great grandfather Frank Cleage from David Cleage, Walter Nutter and Elizabeth H. Nutter to Alexander Cleage.  After the death of Samuel Cleage, father of David, Elizabeth and Alexander, died there was some shuffling around of enslaved people, livestock and household property between the sibling.  In each document 12 slaves and the same amount of money are exchanged.  This is one of three Bills of Sale that I have of those transactions.  It is transcribed below. As always, click on them to enlarge.  There was no punctuation in the document and I added none.bill of sale david cleage 5Bill of sale - David Cleage

Know all men by these presents that we Alexander Cleage and Walter Nutter and his wife Elizabeth H Nutter have this day bargained and sold to David Cleage and his heirs and assigns forever Charity fourteen,  Caroline sixteen  Jim thirty  Joe eight  Sally near ten  Arch sixteen  Margth fourteen  Bill forty five  Charles twenty four  Mary thirty one  Henry four  Lydia one year of age

For five thousand two hundred and fifty dollars being his distribution share out of the proceeds of the slaves of Samuel Cleage deceased  We warrant said negroes (sic) to be slaves for life and that we as the heirs at law of Samuel Cleage have a right to convey them

Given under our hands and seals this 20th day of March 1852


Sam H Jordon                                            Alex Cleage

Geo W Mayo                                      Walter Nutter

Elizabeth H Nutter

State of Tennessee

County of McMinn

Personally appeared before me Geo W Mayo clerk of the county court of said county Alexander Cleage  Walter Nutter and Elizabeth H Nutter wife of said Nutter the bargainers to the above bill of sale with whom I am personally acquainted each of whom acknowledge the due execution of the same on the day and year it bears date and for the purpose therein expressed and that the said Elizabeth Nutter wife of the aforementioned Walter Nutter was by me examined privately and apart from her said husband Walter Nutter who declared that she executed same knowingly & free from any compulsion or restraint on the part of her said husband Walter Nutter

Given under my hand at office in Athens the 20th day of March 1852

Geo W Mayo clerk

Bill of Sale

Alex Cleage

Walter Nutter

Elizabeth H Nutter


David Cleage

11 thoughts on “Bill of Sale for Charity, Caroline, Jim, Joe, Sally, Arch, Margth, Bill, Charles, Mary, Henry and Lydia Cleage

  1. NP
    Remove ‘I have left ________ blanks where I could not make out a name. ‘ since there are no more blanks 🙂

  2. And as for the “1834 Article of Agreement Between Samuel Cleage …” blank, I would look into the INGRIM (Ingram) family. As you know I’ve looked at that one several times in the past.

  3. Whew, primary source documents, like this bill of sale, tell a chilling story about what life was like for your ancestors in the 1800s.

  4. Wow. Where did you find these? I’m curious how they can to you. As long as I live I will not be able to wrap my mind around people being sold like property. And yet it happened. What an amazing record to possess.

    1. About 4 years ago, I met, Elbert Arwine, through We started emailing and sharing information. Elbert is not actually my cousin but he is a cousin of some of my cousins. His people and mine were slaves on the Samuel Cleage plantation in Athens, TN. Later his went to one son, David Cleage and mine went to another son, Alexander Cleage.

      While visiting in Athens, TN, Elbert met a woman who had recently bought the house that once belonged to slave owner, David Cleage. She found some papers that dated back to the 1800’s with names and dates on them. Some of those names were our people. She thought he might be interested and of course he was! She let him make copies, which he shared with me.

      I hope she donated them to the museum in Athens. One day I’ll make a trip up there and find out.

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