Written by
Subject of
Unidentified Child or Children
Jardine, Robert
Ferguson, John, American, 1784 - 1854
Burk, Richard, American
Burk, Susanah, American
Burk, Edmund, American
January 15, 1806
ink on paper
H x W (complete): 12 5/16 × 7 3/4 in. (31.2 × 19.7 cm)
H x W (top half): 6 1/8 × 7 3/4 in. (15.6 × 19.7 cm)
H x W (bottom half): 6 1/8 × 7 3/4 in. (15.6 × 19.7 cm)
Clary and the Fancy Girl Trade, 1806
Black women were the sexual prey of white men since the 1600s. During the domestic slave trade, a new category of enslaved women emerged, known as “fancy girls.” Young and usually light-skinned, these black women were purchased explicitly for sexual exploitation, at rates four to five times the price of women field laborers.
Slavery and Freedom Exhibition
A bill of sale of an enslaved girl named Clary to Robert S. Jardine for the price of fifty pounds. The document is written on yellowed paper in brown colored ink. The document is severely creased and has several areas of loss at center along the creases. It is separated into two pieces. The two original pieces of paper are adhered to a newer piece of paper. The bill of sale begins with "Know all men by these Presents that we / the Subscribers have Bargained, sold, / Transferred and Delivered, and by these Presents / doath Bargain Sel, Transfer and deliver unto / Robert S. Jardine a negro girl named / Clary for the Consideration of Fifty Pounds / Current Money of Virginia…” the document has the names of sellers and witnesses written at the bottom. Additional writing is written vertically in red ink on the upper left corner: “This relic of barbarism was picked up in the travels of Col. Thom Berryhill[2] Virginia All offices in the rebel Army, November 1863.”
Place made
Virginia, United States, North and Central America
Slavery and Freedom Objects
Documents and Manuscripts
bills of sale
Domestic slave trade
Fancy Girl trade
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.

Cataloging is an ongoing process and we may update this record as we conduct additional research and review. If you have more information about this object, please contact us at NMAAHCDigiTeam@si.edu

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