Written by
Gordon, Martin
Subject of
Valdec, Marie Anne
Joubert, M, French
Van Eeckhout, Nicholas Charles, German, 1751 - 1821
February 8, 1811
ink on paper (fiber product)
H x W (2010.1.227a): 14 3/4 × 16 13/16 in. (37.5 × 42.7 cm)
H x W (2010.1.227b): 14 3/4 × 16 13/16 in. (37.5 × 42.7 cm)
Two handwritten depositions from a court case, Valdec v. Gravier in Kingston, Jamaica. Document a is Nicholas Charles Van Eeckhout’s deposition and b is a deposition given by an unidentified person with the surname of Gravier who appears to be the defendant. It appears that Doctor M. Joubert sold an enslaved woman, Zaire to Marie Anne Valdec when the British entered Port-au-Prince, Haiti during the Haitian Revolution. After this English invasion, it seems that Zaire went missing. She may have been sold to an American Captain who took her to Jamaica, or she may have ended up in Havana, Cuba.
The two statements given on these documents relate to the same events however the accounts of the events differ.
The first document (a) is signed at the bottom by Nicholas Charles Van Eeckhout. The back of the document has the filing notes for the case, entitled [Valdec v Gravier]. The subject matter [Deporting] is written alongside these two names. The papers were filed February 8, 1811 by Martin Gordon.
The second document (b) is signed by the unknown individual with last name Gravier.
Both documents are torn vertically down the middle and an additional piece of paper has been added to the back of each document as support. These missing portions leave out large gaps of writing in the depositions. The ink from the documents has also bled over time, which has expanded the script. Both documents are very frail.
Place used
Kingston, Jamaica, Caribbean, North and Central America
Place depicted
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Caribbean, Latin America, North and Central America
Havana, Cuba, Caribbean, Latin America, North and Central America
Cultural Place
England, Europe
Slavery and Freedom Objects
Documents and Published Materials-Business and Legal Documents
British colonialism
Slave 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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