Sunday, March 22, 2015


Of all the Immortal Nobodies I have placed here, none has fit that title so perfectly as Julie.  I learned of her when a distant cousin sent me some documents she had found in an old purse belonging to her great-great grandmother who died in 1917.  She knew that through my genealogical research I might be able to tell her what these documents were about.

I could.  Here is the setting.... and then Julie appears.

Nancy Corel was 18 when she came with her family from Virginia to Douglas County, Kansas in 1854.  She soon met and married a young man, Francois "Frank" E. Lahay whose family had moved over into Douglas County from St. Genevieve County, Missouri, with the intention of helping to bring Kansas into the Union as a slave state.  Nancy married him in 1857, but he died in 1862.  In 1867 Nancy married again - this time to a veteran of the U.S. Kansas 11th Cavalry, Company M. Nancy and her new husband were my great-grandparents and my distant cousin's great-great grandparents..

The document below, a transcription of the original document my cousin has, is a handwritten Bill of Sale from T. and M. Lahay to their son, Francois Lahay, dated 9 December 1853.


Know all men by these presents that we, Toussaint Lahay and Marie Lahay, of the county of Ste. Genevieve and state of Missouri, for and in consideration of the sum of Two Hundred and Fifty dollars, to us in hand paid by Francois Lahay, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, do by these present bargain, sell, and assign a negress slave for life, called and known by the name of Julie, now of about the age of nine years, of a black complexion, together with all our right, title, interest, claims and demands of, in and to the said negress slave, to have and to hold said negress slave, above bargained and sold, as intended so to be, to the said Francois Lahay, his executors, administrators, heirs and assigns forever.  And the said Toussaint Lahay and Marie Lahay, for themselves, their heirs, executors, administrators, does hereby covenant to and with the said Francois Lahay, his executors, administrators, and assigns, that the said negress slave is a slave for life and that she is perfectly sound both in body and mind.

In testimony whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals this Ninth day of December, in the year Eighteen Hundred and Fifth Three.

Tousssaint Lahay
Mary Lahay 

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