Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson’s Conveyance of James Hubbard to Reuben Perry, February 1811

Conveyance of James Hubbard to Reuben Perry

This deed poll and bipartite1 made between Thomas Jefferson of the county of Albemarle of the one part and Reuben Perry of the county of Bedford of the other part witnesseth that the said Thomas hath sold and now conveys to the said Reuben a negro man slave called Jame Hubbard aged about twenty seven years, who has lately, and is at this time absconded from his habitation in Albemarle, for the considerations following, that is to say, of the sum of three hundred Dollars which the said Reuben covenants to pay to the said Thomas or his assigns, whether the said Jame be recovered or not. and of the further sum of two hundred Dollars in addition to the sd 300. Dollars before mentioned, to be paid whenever he shall be recovered to the possession of the sd Reuben. and the sd Thomas agrees that, in satisfaction of both the said sums of 300. and 200. Dollars, he or his assigns will accept of such work to those amounts2 in Carpentry or House-joinery, to be performed by the sd Reuben, and on such part of the lands called the Poplar Forest in Bedford, as the said Thomas or his assigns shall indicate. Provided that if the said Reuben, within six months after such indications, shall not commence any parcel of work so to be indicated, and continue at it steadily, and with all his force until compleated, that then he shall be bound to pay the deficiency in money: and Provided also that all such work shall be estimated at the prices which have been settled by agreement or practice for similar work done between John Perry brother of the sd Reuben & the said Thomas. In witness whereof the sd Thomas & Reuben have hereto set their hands & seals this  day of February 1811.


Th: Jefferson
Reuben Perry

It is agreed between the parties within named that the sd Reuben Perry shall transfer his obligation to do work for the sd Thomas Jefferson at Poplar forest, to the county of Albemarle in consideration whereof the sd Thomas abates fifty Dollars from the sum due for the within named slave Jame Hubbard according to the within agreement. witness their hands this 3d day of September 1812.

Th: Jefferson
Reuben Perry

MS (ViW: TC-JP); in TJ’s hand, signed by TJ and Perry; partially dated; endorsed by TJ: “Perry Reuben.”

James hubbard (b. ca. 1783) was a slave born at Monticello whose first name TJ almost invariably gave as Jame. He was moved with his parents Jame Hubbard and Cate Hubbard to Poplar Forest late in the 1780s, but in 1794 he was brought back to Monticello to work in the nailery. Using money he earned in his free time, Hubbard attempted twice to run away. In 1805 he was captured just outside Washington, D.C. On his second attempt he reached Lexington and lived as a free man there for over a year. Learning of his whereabouts, TJ had him pursued and brought back to Monticello in April 1812. Hubbard’s fate as Perry’s slave is not known (Stanton, Free Some Day description begins Lucia Stanton, Free Some Day: The African-American Families of Monticello, 2000 description ends , 73–8; Betts, Farm Book description begins Edwin M. Betts, ed., Thomas Jefferson’s Farm Book, 1953 (in two separately paginated sections; unless otherwise specified, references are to the second section) description ends , pt. 1, 30, 31; Daniel Bradley to TJ, 7 Sept. 1805 [MHi]; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , esp. 2:1049, 1275; Richmond Enquirer, 12 Apr. 1811; Perry to TJ, 29 Mar. 1811; TJ to Perry, 16 Apr. 1812).

1Preceding two words interlined.

2Preceding three words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Hubbard, Cate (TJ’s slave; b.1747); family of search
  • Hubbard, Jame (TJ’s slave; father of James Hubbard); family of search
  • Hubbard, James (Jame) (TJ’s slave); identified search
  • Hubbard, James (Jame) (TJ’s slave); sold by TJ search
  • indentures search
  • naileries; at Monticello search
  • Perry, John M.; TJ’s carpenter search
  • Perry, Reuben; purchases slave from TJ search
  • Perry, Reuben; TJ’s carpenter search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); builders at search
  • slaves; fugitive search
  • slaves; TJ sells search