Findings 1835 Bates map (enhanced) Rasterized boundaries imposed on 21 st century aerial photo.
Robert Lumpkin, Slave Trader
Born, ca. 1806; died, October 1866.
No photo found—yet.
Lumpkin imported Africans?
Importation from Africa
Ca. 114,000 imported into Virginia, 1690s and later.
WMQ , Jan. 2009, 125-72
Who owned and operated the slave ships that came to Virginia?
Who imported Africans to Virginia after the American Revolution?
The British? No.
No one (legally)
Virginia law, 1778
Who decided to end legal importation of Africans?
The Virginia legislature, 1778
Who owned large numbers of enslaved people?
Major planters—and sellers.
By 1778, the tidewater planters said they had a surplus; they controlled the Virginia legislature and supported the 1778 non-importation law.
Expanding demand in Southside and western Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Spanish territory.
“ The Second Middle Passage”
Richmond became the center of intrastate and interstate slave trading
Hiring out was a secondary enterprise.
“Market-driven” cynicism, 1787
“One Hundred Negroes, from 20 to 30 years old, for which a good price will be given. They are to be sent out of the state, therefore we shall not be particular respecting the character of any of them—Hearty and well made is all that is necessary.”
Virginia Gazette and Independent Chronicle , December 22, 1787—almost a year before the U.S. Constitution was ratified.
Richmond slave traders, 1840s-1860s By 1860, about 70 Richmond business-men bought and sold enslaved people.
Slave Trading “professionalization”
Slave sales took place almost anywhere in Virginia and Richmond until the 1840s.
Lewis Collier bought and developed a slave trading business in Shockoe Bottom in the 1830s.
Collier sold the business to Robert Lumpkin in 1844.
Lumpkin thereafter expanded the business.
In the early nineteenth century, there was “a basic reality of chattel slavery—that slaveholding required slave trading.”
-- Adam Rothman, “The Domestication of the Slave Trade in the United States,” in The Chattel Principle: Internal Slave Trades in the Americas , ed. Walter Johnson (New Haven, 2004), 33.
Robert Lumpkin and “the business”
----------------- U.S. Customs Service, Port of New Orleans, Inward Slave Manifests, 1807-1860. LVA Misc. Reel, 2513, 1840-1843: Thurston Lumpkin.
Feb. 27, 1840, Brig Orleans, to New Orleans
James H. Birch
Thos. B. Jackson
William H. Betts
Tomlinson and Dickinson
Ro: Lumpkin to Tho B. Small. Consignee
Robert Sanders to Thos. Freeman, Consignee
Stephen D. Cau---
Wm H. Goodwin to Thos. Freeman
Same to John B. Diggs
Christopal(?) Toeldano, N. Orleans
Wm. H. Goodwin to ?
Henry Erskine, Consigned by Dobbin & Co.
--------------- 1840 Census, Jefferson Ward, Richmond, p.149 : Robert Lumpkin, 2 males 20 and under 30; Free Colored persons: 4 females, 10 and under 20
--------------- Mutual Assurance Society Policy, no. 8,753, vol. 95, reel 14, May 11. 1840 MAS policy 8753, May 11, 1840, vo. 95, reel 14
House owned by Jones Allen and occupied by Robert Lumpkin
House on NW corner of H and “Valley or Seventeenth Street”
Eastern boundary is 17th St.
Southern boundary is J Street
The ship Creole: Original List
Madison Washington and the Creole Revolt, 1841.
Creole “cargo,” 1844
Only two or three pages of his accounts still exist.
But it’s clear from ads, ship “cargo” manifests, and other sources that he was one of the most successful antebellum Richmond traders of human beings.
Lumpkin housed, hired out, auctioned off, pun-ished, and sold away many hundreds of men and women from the “Devil’s half-acre,” 1840s into the 1860s—including Anthony Burns.
Lumpkin account remnant, 1849-1850 Valentine Museum
Lewis Miller, 1853
1859. Lefevre J. Cranstone or Eyre Crowe?
1850 Census, Richmond, Jefferson Ward, stamped p. 685
Robert Lumpkin, Virginia born, age 44; enumerated with George W. Apperson, Ga. born, 47, and John A. Starke, Va. born, 23
Anthony Burns and the Lumpkins
Charles Emery Stevens, Anthony Burns: A History (Boston, 1856), 185-97.
Mary F. Lumpkin: a Bible for Burns.
Burns referred to Mary as the “yellow woman.”
Burns described Robert Lumpkin’s “black concubine” and.
(Use http://books.google.com/ to access the Stevens text.)
Richard Henry Dana, The Journal , ed. Robert F Lucid. 3 vols. (Cambridge, 1968), III, 639-41. Former Lumpkin slave Robinson described how Lumpkin and an employee “used to sleep with the girls.”
1854. Richard Henry Dana, The Journal , ed. Robert F. Lucid. 3 vols. (Cambridge, Mass, 1968), III, 639.
1854. Richard Henry Dana, The Journal , ed. Robert F. Lucid. 3 vols. (Cambridge, Mass, 1968), III, 640.
1854. Richard Henry Dana, The Journal , ed. Robert F. Lucid. 3 vols. (Cambridge, Mass, 1968), III, 640.
1854. Richard Henry Dana, The Journal , ed. Robert F. Lucid. 3 vols. (Cambridge, Mass, 1968), III, 641.
“For sale, a young Negro Woman and her Child, two years old. The Woman is a most excellent Seamstress — can cut and make almost any garment, and, besides, a very accomplished House Servant. For terms, &c., apply at Robert Lumpkin's Jail, on Wall street, before Tuesday next.” ( Richmond Daily Dispatch , 8/10/61)
“ One hundred dollars reward.
--Ranaway from my son, J. T. Walker, on or about the 1st of June last, at Brandy Station, Va. Si, dark copper color, round head, full face, rather bad countenance, about 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high, 18 or 19 years of age. He may try to pass himself off as a free boy. It is very probable that he is in the neighborhood of Gordonsville. The above reward will be paid for his apprehension and delivery to Robert Lumpkin, Richmond, Va. Adam Y Walker.”
( Richmond Daily Dispatch , 8/10/61)
Lumpkin advertisement—one of the last.
“ Five hundred dollars Reward.
--Ran away from Greensboro, North Carolina, on the 15th of this month, a negro man, named Lewis. Said negro is about twenty-four years old, five feet ten or eleven inches high, black complexion, and weighs one hundred and ninety-two pounds. He was bought on the 3d of February from Dr. R. H. Christian. I will pay the above reward for his delivery to me.”
Robert Lumpkin. Richmond, Virginia.
( Richmond Daily Dispatch , 2/16/65).
Lumpkin’s buildings, 1865
Benefits for Robert and Mary Lumpkin’s children?
Robert Lumpkin sent them to live in Philadelphia.
But note: McElroy’s Philadelphia City Directory for 1860 (Phila., 1860), p. 48: “Harriet Barber, (colored), widow of William Barber, 911 South.” (531, not 911).
Robert and Mary Lumpkin’s family, 1860
Census, 1860, Philadelphia, 7th ward, June 11, 1860: Dwelling 331, family 428: only family in dwelling:
Name Age Birth In School
Harriet Barber 40 VA No
Martha Lumpkins 15 VA Yes
Louisa Matthews 15 VA Yes
Anna Lumpkin 13 VA Yes
Ella Jones 12 VA Yes
Robert Lumpkin 12 VA Yes
Richard Lumpkin 7 VA Yes
Ann Smith 20 VA No Servant
Dorothy Smith 18 VA No Servant
Susan Thompson 22 VA No Servant
House in Philadelphia? 531 S. 11 th Street
If Robert Lumpkin lost any major debt suits in Virginia and could not raise the money to pay the creditor, his property could be seized and sold away, including his “human property.”
“Martha D. Lumpkin, Philadelphia, Pa., and Anna E. Lumpkin, Philadelphia, Pa.”
Catalogue of the Officers and Members of the Ipswich Female Seminary for the Two Years Ending July 20. 1858 .
July 1857 July 1858 July 1858 Some other women who attended (earlier): Lavinia Dickinson, Emily Dickinson’s sister, and Helen Hunt Jackson, an advocate of Native American rights.
Census, 1860, Richmond, 1st ward:
Robert Lumpkin, age 54, "Private Goal.“
Real estate: $20,000
Personal estate : $6,845
$20,000 worth approximately $514,500
$6,845 worth approximately $176,000
http://www.measuringworth.com/ppowerus/ -- NOT exact
Bowing to necessity.
Office of Provost Marshal, Richmond, VA., July 16, 1865, No. 1245. “I Robert Lumpkin of Richmond, Va., do solemnly swear, or affirm, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves , so HELP ME GOD. Sworn and subscribed to before me [the Provost Marshal], this 16 day of July 1865.” Signed by Robert Lumpkin.
Robert Lumpkin died, October 1866. Mary F. Lumpkin now led their family .
Robert’s will (excerpt): "Item 1st. I give and bequeath to Mary F. Lumpkin, who resides with me , my real estate in the city of Richmond.” 2 nd . “I give . . . Mary F. Lumpkin my house on South 11th street, in the city of Philadelphia” . . . 5 th . If Mary Lumpkin marries, I give all property “to her children , Martha Dabney K[elsey], who was Martha Dabney Lumpkin, Annie E. Lumpkin, Robert Lumpkin, Richard C. Lumpkin, John L. Lumpkin, and any other child she may hereafter have by me .”
(Robert Lumpkin died in October 1866. Will signed 2/4/66; proved 11/6/66.)
Lumpkin’s Jail “Conversion Experience,” 1
Lumpkin’s Jail “Conversion Experience,” 2
Mary F. Lumpkin
In 1872 she referred to herself as “the wife and now the widow of R. F. Lumpkin.”
March 1869: “I am so worried about money affairs that I hardly know what to do.” 1872: She “has to keep a restaurant [in New Orleans] to make a living."
Why did Mary Lumpkin have such severe financial troubles when Robert Lumpkin was a very successful slave trader?
Mary Lumpkin’s last years
1870-1880: New Orleans.
Mary F. Lumpkin lived there for a few years and Martha (and her children) and Annie Lumpkin, longer. Perhaps their linguistic skills were useful in New Orleans?
1880-11/11/1905: New Richmond, Clermont County, Ohio.
Mary F. Lumpkin left no will or estate papers.
1900 Census, New Richmond, OH
Did Robert Lumpkin destroy Mary F. Lumpkin’s future?
Mary Lumpkin was a very resourceful person.
When a white northern minister came to Richmond in late 1866 and searched for a building in which to create a school for African-American young men, Mary Lumpkin rented the former Lumpkin’s Jail and other buildings to him. The students decided that what had been the “Devil’s Half Acre” was now “God’s Half Acre.”
There were other beneficiaries: i.e., the school created in 1866 is the grandparent of Virginia Union University.
Mary F. Lumpkin correspondence, Wilder Library, V.U.U.
We know far too little about the Lumpkin family.
Clearly Mary F. Lumpkin stands out as a fascinating member of the nuclear family.
Finding descendants can be a long, hard job.
Robert Lumpkin’s descendants may not know their ancestry.
Two of the daughters lived in New Orleans in the 1870s, and in 1880. But, later . . . ?
Mary F. Lumpkin stated in 1900 that only three of her seven children were still alive.
The 1890 Census might have been helpful—but it burned.