Thursday, June 7, 2012

Neither Slave Nor Free: Mary Ann Ganges

Indenture of Mary Ann Ganges to Thomas Egger (1800)

This indenture witnesseth that Mary Ann Ganges, by and with the consent of Robert Patterson and Thomas Harrison, members of the Pa. Inc. Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, she being one of those persons captured on board the Phebe, by the sloop of war the Ganges, commanded by John Maloney, Esq. hath put herself and by these Presents, the said Mary Ann Ganges doth voluntary and of her own free will and accord, put hefself Apprentice to Thomas Egger of the City of Philadelphia, Quarantine Master, to learn the Art, Trade, and Mystery of Housekeeping, and after the manner of an Apprentice to serve him the said John Brown Jr., his Heirs and Assigns from the day of the date hereof, for and during, and to the full end and term of nine years next ensuing. During all which term the said Apprentic her said Master faithfully shall serve, his secrets keep, his lawful comands every where readily obey. She shall do no damage to her said Master’s goods, nor see it to be done by others, without letting or giving notice thereof to her said Master. [S]he shall not waste her Master’s goods, nor lend them unlawfully to any. [S]he shall not commit fornication, nor contract matrimony within the said term. She shall not play at cards, dice, or any other unlawful game, whereby h[er] Master may have damage. With her own goods nor the goods of others, without licence from her said Master, [s]he shall neither buy nor sell. She shall not absent herself day nor night from her said Master’s service without his leave, nor haunt ale-houses, taverns, or play-houses; but in all things behave herself as a faithful apprentice ought to do, during the said term. And the said Master shall use the utmost of his endeavours to teach, or cause to be taught or instructed, the said Apprentice in the trade or Mystery of Housewifery and procure and provide for her sufficient Meat, Drink, Wearing apparel, Lodging and Washing, fitting for an Apprentice, during the said term of nine years and shall use his endeavours to teach her to read & write and when free, to have two suits of apparel, one whereof to be new.

This Indenture not to be assigned, without the consent of the Committee of Guardians of the Pa. Inc. Soc. for the Abolition of Slavery.

And whereas a Bond is this day given by Thos. Egger and Edward Garrigues to John Hall Esq. Marshal of the U.S. for the Dist. of Pa., in the sum of Four Hundred Dollars, conditioned, that if the suits brought or to be brought by the claimants of the Phebe or her cargo: and the Court should determine that Mary Ann Ganges is a Slave, then, and in that case, she is (if alive) to be surrendered to the said Marshal or to his assigns on demand.

[signed 30 December 1800] (source: University of Pennsylvania)

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