Deed of James Lyon with John Eyre for sixteen slaves, 1809 November 21


Deed of James Lyon with John Eyre for sixteen slaves, 1809 November 21


Eyre, John, 1768-1855
Lyon, James, 1757-1811
African Americans--Virginia--Northampton County
Slaves--Virginia--Northampton County
Deeds--Virginia--Northampton County--19th century


James Lyon, a physician in Northampton County, Virginia, was married to Sarah Eyre, the sister of John Eyre. The deed between James Lyon and John Eyre is for the transfer of sixteen slaves to Eyre as security for seventeen hundred dollars received by Lyon of Eyre. The deed stipulates that Lyon or his heirs have until November 21, 1811, two years from the date of the deed, to repay the seventeen hundred dollars. The deed further stipulates that the slaves may be sold by Eyre if the money is not paid in time. The proceeds of the sale to satisfy the debt and costs incurred by Eyre with the residue of the sale going to Lyon or his heirs. The deed was proved at the court in Northampton County on December 9th, 1811 following the death of Lyon in November of that year. The sixteen slaves are all named in the deed.


Lyon, James, 1757-1811


Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation




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MS 2008.9



This Deed made this 21st day of Novr Anno Domini 1809 between James Lyon of the County of
Northampton & State of Virga. of the one part, and John Eyre, Guardian of William Eyre, of the County
& state aforesaid of the other, Witnesseth that the said James Lyon in order to secure the payment
of the sum of Seventeen Hundred Dollars to him in hand paid by the said John Eyre before the seal
-ing & Delivery of these presents (the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged) hath granted bargain
-ed & sold, and by these presents doth grant bargain & sell unto the said John Eyre Guardian of Willi
-am Eyre the following slaves, viz, four negroe men, named, Johnston, George, Able Booker,
& Jacob – a Boy named Severn – a Girl named Nelly – Tamar, & her four children viz.
Gilbert, Sarah, Nelson & Patience – also another woman named Fanny, & her four children viz.
Rachel, Sylla, Sam & Mary. To have & to hold the aforesaid Negroe slaves, hereby mentioned
to be granted to the said John Eyre, His Heirs & assigns for ever. Upon trust nevertheless, that
if the said James Lyon his Heirs Exrs. Admrs. or Assigns do pay or cause to be paid unto the said
John Eyre, his Heirs or Assigns the aforesaid sum of Seventeen Hundred Dollars on or before the
21st. day of November AD. 1811 together with the lawful interest thereon from the date hereof
then, and in that case, these presents, and all the property hereby granted, & every clause & sen-
tence herein contained shall cease, determine & be utterly void, anything herein contained to
the contrary notwithstanding. But in case the aforesd. James Lyon, his Heirs Exrs. Admrs. and or
Assigns shall fail to pay unto the sd. John Eyre His Heirs or Assigns the aforesd sum of Seven
teen Hundred Dollars & the interest thereon, in the time before specifyed, then the said John
Eyre his Heirs Exrs. or Admrs. are hereby authorized to proceed to make publick sale of
the aforesd. negroe Slaves to the highest bidders, having given ten days previous notice by ad-


vertizing the time & place of holding such Sale. And out of the monies arising from the
Sale of said slaves, the said John Eyre, his Heirs or Assigns are first to pay & satisfy all rea-
sonable charges accruing on their Deed, and such Sale – then the aforesaid Debt & interest,
and lastly to pay to the aforesd. James Lyon or his lawfull Representatives whatever residue
there may be of Monies arising from said Sale.

And the said James Lyon for himself, his heirs Exrs. Admrs. & Assigns doth hereby the
before mentioned Slaves unto the said John Eyre his Heirs Exrs. Admrs. fully warrant & defend
against the claim or claims of all persons whatsoever. In testimony whereof the said
James Lyon hath hereunto set his hand & affixed his seal the day [1 word illegible] before written.

James Lyon       Seal

Signed Sealed & Delivered
in presence of
Wm Williams
William Powell

At a Court held for Northampton County the 9th day of December 1811.
This Deed was proved by the Oath of William Williams
a witness thereto, and ordered to be recorded.
Thos. L. Savage Cl

James Lyon
to Jno. Eyre Guardi-
an of Wm. Eyre
Deed in trust

Original Format

Ink on paper




Lyon, James, 1757-1811, “Deed of James Lyon with John Eyre for sixteen slaves, 1809 November 21,” John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, accessed June 16, 2019,