This 1851 document transferred legal ownership of thirty-five slaves from Cary Whitaker of Halifax County, North Carolina to Frederick R. Cotten of Leon County, Florida. Cotten had moved with his wife Elizabeth to Leon County in 1847 and soon established a large plantation. The 1860 Federal Census lists him as a forty-year-old planter, born in North Carolina, who owned real estate valued at $8,000.00 and with a personal estate of $14,000.00. According to the 1860 Slave Schedule, Cotten owned ninety-four slaves. In 1860 in the entire state, 61,745 individuals were held in bondage, the great majority in the plantation counties of northern and central Florida.
Know all men by these presents that I, Laurence B. Whitaker attorney for Cary Whitaker Senr. of the County of Halifax and State of North Carolina, for and in consideration of the sum of fifteen thousand dollars to me paid by Frederick R. Cotten of the County of Leon and State of Florida have bargained and sold to said Frederick R. Cotten the following negros: Old Penny, Wilkes, Enoch, Molly, Sarry, Sylvia, Albery, Nancy, Rosetta, Betsy, John, Franklin, Jacob Senr., young Penny, Jerry, Frederick, Penelope, Lucy, Jenny, Lydia, Jacob Junr., Guni [?], Seaborn, Susan, Washington, Aga [?], George, Martha, Sarah Louisa Winna, Mourning, Scipio, Davy, Parthana, Margaret; and the title to said negros, I warrant and defend against all claims whatever. Given under my hand & seal this 29 day of August A.D. 1851
S.A. [?] Whitaker
H. [?] C. Whitaker