This 1857 bill of sale conveys ownership of Harriet, a girl of about seven years, from Samuel Sprawls to Jasper Gibbs and is recorded in the deed books of Bienville Parish, Louisiana. The document discloses that Harriet has a medical condition called “Ozeana.”
MedlinePlus defines ozena as a “disease of the nose in which the bony ridges and mucous membranes of the nose waste away.”
In 1850, Jasper Gibbs was enumerated in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, as a 40-year-old physician, born in South Carolina, with real estate valued at $22,000. The slave schedules for that year list him as the owner of 46 slaves. The Bienville Parish census schedules for 1860 no longer exist.
Samuel Sprawls was not found on the 1850 census for Bienville Parish.
The transcription and images follow. Because of the poor quality of the microfilm images, the document had to be scanned in sections to allow for adjustments for readability.
“Bienville Parish )
State of Louisiana )
Received of Jasper Gibbs Four Hundred and fifty Dollars also six dollar Doctors Bill payment in full for a negro girl named Harriett black complexion and about seven years of age. The Title of said girl Harriet I do hereby guarantee unto the said Gibbs his heirs or assigns as also. the ownership of said Girl in mind and body. It is however[?] understood that said girl Harriet has, in her nose, what is called "Ozaena" against which the Vendor Samuel Sprawls does not guarantee the said Gibbs agreeing to take her with the risque and all damage which may be sustained by said "Ozaena." The said Saml. Sprawls hereby binding his heirs and assigns This 24th day of March Eighteen Hundred and fifty seven March 24th 1857.
Martin Canfield ) (signed) Samuel Sprawls
John G. Noles Recorder ) I accept (signed) J. Gibbs
I certify that the parties Samuel Sprawls & J. Gibbs signed executed and delivered the above bill sale in my presence and in presence of Martin Canfield and in presence of Each other on the day and date therein written. In Testimony whereof I have hereto set my hand and affixed my seal of office March 24th AD. 1857 (signed) John G. Noles, Recorder
I hereby certify that the above & foregoing is a true record of the original as filed & Recorded March 24th 1857.
John G. Noles Recorder”
|Bienville Parish, Louisiana, Conveyance Records, 1848-1900, E: 115-116, |
Bill of Sale, Samuel Sprawls to Jasper Gibbs, 24 March 1857; FHL microfilm 266,008.
 U.S. National Library of Health and National Insitute of Health, MedlinePlus (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001627.htm : accessed 10 February 2012).
 1850 U.S. census, Bienville Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, Western District, page 261-B, dwelling 206, family 206, Jasper Gibbs; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 February 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication M432, roll 230.
© 2012 Denise Spurlock, Ancestral Trees Research