Item #List2319 A Letter from a Collections Agent Warning of Pending Collections for Negro Bonds, 1876. Reconstruction - Law - Enslavement, R. E Allison.
[Reconstruction - Law - Enslavement] Allison, R.E.

A Letter from a Collections Agent Warning of Pending Collections for Negro Bonds, 1876.

Lancaster: 1876. Single page measuring 9 ½ x 6 inches. Some tears at folds, near fine. Near Fine. Item #List2319

An interesting letter deserving further study regarding the legal fallout for defaults on Negro Bonds following Emancipation, a question of significant economic impact for the finances of ex-enslavers, as a significant amount of private debt endured following Emancipation. The author, a collections agent, warns B.H. Massey, Esquire of pending actions to pursue damages for defaults on Negro Bonds for the sum of $10,000 based on the fact that Massey acted as Receiver of the bonds when they were issued. It is unclear whether Massey was Allison’s client at the time or if he intended to pursue collections actions against him. We find no record of the case. Full transcription follows:

Kershaw, Allison & Connors
American Attorneys
Collection Association
All Legal Business Attended To.
Collections a specialty.

Lancaster, S.C. Sept. the 14th 1876

B. H. Massey, Esq.

Dear Sir,

My impression is that Blackwell Wilson is going to try to charge you with the three notes which you signed as though you had collected the money thereon - taking the ground that the moment you were appointed Receiver, that in contemplation of law, by the act of such appointment, these notes by operation of Law were eo instanti paid. And, I confess, that there is great danger to you in this, unless you can show that there was failure of consideration in the Negro bonds - that is that the Negroes were unsound. I deem it my duty to apprise you of the danger, so that you may be prepared for it, if it should come. I do not know how you have your affairs arranged. If you can show failure of consideration of the Negro bonds, we can either take testimony to that effect, or have an issue referred to a jury. Let me know what defense you could make to any of the bonds.

Yours truly, &c.
R. E. Allison.

I think the notes that he desires to charge you with Prin. & Interest will amount to exceeding ten thousand Dollars.

An interesting document relating to Reconstruction-era law that should provide insight into some of the legal strategies at play regarding the collections of debt.

Price: $375.00