Guilford, a Carpenter

This is the first instance I have found in my research of an enslaved person being identified by a skill or profession.

Kenneth Bembry sold “One certain negro Slave a Man by the name of Guilford a Carpenter” to Joseph Carruthers of Pulaski County, Georgia on July 27, 1840 for $1,500.

This is no doubt the same Guilford that was hired by Thomas to work on his father, Miles Bembry’s estate, as shown by a receipt dated the same day found in Miles’ probate file.

Hawkinsville July 27 1840

Rec’d of Thomas Bembry Admr on the Estate of Miles Bembry Dec’d the sum of Four Hundred and Thirty Dollars in full for the amt Allowed him for the hire of Gilford, Phelitia, & Love the past year by the Jury at the Superior Court July Term 1840

K Bembry

Postscript: two weeks after writing this post, I ran across Guilford again. He apparently took the name of his last owner before emancipation, as he is found on the 1870 census of Pulaski County as “Gilford Carruthers,” age 70, born in North Carolina.

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