John Oliver vs. Capt. John Sale (1762)
Buyer sues Seller for selling two "free Mulattoes" as slaves. Decision for Seller.
- Plaintiff: Mr. John Oliver
- Defendant: Captain John Sale
- Attorney for Original Plaintiff on Appeal: Mr. Oxenbridge Thacher
- Attorney for Original Defendant on Appeal: Mr. James Otis Jr.
Notes"Most striking, no authority was cited on the issue of slavery, despite the many cases and statutory provisions listed by Samuel Quincy in his famous note 2, Reports, 29-31. It was clear that there was slavery in Massachusetts, and that you could also assign an apprentice's indentures, as Otis observed. The successful argument was that Captain Sale sold whatever interest he had in the boys for any type of service, and Oliver assumed the risk that Sale had none."
Citation: "Portrait Of A Patriot: The Major Political And Legal Papers Of Josiah Quincy Junior." Josiah Quincy Jr. V.4 The First Law Reports of the Superior Court of Judicaire of the Province of Massachusetts Bay1761-1765, Vol. One co-editors: Daniel R. Coquillette and Neil Longley York. Volume Editor: Daniel R. Coquillette https://www.colonialsociety.org
Citation: Emily Blanck, Tyrannicide: Forging an American Law of Slavery in Prevolutionary South Carolina and Massachusetts (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2014).