It is not, however, understood that the black man was held in servitude within the limits of the Pacific Northwest. Such was nevertheless the case. The only known instance when a transfer of ownership was made a matter of record was the recording of a bill of sale in Lane county, Oregon. A Mr. Southworth sold the "negro boy Cole and his grandmother," to Col. Joseph Teal in the later fifties. Judge Stratton drawing up the papers required to consummate the sale. Col. Teal gave the old woman and the boy their freedom a little time thereafter, and they settled on the Long Tom, near the present town of Junction City, where they lived for a number of years.
Quite a number of pioneers brought slaves with them, but practically gave them their liberty upon their arrival here, or very soon afterwards without formulation of papers to that effect. One mother, a free negro woman, purchased her own son before leaving "the States" and after reaching the Willamette valley had the transfer recorded, the date being April 13, 1854. This document was the first miscellaneous instrument recorded in Washington county, Oregon. It was as follows:
Know all men by these presents, that for and in consideration of the sum of five hundred dollars, to me in hand paid by Jane Thomas, late Jane Snowden, a free woman of color, the receipt whereof is hereby contessed and acknowledged. I, David Snowden, of the county of Ray, in the state of Missouri, have bargained, sold and delivered to her, the said Jane Thomas, late Jane Snowden, a free woman of color one certain negro boy slave named Billy, aged 11 years, and son of said Jane Thomas, late Jane Snowden, a free woman of color. This sale is made to gratify the said Jane Thomas, mother of the said negro boy, Billy, as she is about to emigrate to Oregon, and wishes to take the boy with her. Given under my hand and seal this 17th day of December, A.D. 1852.