Mary Smith


Thirteen-year-old Mary Smith of Baltimore County is set free from slavery by Horatio Berry. However, Berry in effect sells her back into servitude for $500, by indenturing Mary to George Poe Jr. of Pittsburgh. The transaction is completed by Poe’s father and attorney, George Poe Sr.


Indenture Mary Smith to George Poe Jun

This Indenture Witnesseth That Mary Smith a black Girl aged thirteen years on the fourth day of August, 1814, formerly the servant of Horatio Berry of Baltimore County and State of Maryland for and in consideration of her manumission by the said Horatio Berry which is hereby granted and made as well as in the consideration of the sum of Five hundred dollars being paid by George Poe Jr., of the Borough of Pittsburg and State of Pennsylvania, by his attorney in fact George Poe Sen. of Baltimore County to the said Horatio Berry and by and with the consent and advice of her next friend as for other good causes She the said Mary hath Bound and put herself and by these presents doth bind and put herself servant to the said George Poe Jr., to serve him his Executors, Administrators and Assigns from the day of the date hereof for and during the full term of her attaining the age of twenty-eight years from thence next ensuing, during all which time the said Servant, her Master, his Executors, Administrators and Assigns faithfully shall serve and that honestly and obediently in all things as a good and dutiful servant ought to do. And for the true performance hereof both the said parties bind themselves firmly unto each other by these presents

In Witness whereof they have interchangeably set their hands and seals dated the twelfth day of January in the Year of Our Lord eighteen hundred and fourteen.

Sealed and delivered before me the subscriber One of the Justices of the Peace for Baltimore County
Owen Dorsey 


George Poe Atty (Seal)
for George Poe Jun (Seal)
Horatio Berry (Seal)

Recorded 24th May 1825