Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury

SLAVERY   |   Alexander James DALLAS

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A STATEMENT ON THE FEDERAL PROPERTY TAX AFFECTING SLAVE-HOLDING STATES, 1816, INCLUDING THE VALUATION OF SLAVES AS PROPERTY

(SLAVERY) DALLAS, Alexander James. Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, Transmitting a Statement of the Valuations of Lands, Lots, and Dwelling Houses, and of Slaves. Washington: William A. Davis, 1816. Folio, unbound; ll. 3. $1350.

First edition of Dallas’ statement of property values on a state-by-state basis, offered pursuant to the 1813 Act that ruled slaves as directly taxable property.

The Congressional Act of July 22, 1813 stipulated a tax lien on lands and chattels, ruling that an ad valorem tax on slaves was a direct tax, and providing for the valuation of all slaves with a view to "having them taxed whenever a direct tax should be laid." This is a calculation by the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Dallas, of values for those 11 states that had not already paid their quotas of taxes (with the value of slaves reported in a separate column). "Dallas became treasury secretary in October 1814 when the nation was virtually bankrupt… [and] under his leadership the federal debt was lowered, a surplus was created, and the nation moved back to a specie payment system" (ANB). Shaw & Shoemaker 39523. Contemporary manuscript notation regarding land values in Virginia.

Chipping to fragile margins affecting one word. A powerful slavery document in exceptional condition.

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