Document, sale of enslaved girl as payment for back taxes, July 25, 1849
Texas law set a precedent for the state to purchase property, in this case an enslaved girl
When C. W. Bassett of Houston was unable to pay the $2.40 he owed in county taxes, the county tax assessor seized his property: "One Negro girl named Loise, about ten years old and slave for life."
At a public auction to help pay the taxes, Loise did not draw any bids and she was sold to the State of Texas for $5.90. Loise's fate after the sale is unknown.
An 1848 Texas law stated "for lands or tenements [that] cannot be sold for the want of bidders, it shall be the duty of the Assessor and Collector to bid off the same for the State..." The law set a precedent for the state to purchase property, in this case an enslaved girl.
Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin
This artifact is not on view.