Mary and Grace Clark
On November 26, 1792, Mary and Grace Clark were manumitted by Ann Bartram (1741-1824), the youngest daughter of Bartram’s Garden founder, John Bartram (1699-1777). Mary Clark purchased her freedom from Bartram for 54 pounds and arranged the manumission of Grace Clark. The reverse side of Mary’s manumission document outlined the details of an agreement to secure Grace’s freedom. Ann Bartram received 12 pounds, 13 shillings, and 5 pence on that day, and the pair agreed that the Clark’s would pay the balance within one month. While the manumission document did not outline how the remaining amount was paid, financial arrangements between the enslaved and their enslavers sometimes allowed them to work down the debt.
Little is known about the lives of the Clarks during their time in bondage or after manumission. Although Ann Bartram lived in present day-Old City (Second Street between Walnut and Chestnut Streets) rather than at Bartram’s Garden, the Clarks’ manumission document is an example of the Bartram family’s involvement in the institution of slavery. Download Stories We Know for more on the Black history of Kingsessing and the Bartram family.
 Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Abolition Society Papers. Collection 0490, Box 2, folder 5.