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1764-09-28

Confession of Sharp; September 28, 1764
Confession of Sharp, a slave, to stealing a box of spermaceti candles from the Brown brothers' Fox Point candle works. Dated September 28, 1764, the document presents a host of interpretive problems. Given that Sharp was illiterate - the confession ends with a mark rather than a signature - the document was clearly written by someone else. As for the sentiments expressed, they likewise appear to have been imposed on Sharp by his owners, who treated the theft in distinctly moralistic terms. In the statement, Sharp not only pledges to make good any financial losses to his owners, but also asks "their Forgiveness in a most publick manner for the many Reflections I have cast on their Characters, thro this unhappy affair."