Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Petition 21585808 Details

Location:San Augustine
Location Type:County
Salutation:To the Hon. A W O Hickes Judge of the fifth Judicial District, holding Sessions for said county (HICKS, A. W. O.)
Filing Date:1858-September-7

General Petition Information

Abstract:Daniel, "a free person of African descent" facing expulsion from the state of Texas and "compelled therefore to choose between banishment and Slavery," asks to become the slave of B. M. Watson, a man he conceives "in every way fit to receive this gift of my freedom." Daniel explains that he has "compared as well as I could the probable condition of a free negro in any of the American States, with his condition in a State of Slavery- the result of that comparison has led me to prefer the latter alternative." He attests that his "condition has not been in any respect better, in many matters it has been worse" than the slaves with whom he lives and works. He asserts that "they for the most part have kind and indulgent masters, who take care of them in old age & in sickness ... and allow them to make crops for themselves; Of all these advantages I am deprived ... The object of life is happiness - Freedom is only useful when it tends to secure it. For my part I can only say that it has great terror for me as it robs me of my family & forces me from the spot to which I am so much attached If I only share the lot of other slaves around me I feel that I not only have not relinquished, but have gained an advantage by changing my condition." He adds that he does not wish "to bring ruin & misery to myself by going to the Northern states, where the laboring classes are equally Indigent & infinately more selfish & exclusive than the slaves here- I should be starved out or driven off to the Canadas."
# of Petition Pages:3
Related Documents:Amended Petition, 12 October 1858; Summons, Daniel, 8 September 1858; Copy of Summons, Daniel, 8 September 1858
Pages of Related Documents:6

People Associated with Petition 21585808

Free Persons of Color:1
Other People:0

Citation Information

Repository: East Texas Research Center, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas

  • Court Records
  • Record Group:
  • Document Number 1320
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Processing Information

Record Created:7/10/1998
Record Final Edited:7/1/2002
Record Last Updated on:8/30/2006 4:00:00 PM