Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Petition 20780403 Details

Location Type:County
Salutation:To the Honble the Circuit Court of Jefferson County sitting in Chancery (, )
Filing Date:1804-September-19
Ending Date:circa 1804

General Petition Information

Abstract:Joseph Antoine, a free man of color, petitions the court to prevent Jonathan Purcel, Emanuel Lacey, Davis Floyd, or any other person, from selling him into slavery. Antoine, also known as Ben, was emancipated in Havana, Cuba. After moving to Virginia, Antoine took as his wife a slave owned by Purcel. About 1796, the petitioner, his wife, and Purcel moved to Post Vincennes. Antoine states that Purcel then threatened to sell his wife into "some part of the Spanish country" unless Antoine agreed to indenture himself to Purcel for seven and one-half years. As an added inducement, the petitioner states, Purcel promised that Antoine's wife would also be freed at the end of that time. Shortly before the end of the indenture, Antoine discovered that Purcel planned to sell him and his wife to Emanuel Lacey. Antoine agreed to be sold, fearing that if he refused, Purcel "might place him in a worse situation." Lacey purchased Antoine and his wife, took them to New Orleans and sold them as slaves for life. There, Antoine was able to gain an audience with the Spanish governor of Louisiana, who reviewed Antoine's deed of manumission and voided the sale. The couple, "anxious to return" home, then traveled up the Mississippi River with Lacey, who mistreated and abused them until they ran away. Antoine's wife, exhausted and suffering from ill treatment, died. Antoine made his way to Louisville, where he was jailed as a runaway. Davis Floyd, a slave catcher hired by Lacey, took him out of jail and tried to sell him across the Ohio River, but Antoine was too old and too weak to attract any bidders. He was taken back to jail in Louisville where he wrote his petition.
# of Petition Pages:7
Related Documents:PAR #20780404
Pages of Related Documents:0

People Associated with Petition 20780403

Free Persons of Color:1
Other People:0

Citation Information

Repository: Kentucky Division of Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky

  • Records of the Circuit Court, Case Files
  • Record Group:
  • Document Number 10
  • Box:
  • Folder:
  • Book:
  • Volume:
  • Page:
  • Microfilm:

Processing Information

Record Created:8/25/1997
Record Final Edited:6/13/2000
Record Last Updated on:2/1/2006 4:53:00 PM