Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 11085911

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Adams Location Type: County

Abstract: Natchez free woman of color Agnes Eahart asks for a special license to remain in Mississippi. She is the mother of many children--Elizabeth, Andrew, Mary, Margaret, David, Napoleon, Emma, Elena, William, Almon, and Melvin--all born free; and she can post a $5,000 good-behavior bond.

PAR Number 11085912

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Adams Location Type: County

Abstract: The petitioners, who described themselves as legal voters of Adams County, observe that there are certainly "vicious and evil disposed" free people of color, but there are also those "who have spent a life here free from reproval, or even the suspicions of improper conduct." Furthermore, some free people of color have acquired property "by patient industry and are beyond doubt loyal & true to the Laws." The petitioners offer the legislature their advice that any law that may be passed to expel free black people should take this into account. The city's Board of Police should be given the authority to discriminate between the loyal and disloyal, and remove only the "unworthy."

PAR Number 11085915

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Holmes Location Type: County

Abstract: Wilson Melton and John Sproles ask that Wesley Moore, "a free man of Yellow Complexion," be exempted from the bill designed to drive free people of color from the state. Moore has lived in Mississippi since 1834, is married to a slave owned by one of the petitioners, and has several children owned by the petitioner. Moore is about forty-six years old. If such exemption cannot be granted, then Moore wishes to enter slavery to be with his family. The petitioners explain that, in anticipation of such eventuality, they will compensate him in the sum of $500, which should be used to pay off his debts, with the residue set aside for his benefit.

PAR Number 11085916

State: Mississippi Year: 1859

Abstract: Joe Bird, a free man of color born of free parents, asks to "elevate himself from his present condition into Slavery." Having lived in the state nearly twenty years, he has a wife and children and wishes to remain with them. He asks to become the slave of Robert Graham.

PAR Number 11085917

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Tippah Location Type: County

Abstract: Free black man William Jackson states that "he is desirous under the late law passed" by the legislature "of going into slavery upon condition that he may elect his owner." The white man he elects to become property of is James T. Craig.

PAR Number 11085919

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Itawamba Location Type: County

Abstract: Billard Filmore, a free man of color, seeks a special act making him a slave for life to James J. Lindsey, a lawyer in the town of Fulton. At a recent court session, Filmore was charged with the attempted murder of a slave. He was desirous of procuring counsel in his defense and was "looking to the law recently passed by your Honorable body respecting free Mulattos in Said State."

PAR Number 11085920

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Tallahatchie Location Type: County

Abstract: Free born William Webster asks for a special act allowing him to become the slave of a physician in the town of Charleston, Tallahatchie County. Webster is not only indebted to the physician, Dr. Atheral Ball, but he is attached to him and "does not wish to be removed from his possession."

PAR Number 11085921

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Kemper Location Type: County

Abstract: The grandson of a white woman, free man of color Johan Perrot seeks a special act allowing him to become the slave of Reverend Charles Hailey. In 1844, he journeyed with Hailey, who whom he was apprenticed, from Anson County, North Carolina, where he was born, and settled with him in Kemper County, Mississippi. Perrot is now about twenty-three years old and views Hailey as "a Kind Master and friend." For the past two years Perrot has been an invalid. He would "vastly prefer going into Slavery, than to be compelled to leave."

PAR Number 11085922

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Hinds Location Type: County

Abstract: Free man of color Joseph Nelson asks for an exemption from the law forcing free black people to leave the state. He came to Mississippi as a child in 1835 and has lived in Hinds County ever since. He has a wife and children who are slaves belonging to Judge A. Dabney of the town of Raymond.

PAR Number 11085923

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Franklin Location Type: County

Abstract: Ann Caldwell, a free woman of color, asks for a special act allowing her to remain in the state. She is willing to give bond "for her behavior & that she will not be chargeable to the State or any County in which she may be permitted to reside." Caldwell informs the court that she was previously the slave of one Hugh Camron, who bequeathed her to his daughter, Margaret Camron Donan of Natchez. While Margaret Donan was confined for years with pulmonary consumption, Caldwell served her as a faithful nurse and was rewarded with her freedom.

PAR Number 11085924

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Franklin Location Type: County

Abstract: Ann Caldwell, a free woman of color, asks for a special act allowing her to remain in the state. She is willing to give bond "for her behavior & that she will not be chargeable to the State or any County in which she may be permitted to reside." Caldwell informs the court that she was previously the slave of one Hugh Camron, who bequeathed her to his daughter, Margaret Camron Donan of Natchez. While Margaret Donan was confined for years with pulmonary consumption, Caldwell served her as a faithful nurse and was rewarded with her freedom.

PAR Number 11085925

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Hinds Location Type: County

Abstract: Free people of color Howard Cash and his wife ask for a special act allowing them to remain in the state. Howard was born free and his wife acquired her freedom by purchase. They have children, who are slaves, and they pray that if "it may please the Almighty to spare their lives, they will endeavour to demean themselves as good and loyal Subjects to the State."

PAR Number 11085927

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Warren Location Type: County

Abstract: Eighty-one citizens of Jasper and Clarke counties write on behalf of Dick Dale, a free man of color who was the body servant of General Samuel Dale in the "Indians Wars." Dale performed meritorious service attending to his wounded master. Dale is now in his early sixties and in ill health; he has a family, all members of which are slaves. The residents ask the legislature to pass a bill exempting him "from the penalties of the Act requiring free persons to leave the state & that he be authorized to remain in this state as a free man of Color."

PAR Number 11085928

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Kemper Location Type: County

Abstract: Kemper County citizens most respectfully pray that the petition of free man of color named Johan Perrot be granted as consistent with "good policy." Perrot explains in his petition that he is the grandson of a white woman, that he was born in North Carolina and apprenticed there, while still a small boy, to the Reverend Charles Hailey. He came to Mississippi in 1844 and has since resided in the state. As he is an invalid, he is unable to leave the state and would like to become the property of Reverend Hailey, who has been a kind master to him.

PAR Number 11086001

State: Mississippi Year: 1860
Location: Harrison Location Type: County

Abstract: Ninety-eight citizens of Pass Christian petition the legislature to exempt certain free persons of color named within from the pending bill to force free blacks to leave the state. The free people of color were mostly descendants of Charles Asmar, who was emancipated by Madam Asmar sometime before 1783. Members of the family are land owners and "well known to the Undersigned as good, peaceable, orderly, industrious, worthy and useful members of the Community."

PAR Number 11086002

State: Mississippi Year: 1860
Location: Clarke Location Type: County

Abstract: Seventy-nine citizens of Clark County write in behalf of "General" John Harkins, an elderly free man of color who had purchased his freedom. They ask "that the Legislature may exempt him from the operation of any law they may pass requiring the free negroes of this State to emigrate, or be sold into slavery." They assert that "no good can result to us, who are effected (if any body be effected) by his residence here, by his emigration or his sale into slavery, while much harm may be done the negro."

PAR Number 11086004

State: Mississippi Year: 1860
Location: Wilkinson Location Type: County

Abstract: Nineteen citizens of Wilkinson County write on behalf of free man of color Titus Hill, who had never been guilty of "a single mean, or dishonest act." He is about sixty years old, they say, and has acquired between four thousand and five thousand dollars worth of property. And they add: "We approve the policy of the general law prohibiting free negroes from remaining in this state, but think, that in consideration of Titus Hill's old age, his honesty and energy as a man and his good behavior as a citizen, a special act should be passed for his benefit."

PAR Number 11086005

State: Mississippi Year: 1860
Location: Clarke Location Type: County

Abstract: Seventy-six citizens of Clarke County write on behalf of Lewis, a free man of color, who by "honest industry has purchased his own freedom and that of his wife." They explain that since his freedom he has acted "with the same humbleness and propriety of deportment that made him a favorite while a slave, and "by industry he has accumulated property which he would be compelled to sacrifice if forced to emigrate suddenly." They ask the legislature to exempt him, at least for two years, from any law that might pass "requiring free negroes of this State to emigrate, or be sold into slavery."

PAR Number 11086006

State: Mississippi Year: 1860
Location: Wilkinson Location Type: County

Abstract: Ten citizens of Wilkinson County write on behalf of Peter Antoine, a free person of color, requesting that he be permitted to remain in the state "on good behavior." Antoine "has a slave wife and children here."

PAR Number 11086007

State: Mississippi Year: 1860
Location: Marshall Location Type: County

Abstract: Free woman of color Ann Archie asks the legislature "to pass an act to empower her & and her infant child [Julia] to become the slaves of Andrew H. Caldwell" rather than be forced to emigrate from the state.

PAR Number 11086008

State: Mississippi Year: 1860
Location: Carroll Location Type: County

Abstract: Citizens of Carroll County write on behalf of Wiley Wiggins, a twenty-two-year-old free person of color who has lived in the area for six years. Whereas a newly passed act of the legislature denies free blacks the right to remain in the state after 1 August 1860 without express permission of an act of the legislature, they ask the legislature to grant Wiggins permission to remain in Mississippi.

PAR Number 11086010

State: Mississippi Year: 1860
Location: Marshall Location Type: County

Abstract: Emmarilla Jeffries, a free woman of color, requests that the legislature pass an act enabling her and her children to become the slaves of E. W. Ward. Her husband and sister are slaves, and she wants to remain "in the service of a gentleman who has Kindly provided for her wants." With a law about to be passed forcing free blacks out of the state, she asks for permission to remain in Mississippi.

PAR Number 11086011

State: Mississippi Year: 1860
Location: Kemper Location Type: County

Abstract: Thirty citizens of Kemper County write on behalf of free man of color Will Reed, "a faithful and quiet negro" who has always been trustworthy and honest. They explain that his former "mistress" had wished to set him free, but was prevented to do so by the will of her late husband. Consequently, Will was sold at auction four years ago, but since then he has bought himself for the sum of $935. The petitioners ask that he be exempt from an act of the legislature that would force him to leave the state or be sold into slavery. They say that the act has been "lately passed and approved."

PAR Number 11086012

State: Mississippi Year: 1860
Location: Kemper Location Type: County

Abstract: Citizens of Kemper County write on behalf of free man of color Will Reed, "a faithful and quiet negro" who has always been trustworthy and honest. They explain that his former "mistress" had wished to set him free, but was prevented to do so by the will of her late husband. Consequently, Will was sold at auction four years ago, but since then he has bought himself for the sum of $935. The petitioners ask that he be exempt from an act of the legislature that would force him to leave the state or be sold into slavery. They say that the act has been "lately passed and approved."

PAR Number 11086014

State: Mississippi Year: 1860
Location: Campbell Location Type: County

Abstract: The petitioners petition to express "our approval of the law passed your body, for the purpose of freeing our state from Free Negroes, and also our wish that it will be executed without exceptions whatever."

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