Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 10382306

State: Delaware Year: 1823

Abstract: In December 1822 illiterate white bricklayer Richard Millington, "a citizen of Caroline County," Maryland, moved to Delaware “in search of work.” Shortly after his arrival he was "taken at the Suit of Luke Bell a black man" for a debt of $1.75 and placed in the Kent County jail. Unable to pay even this small amount, Millington seeks relief from his "helpless and wretched condition."

PAR Number 11280513

State: North Carolina Year: 1805
Location: Robeson Location Type: County

Abstract: Maj. William Odom joins six other petitioners in stating that they were recently "try'd for a Riot, prosecuted by a Mullattoe by the name of Elisha Cumboe." He explains that the said Elisha is a part of "a family of these Mullattoes who are well known to be of Infamous Characters" and that they "are envious malicious & dangerous persons, having a Villanous Clan about them." Williams reports that said "riot" originated when William Townsend "prosecuted & Convicted a Brother of said Elisha Cumboe for Larceny" and the said Elisha, "out of revenge," went to Townsend's plantation and "shot & kill'd a valuable Horse of his." They admit that "for this Offence your petitioners proceeded to apprehend said Cumboe, perhaps without the Legal process of Law;" Cumboe brought suit and Maj. Odom was fined fifteen pounds and the other petitioners incurred a ten-pound fine. Asserting that "the whole of the conduct of your petitioners was Instigated by an ardent wish to procure order & good Neighborhood," the petitioners pray that they be released from the payment of said fines.

PAR Number 11480301

State: Tennessee Year: 1803

Abstract: One hundred forty-eight petitioners request that Gasper Lott, a free man of color, be permitted to prove his accounts. They aver that Lott is a man "of great industry and Honesty," who "by his exertions has accumulated considerable property." The petitioners argue, however, that "by the Laws as they now are he is deprived of the privilege of proving his accounts, which tends to deprive him of the common benefits of a Citizen."

PAR Number 11480602

State: Tennessee Year: 1806
Location: Washington Location Type: County

Abstract: Fifty-seven petitioners "pray that Samuel Hamilton (a man of colour) of the county of Washington, may have the liberty of proving his accounts."

PAR Number 11481304

State: Tennessee Year: 1813
Location: Washington Location Type: County

Abstract: Samuel Hamilton, a free man of color, asks that he may be permitted to prove his accounts; in "his present Situation [he] will Be Always liable to lose a Considerable Portion of the fruits of his honest Industry."

PAR Number 11482001

State: Tennessee Year: 1820
Location: Grainger Location Type: County

Abstract: Claborn Gowen complains that "he is one of those unfortunate people of Colour, which the laws of this state prohibit from proveing their book [accounts] against a white man by their own oath." He further asserts that "he has been defrauded out of some of his hard earnt honest debts, for the want of this priveledge." He therefore prays that he be granted "the previledge of white men, to prove his [accounts] by his own oath."

PAR Number 20185324

State: Alabama Year: 1853
Location: Dallas Location Type: County

Abstract: Harriet Hooper, a free "yellow" woman of color, and her six minor children, Ellen, William, Mary Jane, Zachariah, Eliza Ann, and Joseph seek their rightful legacy from the estate of the late John Hooper. Now residing in Ohio, Harriet asserts that the said John fathered her said children and held her and them in slavery; John Hooper's last will and testament, executed 28 May 1848, however, manumitted Harriet and her children. She states that said will stipulated that the executor, Zachariah L. Hooper, should take the family "to the State of Ohio and free them, then settle them comfortably in the Country and after settling them, to place in some solvent Bank in Ohio the sum of ten thousand dollars." Harriet reports that "the said sum of Eighteen hundred dollars constitutes the whole & the only monies & legacies paid to your Oratrix and the said Six children mentioned in the will" and that the said executor used these funds to pay all the expenses of moving the family from Alabama to Ohio. Charging him with having "fraudulently, wilfully and unlawfully converted the said sum of ten thousand dollars to his own use," the petitioners pray that Zachariah L. Hooper be decreed to perform "all his duties as such under & by virtue of the provisions of the last will & testament of his testator for & on behalf of your Oratrix & six children" and that the sum of ten thousand dollars "be applied ... for the benefit of the said Complainants." Harriet insists that the executor's failure to "to perform or execute that trust" has "reduced [her family] to utter poverty & destitution" and that "she and her six children aforesaid have not been settled comfortably in the state of Ohio according to the provisions and directions of the said last will & testament, but they are now uncomfortable poor and destitute."

PAR Number 20378301

State: Delaware Year: 1783
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: "The Petition of Negro Jim, the indented Servant Lad of a certain Alexander Steel," free black Jim begins his petition, "Humbly Sheweth" that he is "the son of a Free Negro woman named Hannah, late of New Castle County afsd. deced." He states that in 1770 his grandfather Hector, "a Free Negro," consented to his indenture to Steele for nearly sixteen years. Steele promised to furnish Jim "with all the necessaries of Life during the said Term to learn him to read and write & at the Expiration thereof, to give him two Suits of Apparel." Steele has hired out Jim several times. Jim and Thomas Moore, to whom Jim is currently hired, contend that Steele has failed "to perform his part of the Covenants in the afsd. Indentures, to wit to have him taught to read & write." Jim asks the court to summon Steele to answer his charges.

PAR Number 20379511

State: Delaware Year: 1795
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: "Negro Anteagua Handy" states that Peggy Handy, his "pretended mistress," keeps and detains him as a slave. Apprehending "that he is entitled to his Freedom," the petitioner seeks a summons commanding her to appear in court and answer the charge.

PAR Number 20379512

State: Delaware Year: 1795
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Patience, a Negro, states that Peggy Handy, "her pretended mistress," keeps and detains her as a slave. Apprehending that "she is entitled to her freedom," the petitioner seeks a summons commanding Handy to appear in court and answer the charge.

PAR Number 20379518

State: Delaware Year: 1795
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: "Negro Phobe, by her Husband and Friend," states that she "is held and detained as a Slave by Jacob Grewell." Apprehending "that She is entitled to her Freedom," Phobe Emory seeks a summons, commanding Grewell to appear and answer "the Complaint of your Petitioner."

PAR Number 20379905

State: Delaware Year: 1799
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: "Negro Sarah Loatman by negro Simon Loatman her Father" states that Daniel Cook, "her pretended master," holds and detains her as a slave. Apprehending that "she is entitled to her Freedom," she asks the court to summon Cook "to answer the Complaint of your petitioner."

PAR Number 20380052

State: Delaware Year: 1800
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Peter Williams, a man of color, states that "he is unjustly held and detained as a Servant by a certain John Brown." Williams asks that Brown be summoned "to shew wherefore he holds and detains your Petitioner as a Servant."

PAR Number 20380053

State: Delaware Year: 1800
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Nutter Kellem, a woman of color, states "that she now is & has been wrongfully claimed, held & retained in slavery, by a certain Mary Dawson, who pretends to be her mistress." The petitioner prays that Dawson be summoned to answer her complaint and be required "to abide the Judgement & Decree, which the Court shall make."

PAR Number 20380054

State: Delaware Year: 1800
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Solomon, a man of color, states that he "is claimed as a Slave by a certain William Banks of Caroline County in the State of Maryland." He further asserts that he "apprehends himself entitled to his freedom, by a hire into this State, since the passing of a Law prohibiting the Same." Solomon asks that Banks, "his pretended master," be summoned "to answer the complaint of your Petitioner."

PAR Number 20380055

State: Delaware Year: 1800
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Sylvia, a woman of color, states that William Wilson of Maryland claims her as a slave. Apprehending "herself entitled to her freedom, by Importation into this State contrary to Law," Sylvia asks that Wilson be summoned "to answer the complaint of your Petitioner."

PAR Number 20380056

State: Delaware Year: 1800
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Thomas, a man of color, states that he is "held and claimed as a Slave by a Certain Dr Loadman Elbert of Caroline County in the State of Maryland." Thomas apprehends that he is "intitled to his freedom under the Laws of this State, by Importation." The petitioner asks that Elbert be summoned "to answer the complaint of your Petitioner."

PAR Number 20380101

State: Delaware Year: 1801
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Jack, a man of color, states that he "is unjustly held and detained as a slave by a certain Matthew Dunnahoe." Apprehending that "he is justly entitled to his freedom by the Laws of this State," Jack asks that Dunnahoe be summoned "to answer the complaint of your petitioner."

PAR Number 20380102

State: Delaware Year: 1801
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: David, a man of color, states that he "is unjustly held and detained as a slave by a certain Ebenezer Turner." Apprehending "that he is justly entitled to his freedom by the Laws of this State," David asks that Turner be summoned "to answer the complaint of your petitioner."

PAR Number 20380103

State: Delaware Year: 1801
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Jesse Black, a person of color, states that Samuel West, "his pretended master," holds and detains him as a slave. Jesse, who sues by his father Murray Black, "apprehends he is entitled to his freedom." He therefore asks that West be summoned "to answer the complaint of your petitioner."

PAR Number 20380104

State: Delaware Year: 1801
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Phillip, a man of color, states that he "is claimed as a Slave by a certain Robert Gambrell, "of Either Caroline or Queen anns County, in the State of Maryland." Apprehending that he is "intitled to his freedom," Phillip asks that Gambrell be summoned "to answer the complaint of your Petitioner."

PAR Number 20380105

State: Delaware Year: 1801
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Bt her next friend, Benjamin Blackiston, Priss, a woman of color, states that Ebenezer Turner holds and detains her as a slave. Apprehending "that she is justly entitled to her freedom," Priss asks that Turner be summoned "to answer the complaint of your petitioner."

PAR Number 20380106

State: Delaware Year: 1801
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: By Daniel Mifflin, his next friend, Robbin, a man of color, states that Edmond Dunnavan holds and detains him as a slave. Apprehending that "he is justly entitled to his freedom," Robbin asks that Dunnavan be summoned "to answer the complaint of your petitioner."

PAR Number 20380107

State: Delaware Year: 1801
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Ruth, Rachel, Naomi, and Peter, people of color, claim that they "are unjustly held and detained as slaves by a certain John Clark." Apprehending "that they are justly entitled to their freedom," they ask that Clark be summoned "to answer the complaint of your Petitioners."

PAR Number 20380109

State: Delaware Year: 1801
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Joshua Young, a man of color, states that John Saunders, "his pretended master," holds and detains him in slavery. Apprehending that "he is entitled to his Freedom," Young asks that Saunders be summoned "to answer the said Complaint."

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