Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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Your subject search returned 101 total results.

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PAR Number 20682008

State: Georgia Year: 1820
Location: Pulaski Location Type: County

Abstract: Robert Thompson sues John O. Grant for $1,000 in damages. He alleges that Grant, with intent to injure him, accused him of having alerted one James Hayes that a warrant had been issued against him for illegally introducing slaves into the state. As a result of Grant's accusations, Thompson was arrested and detained in jail for forty-eight hours. Thompson states that although the prosecution has ended, he has sustained "great damage."

PAR Number 20682018

State: Georgia Year: 1820
Location: Scriven Location Type: County

Abstract: James P. Poythress sues Job Herrington for slander and asks for $2,000 in damages. Poythress claims that he enjoyed a solid reputation in his community until he was charged by Herrington of harboring and concealing a slave named Sam, Herrington's property. Because of these accusations and allegations, Poythress was indicted and tried by jury. Although he was acquitted of any wrongdoing, he contends that he has incurred legal expenses. He sues for damages.

PAR Number 20682109

State: Georgia Year: 1821
Location: Jones Location Type: County

Abstract: William Jordan sues Nathaniel Perritt for slander, asking for $5,000 in compensation. Jordan claims that, since the time of his "nativity," he has maintained a reputation as a citizen in excellent standing in his community. However, Perritt has accused him of "harboring and Concealing runaway negro slaves." Specifically, Perritt accused Jordan of concealing his runaway slave, Sam. Jordan contends that this situation has tarnished his reputation and he seeks redress from the court.

PAR Number 20682112

State: Georgia Year: 1821
Location: Scriven Location Type: County

Abstract: Luke H. Smith sues Alexander Douglass for slander and $2,000 in damages. He claims to have maintained a good reputation in his community and among his peers until August 1820, when Douglass, within the presence of others, alleged that the petitioner is "a damned negro." Because of these accusations, Smith contends, he "is very much prejudiced, hurt, & damnified in his good name, fame, credit & reputation." He sues for damages.

PAR Number 20682115

State: Georgia Year: 1821
Location: Screven Location Type: County

Abstract: Luke H. Smith sues Doughlass Black for $2,000 in damages. Smith claims to have maintained a solid reputation in the community and enjoyed the esteem of his neighbors until Black, within "the presence and hearing of" others, accused him of being a "damned negro." Smith claims that this accusation has severely damaged his reputation and standing in the community, and in his business affairs. He sues for damages. In his answer, a related document, Black contends that "the words if spoken" by him were "at a time when he was an infant and under the age of twenty one, and not liable to be sued in this Court in his own name."

PAR Number 20682119

State: Georgia Year: 1821
Location: Wilkes Location Type: County

Abstract: Elizabeth McMickins is the wife of Nathaniel McMickins, the owner of a large estate that includes slaves. She has had three children and is pregnant again. She accuses Nathaniel of extreme cruelty and states that "this abuse & Cruelty Consisted in Whipping without mercy your petitioner." She claims that Nathaniel has accused her of adultery with her own brother and other men. He has kicked her and their children out of the house and refused to support them. She has been forced to seek refuge at the home of her aging father and become dependent on him for support. She asks the court for a divorce from her husband because of his "intolerable cruelty" and for alimony.

PAR Number 20682408

State: Georgia Year: 1824
Location: Scriven Location Type: County

Abstract: James Boyet writes that he has always enjoyed a solid reputation in his community and among his peers and neighbors until William Cooper falsely accused him of hiring Cooper's Negroes to steal Cooper's bacon. Boyet claims that he "hath been greatly injured & damnified." He sues Cooper for $2,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20682517

State: Georgia Year: 1825
Location: Wilkes Location Type: County

Abstract: Charles B. Hamilton, "an Honest & faithful Citizen of the State," charges that Milton Lee did "speak & publish ... false & scandalous & defamatory ... words of & concerning your petitioner" when he insinuated "that your petitioner had harboured his the said Lees negro." Claiming that "he has lost the confidence & support of his neighbours & acquaintances," Hamilton states that "his good name fame & reputation" has been injured. He sues for $2,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20683120

State: Georgia Year: 1832
Location: Oglethorpe Location Type: County

Abstract: John W. Hemby is suing John Appling for accusing him "of concealing or causing to be concealed harbouring or hideing any runaway slave." Hemby asserts that this accusation has damaged his reputation and that he has been subjected to prosecution for these crimes. The petitioner sues Appling for slander and $5,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20683612

State: Georgia Year: 1836
Location: Greene Location Type: County

Abstract: Daniel Perdue sues William Walker for slander and $5,000 in damages. Walker has accused Perdue of crimes, including larceny and adultery. Specifically, Walker accused Perdue of being "in the habit of getting out of bed from his Wife and going to bed to a negro woman ... for the purpose of Committing Adultery with a negro girl or Woman" and of having his slave, Carter, steal his neighbor's pigs. These accusations were made in public places of business, Perdue claims, and thereby he is "greatly injured in his good name fame & reputation & brought into public scandal infamy & disgrace with & amongst his neighbours and other good Citizens of said state."

PAR Number 20683710

State: Georgia Year: 1837
Location: Coweta Location Type: County

Abstract: Mary Ann Phillips, by her next friend and father, Leonard Phillips, avers that her "good chaste Virtuous & modest" reputation has been slandered and destroyed by Tillman Haynes. The petitioner asserts that Haynes told a group of people that "a certain white man had caught her (meaning the said Mary Ann) and a negro boy (meaning the said Male slave) together (meaning that a certain white man had caught the said Mary Ann in the act of carnal copulation with & Knowledge of the said negro male Slave)." Phillips states that she is innocent of the accusations, yet, because of the rumors, her neighbors and others "wholly refused and still refuse daily more & more to have any commerce acquaintance or social intercourse with her or to have anything to do with her." Phillips seeks $10,000 for the damage done to her.

PAR Number 20683811

State: Georgia Year: 1838
Location: Greene Location Type: County

Abstract: Augustus Pitcher states that Holcomb Harper has damaged his reputation as a "good true honest and faithful" citizen. Pitcher avers that Harper "falsely & maliciously" told a group of people that he was unable to find "a certain negro girl Slave by the name of Sylvia the property of said Holcomb G" because Pitcher "had her harbored and concealed." The petitioner asserts that with the accusation, Harper intended to "injure your petitioner in his said good name fame & credit and to bring him into public Scandal infamy & disgrace with and amongst all his neighbours and other good and worthy Citizens of said State." Pitcher seeks $10,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20683813

State: Georgia Year: 1838
Location: Meriwether Location Type: County

Abstract: Thomas Waters states that his reputation as a "just and honest Citizen" has been damaged by the slander of Thomas Ligon. Waters avers that Ligon, on several occasions and in the presence of others, accused him of larceny and of being an "abolitionist [meaning that your petitioner entertained and had expressed sentiments calculated to excite the slave population of said state or some part thereof to insurrection and revolt)." The petitioner asserts that as a result of these accusations, he "hath been and is greatly injured in his fame, credit, and character, and brought into public scandal infamy and disgrace." Waters also states that his neighbors and other citizens have "refused and still do refuse to have any transactions, acquaintence, or discourse with your petitioner as they were before accostomed to have and otherwise would have had." The petitioner sues for $5,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20684103

State: Georgia Year: 1841
Location: Troup Location Type: County

Abstract: Thomas and Lucy Hodnett state that their reputations as "good honest just and faithful citizens" have been damaged by the slander of Wade Jones. When Caroline, a slave hired by the Hodnetts from the estate of Willis Jones, died "of disease" February 1841, Jones accused Lucy Hodnett of mistreatment. He informed a group of citizens that Lucy Hodnett was guilty of "beating her (the said girl) with a loom bench quilting frame & hickory Stick!" The defendant remarked that if he had been the physician, he "should have to have the girl (meaning Caroline) taken up (that is to have disinterred & a post mortem examination had over her.)" The petitioners aver that Lucy Hodnett is now suspected of murder and that their neighbors have "wholly refrained from having any transaction acquaintance or discourse with her." The petitioners seek $15,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20684902

State: Georgia Year: 1849
Location: Coweta Location Type: County

Abstract: Cordial Wilborn, the petitioner, and William Weaver were involved in a criminal suit in which each charged the other with assault. In the presence of citizens, Weaver stated that Wilborn had bribed witnesses to testify for him. At another time, the defendant told other citizens that Wilborn was harboring his runaway slave. Wilborn asserts that Weaver's statements have damaged his reputation and good standing among his neighbors. He seeks $5,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20685013

State: Georgia Year: 1850
Location: Bryan Location Type: County

Abstract: James Cody states that his good reputation has been ruined by the slander of John Baily, who has accused Cody of buying "rice from a slave without written permission from the owner overseer or employer of such slave." According to Cody, Baily's words imply that the petitioner is "a dishonest trader & guilty of buying & keeping stolen goods knowing them to be stolen." Cody seeks $5,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20685101

State: Georgia Year: 1851
Location: Oglethorpe Location Type: County

Abstract: John Wynne seeks $5,000 in damages for the "false and malicious words" printed and published by Moses Wright concerning the petitioner. The case involves Wynne's slave, Henry, who secretly visited Wright's plantation, after warnings that he was not welcome. On the occasion in question, Henry was seized by Wright's overseer and beaten. Wynne threatened legal action, and Wright retaliated by publishing a lengthy account of the situation, which, according to Wynne, is false and damaging to his reputation. Wynne quotes Wright's statement in the petition: Wright averred that in 1849 he had noticed that Wynne's slave Henry was frequently coming to his house. When he asked his cook about it, she replied that "he wanted her for his wife." Wright asked Henry's young master, William Wynne, about the slave's character and "he said he believed he was as good as any of their negroes." Wright stated that Henry "brought no leave from his master nor asked leave of me, but I tolerated his coming for some months until we detected the Cook (his pretended wife) concealing out doors flour and lard. We asked her where She got it. She Said Mr. Wynnes Henry brought it to her." Wright confronted Henry who "denied all. Said if She was that kind of a woman he would have nothing more to do with her." Wright told the slave not to return unless he was on his master's business. Wright then learned that Henry was secretly coming to the plantation. He told his overseer, Willis Jones, not to allow Henry on the plantation. When Henry was finally caught, Jones "told him to rise and Cross his hands Henry refused and Jones clenched him-Henry being much the largest clenched Jones by the arms and Shoved him back to the wall. Jones told my negro man in the room to lay hold of him. Henry told him if he touched him he would be damned if he did not kill him. Jones then cried out for me.... I found them clenched. Jones asked me to help him tie him. he had a String in his pocket. I got it out. and we tied his hands and bucked him. Jones Sent into the house for a Small Cowskin about 30 inches long. and I thought gave him about Seventy-five lashes and told him he gave him that for trying to run over him. Jones then gave him I thought between thirty and forty lashes for intruding on the premises contrary to orders. He then asked me if I did not want to whip him Some. I told him no. I reckoned he would now Stay away. Jones then untied him and told him to button up and cut out home which he did and I went to bed." The next day, Wynne came to Wright's store and Wright informed him of the incident. Wright asserted, "Wynne went home and examined the boy and I suppose found the Skins considerably fretted, got mad with me, threatened the law. Selected men to examine the place on the negroes butt." Wynne told Wright that they would each choose two men to mediate the dispute. The arbitrators awarded Wright $65. Wright averred that "If Mr Wynne and his two men will come in presence of any twelve respectable men and Say that they believe on their Oaths that the demand is just. I will pay it in one half of a minute. I never told Jones to Strike Wynnes negro one lick nor did I ever Strike him. I have given Jones the discretionary Control over 18 of my negroes for ten months and I have never known him to injure one of them. I did not See the Negroes butt or Know that the Skin was fretted."

PAR Number 20685107

State: Georgia Year: 1851
Location: Greene Location Type: County

Abstract: Augustus Hill states that his good reputation has been damaged by the "false Scandalous malicious and defamatory words" of Joseph Varner. A mill owner, Varner accuses Hill of conspiring with a slave named Harry to steal "bags of flour meal corn wheat and other grains products and things of Value belonging to the proprietors of Said Mill." Hill avers that Varner's statements have brought him into "publ Scandal infamy & disgrace." He seeks $5,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20685108

State: Georgia Year: 1851
Location: Floyd Location Type: County

Abstract: Solomon Stallings states that Geraldus McDonald O'Brien, on several occasions, "forced & broke the fences of your petitioner and by himself & Servants threw down the fences rode over the ground & trod down the grass all of great Value to wit of the Value of one Hundred dollars." He seeks $500 in damages.

PAR Number 20685906

State: Georgia Year: 1859
Location: Chatham Location Type: County

Abstract: Joseph and Catharine Newman claim that William O. Charlton damaged Catharine's reputation by bringing unfounded charges against her for "unlawfully and feloniously concealing, harboring, hiding, and employing in her own service a certain negro slave named Flora, the property of said William O. Charlton." The petitioners "are desirous of commencing an action for malicious prosecution" and seek a copy of the indictment to be used as evidence in their case.

PAR Number 20785913

State: Kentucky Year: 1859
Location: Bourbon Location Type: County

Abstract: John Leer states that B. B. Marsh "in the presence & hearing of divers good citizens" accused him and his male slave of stealing ten or fifteen hogs. Leer states that "he has suffered damage by the speaking of sd. slanderous words to the amt of $5000, and prays judgment for sd Damages & for general relief."

PAR Number 20881710

State: Louisiana Year: 1817
Location: St. Landry Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Celeste Collins represents that, over the course of her twenty-year-marriage, she has had to endure such brutal treatment at the hand of her husband, William Collins, that she has been "compelled to abandon & relinquish her home & property." She further claims that her husband, "being of notoriously prodigal habits," is squandering his property and she "apprehends" that he may also "sell, alienate, dispose of & deprive" her of "her property & effects." Mrs. Collins therefore prays for a separation of "bed & board" from her husband and that "ample, full & unrestrained ownership & enjoyment" of her four slaves be adjudged to her.

PAR Number 20881931

State: Louisiana Year: 1819
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Victorine Fortier prays for a separation of bed and board from her husband Nicolas Noel Destrehan. Victorine represents that, since she "contracted marriage with" Destrehan in May of the year 1814, she has always done "everything in her power" to preserve between her and her husband "that love, friendship, confidence and good harmony, without which there can be no happiness in matrimony." Despite all her efforts, however, Destrehan has continually treated her cruelly and outrageously. Furthermore, Destrehan has now taken to slandering her character by publicly accusing her of adultery and prostitution. Victorine Fortier Destrehan therefore prays for a separation of bed and board from her husband, an inventory and appraisement of all their "joint and separate" property, both "moveables and immoveables," that are in his possession. She also asks for $200 per month in alimony, which she avers "is by no means disproportionate to his means," considering that he owns a large sugar plantation and slaves that annually bring him upwards of $15,000.

PAR Number 20881991

State: Louisiana Year: 1819
Location: Feliciana Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Rebecca A. Harvey petitions for separation of bed and board from her husband, James Harvey. Rebecca represents that she entered the marriage in 1817 with considerable property, including land, livestock, and slaves, all of which are now in the possession of her husband. However, her husband's "divers Excesses, cruel treatment and Violent outrages," as well as his "public defamation" of her "fair character," have repeatedly compelled her to flee from the "family dwelling" and seek protection from "other sources." She claims that she can no longer live with him. Therefore, in addition to a separation of bed and board and separation of property, Rebecca Harvey prays that her husband be enjoined from disposing of the property in his possession. She also asks to be decreed the "sole owner and real proprietor" of the property she brought to the marriage. She prays that an "inventory and appraisement" be made to that effect.

PAR Number 20882019

State: Louisiana Year: 1820
Location: Natchitoches Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Philip Norman represents that, by virtue of a “false, malicious and vexatious” lawsuit instituted by Christophe Nargel, he was held in prison to great personal and financial injury, and has suffered damages worth $5,000. In his suit, Nargel claimed that Norman had given his "German slaves" bad advice, discouraging them from transporting their master's “provisions” down the river to Pointe Coupee. Nargel’s suit had the effect of compelling Norman to either give an “enormous sum” in security or be imprisoned. Unable to pay, Norman was put in jail. Norman contends that the original suit was without merit and asks the court for $5,000 in damages.

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