Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 10586301

State: Florida Year: 1863
Location: Madison Location Type: County

Abstract: Owned by Rufus Dickinson, "a good and Loyal citizen of the Confederate States," the slave Ferd was charged in 1863 with rape. Ferd was tried, convicted, and executed, and Dickinson asks for compensation.

PAR Number 11083004

State: Mississippi Year: 1830
Location: Hinds Location Type: County

Abstract: Elizabeth Fort seeks remuneration from the state after her slave Henry was executed for stabbing a white man with intent to kill. She is fifty-two years old and owns only two other slaves, a man and a woman, "capable of serving her, & providing a support for her declining years."

PAR Number 11085901

State: Mississippi Year: 1859

Abstract: In the summer of 1858, a slave named Peter, owned by Dr. E. A. Miller of Wayne County, was employed on the railroad near the town of Enterprise. The petitioners claim that Peter "caught and by force violated the person of a beautiful young Lady by Committing a Rape." Captured the same day, he was jailed and tried within twenty-four hours. In the presence of the young woman and her parents, Peter was tried and found guilty by a jury sitting in magistrate court. That night he was taken from jail by a mob and hanged. A committee of five townspeople seeks compensation for Miller for the loss of his property.

PAR Number 11086402

State: Mississippi Year: 1864
Location: Pike Location Type: County

Abstract: The petitioners state that their slaves, Mary and Tena, plotted to murder several "helpless" white families and to destroy the property of their masters by setting fire to a store, warehouse and "several dwelling houses." The two women were captured as they sought to "flee to their friends--the Yankees--for protection." The petitioners assert that due to the virtual suspension of the courts and the insecurity of the jails, the two women were hanged without due process of law. The petitioners seek compensation for their losses.

PAR Number 11278705

State: North Carolina Year: 1787
Location: Perquimans Location Type: County

Abstract: Thomas Harvey recounts that his slave Toney "was charged with having committed a Robery for which he was tried by a Special Court, and the said negroe man Toney was adjudged guilty by the said Court & sentenced to be Hanged which Sentence was executed on the 13th day of Jany 1787." Harvey claims that his agent had sold Toney "at the time the Negroe was taken into custody" and that the purchaser, James Powell, refused to pay part of the purchase price. Left to "Arbitration," Harvey states that his agent was forced "to refund the money by him Received and that the Loss should be his." Harvey therefore prays that he be granted "such sum for the said Slave as you in your Wisdom shall think Just."

PAR Number 11278803

State: North Carolina Year: 1788
Location: Brunswick Location Type: County

Abstract: Thomas Lucas represents that his slave named Peter, "not liking the man your Petitioner placed him to work with, ran away." He further states that Peter was later apprehended for "having robbed an Hen house" and was "precipitately tried & executed, more your Petitioner believes from a supposed necessity of striking terror into a Gang of Runaways who infested the said Town & neighbourhood than from any particular act of villainy in the said Slave." Lucas "hopes that considering his misfortunes & low Estate ... will induce your Honors to indemnify him for the Execution of the said Negro which otherwise will increase his losses & at his private Expence have been made a Sacrifice to publick Policy."

PAR Number 11278904

State: North Carolina Year: 1788
Location: Brunswick Location Type: County

Abstract: "Old and well advanced in years," Sarah Dupre asks to be compensated for the loss of her slave, who had been "tried, Condemned, and Executed agreeable to Law" in March 1778 and "Was appraised by the Court who sat on his tryal to the sum of Eighty pounds." Dupre laments that she is "infirm in her Constitution, and thro' misfortunes is left with but barely sufficient to keep her above want." She therefore "earnestly intreats" the legislature "to direct that the said sum of Eighty Pounds aforesaid to [which] she conceives herself intitled be paid."

PAR Number 11278905

State: North Carolina Year: 1789
Location: Washington Location Type: County

Abstract: William Evans reports that his slave Tom was convicted of a crime and condemned to death "to the Great Loss and Injury of your memorialist." Evans further states that he "on the Revival of Goverment on this Side the mountain Sued the Said Sheriff for his negroe," but his effort resulted in a "nonsuit." The petitioner "is of opinion that Goverments were Instituted amongst mankind for the protection of life Liberty & property Rather than to deprive any Individual of his Justly acquired possessions." He therefore asks that he be allowed "a reasonable Compensation for his negroe."

PAR Number 11279107

State: North Carolina Year: 1791
Location: Duplin Location Type: County

Abstract: John Housman laments the loss of his slave Sampson, who was hanged for various felonies, including robbery and assault. Housman claims that he was entirely ignorant of his slave's behavior and did not know that Sampson had bludgeoned a white man with a hatchet head. Housman, now "far advanced in life" and the head of a large family, asks for relief.

PAR Number 11279304

State: North Carolina Year: 1793
Location: Nash Location Type: County

Abstract: Sheriff Archibald Griffin avows that he did "Execute an Hang'd a certain Negro woman Named Beck the property of Sarah Taylors" and that "the fees have been hitherto Five pounds for Each Execution in Criminal cases." Griffin states that he "is without Redress unless thro this Honorable Assemblys Equitable & Just interposition." Beck was tried and convicted of poisoning Harry Taylor Sr., Harry Taylor Jr., and Samuel Taylor.

PAR Number 11279604

State: North Carolina Year: 1796
Location: Chatham Location Type: County

Abstract: James Massey states that he "had the misfortune ... to have an only Negroe fellow by the name of Hardy, through the persuation of a company of thieves to commit a robery & breaking open a bar room." Massey recounts that Hardy "was tried and found guilty of the offence aforesaid ... and sentenced by three Justices of the peace to be hanged." The petitioner further reports that "a number of respectable inhabitants, as well as a number of the Jurors who tried said negroe slave, petitioned His Excellency the Governor to extend his Mercy towards the said Slave." Massey laments that the Governor did send a reprieve said sentence, "but unfortunately for your petitioner the messenger sent for that purpose had the misfortune of loosing his Horse whereby the reprieve came too late." Massey therefore prays that he granted "such relief as the justice of the case may require."

PAR Number 11280207

State: North Carolina Year: 1802
Location: Nash Location Type: County

Abstract: John Jones seeks compensation for a slave that he purchased "for the purpose, of selling him" in Georgia. Jones reports that said slave "ran away from your petitioner and returned to North Carolina where for his villainous actions was Sentenced to death and accordingly executed." He therefore prays that a resolution be passed "directing the Treasurer to pay to him a sum equal to the loss he sustained thereby."

PAR Number 11280406

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

Abstract: Widow Charlotte Foorte seeks compensation for her "negro man named Sam, implicated in a charge of the late conspiracy of the negroes." Foorte reports that Sam "was convicted on the testimony of less weight than that" given against others "who escaped the rigor of the Law." Adhering to the "prevailing maxim that in many instances it is right to make an individual sacrifice, for the great & general good of the community at large," she nonetheless "feels the loss of property" along with the "great expense of 20, or 30 Arm'd men, order'd out by the authority of the Maj. General" to capture said Sam. The petitioner therefore prays "for such relief in the premises" as in "wisdom & good conscience may be right."

PAR Number 11280502

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

Abstract: Capt. Isaac Hanley seeks compensation for his troops who were called out "on immediate Service for one day at the Execution of some slaves (Criminals).” He reports that "four of his most active troopers" were ordered "to continue in Constant service until discharge ... for the purpose of suppressing a conspiracy of the slaves" in Wayne County; the said men served continually for several days. Noting that "we have not received any pay for the said Service," the petitioner prays "your Honours to allow them such sums as they are in Justice intitled to."

PAR Number 11280512

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

Abstract: Kinchen Massengale seeks compensation for his slave Plato, one of the ten or so slaves convicted and executed for their role in the Bertie County "rising or conspiracy of the negroes" in 1802; four or five slaves involved in the incident were convicted and "sent away" and not executed. Massengale submits that Plato was "of considerable value to him, being the only slave he possessed." Noting that the owners of said slaves not executed "have received compensation equal to their value," the petitioner "hopes your Honourable Body will take his hard case under your serious consideration (he being in indigent circumstances) and grant him such relief as you in your wisdom may think proper."

PAR Number 11282005

State: North Carolina Year: 1820
Location: Rockingham Location Type: County

Abstract: Eighteen-year-old Alexander Roach reports that his sixteen-year-old female slave "was apprehended upon a charge of murder" and that she was committed to the Rockingham jail; she was later "tried and convicted of said murder, but it being suggested that she might be pregnant her executed was respited until the last day of June at which time she was executed for sd. murder." Roach discloses that he is an orphan and "that the only property which he possess'd was said negro girl and a negro boy about eleven years old." He further states that the jail fees and "costs attending the trial and execution" equal more than $100. He considers "the case an extremely hard one upon him" in that he was deprived of his "likely" negro girl and now faces being "cast into [the] world poor and indebted." He therefore, "thro the medium of this petition," thought it proper "to petition your Honourable body for such relief as you may think proper."

PAR Number 11282304

State: North Carolina Year: 1823
Location: Tyrrell Location Type: County

Abstract: Joseph and Anne Wynn state that their daughter Mary "was murdered by a number of negro slaves” on the day after Christmas in 1822. They further reveal that among said slaves were "Charles and Vina the property of your memorialist Joseph and Jack the property of your memorialist Anne." The petitioners report that said slaves were tried, convicted, and executed for said crime and that they "have cheerfully borne the loss of property incurred by the execution of said slaves to satisfy the demands of public Justice." The Wynns express, however, that paying the expenses incurred from jailing said slaves for nine months and the costs resulting from their prosecution, conviction and execution "will greatly distress them, and as in truth they are not able to pay them without making great sacrifice of the little property that now possess." They therefore humbly pray that they be provided $350 "for the payment of the costs aforesaid."

PAR Number 11282305

State: North Carolina Year: 1823
Location: Lenoir Location Type: County

Abstract: Philip Miller reports that his slave Toney was convicted of murder and executed after "a long imprisonment." Miller, a man of "moderate circumstances," represents that he "has been compelled to pay all the costs incidental to the prosecution of said slave." Feeling "himself little able to bear all these expences -- and as he did every thing in his power to advance the claims of Justice," the petitioner "conceives that it would be an act of Justice & humanity in the Legislature to refund him the amount which he has paid as costs in the above prosecution." The Legislature rejected his prayer, in part because "it would be improper to make him the allowance asked for out of the public monies; by which means, persons, who either from religious scruples, inability or other causes, do not own Slaves would be compelled to pay their proportion, and therefore could never be similarly situated."

PAR Number 11283807

State: North Carolina Year: 1838
Location: Rockingham Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-two citizens of Rockingham County seek compensation for Abner Webster, the owner of three slaves who were "convicted of the murder of Wm G. Comer which said Negroes were executed." They argue that "when the publick good requires the property of any Individual it is justice that the publick Should pay to such individuals a fair price for the property so used by the publick." They therefore pray that a law be passed "that the owner of slaves shall receive pay for such slaves as may be executed." The petitioners point out that it was Webster himself who "used every exertion after the murder had been commited to arest and bring his said negroes to justice and that without his aid so nobly manifested it would have bin difficult to have arested them the said negroes and as such we your petitioners respectfully request your body to remunerate him."

PAR Number 11284403

State: North Carolina Year: 1844
Location: Halifax Location Type: County

Abstract: Seventeen Halifax County residents complain that "it has become a common occurrence for runaway negroes to provide themselves with guns in this County, & to use them in providing themselves provisions, & by threats to intimidate and frighten the timid thereby rendering their apprehension extremely difficult." They cite one example of a farmer who "lost by them seventy five hogs" where the runaways alleged "as the reason they stole from him in particular that he hunted for them; they sent him word, that if he would not hunt for them again -- they would not kill any more of his hogs -- but if he did, they should kill him." Eager "to put a stop to such monstrous outrages of the well being and order of society," the petitioners "would respectfully suggest to your honorable body the passage of a law upon the subject, based on the following principles, to wit -- the negro to be hung, & the state pay the owner for him, & that no one to be held accountable for shooting him while in the woods." They understand that "your honorable body, may perhaps think that the above principles of a law, would be too strong, we dare say they are." They assert, however, "we think strong remedies ought to be used."

PAR Number 11300003

State: South Carolina
Location: Colleton Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Thomas Jones represents that he "was the owner of Negro Slave who was executed for the offence of shooting at the Mail Driver." He therefore request "such compensation as is usually allowed in such cases."

PAR Number 11300004

State: South Carolina
Location: Colleton Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: St. Paul's Parish resident James Legare seeks compensation for a "very valuable negro" named Abraham, who "was convicted of a capital offence by the Provost Marshal's Court of Colleton District and Executed by hanging pursuant to the sentence." Legare states that Abraham "was not duly appraised before his execution according to the provision of the act in such case made ... and thereby he cannot obtain the proper certificate to enable him to receive the compensation for said negro provided by Law." He therefore asks that "he shall be allowed and paid the compensation allowed in such cased by Law -- To wit one half the value of said slave." The docket page cites "$650 -- favorable."

PAR Number 11378502

State: South Carolina Year: 1785

Abstract: John Magarity represents that "some time past your Petitioner had a negro man taken tryd Condem,d & Executed according to law." He therefore prays "your Honours Will take his Case under your Consideration & give him such relief as in your Wisdom Shall appear Just."

PAR Number 11378503

State: South Carolina Year: 1785
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Joseph Warnock seeks compensation for two slaves who were tried, convicted and executed for having poisoned his family. Warnock relates that, "after the Establishment of Peace," he "had hope to have rested from the toil of war, by returning from camp to his family & to have shared in domestic happiness with a wife & Six Children." He laments, however, "that in the midst of these pleasing prospects your petitioner & his whole family were most wantonly & Cruelly poisoned" by two of his slaves, whereby two of his children died. Warnock, "highly distressed," prays "Such relief as in your wisdom your honorable house shall think meet."

PAR Number 11378505

State: South Carolina Year: 1785
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Joseph Warnock seeks compensation for two slaves who were tried, convicted and executed for having poisoned his family. Warnock relates that, "after the Establishment of Peace," he "had hope to have rested from the toil of war, by returning from camp to his family & to have shared in domestic happiness with a wife & Six Children." He laments, however, "that in the midst of these pleasing prospects your petitioner & his whole family were most wantonly & Cruelly poisoned" by two of his slaves, whereby two of his children died. Warnock, "highly distressed," prays "Such relief as in your wisdom your honorable house shall think meet."

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