Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 11000009

State: Mississippi
Location: Wilkinson Location Type: County

Abstract: W. Davis asks for the emancipation of two old slaves, Charles and Eve, formerly owned by the late Colonel Hugh Davis of Wilkinson County. Davis planned to free the slaves but died before he could carry out "his benevolent intention." Davis's heirs never claimed ownership of the two, but the slaves were nonetheless "levied on and sold as their property" and purchased for the petitioner. They have now repaid the price of their purchase and W. Davis is ready to implement the wishes of the late Colonel.

PAR Number 11000015

State: Mississippi

Abstract: Lewis Glover asks for the emancipation of his "good true and faithful servant" Rachel. Glover explains that Rachel's "good economy and industry enabled her to raise a sufficient sum of Money to pay to your Petitioner her full value."

PAR Number 11082301

State: Mississippi Year: 1823
Location: Adams Location Type: County

Abstract: A group of twenty-nine citizens ask the legislature to approve the emancipation of Limerick, a fifty-year-old slave who paid his master $600 for his freedom. Limerick, the petitioners write, "has ever been a faithful and trusty Slave," and they believe "no injury will arise to the community by means of his legal Emancipation." Among the petitioners is Limerick's owner, Ezekiel Newman.

PAR Number 11083009

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

Abstract: E. W. Haring asks the legislature to free his slave Rose Alston, who "has been a very faithful and obedient Servant to me for some years, and has through her industry and Economy procured money enough to partly pay for herself."

PAR Number 11083104

State: Mississippi Year: 1831
Location: Claiborne Location Type: County

Abstract: John Thomson seeks to emancipate his slave Cato Buck, who "by his own industry and economy has saved sufficient money to pay & satisfy his owner for his time and services." Thomson states that Cato has paid and satisfied the whole amount of money demanded from him, he is therefore entitled to his freedom, which he has well earned through industry and fidelity.

PAR Number 11083202

State: Mississippi Year: 1832
Location: Warren Location Type: County

Abstract: The administratrix and heirs of the late Eve Hyland seek to emancipate Joe, a slave in Hyland's estate. They inform the court that the late Hyland stipulated in her will that if Joe paid her heirs his appraised value, he should be freed. Joe was appraised at $500, a sum which he has now paid the heirs. The petitioners state that Joe is well-behaved, industrious, honest, and would not "become a state charge," and that he should now be emancipated.

PAR Number 11083306

State: Mississippi Year: 1833
Location: Jefferson Location Type: County

Abstract: Citizens of Jefferson and Claiborne counties seek to emancipate Richard Sanders, "one of the most worthy and faithful Negros in the State." Richard Sanders, who is about forty years of age, is an excellent gin wright, they state. Even while paying his former owner, the late Colonel Daniel Burnett, "full wages" he had saved enough to purchase his own freedom. The petitioners inform the court that Richard's late owner, John B. Coburn, had purchased him in order to free him.

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 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 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 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 11279202

State: North Carolina Year: 1792

Abstract: Samuel Jasper seeks to emancipate Jack "for merritorious Services." In a letter to John Hamilton, Jasper recounts that Jack, "a Negro the Property of Henry White," was instrumental in retaking a schooner that had been seized by "a British Privateer." He further states that "after we returned home his master abused him somewhat" and "Jack applyd to us for redress." Jasper states that his brother bought Jack "and in his last Will Sold sd Jack his freedom by his Paying his Exct ₤100. The petitioner attests that "the said fellow behaves himself well. Honest and Industrious is Very Manerly to all and has Comanded a Schooner for me five years."

PAR Number 11279205

State: North Carolina Year: 1792

Abstract: Charlotte Green, "the daughter of a Free Woman who by her Industry & hard Labour purchased her Liberation," states that she "is yet in Bondage, altho' by the Interposition of a kind Providence she has it in her Power to seek an Honest Livelyhood in the World on her own footing." She "humbly prays that your Honours would take her case into consideration, & if you should see fit, to pass a Bill of Emancipation for her relief."

PAR Number 11279302

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

Abstract: William Brittain asks to emancipate "a Negro man Peter Cabin which has faithfully served me this Twenty years." Brittain states that Cabin "is Now Desirous of having his freedom which I am willing to Grant for the sum of Forty pounds Current Money, which sum the sd Peter Cabin has Punctually Paid me." He therefore prays that the legislature "will Confirm the same by an Act of assembly for that purpose." Fifty-seven "Neighbours & Acquaintances" verify Brittain's statements, adding that Cabin is "an industrious frugal man and has Conducted himself orderly & honestly."

PAR Number 11279806

State: North Carolina Year: 1798
Location: Person Location Type: County

Abstract: Osborn Jeffreys represents that he "is desirous to have emancipated and set free" an "aged negro man called Buffaloe Sam." Jeffreys acknowledges that the said slave has "been an honest and faithful servant and by his honest Industry raised and paid to his master forty five pounds Virginia Currency as a consideration for his freedom." The petitioner therefore prays "that the said Sam may be set free by the name of Buffalow Sam."

PAR Number 11280108

State: North Carolina Year: 1801
Location: Halifax Location Type: County

Abstract: Henry Motley "is desirous of emancipating" a slave named Winney, who "has rendered not only to him but to his family in general" faithful service. Motley maintains that "were if not for the care assiduity and attention of this Slave, a numerous offspring of his father, who were left by his death without sufficient funds for their maintenance, must have considerably suffered." He further notes that Winney "thro her Industry and care and that of her husband, has accumulated some small Estate ... to become useful and necessary in her neighborhood." Revealing that Winney "has paid to your Petitioner sufficiently for her freedom," Motley asks that a law be passed "to sett free the said Winney by the name of Winney Guvenread."

PAR Number 11281101

State: North Carolina Year: 1811
Location: Martin Location Type: County

Abstract: William Williams recounts that he purchased Boson and his wife Penny at the estate sale of Joseph John Hill. He states that he was induced to make said purchase "from a knowledge of the long continued & meritorious Services of the aforesaid Boson & Penny towards his deceased relation" and not to derive "any personal benefit from their Services." Williams adds that since said purchase Boson has "paid unto your memorialist the full amount of the purchase money." He therefore "prays your honorable body to pass an Act emancipating the Said Boson, Penny & Freeman Hill, & that they in future be known & distinguished by the names of Boson Hill, Penny Hill & Freeman Hill."

PAR Number 11281103

State: North Carolina Year: 1810
Location: Stokes Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-one citizens of Stokes County represent that "Richard a black man formerly the property of Mr. Noble Ladd of said County has totally purchased his freedom" and that “he has a free woman to his wife and several Children which they indeavor to bring up in an orderly manner together with some property that they have acquired by their Labor." The petitioners therefore "humbly solicit your Honorable body that you will Liberate & set free the sd Richard."

PAR Number 11281402

State: North Carolina Year: 1814
Location: Gates Location Type: County

Abstract: Richard Ballard seeks to emancipate his forty-five-year-old female slave Agatha. Ballard attests that Agatha has rendered "long and faithful services" to him and his father and that she has "ever sustained a fair and upright character." He also "feels confident that in liberating her, under the fair character she has earned herself, and at her advanced age that no evil consequence would result to society." Ballard, in fact, purports that said manumission "would hold out an encouragement to others of her condition to behave themselves properly and be a fair reward for her conduct." The petitioner further notes that Agatha "by Industry and good management has made a small sum of money, that she has deposited in your petitioners hands, to be considered and held as a consideration for her liberation." Ballard therefore prays that an act be passed "Liberating and setting free the said Negro Agatha."

PAR Number 11281608

State: North Carolina Year: 1816
Location: Bertie Location Type: County

Abstract: Willis, "formerly the property of William T. Thompson," recounts that he "has belonged to the family of the Thompsons from his infancy until the year 1814." He proudly asserts that during such time "he hath performed many & important services for his respective masters, having for a great part of the time served them as Superintendant or Overseer." Willis acknowledges that the said William T. directed that, at his death, "your Petr. should be sold with a view ... that he your Petr. might purchase his own freedom." He states that the executor of Thomas's estate sold him to one William Carnal from whom he purchased his freedom and that the court was "pleased to order adjudge & decree your Petr. on complying with the provisions of an act of assembly ... should be set free." Having complied with said provisions, Willis discloses, however, that "the Court did not give your Petr. a name or stile by which he can purchase or transfer property, sue or be sued, plead or be impleaded or otherwise enjoy many of the rights and privileges of a free person of Colour." The petitioner therefore prays that an act be passed "emancipating your Petr. by the name of Willis Thompson."

PAR Number 11283302

State: North Carolina Year: 1833
Location: Cumberland Location Type: County

Abstract: Joseph Hostler, a barber in Fayetteville belonging to the estate of David Smith, reports that Smith allowed him "to purchase his own freedom" and that he has "paid to the said Smith & his Executrix ... the full sum of Five hundred Dollars, the sum required of him"; he also states that he has paid $96 "per year for about Four years and a half." The petitioner therefore "prays that he may be emancipated and admitted to the privileges of free men of Colour in this state."

PAR Number 11283407

State: North Carolina Year: 1834
Location: Rowan Location Type: County

Abstract: Daniel Macay, a forty-five-year-old slave held by William S. Macay, represents "that it is his anxious wish and desire to become a Free man." He reports that "by means of great exertion and industry he has been able to acquire enough money (without at all neglecting his duty to his master,) to pay for himself." The petitioner therefore prays "that your Honorable body will permit him to be emancipated, according to the wish of his master, and on such terms as your Honorable body will prescribe."

PAR Number 11283804

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

Abstract: Charles Dewey seeks to emancipate Tom Mitchell, a twenty-six-year-old enslaved carpenter. Dewey represents that said "Tom is a man of very good character, of quiet & orderly behavior & very humble & respectful in his deportment towards white people." He therefore prays that "he may be liberated & made a free man & known & called as such by the name Tom Mitchell."

PAR Number 11283805

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

Abstract: Six Davie County residents ask "that a certain man of colour ... by the name of Roger aged about fifty years" be emancipated. They submit that the said Roger "by honest industry acquired money sufficient to purchase his freedom from his late master Isham P Ellis." The petitioners conceive that the said slave is "well entitled to his freedom for which he has paid" and that "he is now advanced in years and therefore not a proper subject to be sent to Africa." They assert that Roger "should not be compelled to seek the enjoyment of liberty in a foreign clime far away from the land of his birth, for even to a black man 'home is sweet'." They therefore pray that a bill be passed "extending to the said Roger the rights and privileges of a free man ... and that in said Act the said Roger be known by the name of Roger Brown."

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