Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 10382424

State: Delaware Year: 1824
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Samuel Hyatt Jr., engaged "in the business of making and repairing pumps," lives in New Castle County, Delaware, and is "the owner of a certain manumitted Man Slave, named Jeremiah," who assists him in his business. Hyatt states that he "is often called on and employed by persons living out of this State to do work ... and that your petitioner is frequently put to great inconvenience for want of the services of the said Jeremiah to assist your petitioner when he has work out of the State." He therefore prays that a law be passed "authorizing him to take the said Jeremiah out of the State whenever your petitioner has occasion to do so."

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 11086201

State: Mississippi Year: 1862
Location: Madison Location Type: County

Abstract: Sarah Garrett was indicted and found guilty on three charges of "permitting her slaves to go at large and trade as freemen." She was fined $500 in each case. Citizens of Madison County request that an act be passed "remitting the fine imposed in said cases" because she was "utterly ignorant of the existence of the law under which she was indicted." Sarah, a widow with four children, including two in the army and another recently killed in the war, was forced to permit the slaves to "hire their time" to support herself and her remaining child. One of the slaves hired out as a barber and two others as draymen.

PAR Number 11086301

State: Mississippi Year: 1863
Location: Clarke Location Type: County

Abstract: Reese Price requests compensation for his slave Anthony, who died from exposure after being impressed to work on fortifications near Columbus, Mississippi. Anthony was a "mechanic", that is a carpenter, and one of only three male and two female adults Price had to work on his farm. Although he owned twenty slaves, he notes that the others are children less than thirteen years of age.

PAR Number 11279001

State: North Carolina Year: 1790
Location: Chowan Location Type: County

Abstract: Edmund Blount recounts that his sister Elizabeth married Halifax County merchant Andrew Miller, who fled to Bermuda in 1776 "in a State of Distress." Blount further states that he purchased "five Negro men" held by Miller "for the Sum of Sixteen hundred Pounds the then Currency of this State." He states that he hired three of said slaves "to Gentlemen in Hallifax where they were employed in the Boating Business Being used to it & Prefered it to farming." Blount reveals that, despite his right to the three slaves, a commissioner of confiscated property "took them into his Possession and sold them." Blount "humbly prays that he may Receive such Relief in Regard of the Premises as to the wisdom & Justice of the Legislature shall seem meet."

PAR Number 11284006

State: North Carolina Year: 1840
Location: Lincoln Location Type: County

Abstract: Sixty-three citizens of Lincolnton seek a repeal of the laws passed in 1829 and 1830 concerning "the liability of certain hands in the town of Lincolnton to work on roads." They purport the exemption of "all slaves living in said town, but working a piece of land out of the limits of the Corporation" from doing said road work removes "the whole effective force in Said town, by which the numerous streets in said town should be kept in good order."

PAR Number 11285603

State: North Carolina Year: 1856
Location: Alamance Location Type: County

Abstract: James Newlin of Alamance County represents that "his slave Sam, commonly called Sam Morphis, desires to be emancipated by the General Assembly with the privilege of remaining in North Carolina." Newlin reports that "Sam has been for several years engaged as a hack-driver and waiter at the University" and that Sam "has made himself acceptable to all who have employed him." The petitioner therefore asks "a favorable consideration for this prayer for freedom."

PAR Number 11285604

State: North Carolina Year: 1856
Location: Orange Location Type: County

Abstract: Seventy-three students at the University of North Carolina support freeing Sam Morphis, who "has been well known to them as a faithful and respectful servant." The students, residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Texas, cite that "this is the first petition which has ever been presented to you from the students of your University” and that they “entertain high hopes that a consideration of the subject will prevail with the General Assembly to emancipate the aforesaid Sam Morphis.”

PAR Number 11285605

State: North Carolina Year: 1856
Location: Orange Location Type: County

Abstract: Eighty-one "citizens of Chapel Hill and its vicinity unite in recommending the petition in behalf of Sam Morphis to the favorable consideration of the General Assembly" for his emancipation.

PAR Number 11285801

State: North Carolina Year: 1858
Location: Granville Location Type: County

Abstract: William Gilliam represents that he hired his slave named Jacob "to the President of the Raleigh & Gaston Rail Road then the property of the State & under its control, to work on the Shop in the City of Raleigh which had been partly destroyed by fire." Gilliam charges that, while on board the train and en route to Raleigh, his slave "was put by the President of the Road ... to the business of putting wood on ... at the various stations"; when the train lurched, Jacob "was thrown on the track, and the wheels of one of Cars ran over his ankle & foot mashing them very badly." Gilliam reports that Jacob "never recovered" and that "he was rendered for a long time useless to your memorialist, and his death was caused ultimately by said injury." The petitioner therefore prays that he be compensated for the loss of Jacob, since “the death of the said slave was a heavy loss to your memorialist--He was an excellent carpenter- & was worth at least $2,000."

PAR Number 11285806

State: North Carolina Year: 1858
Location: Granville Location Type: County

Abstract: William Gilliam represents that he hired his slave named Jacob "to the President of the Raleigh & Gaston Rail Road then the property of the State & under its control, to work on the Shop in the City of Raleigh which had been partly destroyed by fire." Gilliam charges that, while on board the train and en route to Raleigh, his slave "was put by the President of the Road ... to the business of putting wood on ... at the various stations"; when the train lurched, Jacob "was thrown on the track, and the wheels of one of Cars ran over his ankle & foot mashing them very badly." Gilliam reports that Jacob "never recovered" and that "he was rendered for a long time useless to your memorialist, and his death was caused ultimately by said injury." The petitioner therefore prays that he be compensated for the loss of Jacob, since “the death of the said slave was a heavy loss to your memorialist--He was an excellent carpenter- & was worth at least $2,000."

PAR Number 11379314

State: South Carolina Year: 1793
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: David Ramsay, both as president of the Santee Canal Company and for the company's directors, asks that the slaves "now working on the Santee Canal" be exempt "from performing & being made liable to perform any of the road duty in this State." Ramsay acknowledges that the said slaves presently "employed” on the Canal service are "engaged in a Service extremely beneficial to this Country and are liable to be called upon by the Commissioners of the high Roads in the parish to work on the Roads which will retard the accomplishment" of the canal work.

PAR Number 11379411

State: South Carolina Year: 1794
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: The “Directors & Stockholders" of the Santee Canal Company seek the passage of an act to exempt the "large number of negroes at a very great expence" who are "actually employed in their service on the proposed Canal between Santee & Cooper rivers" from being "compelled under heavy penalties to work on the high roads in the Parishes of St. Stephen's & St. John's."

PAR Number 11379902

State: South Carolina Year: 1799
Location: Williamsburgh Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Isaac Matthews, being "a good Citizen," represents that he obeyed the call of the "Commissioners of the Navigation of Black River to furnish hands as required by law to clear out the said River in the Month of September 1798" and that he sent "his legal Quota of Slaves, to assist in clearing the said River." Matthews reports, however, that "one Prime young negro man Slave named Sam about 23 years of age, of unblemished character, drowned in Said River in the execution of his duty." The petitioner therefore "hopes you will grant him such relief as to you, in your wisdom Shall Seem meet."

PAR Number 11379903

State: South Carolina Year: 1799
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Henry Martin explains that he was "compelled by the disasters of St. Domingo to repair to the United States of America" in 1793. He further represents that "by his constant exertions to procure a Living for himself & family, he had so far succeeded in his undertakings as to enable him to purchase in the Month of March last a Negroe Man named Figaro," whom he hired "to work at the public works on Sullivan Island." Martin laments, however, that Figaro “was unfortunately hurt by the fall of one of the wheels [of a gun carriage] against his back” and that he died shortly thereafter. The petitioner declares that "by the Loss of the said Slave the only one he possessed, he remains destitute, at the age of 64 Years of the means to provide for the Subsistance of himself, his wife & three small Children." He therefore prays that he be granted "Suitable Compensation for his Loss of said Slave Figaro whose death was occasioned by a wound received whilst employed in the public work."

PAR Number 11379904

State: South Carolina Year: 1799
Location: Williamsburgh Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Isaac Matthews, being "a good Citizen," represents that he obeyed the call of the "Commissioners of the Navigation of Black River, to furnish hands, as required by law to clear out the said River in the Month of Sepr. 1798" and that he sent "his legal Quota of Slaves, to assist in clearing the said river." Matthews reports, however, that "one Prime young negro man Slave named Sam, about 23 years of age, of unblemished character, drowned, in Said River, in the execution of his duty." The petitioner therefore "hopes you will grant him such relief as to you, in your Wisdom, Shall Seem meet."

PAR Number 11379905

State: South Carolina Year: 1799
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Henry Martin explains that he was "compelled by the disasters of St. Domingo to repair to the United States of America" in 1793. He further represents that "by his constant exertions to procure a Living for himself & family, he had so far succeeded in his undertakings as to enable him to purchase in the Month of March last a Negroe Man named Figaro," whom he hired "to work at the public works on Sullivan Island." Martin laments, however, that Figaro “was unfortunately hurt by the fall of one of the wheels [of a gun carriage] against his back” and that he died shortly thereafter. The petitioner declares that "by the Loss of the said Slave the only one he possessed, he remains destitute, at the age of 64 Years of the means to provide for the Subsistance of himself, his wife & three small Children." He therefore prays that he be granted "Suitable Compensation for his Loss of said Slave Figaro whose death was occasioned by a wound received whilst employed in the public work."

PAR Number 11380101

State: South Carolina Year: 1801

Abstract: The President and other members of "The Company for the inland navigation from Santee to Cooper River" seek permission to import African slaves to work on the inland navigation project, which "is for the Interest of every Commercial and agricultural Country like this State." Having completed one phase of the operation, they argue that they must now build several roads and a ferry canal in the Santee Swamp. The petitioners acknowledge that said company is already one hundred thousand pounds in debt; in addition, they note the "wages of workmen and other labourers [are] very much enhanced." They therefore "presume to submit as an eligible mode the propriety of the Legislature granting them the licence of importing a competent number of Negro Slaves from Africa."

PAR Number 11380102

State: South Carolina Year: 1801
Location: Union Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Jefferies represents that he "was Under A Necessity" in the summer of 1801 "to hire A Negro fellow in North Carolina for the purpose of getting A Quantity of Iron." Noting that "said Negroes time is About to Expire according to Contract," Jefferies prays that he be permitted "to bring said Negro home Again to this state."

PAR Number 11380103

State: South Carolina Year: 1801
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Potter reports that Jamaican merchant and ship owner William Boyle McCullock arrived in Charleston on 17 July 1801 on board his brig Perseverance and "having on board as part of the Crew of the said Brig three Negro men Slaves named Dublin, Belfast, and Cork.” Potter further reveals that, when the brig anchored in Charleston harbor, Captain Peter Grantham "incautiously and by mistake" reported the three enslaved crew members as "Merchandize along with the Cargo," whereby the commandant of Fort Johnson reported the matter to city authorities, an arrest warrant was issued, and the three sailors were sent to the work house. The petitioner avows that McCullock “brought the said Negroes to Charleston with the intention of using them as Saylors and again carrying them off the Country.” As McCullock's attorney in fact, John Potter prays that it be ordered “that the said negroes of William Boyle McCullock be delivered up to him or to your petitioner for his use.”

PAR Number 11380111

State: South Carolina Year: 1801

Abstract: The President and other members of "The Company for the inland navigation from Santee to Cooper River" seek permission to import African slaves to work on the inland navigation project, which "is for the Interest of every Commercial and agricultural Country like this State." Having completed one phase of the operation, they argue that they must now build several roads and a ferry canal in the Santee Swamp. The petitioners acknowledge that said company is already one hundred thousand pounds in debt; in addition, they note the "wages of workmen and other labourers [are] very much enhanced." They therefore "presume to submit as an eligible mode the propriety of the Legislature granting them the licence of importing a competent number of Negro Slaves from Africa."

PAR Number 11380202

State: South Carolina Year: 1802
Location: Abbeville Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Samuel Harris seeks compensation for his twenty-year-old slave Harry, who was killed 26 March 1802 by "the fall of a tree" while working on the public road from Vienna to Abbeville Courthouse. Harris "entreats your honorable body to take into consideration his unfortunate case and begs that you would allow compensation for the property aforesaid which he has lost in the public service." Harry, "a good field hand and a tolerable good blacksmith," was valued at $600. Several citizens attest that Harry’s accidental death “was not owing to any misconduct on the part of the said Negro or any other person."

PAR Number 11380203

State: South Carolina Year: 1802
Location: Abbeville Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Samuel Harris seeks compensation for his twenty-year-old slave Harry, who was killed 26 March 1802 by "the fall of a tree" while working on the public road from Vienna to Abbeville Courthouse. Harris "entreats your honorable body to take into consideration his unfortunate case and begs that you would allow compensation for the property aforesaid which he has lost in the public service." Harry, "a good field hand and a tolerable good blacksmith," was valued at $600. Several citizens attest that Harry’s accidental death “was not owing to any misconduct on the part of the said Negro or any other person."

PAR Number 11380302

State: South Carolina Year: 1803
Location: Abbeville Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Samuel Harris seeks compensation for his twenty-year-old slave Harry, who was killed 26 March 1802 by "the fall of a tree" while working on the public road from Vienna to Abbeville Courthouse. Harris "entreats your honorable body to take into consideration his unfortunate case and begs that you would allow compensation for the property aforesaid which he has lost in the public service." Harry, "a good field hand and a tolerable good blacksmith," was valued at $600.

PAR Number 11380303

State: South Carolina Year: 1803
Location: Abbeville Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Twenty-one citizens of Abbeville District, "from a knowledge of and sympathy for the situation of Mr. Harris," support the petition of Samuel Harris, whose twenty-year-old slave Harry was accidentally killed on the 26 March 1802 while working on the public road by "the fall of a tree." Harris owned only one slave and "is in such circumstances as renders him verry illy able to sustain a loss of that nature & degree." The petitioners therefore pray that "such a compensation may be allowed & decreed to the said Harris, as may repair the loss he has sustained in the service of the public."

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