Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 10182301

State: Alabama Year: 1823
Location: Madison Location Type: County

Abstract: Slave owner William Blake requests that Jacob, a slave he recently emancipated, be permitted to remain in the state. The law required that the Jacob leave Alabama within twelve months. Blake argues, however, that "in consequence of his family which he cannot remove, and in as much as he is an upright and honest man, and a useful machanick," Jacob should be permitted to stay. Blake had previously posted a $1,000 good-behavior bond.

PAR Number 10186001

State: Alabama Year: 1860
Location: Henry Location Type: County

Abstract: Harris Hays of Henry County served as an "agent" to halt the spread of smallpox during the epidemic of early 1859. He procured two slaves to work as nurses to treat the sick. One was his own slave; the other was a slave from Florida. He seeks $200 as compensation for the "hire of the said two nurses."

PAR Number 10381808

State: Delaware Year: 1818

Abstract: Caleb Davis of Caroline County, Maryland, states that he bought the slave Rachel from Esther Cannon of Sussex County, Delaware. Davis explains that "at the time he Purchased the Said Negro she was Contracted to a Negro Trader to be sent to the westward, from her Husband and Child." "Pitying her above Situation" and "in need of" an "Industrious and a good hand about a House," Davis was induced to purchase Rachel. He, "knowing he could not remove her without a Law from your Honourable Body for that Purpose," now asks that a law be passed enabling "him to move her into the State of Maryland out of the State of Delaware."

PAR Number 10381903

State: Delaware Year: 1819

Abstract: Richard Lawrence moved to Baltimore, Maryland, from Delaware, but "Toby the property of your Petitioner acquired by marriage was left in the State of Delaware ... having been bound some time previous for a term of years to learn the art or Trade of a Forgeman." Lawrence relates that Toby "was married in the neighbourhood without the consent of your Petitioner" while his he was still bound to service. "Not wishing to seperate man and wife," Lawrence states that he permitted Toby to remain with his wife in Delaware. He explains, however, that Toby's wife has "been sold by her master and gone out of the State" and "the term for which he [Toby] was bound" has now expired. Lawrence therefore prays that he be authorized "to bring the said negro man Toby out of the State of Delaware into the State of Maryland."

PAR Number 10381905

State: Delaware Year: 1819
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1815, John Gibbons of Delaware married the daughter of Major Francis Turpin of Dorchester County, Maryland. Gibbons states that, "in consequence of her increasing family and Paternal Benevolence," Turpin "lately presented his Daughter ... with one of his negro women a slave and her child to serve as a cook and house servant." Gibbons "most humbly solicits the Privilege of your Honourable Body to remove" the two slaves from Maryland to the state of Delaware. He further declares "that he never has directly or indirectly, even in the remotest degree ever aided, assisted abetted or been in any manner" a party "in the Traffic of this Species, a traffic to your Petitioner odious and abominable."

PAR Number 10382007

State: Delaware Year: 1820
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: Delaware resident Robert Boyce owns land in Sussex County, Delaware, and mills and land in Caroline County, Maryland. He explains that "it would be greatly to the interest of your Petitioner if he could have the privilege granted him of employing his slaves at his said Mills and lands in the State of Maryland and also upon his farm and lands in said County of Sussex, as your Petitioner might find it most advantageous from time to time so to do." Boyce therefore asks that he be allowed to work his slaves in both states.

PAR Number 10382104

State: Delaware Year: 1821
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: John Thompson reveals that he owns a fourteen-year-old slave named Cyrus, "who is now in the State of Maryland." He further reports that "he was compeled to take" said slave "in the payment of a debt he could not otherwise obtain." Being "desirous to bring said Boy into this state as a House servant," Thompson "craves of your Honourable Body to pass a Law, authorising him to bring the aforesaid Negro Cyrus into this State and hold him as a Slave."

PAR Number 10382203

State: Delaware Year: 1822
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: Joseph King of Kent County, Delaware, acquired several slaves in Maryland through his marriage to Ann Maria Walston of Somerset County. He informs the legislature that one of the said slaves is "a negro woman named Leah a house servant of his wife, and the services of whome the familly of your petitioner stand in great need at this time." Having lost the services of said Leah "ever since his marriage, which has been about one year" due to "his not being allowed to bring her into this State," King declares that "the said negro Leah is desireous to come into the familly of your petitioner, and not to be sold to another master." He therefore prays that a law may be passed "authorising and impowering your petitioner to bring the said negro Leah from the state of Maryland into this State and Hold her as a slave."

PAR Number 10382204

State: Delaware Year: 1822
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Joseph Chamberlain, "the owner of a certain negro girl, named Amelia, about six years old, who is now in Cecil county in the state of Maryland," is "desirous of bringing her into this state, as a house servant, & not for sale." He therefore prays that an act may be passed "authorising him to bring the said negro Amelia into this state, & to hold her as a slave."

PAR Number 10382209

State: Delaware Year: 1822
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: John Thompson reveals that he owns a fourteen-year-old slave named Cyrus, who is "now in the State of Maryland." He further reports that "he was induced to take" said slave "in the payment of a debt (not otherwise to be obtained)." Being "desirous to bring said Boy into this State as a House servant," Thompson "craves of your Honourable Body to pass a Law authorising him to bring the aforesaid Negro into this State & hold him as a Servant untill he arive at the age of Thirty years."

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 10382618

State: Delaware Year: 1826
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: As a minor, Isaac Giles moved from Maryland to Delaware in 1817 and learned the trade of blacksmithing as an apprentice. He states that he owns the slave Arthur, now residing with Giles's guardian in Maryland. The petitioner notes that he tried to bring his slave into Delaware but was denied legislative permission because he was a minor. Now an adult, he again seeks exemption from a Delaware law designed to prevent the importation and exportation of slaves and asks permission to bring Arthur into Delaware.

PAR Number 10382713

State: Delaware Year: 1827
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Delaware resident Samuel Hyatt, "in his line of business of pump making," states that he makes "frequent calls into the State of Maryland" and that he is "subject to considerable inconvenience & loss by being deprived of the labour of his aforesaid slave [Moses] while employed in that State." He therefore "prays that your Honorable Body will grant him a Law authorizing him to remove to & from this State into the State of Maryland for the purposes above recited."

PAR Number 10383002

State: Delaware Year: 1830

Abstract: John Dashiell received the slave John as gift from his aunt, Mary Jones of Sussex County, Delaware. Dashiell "is desirous to carry on a Blacksmith shop where he resides in Somerset County State of Maryland and wishes to remove the said negro man John from this State into Somerset County in the State of Maryland with a view to imploy him in a Blacksmith Shop there." Dashiell therefore prays that an act be passed "authorising him to remove and carry the afsd negro man named John from this State into Somerset County in the State of Maryland and to hold and retain him as a slave."

PAR Number 10383703

State: Delaware Year: 1837

Abstract: Joseph Ford of Washington, D.C., reports that his wife, Julia Ann Green Ford, recently inherited "a certain family slave called and known by the name of Jane Green" from her father's estate in Delaware. Ford explains that he "wishes to remove the said slave to Washington City to be employed in his house as a Servant." He therefore prays that a law be passed "authorizing and empowering him to remove to the City of Washington the said slave Jane Green, and to hold her as a slave."

PAR Number 10383704

State: Delaware Year: 1837
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: Delaware resident Nicholas Bell of Sussex County states that "he owns a Fishing or Seine Landing about Two miles below the Maryland lines on the Nanticoke River." He therefore prays that an act be passed "to Grant him the priviledg of Removing Two Certain Slaves, one called Ra[chel], and the other Called Hannah, to and from Maryland for the purpose of Cooking and otherwise Assisting on said Fishing or Seine Landing."

PAR Number 11083302

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

Abstract: As executor of the late Mary H. Green's estate, James Railey asks to emancipate an elderly woman named Aggy, or Aggy Butler Green, on account of her "meritorious conduct and faithful services." As executor and trustee of the late James Green's estate, Railey seeks to "liberate and set free a negro man slave" named Grainger, or Grainger Butler Green, for his "faithful services and meritorious conduct." The will of Mary H. Green, a related document, reveals that James Green was Mary Green's son.

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 11085927

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Warren Location Type: County

Abstract: Eighty-one citizens of Jasper and Clarke counties write on behalf of Dick Dale, a free man of color who was the body servant of General Samuel Dale in the "Indians Wars." Dale performed meritorious service attending to his wounded master. Dale is now in his early sixties and in ill health; he has a family, all members of which are slaves. The residents ask the legislature to pass a bill exempting him "from the penalties of the Act requiring free persons to leave the state & that he be authorized to remain in this state as a free man of Color."

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 11278901

State: North Carolina Year: 1789

Abstract: Robert Rayford represents that he "had a Mullato Servant called Parker Rogers in the service of the United States who acted as a Piper as will appear by the muster Rolls." Rayford admits that he has since sold "his absolute property" but he "conceived himself entitled" to the pay that Rogers was allowed. The petitioner therefore prays "that he be allowed to draw the pay aforementioned, having run the risque of loosing the said servant and the labour of said servant having been applied to the public benefit."

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 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 11279209

State: North Carolina Year: 1792
Location: Perquimans Location Type: County

Abstract: The sons of the late Thomas Nicholson ask that twenty-five-year-old Thamar, a slave in their father's estate, be emancipated. They aver that the elder Thomas had "Wished to Establish" her freedom but "there was then, & yet remains to be an act of the General Assembly prohibiting the emancipation of Slaves, except as therein excepted." Praying that Thamar be granted her freedom, the petitioners "have the greater confidence in by Saying that as a house maid to her former master's Family, and ever Since She hath been honest from pilfering & Stealing & hath ever manifested a peaceable and orderly Conduct and Generally Respected in her Station in the Neighbourhood where She dwells."

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