Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 20682504

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

Abstract: William Murphy petitions to settle a financial dispute with Jesse Boon. Murphy entered into a verbal agreement with Boon whereby Murphy agreed to serve as Boon's overseer for the year 1824, in exchange for $250. In addition, Boon "hired to him, for and during [1824] ... two Negroes Silva & George." Subsequently, Boon hired another slave named Simon to Murphy. In total, Murphy claims that Boon owes him $350 "for services rendered by your petitioner as an Overseer" and for the hire of the three slaves. As Boon has not honored his financial obligations, Murphy sues for $500 in damages.

PAR Number 20682708

State: Georgia Year: 1827
Location: Greene Location Type: County

Abstract: John Hudnall informs the court that he and William Grimes entered into an agreement in 1826 whereby Grimes "agreed to employ and did employ your petitioner in the capacity of an overseer to superintend the plantation" and "agreed to place under the direction of your petitioner twelve hands and six work horses." In return, Hudnall would receive "one eighth part of all that was made on said plantation during the year” and also receive board for himself and his horse “free of charges." Hudnall reports that Grimes later dismissed him from the plantation. The petitioner sues for $500 for damages.

PAR Number 20683003

State: Georgia Year: 1830
Location: Elbert Location Type: County

Abstract: George Cook hired Stephen Haynie as his overseer for one year. Cook contends, however, that Haynie initially "pretended and kept up a show of attending to the business of your petitioner," but, by the end of the year, the said Haynie "idled the whole time away in stroling and wandering to divers parts and places seperate and part from the Plantation where the negroes under his care ought to have been attended to by him in making a crop." Cook argues that Haynie's neglect destroyed the crop and that he "beat bruised & wounded the negroes of your petitioner ... somuch that they were rendered unable to do & perform the labour necessary." Cook sues Haynie for $500 in damages.

PAR Number 20683006

State: Georgia Year: 1830
Location: Greene Location Type: County

Abstract: John Ellis alleges that Henry Sanford Sr. owes him $48.33. As the overseer of "Henry's Plantation for the year eighteen hundred and thirty," Ellis expected to be paid $140 per year, "the same payable monthly to wit the sum of eleven dollars and sixty six cents per month." Ellis avers "that he did faithfully perform and fulfil all the duties incumbent upon him as such overseer for and during the time of four months and eight days." Of the opinion that Sanford has not honored his financial obligations, the petitioner prays for $75 in damages.

PAR Number 20683107

State: Georgia Year: 1831
Location: Elbert Location Type: County

Abstract: William Evans agreed to "leave his crop & plantation" in Georgia and go to South Carolina to attend to William Smith's "business and his negroes on said farm in the capacity of overseer." Evans and Smith further agreed that Smith would pay Evans $15 per month and would tend to Evans's crops in his absence. Evans performed his duties, but Smith failed to protect Evans's crop. Evans contends that Smith is "liable to pay your petitioner for the loss & destruction of said crop & abuse & loss of his stock." Evans sues for $150 in damages.

PAR Number 20683113

State: Georgia Year: 1831
Location: Elbert Location Type: County

Abstract: James Carpenter agreed to act as the overseer on William W. Smith's South Carolina plantation in exchange for "ten thousand pounds of seed Cotton as certain wages" and "one half of all the Cotton which your petitioner should make" on Smith's plantation "over and above seventy five thousand pounds." Carpenter claims that he fulfilled his end of the agreement. Moreover, Carpenter lent Smith $733.22 to buy agricultural supplies in addition to "managing his hands and negroes." Carpenter contends that Smith has not honored his financial obligations. He sues Smith for $2,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20683116

State: Georgia Year: 1831
Location: Elbert Location Type: County

Abstract: Richard Henry Stokes is the guardian for his minor brother, John Cratin Stokes. Their father, Richard Henry Stokes Sr., died and bequeathed to his two sons a large estate that included slaves. The petitioners assert that the estate's executors "kept the estate together and greatly wasted and mismanaged the same by employing worthless overseers and giving no personal attention to the farm, contracting large & unnecessary debts." Richard further avers that in 1820 Archibald Stokes became guardian of the petitioners and "pretended that the estate was so involved in debts" that property would have to be sold. Having "attained to the age of twenty one," Richard recounts that he has not received "a reasonable allowance for the profits" of said estate. He therefore prays that Stokes "be decreed to pay to your orator a reasonable sum for what the legacies left himself and brother would have yealded if properly managed."

PAR Number 20683201

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

Abstract: George Cook employed Elijah L. Christian as his overseer for 1830, agreeing to pay Christian $200, along with food staples, some livestock, and "hand tools & other necessary arraingements to make a crop." Christian claims to have fulfilled his responsibilities, but argues that Cook "has wholly refused & still dose refuse so to do." The petitioner sues for $400 in damages.

PAR Number 20683202

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

Abstract: Robert Hinton hired Washington W. Hinton "as an overseer or cropper" for the year 1831. Washington Hinton's compensation would be a share of the cotton, corn, fodder and other products harvested. Washington contends that, despite performing his duties, Robert "dismissed your petitioner & drove him off from his said farm & plantation & house & would not suffer him to finish & gather in the Same nor would he allow your petitioner to hire a hand in his place to finish & gather in & take care of the said crop but afterwards when the Same was finished & gathered in the said Robert utterly refused" to give him his share of said crops. The petitioner sues for $300 in damages.

PAR Number 20683301

State: Georgia Year: 1833
Location: Oglethorpe Location Type: County

Abstract: Henry Brook agreed to work as an overseer for John Moore in 1832. His compensation was to be $180. Brook claims that he performed the duties required of him, but that Moore has refused to honor the contract. Brook is suing Moore for $300 in damages.

PAR Number 20683305

State: Georgia Year: 1833
Location: Tattnall Location Type: County

Abstract: In January 1833, William Hodges hired James Cone as an overseer on his plantation. In return for Cone's management, Hodges verbally promised to give him one-sixth of the crops produced and agreed "to place under him ... three hands or labours two horses and all the usual and necessary plantation tools, to furnish provisions to your petitioner for and during the year." Cone avers that Hodges dismissed him in August without any just cause. He seeks $200, the value of one-sixth of the crops.

PAR Number 20683509

State: Georgia Year: 1835
Location: Elbert Location Type: County

Abstract: Rufus Oglesby alleges that Abraham Cook owes him $150. Averring that Cook hired him as his overseer for 1834, Oglesby represents that Cook agreed to give him part of the crop and "one good suit of yarn clothes or ten dollars in cash." He further charges that, after several months, Cook "dismissed your petitioner & drove him from his house & business & refused to let him gather in & have the said Crop." Oglesby adds that Cook refused "to let his hands obey or be directed by your petitioner, by reason of which your petitioner could not gather in and save the said crop." Oglesby therefore asks for $150 in damages.

PAR Number 20683909

State: Georgia Year: 1839
Location: Greene Location Type: County

Abstract: Thomas G. Janes, administrator of the estate of the late Moses Stallings, states that his intestate died in 1836, leaving as his heirs, his wife, Mary, and his children: John, Mary, and Moses. In 1837, Silas McLane, otherwise called Silas Stallings, claimed seven slaves belonging to the estate. Janes states that he had no record of McLane's claim or title to the slaves and, therefore, refused to deliver them. McLane, through his guardian, William Greer, initiated a suit against Janes in the Superior Court at the March 1838 Term. The jury found in favor of Janes; however, McLane appealed the decision and the verdict was reversed. Janes states that McLane, reputed to be the illegitimate son of Moses Stallings, provided false witnesses and "pretended" affidavits to support his argument in the appeals case. Janes asserts that he is now able to provide evidence to refute McLane's claim to Stallings's estate. He requests an injunction to prevent the verdict from the appeal suit from being executed and seeks a new trial.

PAR Number 20684102

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

Abstract: Chiles T. Key states that, in an agreement executed on 16 May 1828, William Bibb Key commissioned Key to "Cultivate Said plantation and have exclusive controul and management of the said negroes and stock for and during the natural life of said William B." According to the articles of agreement, Chiles Key was to be justly compensated for his services. He asserts that neither William B. Key, before his death, or his executors, since that time, have paid him. He seeks $1,600 for compensation.

PAR Number 20684811

State: Georgia Year: 1848
Location: Houston Location Type: County

Abstract: John Powers argues that the careless management of his plantation overseer, William Ingram, caused half of an entire crop of corn and cotton to be lost. He seeks $1,750 in damages.

PAR Number 20685005

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

Abstract: William Bowden avers that Archibald Tarpley owes him $300 for his services as overseer, whereby he managed "the hands and plantation" of the said Tarpley. Bowden was the overseer from 1 January 1850 until 17 April 1850 when he was dismissed "without Cause or provocation."

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 20685517

State: Georgia Year: 1855
Location: Meriwether Location Type: County

Abstract: Petitioner James G. Fowler claims that Anslim Anthony hired him for $175 to "oversee & superintend the business & working hands of said Defendant" for the year of 1854. On 4 July 1854, Anthony dismissed Fowler from his service and has refused to pay him. The petitioner seeks $325 in damages.

PAR Number 20686024

State: Georgia Year: 1860
Location: Wilkes Location Type: County

Abstract: Nicholas Wylie hired William Moore to work as an overseer on his plantation in Lee County for the sum of five hundred and fifty dollars which was to be paid at the end of the year. Moore claims that he worked as overseer and "faithfully and diligently ... performed the various duties of an overseer in the management of the slaves taking and gathering the crop and in taking care of and improving the farm of Said Nicholas," until 24 November 1852, at which time Wylie fired him "without any reasonable or lawful cause." Moore seeks the full payment of his service contract.

PAR Number 20781003

State: Kentucky Year: 1810
Location: Jefferson Location Type: County

Abstract: Daniel Nicholson petitions to settle accounts with Samuel Luckett, for whom he worked as overseer. According to their agreement, Nicholson was to supervise Luckett's "hands," working on fifty-five acres of land. In exchange, Luckett would provide for Nicholson's family and give him one-fifth of the crop. Luckett did neither, but instead sued Nicholson for payment of a note Luckett obtained from Nicholson when he "contrived to make your Orator drunk." Nicholson asks that Luckett be restrained from enforcing the judgment and that he be compelled to "account with your Orator on the Matters aforesaid."

PAR Number 20783310

State: Kentucky Year: 1833
Location: Bourbon Location Type: County

Abstract: In December 1829, Samuel Williams gave Mary Orr his note for $82.50 for the hire of two slaves, Tom and John, to work in his hemp bagging factory. Williams claims that after about two months he found they "were so much afflicted ... with sore legs ... that they were of no value whatever." Although he returned the slaves to Orr's agent, she and her husband, Alexander Orr, refused to rescind the contract and won a judgment against him for his note. In addition, Williams claims to have suffered losses in his factory, being unable to hire other workers after the hiring season was over. Williams asks that the Orrs be restrained from collecting on their judgment and that a decree be issued ordering that they pay him damages "sustained by their fraudulent conduct."

PAR Number 20783612

State: Kentucky Year: 1836
Location: Jefferson Location Type: County

Abstract: William Freeman [alias Nat] claims that he is a free man of color, a matter of record on file in Virginia and Cincinnati. He has been working on steamboats, but four weeks ago in New Orleans he was seized as a slave and claimed by Charles Anderson, "who is reputed to be a gambler." He further asserts that his attested copy of the Virginia record of his freedom was then "taken from him and torn in pieces before his eyes." Anderson sold him to James Long, who took him to Louisville, where he ran away. He was recaptured and is now in jail. He asks that the defendants be restrained from removing him until he can send to Virginia and get proof of his free status.

PAR Number 20784411

State: Kentucky Year: 1844
Location: Jefferson Location Type: County

Abstract: Claiborne, a man of color, states that as a boy he was sold by James Overstreet to John W. Taylor for a term of servitude, at the end of which he would be free; Claiborne believes Taylor still has a copy of the bill of sale proving his claim. The term expired two years ago, but rather than freeing him, Taylor sold him to a Mr. Talbert who is now holding him in jail with the intent of selling him into perpetual slavery. Claiborne asks that Taylor be compelled to produce the original bill of sale that will verify his claim to freedom. He also asks that he be given back wages for the time he worked when he should have been free.

PAR Number 20785814

State: Kentucky Year: 1858
Location: Fayette Location Type: County

Abstract: Robert Wickliffe states that on the 18 December 1854, by written agreement, he employed John Goddard as an overseer for his farm. The petitioner charges that Goddard "did not discharge his duty, faithfully as overseer and superintendant of the farm, negroes, stock and other things." He contends that Goddard disposed of a great quantity of the petitioner's property without authorization or proper accounting of the transactions. Wickliffe attests that "he has suffered damages to the amount of three thousand dollars for which sum he sues." In an amended petition, Wickliffe alleges that Goddard "failed to keep a true and faithful account of his transactions as your petitioners oversear." He confesses that he was deprived of sight and health while the defendant was in charge of his affairs. The petitioner lists several transactions that involve the disposition of livestock. Wickliffe seeks a payment for the unauthorized transactions.

PAR Number 20881001

State: Louisiana Year: 1810
Location: Territory of Orleans Location Type: Jurisdiction

Abstract: James Hogan avers that in December 1809 he agreed to act as overseer for John Duly. By the agreement, Duly was to provide ten slaves to work the crops of corn and cotton; he also consented to provide for the slaves' maintenance. Hogan agreed to oversee the plantation for one year at the rate of $400. However, Hogan claims, he had only worked at the plantation for a little over a month when "Duly took all the slaves off the said plantation out of the possession of your petitioner and has since disposed of the said slaves." Hogan claims that Duly is planning to move out of the territory without paying Hogan for his services. Hogan prays that Duly be decreed to pay him the agreed upon sum plus damages.

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