Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 20682109

State: Georgia Year: 1821
Location: Jones Location Type: County

Abstract: William Jordan sues Nathaniel Perritt for slander, asking for $5,000 in compensation. Jordan claims that, since the time of his "nativity," he has maintained a reputation as a citizen in excellent standing in his community. However, Perritt has accused him of "harboring and Concealing runaway negro slaves." Specifically, Perritt accused Jordan of concealing his runaway slave, Sam. Jordan contends that this situation has tarnished his reputation and he seeks redress from the court.

PAR Number 20682517

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

Abstract: Charles B. Hamilton, "an Honest & faithful Citizen of the State," charges that Milton Lee did "speak & publish ... false & scandalous & defamatory ... words of & concerning your petitioner" when he insinuated "that your petitioner had harboured his the said Lees negro." Claiming that "he has lost the confidence & support of his neighbours & acquaintances," Hamilton states that "his good name fame & reputation" has been injured. He sues for $2,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20683120

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

Abstract: John W. Hemby is suing John Appling for accusing him "of concealing or causing to be concealed harbouring or hideing any runaway slave." Hemby asserts that this accusation has damaged his reputation and that he has been subjected to prosecution for these crimes. The petitioner sues Appling for slander and $5,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20683811

State: Georgia Year: 1838
Location: Greene Location Type: County

Abstract: Augustus Pitcher states that Holcomb Harper has damaged his reputation as a "good true honest and faithful" citizen. Pitcher avers that Harper "falsely & maliciously" told a group of people that he was unable to find "a certain negro girl Slave by the name of Sylvia the property of said Holcomb G" because Pitcher "had her harbored and concealed." The petitioner asserts that with the accusation, Harper intended to "injure your petitioner in his said good name fame & credit and to bring him into public Scandal infamy & disgrace with and amongst all his neighbours and other good and worthy Citizens of said State." Pitcher seeks $10,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20685611

State: Georgia Year: 1856
Location: Greene Location Type: County

Abstract: The petitioners are heirs of William Fretwell, deceased. Before his death, Fretwell published his last will and testament, leaving his slaves, Sarah and Green, to his wife, Ann, during her life. In 1853 Ann died but at that time the slaves and their increase were not in Ann's possession but in the possession of Alfred M. Neal of South Carolina. Neal refuses to turn the slaves over to the Fretwell heirs and the heirs ask that Neal be required to give an account of the hire of the slaves for the time they have been in his possession and that he be enjoined from removing the slaves from the state.

PAR Number 20685906

State: Georgia Year: 1859
Location: Chatham Location Type: County

Abstract: Joseph and Catharine Newman claim that William O. Charlton damaged Catharine's reputation by bringing unfounded charges against her for "unlawfully and feloniously concealing, harboring, hiding, and employing in her own service a certain negro slave named Flora, the property of said William O. Charlton." The petitioners "are desirous of commencing an action for malicious prosecution" and seek a copy of the indictment to be used as evidence in their case.

PAR Number 20685908

State: Georgia Year: 1859
Location: Elbert Location Type: County

Abstract: James Oglesby gave five slaves to James C. Hall to hold in trust for James Oglesby and his wife, Sarah. These slaves and their increase were to be used by Oglesby and his wife, but upon their death the slaves were to pass to Hall. Now Hall states that James and Sarah Oglesby "are preparing and about clandestinely to run off Said negroes and Sell them beyond the limits of the State of Georgia and place them beyond the reach and power of your Orator." He seeks the immediate arrest and detention of the slaves as well as a court hearing to let the defendants answer his charges.

PAR Number 20780804

State: Kentucky Year: 1808
Location: Jefferson Location Type: County

Abstract: Daniel McCleland asks the court to grant an order restraining William J. Tunstall from removing two slaves from the state. Tunstall mortgaged Sophia and Fanny as security for the payment of rents and now, fearing that McCleland is about to foreclose on the mortgage, has taken them out of the county.

PAR Number 20781811

State: Kentucky Year: 1818
Location: Warren Location Type: County

Abstract: Abraham Reese Jr. states that his father, Abraham Reese Sr., sold him a slave named Charity in 1803. Now, Charity has had six children and Reese Sr. has passed away. The petitioner believes that Reese's widow, Hannah, and two other heirs plan on hiding the slaves so that he cannot gain custody. Reese Jr. asks the court to issue an injunction preventing the defendants from removing the slaves from the court's jurisdiction.

PAR Number 20782102

State: Kentucky Year: 1821
Location: Barren Location Type: County

Abstract: John Foster borrowed $265 from John Fulcher, delivering a slave, Fanny, as security. Foster has been unable to repay the loan, and Fulcher has "taken said girl secretly off and even assures your Orator that he has placed her where your Orator should never hear of her if he did not shortly pay him the afsd. money." Foster is convinced that Fulcher plans to defraud him "by removing himself and property to some very distant part so as to put it out of the power of your Orator to redeem said girl." He asks the court to order Fulcher to produce their written contract, give security that Fanny is available for redemption, or order that the woman be sold to pay off the loan plus interest, deducting the amount due for her hire.

PAR Number 20782306

State: Kentucky Year: 1823
Location: Jefferson Location Type: County

Abstract: John Jones states that he has been appointed administrator of the estate of John Burk, as Burk's widow and next of kin have failed to take administration during the time allowed. When he died, Burk owned thirteen slaves, as well as other property. Jones claims that members of Burk's family "have possessed themselves of the afsd. negroes and other property and refuse to deliver them to your orator to be administered according to law." They also refuse to account for the money on hand or debts owed by the estate. Jones asks the court to order them to make a report and to restrain them from leaving the state with the property.

PAR Number 20782609

State: Kentucky Year: 1826
Location: Jefferson Location Type: County

Abstract: To secure his sister Sarah Shipman's maintenance, James Bradshaw executed a deed of trust for five slaves and appointed Abraham Long as trustee. Shipman was to "enjoy use and to have the benefit of sd. slaves during her natural life." As trustee, Long was authorized to sell one or two of the slaves, but only in order to purchase land or a residence for Shipman. Shipman claims that Long exchanged the slave Lorie for another slave, receiving $50 as the difference in their value, and that he sold Mary and Patsey, but that he kept all these profits for his own use. She charges that Long and the remaining slaves are now in Louisville, and that he intends to "carry them away or dispose of them so as utterly to defeat the purpose of the Trust." Shipman asks that the slaves be returned to her or another person appointed by the court unless Long posts bond, that he be compelled to account for the proceeds from the slaves' hire, and that another trustee be appointed to replace him.

PAR Number 20782805

State: Kentucky Year: 1828
Location: Jefferson Location Type: County

Abstract: Catharine Wheatly claims that her grandfather John Desha and her father Richard Wheatly conveyed to her, in trust, a slave named Sally and her children, with John Hickman as trustee. There was disagreement between Desha and Wheatly over possession of Sally, and when the trust was executed Catharine claims Desha attempted to defraud her by hiding the existence of one of Sally's children. The slaves are currently hired out in Bourbon County, near Desha's home and Catharine is receiving low hire for their labor. She attributes this in part to the rate of hire in that county and partly to the fact that the slaves are frequently induced to leave their employment and stay with Desha. Catharine asks the court to compel Desha to turn over Morris or Maurice, the child he has hidden, and, as John Hickman is weary of being her trustee, to appoint a new trustee who lives closer to her.

PAR Number 20782812

State: Kentucky Year: 1828
Location: Harrison Location Type: County

Abstract: Polly Reno claims that her husband, Lewis, "has given himself up to almost habitual intoxication and has lately treated your oratrix in a cruel inhuman & barbarous manner." Lewis owns property, including four slaves, livestock, and land, and Polly claims that he has threatened to leave the state, taking all his property and leaving her without means of support. He also holds a $400-note from Joshua Jackson, which will be due in the spring. She asks that Jackson be prevented from paying the $400 until further order of the court, that a writ of ne exeat be issued to restrain Reno from leaving Kentucky, and that “alimony may be decreed to your oratrix.”

PAR Number 20782816

State: Kentucky Year: 1828
Location: Christian Location Type: County

Abstract: William Gray petitions the court for a restraining order on Marcia Offutt to prevent her from moving a slave named George. Gray claims he purchased George "for a fair & bona fide consideration," but that George broke out of jail and is now in the possession of Offutt, "who conceals him so that your orator cannot get him." He also asks that she be required to post bond of $800, and if she does not, that he be permitted to post bond and get possession of George. Failing that, Gray asks that the sheriff take George into possession and hire him out.

PAR Number 20782902

State: Kentucky Year: 1829
Location: Jefferson Location Type: County

Abstract: Francis Marraman purchased a slave named Celia from William Caldwell in 1827; at the time of said purchase, Celia was hired to David Ross. Marriman asserts that after the purchase he sent Celia to retrieve the rest of her clothing from Ross, whereupon Ross illegally detained her and is now "keeping her concealed about his premises & has refused to deliver her." Marraman is suing Ross, but is "apprehensive and does believe that it is the intention of said Ross to run the girl out of this state so that your Or. could not get her." Marraman therefore asks the court to subpoena Ross and to restrain him from removing Celia out of the jurisdiction of the court.

PAR Number 20783117

State: Kentucky Year: 1831
Location: Fayette Location Type: County

Abstract: David Harp claims that he is the security on two loans executed by John Roy. In exchange, Roy mortgaged a slave woman named Esther for Harp's security. But Harp charges that "Roy with a view of practicing a fraud on him and other of his creditors" has left the county and is about to remove his property, including Esther. To complicate matters, Roy has executed a deed of gift to Thompson Roy for all his property, and James Davy also claims ownership of Esther. Harp charges that the three have conspired to keep Esther from him; he asks the court to take her into custody until further order of the court.

PAR Number 20784203

State: Kentucky Year: 1842
Location: Scott Location Type: County

Abstract: Jabez Risk is the administrator of the late Malinda R. Graves Wash Devers. Malinda Devers was at one time the owner of the slave Solomon. Upon her marriage to and subsequent divorce from William Devers, Solomon was put up for sale. Malinda's son, Bushrod Wash, purchased Solomon using her money and turned Solomon over to Malinda as prearranged. Malinda died in April 1839. Bushrod Wash now claims that Solomon belongs to him and refuses to surrender him to Risk. In turn, Risk charges that Wash intends to remove Solomon "a yellow boy, aged seventeen," out of the state and asks that the court prevent removal of the slave and assist Risk in retrieving him.

PAR Number 20784314

State: Kentucky Year: 1843
Location: Fayette Location Type: County

Abstract: Samuel Peel states that he earlier won a verdict over Henry Hampton and J. C. Hendren for money owed. The sheriff at that time visited Hampton and Hendren and reported back: "no property found." Peel notes that Hampton married a daughter of the late William Dishman, who "by way of advance gave him two negroes." Peel charges that the executors of Dishman's estate have "concealed" Milly and her son William or that Hampton has sold said slaves. The petitioner asks that Hampton be made "either to produce the negroes or the money" gained from their sale.

PAR Number 20784412

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

Abstract: Mary Ann Owens states that on 1 July 1841 her husband Grandison Owens, while drunk and without provocation, beat her mercilessly. She managed to get out of the house whereupon he followed her, continued to beat her, and ultimately took a shot at her, hitting a dog instead. Mary Ann has been staying with her mother since the attack and claims that Grandison took revenge by selling off some of her property. She asks that Grandison be required to answer these charges, that he be compelled to reach a financial settlement with her for the items sold, and that a divorce be granted. In an amended bill, Mary Ann Owens noted that her mother has since passed away and that an inherited slave woman and her two children were sold "to prevent said Grandison from taking & secreting them which she has been informed & believes he threatened to do."

PAR Number 20784416

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

Abstract: Nancy, a woman of color, explains that her former master William Shephard sold her to Peter Talbott in 1840. The sale was made possible when Nancy's husband Lewis "drew two prizes in a Lottery in this City in the year 1840 ... amounting in all to upwards of $800.00." Lewis loaned $500 to Talbott for the purchase of Nancy, with the understanding that Nancy would be "immediately manumitted by him according to the laws of this State." For the past three years, Nancy has "been living and supporting herself by her own industry ... as free as if regularly manumitted." Nancy now asserts that both Shephard and Talbott are making claims of debts owed that preclude her official manumission. Nancy asks that "your honor may decree that she be freed by sd. Deft Talbott."

PAR Number 20785704

State: Kentucky Year: 1857
Location: Harrison Location Type: County

Abstract: John and Emily Conner were married in May 1851. Emily now confesses that for the past five years John has been "a confirmed drunkard" and that he "has been wasting his estate by his habits of drunkenness & has neglected to make suitable provision for maintainance of his family = which consists of herself & defendant & a negro woman named Ann." She also charges that John has been cruel and has "frequently threatened to take her life." The petitioner states that she owned personal property and supplied the cash for purchasing Ann. She avows that John threatens to sell Ann in order to deprive her of her interest in the slave. Emily seeks an attachment of Ann, designation of all her property for her sole and separate use, and "a separation from the bed and board of the Dft." In an amended petition, Emily reports that she received an attachment on the slave Ann. She reveals, however, that the attachment was not executed because John and his relatives conspired to conceal Ann from the sheriff and "ran off the Negro woman Ann, and carried her to ... Lexington" where she was sold to a slave dealer. Emily seeks a judgment against the defendants and compensation for the value of Ann.

PAR Number 20785804

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

Abstract: After Elizabeth and James Stevenson were married, Elizabeth's "father gave her a negro slave named Harriet, tall & large & of yellow color, & now aged about 20 years." Elizabeth Stevenson charges that her husband has abandoned her. She states that he and his relatives have stolen Harriet and her six-month-old baby and may send them out of state to be sold. Elizabeth seeks an attachment directing the sheriff to take possession of the slaves and deliver them to the plaintiff.

PAR Number 20881323

State: Louisiana Year: 1813
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: John Francis Munier seeks to be reimbursed for the costs of another suit. Munier is a constable for Orleans Parish and, in that capacity, he was asked by John Duperron Sr. to help John Duperron Jr. and another man arrest Duperron Sr.'s runaway mulatto slave named Mary Zabeth, who was supposedly being concealed by an unnamed man. Munier and the two men found Mary Zabeth and Munier allowed the men to carry her back to Duperron Sr. Only after Mary Zabeth had instituted a suit against did Munier learn that she was a free woman. A judgment was entered against him. He was ordered to pay $527 in damages to Mary Zabeth and spend ten days in jail. Munier claims that "he was not guilty of any improper conduct or ill intention" but was the victim of Duperron Sr.'s "misrepresentation." Duperron Sr. is now "concealing himself so that a citation cannot be served upon him" in regards to this claim. Munier prays that Duperron Sr. be cited to reimburse him for the amount of damages paid to Mary Zabeth.

PAR Number 20881405

State: Louisiana Year: 1814
Location: Feliciana Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Thomas and William Hudson, the latter a minor “over the age of 14 years,” pray for the return of a slave named Amos, who is currently being held by James McNeely. According to the Hudsons, they are the only heirs of the late Hannah Hudson, who had received Amos from her father William Cockfield as a token of his love and affection. However, James McNeely now “has and for many years has had and kept, the forcible & illegal possession of said negro slave Amos.” They fear that McNeely plans to hide the slaves and remove them to “parts unknown.” The Hudsons claim they have "sustained damages from the deprivation of the labour of the said negro the sum of $2,000." They pray that McNeely be "decreed and adjudged to deliver” Amos to them and to pay damages and costs of suit.

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